How to Buy an IKEA Bed

Updated on June 26, 2017
IKEA Kobe Port Island
IKEA Kobe Port Island | Source

Buying an IKEA bed in the US

Buying an IKEA bed in the US might be something you are unfamiliar with. It will have a few parts, assembly will be necessary, and I think a lot of people do not get all the parts on the first try. So this article offers a little guidance on all the parts necessary and advice on choosing which parts to buy.

To Boxspring/Foundation or Not to Boxspring/Foundation?

Well, first of all, let me explain what a boxspring/foundation is. They are actually two different items, although they look the same from the side and serve the same purpose of raising your mattress. There is one major difference, however: The foundation has wood boards to hold up the mattress, while the boxspring, like its name suggests, has springs where it meets the mattress.

So what does this mean, you ask? Well, a boxspring will give you a plusher, bouncier feeling, while a foundation will feel firmer and more solid.

Do I need a boxspring or a foundation? No, you can place your mattress right on the slats if you want.

Looking for a simple bed?

You also have the option of buying legs and attaching them directly to a foundation, making a simple bed support for your mattress. This of course won't include a headboard, but is an option for a simple bed that might fit your price point/ budget.

A boxspring has springs = softer

A foundation is all wood inside = firmer

But you might not need either with an IKEA bed

Slats: What Are They Good For?

Slats are the wooden boards that the mattress, boxspring, or foundation rests on. The advantage of an IKEA bed is that you can use slats and a mattress alone, eliminating the need for a boxspring or foundation. This is very useful if you are trying to move a bedframe into a tight location, like up a narrow staircase or through a small doorway. What you should consider when buying a frame is if it has adjustable

What you should consider when buying a frame is if it has adjustable bedsides. It will say it on the tag and it means you can set your slats lower if you want to use a boxspring or a foundation to make the bed higher.

Which Slats Should I Choose?

There are three types of basic slats to choose from:

  • Luroy (Luröy) are curved a little and made of birch wood. You would use these with a mattress alone, and they provide a softer feel.
  • Lonset (Lönset) slats are the plushest-feeling, and you would also use these with the mattress alone. Note: These come with their own wood frame, are adjustable, and need to be assembled. They are a lot of work, but if you like the softer feel, they are worth it.

Each slat or slat and boxspring/foundation combo can work with any mattress, be it spring, foam, or latex. The thicker the mattress (standard mattress thickness is about 8 inches), the less you feel the slats; the thinner the mattress, the more you have to pay attention to the slat choice. Alright sound good, am I missing anything else?

The Skorva Midbeam - DON'T forget it!!

The Midbeam is included in the price of the bedframe, but is a separate part from the bed and comes from a different location in the warehouse. It is a universal part for all the larger IKEA beds (full, queen, and king) that is adjustable to the size of the bed. This is what lies underneath the slats and what supports them. It is a very important piece to the puzzle as the bed can't be assembled without it. There is only one type of midbeam to choose from, but just don't forget it at the store. If you are ordering online, the midbeam, if needed with your model bed, is included from the IKEA website.

Don't Forget...

Most IKEA beds need the following:

*Skorva Midbeam


Now You Are Ready

Now that you are ready with all your necessary parts, you will be able to build your bed. I hope you found this breakdown of the key pieces of the bed helpful. Remember that IKEA beds in the US are all standard US sizes, so you can purchase a mattress elsewhere to go with your IKEA bedfram, or purchase an IKEA mattress for a frame you already own.

Good luck building and enjoy your new bed!!

Did You Forget Something?

Did you forget any parts when you bought your IKEA bed?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2012 sconnelly711

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      • profile image

        tyler 10 months ago

        so i bought a bed frame but it only has 3 sides and doesn'tt have the top rail, it only comes with the headboard which i didn't purchase because we have one. How can you sell a bed frame that you cant actually use... especially from ikea which parts are separate. they should tell you that the frame wont work separately..

