Best Box Springs of 2021 – Ultimate Guide to choose the perfect

bed and box spring

Are you planning to invest in a new bed or mattress? You definitely asked the question: “Do I need a box spring”? Offers of box springs are endless. If you have any doubts or unanswered questions on whether a box spring is the best decision and which one you need, this post is made for you. I’ll go through all of the steps of choosing the right box spring or any alternative and showing you some great options to purchase.

What is a box spring?

Box springs traditionally are containing springs to provide a firm but flexible support for the mattress. Nowadays, most of them no longer include these springs. They are just a box made from plywood and upholstered with some fabric. Mattresses get so complex by the time that box spring has not much to do. But still, a box spring is a great way to 

  • adjust the height of the bed and makes the look of it prettier
  • extend the lifetime of the mattress by giving a reliable foundation with a massive, flat surface
  • absorb some impact instead of the mattress
  • keep away your mattress away from the floor even without a bed frame to allow better airflow

Do you need a box spring for sure?

First of all, you should decide if you need a box spring or not? You will need a stable and flat surface where you can place your mattress. Let’s see your options:

  • Placing the mattress on the floor – It is flat (usually) and provides proper support, but not esthetical, comfortable, and blocks airflow.
  • Putting the mattress on a box spring – Raises the mattress nicely, and certain types provide a great flexible but sturdy foundation.
  • Using a platform bed – The popularity is growing these bed frames with a solid surface or slats that can support your mattress without a box spring.
  • Purchasing an adjustable power base – They have a motor that can elevate your head or leg or even have a massage function. 

Ok, but make it a bit more specific. Do you need a box spring or not?

Yes, you need a box spring

Your bed frame needs a box spring if:

  • it is a collapsible metal frame
  • the slats are farther apart than 3.5-4 inches

Your mattress requires a box spring if

  • it is a two-sided flippable one 
  • the warranty dictates the use of a box-spring

No, you don’t need a box spring

Your bed frame doesn’t need a box spring if:

  • you use an adjustable base
  • it has a solid platform base, or the slats are closer to each other than 3,5-4 inches – 
  • you have a reinforced metal frame

Your mattress doesn’t need a box spring if:

  • you have a one-side or no-flip mattress

Always keep in mind that a low-profile bed usually looks better and more comfortable to use if you adjust its height with a box spring, no matter if the mattress or the frame itself requires it or not.

Expensive mattress – think the warranty!

Again, it is crucial to check the warranty options before you decide about purchasing a box spring or not. Many modern mattresses don’t require a box spring, but manufacturers still request to use it unless your warranty doesn’t stay valid.

You can avoid sagging and tearing in the long run just if you use a solid and flat base under your mattress. You can enjoy all the benefits and advantages of an expensive professional mattress if you use it in the best environment.

Advantages of a box spring

As you can see, a box spring is not any more an essential part of perfect bedding. However, it still has advantages that make it definitely useful and considerable when setting up your new sleeping environment.

  • Raise your bed – Box spring is an obvious option to raise the top of your mattress to an ideal height. What is this ideal height? We will discuss it later on when choosing the perfect box spring for you.
  • Absorb shock – Without a box spring, your mattress should endure all the shock you cause by moving and tossing around in your bed.
  • Let the air circulate – Your mattress to stay fresh and last long needs proper air ventilation. If you are placing it on the bare floor or a solid platform base, the free air circulation is blocked, and your mattress’s lifetime is shortened.

How to pick the right box spring?

If you are still reading, I’m sure you need a box spring. But what type, how big, how high? Many questions are yet to answer. Let’s go through them all to ensure that you can confidently choose the perfect box spring for yourself in the end.

Do you need to replace the old one?

Do you have a box spring already, or do you need a new one for your new mattress? A box spring lasts for almost a decade as a premium mattress. So generally, it is practical to change them together. But in any other case, you can be sure that it needs to be replaced if any of the grids is bent or broken or its squeaks or sag. If you are about to change the mattress because you are not sleeping quite well, have a look at your box spring too. If that causes the problem, you can fix it much cheaper than buying a new mattress.

What is the right size?

Box springs are sized just like standard mattresses, so pick the size according to your mattress. Don’t know which standard size yours is? Measure it and see the dimensions in the table:

NameWidth (in)Length (in)
Twin XL3980
Full XL5480
California King7284

If you plan to buy a completely new bed, check out our post about finding the perfect bed where you can find useful tips about sizing.

How high should your bed be?

Using a box spring is an excellent opportunity to adjust your bed’s height for your needs and the bedroom’s design. What can decide how high your bed should be and what is the perfect height? The bed’s ideal height can depend on many circumstances, your age, height, and even on your medical condition. Generally, we can say that you have a bed with a perfect height when you are sitting on the edge of the mattress with your feet touching the floor, and your hip and knees are in the same line. If your feet can’t touch the floor in this position, your bed is too high. If your knees are higher than your hip, your bed is too low. Another approach is to adjust your mattress’s top to fit the bedside tables, other furniture, or the head or footboard height by the design requirements.

