A close-up of a mattress

Box Spring

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 2/25/2021

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, it’s important that you have a comfortable bed that supports both your body and your sleeping style. That’s why many people focus on purchasing a good mattress. But, in many cases, people don’t give the box spring the attention it deserves.

Definition

In its most basic form, a box spring is a simple box-like structure that not only  helps to raise the mattress off the floor, but also provides support and stability for the mattress and the user. They often come as part of a set with the mattress and frame included, and are usually the same size and shape as the accompanying pieces. However, they can also be purchased separately and there are plenty of plans for DIY versions available for the more creative or budget conscious person. These mattress supporters are commonly made from wood, although metal box springs are becoming more popular, and are covered in fabrics for aesthetic purposes. Larger beds may require a split version, with the split queen and the split king being two common examples. These days, some people look for alternatives, such as the low profile version which offers many of the same advantages but allows for a lower bed height.

What Does A Box Spring Do?

With many modern mattresses being so supportive, it’s no wonder that some people might think they can ditch the box spring. If you’re wondering if you need really need one, the simple answer is — Maybe! There are a couple of things to consider before you decide to ditch your old box spring and put your mattress on the floor:

  • One of the first things you need to check before you ditch yours is the warranty on your mattress. Some mattress warranties require that you use a box spring or a platform bed frame to prevent it from being damaged.
  • You might wonder if you can just skip the box spring and put your mattress directly on the floor? Of course, you can! But putting your mattress on the floor increases the potential for mold, dirt, and pests to get into your mattress. And may also void your warranty.
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