Do I Need a Box Spring with My Mattress?

Find out if you really need a box spring to go with your mattress and frame.

By Sheryl Grassie

So you’ve got your new mattress all ready to sleep on, but what about the foundation? You may or may not need a box spring to support it. Whether or not you need a boxspring depends on the kind of mattress you have and your personal preferences. We’ll go over everything you need to know about boxsprings, so you’re ready to support that new bed.

What Is a Box Spring?

Traditional box springs are a type of bed base that use steel coils encased in a wooden frame to support your mattress. These box spring foundations have gone through a number of iterations over time, with more contemporary versions lacking actual coils altogether.

Do You Need a Box Spring?

To find out if your new mattress needs a box spring underneath, check out these scenarios.

Innerspring and Hybrid Mattresses

For proper support and give, any mattress with springs (like innerspring and hybrid mattresses) will need a box spring underneath. 

Latex Mattresses and Memory Foam Mattresses

Latex and memory foam beds tend to be heavier and need to lay on solid, flat, firm surfaces to prevent premature sagging and body impressions. Because of this, they should not be placed on a box spring foundation.

Platform Bed

A rigid foundation or platform bed is designed for heavy duty memory foam beds. These low profile foundations are constructed with lots of wood or metal slats and no decking. Therefore, you do not need a boxspring with this type of mattress support.

Adjustable Base

Adjustable beds are thin bed bases with an electronic architecture that can raise or lower parts of the bed to create a custom sleep. Because they have their own support and technology, you do not need a boxspring with them.

Slats

Wooden slats in a frame support a mattress while allowing for airflow, especially good for foam beds. Slatted platform beds also offer storage space underneath the bed frame; no box spring needed.

Metal Bed Frame

Metal frames mostly provide a perimeter for the mattress, and they do need a boxspring for support beneath the bed. Metal box springs are also available for people with allergies or those who want to keep their box spring for years to come.

Bunkie Board

Bunkie boards are strong supportive bed platforms that are thin, solid, and take up less space. Because it provides a flat surface, you no longer need a box spring.

Box Spring vs Mattress Foundation

A lot of the time, people use the terms “box spring” and “foundation” interchangeably. But what’s the difference? The short answer is the way you mattress is supported: box springs allow you more flexibility and give, while foundations are more rigid and firm.

Box springs are perfect for combination sleepers looking for responsiveness and innerspring beds. Foundations are ideal for stomach and back sleepers on a memory foam mattress.

Read More: Box Spring vs Foundation

Reasons to Use a Box Spring

At present, there are four primary reasons for use of a box spring.

1. To extend the life of your mattress

The mattress is the more important, and more expensive, part of the equation. Box springs support the mattress by absorbing physical shock, preventing sagging, and reducing wear and tear.

2. To add comfort

The box spring works together with the mattress to provide a softer more comfortable bed. It cushions and absorbs the shock of body impact and supports different sleeping positions, giving you night after night of better sleep.

3. Ease of getting in and out

With both high profile and low profile boxspring options, a bed higher off the floor requires less bending and is less stressful on the body. Especially as we age, a bed higher up is easier on the joints.

4. Keeping it clean

Dust, dirt, animal hair, allergens, and bugs all congregate at floor level. If the mattress is at floor level, it comes in direct contact with these elements. Raising the bed with a box spring allows air to circulate and keeps the mattress far cleaner.

Sets and Warranties

Mattress companies have designed mattresses and box springs as sets. There is a balance of height and density between the two that make for the most comfortable bed. Mattress warranties are generally issued on the set, meaning if the mattress is used without the box spring, the manufacturer cannot guarantee how it will last. 

So, it becomes necessary to check exactly how the warranty works when purchasing. In some cases, if you get just the mattress without the box spring, it can void the warranty.


Summary

So, do you need a box spring? If you are sleeping on a mattress with springs, tend to toss and turn in your sleep, want a foundation with some give, or are planning on using a metal bed frame, the answer is yes. If you fall outside those categories, don’t worry! There are plenty of box spring alternatives; to see the full list, check out our mattress foundation guide.


Comments (1)

  1. Overall informative article, however, the first sentence of the section subtitled “Particulars of the Box Spring” reads, “Box springs are essentially a type of foundation that is the PREDECESSOR to the earlier rope and leather supports”, confusing the meaning of the paragraph.


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