How To Choose A Box Spring? [Tips For Beginner & Pro]

Is your bed not comfortable enough for you to sleep well? Consider upgrading it with a functional box spring under your mattress. Whether you’re looking for a brand-new bed foundation or intend to upgrade the old one, it’s essential to know how to choose a box spring to make a decision.

What factors do you need to consider when choosing the right box spring? There are some determining factors you need to bear in mind:

  • Height
  • Size
  • materials
  • Style
  • Box springs included
  • Product Warranty

Let’s break each of these considerations down in this article!

What Is A Box Spring?

A mattress foundation is part of bed support

Mattress foundations are part of bed supports.

A box spring or mattress foundation is a supportive square (lifting and supporting) of the mattress. It is to serve some specific purposes, including:

  • Provide the mattress with reliable underlying support
  • Lift the pad to a higher, more comfortable height
  • Absorb impact to protect your mattress
  • Improve airflow, assisting in maintaining a cool mattress

Bed foundations are not only a reliable supporter but can also absorb shock and impact from the pad itself. This feature is perfect for laying under innerspring beds but can damage memory foam mattresses.

The reason is that foam beds usually lack a rigid structure like innerspring beds so they could do with an exceedingly robust solid foundation or supportive base, like platform foundations.

People used to require box springs whenever they bought a new pad. However, that’s no longer the case today. While some kinds of pads still need foundations, most kinds don’t.

The phrase “box spring” implies the old-fashioned design using genuine springs (or those metal patterns in inexpensive products) with a metal or wooden frame surrounding them. A wooden frame is preferred in traditional box springs covered in cloth with springs in the middle.

Coil Box springs aside, you can find other supports for lying under your foam mattresses, such as platform foundations and bed frames.

How To Choose A Box Spring? 6 Things To Consider

Everyone will have their own standards when shopping for box springs. Some focus on cost-effectiveness, whereas others pay attention to durability, but there are six considerations you need to involve in the decision-making for the right box spring.


The foundation’s height depends on your preference

The foundation’s height depends on your preference.

A prominent benefit of this bed foundation is that it offers additional height to the bed. That’s why you need to keep the aggregate height of the mattress and foundation in mind.

Most homeowners generally go for two height levels: a low-profile box spring of 5 inches and a standard one of 9 inches. With the rising popularity of high-profile deluxe pads and memory foam toppers, the average spring of 9 inches is a nice addition that makes the bed taller.

If you’re already content with the current height of your bed, choose a low-profile box spring.

Though it is much smaller, a 5-inch box spring still supplies similar durability and support to a 9-inch one. A low-profile box spring makes it easier for you to get in and out of the bed.

Your foundation’s height will not impact the mattress’s performance. So, rely on the aesthetic value and your preference to make a choice.


It’s necessary to pick box springs that fit nicely in the bed frame. Should your bed frame have an old rigid frame, measure its size to determine if the foundation you intended to buy can rest on or slide in the frame.

Ensure that your mattress bed frame is robust and will offer a close fit to the foundation.

If you can’t make the box spring fit the bed frame, it’s possible to place your memory foam mattress on the floor. The bed frame isn’t always essential when you have a foundation.

Another tip is having a split box spring if your bed is larger than the box spring.

While a standard box spring comes as one whole piece, a split box spring is constructed in two portions that, when joined, account for the entire size of your mattress. So, split box springs are easier to move since it is divided into two pieces.


The primary material of most bed foundations is wood, yet they also contain a decent amount of steel to reinforce their strength.

These foundations offer plenty of options, including models with organic fabrics, natural fillers, hypoallergenic fabrics, and those with heavily packed coils.

Bed box springs and mattresses are ideal environments for the growth of allergens and dust mites.

Should you suffer from allergies, choose a product that features an allergen-repellent cover to decrease the chance of allergy attacks.

Other selections include models specifically designed for certain needs, like additional support for people with back issues.


A spring foundation may not be robust enough to carry an added headboard

A spring foundation may not be robust enough to carry an added headboard.

If you’d love to decorate your bed with a headboard, box springs may not be a top-notch option for you since they lack adequate reinforcements to lift the headboard.

Plus, if you’ve bought a platform bed, a bed foundation seems unnecessary unless you wish to add height to your bed or it is a requirement to meet the warranty terms.

Product Warranty

Many modern mattresses not from memory foam firms still require you to use low-profile box springs if you want your warranties to stay valid.

Box springs give the best support for innerspring mattresses or two-sided mattresses, but memory foam mattresses are softer and require far more support than a box spring can supply.

You can choose to purchase without it and lay your mattress on a rough surface that doesn’t provide proper support.

However, wear and tear will likely happen faster on your mattress than when you provide it with assurance about equal ground and support.

Box Springs Included

Before seeking a box spring foundation to accompany your new pad, you have to ensure you need to splurge on such a purchase because many mattress companies offer their customers included box springs in their purchases, usually at an affordable price.

More importantly, those companies will pick the box springs that serve as your newly-bought mattress supporters. Thus, you don’t need to worry about weighing up your mind among thousands of options.

Consider this point before reaching a decision. You’ll only buy a new box if you desire products with more quality and comfort.

What Are The Best Alternatives To A Spring Box?

Platform beds are among the best alternatives to box springs

Platform beds are among the best alternatives to box springs.

If you’re not a big fan of old-fashioned bed appearance and height, it’s also a brilliant idea to go for these alternatives.

  • Low-profile box springs

As said, apart from standard-sized foundations, customers can now access more low-profile models that feature a compact design with half the height and traditional functions.

They are a perfect medium between traditional-height foundations and extremely low-platform beds, giving a far-sleeker look.

  • Platform beds

Aside from laying your mattress on the floor, you can use a platform bed – the lowest-profile choice for the mattress.

A platform bed typically stands only at a height of 18 inches. A more average one can be 25 inches tall. An antique model can stand 36 inches off the ground.

  • Bunkie boards

Not to mention the odd name, a bunkie foundation is a slim wooden sheet between your mattress and bed frame.

It provides the pad with a reliable, durable base and removes the demand for a spring foundation.


While a traditional box spring is a critical part of any bed setup, many people overlook this component when shopping for a mattress.

A quality spring will dramatically impact your good night’s sleep and rest experience. That’s why you need to know how to choose a box spring to make a thoughtful, suitable buying decision.

We wish our box spring buying guide has helped you get a clear idea of what products you’ll need and steer clear of the overwhelming options out there.