Are Mattress Box Springs Necessary? – The Bedding Planet

Are Mattress Box Springs Necessary?

You just bought a much-needed new mattress and now you’re looking for an accompanying box spring. Before you purchase that box spring, you may want to read this entire article.

It’s important for you to ask important questions, like “are mattress box springs necessary”?

Mattress box springs are necessary for innerspring mattresses and most hybrid mattresses. Latex and memory foam mattresses do not require a box spring. Platform beds and mattresses that lie on top of an adjustable base or bunkie board do not require a box spring either.

What Is a Box Spring?

A box spring is a mattress-shaped box with springs inside of it constructed with either wood or metal and covered with fabric. Inside of the box and under the fabric are metal support coils. Those coils are meant to do just that, support your mattress.

What is The Purpose of a Box Spring?

A box spring’s main purpose is to provide stable support for a mattress. It also adds comfort and back support. One other purpose of a box spring is to raise the height of the bed to make it easier to get into and out of. There are two types of box springs:

1. Traditional Box Springs

  • Usually about 8 inches tall
  • Adds additional height to your bed set
  • Makes it easier to get out of bed
  • Heavy but firm
  • Difficult to move

2. Low-Profile Box Springs

  • Thinner and lighter than traditional box springs
  • Easy to move

How Are Box Springs Different from Foundation Support?

Some people use the terms box spring and foundation interchangeably, but there are some differences between the two.

Box springs contain springs on the inside, but foundations usually contain wooden slats. Also, while foundations offer support that will prevent premature sagging in almost every type of mattress (memory foam, innerspring, hybrid, latex), box springs support innerspring mattresses.

What Happens to a Mattress That Doesn’t Have Support?


Without the right support, your mattress will sink and become uncomfortable. Along with the discomfort, you also end up with a mattress that doesn’t have the proper support. If your mattress doesn’t evenly support your body as you sleep, it’s likely you wake up with aches and pains.

Aside from all of this, without foundation support for your mattress, you will be sleeping on the floor, which in itself could be harmful. When you sleep on the floor, you inhale dust and dirt that can be harmful to your health.

Which Mattresses Require a Box Spring And Which Don’t?

Here are some scenarios that should prove helpful in identifying the type of support you need for your mattress or foundation type:

1. Innerspring and Hybrid Mattresses

For proper support, any mattress with springs, like innerspring and hybrid mattresses, will need a box spring underneath.

2. Latex and Memory Foam Mattresses

Latex and memory foam mattresses are usually heavier and therefore, need to lay on solid, flat, firm surfaces to prevent them from sagging and having body impressions. Because of this, they should NOT be placed on a box spring.

3. Platform Bed

A platform bed is designed for heavy-duty memory foam beds and is considered a low-profile foundation. These types of foundations are constructed with lots of wood or metal slats and no decking. Therefore, you DO NOT need a box spring with this.

4. Adjustable Base

Adjustable beds are thin bed bases with an electronic architecture that can raise or lower parts of the bed to create a custom sleep. Because they have their own support and technology, you DO NOT need a box spring with them.

5. Bunkie Boards

Bunkie boards are similar to box springs in that they are made of wood, but a bunkie board is a solid piece of wood covered with a piece of fabric, making them a sturdier alternative to box springs. Because they are just one solid piece of wood, they’re often cheaper than box springs, too.

What About My Mattress Warranty?

Most manufacturers have designed box springs to go with certain mattresses, and can even be purchased as a set.

There is a balance of height and density between the two that makes for the most comfortable bed. Mattress warranties are generally issued on the set, meaning if the mattress is used without the box spring, the manufacturer cannot guarantee how it lasts.

So, first, check the warranty for your mattress to see how it works when purchasing. In some cases, if you just get the mattress and not the box spring, it can void the warranty. In this case, it may require you to purchase the box spring even if you don’t want it.


As we look back over everything, we now know that box springs provide height, protect your warranty, and adds sufficient support for your bed. Is it necessary to have a box spring to make this happen? That answer would be no (especially if you have a memory foam or latex mattress).

For these mattresses, box springs are not necessary. But if you do decide to use a box spring, you have two to choose from, traditional and the low-profile box spring. Some alternatives to the box spring include foundations, bunkie boards and adjustable bases. Frames that don’t require additional support are platform frames and adjustable frames.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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