      • profile image

        Akshaya 10 months ago

        Hi I have bought a wooden bed with slats.i want to increase the height of my mattress.the box spring that are available in my country are pretty expensive .can I use IKEA slatted base over the existing slatted base to increase the height of my mattress .

        Thanks in advance


      • profile image

        Alexa Castaneda 11 months ago

        From reading around Ikea Malm beds, I think I've gotten more confused than I was before. Here's my list of questions that I have concerning the Ikea Malm beds.

        - Are the Ikea Malm bed sizes made to US bed sizes?

        - Can I use boxsprings instead of the slats or do I need the basic slats to put the boxspring on top of?

        - If I can use the boxsprings, will they fit just right or will they be siding around?

        - Talking in the sense of buying online, will the mid-beam be included in the price of the bed frame?

        - Can I use a boxspring + mattress NOT sold from Ikea?

        - Are Ikea beds of quality enough? (Sturdy, long lasting, valuable for the price, etc)

        Any answers would be appreciated, thanks.

      • sconnelly711 profile image

        sconnelly711 3 years ago

        If you use a boxspring or foundation you should use the basic slats as a base.

      • profile image

        Bunnie carlos 3 years ago

        so,can you eliminate the slats if you use a box spring or foundation?

      • sconnelly711 profile image

        sconnelly711 4 years ago

        @gsgordon: Not really, but the least expensive ones are pine and don't have a warranty. The other ones are made of layers of birch wood and and stronger, but softer as well. So if you want the firmest I'd go with pine and although they don't have a warranty it's easy to replace a board from a hardware store or buy a new pair of slats.

      • profile image

        gsgordon 4 years ago

        I know this is an old post so you might not be reading this. But if anyone is: Do the slatted bases have different weight maximums? My understanding was that the cheapest ones can't support much and break if you, say, plop yourself down on the bed after a long day. Is this not the case?

      • KathyZ1 profile image

        KathyZ1 4 years ago

        Great lens, enjoy it.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thanks for this! I've been looking for a new bed for awhile, on the (Canadian) shopping cart screen it ask "Are you buying a bed? Don't forget your slats!". Looking at the last page of the assembly instructions for the OPPDAL bedframe, it shows two options for whether or not you're using a slatted base or not. So if I use a foundation/boxspring I don't need the slats?

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Everything Pam said... long drive... talked to the floor rep (why we knew we needed the slats)... long drive back...SURPRISE!... frustrating experience with an unhelpful customer service ( essentially, "Sorry- sucks to be you"). That last bit was the most disappointing. But disappointed moved into the angry zone when the Seattle store manager we then talked to was not only unhelpful, but wide open rude to my wife. At least the bed was for us and we weren't disappointing someone else as well. (REALLY sorry to hear that, Pam). I like Pam's idea of having the checkout flag the checker to ask if the customer is aware that a midbeam is required. The current situation tells me that IKEA is: 1) criminally oblivious (seems unlikely considering these complaints go back to at least 2009 and these poll results show that as of May 2013only 14% got all the parts needed on the first try), OR 2) IKEA is just flat out mean, OR 3) They're terminally stupid, OR 4) They're stark raving insane. ("Insanity is repeating the same mistake and expecting different results"). How would the Seattle store manager feel if he bought a TV, got it home and then found out the power cord was "a separate item" and he had to drive 8 hours to get one so he could use his TV. I could be totally wrong on this, but it seems to me that anything that is absolutely required to make a purchase usable should be included in the first place. (No... wait.... I don't think I could be totally wrong).

