In this article, we’re going to talk about what you can put under your mattress (and we don’t mean whatever it is you stash under there). We’re talking about box springs and foundations for all different types of mattresses.
What is a Boxspring?
A boxspring is… uh… a box? with springs? Actually up until the late 90’s that’s exactly what it was. Boxsprings were wooden or sometimes metal foundations that had springs inside them to absorb the shock of your mattress. Much like struts in a car. Boxsprings are always the exact same dimensions as the mattress, usually 9″ in height, and almost always covered in the same fabric as the side of its matching mattress.
However, in the 21st century, boxsprings have converted almost entirely into box foundations. This just means that they are wooden or metal foundations (or boxes) with no springs. You can still call them boxsprings, we all know what you mean. So why did they take the springs out of boxsprings? Well to drop the price considerably for starters. Also, your mattress doesn’t need springs to absorb shock, regular foundations today do a great job of supporting you and your mattress.
Share this Post
Do I Need A boxspring/foundation?
If you have a bed with rails or a metal frame, (see the difference) then yes you MUST have a boxspring otherwise you and your mattress will fall right through the bed frame.
With a new mattress, especially if it’s memory foam, here are your options: put it on the floor, use a traditional bed that requires a boxspring, get a platform bed, or try an adjustable bed frame.
PUT IT ON THE FLOOR
You can do this, but it’s not the best option. If you are going to place your mattress on the floor, here are some things to consider:
1. It doesn’t look awesome – unless your bedroom is a showroom like the one in this image.
2. It will make your mattress firmer which actually may not be so terrible depending on what you’re into.
3. It makes getting in and out of bed harder than it already is.
4. There’s no breathing room underneath which may cause a moisture build up.
PUT IT ON A BOXSPRING
You can leave the mattress on the floor and just put a boxspring or foundation under it, but that would only give you height. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you have a frame, or rails (see our blog post on the the difference between bed frames and rails), a boxspring on top of the frame, and finally a mattress on top of the boxspring.
Now you have properly raised the bed, while getting adequate support and you’re also letting your bed breath from underneath. Look at that, we have storage space now! Good for you.
PUT IT ON A PLATFORM
If you have one of those fancy platform beds that you get at places like IKEA, where the base is a solid panel or several slats going across ( a good platform bed has at least 12 slats) then not only do you NOT need a boxspring, you shouldn’t use one. I mean you can, but it would look really silly and you may need a ladder to get in bed.
PUT IT ON AN ADJUSTABLE BED
For the advanced sleeper whose powers include controlling the incline and decline of their feet with the touch of a button, an adjustable bed is the only way to go. It’s certainly not the cheapest way however. If you happen to own one of these bad boys, then opt out of the boxspring when purchasing your mattress as it will be rendered completely useless.
It would be funny to see how an adjustable bed would work with a boxspring. I imagine the foundation either snapping in half, or simply lifting up in the air only for the mattress to slide off the bed with whoever’s in bed going along for the ride.