What is a Box Spring and What is All the Hype About It?

Who doesn’t love climbing into bed after a long day? If you want to upgrade your current bed set-up but are unsure about which ways you can do it, then a box spring is a component that can help to transform your bedtime experience.

For most types of bed designs, having something in between the mattress and the floor is a useful addition. It can serve as a way to prolong the life of the mattress, protect it from general wear and tear, raise the mattress to a more comfortable height, as well as absorb impact.

If you’re currently looking to elevate your bedtime experience, then we’re here to lend a helping hand. Below, we’re going to be talking you through the definition of box spring, as well as provide you with some insight into whether or not your current bed needs one. Read on.

What is a box spring?

If you’re currently asking yourself - “What is a box spring?” - then rest assured you’re not the only one. Even we’ll be the first to admit that the name doesn’t exactly do the best job at describing what it is, however, it’s essentially a supportive pallet that is able to raise your mattress off the floor. Sounds simple enough, right?

As it’s designed to primarily offer support to your mattress, this means that all types of box springs are specifically designed to be the same size as your bed, so long as you take the correct measurements! More often than not, though, a box spring support is usually made of a wooden frame that contains springs inside the middle, though some box springs can be made of other materials, such as metal. Then, soft fabric is wrapped around the grid, in order to both ensure the comfort of the user and also to improve the appearance. Let’s take a look at some of the purposes that a box spring serves:

  1. To offer support: This is one of the biggest purposes that a box spring serves, as it is specifically made in order to help stabilize and strengthen the mattress.
  2. To raise the height: Another reason box springs are used is to help elevate the mattress off the ground, to a more comfortable height for the user.
  3. To absorb impact: This is one of the most important purposes a box spring serves. In order to help improve the service life of a mattress, a box spring will be able to absorb the brunt of impacts made from jumping, moving, and laying on the mattress.

As you can see from the three main purposes above, there are plenty of reasons why box springs can be such a helpful addition to a bed, although it’s important to be aware that not all types of mattresses will benefit from the use of one - which brings us to our next section.

Should I use a box spring?

Whether or not you should use a box spring will depend on a few different factors. To simplify, box springs were initially created in order to help absorb the brunt of the impact to increase the life of a mattress, reduce general wear and tear by elevating it off the ground, as well as to help stabilize the overall bed set-up.

While there’s no denying that all mattresses will benefit from having a solid foundation to rest upon, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all types of mattresses will need one. Many modern-day mattresses do not require the help of box springs and can even be damaged by them, particularly latex and memory foam mattresses.

What mattress works with a box spring, springs from inside of a mattress

The main type of mattress that is compatible with a box spring is an innerspring mattress, which is the most traditional type of mattress. In a nutshell, an innerspring mattress utilizes a type of steel coil support system (that can vary from model to model) which is then safely concealed within upholstery materials in order to make it comfortable to then lay on.

In contrast, as we mentioned above, many modern-day mattresses cannot be used with a box spring. It’s important to be aware of this, as mattresses such as memory foam or latex can become irreversibly damaged if placed on top of a box spring. The reason for this ultimately comes down to the construction of these types of mattresses, and their lack of springs. Also, a hybrid mattress shouldn’t be used with a box spring unless specifically stated by the manufacturer.

If you were to place a box spring underneath these types of mattresses, there is a strong chance that the bed will “dip” within the springs of the spring box, therefore causing the mattress to lose its support. In addition to this, there is also a chance that the box spring could cause these types of mattresses to have indentations within them, due to pressure caused by the springs.

How can I check that my mattress is compatible with a box spring?

What is a box spring, mattress on top of box spring

If you’re unsure about whether or not your mattress is suitable for use with a box spring, then we recommend taking a look at the owner’s manual that the manufacturer would have provided within the box upon purchase of your mattress. Similarly, if you don’t have access to the manual, then you can also find information on whether your specific mattress is compatible with a box spring via the manufacturer’s website, or by checking its label.

We strongly recommend that you do your research prior to purchasing a box spring, as they can cause irreparable damage to certain types of popular mattresses. What’s more, you should also be sure to check the warranty if your mattress came with one, as some manufacturers will have a clause stating that damage caused by incompatible support aids such as a box spring will render the warranty void. Additionally, as a side note, if you find that your mattress is incompatible with a box spring, then we recommend that you contact the manufacturer for further assistance, Box springs aren’t the only type of mattress support out there, and there are many different alternatives that can be effectively used in place of one.