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Box Spring vs Foundation: Which one is Right for You?

When it comes time to purchase a new mattress, there’s an important decision to be made before you decide on a bed. You’ll have to decide between a box spring or a foundation to support your new mattress.

Your choice between a box spring or foundation will determine the type of mattress and bed frame you’ll need. When it comes to this decision, there are a variety of pros and cons. Understanding the differences between these two options can help you avoid unnecessary headaches later on.

Box Spring: the Pros

A box spring is the traditional mattress base. It’s designed to support an innerspring mattress rather than an option like memory foam. A box spring is composed of a wooden frame, support springs, and a cloth covering.

When it comes to box springs, you have a few options for customization. A box spring can be used with a small metal frame that leaves the addition of a headboard and footboard up to personal preference, or it can be used with a more solid bed frame. If you’re on a tight budget and in desperate need of a new mattress, box spring can also be used without any frame. This option will allow you to potentially save hundreds when purchasing a new mattress.

The combination of an innerspring and box spring is exceptionally effective at providing long-lasting support and avoiding mattress sagging that can lead to back pain and poor sleep.

Box springs also allow your mattress to sit higher off the ground. If you’re someone with bad knees or back problems, this can reduce a lot of the daily wear and tear getting in and out of bed can have on your joints.

Box Spring: the Cons

Despite all the positive attributes of a box spring mattress, it does come with its own set of cons. For starters, box springs are often incompatible with mattresses that do not have springs. While possible, using a box spring with a memory foam mattress or a latex mattress is generally considered a bad idea.

Box springs also do break down over time. While the provide log-lasting support, the frame of a box soring will slowly wear down over time. Eventually, this can lead to uneven support, bed squeaking, sagging, and the myriad of health problems that come with a poorly supported mattress. These frames can even break without the user noticing for quite some.

Box Spring: the Key Points


  • Financially friendly

  • Stable support

  • Sagging prevention

  • Raised mattress of the ground


  • Not compatible with latex or foam mattresses

  • Potential wear and tear or breakage

  • Squeakiness

Foundation: the Pros

A foundation is a solid wooden or metal frame that provides a mattress with its support. Some are designed to sit on the floor, but others can be used with more traditional bed frames. Some foundations take inspiration from the box spring by using a breathable fabric to cover the frame and slats while others are solid structures without any gaps.

Foundations are great for anyone who is desperate for space as they do not require a bed frame and can be placed directly on the floor. This is ideal for anyone with an oversized mattress that doesn’t want their bed to consume any more of the available space in their room.

Foundations are also the best option for latex or foam mattresses. They are much more compatible and stable when used with these options than a box soring will be.

Foundations offer the same support and low mattress height as the box spring does, but they will outlive a box spring by quite some time and don’t pose the same risks of breakage or hidden wear and tear. They also will increase the lifespan of a mattress by avoiding the possibility of mattress sagging.

Foundation: the Cons

Foundations can be a little heavier. Also, foundations are typically much firmer and lack the give of a box spring.

Foundation: the Key Points


  • Extra support

  • Does not break down over time easily

  • Compatible with all mattress types, but great for foam and latex

  • Last longer


  • Heavier weight

Greatest Difference between Box Springs and Foundations

While both have their pros and cons, we highly recommend a foundation over a box spring.


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