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Foundations - Box Spring vs. Platform 25 Jan 2018 05:25 #1

I am buying a platform bed, to arrive in 4 weeks, then went mattress shopping, without even thinking about that decision, since platform beds dominate the market right now.

But then, one of the mattress shops (an independent manufacturer of old-style 2-sided, innerspring and polyfoam mattresses) said that the mattress will last much longer on a box spring. To the point that they invalidate the warranty if the mattress is not on a box spring, and halve it if it is on a bunkie board. He demonstrated how pushing on the mattress pushes on the box spring, and how that reduces stress on the mattress and makes the overall structure more forgiving. It made sense, passing my basic bull#&$ test.

So, is there a major advantage in durability or softness/comfort to using a box spring? If so, is that advantage only for 2-sided innerspring mattresses, or does it also apply to other types of mattresses? I'm also looking at 1-sided hybrid mattresses and all-latex mattresses.

If so, can a box spring be placed on a platform bed without major issues (other than added height)?

Are there different kinds/quality/grades of box springs?

-->Adam

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Foundations - Box Spring vs. Platform 28 Jan 2018 01:15 #2

Hi alevinemi.

I am buying a platform bed, to arrive in 4 weeks, …But then, one of the mattress shops (an independent manufacturer of old-style 2-sided, innerspring and polyfoam mattresses) said that the mattress will last much longer on a box spring. To the point that they invalidate the warranty if the mattress is not on a box spring, and halve it if it is on a Bunkie board.


In the case of a traditional double sided innerspring mattress ... a more flexing surface such as a box spring or another type of a slatted base with closely spaced curved more flexible slats can be recommended or required by a manufacturer and can have some advantages as part of a complete "sleeping system". These act like another layer of the sleeping system and will "give" under the heavier parts or pressure points of the body (like the pelvis/hips and shoulders) as long as the mattress on it is thin enough that this bottom "layer" of the sleeping system can affect the feel and performance of the mattress.

There are quite a few companies out there making one sided products that use active foundation units and there are both one sided and two sided mattresses that manufacturers design to be used with active flexing units underneath the beds weather this be an active coil box spring unit or a bowed slat system with tension adjustable pieces, or even some that use torsion modular flexing units, but I would not recommend that you mix and match but follow closely the manufacturer’s recommendations

So, is there a major advantage in durability or softness/comfort to using a box spring? If so, is that advantage only for 2-sided innerspring mattresses, or does it also apply to other types of mattresses? I'm also looking at 1-sided hybrid mattresses and all-latex mattresses


As it can be constantly flipped and give time to the foam at the bottom to rest, a two sided mattress will significantly increase the useful life of the top layers even with a material as durable as latex. This is because each layer would soften more gradually and evenly which is why the mattress itself would have a longer useable lifespan compared to the same type of materials that were one sided only, and it would be reasonable to expect an increase in lifespan of 60% - 70% (although not twice the durability).

Would using a two sided mattress … necessarily damage the product if it was placed on the floor or on a solid deck platform?

Not necessarily! But if it is designed to be used with an active boxspring the feel definitely would be changed and if it is designed as such… it could shorten the comfort life and it could feel firmer overall.

If you have tested a mattress on an "active" box spring, then it's important to be aware that using the mattress on a non flexing foundation (or the other way around) can significantly change the feel and performance of the mattress and a mattress that works well for your body type or sleeping style and positions may no longer be as suitable for you on a different base than the one that you tested in the store.

Most of the modern one-sided mattresses, regardless of the type (innerspring, polyfoam core or latex) the manufacturers prefer and require them to be placed upon a firm and flat surface and if it is a slatted surface usually they recommend 3’ or less between gaps for a latex bed and usually 5” or less between the gaps for polyfoam but again you would need to check with the manufacturers as there are some out there with the spring hybrid mattresses that want 2’ or less between the slats if you are deciding to stay with platform bed. In any case it behooves you to always check with the manufacturer because not only that you want the bed to perform and feel properly and last a long time but also you want to make sure that potentially if something went wrong with the bed you would still have a warranty that’s in effect and that is not voided because it was placed on an inappropriate surface.

In each instance I would defer you to the mattress manufacturer themselves because they know which type of foundation is suitable for their mattress and meets their warranty criteria ... this can save lots of research and you know that you will have a foundation that is verified by the manufacturer and that works well with their mattress. If you do decide to choose an alternative then I would make sure that the foundation and bedframe meets the manufacturer's warranty criteria. In the Foundation thread here you can find more about this and also a section that describes box springs in more detail.

Are there different kinds/quality/grades of box springs?


Absolutely there are… just like there are different grades of foundations. Some have a very high spring count, some have lower spring count, some use thinner gage springs some are very old school 8 way hand tied so with this in mind I would again defer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for what needs to be placed underneath the product, but most of the products you ran into these days will not want you to have an active foundation placed underneath the mattress.

I'll be interested to learn of your eventual decisions.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Foundations - Box Spring vs. Platform 30 Jan 2018 04:40 #3

Thank you again, Ms. Phoenix - very informative and helpful, as always.

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Foundations - Box Spring vs. Platform 30 Jan 2018 19:35 #4

Hi alevinemi.

You are most welcome! :)

Phoenix
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Foundations - Box Spring vs. Platform 31 Jan 2018 05:05 #5

I'm ordering the Tuft & Needle Mattress and I just need a high grade steel wire foundation, any opinion? Thank you

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Foundations - Box Spring vs. Platform 31 Jan 2018 08:21 #6

Tuft and Needle has some recommendations for appropriate foundations on the FAQ page here . Scroll down to "What frame and foundations does...". You can use a metal grid network, like one of the metal platform beds they linked to on that page.
Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator™ Owner of Mattress To Go
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