box spring

In general, the type of mattress you have determines whether you need a box spring. But the manufacturer warranty may also dictate that the warranty becomes void if you don’t have the right equipment and setup.

We’ll go through box spring and foundation basics, each type of mattress and why some warranties require a box spring to get to the bottom of this age-old question in the mattress world.

What is a Box Spring?

A traditional box spring is a heavy mattress-sized piece that supports your bed. A box spring keeps many mattress types from sagging and helps evenly distribute your body weight across the bed frame. In short, a mattress without a shock-absorbing layer like a box spring doesn’t offer adequate support for your body. A box spring is a type of foundation.

Mattresses without a support layer often wear out much more quickly than beds that use a box spring or foundation. Of course, there are also alternatives to traditional box springs that can provide the same support.

Don’t Bed Frames and Mattress Foundations Do the Same Thing?

A lot of people wonder whether they need a box spring if they have a supportive bed frame. A metal frame or wooden frame typically lifts your bed off the ground, but it doesn’t always provide support to keep the mattress from sagging. Many metal bed frames are only an exterior frame, with no support running across the bottom of the bed.

However, there are mattress foundation options that replace traditional box springs. A foundation uses a bed base plus wooden slats (or another material) to distribute your weight evenly over the bed base. With a foundation or box spring, you achieve the right support to avoid back pain and prolong the life of your mattress.

Why Do Mattress Warranties Still Require You to Use Box Springs?

Your mattress warranty may require you to use a box spring because the manufacturer knows something you don’t. A bed foundation or box spring helps maintain a mattress’ shape and protects it from sagging. In short, the mattress will degrade faster without the right support.

Using Box Springs According to Mattress Type

Not all mattress types require the same level of support. Here, we’ll go through each and determine the type of support needed to adequately protect your mattress and support your body.

Box Springs and Innerspring Mattresses

Traditionally, innerspring mattresses use box springs for support. Without a box spring or foundation, the inner coils can become overstretched. The mattress can sag and become misshapen, making for an uncomfortable night’s rest.

Plus, many manufacturers of innerspring mattresses require a box spring to maintain your warranty coverage. Even without a frame, you can pair a box spring and innerspring mattress. On the floor, for example, a box spring provides the necessary support for a healthy mattress.

Do I Need a Box Spring with a Memory Foam Mattress?

Most memory foam mattresses work with both foundations and box springs. And you will likely not find a stipulation in memory foam mattress warranties about using a bulky box spring. Your mattress still needs support, however, so make sure you use a foundation, adjustable base, or bed frame with slatted supports.

Do I Need a Box Spring with a Hybrid Mattress?

Most hybrid mattress manufacturers don’t stipulate that you must use a box spring. But most mattress companies recommend not sleeping directly on the floor with any type of mattress. A foundation helps ensure airflow under the mattress and makes it easier to get in and out of bed.

Find the Right Mattress Base or Foundation for Your New Bed

Whatever type of new bed you’re in the market for, choosing the right accessories and base or foundation is vital. To get better sleep and preserve your mattress for as long as possible, choose a supportive foundation from Helix Sleep.

Zach Gentry
Zach is the Helix Sleep Customer Experience Manager and Mattress Guru.

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