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Box Spring vs Foundation: Which Is Best for Your Mattress? Box Spring vs Foundation: Which Is Best for Your Mattress?

Bedroom Furniture

Box Spring vs Foundation: Which Is Best for Your Mattress?

Written by: Amelia Brooks

We're here to settle the bill on the box spring vs foundation debate. Expect to catch some snoozes when you find the best base system for you.

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Wouldn’t it be nice to lay down on a comfy bed after a long day’s work? We’re pretty sure everyone dreams about that even during mid-day. But before that happens, one must be aware of the varieties of bed frames in the market, something equally crucial when buying the perfect comfort mattress. To help you, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about bed frames, including the difference between box spring vs foundation bed frames. This would help you decide which would provide you with the utmost comfort for a good night’s sleep.


What Is a Box Spring?



Mattresses require some support to keep their shape and form. And by having a primary support system, you can prevent your beds from early stages of wear and tear. One of the famous main support options you can find is a box spring.



A box spring bed has been a standard pick among homeowners. This base system gets its name from the spring coils underneath it that support body weight and absorb pressure evenly. They have shock-absorbing qualities that favor those who toss and turn during sleep. Also, it’s the most favored type of mattress foundation since it provides excellent ventilation as it lifts your bed off the floor.



Today, most bed box frame choices are wood slats and metal springs to provide a more stable base. They’re also cost-effective since you won’t need to buy a bed frame to support your mattress. So, if you’re looking for a floating bed alternative that would give you the same cloud-nine feel but with additional support, then a box spring is your best bet.


Pros and Cons of Box Spring


Though this bed support might look like a dream in your bedroom, it has its share of cons. We’ve compiled all the necessary points to help you decide.


  • Adds height
  • Cost-effective
  • Shock-absorption
  • Keeps mattress fresh due to sufficient ventilation


  • Bulky
  • Springs can be noisy
  • Can lose support over time
  • Memory foams, latex, and hybrid mattresses should be avoided


Things to Consider When Buying a Box Spring


Height and Size


As mentioned earlier, a box spring is best for homeowners who need extra height for their beds. Simultaneously, size is also essential to consider to fit your mattress size. Always go for a height you feel comfortable with when getting in and out of bed. If you’re sharing a bed with someone, consulting and meeting halfway will benefit both of you.



As for the size, the mattress shouldn’t be too small to reach the edges as this would display undesirable gaps. Now, a mattress too big for its bed box frame may have its edges bend over. This will move the mattress around from time to time and cause sagging.




Style plays an important role when choosing a box spring bed frame. Having a box spring can sure be an excellent investment. Since the bed is the anchor of the bedroom, choosing the right style can make or break the overall atmosphere.



Also, a box spring is not a great choice when you want to add a headboard for an extra cozy touch to your bed. This is because it lacks mounting points to support it.




There are two types of box spring frames: the standard and the split box spring. If your bed is a full or double XL and has plenty of bedroom space, you can opt for standard-sized box springs. Meanwhile, split box springs have two halves that can be folded when not used. Hence, they’re perfect when transporting to narrow spaces and hallways. It’s also advised to use this with a queen-sized bed or larger sizes. But, they do require you to buy a platform base to avoid the halves from separating.




You don’t need to spend lots of money to buy a luxurious bed that offers ethereal slumbers. In fact, you can get a full night’s sleep with the right mattress and box spring. When paired with a box spring, your mattress can last up to 10 years, especially with proper cleaning and care. This bed base also has an economical price tag, so you get more benefits than buying an expensive one.


How to Clean and Care for a Box Spring



Box springs are easy to clean and care for. Just like furniture upholstery, you only need a few things, plus patience, to get rid of nasty and stubborn stains out of the picture. Follow the steps below.


  1. Remove the mattress from the box spring.
  2. Vacuum the box spring’s top, corner, sides, and crevices. Make sure to get every inch of dust.
  3. If the fabric encasing the box spring is removable, you can hand wash it or toss it in the washing machine like regular clothes.
  4. If not, spray some fabric cleaner or stain remover on stains and spots.
  5. Blot gently with a cleaning towel or sponge.
  6. Repeat if required, but collect excess moisture using another clean, dry cloth.


What Is a Foundation?



Also known as a bed base, a mattress foundation is a large platform that gives a stable base for your mattress. Instead of spring coils that provide box springs their steadiness, a foundation has a series of wood planks across the top of the bed frame. The closer the slats are, the more support you can get.



