Choosing the right base for your mattress is very important, as it can also decide the quality of your sleep. There are two popular options, box spring vs foundation. Which one is better? Continue reading below for the pros and cons of each base.
Below, you can answer your questions about:
– The differences of a box spring and foundation,
– The compatible mattresses for a box spring or foundation,
– The distinctive advantages of each base, and
– Which one that has the best value for the money.
What is a Box Spring?
A true box spring actually consists of a wooden frame and steel springs/coils arranged in a grid pattern. These springs are designed to provide additional support and bounce to the innerspring mattress that is placed on the top of the box spring – note that box springs are only used with innerspring mattresses. See also: Bunkie Board vs Slats.
However, the mattress industry has moved away from traditional box springs. Most manufacturers have replaced them with foundations. Still, the term “box spring” is frequently used because people are accustomed to it. According to Wikipedia, a box spring may have caster wheels to allow easy mobility.
Certain styles may also have a lip which runs around the border. This is to provide additional support, by creating a flat surface which is required by a mattress to give optimal levels of comfort and support to the sleeper.
A box spring is usually the same size as the mattress. It should fit precisely in a bed frame without any chance of moving. Otherwise, there is a risk of jostling.
Pros of a Box Spring
Although they are not as popular as before, there is a reason why box spring bases remain popular. That’s because they work. A box spring vs foundation can effectively provide support to the mattress and significantly reduce the chance of sagging caused by uneven usage sections. A mattress without a box spring can have a significantly reduced lifetime. Most manufacturers actually require a box spring to reduce warranty claims and dissatisfied customers.
A box spring can also increase the height of your mattress. This reduces the strain on your body and allows an easier access to the bed. You see, if a person has to drop down onto a mattress, the risk of muscle strain or injury is bigger. Meanwhile, someone who has health issues or existing injuries may find the effort required to get into bed detrimental to their healing process.
A box spring can also be used as a shock absorber, to reduce the amount of movement that is caused by a sleeper who frequently turns and tosses. Tossing and jumping on the bed may create damages in the mattress, but a box spring can help to reduce the shocks of rapid movement. Hence, the box spring can support the mattress and allow a longer lifetime.
Cons of a Box Spring
Although a box spring offers many benefits, there are also some weaknesses and undesirable characteristics associated with it. First of all, box springs are really heavy. They are awkward to maneuver, and they take up significant amounts of space in the room. So, they are not very suitable for tight rooms.
They also break down over time. The wood will lose flexibility, become brittle, and create uneven sections after several years. The uneven sections may cause uneven support and sagging. The reduced quality of the materials also creates noises in the bed, which leads to the creaky sound that people usually hear once their box springs reach a certain age.
The slats may break without warning, especially if the box spring is quite old. You may need to physically check the base from time to time. Sleepers may not be aware until they notice reduced sleep quality or new heights of noise levels. A box spring is only effective when used with an innerspring mattress; it doesn’t give the best support to other mattresses such as the latex mattress and the airbed.
What is a Foundation?
Nowadays, most mattress manufacturers create foundations. A foundation is a durable flat structure which is usually made of wood and has a flat corrugated board on the top. Some foundations may have metal frames. Foundations generally offer superior support for various mattresses, such as innerspring, latex, memory foam, and airbed mattresses. This is because the solid surface allows an effective way to prevent the sagging of the mattress.
A foundation can be used with or without a bed frame. So, it offers some options for someone with limited space availability. A foundation may be put directly onto the floor, or braced on its four corners to create space-reduction options or decoration options. Note that a foundation should also be the same size as the mattress, just like a box spring. There should be no visible gaps between the edges.
Pros of a Foundation
The benefits of a foundation are similar to those of a box spring, as it also provides additional support and acts as a shock absorber. Still, there are some distinctions. A foundation can also increase your bed’s height, with the additional benefit of an adjustable height.
A foundation has no slats, so the height can be adjusted to suit your specific needs and preferences. Meanwhile, the tighter fit of a foundation can reduce jostling, hence allowing your mattress to stay in shape for a longer time.
The solid surface of a foundation helps to distribute the sleeper’s weight evenly across, hence reducing gaps and sags in the mattress. By the way, foundations are less expensive to manufacture, so they are generally more affordable.
Foundations are compatible with a wider range of mattresses, including innerspring mattresses to latex mattresses to airbeds. The solid construction can support any mattress, as the material will not sag between slats.
Cons of a Foundation
Foundations may be detrimental for someone who doesn’t enjoy a firm, solid sleeping surface. A foundation has a solid surface which does not allow any give into the material. Some people may experience waking up with headaches or body aches due to staying in the same position for a long time.
Box Spring vs Foundation
|- Suitable for an innerspring mattress||- Suitable for most mattresses including innerspring, latex, memory foam, and airbed|
|- Uses slats and springs||- Has a flat surface|
|- More flexible with more give||- Even support across the surface|
|- Less durable||- More durable|
|- Height is not adjustable||- Adjustable height|
Between a box spring vs foundation, you should consider the mattress type and your sleeping preference. If you have an innerspring mattress and you highly prefer a mattress that can give in to your body position, you may choose a box spring. For other mattress types, a foundation is more recommended, as it is generally more durable and has more even support.