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Do I Need a Box Spring?

Do I Need a Box Spring?

Sandland Editorial Team
· 4 min read
do i need a boxspring

More than 70% of American adults suffer from insufficient sleep at least once each month, and poor sleeping conditions are often to blame. If you're a member of that demographic, then it may be time to start asking questions concerning your sleep setup. Think, What kind of mattress do I have? How is it set up? Do I need a box spring? These are all good places to start.In this article, we'll explore the importance of securing support for your mattress because just as important as what lays atop is what's stationed underneath. Read on below to get started!

What is a Box Spring?

Box springs boast a pretty literal definition. Simply put, they're boxes with actual springs inside.  They are typically made out of wood in a frame similar to the size and shape of your mattress and coils placed in the center to provide some give and absorb shock.

Most modern mattresses do not require a box spring, but they can help provide a more supportive foundation in some instances.  For instance, you may need a box spring for a collapsible metal frame since there isn't any additional support for the mattress beyond the perimeter. 

Though some say box springs are a bit outdated, these bases can provide some extra support and reduce shock, wear, and tear.

Benefits of Using a Box Spring

It's important to note that box springs provide a few benefits beyond creating additional support for your mattress. Below is a list of advantages that may convince you to buy a box spring if you haven't already done so.

  • It Elevates Your Bed

    While sleeping on the floor can be fun once in a while, having an elevated bed frame can provide even better circumstances for sleep. Not only does it make it easier to just plop down when you're ready to hit the sack, but it also makes it easier to get up in the morning.  If you're tall, suffer from joint pain, or often feel sluggish in the morning, a taller bed frame could help you out a lot in the morning.

  • It Absorbs Shocks

    Naturally, box springs are made with coils that are intended to absorb shock.  This is great for people with sleep anxiety or those who toss and turn a lot at night.  It's also a good option for people with pets who jump up on the bed for cuddles or play. Box springs help absorb the shock from these movements, prolonging the life of your mattress.

  • It Protects the Mattress

    Some bed frames simply don't provide ample support for your mattress, causing it to sag.  That's why mattress companies sometimes require you to use a box spring. Always be sure to check your mattress warranties when you get a new one. If you don't use a box spring and it's specified in the paperwork, you could be in trouble later down the line.

  • It Improves Airflow

    Box springs are relatively hollow, allowing more air to flow through and around and through your mattress.  This will help keep you cool at night and get better sleep, which is especially good news for people who run warm.

What's the Difference Between a Box Spring and a Foundation?

innerspring mattresses require box springs

Box springs and foundations serve a similar purpose, both being bed bases.  In other words, they both provide a support system to your mattress to enhance your bed's performance.  However, there are a few key differences between them.

A box spring has coils and is best paired with an innerspring mattress as the layers of coils inside are shock absorbers that reduce motion transfer.  They promote airflow and enhance breathability. 

Meanwhile, a foundation is a wooden box with wood slats across the surface that is usually covered by a breathable fabric. They're also designed for more support than give.  A foundation may make your mattress feel firmer and is compatible with most materials such as hybrid, latex, memory foam beds.

The average price of a box spring ($100 to $300) also tends to be lower than the average price of a foundation ($200 to $500

Other Foundation Types

There are other alternatives you can look into if you don't like the idea of a traditional box spring. Check out the list below to learn more.

  • Platform Beds

    Platform beds are designed with a sturdy base to hold most mattresses.  They are also often designed to be lower on the ground than regular bed types. A platform bed frame comes in different styles and may contain headboards, footboards, or even storage drawers.  They allow for any kind of bed, with the exception of a coil spring mattress.

  • Slatted Bases

    Slatted bases are a type of bed foundation that is both designed to provide a foundation for your bed and keep your mattress off the ground.  They are made of slats of wood attached to rubber holders in the frame. Beds with slatted bases are also great for people who run warm as they allow air to pass freely beneath your bed, keeping your mattress cool and fresh. Wood slat bases are also noise-free and provide a good amount of space underneath which can be optimized for storage.

  • Metal Bed Frames

    Metal bed frames are another type of bed foundation that are known for durability, lower maintenance requirements compared to wood, and lighter weight.  They also provide the added convenience of adjusting to the size of your mattress, although they are prone to rust and may contain toxins. Metal bed frames tend to be squeaky, as well.

  • Bunkie Boards

    A bunkie board is a slab of wood that adds support to bunk beds or pull-out sofas.  They're a great addition to any sleep accessories that lack firmness and support and can be taken apart between uses. Bunkie boards help prevent sagging and are a great complement to traditional bed frames.

  • Adjustable Bases

    An adjustable bed provides a foundation that can be adjusted similarly to a hospital bed, making it a great option for those who like to read or watch TV in bed prior to sleeping.  It's also great for older people who find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. 



Box springs and box spring alternatives can do a lot to increase mattress quality. However, their ability to secure a good night's sleep depends on other factors, including bed size and material.

If you're having trouble sleeping for reasons unrelated to your box spring, consider experimenting with other alternatives. Sandland Sleep is committed to reinventing sleep with our range of supplements. Made with natural hemp ingredients our products are designed to help you get the restorative sleep you need.

Is it OK to not have a box spring?

Using a box spring can provide support, protect your mattress, and elevate your bed frame. That said, not all mattresses require this addition. Newer products like platform bed frames and memory foam mattresses do not require box springs.

How do you know if you need a box spring?

You will need a box spring for a traditional innerspring mattress or a metal bed frame. You may also need a box spring if you have trouble getting in and out of bed or if your mattress warranty indicates that having a box spring is advised. 

What can I use instead of a box spring?

There are several alternatives to using a box spring.  Examples include under-mattress slats, wooden slats, an adjustable bed, platform bed, milk crate bed case, or memory foam mattress. You can also place your mattress directly on the floor to avoid the hassle, though this can invite things like dust, bugs, and mold onto the mattress.

Do you have to use a box spring on a bed frame?

Not always. The decision to use a box spring usually depends on the kind of bed you have.  If you have an older mattress, you likely need one.  However, modern bed frames often have a built-in foundation to protect the mattress.

Written by Sandland Editorial Team

Our internal editorial team has put together research on key topics including product formulation, efficacy studies, and sleep advice.

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