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What Are Box Spring Mattresses For

What Are The Differences Between A Box Spring A Foundation And A Platform

Do you really need a box spring or foundation for your new mattress?

ITS VERY EASY to be confused about these three mattress terms foundation, box spring and foundation especially since the industry routinely misuses the terms . We asked one of our Comfort Coaches, Nancy Quesada, to help explain the differences.

Box Spring

A true box spring is made of wood and springs or coils in a steel grid pattern. The springs inside the box spring provide give to the innerspring mattress on top. The mattress industry moved away from using traditional box springs almost 20 years ago, replacing them with foundations. However, the term box spring is still frequently used because so many people are accustomed to it.


Today, most manufacturers make foundations. A foundation is a sturdy flat structure that is usually constructed of wood, with a flat corrugated board on top. Some foundations may include metal in the construction. Foundations offer superior support for a wide variety of mattresses, including memory foam, latex, innerspring, and airbed mattresses because the solid surface helps to prevent premature sagging of the mattress.


A platform bed is a piece of furniture that doesnt require a foundation or box spring. With this type of bed, you put your mattress directly on the platform. Platform beds are typically made of wood, and contain a series of wooden slats that run across the bed. A flat piece of wood can be used instead of slats to offer a solid surface for better support.

What Is A Box Spring Anyway

If you’re unfamiliar, a box spring is the fabric covered metal or wood structure that sits beneath your mattress. On the inside, it’s often constructed with bars or slats that span the entire width or length of the frame, providing an even surface for your mattress to rest upon.

A box spring serves a few different functions:

  • Provides an even and sturdy foundation for your mattress
  • Absorbs impact from movement
  • Allows the user to customize the height of the bed

Despite the array of mattress foundation options, if you like the idea of having a box spring, there are a few different types you can consider.

Some Brands Make Their Own Box Spring Alternatives

Some companies are creating their own alternatives to box springs. Casper makes a “box spring alternative” called The Foundation that works with its foam mattresses, while GhostBed sells a box spring/metal frame/foundation combo called the All-in-One Foundation. Brooklyn Bedding creates a Ready-To-Assemble Box Foundation that looks and feels like a traditional box spring with the added center support box springs typically lack. Tuft & Needle also makes its own version called the Box Foundation, a product which its site refers to as an upgraded box spring.

One benefit to buying a box spring alternative directly from your mattress company is that you don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s compatible. While some companies recommend using the foundations or bases they manufacture themselves, others suggest that anything sturdy will work, from a box spring to a wooden frame to the floor itself. Again, to know for sure, check the fine print on your mattress.

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What Is A Boxspring

A boxspring is a support for your mattress and is typically constructed from a wooden frame, covered in cloth with springs in the middle. It is usually built the same size as the mattress it will support and thats why you often are able to buy a mattress and box spring as a set when you buy a new mattress.

The boxspring fulfills three needs:

  • To raise the mattress higher off the ground so youre not stuck in your bed like a turtle on its back.
  • To absorb impact and reduce the wear on the mattress.
  • To give the mattress a strong, flat surface to sit on.
  • These days, the word boxspring is somewhat of a misnomer, because most dont use springs. The term foundation is a more apt description. This has changed in the past decade or two. Up until the early 2000s, most boxsprings used actual springs in them and acted as a shock absorber for the mattress. Now, most mattresses use foundations that are just sturdy, inflexible boxes that support the mattress. These can be made of wood or metal.

    Do You Need A Box Spring

    Night Therapy 13 Inch Spring Mattress and Bi

    For most mattresses, having something between the mattress itself and the floor is helpful. Whether this should be a box spring, a foundation, or a platform bed depends on several factors.

    All mattresses will benefit from having a firm, solid foundation to rest on. Box springs were created to help absorb impact, reducing the wear and tear on the mattress. However, box springs were more prevalent when mattresses had much thinner profiles overall, and were primarily innerspring designs. Today, most modern mattresses do not necessarily require a box spring.

    Whether or not you should use a box spring depends on a few factors. The main people that should use a box spring include:

    • Those using a traditional metal rail bed frame, which is designed to cradle box springs
    • Those with an older innerspring mattress designed for use with a box spring
    • Those with a mattress whose manufacturer specifically recommends box springs
    • Those who want to elevate their bed to make it easier to get in and out of

    The main people who should not use a box spring include:

    • Those with newer memory foam, latex, or hybrid mattresses
    • Those who prefer the style or functionality of a platform bed, wood foundation, or other kind of bed base
    • Those who prefer to sleep with a mattress directly on the floor

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    Alternatives To Box Springs And Foundations

    In addition to box springs and foundations, there are several other options for supporting a mattress during the night. These include adjustable bases and platform beds. Adjustable bases are ideal for snorers, or sufferers of sleep apnea, as they have a remote that allows the for the bed to be adjusted in terms of elevation and angle between 40 and 70 degrees. Platform beds are simple bed frames that sit on the ground and do not require a box spring or foundation. They are solid pieces of wood that are space saving and have a modern design appeal. The ideal foundation for your mattress will largely depend upon your unique sleep preferences and desired mattress type, so if youre unsure of the type of mattress you are looking for, it may help to review our mattress guides to help narrow down your options.

