Do I Need a Box Spring With My Mattress?

Do You Need a Box Spring?

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 should use 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

One-Sided Mattresses

The no-flip, one-sided design of modern mattresses usually contains all the components necessary for comfort. All you need is a hard, flat surface to set the mattress on. 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 for an older mattress is worn out, you may be wondering if you 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

The 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. As it is made with springs, 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 cause premature sagging and a shorter lifespan than if used on a box spring. This is why many warranties still require a box spring, to ensure mattress claims 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, while 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, and some people choose to place their mattress on a hardwood floor. Warranties for mattresses compatible with these have adapted their policies to allow acceptable alternatives that provide the proper support.

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, but 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 a harder 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.

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