Using Plywood Instead of a Box Spring for My Mattress: Is It Possible?

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So you just bought a new mattress. Whether it is just a replacement for the old one or a new and comfy addition to your room, you will definitely need something to support it. A box spring can help you with that; however, it can be a little on the pricier side. There are actually so many alternatives out there, but, is plywood a good choice?

Can I Use Plywood Instead of a Box Spring for My Mattress?

Yes, you can use plywood instead of a box spring for your mattress. Plywood provides a sturdy foundation and excellent support. Although the bed may feel a bit firmer, you will find that there is a lot less squeaking.

Plywood Bed Frame

Why Is Plywood a Good Substitute to a Box Spring?

It is important for your mattress to have a proper base. Without it, your mattress will sink making it uncomfortable to sleep in. Furthermore, without any support, the mattress will not be able to evenly support your body as you sleep, thus, resulting in plenty of aches and pains. A box spring has become a common thing to have when purchasing a mattress. It is a type of bed base that has a wooden or metal frame all covered in cloth and springs. It was created to be paired together with a coiled mattress. However, with the creation of new types of mattresses, box springs cannot give them the needed support.

There has been plenty of debate on whether it benefits the user or it’s just an added cost. However, there have been many cases that people who own box springs find that their mornings are filled with pain. They think that the box spring is one of its primary causes. Whatever your stand is, it is still good to look at other alternatives like plywood. Plywood gives sturdier support for your mattress all throughout the night. Plus, it works well with any type of mattress like latex, spring, and memory foam.

You can even get creative. Bed frames with plywood are quite customizable. Plywood can also be stained or painted easily with the color of your choice. If you like plywood with a yellowish stain, the plywood from Woodpeckers (view on Amazon) has great color and quality. Their plywood is also quite durable and has a smoother surface.

With all this, you might just be itching to check out how to make your own bed base using plywood. Here are some tips and tricks before you make one.

Tips for Using Plywood for a Bed Frame

Use Slats

Using plywood as a base for your bed may be a good idea but it may not be strong enough to carry all that mass and pressure. To make your bed frame sturdier, bed slats are needed. Choosing the right material for your slats are important. You will need the right wood to withstand all that strain. In fact, you will find that well-built bed frames have quality slats. The EluxurySupply bed frame (view on Amazon) uses pine slats that make the bed tough enough to handle the extra load.

Use Quality, Flat, and Straight Wood Boards

Using cheaper plywood and planks is definitely not advised. The frame should be able to support both your weight and the weight of the mattress all throughout the night. So, choosing better quality plywood and planks is a must. It may be an added expense but at the very least you can be sure that you won’t wake up on the floor in the morning with a broken bed frame. So, here are the things that you should look for when purchasing plywood and slats:

  • The plywood should not have too many gaps in between layers. Pinhole gaps may be acceptable but it is an indicator that the wood is not of the best quality.
Flat Straight Wood Board
Image Credit
  • There are many types of wood that would make great bed slats like red oak or Douglas fir, but before you choose, there are the qualities that you should look for. The wood that you should use should be warp-resistant and tough enough to carry the load. It should also be able to resist constant pressure and strain.

Have the Wood Cut According to Size Beforehand

It can be quite a hassle to cut the wood yourself. Unless you are a veteran carpenter or if you have the right tools, it is highly recommended to have the wood cut beforehand.

The lumber company can do the cutting for you. Furthermore, you will be sure that all the measurements are strictly followed and you will not have to worry about wasting wood because you haven’t cut it to the right measurement. It can certainly help if you have prepared the measurements beforehand. Here is a chart that you can use.

Bed Size Width Length # of Slats Slat Length Planks Needed
Twin 39” 80” 6 39” 1 – 12”x2”x16’
Full 54” 75” 6 54” 2 – 12”x2”x16’
Queen 60” 80” 6 60” 2 – 12”x2”x16’
King 76” 80” 6 76” 3 – 12”x2”x16’
Cal King 72” 84” 6 72” 3 – 12”x2”x12’

Chart source: MoneyRhythm

Avoid Molds

One of the common downsides to choosing plywood as the base of your bed frame is that it is prone to molds. This is because plywood easily absorbs moisture from its surroundings. Another thing that contributes to that is the moisture that leaves the body while sleeping.

You will tend to sweat while you doze off. Surprisingly, about a pound of water leaves your body every time you do that. So the moisture from the body is being absorbed by the plywood, thus promoting mold growth.

What you can do to avoid this and still use plywood is to drill holes across the wood, as well as utilize quality wood. Baltic Birch Plywood (view on Amazon) is one of the top options that you can use. It is known for its durability and reliability. This plywood is commonly used for cabinets and furniture.

Another useful tip is to use two sheets of plywood on top of each other to increase its strength since drilling holes will weaken the wood.

Related Questions

Can I Use Plywood on a Box Spring for a Memory Mattress?

Yes, you can use plywood on a box spring for your memory mattress. In fact, it is highly suggested that you use plywood as your base. This is because memory mattresses are heavier than the ordinary spring mattresses.

However, you can still use your old box spring as your base given that it is not older than ten years. This means that the bed will feel uneven once you lay down on it. Test out your current box spring by placing the mattress on top and check if you can clearly feel the uneven bumps. If you don’t, then it should be good enough to use.

What Is the Best Plywood to Use Under a Mattress?

As long as it is structurally sound then you are good to go with any type of plywood. Although Baltic birch is a good choice, it can be on the pricier side. Using veneered-hardwood plywood is good enough to use as a bed base.

Just remember that most plywood sold on big hardware stores aren’t of good quality. Look for a supplier that sells plywood to cabinet companies. You will be sure that the plywood you get from there is sturdy enough to use as a bed base.

Can I Use Plywood Under a Box Spring?

Yes, plywood can be used under a box spring. You will definitely need a strong support if your mattress is foam or latex. If you do not want to throw out your box spring just yet, adding a few layers of plywood will make your box spring firmer.

Using ¾ inch thick plywood is okay, but ideally, you should use plywood thicker than that to provide adequate support. Any thinner than ¾ of an inch will not have any effect at all and might end up cracking under the pressure of your mattress.

Conclusion – Can I Use Plywood Instead of a Box Spring for My Mattress?

Your bedroom is a place of rest and relaxation. If you wake up with back pains and aches then it definitely defeats its purpose, right? Often times, not having the right support for your mattress can be its cause. Using plywood as a base is a great option to help you get rid of that daily dilemma. Not only will it give you a sturdy foundation for your bed, it also helps your mattress last for years.

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