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Why Do You Need a Box Spring? Find Out the Truth!

Some civilizations always sleep on the floor. Even if it comes naturally for them, it might sound unimaginable to some of us. And, since the majority of sleepers prefer the quality mattresses that are super comfortable to sleep on, there are certain things you need to know about your bed foundation. 


Do I need a box spring?

Is a box spring necessary? 

These are some of the most common questions people ask after getting a new mattress. 

I know what you’re thinking. “I’ve already bought a mattress, why do I need a box spring?” That can be quite irritating, I fully understand. Nonetheless, after reading this article, you will understand why everyone keeps highlighting the fact that the mattress foundation is necessary.

In case you haven't got yourself a new mattress yet, I would recommend checking out the list for the most recommended innerspring mattresses in the industry. You can see how they compare with each other below.

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You'll find out that there are few significant reasons for choosing a box spring, however, in case you decide that it's not for you and you want to keep your mattress on the floor, you should never go for memory foam mattresses, and instead, choose innerspring ones. They have a firmer construction, supportive edges and won't sag as quickly. The most recommended options include Saatva, WinkBeds and Helix

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Table of Contents

What is a Box Spring? 

The term box spring doesn’t say a lot about its initial meaning. Basically, a box spring is a foundation that lifts your mattress up. It usually has a wooden frame and springs or metal rods that aimed to support and lift your bed. Box springs are recommended for everyone who wants to decrease exposure to mite allergens.[1]

Just like you need a mattress to support your body, the mattress needs a box spring to ensure its longevity. In most cases, the height of the box spring is similar to the bed itself. 

Do you need a box spring: bed frame

People who like minimal design do not use any additional bed frame, only box spring and the mattress. It sounds like the perfect option for those who have very little space in the room.

So, it’s clear what the box spring is. However, the main question still remains - “do you need a box spring?”. 

Why Do You Need a Box Spring? 

Let me provide you with the main benefits of the mattress foundation that will answer the question - “why do you need a box spring?”.

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Warranty Protection 

Even though the modern mattresses don’t necessarily have to be placed on the box spring, the majority of the mattress providers put it as a requirement if you want your warranty to be legitimate. 

Do you need a box spring: warranty protection

Most commonly, memory foam and latex mattress providers will ask you to use a mattress foundation. The reason for that is quite simple. Mattresses require support, and if you fail to provide that, they can deteriorate prematurely. So, the box spring will protect your mattress from sagging. 

However, you should NEVER place a new mattress upon the old box springs because it can shorten the mattress lifespan and destroy any chances of warranty. And always match the mattress with a box spring. 

Thus, considering the fact that, in most cases, you get at least 10 years warranty, you should make sure to meet the provider’s requirements and don’t ask “why do I need a box spring?” anymore. In this case, it seems like a pretty logical request. 

Lifts Your Mattress

Even though many people prefer to put their mattresses directly on the ground, it causes a few problems. 

Do you need a box spring: mattress lift

When you sleep on the ground, you inhale dust and dirt that, in the long run, can be really harmful to your health. Also, putting your mattress directly on the cold floor can easily get you sick. Thus, even if it looks attractive, your health won’t be thankful. 

On the same note, when you put your mattress on the ground, you don’t allow it to breathe - there’s simply no airflow. So, the excessive heat and sweat that your body is producing has no way to get out of the mattress and stays trapped. This way, you create favorable conditions for mold formation. Needless to say, it can cause an allergic reaction. Mold is a major factor in the asthma epidemic[2]

What is more, when your mattress is placed on the ground, it takes additional energy to get up. That's why it's not the most comfortable alternative. 

Therefore, one of the main purposes of the box spring is to lift your mattress from the ground. While various opinions exist, studies show that your mattress shouldn't be laying directly on the ground. 


The analysis of the sleepers’ reviews’ showed that box spring is a perfect choice for those who suffer from back pain. 

Different from sleeping on the ground, box spring will provide you with perfect support and adapt to your body curves while maintaining the healthy position of your spine. 

Do you need a box spring: healthy spine position

On the contrary, when you put your mattress on the ground, it will provide you with more pressure in unwanted areas. If you’re a side sleeper, it’s the worst decision - you will, most likely, wake up with neck and hip pain. 

Therefore, if any of the previously named benefits of the box spring seem essential to you, then the answer to the question - “do you need a box spring?” is definitely YES

Types of Box Springs

Previously, mattress manufacturers used to design only one-size box springs that stood at about 8 inches tall. However, since not all sleepers preferred such a height option, they created a low-profile box spring that’s, in most cases, between 5 and 6 inches tall.  

Thus, there are two types of box springs in the market today:

  • Traditional box springs
  • Low-profile box springs 

Let’s go through their main differences to help you decide which is the best alternative for you. 

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Traditional Box Springs

Traditional box springs usually are about 8 inches tall, depending on the manufacturer. They’re great when you buy a slim mattress and want to add additional height to your bed set. It allows you not to worry about the mattress elevation and apply the box spring of your preference. 

