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Nobody wants to retire at the end of a long day, clamber between the sheets and find that his bed has buckled under the weight of his frame. Bed slats come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be constructed using different materials, so whether or not a set will support your body weight will have to be judged on a case-by-case basis.
If you're carrying a few extra pounds and are in the market for a new bed, talk to bed manufacturers and resellers about the maximum weight their products can take (ref. 1/2/3/4). Most reputable bed makers test their slatted frames to establish exactly how much weight they'll support. Don't forget to factor in your partner's numbers if you're after a new double, queen-, or king-sized bed. Avoid buying from bed manufacturer's that don't supply maximum weight information if you feel your weight could cause slats to buckle. If you buy a new bed from a company that claims it will support your frame, you should be entitled to a refund if this transpires not to be the case.
You may be able to strengthen the support an existing bed offers by making alternations to its slats or by ordering a new set. Slats that are more than approximately 10cm (4 inches) apart offer inadequate support to mattresses, according to Factory Direct Beds. Ideally, your slats should be between 5cm (2 inches) and 7.5cm (3 inches) apart. As a rule of thumb, try not to apply an excessive amount of weight to single slats. If you're tipping the scales more than you perhaps should, don't allow all your weight to rest on your knee when climbing into bed, for example.
Particularly large individuals may need to purchase a reinforced bed from firms such as The Reinforced Bed Company, Sherborne or The Big Bed Company. These manufacturers make bed frames and mattresses that can support two individuals weighing up to 228kg (502lb) each. If you weigh more than this, you'll need to talk to your doctor about sourcing a bariatric bed. These typically support single individuals weighing up to 318kg (701lbs).
The girth of your mattress could be equally as important as that of your stomach or the strength of your slats when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. Mattresses measuring around 35cm (14 inches) in thickness receive above average customer satisfaction among cuddlier bed buyers, according to US bed seller Plush Beds (ref. 6). It recommends a minimal mattress thickness of 25cm (10 inches) for people weighing up to 181kg (400lbs), and at least 35cm (14 inches) for any weight above this.
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