Does a Memory Foam Mattress Need a Box Spring?

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Box springs are one of the features with older styles of beds. Their primary purpose is to bring support to the upper part of the mattress and reinforce the base, keeping it firm on the bottom and flat without folding while sitting or getting up in the morning. This was a standard with older coil and foam mattresses until the development of the memory foam was finished.

Do memory foam mattresses need box springs? A memory foam mattress does not need a box spring since it is designed to remain firm and conform to any movement on its surface area. An alternate foundation, however, is recommended to create a more even surface.

In this article, we’re going to explain why box springs are not necessary for memory foam mattresses. We’ll also talk about certain bed frames or surfaces where box springs are needed for memory foams.

Bed Frames/Surfaces Where Box Springs Are Used with Memory Foam

While there is no need for box springs for memory foams, this doesn’t apply to all bed frames or platforms. Here is a list of bed platforms or frames where a box spring is needed:

  • Metal Bed Frame – while metal frames evenly distribute the weight of the mattress and the person laying on top of it, it does not have a platform to support its base part. Excluding a box spring on a metal bed frame would make the memory foam sink over time. It is essential to add a box spring to reinforce the base while supporting the frame support for the memory foam mattress.
  • Wood Bed Frame with Wider Slates – although most of them don’t require the box spring on this type of bed, a wider slate can make the memory foam sink, especially if you have a poorly built wooden bed frame with wider gaps on each slate. It is best to add a box spring to better enforce the position and steadiness of the mattress on the bed frame. This adds an excellent foundation to the mattress and a base for the frame.

Bed Frames/Platforms Where a Box Spring Is Not Needed:

  • Platform Beds – there is no need to have a box spring for mattresses placed on platform beds. The internal slats are strong enough to hold your mattress in place and support its foundation area to prevent a sinking foam from happening. This can also support the memory foam mattress on its lumbar support to the person lying on top of it.
  • Wooden-Slat Foundation Beds – the identical width of every slat serves as great support on the mattresses’ foundation. The slate evenly distributes the weight of the mattress and the sleeper to the base of the bed frame. Therefore, there is no need for box springs to properly hold the mattress in place and keep an even weight distribution.
  • Adjustable Beds – the flexibility of the bed frame makes box springs unusable in this situation. The memory foam over the adjustable bed frame moves with the folding and rising features. Adding a box frame for the adjustable bed would only stiffen the bed and not make it move alongside the adjustments made on the frame (e.g. folding the head section, raising the leg section, etc.)

If you intend to use a box spring for your memory foam mattress, it is best to know which bed platforms or frames are suitable for use. It will help you avoid the frustration of assembling the box spring only to find your bed frame not needing or making the box spring not functional or usable for your memory foam mattress size.

Box Springs and Memory Foam Mattresses

While they are not needed, many still add box springs for their mattresses for many reasons other than making the weight distribution equal. Other functions include raising the heights of the mattress on top of their platforms or frames. Others bolt box springs on their bed foundation to make it steadier. Others also add box springs to keep their mattress covers in place before adding bedsheets to the mattress.

Box spring brands such as Zinus Edgar and ZIYOO have these features on their box springs. The ZIYOO Heavy Metal Mattress Foundation Box Spring (view on Amazon) has all the features needed on a box spring, and also have sizes ranging from Twin to California King bed sizes. It is easy to assemble and a little lighter amidst its metal composition.

Another recommendation is the Zinus Edgar Wood Mattress Foundation Box Spring (view on Amazon), which is perfect for those who have wooden beds. It comes in a 4-inch height box spring that should add a bit of height on your memory foam mattress. The wooden structure makes it more complacent with your wooden bed frame while adding a stylish feel on your mattress when not covered with your bedsheets. Also, it comes with a 5-year warranty on all their box springs and offers box spring sizes from Twin to King beds.

Whatever you intend to use a box spring for, ensuring the best box spring will help you fix your memory foam in place and achieve that certain bed height. It is still suggested that you check your memory foam mattress, whether you need one for height management and fixture to its bed platform or frame.

Why Using a Box Spring for Your Memory Foam Mattress Is Unnecessary

Sleeping on a Memory Foam Mattress
Image Credit

If you are not going to heighten your bed surface, you wouldn’t even need a box spring for your memory foam. This type of mattress is stable and robust enough to hold its weight and the person lying on top of it without sinking on the platform. Bed experts agree that memory foams are sturdy enough that they no longer need a box spring.

While the reasons for not having a box spring with your memory foam mattress focuses on its weight distribution and sturdiness, there are other important reasons why you should not use a box spring with it. Especially with metal-framed box springs, the dangers of getting punctured or pinched is possible when they start to wear out and have stray springs. 

Exposed to Moisture

Also, if they get exposed to moisture, wood box springs can get worn out, and steel frames get exposed to rusts, and this can create an unpleasant sleeping environment and affect your sleep quality. Moreover, it can leave tears or stains on your mattress covers that can be hard to remove with detergent or vacuum.

While box spring manufacturers offer years of warranty, box springs require enough care and attention to ensure that they continue to hold your bed in place for an extended period without exposing yourself or your family to health risks. Make sure to ask the manufacturer about its features and longevity or read customer reviews if you are looking for box springs on online mattress stores and mattress retailers.

Conclusion – Does a Memory Foam Mattress Need a Box Spring?

Box springs are not needed for memory foam mattresses. Most importantly, memory foam mattresses are already sturdy enough to hold you and anyone else sleeping on it in place.

With memory foams, there were fewer cases on sinking centers or creasing edges because they are durable enough to withstand their highest weight limit. This is the primary reason why there is no need for a box spring to keep an even weight distribution or protect it from heavyweight sleepers in the first place.

Sleep Quality

It is understandable that everyone wants a good night’s sleep and to wake up feeling refreshed from it. Also, memory foam delivers the job of giving such sleep quality that you’ll be ready to wake up the next day and wait for another night to sleep on it. Many believe that box springs can help you get that. Nonetheless, a lot would also argue that memory foam mattresses don’t need one, and you won’t experience any jiggling or creasing on its surface.

While the argument of whether a memory foam mattress needs a box spring or not continues, box springs are still being sold in a lot of mattresses and home décor stores anywhere in the world. Primarily, they are being used to hold other foams or coil mattresses in place, especially those that have already creased or sunk enough for them to become unusable. Whatever the function, box springs are optional for memory foam mattresses.

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