Do you need a box spring: box spring

On the other hand, regular box springs are way more difficult to move. So, if you want to add height to your bed set, have a more sturdy and bouncy option, prepare to deal with additional weight. 

Therefore, here are the main features that characterize the traditional box springs: 

  • Heaver but firmer
  • Easy to get out of the bed 
  • Difficult to move 
  • Adds additional height to the bed set 

So, ask yourself - “do you need a box spring that’s 8 inches?”. If the answer is “no”, then take a look into the alternative option - low profile box spring. 

Low-Profile Box Springs

Low-profile box springs are thinner and lighter than the traditional box springs. They’re perfect if you already have a tall mattress and don’t want to add additional height to it. 

Do you need a box spring: low-profile box spring

Also, you get extra support without the additional height that overcrowds your room. Needless to say, many people prefer this option due to the visual perks, such as minimalism. 

Make sure to understand that both traditional and low-profile box springs will provide you with the same amount of support. So, while sleeping, you won’t feel any difference. 

Here are the main features of the low-profile box springs: 

  • Easy to move 
  • Add additional support to your mattress
  • Great for aesthetic reasons
  • Might be too low for some sleepers 

Therefore, the question is not “do you need a box spring?” but, rather, “which box spring should you choose?”.

Alternatives to Box Spring

It's natural that not everyone prefers box spring, either due to its qualities or visual elements. That’s why I want to introduce you to the alternative options you should consider. 


Today mattress foundations are the most popular options amongst manufacturers and sleepers. Even though foundations are often understood as box springs (due to the same function), they’re different. 

Do you need a box spring: mattress foundation

Most often foundations are designed out of wood, with many slats going along the surface. Sometimes, they have metal in the construction.

What’s excellent about foundations is that they offer the perfect support that will prevent premature sagging in almost every type of mattress in the market: 

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So, do you need a box spring when you can choose a foundation? I would say that there’s no significant difference, only your personal preference. Both of these options will provide your mattress with the support that protects it from sagging.  

Bunkie Boards

Bunkie boards are simple thin wooden pallets that are created to provide your mattress with extra support. 

While they cannot fully replace the box springs or the mattress foundation, it can be put between your old box springs and a new mattress. Also, it’s a great idea to place it under the foam or latex mattress to increase the lifespan and maximize comfort. 

Bunkie boards can also be added on metal bed frames. This way, you will elevate your mattress and give it additional support. Just make sure to match the frame and bunkie size, and put it on carefully to not tear the fabric. 

Adjustable Bases

Do you need a box spring: adjustable bed frame

Adjustable bases are on the leading edge of the mattresses' industry. They can benefit any sleeping position and allow couples to adjust their bedsides individually. 

The most common benefits of the adjustable bases include: 

  • Comfort - you can adjust your bed based on your sleeping positions to add additional comfort. 
  • Pain and pressure relief - since you can adapt a mattress to your sleeping position, you can sleep in a way to take the pressure off the problematic areas. 
  • Reduce Snoring - it’s proven that raising the top half of the bed can help to minimize the snoring noticeably.
  • Better quality of sleep - when you sleep in the regular bed, you cannot make any adjustments, but with this base, you can easily set your mattress in a position that would take off the pressure of your aches. 

The only major drawback of the adjustable bases is the pricing. In many cases, it will cost you more than the mattress itself. However, you can find a variety of discount codes for some of the best products here



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Table: GhostBed company info. 

One of the most recommended adjustable bases is offered by GhostBed. GhostBed adjustable base provides exceptional quality and truly affordable prices. It features 15 massage modes, multiple ergonomic positions, under-bed LED lighting. What's amazing is that this base works with any mattress

The GhostBed adjustable base can reduce chronic neck and back pain, allows you to relax and might help you to deal with nightmares. It will be delivered completely free and comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Do you need a box spring: GhostBed adjustable base.

Therefore, consider any of these mattress bases and pick the best one based on your personal preferences. The only thing that you should pay attention to is the warranty requirements - it may ask you to get a specific option. 

Bed Frames that do Not Require a Box Spring

Unless the mattress warranty tells otherwise, the answer to the question “do you need a box spring?” with the following bed frames is NO

If you’re using any of these bed frames, it’s not necessary to add box spring (unless the warranty tells otherwise): 

  • Solid platform frame. It plays the same role as the base and provides a stable base that makes sure your mattress is not sagging prematurely. 
  • Platform frame with slats. Different from a solid platform frame, it uses slats to form the base for your mattress. 
  • Adjustable frame. It’s quite evident that box spring would not work together with an adjustable bed frame and would only interfere with its functionality. 
  • Reinforced metal frame. Reinforced frames add additional support from side to side and make sure that the weight of your mattress is distributed evenly. 

Do you need a box spring: solid platform

Therefore, if while reading this article, you answered the question - “do you need a box spring?” negatively, these bed frame options are exactly what you need. 


Now that we came to the conclusions, it’s time to ask the very first questions again. 