        IKEA- Include that part or flag it at the checkout. If someone is purchasing a bed, prompt the checker to see if the customer is aware that slats and a midbeam may be required. Or have that information CLEARLY AND EMPHATICALLY posted on the bed packaging- or at least at the bin. Or how hard would it be to include the midbeam- sounds like that is required whether you use slats or a foundation/boxspring. All I can say is that IKEA lost our good will in a big way over a $10 part. Does that make any business sense in the age of social media?

        lens- THANK YOU for posting this. It sounds like you have already helped some folks avoid this trap.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Buying a bed from the online store, thanks for this!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        I wish I had had a better understanding of how IKEA and their bed systems work before I went there yesterday. We drove 3 hours, did our shopping and bought my daughter a new bed for her birthday. Spent the night at a hotel, drove home and started setting up the bed only to discover we had not mid beam. I thought by making sure that I had 1 of 2 boxes that the 2nd box contained the mid beam. NOPE! Do you think the girl at the check out said anything? NOPE! Called customer service and was told (very rudely) that they could not ship one to me. So I am now expected to drive 6 hours round trip for a mid beam. Very disappointed with the customer service. Not a good first impression. This is obviously an ongoing problem that needs addressing. Perhaps a flag from the computer at check out??? So angry and frustrated. Mostly, I feel bad for my daughter.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        I'm SO glad I saw this before I drove all the way to Houston! I wasn't aware you had to buy the slats separate & I sure as heck wouldn't have known about the midbeam! This is a real eye opener! Thanks so much for taking the time to warn others. Sheri from Texas

      • sconnelly711 profile image

        sconnelly711 5 years ago

        @anonymous: Yes, the midbeam will ship with the bed and is included in the price. If you are ordering on the US website you can see that the bed price is made up of the bed frame and midbeam by picking buy at a local store, picking a store, and looking at the stock prognosis. It will show the bed frame and midbeam as two items that make up the bed price.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        I'm ordering a Hemnes queen and king bed online. I understand that I need to order the slats. I cannot find a way to add the midbeams to my order for each bed. If they are included in the price, does that mean that they are shipped automatically? Thanks for this instruction.

      • sconnelly711 profile image

        sconnelly711 5 years ago

        @MrsPotts: Thank you for the comment :) I hope my lens was helpful!!

      • sconnelly711 profile image

        sconnelly711 5 years ago

        @cinstress: Thanks for checking out my lens. It might be worth a visit :)

      • MrsPotts profile image

        MrsPotts 5 years ago

        Bought an IKEA bed recently. Wish I'd seen this lens first, would have been helpful. Great resource lens!

      • cinstress profile image

        cinstress 5 years ago

        I'll have to check out IKEA

      • sconnelly711 profile image

        sconnelly711 5 years ago

        @anonymous: This instructional is for building a bed in the US. Here IKEA does sell boxsprings and foundations and in fact some beds sold here in the US IKEA stores would look silly without them. You may also just use slates as well though, but boxsprings/ foundations are an option and are sold. If you do choose to use them you will need to place them on the Lade Slates first as described above. Cheers, sconnelly711

      • AstroGremlin profile image

        AstroGremlin 5 years ago

        I'm not sure why we keep paying for box springs. Basically just a way of raising the mattress off the floor.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Buyers should be aware that IKEA beds are designed to be used with mattresses, not with box springs (which they do not sell). There are numerous stories of people who have bought box springs and had them fall off the frame.

        All you need is a bed frame, the Skorva mid beam and the Sultan slats of your choice.

        Only 3 items (but more than 3 boxes).

      • sconnelly711 profile image

        sconnelly711 5 years ago

        @AstroGremlin: Well true boxsprings do provide a little bit plusher feel, but that feeling can be replicated with the softer slats. Yes some people do like having a higher sitting mattress, all preference I guess. Thanks for commenting :)

      • sconnelly711 profile image

        sconnelly711 5 years ago

        @anonymous: No Problem, glad my lens is helpful!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Very handy tips and suggestions... Thanks for sharing!

      • sconnelly711 profile image

        sconnelly711 5 years ago

        @Magda2012: Thank you, it is much appreciated

      • Magda2012 profile image

        Magda2012 5 years ago

        I am a fan of IKEA. Nice lens

      • sconnelly711 profile image

        sconnelly711 5 years ago

        @JoshK47: Thanks Josh!

      • profile image

        JoshK47 5 years ago

        Useful info!


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