Do you Need a Box Spring?

6 min read
6 min read

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Do you Need a Box Spring?

So, you have decided to purchase a mattress but are confused about whether you need to buy a box spring or not. We all have been at that place where we questioned ourselves – Do you need a box spring? This question arises because of our age-old association with a mattress and box spring. Since most of us own innerspring mattresses, we tend to have a box spring. So, when do you need a box spring?

If you need something, a guard between the base or floor and your mattress, you will require a box spring. We all know mattresses in today’s time have a high pocket pinch, and the result is quite lavish, though. And, your mattress will benefit from a box spring that will absorb all the shock, movement, and overall impacts. If you’re curious to know- do you need a box spring? Continue reading. 

What Is a Box Spring?

A box spring is designed in the same design as your bed. The composition of a box spring contains a wooden base structured with a metal grid or springs covered in fabric. A box spring is the protective layering between your floor and mattress – it is placed directly under the mattress. So what is the purpose of a box spring?

The answer to what does a box spring do is quite high in number:

  1. A box spring provides underlying support to the mattress that it otherwise won’t get
  2. Box spring and foundations lift your mattress, giving absolute support
  3. A box spring absorbs all the impact, shock, and movement caused by the mattress
  4. A box spring keeps the airflow going, thereby making it cooler. 

The last benefit of having a box spring will be pretty beneficial for heavy sleepers or those residing in humid places since coolness is something we all desire while sleeping. The third benefit stating how a box spring absorbs all the shocks is highly regarded for innerspring mattresses but not foam mattresses. 

Why Do You Need a Box Spring?

When do you need a box spring? What does a box spring do? These are popular questions that crawl the mind space of people planning to invest in beddings. Box springs are undoubtedly helpful ones. It gives a major boost in the height of your bed. But do you need it for that reason only? Well, box spring does have some added benefits – keep reading.

  • Amplified Airflow

This needs to top the list of the benefits of a box spring because of the coolness it provides. As humans, we all need a little break from the tedious work that we perform regularly. We need solace while sleeping, and a furnace-like bed will not do the thing. Fixing a box spring underneath your mattress will result in proper airflow as the springs are quite hollow, apart from the wooden and metal elements present. 

  • Elevated Height

If you are a tall person and ask yourself the question – do you need a box spring? The answer might be positive because box springs provide a height to your bed. A box spring will be a big plus for taller people, people suffering from joint pain, and people needing a boost when waking up from sleep. 

  • Support for your Mattress

Some innerspring mattresses necessitate using a box spring for prolonged use, durability, and prevention of sagging. It is always recommended to check the instruction guidelines.

  • Shock Absorption

Shock absorption is provided by box springs which is quite a beneficial feature. If you are a mentally blocked/ restless sleeper or have a dog who likes to jump constantly or a kid who has just learned to walk, all these factors will lead to quite a movement. A box spring absorbs all of these and results in good sleep.  

If you Own a Collapsible Bed Frame

Someone who owns a collapsible bed frame will know that if the middle of the bed doesn’t provide enough support, the mattress will sag, and you will feel uneasy. Certain bed frames require box springs. 

When You Don't Need a Box Spring

Are you the one who shouldn’t use a box spring? It may happen that you have purchased a bed frame that doesn’t require a box spring. In that case, you don’t wish to splurge your money on a box spring. 

While Using Memory Foam, Hybrid or Latex Mattresses

The majority of people purchase foam or hybrid, or latex mattresses, and it is these people don’t buy a box spring. These mattresses are already fitted with the shock-absorbent feature and thus, don’t require any extra layer. It is recommended that you properly check the warranty as usage of a box spring might void your warranty. 

While Using a Platform Bed

Do you need a box spring with a platform bed? No! If you use a platform bed with a solid foundation, there is simply no need for a box spring. A platform bed is also lower in height and, therefore, quite accessible for most people. If you are taller or suffer from joint pain, or are an older person, placing a box spring would work in elevating the height. 

Your Mattress is On the Floor

Many people, especially those in college dorms or university hostels, prefer placing their mattresses on the floor. And in these cases, you might not need a box spring if not for that extra height or shock absorption. Though it might be stained or dusty if kept on the floor directly.

Box Spring vs Foundation vs Platform Bed

It may seem fine when you place the mattress directly on the floor. But in reality, you are depriving it of airflow, pushing it towards unsanitary conditions. All these reasons require you to have some sort of base like a box spring, foundation, or platform bed. 

  • Box Spring

A box spring, as already discussed, is a wooden structure filled with metal springs, each of which is covered with fabric. It is mainly united for innerspring mattresses. 

  • Foundation

A foundation is quite similar to a box spring consisting of wooden slats or a solid base, with only the absence of metal springs. Therefore, it offers a more smooth surface and is a great option for foam mattresses. 

  • Platform Bed

A platform bed combines both a foundation for the bed and a frame to lift it to the ground. Most of them have wooden legs to elevate the bed, and some also contain storage drawers. 

Box Spring Alternatives

After consuming all the facts about box spring, you may feel not mandating its need. You may find the box spring a little too bulky but still need something to prevent the floor and your mattress. The following are some box spring alternatives that you may find helpful:

  • Low-profile Box Spring

A low-profile box spring is half the size of traditional box spring and offers the exact facilities as the previous one. 

  • Bunkie Board

A bunkie board is a thin sheet of solid surface, mostly plywood, between a mattress and the bed frame. It offers a relevant foundation like a platform bed and eliminates the need for a box spring. 

Mattress on the Floor

If you like to place your mattress low, check your mattress’s assurance card, as it may nullify your mattress’ warranty. 

A box spring will be beneficial if you wish to sleep in an elevated position. Nevertheless, it is always recommended to check if the box spring suits your sleeping style by trying it out for a few days. There are plenty of brands offering risk-free trial options. 

There is no need for a box spring with a hybrid mattress because they already have in-built shock absorption features. 

A box spring acts as a barrier between the floor and the mattress, thereby preventing stains, dust, shocks, and movements. 

A box spring is necessary for beds having innerspring mattresses as the latter is very rigid and requires a layer for shock absorption. 

There is absolutely no need for a box spring for a memory foam mattress. 



A mattress can be put on the floor. But at the same time, you are making it prone to dust, dirt, and stains coming directly from the floor. 



A mattress can rest directly on the slats. Most modern box springs are made of wooden structures wrapped in fabric but offer lesser support. Slats are quite supportive.

The following are some ways to raise your bed without a box spring:

  • Use bed risers
  • Use bed wedge
  • Add wheels to your bed frame
  • Place a mattress topper 
FAQS

The Log position, in which a person sleeps on their back with arms tucked into their sides, is considered the least common sleeping position.

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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians