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Randy? IKEA Beds for the ‘Active’ Couple

Posted on May 21, 2010 at 12:27 am
Viewed 291,109 times  35 Comments Add your comment


I am about to purchase the MALM King Size bed … but I need everyone’s honest opinion on whether or not it’s a sturdy bed? Not to get too personal but my significant other and I are pretty active and we want to make sure this bed will be able to hold its own.

Ahem. Welp – good on ya for doing your research. We’re going to see what we can do to answer your question…

Traditional Boxspring vs. European Bed Slats

In the US, we’re used to getting a boxspring that’s generally about the same thickness as our mattress, and which when placed underneath said mattress, provides support to the mattress, our bodies, and our…erm, activities. Platform beds and other low-profile bedframes often utilized bed slats instead of a full-fledged boxspring. There are three major advantages to bed slats vs. boxspring:

  • Bed slats provide support for the mattress without the depth that a boxspring requires, contributing to a modern or contemporary look.
  • Bed slats allow for better air circulation keeping the bedding cool in the summertime and warm in the winter.
  • Because they’re not enclosed with fabric in any way, there’s no chance of dust mite build-up or other allergens to accumulate.

Differences between IKEA Bed Slats

IKEA makes and sells a number of different grades of basic bed slats. They also sell adjustable bed bases, like the SULTAN LANGHUS, the SULTAN LAUKVIK, the SULTAN LERBÄCK and the SULTAN LONEVÅG, although we’re going to stick to talking about the non-adjustable bed bases. So what are the differences between IKEA’s bed slats, how do they compare, and which should you choose?

There are currently three basic grades of bed slats available: SULTAN LADE, SULTAN LURÖY and SULTAN LAXEBY. Note that IKEA frequently ‘discontinues’ a line of bed slats only to replace it with a similar if not identical product with a different name. Don’t ask me why.


The LADE slats are strips of flat, solid pine wood, and are strung together with a webbed ribbon along the sides. This is the least expensive and least durable option, but provides firm support.

Ideal scenario: This set of slats would be suitable for a child, a single adult (maybe <150lbs) who doesn’t move around much in bed, or a lightweight couple who are um…sedate, if you know what I mean. If you toss and turn alot (awake or asleep) you will soon find this inadequate for your needs.

Ingredients: Solid pine, 100 % polyester

Size Matters: Thickness unknown, but estimated at 1″ and 21 pounds for twin size.

Price Range: Ranges from $20 to $50 (Kid’s bed base available for $9.99)


The LURÖY (formerly known as LIEN) slats are curved, laminated (like plywood) strips of birch which are strung together with a webbed ribbon on the sides like the LADE. The laminated slats are orders of magnitude stronger than solid birch slats, and the curved shape makes the bed bouncy.

Ideal scenario: These would be ideal for a teenager, kids who like to jump on the bed, or an active lightweight but moderately active, or heavy but moderately tranquilized adult couple.

Ingredients: 17 slats of layer-glued birch. Layer glued slats: Birch veneer, Foil; Ribbon: 100 % polyester, 100 % polypropylene. (I have no idea how that’s possible)

Size Matters: 2 1/8″ thick, and 13 pounds for the twin size.

Price: Ranges from $30 – $80


The LAXEBY (aka LIARED) slats are similar to the LURÖY slats in that they are also curved and laminate, but they use an extruded rubber like band made up of a series of attached cups that slide over the ends of the slats to keep them together. The slats are also adjustable in the sense that you can control the tension in various areas of the base: 7 slats in the shoulder section are adjustable to give your body just the right support. 8 slats in the center section are adjustable to give your body just the right support. This bed base provides firm, but flexible support and the curved slats lend springyness. The extruded rubber serves not only to keep the slats together, but to keep the slats tight to the bed base.

Ideal scenario: These slats are for the highly athletic couple, or a heavier weight set of individuals. You can likely do just about anything you want on this bed without fear of falling through. Furthermore, your back will probably thank you in the morning.

Ingredients: 39 slats of layer-glued birch, divided into 5 comfort zones. Bed base slats: Birch veneer, Foil; Ribbon: 100 % polypropylene; Slat holders: Synthetic rubber; Bed base: Birch plywood

Size Matters: 2 1/8″ thick and 32 pounds for the twin size.

Price: Ranges from $70 to $200.

What to Do if Your IKEA Bed Slats Fail

Have a bed frame failure? Have the slats fallen through your bed? Find out the usual causes of this problem, some suggestions from the field for fixing it and see some clever solutions from members in How to Fix an IKEA Bed Frame Fail.


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35 Responses to “Randy? IKEA Beds for the ‘Active’ Couple”

  1. *appletree* says:

    That is such a funny heading!! Love it!!