What option do you have? What kind of box springs are available by height?

Regular box spring

This 9 inches height is the traditional size of box springs. Mattress sets usually contain this size box spring.

If you plan to buy a much taller mattress than you have currently, you might consider changing to a low-profile box spring to keep your bed’s height.

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Zinus – Victor 9 Inch Quick Lock Box Spring

Low profile box spring

The height of a low-profile box spring is 5 inches. As the manufacturers started to offer thicker and thicker mattresses, low-profile box springs became widespread to keep the beds reasonably tall.

These box springs are made from the same materials and provide the same support as regular ones.

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Zinus – 5 Inch Smart Metal Box Spring

You can find products whose height is different from these two ones, choose what fits your needs best.

What kind of box spring suits your needs?

Box springs changed and evolved over time. Different kinds are available on the market. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages, but which one do you require?

  • Coil Box springs – Yes, it is what its name describes; it is a wooden box with coils in it. This type can give a little more bounce to your mattress and can make it softer a firm one. Coil box springs work best together with innerspring mattresses since they do not provide such a solid base as modern mattresses require. Coils can fatigue by age, which can lead to sagging.
  • Zero-deflection box springs – This is the most frequently used kind of box spring. It contains wooden slats and sometimes some wire for more support. It is sturdy, durable, and provides sufficient support for nearly all modern mattresses.
  • Semi-flex grid box springs – These are the most expensive box springs on the market, but they provide excellent but still flexible support for your mattress. They are made with wooden slats with a metal wire grid over them. This construction is super for heavier mattresses such as latex or memory foam.

Split box spring or standard?

Split box spring or standard? What is the difference and what would be suitable for you?

Standard box spring

NOAH MEGATRON – 7 Inch Box Spring

Standard box springs are one solid item that you can’t fold. So it is better to use smaller frames such as Twin, Twin XL, maybe Full. It doesn’t require any additional support, just a regular bed frame, or it can sit on the floor as well.

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Split box spring

Keetsa – Bi-Fold Steel Box Spring

Split box springs or bi-fold box springs are made of two separate parts or are foldable in horizontal or vertical directions.

It is practical from Queen size frames and mattresses because it is much easier to move around narrow places.

Don’t forget these types of box springs require support in the center of the bed frame; otherwise, your bed cannot accommodate such box springs.

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Will it fit in your current bed frame?

Be sure that the new box spring will fit snugly in your bed frame won’t be small or too big. Moving box spring or a cracking frame can ruin your sleep quality in no time. If you find that a new box spring won’t fit in your frame, you have two options, buying a new frame too, or consider placing your box spring on the floor without using any bed frame.

Which material will be the best for you?

Most box springs are made of wood with metallic reinforcement, with some filling and cover fabric. The list is endless again, so it depends on your personal preferences if you choose an organic filling or a synthetic one, a chemical-free natural cover, or a polyester one, or if you need extra support.

If you suffer from allergies, you might know that box spring is an excellent place for dust mites. In that case, it is reasonable to choose a model with an allergen-blocking cover to support your fight against allergy. If it is not an option, there are zipper closure covers for box springs to block dust and small bugs from entering.

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HOSPITOLOGY PRODUCTS – Sleep Defense System – Zippered Box Spring Encasement

Go for a set?

Don’t overlook the possibility of buying a mattress and box spring set. Manufacturers often combine them by popularity and best compatibility. Frequently they are part of a promotional offer, and you can get a premium box spring much cheaper than the regular retail price. Using a set also guarantees that you fulfill the mattress warranty terms. It is always beneficial to look at set offers, and you can still buy a box spring apart from the mattress.

What alternatives do a box spring have?

Box springs have alternatives to provide flat and reliable support for your mattress. If your mattress warranty doesn’t require a box spring, these alternatives are also perfect for supporting your mattress.

Bunkie board

Continental Sleep – 2-Inch Wood Split Bunkie Board

A box spring alternative is called the bunkie board. These boards are just 1-2 inches tall and are made from particleboard or plywood. They can provide support for the mattress but won’t elevate the bed unnecessarily.

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Zinus – Deepak Easy Assembly Wood Slat

Slats are boards that go across the bed under your mattress. They can be connected, can be flexible, or fixed. The space between the slats can be different. Mattress manufacturers often state among the conditions of warranty how far these slats should be from each other. Beds with slats usually are lower than beds with a box spring. So if you like the contemporary style, it will be a great choice. If you are low on space while maneuvering to the bedroom, slats will be fabulous too. They need much less space than a regular box spring.

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Adjustable power base

iDealBed – 4i Custom Adjustable Bed Base

This kind of base has a motor that can raise the mattress in height and angle too. It makes it super comfortable to use and can relieve back, neck, or leg pain. Note that they are not able to accommodate an innerspring mattress.

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To summarize

Nothing can stop you now from deciding if you need a box spring or not. If it is not mandatory for your mattress, it is always your personal decision to buy one, even if you would like to have a box spring just because it is aesthetically pleasing. In any case, you can be confident with your purchase option, and you can make the decision that will improve your sleep quality.

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