Though they don’t ultimately absorb shock and movement, they’re great to use for mattresses that need a more stable support. Memory foams and latex already have motion isolation and pressure relief qualities, so they need a solid base system to hold them firmly.



Both box spring and foundation support your mattresses, but the latter tends to be more durable, longer-lasting, and sturdier than the former. Nowadays, bed foundations come with metal parts instead of just wood that can bend over time. This also prevents the foundation from breaking under the sleeper’s weight.



Pros and Cons of a Foundation


Choosing whether or not to use a box spring vs foundation for your mattress can be confusing. But with this list of pros and cons, you can fully determine if buying a bed foundation is worth more.


  • Firmer and even support
  • Easy to repair and replace
  • Compatible with most mattresses


  • Lacks flexibility
  • Heavier than a box spring


Things to Consider When Buying a Foundation




While it is well-known that mattress foundations can stand the test of time, some can still outlive others. This depends on what kinds of material such manufacturers use. A wood foundation is ideal if you’re going for a lightweight and more sustainable option. On the other hand, a metal bed frame tends to last longer as long as there’s no rust to destroy it.




Depending on your desired aesthetic, it’s always better to choose the right style to fit your bedroom. While a comfy mattress and dim lights surely promote better sleep, the appearance of your bedroom can influence the overall ambiance. If in doubt, always go for simple designs with neutral tones. They seamlessly fit in any decor style and are much easier to maintain.




Solid Foundation


The only difference between a standard mattress foundation and a solid one is that the latter has no spaces between the slats. Hence, they’re a series of wooden boards installed close together to prevent sagging and uneven weight distribution. This works great for those who experience spinal imbalances and stress on joints and muscles. One disadvantage is that they don’t promote much air circulation.


Platform Foundation


For those looking for a functional yet straightforward bed base, a platform foundation is for you. It’s compact, so they’re easier to move and have fewer parts to assemble. Above all, this type of foundation blends easily with any interior design you have in your bedroom.


Adjustable Foundation


Probably a top-tier on this list is the adjustable foundation base system. You can adjust your comfort level, literally and figuratively, for customizable support. Bend the base according to your desired sleeping position if you often get stiff necks or suffer from snoring. Indeed, it can provide a more comfortable sleeping space for all types of sleepyheads with sleeping disorders.




Moving on to the spring vs foundation bout, the internet will tell you that a bed foundation would cost you more. This type of base system, however, can be an excellent asset for your bedroom, especially when you prefer beds with luxurious qualities. For instance, an adjustable foundation with remote control can cost more than $1,000. No worries as there are budget-friendly options that can still provide optimal sleeping results.


How to Clean and Care for a Foundation



We spend a third of our lives in bed so it is best to keep it neat and tidy. If you want to be welcomed with a fresh and clean scent the moment you hit the sack, here are a few things to do:


  1. Always remove the mattress before cleaning the base system.
  2. Vacuum all the areas and ensure that every spot is dust-free.
  3. Use a stain remover on the cover to remove any dirt and blemishes. Rub gently with a cloth or sponge.
  4. With a clean sponge or towel, apply a natural wood conditioning oil to protect the wood from termites and possible rotting.
  5. If you have a metal bed foundation, use paste wax or paint to prevent corrosion.


Box Spring vs Foundation


There is no right or wrong answer when picking the best between a box spring vs foundation. Both have good qualities and can be used according to one’s preferences. To give you a summary, here are some points to note.



Box springs are great for extreme comfort with enough give and bounce. If you already have an innerspring mattress at home, you’re lucky since these two make the best combination. Though they’re cheaper than a foundation, broken coils can be noise-potential and can disrupt your sleep.



Meanwhile, a foundation offers firmer support and often lasts longer than box spring bed frames. They are also more customizable and can fit a wide variety of mattress types. If you decide to buy a mattress foundation, be ready for some heavy lifting and ensure your budget can accommodate the extra expenses.




Choosing the right bed frame can improve your sleep and do your mattresses a favor. In selecting the best bed frame to support your mattress, skim this list to get the most out of your bed frame hunt.



Aside from bed frames, check out these best bed rails perfect for kids who frequently toss and turn during their sleep. Now, you can sleep with peace of mind knowing your precious ones are safe and sound.

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