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are box spring required for double sided innerspring mattress? 01 May 2015 09:05 #1

i have a slatted platform bed. didn't realize the mattress I had purchased was double sided?

are box springs required?

to purchase a box spring by itself instead of a set, it would cost me an additional $500.....

they would take $295 off for me, so i would end up paying just $200 more then i would have, had i bought it as a set.

i think the final price is about $1000 for the box spring.

basically, as a set, it was 3100.

for me, i'd be paying about 3360.

guessing shipping is part of the extra cost?

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Last edit: by incognito.

are box spring required for double sided innerspring mattress? 01 May 2015 10:59 #2

Hi incognito,

i have a slatted platform bed. didn't realize the mattress I had purchased was double sided?

are box springs required?


Most two sided innerspring mattresses are designed to be used as a set and the mattress and the matching box spring are both important parts of the complete "sleeping system". True box springs (with springs) will not only improve the feel and performance of a two sided innerspring mattress when it's used with the box spring that it's designed to be used with it but they will also improve the durability of a two sided innerspring mattress as well (as long as you turn and flip the mattress regularly).

The best source of specific guidance about the type of support system that would be suitable for a particular mattress would be the manufacturer themselves. While most manufacturers will sell their two sided mattresses without a box spring (and some manufacturers such as McRoskey will add a "comfort enhancer" to help add a similar contouring and pressure relief that the box spring would otherwise provide) ... a box spring will act as a shock absorber and absorb some of the compression forces from sleeping and will improve the durability of a two sided innerspring mattress.

So while it's not absolutely necessary and you "can" buy a two sided innerspring mattress without it ... it's certainly desirable both from a comfort/performance and durability perspective to include the box spring as part of your sleeping system.

Box springs are more costly to make than foundations (that don't have springs inside them) and they are also heavy and bulky so if you can't pick up the box spring locally or if it's shipped separately from the mattress then shipping can certainly add a significant amount to the cost.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

are box spring required for double sided innerspring mattress? 04 May 2015 07:52 #3

Phoenix,

Your response to this question has given me hope. I bought a 2-sided innerspring mattress a year ago and I have been struggling trying to make it more comfortable. The owner/salesman assured me that a box spring was not needed and would not make any difference. I have a good slatted frame that this mattress is sitting on now. This is my mattress: www.mattressandfurniturestore.com/chemical-free-mattresses-organic/amish-made-mattresses-quality/amish-firm-double-sided-mattress

It is quite firm for me especially since I am a side sleeper. I use just a cotton knit fitted sheet over it as anything else makes it worse. I have tried toppers without success. I do not like to sink in very much.

After the first month on this mattress, I noticed that on each side, there were depressions of maybe 1 inch. It seems like the foam, which is only 1 inch plus the quilted cover, has compressed. Now it is one year old and it feels like we are directly on the innerspring. After reading what you wrote about double-sided innersprings and that they are meant to be paired with box springs for comfort and durability, I realize that without the box spring we were compressing the mattress more than it should be compressed and it has it becomes so hard on the body throughout the night, and I am sore and achy in the morning. (We are both very light weight.) I've constantly flipped and rotated the mattress.

So now, I am looking for either a low profile box spring or a 3" HR foam, maybe 31 ild to place underneath. I did try a 2 1/2 piece of 31 ild under my side to see how it feels and thought that it made it much more comfortable with a feeling of deeper give? Our frame has high legs so I do not want a high box spring. Even a 5-6 inch low profile box will be too high.

Do you think that foam would be okay to use in this application? Do you have any other suggestions for a low profile solution?

Thank you

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are box spring required for double sided innerspring mattress? 04 May 2015 10:22 #4

Hi lilac2,


I would keep in mind that the first "rule" of choosing a support system would be to use the suggestions of the manufacturer that makes your mattress because a suggestion that works for one person or for a specific mattress may not be the best choice for someone else or a different mattress.

In your case your mattress only has an inch of foam on each side and is in a very low budget range so I would tend to use a foundation and add a topper rather than going to the expense of a box spring which may not work out as well as you hope it does.

It is quite firm for me especially since I am a side sleeper. I use just a cotton knit fitted sheet over it as anything else makes it worse. I have tried toppers without success. I do not like to sink in very much.

After the first month on this mattress, I noticed that on each side, there were depressions of maybe 1 inch. It seems like the foam, which is only 1 inch plus the quilted cover, has compressed. Now it is one year old and it feels like we are directly on the innerspring. After reading what you wrote about double-sided innersprings and that they are meant to be paired with box springs for comfort and durability, I realize that without the box spring we were compressing the mattress more than it should be compressed and it has it becomes so hard on the body throughout the night, and I am sore and achy in the morning. (We are both very light weight.) I've constantly flipped and rotated the mattress.


