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1. Do You Need A Box Spring With A Mattress?

do you need a box spring - Zinus 9 inch high profile box spring

Box springs are great support choices to extend the life of your mattress. A wood (or metal) box spring foundation absorbs shock & wear of your mattress over time. The best part? Box springs play a big part in preventing body impressions over time. The difference between a bad support system and a sturdy box spring is night & day

2. Why Do You Need A Box Spring?

There’s several reasons why you may need a box spring with your new or existing mattress – these include: 

2a. Your existing mattress has bad support

Most mattresses do not have proper support. People regularly return their mattresses because of body impressions when the fit is simple – a new box spring! The difference between a new box spring and an old, inadequate support system is huge.

2b. You're buying a new mattress and you need uniform support

Most people buying a new mattress choose not to buy a box spring with it. We always recommend considering a new box spring with your mattress purchase. The main reason? Because doing so will give you the full confidence that your new mattress is properly supported.

2c. You have an existing box spring and it's broken, creaking, or squeaking

When you’re buying a new mattress, it’s always important to check your existing box spring for creaks, squeaking, or soft spots. The best way to do this is take your mattress off your existing box spring. Run your hand along the top and press down hard over the entire surface. If you feel any soft spots or hear squeaks or creaking – we strongly recommend considering a new box spring. 

2d. You want a firmer, more uniform feel from your mattress

Most people don’t realize this, but a box spring plays a huge part in creating a firm, uniform feel when you lay on your mattress. This in terms allows your spine to properly align with your body. The result? An improved chance at having a much more comfortable sleep.

3. Does A Mattress Need A Box Spring?

does a mattress need a box spring - Zinus 4 Inch Low Profile Quick Lock Smart Box Spring

For support purposes, a box spring is important for overall mattress longevity. If you don’t have it, the mattress eventually sags down in the middle. For comfort, having a solid, uniform surface is invaluable for making sure your mattress stays upright in the middle (where your hips and pressure points are).

Many mattress companies have warranties that require the use of a hard, flat surface to set their mattress on. Most times it’s a great idea to combine a mattress and a box spring. Sometimes? Not so much. 

Your mattress may need a box spring if:

  • You have an existing frame that requires use of a box spring for uniform support.
  • You have a heavier memory foam or latex mattress that requires solid, uniform support.
  • You want to add extra height to your bed setup with a box spring. Box springs come in regular versions (7-9″ in height) and low-profile versions (4-6″ in height). Both serve the exact same support function.
  • You want a firmer feel on your mattress.
  • If it’s a heavy spring, memory foam, or latex design (over 150 lbs+).

A mattress may not need a box spring if: 

  • You have an existing bed frame that doesn’t require use with a box spring
  • You use a platform bed with slats less than 4″ apart that doesn’t require use of a box spring
  • You have wood or metal slats less than 4″ apart
  • You use a solid plywood or bunkie board surface that’s at least .5″ thick to support your existing mattress without adding extra height
  • You don’t want to add extra height to your bed setup

4. Can You Use A Mattress Without A Box Spring?

The short answer? Yes, you can. The long answer? We don’t recommend it. A box spring can be an essential part to your bed system. While you can technically use a mattress without a box spring, it’s probably not a great idea. If you set your mattress on another form of support you may not experience the same level of support as a box spring. Box springs are considered one of the best, most consistent forms of support for a mattress.

Instances where you can use a mattress without a box spring include:

  1. Placing your mattress directly on the floor
  2. Placing your mattress on plywood spaced less than 4″ apart
  3. Using a wood or steel bunkie board
  4. You have your mattress on a sturdy, uniform surface already
Note: While you can use a mattress without a box spring, be careful! If you set your mattress on an uneven or unsupported surface, you may (and most likely will) experience early sagging and overall shorter lifespan in your mattress. It pays to keep your mattress supported correctly. While HGA recommends use of a box spring in most cases, our main concern is making sure you have a solid, sturdy, uniform surface for your mattress. 
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