Do You Really Need a Box Spring on Your Mattress? Their Purpose & Benefits

    Box Spring on Your Mattress

    Our beds are where we find comfort and rest after a busy day. Sleep is important for our health, and since we spend about a third of our lives sleeping, as the Handbook of Clinical Neurology points out, having a good bed setup is really important. This makes us wonder what exactly we need for the most comfortable bed. 

    Traditional box springs have been used for a long time to make beds more comfortable by offering solid support and helping mattresses last longer. But now, there’s a debate because newer types of mattresses might not need box springs at all. These modern mattresses are designed with their own support systems, leading some people to question if box springs are still necessary or just an old habit we haven’t shaken off yet.

    What Are Box Springs?

    Box springs are a base for your mattress, made up of a wooden frame with springs or a metal grid inside, all wrapped in fabric. They go right under your mattress and help support it.

    What They Look Like and How They Work

    Box springs are usually the same size as the mattress they’re supporting, from small single beds up to large king sizes. They’re about as thick as a regular mattress and look like a sturdy fabric-covered box.

    Their Role and Advantages

    The main job of a box spring is to provide a solid base for the mattress, helping it to:

    • Spread Out Weight: This helps the mattress stay in shape and provides even support for your body all night.
    • Raise the Bed: The extra height makes getting in and out of bed easier, which can be especially helpful for anyone who might struggle with low beds.
    • Softens Impacts: This means the mattress can last longer because it’s not taking all the wear and tear directly.
    • Keeps Things Cool: The gap between the mattress and the box spring lets air move around, which helps keep the bed cooler and avoids dampness.

    How Box Springs Make Sleeping Better

    Box springs make sleeping more comfortable by making sure your mattress supports you properly and doesn’t sag. This can help avoid uncomfortable pressure points that wake you up. They also absorb movements, so if you share the bed, you’re less likely to be disturbed by your partner’s movements. Plus, the added height can make your bed feel more welcoming and easier to get into.

    Comparing Box Spring Mattresses with Other Types

    When you’re picking out a mattress, knowing the difference between one with a box spring and others without can help you make the best choice. Here’s a breakdown of how they differ, what they have in common, and their pros and cons.

    How They’re Different

    • The Base: Box spring mattresses have a box spring base to help with shock absorption and support. Other types might use wooden slats, solid platforms, or adjustable bases, which can change how the mattress feels.
    • Height: If you use a box spring, your bed will be higher off the floor. This can make it easier to get in and out of bed compared to other setups that might be closer to the ground.
    • Airflow: Box springs are great for letting air move around under the bed, which can keep you cooler at night. Some other bases might not do this as well, which could make the bed warmer.

    What’s Similar

    • They Can Fit Many Beds: You can use both box springs and other base types with different mattresses, though the best choice depends on the mattress type.
    • Aiming for Comfort: Both options aim to give you a comfortable and supportive place to sleep. Your personal preference will play a big role in deciding.

    Pros of Using Box Springs

    • Lasts Longer: A box spring can help your mattress last longer by spreading out your weight evenly.
    • More Comfortable: The shock absorption from a box spring can make for a smoother and more comfortable night’s sleep.
    • Easier to Use: The extra height from a box spring makes getting in and out of bed easier.

    Cons of Using Box Springs

    • More Expensive: Getting both a mattress and a box spring can cost more.
    • Not Always Needed: Some modern mattresses don’t need a box spring, especially foam ones like memory foam or latex.
    • Hard to Move: Box springs can be big and bulky, making them tough to move around.

    Going Without a Box Spring: Good and Bad


    • Saves Money: You can often save money by skipping the box spring.
    • Modern Look: Many newer beds are designed to look good without a box spring, giving them a more modern feel.
    • Stable: Putting a mattress directly on a solid or slatted base can make your bed more stable with less wobble.


    • Might Be Hotter: Without the space a box spring provides, your bed might not breathe as well, keeping more heat.
    • Could Be Too Low: Some people might find it harder to get in and out of a lower bed, especially if they have trouble moving around.

    So, choosing between a box spring and not using one comes down to what you find most important—like comfort, bed height, and how long you want your mattress to last versus the cost, style preferences, and whether your mattress needs a box spring. Each choice has its benefits and downsides to think about.

    Do You Really Need a Box Spring?

    Figuring out if you need a box spring isn’t always straightforward because it varies based on what kind of mattress you have, your bed frame, and what you prefer.

    Times You Might Need a Box Spring

    • With Old-School Spring Mattresses: Box springs are usually suggested for these mattresses since they give the right kind of support to stop them from getting saggy.
    • If Your Mattress Warranty Says So: Some mattresses come with a warranty that only counts if you use a box spring. It is always good to double-check your warranty details.

    When You Can Go Without

    Wrapping Up the Box Spring Debate

    So, are box springs a thing of the past, or do they still have a place in our bedrooms? While it’s true that the need for box springs has decreased with the introduction of modern mattresses designed to be okay on their own, that doesn’t mean box springs are completely out of the picture. They still have certain benefits that might make them the right choice for some people.

    Are Box Springs Obsolete?

    Not really. Even though newer types of mattresses like memory foam, latex, or hybrids don’t usually need a box spring, that doesn’t mean box springs have no use anymore.

    Is It Still a Good Idea to Use Box Springs?

    For those who prefer them, yes. Box springs can still be useful because they provide solid support that can help any mattress last longer and stay comfy. They also make your bed taller, which not only looks nice but can make getting in and out of bed easier for some people. Plus, they can help with airflow under the mattress, keeping you a bit cooler at night.

    When deciding whether to stick with a box spring, think about:

    • What your mattress needs to give you the best sleep.
    • Your bed frame and if it’s made to work with a box spring.
    • Your personal likes or dislikes, especially when it comes to how high your bed is.
    • How important is airflow to you for a cool sleeping environment.

    Even with all the new options out there, box springs still offer specific benefits that might make them just the right choice for you, depending on what you’re looking for in your bed setup.