    Wood Slats A High Or Low

    Its true, wood foundations are amongst the best bangs for your buck in the bed foundation world!

    Not convinced? When compared to a boxspring, add some extra storage space into the mix

    When you add 7 inch bed legs to a KD foundation, youll instantly create additional space between the wood slats and floor. This means extra bedroom storage for odds and ends that otherwise would have cluttered up your living space. Check it out:

    Because of the storage benefits, foundations made with sustainable wood are a winner for families looking to maximize available living space without splurging on a more costly platform bed. But keep in mind, for the extra space to really become a factor youll need to choose from a higher-profile bed leg like out 7 inch option.

    On a structural note, take note of the gap space between each wood slat on the foundation. If youre shopping around, then this is very important. If spaces between the slate of wood are more than three inches apart, itll cause gaps that make your mattress sink. And as we discussed earlier, sinkage is bad! Make sure your wood foundation has slats that are at most three inches apart because this spacing will provide a sturdy, long-lasting infrastructure for your mattress.

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    Can You Put A Mattress On The Floor

    You certainly can. In many situations, there will be no significant negative effects. However, placing a mattress directly on the floor can result in the following:

    • Reduced airflow Since the mattress sits directly on the floor, it will not be able to expel air and breathe as easily as it could on a boxspring or platform bed.
    • Less hygienic Everything that gets on the floor can now more easily get on your mattress. This includes dirt, dust, allergens, or even bed bugs or mites.
    • More difficult to get back up If youre older or otherwise have trouble getting in and out of bed, having a bed on the floor can make getting in and out of bed more difficult.
    • Void your warranty Some mattress warranties dictate that the mattress must be on a boxspring or platform bed. If you want to stay protected, be sure to double check the warranty terms.

    The biggest risk to placing the mattress on the floor is mold. If you live in a moist or humid environment, mold can be a serious issue and one that can ruin a mattress. To reduce the risk of mold, consider adding a mattress encasement to protect your investment.

    US Box Spring offers natural wood foundations that will ship directly to your door. Click the link to head over to their site and learn more!

    When To Skip The Box Spring

    Do I Need a Box Spring for my Memory Foam Mattress?

    Many of today’s modern, bed-in-a-box mattresses are made either all or partially of memory foam or latex foam. It’s typically recommended to skip the box spring when setting these up, foam mattress brand Casper explains, because “the slats on older box springs are too apart to support the weight of a foam mattress, and that lack of support can cause it to sag.” Instead, the company suggests a platform with slats closer together. Eco-friendly mattress brand Avocado Green also advises strongly against using box springs with its hybrid and latex mattresses, recommending firmer, sturdier foundations instead.

    Read more: Why you shouldn’t use a box spring with a foam mattress

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    What Is A Foam Mattress

    Foam mattresses are all-foam beds that are exceptionally popular for online mattress shoppers. They can be made out of a variety of foam materials, from memory foam to polyfoam, and typically contain several unique layers. Foam beds can be soft or firm, budget or luxury, so there is a huge amount of variety within this category.

    Foam beds utilize a variety of materials to provide support and pressure relief. There are many types of foams, and often manufacturers will utilize several materials in each mattress.

    High Profile Vs Low Profile

    The difference between a low profile and high profile foundation is height.

    As a rule of thumb, low profile mattress foundations are less than 5 inches in height. At Sleeping Organic, we offer both 3 inch and 5 inch bed legs and both give a low profile appearance. The shorter the bed legs, the lower profile youll have of course.

    Taller bed legs, like our 7 inch option, will give your bed more rise to it than the lower profile options mentioned above. This high profile foundation is best for you if you want your bed to have a loft-like feel to it.

    If you choose a Sleeping Organic wood foundation, you can rest easy knowing that our bed legs are practically indestructible.No matter which profile you choose, the legs can withstand up 8,000 pounds of pressure. Certainly more than youll ever have on your bed!

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    Benefits Of Keeping A Mattress On A Bed Base Or Mattress Foundation

    Keeping your mattress on the floor may reduce comfort and durability. While the floor provides support, it doesnt promote airflow or provide shock absorptionyou may overheat.

    The floor may be too firm for your mattress, causing decompression and early degeneration. Moreover, placing it on the floor may bring you closer to insects, dust, bacteria, and allergens.

