Ideas + Advice


Do You Need a Box Spring with a Memory Foam Mattress?

A memory foam mattress may require a box spring depending on the slats of your bed, and other factors. Learn more here.

Why do I need support for a memory foam mattress?

Without the proper foundation, a memory foam mattress can lose its shape over time. As a result, the qualities that make it strong and supportive – the qualities designed to help keep your spine aligned and in good posture throughout the night – will diminish, making for a bed that can cause stress, discomfort and even pain.

Does a memory foam mattress need a box spring?

A memory foam mattress needs a box spring if the bed has little slat support. If the bed is a a solid platform (no slats), a box spring isn't needed. If the bed has around 6 slats or less (the number varies based on slat width, strength and how much space is between the slats), you are good without a box spring).

What types of box springs can you use with a memory foam mattress?

So, your new memory foam mattress needs a sturdy foundation – but what kind of foundation is best, and exactly how “sturdy” does it need to be? The simple way to tell which mattress foundation will work best for your memory foam mattress is by how many slats the foundation (or box spring) contains. A mattress foundation with five or less slats will not be enough to support a memory foam mattress, even if you are planning on placing the foundation on top of a bed frame. Instead, look to pair your memory foam mattress with a foundation that has six or more slats, spaced seven or less inches apart. If you prefer to pass up the traditional box spring with slats for a bunky board or solid foundation, that is also perfectly fine for a memory foam mattress.

When does a memory foam mattress require a box spring?

If your bed is of the platform variety (has six slats or more), then the bed itself will be strong enough to serve as a foundation and support the mattress on its own. If your bed is a panel bed and/or features only five slats or less, than you will need an additional box spring or other foundation to support the mattress.

How Long Do Box Springs Last? (Do Box Springs Wear Out?)

Because it is an extension of your mattress, a box spring will wear out at around the same time your mattress does. While most people can get away with keeping the same box spring through new mattress purchases, replacing your box spring when you get a new mattress will ensure the best support. (Signs of old box springs include squeaking and wobbling.)

Benefits of a Box Spring

  • Preserves mattress shape. Without a box spring, your mattress is more prone to sagging.
  • Keeps your warranty intact. Mattress warranties often require  the use of a box spring.
  • Raises your mattress. If you have a hard time getting in or out of bed, a box spring’s height can make that easier.
  • Airs your mattress out. A mattress placed directly on the floor will be more prone to accumulate mildew and dust.
  • Absorbs your body weight. The supportive benefits of a box spring enhance the mattress.
  • Helps to distance you from allergens. Sleeping closer to the floor, you’re more likely to breathe in more allergens while you sleep.
  • Adds height for style. A higher bed is always in style!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.