It's not likely that the foam in your mattress has softened or broken down to the degree that it would be the main cause of impressions and it could be the quilting materials or it could be the support system you are using under the mattress (you could test this by putting the mattress on the floor to see how much difference it makes).

I would also make sure that you are flipping and rotating your mattress on a regular basis (see post #2 here ) which will even out the wear and any impressions in the mattress.

The mattress you chose would probably be too firm for most side sleepers and you will likely need a thicker and softer layer of foam on top of the springs to provide the pressure relief that you need. You will almost certainly need to sink in a little more than you are now for a mattress to provide the pressure relief that you need. Your mattress would generally be a better choice for back or stomach sleepers that prefer a much firmer sleeping surface.

So now, I am looking for either a low profile box spring or a 3" HR foam, maybe 31 ild to place underneath. I did try a 2 1/2 piece of 31 ild under my side to see how it feels and thought that it made it much more comfortable with a feeling of deeper give? Our frame has high legs so I do not want a high box spring. Even a 5-6 inch low profile box will be too high.

Do you think that foam would be okay to use in this application? Do you have any other suggestions for a low profile solution?


Magic Sleeper sells a real box spring so it may be worth testing your mattress on one of their box springs in the store to see if it makes a difference for you and if it does they may be able to make a lower profile version (you would need to check). Their experience indicates that most people tend to prefer a foundation vs a box spring with the mattress you chose but I would make your choice based on your actual experience with testing the combination because your own personal experience will always trump "theory". As I mentioned in my reply here I wouldn't use a thicker layer of foam under your mattress and if you need better pressure relief I would tend to add a foam topper instead that was "just enough" in terms of thickness and softness to provide the additional softness and pressure relief that you need.

While there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone to be able to predict which topper will work best for a particular person in combination with a specific mattress ... post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to can help you use your sleeping experience as a guideline and reference point to help you choose the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that will have the least risk and the best possible chance of success.

Phoenix
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are box spring required for double sided innerspring mattress? 06 May 2015 07:47 #5

Hmmm, when I looked at the McRoskey site you linked, it says that for their double sided traditional innerspring mattress, the box spring does provide pressure relief. I also read reviews of box springs where people said that when placing one under their mattress, it did not change the feel dramatically, but in the morning they felt much better, not as stiff.

I have flipped and rotated my mattress man , many times. Also, it is exactly the same on the floor, so I've eliminated frame issues. After a year on this mattress, I have become used to it, but I know it should be more comfortable and not cause morning stiffness like it does. I have slept in other beds while traveling and I do feel different in the morning. I think the old traditional double sided design is meant to work with a flexible box spring. This is my opinion after all my experience.

Why couldn't a firm HR polyfoam substitute for a low profile box spring? After all, it is used as the support layer for foam mattress designs? I have not yet been able to find a true low box spring that actually has flex. I don't think I want to deal with Magic Sleeper anymore, as they are very far away.

As for adding a topper, I may purchase a 1" 5.3 lb. memory foam topper from foamorder.com. I think that I need a touch more pressure relief and I don't want to mess up my alignment, that's why I'm thinking 1" inch.

I do appreciate your thoughts on this matter. I honestly feel like I was somewhat misled by the manufacturer. Even though this is a budget mattress, they stressed that it is better made and will be more durable than any other in their showroom. I just think that it should have been paired with a box spring as it was most probably designed that way 35 years ago.

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are box spring required for double sided innerspring mattress? 06 May 2015 08:24 #6

Hi lilac2,

Hmmm, when I looked at the McRoskey site you linked, it says that for their double sided traditional innerspring mattress, the box spring does provide pressure relief. I also read reviews of box springs where people said that when placing one under their mattress, it did not change the feel dramatically, but in the morning they felt much better, not as stiff.


I would keep in mind that the McRoskey mattresses are completely different from yours in their design and construction (and price range). While a box spring can certainly help with both pressure relief and alignment (what you feel in the morning) ... "how much" it helps or whether it helps at all or whether you notice any difference will depend on the specifics of the mattress and the box spring and on the body type, weight distribution, sleeping style, and sensitivity of the person sleeping on it. The only way to know whether a particular box spring will help for a specific person with a specific mattress would be based on your own personal testing and experience.