    Choosing A Box Spring Height

    Classic Brands 8"  Instant Foundation Box Spring for Bed ...

    Box springs come in two general heights: 8 to 9 inches and 4.5 to 5.5 inches. Which should you select? Your chosen box spring height depends on several factors, including the following.

    • Bed frame and headboard design: Keep the design and height of your bed frame and headboard in mind as you shop for a box spring. With some designs, a low-profile box spring of 4.5 to 5.5 inches would leave the lower portion of the headboard exposed. In other cases, an unusually tall bed frame paired with an eight-inch box spring would make the bed too tall for an average-size person.

    • Mattress height: Mattresses vary in height. Measure your mattress and bed frame before purchasing a box spring so you have an idea what your final bed height will be.

    • Mattress topper: Mattress toppers can add several inches to the height of your bed. If you plan to use a deluxe mattress topper with your mattress, you may want to consider a low-profile box spring to make getting into bed easier.

    • Your height and mobility: Shorter people may prefer a mattress thats lower to the ground so they dont have to literally climb into bed. People with mobility issues may prefer a higher mattress so that getting into bed is easier. Take your personal preference and physical condition into account when shopping so you can get a bed height that works for you.

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    Good Bases For Your Foam Or Hybrid Mattress

    Like we mentioned before, a box spring won’t give your foam or hybrid mattress enough support and over time, your bed will start to sag through the gaps in your box spring. Don’t stresswe’ve broken down the different types of bases and foundations that will work with your Leesa or Sapira mattress so you can rest on.

    What Are The Height Options For A Box Spring

    The standard height of a box spring base, also called the high profile option, is 9 inches high. The medium profile ranges between 6 and 8 inches high, while the low profile can be 5.5 inches or lower.

    These height differences do not change anything about the support the boxsprings provide. In most cases, the choice purely depends on a buyers preference, such as the aesthetic appeal of their bed.

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    Good Bases For Your Hybrid Or Foam Mattress

    As we have said, a box spring wont provide enough support for your hybrid or foam mattress. Your bed will eventually start to slide through the cracks in your box spring. Weve listed the various foundations and bases that can be used with your Leesa or Sapira mattress, so its easy to find one you like.

    What Is The Normal Height Of Mattress Foundations

    Box Spring Vs. Motion Mattress Foundations

    While the decreased profiles are 5.5 inches or reduced, the mid-ranged ones usually are between 6 to 8.5 inches, and the greater profiles are possibly 9 inches and taller. A high profile makes getting in and out of bed easier, while a lower profile provides a slick, contemporary touch to your area.

    Another choice is your adjustable mattress base. Adjustable foundations make it feasible to lift your head or feet to get into a more comfortable position, and they may also include additional features like body massagers and light. These foundations can be a lifesaver for men and women that have difficulty sleeping while lying flat due to handicap or age.

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    What Medical Factors Should Be Considered

    Medical factors such as fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease and muscle pain play an important role in determining the best overall bed height. Think about the ability to get in and out of bed easily and without putting excessive strain on your body. Getting up from a low-height bed can cause unnecessary pressure and pain. Alternatively, if your feet cant touch the floor while sitting on an 18-inch memory foam mattress on top of a 9-inch box spring, getting up from a higher bed can cause similar issues.

    If you have physical issues or limitations that require a specific bed height, talk to your doctor for a recommendation and customize your mattress and bed frame accordingly.

    Foundation Vs Box Spring: A Mattress Comparison Guide 2022

    • Nousdecor

    Are you having difficulty deciding between Foundation vs Box Spring mattresses? Nousdecor is going to help you close your buying journey by assessing box spring or foundation mattresses based on their pros & cons, the differences between both, and much more.

    Conventional box springs and foundations are just two of the most frequent options you will encounter. Both may provide sufficient support for a mattress however, there are some crucial differences between both values keeping in your mind.

    So, which one should you get? But, first, let us look at a few of the critical differences that will assist you in deciding.

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    Benefits Of Choosing A Spring Mattress

    Spring mattresses distribute your body weight evenly, reducing pressure on any particular area. The open spring construction allows air to circulate, helping to regulate your body temperature throughout the night. This open construction and ventilation means moisture is effectively expelled. Complete your spring mattress by picking out a slatted bed base or a mattress base. Choose between down and feather, foam or polyester pillows to create the ideal bed tailored especially for you.

    Did you know? It can take up to 72 hours to return a roll-packed mattress to its actual size. Also, when you buy a new mattress, it can take your body up to four weeks to adjust to it.

    Mattress removalWhen you purchase an IKEA mattress and have it delivered, for a small fee we will take your old one away. This service can only be booked directly in-store. Visit your local store for more information.


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