Do You Need A Box Spring?

Some people love that sinking feeling when they sleep but if you’re struggling with back pain, that definitely isn’t a good choice for you because if you find yourself constantly waking up in the morning with a sore back and with your whole body aching, then it’s clearly because you don’t have enough foundation underneath to support your entire body weight.

When this happens, the quality of your sleep suffers and you end up wobbling around all day in the office because you didn’t get enough rest.

Many people would say that you don’t need a box spring to go with your mattress, but the truth is, that really depends if you have the right base support in your bed frame.

Otherwise, you’ll feel sore every waking day. So don’t throw away your bed frame or your mattress just yet, because the problem isn’t probably with them, it might be because you don’t have a nice box spring set up as a base for your bed.

Before diving into the main question, do you need a box spring? First, you have to understand what a box spring is and what’s in it for you.

What is a Box Spring?

A box spring serves as the foundation or base of your mattress. It is made out of a wooden frame with springs or metal rods in place and covered with cloth.

From afar, it might look exactly like a regular mattress but make no mistake because a box spring is made to support your mattress. So rather than having your mattress directly sitting atop your bed frame, the box spring is placed in the middle so that it is able to absorb shock and pressure, thereby, reducing the natural wear and tear from continuous usage.

In turn, box springs help prolong the life of your mattress.

What are the benefits of using a box spring? 

Apart from providing support to your mattress to prevent it from sagging prematurely, there are a number of good reasons and health benefits even, that are associated with using a box spring. 

  1. It provides additional firmness for extra back support.
  2. It helps to evenly distribute your weight throughout the mattress so it wouldn’t get sagged easily. 
  3. If you’re not using a bed frame, it elevates the mattress above the floor thus making it easier to slide in and out of bed. This is especially helpful for people with age.   
  4. It protects your warranty. Some mattress manufacturers would require you to have a box spring before you can receive your warranty claim. This is to ensure that you have done your due diligence in properly handling the product. Else, they will void your warranty. 
  5. It will significantly extend the life of your mattress. 
  6. Elevating your mattress also serves a purpose in terms of hygiene. For one, you’re also keeping it away from your dirty floor where dust and dirt settle. 
  7. The elevation will improve ventilation by letting the air pass through your mattress thereby also averting possible mold growth. 

When should you use a box spring?

If you’re not suffering from back, hip, and joint pains or discomfort, and you can easily slide in and out of your bed, then you might not see the need for a box spring.

However, understand that since box springs act as the base structure of your bed, it’s responsible for absorbing the impact when you jump or simply lie down on your mattress. It also ensures that your bed is stable as it evenly distributes your weight across the base.

Basically, it is what allows you to safely and securely jump or bounce on your bed without damaging your mattress or without the whole bed collapsing on your bedroom floor. 

Now normally, the traditional innerspring mattresses would always require the use of box springs. Although nowadays not all types of bed frames see box springs as a necessity, however, you should use a box spring if you have the following: 

  • Collapsible Metal Bed Frame
  • Unevenly Spaced Bed Slats 
  • Traditional Double-sided Innerspring Mattress

Do you need a box spring for a memory foam mattress?

What if you’re not using a traditional innerspring mattress? What if you have a memory foam mattress, does that mean you don’t have to use a box spring anymore?

Because of the characteristics of a memory foam mattress, it has the tendency to lose its firmness and shape over time particularly if it is not placed on a sturdy support since it is heavier than the traditional ones. For instance, if you are using a metal bed frame, it is advisable that you use a box spring underneath so as to protect the mattress from sinking.

Second, check the number of panels or slats of your bed frame. If it has less than six slats, then you should definitely opt for a box spring, but if it has six or more that are spaced evenly all throughout the frame, then you might not need a box spring at all. 

Are there alternatives to box springs?

There are alternative options to a box spring, one of which is a Bunkie board. A Bunkie board is a thin sheet of plywood, particleboard, or any composite material that is about 1 to 3 inches thick that also functions like a box spring. It is commonly used for low profile beds. 

Other bed frames would already have a solid platform for the mattress to sit on so there are no gaps in between for the mattress to fall through. An adjustable bed frame is also another example, however, their adjustable foundation will not be able to support a conventional innerspring mattress.  

Can you use your old box spring with a new mattress?

A lot of consumers would try to save by purchasing a new mattress without getting a new box spring. While your old box spring might seem to work just fine, think about how long you have been using the same box spring for years. Especially if it’s already as old as the mattress you just replaced, it’s probably not going to be as efficient. 

Moreover, you run the risk of damaging your newly bought mattress if you’re going to pair it with your old and run down box spring as it would not be able to fully support the weight anymore, and hence, it can just cause your new mattress to deteriorate sooner than expected. 

On top of that, using a worn-out box spring can also be a ground for the store or the manufacturers to invalidate your warranty so be sure to check the terms of your warranty carefully. 

When should you replace your box spring?

You might not be directly lying on your box spring, but it has been absorbing constant pressure from years and years of use resulting in weakened coils that might not be able to function properly and effectively anymore. The average lifespan of box springs is only between 8 to 10 years so replace it once it has lapsed the ten-year mark. Otherwise, it might do more harm than good.

To help you figure out when you should replace your box spring, here are the telltale signs when it’s time for a new one.

  • It’s more than ten years old.
  • You can already hear squeaking and creaking noises when weight or pressure is applied to your box spring.
  • There are already noticeable sagging or uneven areas across the surface.
  • You can already see or sense some damages to the steel grid. 

Replacing your box spring when necessary can mean a world of difference and a ton of comfort. You might think that keeping it for a few more years would save you a few hundred bucks, but in truth, you’re not. You might just be putting yourself for a whole lot of trouble and a great deal of discomfort by putting it on hold. 

Do you need a box spring?

Now, it’s time for the final verdict.

Do you really need a box spring? The answer is yes if you answered yes to all or any of the scenarios that were mentioned above.

Nonetheless, the final decision still comes down to your personal preferences; but if you choose to go for it, know that there are numerous modernly designed box springs that are now available on the market that you can try and explore.

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Christine Mitchell

Christine is the chief editor and writer here at SleepGuided. She spends a quarter of her time researching the latest scientific research papers on sleep and the rest on writing articles & reviewing products for SleepGuided.