Does A Spring Mattress Need A Box Spring?

June 24, 2021

Does A Spring Mattress Need A Box Spring?

Almost all mattresses have something placed between the mattress itself and the floor for added height, support, and comfort. A mattress with a thinner profile benefits more highly by having a foundation beneath it than that of a high-profile mattress. Most modern mattresses today do not require a box spring as the older, innerspring mattresses do.

What is a Box Spring?

A box spring is a foundation, or platform, for a mattress to rest upon. It is typically made of sturdy, sustainable wood, contains spring coils, and is wrapped in a type of fabric that helps to slide the box spring. However, you may find many newer models of box springs are made up of metal rather than wood.

A box spring is typically placed on top of a wooden or metal bed frame, which acts as a type of brace for the box spring itself. A box spring may also be placed directly on the floor, and it will still provide the same support for your mattress.

Not only does a box spring serve as a sturdy foundation for your mattress, but it also adds height to your bed, making it much easier to get in and out versus your mattress being low, directly on the floor.

A box spring allows for your mattress to remain clean, as not having it on the ground protects it from dust, dirt, pet hair, food crumbs, and bugs that may accumulate on the floor around your bed. Some also wrap their box spring with a fitted sheet, as you would your mattress, to protect the box spring from the outer elements.

Common Reasons to Use a Box Spring

The main reason for using a box spring is to keep your mattress off of the floor. In doing so, your mattress does not collect dust, dirt, pet dander, or crumbs, among other things, that may be on the floor of your bedroom. There are many other reasons, however, to utilize a box spring, not only for lifting your mattress off of the floor, but also to:

Add Height

One of the most commonly known reasons for the use of a box spring is to add height to a bed, making it easier for someone to climb in and out of bed. It’s not as easy to have to bend all the way down to the floor to get in bed if your mattress did not have a box spring.

Absorb Weight

A box spring is great for absorbing the combined weight of both you and your mattress. In doing so, your box spring is able to evenly disperse the weight, preventing things such as wear or sagging prematurely, allowing a longer lifespan of your mattress.

Promote Ventilation

When a mattress is placed directly on the floor, the air is only able to travel on top of the mattress, which may trap heat. When a box spring is placed beneath a mattress, the air is able to make its way both on top and below the mattress, which in turn helps the mattress to hold less heat, allowing you to sleep cooler at night.

Offer More Support

A box spring adds extra support for your mattress versus if it were on a frame without the proper slats or foundation.

Enrich Comfort

A box spring works hand in hand with your mattress to absorb the weight and shock of body impact against the mattress, providing a more comfortable night of sleep for you.

What are the Components of a Box Spring?

As mentioned above, a mattress is made of either wood or metal, springs, and some type of coating, whether it be plastic or fabric. However, what you may not know is there are harmful, potentially dangerous chemicals within the metal and fabric used.

While it is true, you can purchase a safe box spring, most are made with harmful chemicals. The wood that makes up the frame of a box spring is often coated in formaldehyde and pentachlorophenol to ensure the lifespan of the box spring.

The fabric that wraps around a box spring may also be purchased in a safe, organic material, such as cotton, linen, or bamboo. However, the majority of box springs in people’s homes are made of synthetic materials. The fabric that coats a box spring often contains harmful chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite, chromium, or zinc.

What are the Main Sizes of a Box Spring?

As with most mattresses that are made, there are also standard sizes of box springs available to you. Many people often classify the size of a box spring with the size of a mattress, such as a twin, queen, or king. But this is not the only size classification among box springs. The profile of a box spring allows for a certain extent of customization, as these come in many different sizes.


A standard box spring, also known as a high profile box spring, provides the most height. A high-profile box spring measures 9 inches or taller.


A medium profile box spring measures between 6-8.5 inches in height, allowing a good amount of height to your bed, without being too much.


A low-profile box spring measures 5.5 inches or smaller. The low-profile box spring is great for those looking for a small amount of height to be added to the current height of their bed.

Do I Need a Box Spring?

The most commonly asked question when one is purchasing a new mattress is, “Do I need a box spring?". While it is true that most traditional innerspring mattresses require the support of a box spring, this is not necessarily true for many modern mattress setups. There are several factors to consider when determining your need for a box spring including:

Bed Frame

A traditional bed frame consisting of metal rails or one that has slats that may not be close enough together requires the use of a box spring whereas a platform bed does not require the use of a box spring. A solid platform bed, a platform bed with slats, an adjustable base bed, and a reinforced metal frame do not require, and are not compatible with, the use of a box spring.

Type of Mattress

Those using a memory foam, latex, or hybrid mattress may not need to use a box spring, whereas a traditional innerspring mattress may require the use of a box spring for support. It’s important that you research the type of mattress you are looking to purchase to determine which type of frame is best, and whether or not a box spring is necessary or required.


