Do You Need a Box Spring for Your Mattress?

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Last updatedLast updated: June 23, 2021
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Research shows that the average person spends about a third of their lives sleeping. That translates to about 229,961 hours in a lifetime. Simply put, that’s about 8 hours in a day. It’s a lot of time to spend being uncomfortable if you’re not sleeping on the right bed.

Fortunately, a great variety of bed types, mattress choices, and bed foundations will ensure that you get a comfortable night’s rest. The essential question is, what kind of foundation would give your mattress the best support? In short, do you need a box spring?

What is a box spring?

Do You Need a Box Spring for Your Mattress?

If you’ve spent your entire life sleeping on a particular type of bed, you might not be familiar with some of the other options out there. One option to consider is a box spring. But, what exactly is a box spring?

Basically, a box spring is a type of bed base made up of a solid wooden frame containing springs. The springs are simply coils placed in a steel grid pattern, and their purpose is to absorb and support and evenly distribute your body weight. Box springs are ideal support structures for innerspring mattresses.

The box spring is the same size as a much softer mattress that rests on top of it. Box spring frames are made of wood and wrapped in durable fabrics. There are also box springs made of metal, which, while more durable, are generally more expensive.

Do box springs provide enough support?

An uncomfortable bed can leave you feeling sore and miserable when you wake up. Not having enough lumbar support during sleep will cause your spine to fall out of alignment. Further discomfort can arise from a mattress or bed base being too firm. This results in joint pressure in your hips, which leads to lower back pain.

According to statistics from the American Chiropractic Association of America, an average of 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time. With this in mind, it’s essential to ask the question, do box springs provide adequate support?

A high-quality bed frame will provide sufficient support to the innerspring mattress that you place on the box spring.

Regardless of whether you use a firm or soft mattress type, most box springs are strong enough to evenly distribute your body weight.

Is there a limit to the weight box springs can hold?

This is a common question asked by people buying new beds or perhaps buying a bed for the first time. And with good reason. Sleeping on a bed that is not suited for your weight will significantly influence the level of comfort you feel. You could also end up experiencing back pain, as well as hip and shoulder pain.

From a bedding perspective, sleeping on a bed that doesn’t support your weight will also diminish the lifespan of your mattress and your box spring. Fortunately, the average box spring will hold a weight of 500 pounds. So, the onus would be on you to ensure that your mattress is in the right weight category as well. This will ensure you have sufficient and even weight distribution during sleep.

What type of sleepers are box springs most suited to?

We all sleep differently – some people prefer to sleep on their stomachs, some are side sleepers, while others are more comfortable sleeping on their backs. Box springs are designed to keep your mattress in place, which means you’ll be comfortable whether you sleep on your side, back, stomach, or even if you’re a combination sleeper. Your comfort level will depend on your mattress. If you are looking for a new box spring, we recommend the ZINUS 9-Inch Smart model. It can hold up to 700 pounds and has a high-profile design.

Box spring vs. bed foundation

The basic definition of a bed foundation is anything that raises, supports, and keeps your mattress off the floor. While box springs are frames made of wooden or metal frames that use coil springs as their support structure, there’s another option to consider.

Bed foundations are different from box springs in that they have wooden slats holding up your mattress. These springless foundations are the perfect support structure for foam or hybrid mattresses. Foam mattresses should have a firmer base as support.

But are bed foundations better than box springs? The layers of coils found in box springs actually promote airflow. The springs also add a great deal of flexibility to your mattress, allowing your mattress to absorb your body weight.

Bed foundations, on the other hand, are becoming the preferred choice of mattress manufacturers. Since bed foundations provide better support for your body, they tend to absorb more weight and distribute it more evenly.

Platform beds – a variation of bed foundations

As I’ve mentioned before, bed bases come in many different types. A type that’s gaining a lot of popularity is the platform bed. The platform bed is different from the traditional box spring in that it has a solid or slatted surface as opposed to coil springs.

