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 pay attention to when choosing a 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

A mattress foundation is part of bed support.

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 it can damage foam mattresses.

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

People used to require it whenever they bought a new pad. However, that’s no longer the case for today. While some kinds of pads still need mattress 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.

Box springs aside, you can find other kinds of supports for lying under your mattresses, such as platform foundations and beds.

How To Choose A Box Spring? 6 Things To Consider

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


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 foundation 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 foundation.

Though it comes in a much smaller size, a 5-inch foundation still supplies similar durability and support to a 9-inch one.

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


It’s necessary to pick a foundation that fits nicely in the bed frame. Should your bed 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 frame is robust and will offer a close fit to the foundation.

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


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, and hypoallergenic fabrics as well as those with heavily packed coils.

Bed foundations 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 the 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 box springs if you want your warranties to stay valid.

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 with regard to equal ground and support.

Box Springs Included

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

More importantly, those companies will pick the models that specifically serve as your newly-bought mattress’s 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 serve as a perfect medium between traditional-height foundations and extremely low-platform beds, giving a far sleeker look.

  • Platform beds

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

A platform bed typically stands only at the height of 18 inches. A more average one can be 25 inches tall. An antique model can sit 36 inches high from the floor.

  • Bunkie boards

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

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


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

A quality spring will have a dramatic impact on your 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 have helped you get a clear idea of what products you’ll need and steer clear of the overwhelming options out there.

Related articles:
How to Choose the Best Box Spring Mattress
Box Spring Buying Guide

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