Box Springs, Foundations, Platform Beds: The Differences and Utilities

Box Springs, Foundations, Platform Beds

Buying a new mattress is an expensive investment, and adding a base, whether box spring, foundations, or platform support, adds to the cost. The question is whether you truly need a base. Generally, a base costs between $500 – $800. The price depends upon the type of base you need, what kind of mattress you will lay over and what is the size of the mattress – king, queen, or more. We need a base to protect our premium mattresses. A supportive, well-made, and high-quality bed base helps equal weight distribution. It also allows the mattress to breathe and provides sound sleep to the user.

Different mattresses require different types of support bases. There are three main types of bed bases.

  1. Box Spring
  2. Foundations
  3. Platform Beds.

This post will help you learn which type of support base is best suited for your mattress or which support base is widely preferred; you also get to know the pros, cons, and other required information before buying a support base.

Here’s a brief description of each of the mattress support bases.

  1. Box Spring

What is a Box Spring?

A typical box spring is a wooden frame with a network of steel coils inside and a cloth cover. Some newer versions are made from metal instead of wood. Box spring not only protects the mattress but also absorbs shock from the sleepers’ bodies and helps distribute the weight to prevent wear.

Ideal for –

  • Innerspring mattresses
  • Mattresses requiring additional support
  • For heavy sleepers needing extra comfort

Box spring bed bases are prepared to keep the mattress off the ground and lift it. Modern box spring bed bases are different from their earlier versions. Earlier, support bases came with actual springs. With time, this choice became questionable, and in modern times this design is not approved widely. Modern box spring bed bases are typically made from wood or metal, consisting of a series of springs resulting in a sturdier and more durable solution.

Box spring bed bases are desirable for several factors:

  • Box spring bases deliver unique mattress support
  • Have the capacity to absorb weight and making the mattress more comfortable
  • Box spring bases are aesthetically pleasing and increase the beauty of any bedroom.
  • Box spring bases come with variations. So, you have the option to select traditional-looking ones or modern ones.

Box Spring Benefits (Pros)

  • Classy, stylish, and flexible design
  • Flat surface to avoid sagging and endorse durability
  • Even weight distribution
  • Excellent base bounce (perfect for playful children)
  • Most affordable bed base option

Box Spring Constraints (Cons)

  • Characteristically heavy
  • It can induce back problems if not paired with a proper mattress
  • Not suitable for extra firm mattresses
  • Generally, wears out over time
  1. Foundation Bed

What is a Foundation Bed?

A foundation bed is a solid wooden frame with evenly spaced wooden slats on top. In recent years, more and more people are opting for foundations rather than box springs as their standard mattress base. A breathable fabric covers the base. The evenly spaced wooden slats reinforce the mattress and prevent it from crashing through the base. The spacing of the slats determines the level of the platform’s support.

 Ideal for –

  • Mattresses having dense materials
  • Suitable for firm foam or latex ones
  • Innerspring mattresses

Foundation bed bases are quite similar to box spring bed bases. However, there is a significant dissimilarity between the two. Foundation beds are without springs and come with wooden slats. This base is prepared with wood which makes it extremely sturdy. These bases are both sturdy and flexible. Therefore, support and flexibility are the key features of foundation beds. Sleepers are sure that the mattress will stay on top of the foundation instead of crashing through the base.

Foundation bed bases are desirable for numerous reasons:

  • The foundation bed base is solid and durable
  • The bed base gives the mattress additional height
  • The added height facilitates easy movement in & out of the bed
  • The foundation bed base has an identical appearance with evenly spaced slats
  • The bed base supports any mattress but is ideal for dense mattresses
  • It promotes proper air circulation for thick mattresses