Do you need a box spring? 

Is a box spring necessary?

Here are the benefits of using a box spring that will answer your question positively:

  • Lifts your mattress from the ground
  • Protects your warranty
  • Adds support

You can pick either the regular box spring mattress that will increase the height of your mattress set or the low-profile box spring that’s way easier to move, look better aesthetically, and create a minimal style. 

Now, if you answer the question - ”do you need a box spring?” negatively, then you can consider other alternatives that will give your mattress similar support:

  • Foundations 
  • Bunkie boards
  • Adjustable bases

And if you want to buy a frame that doesn’t require additional support, you should choose: 

  • Solid platform frame
  • Platform frame with slats
  • Adjustable frame 
  • Reinforced metal frame

Do you need a box spring: reinforced metal frame

In case you decide that box spring or any other bed frame is not for you, and you decide to sleep on the floor instead, you should never choose memory foam mattresses. They tend to have poor edge support and are not really breathable. That being said, choose top-rated innerspring mattresses, such as Saatva and WinkBeds and enjoy your sleep, even if it's "on the floor". 

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Scientific References

1. Jay Portnoy, MD, Jeffrey D. Miller, MD, P. Brock Williams, PhD, et al.: 'Environmental assessment and exposure control of dust mites: a practice parameter'

2. Joseph Pizzorno: 'Is Mold Toxicity Really a Problem for Our Patients? Part I—Respiratory Conditions'

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Recent User Reviews

I had no idea

I had no idea that I needed a box spring before I asked mattress provider about that. Keep this in mind!


My choice is low-pro box spring. It is perfect for any kind of design and also doesn't take too much space

box spring

box spring should be comfortable.

Can't recommend

I can't recommend a solid platform frame since it doesn't allow the mattress to breathe (same as floor)


Great article, Keep Up the Good Work!

Proper foundation

Mattress should be on proper foundation It is a no brainer


Box spring is important, but can be veeery expensive... really expensive

Good mattress

With a good mattress, you can sleep even on the ground... most likely...


What is better default foundation or box spring? Thanks


Ofc u need a box spring. Not possible to sleep on a mattress otherwise...

Box spring

Thought it would be smaller!

Chronic back pain

I have a chronic back pain and I was sleeping on a different mattrasses throughout my life. From my personal experience! solely! mattress can't provide you with proper support. There should be always either a box spring or other bases otherws all the effect will be neglected.


TX for z article!


Good information

Great job

Good style and in-depth info. Great job!


ASK your seller about the mattress warranty beforehand otherwise you can meet unexpected consequences


Yea I agree with the author

Must have

Box Spring is a must, regardless of the quality of mattress


Good mattress+Box spring. Thank you for advice!

Very useful

Thank u for ur article, very useful


What is the purpose of a box spring?

There are three main reasons why you should use a box spring. First of all, it raises your mattress, making it easier for you to get out of bed. It also minimizes the motion transfer and increases your mattress lifespanHowever, all these aspects highly depend on the mattress you choose. If you want a durable and supportive mattress, you should go for high-rated beds, such as Saatva and Puffy

When should you should get a new box spring?

It's completely unnecessary to get a new box spring every time you're replacing a mattress. You should change your box spring when noticeable defects appear. For example, if you notice broken slats or visible sagging, it's a sign that you should get a new box spring.

What is a memory foam mattress?

Memory foam mattresses are created mostly from polyurethane and have additional chemicals added that increase its viscosity and density. It’s also often called “viscoelastic polyurethane foam”. In order to create the air movement and let your body “breath” while you sleep, it has open foam bubbles. Memory foam mattresses are created in a way to adapt to your body curves and to also recover their original shape after you get up. Therefore, this kind of top mattresses offer you the feeling as if is created specifically for you.

Do top rated mattresses offer a money-back guarantee? Is there a catch?

All of the top mattress brands offer a money-back guarantee. The free trial usually starts from 90 to 100 nights, and if you don’t like the mattress, you can simply give it back. The majority of best mattress providers will not only give your money back but will also come to get it for free. If the mattress provider is reputable, there won’t be any catch - everyone understands that you have to try the mattress before knowing if it fits you.

What is off-gassing? Is it poisonous?

Off-gassing refers to the odor which comes from a new mattress. It’s the process that happens when volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) leak out of the mattress foam into the air. Those chemicals include both human-made and natural components, including formaldehyde, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), benzene, trichloroethane, and perfluorocarbons. Top rated mattresses will have zero or very minimal off-gassing. Many of them are sent to the customer already after the off-gassing. Is it dangerous, though? Even though the smell can be unpleasant, there’s usually only a very small amount of chemicals that can do no harm to your health.

How long do top rated mattresses serve?

The durability of a mattress depends on the provider and the quality of the materials used. Usually, you get a 10-year warranty, which will be valid in case of any defects. Normally, mattresses will serve you from 7 to 10 years, or even longer. Thus, when you buy the best mattress, you should take it as a long-term investment.