  2. Jason says:


    I have a rather…er…”active” bedroom shenanigans myself and have broken my Malm not once, but twice. Both times I was living above my best Friend and I still get crap for it to this day.

    I did find a fix though. I love the shape and the simplicity of the Malm, so I went to the Hardware store and got longer, fatter screws for the metal cross beam/spine that runs down the center(both times it failed at the point where it connects to the Head and Foot boards.

    Once I put in the sturdier hardware it’s held together like a champ.

    Can’t believe I just admitted all of this. Oh well.

  3. Susan says:

    Wow, Jason – you really put your bed to the test! Thanks for posting your solution to a fallen MALM! I’d recommend that you turn the tables on your friend and suggest that perhaps he’s not quite up to breaking a bed…


  4. Janice says:

    Well, I thought that my significant other and I were the only ones to have broken an Ikea bed with our diurnal disportment. To be honest, though – it’s not always just us! Hah! To be clear, Ikeas beds are not made for three. Or four. Unless you think ‘Four on the Floor’ in the middle of the night is hysterical. WE did. But enough about me.

    Anyone have any tried and true methods of reinforcing the bed to avoid sudden displacement in the middle of the night. Like if you KNOW that you’re going to be um…entertaining? I was thinking about cinderblocks under the support in the middle.

  5. Gee says:

    wow — um — all i can say is i used to sell furniture and after looking at ikea bedframes i bought elsewhere. ikea is great for some things — the mattresses rock (though subtropical climates and memory foam are not a match). the bedframes not so much. in my humble opinion three things you never buy at ikea are bedframes, upholstered furniture, and family heirlooms. i think many posts on this site will attest. the laxeby slats are awesome though — if you buy a slat bed feel free to replace the slats with laxeby. its a definite upgrade from most slats.

  6. Lorin says:

    My wife and I have broken two beds in 7 years but the Malm has held up very well! If you foresee pushing it too it’s limits use larger screws for the main beam that attaches at the head and foot.

  7. nc_driver says:

    I was cheap and bought the flat LADE bed slats for a vacation house. They seem fine, but I’m concerned when you write “If you toss and turn a lot (awake or asleep) you will soon find this inadequate for your needs.” Inadequate how? Too firm? They will break? Now I see there is the LURÖY bed slats available. Would those make the mattress (I have an IKEA spring mattress with a topper, I think it’s the SULTAN TÅRSTA) significantly more comfortable?

  8. We’ve had problems with our bed slats too which is not a very good idea when you’re doing some pressing activity!

    So anyway, finally had a look at it and it so happens that one of the metal cross braces is a bit bent. I fixed that a bit and basically tightened the placement of the white piece thingie. Worked like magic.

    Our only problem now is this creaking sound. Anyone else has the same problem?

  9. says:

    Hi–we had the bed in our apt for a 15 month contract when I lived away from my husband. He came down every 2nd weekend & we used it quite a bit for “visiting”…

    Anyway for us it was fine, it wasn’t super sturdy–on the upside we were close to the floor so if it broke no one’s back is out!

    I will say–it didn’t exactly do well from having my parents visit–and just having my dad who’s a fairly heavy man (not overweight) sleeping on it! Just getting up and down from it!

    One of the sides had to be rescrewed! just from that! It didn’t break but it wasn’t sturdy after they slept in it for a week…

    So for sex–it totally matters how active is active…however it couldn’t handle a large 6ft, over 220lb man sleeping on the darn thing for a week!

    Put it this way–I was glad it was a temporary bed–it worked just fine for a year or so that I used it–I’d use it for a GUEST bed if I were to buy another one!

    That’s all I’d use it for.

    Good luck!

  10. Susan says:

    So, yeah…a larger VERY sedate couple or singleton, even. Or a lightweight rambunctious one… teehee


  11. jen says:

    I dont have an ikea bed (i know shocking, but everything else in the room is) but I do have a wooden one and it lost the slats too a few times the FIRST WEEK.

    People and mattresses are heavier than they were when beds as know them were designed over 100 years ago, they really arent up to the task of heavy premium mattresses and heavier people. I did a lot of research online and found this:

    It’s amazing and works, took minutes to install once the mattresses were removed, and haven’t had a single problem in the four years since. The bed is SOLID as a rock. And I can still slide it around to clean it no frame skewing problems.

    I got mine here, and shipping is included on the price.

    I dont know why more don’t have them, but this is the best thing I ever bought for my bedroom, honest.

  12. jen says:

    Oh yeah and each ARM of the bedbridge (you get a set of three) holds 1400 pounds. So yeah… it’ll hold a village.

  13. IkeaLover says:

    funny quote you’ve got there!