I have slept in other beds while traveling and I do feel different in the morning. I think the old traditional double sided design is meant to work with a flexible box spring. This is my opinion after all my experience.


I would keep in mind that your experience is based on different mattresses that are likely quite different from your own. There are hundreds of different two sided mattresses and your experience on each of them may be very different. Again though ... the only way to know whether a box spring will make a difference for you with your mattress will be based on your actual experience because even with a box spring you will still have a mattress with comfort layers that are very thin on top of a Bonnell coil that is very firm which normally wouldn't be the best choice a side sleeper ... either with or without a box spring.

Why couldn't a firm HR polyfoam substitute for a low profile box spring? After all, it is used as the support layer for foam mattress designs? I have not yet been able to find a true low box spring that actually has flex. I don't think I want to deal with Magic Sleeper anymore, as they are very far away.


Mainly because foam and steel innersprings respond very differently from each other and for a foam layer to be suitable for use underneath a mattress it would need to be too firm to make a significant difference. It would generally be more effective to use a softer foam layer on top of a mattress ... not underneath it.

As for adding a topper, I may purchase a 1" 5.3 lb. memory foam topper from foamorder.com. I think that I need a touch more pressure relief and I don't want to mess up my alignment, that's why I'm thinking 1" inch.


I would use the topper guidelines I linked to choose the type and thickness of a topper that has the best chance of success but you're right that thinner is generally less risky for alignment than thicker. I would also make sure that you have a good return/exchange policy so that you still have good options available just in case the topper you choose doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for.

I do appreciate your thoughts on this matter. I honestly feel like I was somewhat misled by the manufacturer. Even though this is a budget mattress, they stressed that it is better made and will be more durable than any other in their showroom. I just think that it should have been paired with a box spring as it was most probably designed that way 35 years ago.


They normally don't suggest pairing this mattress with a box spring because most of their customers prefer it without one. The box spring can increase motion transfer and it can "feel" more unstable than the same mattress on a firm foundation. They are right that a mattress like this would be very durable (all the materials they use are high quality and there are no weak links in the mattress) but the quality and durability of the materials in a mattress have very little to do with whether the mattress will be a suitable choice for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences).

Based on all your feedback I would guess that your chances of success would be higher with a suitable topper than by going to the expense of adding a box spring but in the end your own personal experience will be the only way to know for sure.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

are box spring required for double sided innerspring mattress? 06 May 2015 09:03 #7

Thanks Phoenix. I understand all of your points.

I was told at the showroom that the Bonnell coil in this mattress was "Medium Firm". This was a deciding factor for me. Even though it did feel very firm, and I did spend 20 minutes on it and 2 -3 hours in the store, I was assured that it will break in and will have an overall "Medium Firm" feel. Also, this mattress was strongly suggested to me knowing that I am light weight and a side-sleeper. I know you don't want to address this and you are on good terms with this manufacturer, but I did want to express my experience.

As I stated, and in my personal opinion, I strongly believe that the 35 year old design of this mattress was meant to be paired with a box spring for added comfort/durability and not placed on a non flexing platform. I understand that everything is personal preference, and some may be comfortable with this mattress on a platform, but like you said, it would probably be mostly back and stomach sleepers.

One more question if you don't mind... would you have an opinion as to which 1 inch memory foam I should try first on top of this mattress for a 120 lb. sidesleeper to ease pressure without compromising alignment. Sensus 5lb., aerus 4lb., aerus 5 llb, foamorder5.3 ilb., or any other suggestions.

Thanks for your time.

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Last edit: by lilac2.

are box spring required for double sided innerspring mattress? 06 May 2015 09:32 #8

Hi lilac2,

I was told at the showroom that the Bonnell coil in this mattress was "Medium Firm". This was a deciding factor for me. Even though it did feel very firm, and I did spend 20 minutes on it and 2 -3 hours in the store, I was assured that it will break in and will have an overall "Medium Firm" feel. Also, this mattress was strongly suggested to me knowing that I am light weight and a side-sleeper. I know you don't want to address this and you are on good terms with this manufacturer, but I did want to express my experience.


There is no "standard" definition or consensus of opinion for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being medium firm" could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that is firm for one can feel like "medium" for someone else or even "soft" for someone else depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. This is all relative and is as much an art as a science. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they "rate" a mattress as well (see post #15 here ). In other words you will always need to test a mattress for you to assess how firm or soft it feels to you (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post) regardless of whether it feels firm or soft to someone else or how anyone else may "rate" it.