Another advantage of platform beds is that they serve as a heavy-duty bed frame as well as a foundation, so you wouldn’t have to get a box spring in addition to your bed frame.

Why choose a platform bed rather than a box spring?

There are several reasons why a platform bed is a better option than traditional box springs:

  • On average, platform beds are more affordable because they serve a two-in-one function – bed frame and foundation.
  • The space between the wooden slats facilitates airflow and increases breathability for your mattress. This cools the mattress and allows the sleeper to not feel too hot during sleep.
  • Slats are placed about two to three inches apart, which means the mattress will have better support and promotes the right amount of airflow around the mattress.
  • Some options include storage features like drawers, which are beneficial for people with small rooms.
  • Different styles available to suit any modern bedroom décor design
  • Platform beds are compatible with most modern mattress types. Consumers must confirm with manufacturer guidelines when buying a new mattress. Some manufacturers are very specific about the bases their mattresses rest on.

The slats make all the difference

In the more traditional bed foundation bases, the wooden slates were rigid. In fact, they are actually just hard planks laid across the frame. These slats are referred to as standard planks and provide no flexibility.

The more modern platform beds have slats that bow outward. This provides flexibility for the mattress to move or expand. It also means that the surface your mattress rests on will be less firm, adding a little more “give” to your mattress. This creates a softer sleep for the sleeper.

Some slatted beds have customizable systems that can easily be adjusted to increase pressure distribution. This allows better blood circulation.

More reasons to consider a platform bed

Popular platform beds, for example, the Zinus Adrian Wood Platform Bed, have large dimensions and can handle as much as 500lbs. This means it can accommodate most mattresses, and sleepers can be comfortable knowing that the platform bed will easily hold a combined weight.

With up to 3.5” space between the slats means there’s enough space to provide sufficient airflow. More airflow around your mattress will ensure the sleeper will have a more comfortable sleeping experience.

Also, with lengthy warranty periods, consumers have some peace of mind that they’re buying a reliable product.

A durable wooden frame and the use of strong slats means your mattress will have the right amount of support for a comfortable night’s rest. The wooden slats also add increased mattress life, which is vital to maintain the quality needed to uphold the warranty. With elegant designs like rustic wooden headboards, you can also add a modern touch to any room décor.

Durability, style, and practicality are only a few of the reasons people are leaning toward platform beds.

What’s the ultimate choice to ease back problems?

Each sleeper indeed has their own individual needs for providing comfort during sleep. People who suffer from ailments such as lower back pain or chronic back pain might require a firmer mattress than the average user. In this case, a platform bed might be more suitable.

The slats allow the mattress to rest more firmly on the base, whereas springs would create more of a “sinking” feeling. This sinking feeling won’t provide the support needed for a sleeper suffering from back pain.

Before purchasing a mattress and bed foundation, consult your doctor or chiropractor to advise you on the firmness level you need to provide comfort to your existing back problems.

How do you maintain platform beds vs. box spring beds?

When it comes to ensuring the lifespan of your bed, correct maintenance is critical. For a box spring, you simply vacuum it the same time you turn or clean your mattress. Platform beds simply need to be wiped down to remove dust. Ensure that manufacturers’ specifications are upheld. It’s also essential to keep to the weight limit restrictions.

What type of sleeper are platform beds most suited to?

As with box springs, platform or slatted beds can support any type of sleeping position. So, if you have the right kind of mattress suited to your weight and firmness level, a platform bed will easily provide you with the support you need.

Final thoughts

If you’re looking for a stable, stylish, and supportive option, it might be time to consider the more modern platform bed. It might be time to trade your old box spring for a platform bed to guarantee your mattress has firmer support. This, in turn, will ensure you have a comfortable and supportive night’s sleep.

So, do you need a box spring? The answer is not necessarily. There are other options on the market now. If you want a restful, comfortable, and supportive night’s sleep as well as a stylish addition to your bedroom, it might be time to upgrade. Do your body a favor, and provide it with the best option for a good night’s sleep!

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