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Platform Bed vs Box Spring - Differences Compared

Verdict: We all have one goal in mind. Getting a good night’s sleep. Nothing beats a reliable, healthy, and rejuvenating rest. Your mattress is a big part of that. Platform beds and box springs are an essential part too. The problem? They’re often overlooked. Why? Box springs are less glamorous & aren’t as fun to shop for. While they may not be as interesting, they’re as important (if not more important) to your overall bed support & health. Without a good box spring or platform bed, you risk impressions in your mattress from poor support. Even worse? You risk neck, back, shoulder, and general pressure point pain from an unsupportive nights sleep.

The good news? We break down with the two most popular mattress support options – platform beds and box springs. Is one better than the other? Maybe.

As always; it depends!

Continue reading for our pros & cons including answers to several important questions to help you make the right choice for your best night’s sleep.

Platform Beds vs Box Springs (Platform Beds)

Verdict: Platform beds are substantial bed support systems that allow a wide-range of options & styles. The result? They’re usually much more visually appealing than box springs. Continue below for our full pros and cons breakdown to find out why platform beds may be a smart choice over box spring.

  • Money saving
  • Storage space
  • More versatile support
  • More visually appealing
  • Difficult to lift & maneuver
  • Not ideal for people with issues getting out of bed

Platform Bed Pros

  • More visually appealing – The design of a platform bed gives a modern look to your home. There’s such a wide range of options, styles, & types to choose from. The best part? You don’t need to get one of those ruffled bed skirts that attract dust & can be a pain to clean & hide your box springs. 
  • Potential storage space – While box springs provide great support, they can get pretty bulky. The result? Less storage space. Our readers care a lot of about storage space, so platform beds tend to be our favorite option – and for good reason. One of our favorite storage bed options is Coaster’s Chest Bed on Amazon in a beautiful brown finish. 
  • More versatile support – Platform beds can accommodate a wide range of mattress types, including heavy memory foam & latex mattress styles. The best part? Platform beds work great with headboards & foot boards too. Want a basic headboard? No problem – you don’t need to limit yourself to certain frames or types.  
  • Money saving – By not having to buy a box spring, platform beds can save some money. Why? Platform beds fill the support requirements a box spring usually has (depending on the platform bed model). Our recommendation? Take that money you saved by not buying a box spring, and put it into a more quality mattress. Take it a step further – go out and buy comfy sheets & new bamboo memory foam pillows with the money you saved.

Platform Bed Cons

  • Not ideal for people with issues getting out of bed – Platform beds are usually low profile which means they’re closer to the ground. Those who find it difficult to maneuver up and down from sitting on low surfaces would not benefit from a low profile box spring. If you have hip, back, or knee issues, the last thing you want is a low profile setup to make it difficult to get in an out of bed. The result? If you have any of these pain points and still want a platform bed, we recommend a normal height bed
  • Difficult to maneuver – Platform beds come in a wide range of styles and sizes. The problem? Most of them are heavy and cumbersome to move. The result? They’re much more difficult to move in the event of a home-change or bedroom switch. This isn’t a deal breaker for most people, but for some it can be. 

Box Springs vs Platform Beds (Box Springs)

Verdict: Box springs are fantastic choices for people looking for uniform support & reduced body impressions. They take away the hassle of lugging around a big bed in the event of a move, and they can ultimately save you money. Continue below for our full pros and cons list. 

  • Uniform, reliable support
  • Reduces body impressions
  • Less hassle in event of a move
  • Much more affordable (in general)
  • Easier to get out of bed with extra height
  • Great airflow + moisture free environment
  • No storage space options
  • Not as aesthetically pleasing

