Do I Need a Box Spring for a Memory Foam Mattress?

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Making the move from a traditional mattress to a memory foam mattress is something that an increasing number of people are choosing to do. But even when you have found just the right mattress the choices do not end there. For example, what are you going to set that mattress on? Which is where the question do I need a box spring for a memory from mattress often comes up.

The basic answer is no, you do not need a box spring specifically. In fact, many mattress manufacturers and sleep experts recommend against using a traditional box spring with a memory foam mattress and that you make use of a more modern alternative instead. But why is that, and just what are those alternatives we mentioned?

That is what we are going to take a closer look at now.

What is a Box Spring?

Traditional Box Spring Mattress

A box spring is a type mattress support that is designed to be utilized with a bed – or mattress – of exactly the same size. Traditional box springs consist of a wooden, or sometimes metal, frame that is filled with a set of springs that usually fill the whole area inside the ‘box’.

A box spring not only provides a platform for your mattress, raising it off the ground to a more comfortable height, but also a measure of added support.

Can You Put a Memory Foam Mattress on a Box Spring?

Even though they have been in use for a long time, it is usually not recommended that you choose a traditional box spring as a support for a memory foam mattress. In fact, in some cases doing so might even void the warranty on your new memory foam mattress. But what is about memory foam that makes it so unsuitable for use with something that has been around for so long?

The most commonly cited reason for choosing something other than a box spring to support your memory foam mattress is that they really do not do that. The slats on a traditional box spring – if you opened one up it almost looks like a palette crate – are too far apart to support a memory foam mattress correctly and may lead to premature sag.

What Do You Put a Memory Foam Mattress On?

If not a box spring, then what should you make use of to support your memory foam mattress? After all, sleeping on just a mattress is not ideal for most people (and it is usually not ideal for the mattress itself.) The good news is that there several great options to choose from:

Box Foundation

Best foundation for a memory foam mattress
Zoma Foundation

A box foundation is rather like the good old box spring that you may have been sleeping on for years. The difference is that it that there are no springs, and the slats are closer together, offering that all important extra support for your memory foam mattress.

In terms of looks a box foundation usually looks almost identical to a box spring, and like a box spring is deigned to match your mattress’ size exactly.

Check out this foundation for memory foam beds on Zoma

Platform Bed

Mellow Naturalista Classic - 12 Inch Solid Wood Platform Bed with Wooden Slats, No Box Spring Needed, Easy Assembly, Queen, Pine

Mellow Naturalista Classic Platform Bed

A platform bed is one of the most popular choices among memory foam mattresses as not only does it provide a very solid foundation for your mattress, but many options are very stylish pieces of furniture in their own right that can be incorporated into – rather than hidden from – your overall bedroom decor.

Platform beds come in several base types – slatted, solid, or metal – and most are just a little larger than the mattress they are intended for use with, meaning that the mattress ‘slots’ into the frame rather than resting on top of it.

Platform beds can be found with a number of different frame finishes, and some have legs that raise them up off the floor by a few inches. You can also find platform beds that come with, or are designed for use with – a headboard, and a few even have rather cool extras; like built in shelving at the head – that creates a solid, functional piece of bedroom furniture rather than simply a basic support for your mattress.

See the Mellow Naturalista Classic Platform Bed on Amazon

Steel Grid Platform Foundation

ZINUS SmartBase Heavy Duty Mattress Foundation / 14 Inch Metal Platform Bed Frame / No Box Spring Needed / Sturdy Steel Frame / Underbed Storage, Queen

Zinus 14 Inch SmartBase Deluxe Platform Bed Frame

A steel grid platform foundation is just what it sounds like; a solid metal grid, often mounted on legs – that sits underneath a mattress and provides solid, but lighter weight support. They have well-placed slats positioned in a grid style that provide the solid support that is needed for a memory foam mattress without the complication of extra springs.

Steel grid mattresses are extremely popular with those looking to replace an old box spring without spending a great deal of money. The fact that they are also easy to move and quite easy to set up are also big pluses for some.

Check out this popular Zinus bed frame on Amazon

Adjustable Bed Base

Nolah Adjustable Base
Nolah Adjustable Base

If you struggle to get comfortable at night or suffer from sleep apnea or chronic neck or back pain that gets worse after a night in bed rather than better, then an adjustable base for your memory foam mattress may be just the ticket.

These bases can be moved – adjusted, as the name suggests – into a number of different positions at various heights. Usually both the head and the foot of the bed can be adjusted separately, allowing you to find the ‘personalized’ bed position that works best for you.

Adjustable bed frames are not new, but years ago you needed a special mattress to make use of them. That is not the case with a memory foam mattress though, as one of their big advantages is the fact that the foam contours with movement, meaning that however you adjust your bed your mattress will move with it easily.

See this sturdy adjustable bed frame on Nolah Sleep

Traditional Bed Frame

As a memory foam mattress does not rely on springs to support your body weight while you sleep simply making use of a traditional bed frame without a box spring may work out just fine, if you can find one that is the right size and that suits your bedroom decor.

Traditional bed frames can be found in wooden or metal options, with or without a headboard and with or without legs. However, as long as it fits well and can provide solid support, most traditional bed frames can be used with a memory foam mattress.

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