  14. K says:

    My husband and I have had a MALM queen size bed for 5 years now. We are not svelt people in the least, and the only time a slat–not the frame, but a slat–has broken is when I stood up on the bed, placing all of my weight on one foot. I don’t know if it’s because we have a foam mattress that there is simply less weight on it to begin with, but I can attest, the MALM bed does hold up, even with rigorous nighttime activities. (It has, however, started to squeak more than it used to… don’t know why…)

  15. MelD says:

    We had Ikea beds for the first 24 years of our marriage, with the simplest Lade slats all along and never had a problem – we are two heavy and active adults! Last year we moved our bed to our holiday home and went to a “grown-up” store for a bed that cost a fortune, sprung mattress, fancy slats etc. and we have never had such backache, it is totally unsatisfactory and we don’t sleep well, either. This summer I am getting another Ikea bed. (Oh, in those 24 years we had 2 beds just because I wanted a different style half way through, the first wooden one was passed on and was very strong, the second iron one is, as I said, now in our beach house, where we sleep wonderfully on thin foam mattresses on the same old slats…).
    Maybe the quality has changed. My daughter has had a Malm for about 7 years and says it is moving around and that tightening the screws hasn’t helped??

  16. mykel says:

    hello there. i also experience creeks on our bed–it’s an Ikea Hemnes model. Two questions: which is more durable and will reduced creaking–box spring or bed slats (and if so, which ones? the LAXEBY?) second, are there any other suggestions you have?

    if not, i’m really thinking about returning the Hemnes to Ikea because it creaks so much.

  17. Ken says:

    Every bed I have ever bought has required extra engineering to some degree but it’s still quicker than building my own. Malm was ok but, as Jason says, generally requires heavier gauge hardware. Regarding slats, I have found the sprung birch variety, as found on Luroy and Laxeby, too bouncy and preferred the cheaper basic Lade, as they provide a firmer base for erm ‘load testing’ – BUT are prone to breakage.

    I replaced a Malm with a Heimdal, not because of any lack of durability against entertaining ladies but because I kept stubbing my toes on the end! With the Heimdal, I added additional braces in the corners by permanently welding them in place. I don’t use any slats from Ikea but used CLS studding timber (no pun intended), with the long edge upright, as cross beams. To date, this is the strongest bed I have ever had and can happily say that it continues to effortlessly endure the constant pounding it’s given (pun inntended!)!

  18. Andrea says:

    I have an Heimdal and the squeakiness is making me want to get a new bed. I can’t really afford it ATM, but I gotta do something. It squeakys when I turn and of course during more intimate times. Any tips? Recommendations?

  19. Shelly says:

    I’m writing as I’ve been woken up by falling out of bed (and all I was doing was rolling from my back to my side when the slats fell, nothing to energetic). I’ve got a queen sized Malm frame with the curved slats. Everything was going well until in a move the plastic between two slats on the side of the bed ripped apart. That little rip seems to have completely destroyed my side of the bed now. They fall in on the rail side… They fall in off the center beam… I think I’ve got it put back together for tonight, but I’m really looking into replace it soon and maybe go back to a boxspring on the floor under the mattress.

  20. Andy says:

    Shelly, maybe just a set of replacement slats is required?

  21. John says:


    I just bought a HOPEN frame with the Sultan lade slats and find them not firm enough. This is likely because I had my bed over solid wood platforms before buying the HOPEN.

    What can I do to make the bed firmer? I was thinking of a sheet of plywood over the slats. Has anyone tried this? The other slats all seem to make the bed more bouncy and soft which is what I am NOT looking for.

    Any tips, suggestions would be appreciated.

  22. Cindy says:

    I have had a Heimdal bed with the cheaper slats for about five years now. It is strong, lightweight, and (unlike the wooden Ikea beds) easy to take apart, move, and reassemble. However…the squeaking is a real problem. Any non-sleeping activity has to take place across the bed (from one side to the other, perpendicular to a regular sleeping position) or else the headboard squeaks. This started maybe two or three years ago, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. It’s the welded joints within the headboard itself, not the points at which it is screwed into other pieces of the bedframe, so WD-40 doesn’t work. Sigh. It’s too bad, because in all other respects it’s a fantastic bed. Anyone have any more suggestions for Ikea beds other than the Malm? My partner and I are fairly lightweight.

  23. Maggie says:


    I bought a full Malm bedframe with the cheaper Lade slats. I don’t have the problem with them falling though – just the creaking noise! I weigh 115 and my boyfriend weighs 150; if we are laying still, and just ONE person rolls over – that terrible squeaking noise starts. I’m the lightest sleeper, so it really bothers me.

    Is there any solution out there to stop the noise, short of purchasing a nicer set of slats? We’ve tried tightening all the screws but nothing seems to work.

