Is It Necessary To Own A Box Spring For Your Mattress?

Getting a good night's sleep is one of the cornerstones of healthy living. Quality sleep helps you think better during your waking hours, can uplift your mood, and reduces the chance of a host of serious health problems including heart issues and the risk of having a stroke, according to the National Institutes of Health. Sleep is one of the reasons it's so important to choose the right mattress for comfort, but the right foundation for your bed is just as vital for continued good rest. So, should you always plan on having a box spring on your bed to live your best sleep life? Only if you have an innerspring mattress to go along with it.

Innerspring mattresses, which are traditional, non-memory foam mattresses with coils inside, are better supported by box springs. Other types of modern beds don't need a foundation made with springs. What's the big deal? Choosing the wrong foundation for your bed can result in a mattress not lasting as long as you'd like given the hefty cost. It may ultimately impact your comfort and how well you rest, too.

Why some mattresses work better with box springs

If your preference is still an innerspring mattress (over memory foam or hybrids that combine coils with foam), you'll always want to place a box spring under it. The box spring fits into a bed frame and may also have a few wooden slats under it for extra support. Why? Innerspring mattresses need the type of support provided by box springs for comfort and longevity. In essence, they serve as shock absorbers as you move around on the bed at night and ultimately keep the mattress from sagging in the frame and breaking down prematurely.

Some styles of beds also dictate the use of an innerspring mattress and box springs. For instance, if you run across a vintage four-poster or canopy bed you love at an estate sale, those types work best with traditional mattress and box spring sets. It can also be a matter of personal preference in terms of high- and low-profile beds since innerspring mattresses and box springs tend to sit far higher than modern platform beds.

Types of mattresses that don't need box springs

If you've figured out that you really prefer a memory foam mattress, or a hybrids that combines coils with foam, you don't need a box spring. Those types of mattresses are often sold with foundations instead. Sometimes they look similar, but box springs have springy coils inside whereas foundations have closely placed wooden slats within them. 

But what if you just want to order a "bed in a box" and plop it on top of your old box spring to replace a traditional mattress? You can do that, but you don't absolutely need a box spring nor do you have to purchase a foundation. More and more, platform beds are being used with memory foam and hybrid mattresses. Just keep in mind that without that layer of shock absorption under it, the bed will sleep firmer and some people may find getting out of a platform bed to be a bit more challenging in comparison to a bed with a foundation.