Do I Need a Box Spring for My Mattress?

A box spring, sometimes called a foundation, is an essential item to purchase if you want your mattress to last as long as possible. But what’s the difference between a box spring and just another board or plywood? Many opt to use a box spring below their mattress to provide that support. However, you may be asking, ‘Do I need a box spring for my mattress!’

In most cases, you won’t need a box spring unless your mattress is very heavy or oddly shaped. Without a box spring, your mattress would sit directly on top of your bed frame, which may cause discomfort due to uneven support.

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about box springs and how they can benefit your mattress in the long run.

What is a Box Spring?

A box spring mainly supports your mattress, usually the same size as the bed. It is made out of a wooden frame filled with springs and wrapped in cloth. It is placed directly under the mattress to provide support.

The bedroom is where the magic happens. It’s your happy place and the place you go to at the end of a long day to relax and unwind.

The most important part of the room is the bed, and just like everything in life, you need your bed to be reliable and have a strong foundation.

The primary purposes box springs serve are as follows:

  • Provide a foundation for the mattress,
  • Raise the bed to a more comfortable level,
  • Protect the mattress by absorbing impact,
  • Improve airflow as it keeps the mattress cooler,

Do You Need a Box Spring?

Not entirely. Although box springs have been a staple in most bed setups for ages, it is slowly becoming redundant due to the rise of new mattress technologies. Nowadays, most mattresses are made of either memory foam or latex foam, and using box springs can damage the bed.

However, if you have a traditional innerspring mattress, use a metal bed frame, or have difficulty getting in and out of bed, a box spring would be best for you.

A mattress on a box spring is called a platform bed and can provide a good support system. Now I have tested and reviewed the best mattress for platform beds. On one hand, having your mattress and box spring on separate foundations can add to your comfort and make it easier to get in and out of bed.

Besides, you may have trouble fitting both under your current frame or headboard. Also, if your box spring breaks, you’ll have to replace both pieces of furniture at once.

If you decide to go with a box spring, look for one that has enough space between slats so that no part of your body will be resting directly on them.

This will help prevent pressure sores from forming. Make sure you choose a firm foundation; soft ones could cause pain and even lead to early degeneration of joints.

Finally, check how easily your box spring folds up when not in use—if it doesn’t fold up easily, then find another option!

But if you are using newer mattresses, there are many alternatives for you to use.

Best Alternatives to Box Springs for Your Mattress

If you choose not to use a box spring, fear not. Many excellent alternatives will make your bedroom look cooler than ever while giving you a great night’s sleep.

Here’s a list of the best options to box springs:

Under Mattress Slats

Under Mattress Slats

When compared with box springs, slats are much thinner and lighter. If you want your mattress to be more durable, slats are the way to go. They are much cheaper and easy to install while still lightweight and durable.

The Mattress on the Floor

The Mattress on the Floor

A flat surface like the Floor can be excellent support for the mattress, and the best part is that moving the bed is as simple as moving the mattress. Putting the mattress on the Floor removes backaches and improves blood circulation.

However, if you have difficulties getting up from bed, this may not be the way to go.

DIY Milk Crate Bed

DIY Milk Crate Bed

If you enjoy doing DIY projects, this idea might be perfect. All you need to do is salvage a few milk crates and then arrange them in such a way as to form a bed base. You can customize them by painting them, and also, you can add a plywood sheet to increase their longevity.

However, this may not be ideal for you if you are on the heavier side. Also, milk crates aren’t all that flexible, so you’ll have to keep that in mind.

Platform Bed

Platform Bed

Platform beds are one of the best alternatives to box springs. They come as bed frames with built-in wooden slats to support the bed. They are designed to be raised slightly above the ground, while the slats provide airflow to the mattress. They also offer a modern and chic look that is unique to this bed style.

However, you should note that these beds are expensive, and if you prefer sleeping on your side, it may lead to backaches.

Adjustable Beds

Adjustable Beds

An adjustable bed can be an excellent alternative if you use your bedroom for multiple purposes. You can shift the mattress position to best suit your goal, whether reading in bed or watching TV before going to sleep.

You can also shift the angle of the bed to give you the most comfortable sleeping position by raising your head or feet by a little bit, especially if you suffer from acid reflux or require better blood circulation. However, they are pretty expensive, and you may also need to buy a compatible mattress.

Memory Foam

Memory Foam

Even though box springs are bouncier, memory foam’s responsiveness is second to none. It distributes your weight perfectly and fits your shape. They are incredibly soft and provide an almost cuddle-like feel. They are great at dealing with body aches as it carries every inch of your body on its surface.

The downside is that they are costly, and if you live in a temperate region, the bed can get hot as it also has a heat retention capability.

Hybrid Mattress

Hybrid Mattress

Hybrid mattresses are the best of both worlds in that they are made of a memory foam mattress with an innerspring system, making the bed firmer. The gelling agent used within the cover of the hybrid mattresses makes them great for circulation and alleviates back and joint pain.

However, hybrid mattresses are on the expensive side and are pretty heavy.

Wood Slat Foundation

Wood Slat Foundation

Compared to box springs using a wooden slat foundation is a much cheaper and more durable alternative when compared to others. They can even be made at home and is very easy and affordable to repair. They provide excellent airflow so that you can avoid night sweats.

On the downside, slats become saggy over time and risk being broken if too much pressure is applied, especially if the user is on the heavier side.


Your main takeaway from this article should be that you don’t need box springs for your mattress. Box springs are quickly becoming a thing of the past as the newer mattresses don’t require them or have in-built mechanisms that replicate what it does.

The size of your box spring determines whether or not you’ll be able to get a quality night’s sleep, so it’s important to ensure that you choose one that fits correctly. If you have questions about which size will work best for your bed, call our friendly customer service team.

They can help ensure that you choose an option that works well with your frame and mattress. What’s more, all of our products come with hassle-free returns if they don’t meet your needs.

So now, you don’t have to worry about that sizeable springy hunk of wood as there are many alternatives available.