  24. Jackie Quinn says:

    Hi We brought the king size Hemnes bed ,its a great bed and we have the sultan hjarltal mattress BUT the head board makes this noise which sounds like mice or beetles inside it even when your perfectly still its driving us nutts we have been investigating it for weeks now,I’m wondering is the inside of the head board got a filling of some sort ?? If you put your finger on the panel on the head board it makes the noise and every time the mattress or a pillow touches it too!!I could record it on my phone maybe if there was some way of sending it to you,

  25. Cindy says:

    UPDATE: My partner and I upgraded to a king-size Sultan Flokenes memory foam mattress with a basic box base. I sold the Heimdal bed to a friend, which required taking it apart, and presto, when we put it back together, the squeaking was gone! I don’t know how long it will last, but it seems that the insides may have just needed some fresh air. It’s possible that my use of a humidifier in winter caused moisture to get inside the headboard, which caused the squeaking.

  26. Crystal says:

    My husband and I purchased a MALM high king size bed frame, which I am awaiting delivery. We also purchased a comforpedic bed w/box springs. Will this frame support both the box springs and mattress? The mattress will be delivered a couple of days after the bed frame, so is there something I should do to the frame before the mattress arrives? My husband and I are not super lite…he’s around 200 and I’m around 160, plus the weight of the mattress…will the frame hold up?

  27. vivienne says:

    I weight about 100 lbs. To simplify my bedroom, I’m throwing away my old mattress, boxsprings and the frame. However, I don’t want my new expensive mattress to sit directly on top of the carpet floor. That’s why I’m thinking of getting the slats. You think the Lade would creak even when it’s on the floor? I’m a very light sleeper with lots of toss and turns.

  28. Linda says:

    Even i have to buy a new bed so please can anyone suggest me a good Memory Foam Mattress?.I have tried various brands but nothing is working in my favor.I am really struggling from back pain and sleeping disorder.

  29. Sabrina says:

    We have the malm frame and recently got tired of the squeaking. We took the slats out and have decided to just place a box spring on the ground with a black bed skirt covering the box. It matches well with the black gutted frame and since it is the same height nobody is the wiser.

  30. Jay says:

    The problem lies elsewhere with the Malmo line for us… it’s the sharp angles!!! Crazy idea for a bed or bedroom set, and awful for worry-free sex when you want to go no holds barred. Those angles and sharp corners will hurt you one way or another, sooner or later, or at least cramp your style, they should all be soft curves. The night table will gouge an eye out or damage your skull if your head goes off the side in the dark, your shins will be bruised if they press against the edges, I just don’t get it, Ikea!!! These beds are for tame couples, period. We’ve broken three beds so far with our shenanigans, and we have totally normal BMIs, we do… but a collapsing bed is nothing compared to hitting your head or shins on sharp edges…

  31. B says:

    We’ve had our king sized Malm bed for 11 years now with the basic slats. We really have not had a problem with squeaking or the slats falling. We actually replaced the basic slats today because my kid did some serious jumping on the bed and cracked a few. During the replacement we did notice a few screws on the L rail came loose. We just drilled new holes through the rail and put new screws in. We did get the cross pieces that make an X across the bed when I originally built it. I bet if you don’t have it you could use the metal plumbers strapping tape instead. We made some “improvements” today by laying down six vertical boards head to toe. They are approximately 7′long, 6″wide, and 1/2″ thick. We spaced them evenly across the bed and screwed them down on the Ikea wood slats at the top, middle and bottom. My hub is over 6′ and neither of us are light weights nor sedate ;o) Maybe as MeID mentioned, the quality has changed. I still love the modern lines of the set, despite smacking a shin on the sharp corners a few times!

  32. mimi says:

    yes jay those sharp angles are a nightmare!!!

  33. aroczy says:

    We bought a bed frame from IKEA, and we are pretty active. It didn’t last a few weeks and it broke, then I found a fix, and it broke again. After several months of me fixing and breaking, and it not even being a year that we have had it, we went back to a metal frame. One day hoping to get a real solid wood bed. This was completely frustrating.

  34. B says:

    Line the metal beam with old t-shirts to dampen the sound of the slats when the bed is bouncing…practically silent

  35. R. Jeremy says:

    IKEA beds have always been my preferred bed of choice, at home and in the office. I estimate I have had anywhere between 50-100 various ikea models over the years. Have bought slats in bulk, sometimes going through a couple a week. At one time I had 3 Malms custom built side to side as I was experimenting with twelvesomes, I was highly impressed with build and design. In fact sometimes I would just sit and admire the lines for hours. later when got out of treatment for the 7th time, I was forced to retire the pornstar gig. And regretfully the beds, which me and my ‘therapist’ burnt in the backyard, almost resulting in burning down a nearby warehouse. I would say it was some kinda resin or glue that caused the explosion. This would be my only complaint.

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