The City Mattress Blog

Do You Need a Box Spring with a Bed Frame?


modern bedroom

You’ve finally found the perfect bed frame and mattress, and you can’t wait to get them home and set them up. But then you ask yourself — do you need a box spring too? It’s a common question since box springs are often referred to as the foundation for better sleep. But it may surprise you that, depending on the bed frame you have, you might not need a box spring. So let’s explore everything you need to know about using a bed frame with or without a box spring. By the end, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and set yourself — and your mattress! — up for success.

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What Is a Box Spring?

A box spring is a type of bed foundation typically composed of a wooden frame covered in cloth and filled with springs. They’re designed to provide support for a mattress, a way to air the mattress out and often increase the bed’s height. Many believe that box springs provide a more comfortable sleeping surface than a mattress alone because they can help absorb shock. As a result, they prolong the life of your mattress as well. A box spring’s firm, stable surface also helps keep the mattress from sagging over time. When it comes to box springs, there are two main types: standard and low-profile. A standard box spring is about nine inches tall and offers extra support in the middle of the mattress. This is good if you have a larger mattress or if you want a little extra height for getting in and out of bed. A low-profile box spring is just five or six inches tall and is a good option if you have a smaller mattress, or you’re looking for a sleeker look.

sales assistant testing a comforter


Box Spring Alternatives

Not all beds need a box spring, and not all sleep-lovers want one. Fortunately, there are some fantastic box spring alternatives available. 

EuroSlat Foundation

A EuroSlat foundation is a type of mattress support that uses slats to provide firm, even support for your mattress. The slats are typically made of wood or metal and spaced close together — usually no more than three inches apart. They allow air circulation, which helps keep the mattress cooler and more comfortable. This type of foundation is an excellent alternative to a box spring if you're looking for something sturdy, durable and modern-looking. EuroSlat foundations are also often used in conjunction with adjustable beds, as they provide a stable base that can be adjusted to different positions. 

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Bunkie Board

A bunkie board is a type of mattress foundation that’s extra thin and designed to work with slats to provide added support, prevent mattress sagging and reduce wear and tear on your mattress as well. Often paired with bunk beds and day beds, they can also be used to achieve that sleek, minimalist look with your platform-style bed. You’ll barely notice they’re there at only a few inches in height — but your mattress will thank you!

Adjustable Bed Base

An adjustable bed base is a box spring alternative that allows you to adjust the position of your head, feet or both for enhanced comfort. Adjustable bases typically come with remote control, so you can easily adjust your bed’s position without getting up. If you’ve ever wondered how to go to sleep fast, simply reclining in a comfortable position may do the trick. These are great for people with certain medical conditions such as acid reflux or sleep apnea and those who just want to watch TV or work on their laptops in bed. Just remember that, for better sleep quality, you should turn off those devices at least thirty minutes before bedtime

bed frame

Do You Need a Box Spring?

Now that you’ve learned more about box springs and have gone over some of the most popular box spring alternatives, you’re likely still wondering — do you need a box spring at all? The answer is: It depends. 

If you have a new mattress that’s still under warranty, check the warranty agreement. Some manufacturers require that you use a box spring, or they may void the warranty. Similarly, if you have an older mattress, it could be best to stick with a box spring. These mattresses were designed to work with a box spring, and using another type of foundation could shorten the lifespan of your mattress.

Otherwise, you can let your bedframe and design aesthetic decide for you. The important thing is that your mattress is supported by a foundation that provides stability, breathability and firmness. The rest is up to you!