Do You Need a Box Spring?

It depends on the type of mattress and bed frame you have but most modern mattresses don’t require a box spring. However, a traditional rail metal bed frame or a mattress that is thin may need additional support like box springs.

Read on to know whether you need a box spring or not.

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What Is a Box Spring?

Box springs are designed to provide firm support to the mattresses. Box springs are composed of a wooden frame and coils. The wooden frame is of the same size as the bed and provides support, while the coils placed in the center absorb shock. Although box springs seem to be outdated, they are still beneficial in some cases.

Why Use a Box Spring?

Box springs were the most significant part of bedding when most of the mattresses were made with coils (they are not anymore). They were built to provide extra height, support the mattress and absorb the shock while sitting, lying, and bouncing on the bed.

Improved Airflow

Box springs are hollow from the inside which allows more air circulation to pass through the mattress. It keeps you cool during the night and improves the quality of your sleep.

Increased Height

Many sleepers around the world prefer higher beds. For sleepers who are tall, suffer from joint pain, and have a tedious time getting in and out of bed, box springs help them get to a comfortable height.

Support for Mattress

Many bed frames do not provide the necessary support to the mattress, causing the mattress to sag. A box spring is designed to support the mattress, which increases its lifespan.

Absorbs Shock

Box springs also help in absorbing shock. When you toss and turn during the whole night, the box spring absorbs the force and increases the lifespan of your mattress.

What Does a Box Spring Do?

Let’s understand what is the purpose of a box spring.

Foundation

Box springs provide a solid foundation for your mattress. It helps to increase the life of your mattress by absorbing the shock, decreasing the wear and tear.

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Increases Height

Irrespective of current lower bed styles, sleepers around the world prefer higher beds. For sleepers who are tall, suffer from joint pain, and have a tedious time getting in and out of bed, box springs help them get to a comfortable height.

When Do You Need a Box Spring?

Most of the traditional mattresses required box springs to get the necessary support. Let’s understand whether different types of bed frames or mattresses need box springs or not.

1. Collapsible Bed Frame

In a collapsible bed frame, there is no support to the mattress beyond the perimeter frame. Therefore, you need a box spring to provide the necessary support.

2. Reinforced Metal Bed Frame

The reinforced metal bed frame is more supportive than a collapsible bed frame, and hence there is no requirement for a box spring. The metal supports across the bed frame provide additional support, reduces wear and tear, and allows an even distribution of weight across the bed frame.

3. Platform Bed Frame (Solid)

The platform beds consist of a solid surface, and hence do not require box springs. They provide the necessary firmness to the mattress as provided by the box springs. However, the height of platform beds is slightly lower than beds with box springs.

4. Platform Bed Frame (Slats)

Some platform bed frames have a slight variation compared to traditional platform bed frames. These platform bed frames consist of slats instead of a solid platform. It does not require a box spring as long as these slats are close to each other.

5. Adjustable Bed Frame

Adjustable bed frames come with an adjustable base that allows the mattress to change the height and angles according to the sleeper’s requirements. These bed frames do not require box springs. Although, adjustable bed frames do not support innerspring mattresses.

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When a Box Spring Is Not Required

Although it may seem attractive, the use of box springs is not worthy everywhere. Most of the bed frames today are designed to work without a box spring. The section below will help you understand the scenarios where a box spring is not required.

Under Memory Foam, Latex, and Hybrid Mattresses

Modern mattresses such as hybrid, memory foam, and latex mattresses come without coils. These materials already act as shock absorbents. These types of mattresses don’t need support to absorb shock. Using box springs below such beds can only change the feel of the mattress and do not provide any notable benefit.

On Platform Beds

The platform beds consist of a solid surface, and hence do not require box springs. They provide the necessary firmness to the mattress as provided by the box springs. However, the height of platform beds is slightly lower than the beds with box springs making it difficult for people with joint or back pain to get in and out of bed in the morning. Box springs can be used in such cases only to increase the height of the bed.

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When Mattress on the Floor

If your mattress is on the floor, you may not require a box spring, provided you are okay with the height and the shock absorption. However, it decreases the lifespan and quality of the mattress as the mattress goes through extra strain.

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Platform Bed vs Box Spring

Box springs are designed to provide firm support to the mattresses. Box springs are composed of wood and coils. The wood is of similar shape and size to the bed and provides support, while the coils placed in the center of the wooden frame absorb shock. On the other hand, The platform beds consist of a solid surface, and hence they do not require box springs. They provide the necessary firmness to the mattress. 

Box springs are mainly used for innerspring mattresses. Platform beds offer an all-in-one solution but are most costlier than other options. The height of platform beds is slightly lower than the beds with box springs. 

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Box Spring vs Foundation

Boxsprings are made of coils inside a wooden frame. On the other hand, manufacturers created lightweight, supportive, and solid boxsprings without any coils known as the foundation.

You can use the words boxspring and foundation interchangeably. Both boxspring and foundation offer the same support, the only difference being that one has springs the other doesn’t.

What Are the Alternatives to Box Spring?

If you don’t want to use the traditional box springs, you can use any alternative box springs that provide similar features to those of the box springs.

Low-profile Foundation

The low-profile foundation provides similar benefits to that of a traditional box spring. However, the height of a low-profile box spring is half of the conventional box spring. It allows you to get the benefits of a box spring with a much sleeker style and design.

Bunkie board

The bunkie board is a thin sheet of solid surface placed between the bed frame and the mattress. It provides similar support to a platform bed and acts as an excellent alternative to box springs.

Mattress on the floor

The mattress on the floor is another good alternative if you are not worried about the lifespan of your bed. 

The Final Word

Although the box springs were the heart of traditional innerspring mattresses, you can opt for modern mattresses that come in much sleeker designs and eliminate the use of box springs while providing similar support and features. If you still want to go for box springs, you can opt for a thinner, low-profile alternative that gives your bed a sleeker design without compromising the support and shock-absorbing capacity.

FAQ FAQs

Does a Nectar mattress need a box spring?

You do not need a box spring with Nectar’s Memory foam mattress, as it provides the necessary support, flexibility, and shock absorption.

How long do box springs last?

The box springs typically last for about ten years.

How much does a box spring cost?

A box spring can cost anywhere between $100 – $250.

Can you put a box spring on a platform bed?

Yes, you can use a box spring on a platform bed, but it is not required.

Can you put a mattress on the floor?

Yes, you can put a mattress on the floor, but we do not recommend it as the floor contains dust, bugs, and mold, all of which void warranties.

Can I use plywood instead of a box spring?

Yes, you can use plywood instead of using a box spring, as plywood also offers excellent support.

What is the best base for a mattress?

The best base for a mattress is one made of good-quality timber.

Do you need a box spring with a memory foam mattress?

Ideally, you shouldn’t use a memory foam mattress with a box spring. However, you can use a bunkie board between the box spring and mattress to use it. check out our guide on do you need a box spring with a memory foam mattress to know more.

Do you need a box spring with a platform bed?

No, you do not need a box spring with a platform bed.