Many may not know this, but the warranty of your mattress may require the use of a box spring. You’ll need to really read the fine print of your warranty specifications. If your mattress warranty determines that you are required to use a box spring, but you do not, this will actually invalidate the warranty, leaving you responsible for any accrued damages. The manufacturer will not replace a mattress with a voided warranty.

Manufacturer Recommendation

It’s important to note that when a manufacturer recommends the use of a box spring with a specific mattress, it is because they have performed testing, in order to achieve the longest lifespan, and determine the best ways to prevent wear.


While your current mattress may not require the use of a box spring, it may simply not be tall enough for your personal liking. Adding a box spring beneath the mattress gives you added height you might be looking for, and you can select a customized height by choosing between the different sizes of box spring. Adding height will add both support and comfort to your mattress, providing you with a better night's sleep.

Box Spring FAQs

Many have questions regarding the use of a box spring, but may not know where to look, or who to ask, for an answer. Below we will discuss frequently asked questions, and provide you with some answers.

Is it necessary to replace a box spring when purchasing a new mattress?

While it may not be required, it’s highly recommended to purchase a new box spring with the purchase of a new mattress. Your old box spring may have experienced wear and tear that you cannot see. This wear on your old box spring will not allow for the right amount of support for your new mattress, and may lead to premature sagging and wear.

Are there any disadvantages to using a box spring?

Many box springs are made using harmful, potentially dangerous chemicals. In addition to the chemicals, insects and bacteria often make their home within the inside of a box spring.

Box springs require frequent rotation to ensure they last longer, and do not experience excess wear and tear in one spot. Rotating your box spring takes precious time from your day, as you are required to remove bedding, pillows, and your mattress before being able to access the box spring.

Depending on your bedroom setup, you may even be required to move large or heavy pieces of furniture in order to safely turn your box spring.

Box springs, unlike other foundations such as a platform bed, do not provide any additional storage, therefore do not add any benefit to a small space you may be living in. Many platform beds offer convenient storage drawers underneath the platform, providing additional storage for your space.

What is the difference between a platform foundation and a box spring?

A platform foundation is a bed frame, usually made of wood, that contains slats across it, eliminating the need for the use of a box spring, whereas a box spring, which is often the cheaper option, is not as durable, does not last as long, and does not provide the same amount of support that a platform foundation is able to.

What is the difference between an adjustable bed and a box spring?

An adjustable bed is able to lift at the top and bottom, or head and foot, of the bed, creating a more comfortable sleeping position, reducing snoring, and even reducing medical problems. A box, however, only allows for a flat sleeping position. With a box spring, you’ll need to use extra pillows to elevate the same way an adjustable bed allows for.

What is the difference between a foundation and a box spring?

A foundation, also known as a platform bed, is great for supporting most modern mattresses, such as memory foam, whereas a box spring is only recommended to use with older, traditional innerspring mattresses. A foundation comes in many different styles, and even has options with storage containing capabilities.

What are the drawbacks of putting a mattress on the floor?

Many may think that placing a mattress directly on the floor is no big deal, however, it is actually quite unsanitary. Placing a mattress directly on the floor allows for things such as dirt, dust, dander, or even pet hair to accumulate on the mattress.

It also causes an accumulation of moisture beneath the mattress, potentially leading to hazardous mold growing. In addition to these hazards, a mattress placed directly on the floor is not able to breathe as well as one with a base, which will cause the mattress to hold excess heat.

What size box spring do I need for my bed?

The size of the box spring needed differs from person to person, as everyone has different personal preferences. Your box spring should be the same length and width as your mattress, typically the standard twin, queen, king, or California king, but there is another size to consider.

The height you desire your bed to also comes into play when determining the size box spring you are wanting, whether it be standard, or high profile, adding at least 9 inches of height to your bed, a medium profile, or low profile adding the least amount of height.

Does a spring mattress need a box spring?

A modern spring mattress doesn’t require the use of a box spring. A standard bed frame is capable of providing the support needed; however, a traditional innerspring mattress requires the use of a box spring for proper support.

Does a latex mattress need a box spring?

Short answer, no. It is not recommended to use a box spring for a latex mattress. A box spring may in fact cause damage to a latex mattress if used with one. It is best to use a platform foundation, or an adjustable base for a latex mattress.

Do I need a box spring with my Eco Terra Natural Hybrid mattress?

A solid, supportive foundation, whether that be a box spring or a platform bed, is recommended to use with the Eco Terra Natural Hybrid mattress to provide the support that is needed. A platform bed eliminates the need for a box spring, as it provides its own adequate support, and allows you to really let your style speak out.

Can the Eco Terra mattress be used with an adjustable bed?

Absolutely! The Eco Terra mattress is compatible with most standard adjustable beds available on the market.

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 13 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.