How to Fix a Broken Bed Slat In Under 30 Minutes [Guide]


Don’t allow broken bed slats to stop you from having a good night’s sleep! You’ll find the easiest steps to fix your bed in this article!

Here’s how to fix a broken bed slat:

  1. Clear the chips from the slat
  2. Glue the cracks
  3. Put a clamp over the crack overnight
  4. Glue and drill a strip of plywood over the crack then leave it to dry

Fixing a broken bed slat is super simple. But if it’s your first time DIYing this job, then you’ll want to check out the extended instructions. They’ll show you exactly which tools and materials you’ll need. They’ll also go into more detail on each of the steps. Take a look at them below!

Wooden bed slats
Fixing a broken bed slat is actually quite simple, read on below to find out how!

How to Fix a Broken Bed Slat

Buying a new set of bed slats is pricey. And buying a new set just because one or two of the slats are broken seems ludicrous. Thankfully, there’s another way around it.

Fixing a broken bed slat does not have to mean buying a new bed nor buying a new set of slats. Take a look at the instructions below that will help you to repair the broken slat. You’ll then have to work out on your own how you can stop your kids from using your bed as a bounce house.

To complete this job, you will need the following tools:

  • A utility knife
  • Extra-strong carpenter’s glue
  • A putty knife
  • A bar clamp
  • A tape measure
  • A miter saw
  • 4 wood screws
  • A strip of plywood measuring 6 inches longer than the crack
  • A drill

1.   Clear the Chips From the Slat

To begin, remove everything from the bed that is obstructing the slats. This includes the sheets and the mattress.

Then use a utility knife to cut away the chips and splinters from the broken slats. Try to make the broken slat as smooth as possible.

Wooden bed slats have a grain pattern like any wooden board. A broken slat usually indicates a break across the grain, like a karate chop. A crack will follow the grain, so if a slat is cracked, the crack(also called a split) will be in the long direction of the slat. If the slat is broken, the break will be in the short direction, across the grain.

2.   Glue the Cracks

Then remove the cap from the bottle of extra-strong carpenter’s glue. Squeeze the glue onto the edges and cracks of the broken slat. Spread the glue around using a putty knife – make sure to cover the entire break. Push the cracked edges of wood together.

Applying wood glue
Using some extra strong wood glue will help keep the cracked edges together

3.   Put a Clamp Over the Crack Overnight

Next, place a bar clamp over the crack. Tighten the bar clamp firmly over the cracked slat. Leave the clamp on the crack overnight to give it time to dry thoroughly.

Remove the clamp from the slats before moving onto step 4.

4.   Glue and Drill a Strip of Plywood Over the Crack

Use a tape measure to measure the size of the crack in the slats. Then add 6 inches to that figure. This is the length of plywood that you should cut to glue over the cracked slat.

Cut the plywood using a miter saw. Keep the width of the plywood the same as the width of the bed slats.

Use a drill to make 4 holes in the slab of plywood. The holes should be at least 2 inches apart from each other and 2 inches from the edges of the plywood. Then smear carpenter’s glue on the slab of plywood over the crack in the bed slat. (Make sure you avoid covering the drilled holes with glue.)

Fix the gluey plywood to the cracked slats and secure them with the wood screws. Place the clamp around the plywood and bed slat to fasten them securely. Then leave the plywood to dry on the bed slat overnight. The bed should be solid and dry for you to sleep in the next day.

What Can You Use Instead of Bed Slats?

Are you looking for an alternative to wooden slats for your bed? Then you’re not alone. Hundreds of people every day are looking for substitutes to wooden bed slats. They do so for some of the following reasons:

  • To have more room for storage under the bed
  • To cut down on the assembly time when buying a new bed
  • To enjoy extra-firm back support

Let’s take a look at just three types of beds without slats. They are:

  1. Platform beds
  2. Plywood beds
  3. Rope beds

Now you’re probably wondering, what are some of the main features of these beds? And, what are the benefits that come with using them? So, let’s dive in.

Platform Beds

Platform beds feature a sturdy and solid wooden base that is both airy and breathable. Platform beds expand the sense of space in your room. They also provide you with more storage than slatted bed frames. Yes, platform beds give us more room to hide the things that we probably should just throw away.

Plywood Beds

Plywood beds are made of one solid cut of plywood instead of individual slats. These beds are ideal for those who would like extra lumbar support when sleeping. Foam mattresses are an awesome match with plywood beds. This is because there is a great contrast between the soft foam with the firm base. I like to think of it as a marshmallow resting against a graham cracker. It’s the perfect combination.

Rope Beds

Rope beds are also a fantastic alternative to slatted beds. They are made up of ropes that create a tight weave that is both comfortable and sturdy for a mattress to lay on.

There are loads of DIY tutorials on how to make a rope bed. Some people weave one long rope through metal loops on the base of the bed. Others cut the rope into strips and nail them to the base of the bed. And still others buy their rope beds online ready-made and assembled. (I don’t know about you, but that option is right up my street.) No matter your creativity level, there’s a rope bed out there for you!

Can You Strengthen a Bed Frame?

Is your bed feeling a little rickety? If so, don’t worry, as you may not need to take a trip down to the furniture store just yet. The joints in your bed can loosen over time and work their way out of place. So take a look at the following things you can do to tighten your bed back up again.

  • Secure the bed frame screws. Use a screwdriver, wrench, or Allen key to tighten the bed frame. This should stop the frame from wobbling.
  • Glue the joints. Are the joints in your bed fastened together with wood glue? Then you may want to apply more glue to them. Once you’ve applied wood glue to the inside edge of the seal, clamp it. Tighten the wood clamp and leave it overnight to allow the joint to dry and bond together.
  • Replace the center beam. If you’ve had your bed a while, the supportive center beam may have weakened. You should measure the length of the old center beam and use it as a guide for cutting a new one.


Sleeping on a bed with a broken slat is uncomfortable. But buying a new set of slats can seem like a bit of a waste of money. Especially if only one of the slats has broken. I hope the steps mentioned in this article have shown you an inexpensive and easy way for you to fix your bed slat.

If this article has helped you, then why not check out some of our other articles and free guides? You could even sign up to our email list!

Have a great day!


Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more