Choosing a Foundation

What kind of foundation does my mattress need?

Do I need a box spring?

Does what's underneath my mattress really matter?

These are questions we hear all the time.

The truth is, the base you choose strongly affects how your mattress performs over time. A surface that doesn't have adequate support will make your new mattress feel different at home than in the showroom, as well as dramatically shorten its lifespan, because the mattress will begin to mimic what is underneath it over time.

Our Foundation Requirements

For your new Black Sheep mattress, an ideal foundation is one that is flat, level, sturdy, and breathable. We recommend a slatted surface with slats that are no more than 1.5" apart and flat, not bowed. It is important that the foundation has no give or movement. For queen and king sizes, the frame must have a middle beam to support the foundation, and to prevent bowing.

Black Sheep Mattress Foundations including slats, bunkie boards, classic base, and padded base

Our Slats, Bunkie BoardsClassic and Padded bases are all excellent supportive options for our mattresses.
Don't know which one is best for you? Learn more by clicking into the dropdowns below.

Classic & Padded Bases

Black Sheep bases are made from solid wood (read: no spring and no give) and upholstered in organic cotton canvas fabric. The surface is slatted with the appropriate spacing, which allows for maximum breathability and airflow. 

Our bases are a great option for those looking to replace their existing box spring and/or raise the height of their mattress, as they can be made to any height from 3"-10".

Without legs, the base can be dropped into an existing frame, acting like a boxspring. We recommend our Classic Base as an option to add inside of your frame.

Classic solid wood base upholstered in organic cotton fabric with natural round wood legs

With legs, the base can stand alone to replace the frame altogether. We recommend the Padded Base for a soft, minimalistic, platform bed.

Padded wooden base with black legs standing on floor

Our Padded Bases can also be upholstered in custom fabrics, making a perfect addition to any bedroom.

Green padded base with headboard

Please note: our King bases are always built split (in two halves) for ease of use when moving. We require internal frame measurements if fitting the base inside of an existing frame - please scroll to the bottom for instructions on how to measure your frame.


Wooden bed slats unfolded on the floor

Our solid wood slats are made with ideal spacing (about one inch and a half) and offer the most low profile support, as they measure only around 1" in height. The slats are connected by a ribbon and can be stretched out to fit to the length of your frame. 

Our slats do require that the internal siderails reach the length of your frame so the end slats are fully supported. This is a great option for looking for a simple, low profile support for a frame that meets this requirement.

Please note: we require internal frame measurements to make slats to size. Please scroll to the bottom for instructions on how to measure your frame.
Graphic comparing frame requirements for bed frame slats

Bunkie Boards

Two bunkie boards against a brick wall, one is upholstered, the other is exposed wood.

Black Sheep Bunkie Boards are a great in-between for those who are looking for a low profile foundation but with more rigidity than slats. Also made from solid wood, they come in the classic, exposed wood style or upholstered in organic cotton canvas fabric. Slatted surface is appropriately spaced.

Bunkie Boards are a good option if the internal siderails do not run the full length of the frame, as they have more rigidity in structure than slats.

Please note: our King Bunkie Boards are always built split (in two halves) for ease of use when moving. We require internal frame measurements to make to size. Please scroll to the bottom for instructions how to measure your frame.

Graphic comparing frame requirements for bed frame slats

Comparison of Models

Graphic showing comparison of foundations

Taking Internal Measurements

As our foundations are made to order, we do ask for internal measurements of your frame to ensure that the foundation is made to exact size.

The dimensions we need are: the internal length, the internal width including siderail, and the width of the siderail that the foundation will rest on.

 Graphic showing how to take internal measurements of frame, including internal length, internal width with siderail, width of siderail.

It is important to look out for any kind of bolts or brackets that would reduce the space inside the frame, as our foundations are rigid in structure and cannot bend to accommodate the space. Oftentimes, and especially if there is something unusual with your frame, it is helpful to send us a photo to for our production team to take a look.