Do I Need a Box Spring With My Mattress?

Although most new mattresses don't need a box spring to be comfortable many mattress warranties still require a box spring. Check what your warranty says and think about your needs to determine if you need a box spring!

When You Need a Box Spring

A box spring is necessary if:

  • Your mattress warranty requires one
  • You are using a bed frame that requires one
  • Your mattress is a traditional double-sided innerspring
  • You want the extra height
  • You want the added bounce of a box spring

What is a box spring/foundation?

One-Sided Mattresses

The no-flip, one-sided design of modern mattresses contains everything needed for comfort. A hard, flat surface is where you should place the mattress. This could be an adjustable base, platform bed, box spring, or even a hardwood floor. The mattress should perform well and be comfortable in these situations.

Double-Sided Mattresses

If you are buying a traditional two-sided mattress or your box spring is worn out, you may need to buy a box spring. In these cases, yes, a box spring is important. Double-sided mattresses are designed for use with a box spring. Their comfort performance will likely suffer without the foundation of a box spring

What a Box Spring Does

Low Profile Box SpringThe purpose of a box spring is to provide an even and supportive foundation for your mattress. It has the same dimensions as the mattress and works with the frame to provide support for the mattress. They’re meant to absorb impact to lessen wear on the mattress, and can also help with ventilation. Box springs raise the height of the mattress, which many people find useful for helping them get in and out of bed.

A box spring can add comfort in some cases, it's made with springs therefore it can provide more give. If you feel like your mattress is too stiff, a box spring could be the answer.

Setting your mattress on an uneven or unsupportive surface may shorten the lifespan than if placed on a box spring. It's for this reason that many warranties still require a box spring to be paired with the mattress. To ensure that the mattresses were properly supported by a hard, flat surface.

If you use a traditional bed frame, you will need a box spring for the mattress to rest on. Some other bed frames also require them, so check whether they are built to support the mattress or not.

The Modern Box Spring

Older box springs actually had springs within them. Most new ones are made without them. Often a box of wood or metal, they’re now more intended as a hard and flat foundation for your mattress.

There are now also low-profile box springs available. These were designed to meet the needs of people who want a lower bed height since many newer mattresses are much thicker than they used to be.

Alternatives to box springs are available today. Platform beds, adjustable power bases, and wood foundations are a few options. Some people choose to place their mattress on a hardwood floor.

When Not to Use a Box Spring

The box spring you were using for your last mattress is not a good option. It’s probably wearing down, which will cause your new mattress to sag. The box spring could even break if it’s at the end of its life. If you have a good mattress but you’re experiencing back problems and poor sleep, think about whether your box spring could be the problem. Using an old box spring may void your warranty or cause you comfort problems.

You’ll know your box spring is too old if you can see sagging, they usually they only last up to 10 years. Higher quality box springs could maintain their quality for around 20 years.

Some mattresses, such as latex, perform better on a box spring alternative. They need firmer support than box springs provide, so you will not feel supported if you use a latex mattress on a traditional box spring. Check into your mattress type and what it requires.

Shop Our Selection of Box Springs & Foundations

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