The first "rule" of mattresses is that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and your own testing or personal experience will always be the only way to know for certain whether any mattress is a good "match" for you in terms of PPP. A manufacturer may suggest a particular mattress based on the information you provide them but you will always be the only one who can assess whether any mattress they recommend works well for you in "real life".

I would also suggest talking to Magic Sleeper and they may be able to make some adjustments to the design of your mattress that will make it more suitable for you.

As I stated, and in my personal opinion, I strongly believe that the 35 year old design of this mattress was meant to be paired with a box spring for added comfort/durability and not placed on a non flexing platform. I understand that everything is personal preference, and some may be comfortable with this mattress on a platform, but like you said, it would probably be mostly back and stomach sleepers.


As I mentioned ... they have much more experience with their mattresses than any of their customers so I understand that while you may also have your own thoughts about mattress design and theory ... in most cases the experience of a manufacturer that actually makes a mattress and that has the feedback of thousands of customers over the years will generally be your best source of guidance.

The only reason they would have suggested what they did is based on their own belief about what would work best for you since a box spring would have increased the price of the set (and their profit when you purchased it) but if you believe that a box spring would be a better choice with your mattress then they certainly have them available so you could test the combination in your own real life experience. It's always possible that you could be the exception to the experience of most of their customers and what works best for "most" people isn't always the best choice for "all" people because each person is unique.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

are box spring required for double sided innerspring mattress? 06 May 2015 10:12 #9

I understand... but your knowledgable "very firm" description of this coil to their "medium firm" description does not seem to make much sense to me. They even changed their description when I returned to discuss possible solutions and then they described it as very firm as well. When I went back to the store they did sell me a "pillow top" type of topper. It was a quilted soft foam, fiber, and fireproof material mattress cover. It was not supportive and too thick/soft and it through off my alignment and caused other issues. It was discarded.

One more question if you don't mind... would you have an opinion as to which 1 inch memory foam I should try first on top of this mattress for a 120 lb. sidesleeper to ease pressure without compromising alignment. Sensus 5lb., aerus 4lb., aerus 5 llb, foamorder5.3 ilb., or any other suggestions. I just need a little more pressure relief.

Thanks again.

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are box spring required for double sided innerspring mattress? 06 May 2015 10:55 #10

Hi lilac2,

I understand... but your knowledgable "very firm" description of this coil to their "medium firm" description does not seem to make much sense to me. They even changed their description when I returned to discuss possible solutions and then they described it as very firm as well. When I went back to the store they did sell me a "pillow top" type of topper. It was a quilted soft foam, fiber, and fireproof material mattress cover. It was not supportive and too thick/soft and it through off my alignment and caused other issues. It was discarded.


As I mentioned in my last reply firmness ratings are always relative and will depend on the experience of the person sleeping on the mattress. Your own experience is the only reliable way to know how firm a mattress feels to you. One person's firm can be another person's medium and in some cases may be another person's "soft". This is all very subjective.

One more question if you don't mind... would you have an opinion as to which 1 inch memory foam I should try first on top of this mattress for a 120 lb. sidesleeper to ease pressure without compromising alignment. Sensus 5lb., aerus 4lb., aerus 5 llb, foamorder5.3 ilb., or any other suggestions. I just need a little more pressure relief.


My suggestions for toppers are in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to that I linked in my earlier reply. If you are looking for "a touch to a little" additional softness and pressure relief or to change the "feel" of the mattress then an inch would be a good choice. In most cases though a 2" topper would be a more "average" choice for those who are looking for a "little to a fair bit" of additional softness and pressure relief and a 4 lb topper would be a more common choice for those that are in lighter weight ranges than a 5 lb memory foam.

Any density of memory foam can have a wide range of different properties and firmness levels but in very general terms (that may not apply to specific memory foams) lower densities will tend to have a faster response with less of the "doughy" and "memory" effect and a faster response than higher density memory foams and will tend to feel a little softer ... at least when you first lie on them before the memory foam warms up. There is more about the different properties of memory foam in post #9 here and in post #8 here .

Once again though ... I would always keep in mind that your own personal experience will always be the only reliable way to know for certain whether any mattress/topper combination will be a good match for you so the return and exchange policy of the retailer or manufacturer you are dealing with can be one of the most important parts of a successful topper purchase so you have good options available to you after a purchase just in case the topper you purchase doesn't work out as well as you hope for.

In most cases a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer/manufacturer will be the best source of information about how their memory foam compares to other types of memory foams that are generally available and that they are familiar with.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
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Last edit: by Phoenix.
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