Box Spring Pros

  • Uniform support & reduced body impressions – Box springs provide more shock absorption that prolongs the life of your mattress versus platform beds (in general). The best part? Less body impressions. Most mattresses sag over time due to faulty support in the mid-section. Box springs eliminate that issue with a sturdy, reliable surface across the entire mattress.  
  • Less Hassle in the Event of Moving – Whether you are moving to a new house, rearranging your room, or moving the bed out of one room to another, a box spring can be much easier to maneuver than a platform bed. There’s split & bifold box springs that make for simple & hassle-free movement. The best part? Most frames that come with a box spring are easy to fold & take with you too.
  • Much More Affordable (in general) – While some box spring can be costly, it can be more affordable in the long-term. By increasing the life of your mattress, you can save yourself from buying mattresses often. Also, you don’t have to purchase a costly bedframe if you elect not to. All you need with a box spring is a hard surface; even if that surface is your hardwood floor. (Make sure to protect your floor in that event)
  • Promotes good airflow & less moisture – There’s a host of fluids your body releases at night – we all do it. Your primary concern should be ensuring a good airflow, moisture-free sleeping environment. Box springs do a great job promoting that. Keeping the mattress elevated with good support prevents moisture & mildew buildup. Over time, mold, mildew, and bacteria grow – causing serious potential health concerns. 
  • Easier to Get Out of Bed – Most people sit at desks all day. We do it too. The result? Sore pain and pressure points that take a toll on your body getting in and out of bed. The good news? Box springs range in height from 4″ – 9″. Each height choice allows you to fully customize which height makes the most sense for you and your partner. Getting a large mattress? Buy a low profile box spring. Have a relatively short mattress (6-8 inches)? Get a standard or high profile box spring to accommodate that height gap. Having multiple height 

Box Spring Cons

  • No storage space options – Unless you buy a raised platform bed frame and create your own storage options & totes, you aren’t getting much in the way of storage options with a box spring. If you’re limited to a small room space, a box spring most likely gets in the way of any space saving efficiency. 
  • Not as aesthetically pleasing – Even with bed skirts, box springs aren’t considered aesthetically pleasing options. Box springs usually comes in basic, no frills upholstery. Many people choose to cover a box spring with a bed skirt.

Platform Bed Frame vs Box Spring

Platform bed frame vs box spring - Zinus 14 Inch Elite SmartBase Mattress Foundation
Zinus 14 Inch Elite SmartBase on Amazon

Platform bed frames act similarly to normal platform beds. Compared to box springs, most platform bed frames are designed to completely replace box springs, like the Zinus 14 Inch Elite SmartBase Mattress Foundation

The best part?

Buying a platform bed frame means you most likely do not need a box spring. The result? You save money. The average box spring costs anywhere from $150 – $300. The best part? Platform bed frames generally cost the same (while allowing for storage) than a box spring. They aren’t without their cons (as mentioned above), but they’re a great alternative. 

Note: Platform bed frames generally do not support latex mattresses or heavy memory foam mattresses. They’re best used with flippable innerspring mattresses, or light memory foam mattresses. We recommend a sturdy box spring if you have a heavy memory foam or latex mattress.

Platform Bed vs Box Spring - Comfort Difference?

Platform beds and box springs both work toward one goal – supporting a mattress adequately. The result? The comfort on a mattress with a box spring or platform bed is about the same. But, there are several conditions that may change comfort, including: 

Metal vs Wood – box springs and platform beds come in several different material types, including metal & wood. Both are sturdy options, one is no better than the other, but steel may be more rigid and less forgiving than wood. Steel frames also tend to get bent and misshapen over time, while wood box springs may be more resilient & last longer (depending on quality of wood & construction)

Slat Spacing – While box springs and platform beds both serve to keep the mattress properly supported, you must ensure proper slat support. Most platform beds come with slats spaced less than 4” apart. Anything more than 4” apart and comfort over time may become affected. Our recommendation? Slats less than or equal to 3” apart with a solid center support (a metal leg like this, or a vertical metal bar)

Platform Bed vs Box Spring Conclusion

Picking between a box spring and platform bed is fairly simple. It entirely depends on whether pros and cons for either option make sense for your individual situation. 

Want a platform bed? Great! You’ll get better storage options with more visually appealing designs, but you’ll sacrifice convenience in case of a move, and getting in and out of bed may become more difficult. 

Want a box spring? Good choice! Uniform, sturdy support, less body impressions over time from a better sleep surface, and an overall more budget friendly option are features and benefits you can expect with a box spring. Even better? If you have a heavy memory foam or latex mattress, box springs do a great job providing that supportive layer underneath so your mattress can optimally perform. Drawbacks? There’s a few – like no storage options, and not nearly as visually pleasing to the eye as platform beds can be. 

The good news? We laid it all out – simply and easily so you can make the best possible buying decision. Good luck!

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