Mattress Research Center > Mattress 101 > What is a Box Spring?

What is a Box Spring?

Supporting the Mattress

A box spring (foundation) is a bed base with a wooden frame and either springs or metal rods that provide support to a mattress. The box spring is usually the same size as the mattress that sits on it, and while the mattress provides support to the human body, the box spring ensures that the mattress itself is properly supported to maintain a long comfort life. Box springs raise the height of a mattress to make it easier to get in and out of bed, and they also absorb shock and reduce wear. In a complete bed set, box springs are typically placed on top of a wooden or metal bed frame that is connected to the headboard and footboard. It is also common to see mattresses and box springs used together without a complete bed. Many sleepers who don't feel the need to have a decorative looking bed place their box spring directly on the floor or on casters that stand on the floor.

Height Options

Over the last several years, advancements in sleep technology have resulted in mattresses that are a lot taller than they used to be. For this reason, many manufacturers produce low profile box springs, which provide the same amount of support as standard box springs, but are shorter to reduce the height of the sleep set. Standard box springs measure 9 inches in height, and low profile box springs measure between 5 and 5.5 inches. The difference in height between the two is completely aesthetic, and there is no difference in the amount of support they provide to a mattress. Whether you lay your mattress on top of a standard or low profile box spring, you can count on it getting the support it needs to maintain its comfort for as long as it should.

Protect Your Warranty

Most manufacturers require that a mattress be supported by a box spring in order to file warranty claims. The only exception to this is when a mattress lies on a platform bed. Since platform beds feature either wooden slats or a deck, the mattress does not require the additional support of a box spring. If you're not sure if you should purchase a box spring with your mattress, or you have questions about a box spring you found on our site, you can call 1-800-455-1052 to speak with a friendly mattress expert who will be happy to further assist you.

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