Box springs may not look like much, but they can be an important part of a bed. They give support to your mattress and will prevent sagging, keeping your bed comfortable. Once you start to sag, you wake up with aches and pains. So don’t you forget about box springs – but you may not always need one.
What is a Box Spring?
The name doesn’t do the best job in describing the function. The goal of a box spring is to assist the bed with absorbing your body weight and to support the mattress itself. A box spring is usually made up of a wooden frame with either springs or metal rods that create a solid, even base that still has some give. Most box springs are nine inches tall, but the height and construction can vary. Box springs are typically placed on top of a metal bed frame and below the mattress. This also makes it easier to get in and out of bed while absorbing shock and reducing wear to your mattress. Using a box spring raises the height of your bed to a more comfortable level, provides support, and can increase the life of your mattress and keep your bed sturdy. You should replace a box spring when you replace your mattress, every eight to ten years, as they can become worn and broken-down over time.
Different Types of Box Springs
With all the benefits we’re learning about getting better sleep, there are a wide variety of box spring options on the market that try to improve your in-bed experience. You can get one with more densely packed coils, or choose a type made from natural materials. If you have a thicker, taller mattress (or a thinner, smaller one), you can get a box spring in different heights to get your bed to the level you like. Low profile box springs usually measure around 5 inches, but should give you the same support.
Some products with the name “box spring” are entirely made of metal or wood, so they don’t offer the same bounce as a version with springs. They still give you support and height, though, so this can be a good choice for those who like a more firm sleep. If you have a split bed, meaning you and your partner have separate foundations and mattresses, you can still find box springs to fit. Believe it or not, there are a lot of options out there to get you the perfect bed!
When Do I Need a Box Spring?
Box springs are important, but you might have a bed that doesn’t need them. When using a bed frame, a box spring will be required for your mattress to sit on. Traditional bed frames were designed for a box spring to rest on to support the mattress. If you don’t have a bed frame, and just have your mattress on the floor, you might still consider adding a box spring. This will provide better support, improved comfort, and increase the life of your mattress.
There are some beds that don’t require a box spring, like platform beds. Platform beds, like their name says, has a base built into the design so that the mattress can rest right on top. The support can be a slat system, wire mesh, or a solid deck. Check the fine print, though, because some beds might call themselves a platform but still require an additional support (like a bunkie board) to hold up your mattress. For example, a platform bed with drawers built in may not include adequate mattress support.
You also don't need a box spring when you're using an adjustable bed. Box springs don't bend, so they won't work with the moving sections of these electronic bases.
Not using a box spring can mean there isn’t as much give or foundation under your mattress, and that the overall height might be lower. It’s a good idea to review the base height of any bed you’re looking to buy, and make sure that, combined with your choice of mattress, it’s high enough for your needs. If you choose a sleep system that doesn’t need a box spring, it can eliminate one extra hassle and expense in buying a new bed, and many people don’t notice much difference in their sleep. As long as there is adequate support under the mattress, it should still help extend the life of your mattress.
Just like having the right bed frame and mattress, choosing the perfect support for your bed can make all the difference in getting better sleep.