Many people have a bold claim that you can’t have a properly set-up bed without a box spring. Is it true? Do I need a box spring?
The answer may surprise you!
But before we get down to it, you need to understand the role of box springs and when they are necessary. With that knowledge, you will know fully well whether you will benefit from a box spring.
What Is A Box Spring?
In the simplest terms, box springs are a type of bed foundation.
Construction of a typical box spring.
They usually come in the form of a rectangular or square box, consisting of springs (metal coils) in a specific pattern. Then this box is put under cover of a plastic, metal, or wood frame and another layer of fabric like cotton.
The shape and size of a box spring are dependent on the mattress it supports.
A box spring often has the same size as the mattress you place on it. That’s why mattress and box spring are often sold and bought in pairs.
And as the mattresses on the market get thicker or thinner, manufacturers also offer box springs with different heights in order to maintain the desired height of customers.
Purposes And Benefits of A Box Spring
Prevent The Mattress From Sagging
A box spring, if used correctly, can spread out and absorb your weight when you get off and on your mattress. As a result, this prevents your mattress from losing its original shape and sagging.
All kinds of mattresses require a form of support. When you fail to do that, they may become deformed prematurely.
Provide An Extra Height
While in many cultures like Japan and Korea, people actually like to sleep on the floor, most of us prefer to have a bed with a proper distance to the floor.
And we have a good reason for that.
A low-profile bed may make it harder for you to get on or off it. Old people and those with joint, hip, or back pain suffer from that inconvenience the most.
And what to do when you need an extra height between your bed frame and your mattress? Just add a box spring.
Keep Your Mattress Clean
Using a box spring will prevent food crumbs, dirt, dust, clumps of human or pet hair, and other kinds of debris from building up in your mattress.
Also, it can fight off the biggest enemy of the mattress put near the floor – mold. If your room is in a humid or moist environment, mold can become a serious problem, even ruining your mattress.
All in all, box springs keep your mattress clean, especially for bulky and dense models, which are hard to clean completely.
Maintain The Airflow
Though you may not expect this, box springs can actually promote ventilation in your bed.
They allow air to freely move below, above, and through your mattress. An uninterrupted airflow prevents it from retaining the warmth, which is the main cause of the “sleep hot” phenomenon. If you often find yourself waking up in your sleep feeling hot, we believe you’re not unfamiliar with this.
Getting a box spring, in this case, can fix this up!
On top of that, increased ventilation can reduce the likelihood that mildew or mold will grow since any moisture (such as spilled liquids, ambient humidity, and sweat) will dry out faster.
The last benefit of using a box spring we want to talk about here is not directly related to the experience when you use it. Instead, it is about the customer service you may receive.
Even though most modern mattresses don’t need to be placed on top of a box spring, many models on the market still require it as a condition for their warranty.
If you forget to do so, your warranty can be voided.
Downsides of Using A Box Spring
When breaking down the materials used to make a typical box spring, the number of dangerous chemicals may surprise you.
Though hardwood is a sturdier and safer material, box springs with frames made from it have become rarer. Instead, many companies choose lower-quality and cheaper particle boards or plywood.
Since they generally have a shorter lifespan and are less durable, manufacturers enhance them with chemicals in order to improve their quality, at least in the short term. And many of them can leave serious effects on your health.
For instance, pentachlorophenol and formaldehyde – both known cancer-causers – are two of the chemicals used in that treatment process.
Provide A Dirty Environment For Bacteria
This is really confusing, isn’t it?
“Haven’t you just told us that box springs could make mattress cleaner?” Indeed we have. But if used incorrectly, box springs, in fact, can become a perfect home for bacteria and insects.
When they haven’t been gone through the treatment process above, wooden frames in box springs are an attractive environment for rot, bedbugs, mildew, and dust mites.
Not Compatible With Everything
Though having numerous benefits, box springs are not always a great choice for a foundation between your mattress and the bed frames.
They work best with comfort and soft mattresses. But we can’t say the same thing for memory foam and latex models. These firmer, denser and thicker mattresses are not fitting to be used with a box spring.
Do I Need A Box Spring?
Get A Box Spring If…
Manufacturers require it as a warranty condition
As we have mentioned, unless you want your warranty to be voided, consider getting a box spring.
You need to raise the profile of your bed
Manufacturers only produce mattresses using the most common heights for most customers. If it isn’t convenient for you and when some extra height would be nice, a box spring is an obvious choice.
You have traditional double-sided mattresses
The double-sided innerspring type is designed to be used with a box spring. Without one, you won’t have the comfort as it should do.
Your bed frame need one
The general rule is the distance between the slats in your bed frames should be under 4 inches.
If it’s not the case, especially for metal bed frames, getting a box spring to support your mattress and distribute the weight on the frames evenly.
Another example is collapsible metal bed frames, which have nothing to support the mattress except the perimeter frame.
A Box Spring Is Unnecessary When…
You have a latex or memory foam mattress
In the past box, springs were invented to support and protect mattresses, which were much thinner compared to modern models nowadays.
Latex and memory foam mattresses now already have a firm layer at the bottom, which only needs a solid surface below it. No coils, grid, or springs needed.
They don’t get any benefit from box springs anymore. The only exceptions are when you need extra height, or you have a metal bed frame.
You have a one-sided mattress
A mattress with a one-sided, no-flip design already has all the necessary components to do its job. All you need to do is put it on a flat, solid surface.
You have a platform bed
You should just forget about a box spring and put your mattress directly on top of your platform bed.
A platform bed like this doesn’t need a box spring.
This kind of bed frame has a large enough area of a solid platform to support a mattress with a stable surface.
You might want to read: Platform Beds vs Box Springs: Which Is The Winner?
Adjustable foundations can relieve strain on your back, breathing, and internal organs by allowing your mattress to shift angle and height. It doesn’t require a box spring to work.
The landscape of the mattress industry has changed so much that there are now newer models with components doing the same job as a box spring.
But that doesn’t mean box springs are completely irrelevant nowadays. There are still many times it will be a godsend to guarantee you a good night’s sleep.
So, do I need a box spring? In some cases, you should. But in most situations, it’s not really necessary.
We believe this answer should clear up everything you need to know about box springs and their purposes. But if there is still any question left, don’t hesitate to ask us.