Varieties of Foundation Bed Bases

  • Adjustable foundations– These can be tuned to lift your head and torso while you sleep. Ideal for people with neck and back pain and people suffering from GERD, heartburn, or acid reflux. Adjustable foundation beds boost healthy circulation, joint pressure, and back relief.
  • Bunky board foundations– These foundation beds are the thinnest and most affordable. Neither do they add much height to the mattress nor aid in improving sleep quality.
  • Metal platform foundations: Ideal for people who want to raise the mattresses higher than usual, thus creating space for storing objects. The foundations of the metal platform require an assembly with additional connector pieces (recommended). Pairs perfectly well with memory foam mattresses or those that require sturdier support and platform.
  • Solid platform foundation beds– They have the highest durability and are most suitable for your mattress and you. In terms of appearance and comfort, they are unmatched; just a little expensive, though. Heightens comfort sleeping by trapping the heat and preventing airflow and breathability. An excellent choice for hybrid, latex, or memory foam mattresses (for people who don’t live in a warm climate).
  • Metal wire grid foundation beds– In the case of a latex mattress, metal wire grid foundations are the best. They offer exceptional support for latex units. It promotes airflow and breathability, making it perfect for warm sleepers.

Foundation Bed Benefits (Pros)

  • Sturdy and supportive
  • Adds loftiness to the mattress
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Provide negligible indentation
  • Inexpensive compared to other bed bases

Foundation Bed Constraints (Cons)

  • A little too stiff
  • Not meant for a softer sleep solution
  • Not suitable for people with back pain
  • No storage space
  1. Platform Bed

What is Platform Bed?

The platform bed base allows you to keep your mattress right on the platform’s top. It is made from wood, which makes it sturdy and durable. Moreover, it is quite a favorite because of its aesthetically pleasing and fitting element, which adds extra grace to your interior. Platform bed bases are now available in metal and upholstery too. This bed base supports any mattress but is ideal for memory foam units. It is also made in the form of a rectangular, raised, level, or horizontal frame.

Ideal for –

  • Excellent choice for any mattress
  • Suitable for memory foam
  • It also
  • goes well with latex and hybrid mattresses.

Platform beds are simply the sturdiest and most durable mattress bases on the market. More so, they also come at a highly affordable price. These bed frames use solid flat foundations or evenly spaced slats which makes them an excellent choice for all types of mattresses. The reason it pairs well with any mattress, it automatically provides impeccable comfort and support, ensuring the user has a sound sleep and does not feel the hard surface underneath.

Platform bed bases are desirable for quite a few reasons:

  • It supports any mattress
  • The presence of slats prevents the formation of mold and mildew
  • Ensures airflow and keeps the mattress breathable
  • Sleek, stylish, and suits any interior intention
  • A wide array of platform bases to choose from

Types of Platform Bed Bases

  • Foot And Headboard– Certain bases are a combination of a footboard and a headboard. It offers both a traditional and modern appeal. However, the foot and headboard bases are not suitable for small rooms.
  • Floating– Instead of having visible legs, floating platform beds create a ‘floating’ illusion. However, they do feature a modern aesthetic but lack storage space.
  • Storage– As the name suggests, have inconspicuously designed additional storage spaces under the bed. This type of platform bed base helps increase your space.
  • Solid – Solid platform beds have no gap or space underneath. Their aesthetics and their robustness are their main asset.

 Materials used in Platform Beds

  • Wood– Generally, platform bed bases are made of wood. These bases can look both industrial & modern or rustic & vintage.
  • Metal– Some platform bed bases are available in the metal indication of modern and industrial style.
  • Upholstered–Upholstered platform beds are in demand owing to their luxurious and élite appearance and feel.

Platform Bed Benefits (Pros)

  • Lasts for a long time
  • Sturdy, supportive, and durable
  • Supports a variety of different mattress types
  • Promotes air circulation and mattress breathability
  • Excellent body weight distribution

Platform Bed Constraints (Cons)

  • It can be crafted from low-priced wood (usually light)
  • Low-quality wood may result in slats breakage or crack
  • Usually, without storage space under the bed

Box Spring VS Platform VS Foundation: How to Select the Best Bed Base?

Here are some points to take into consideration when purchasing a bed base:

  • Room size– Some bed bases and foundations can occupy a lot of space, especially the small ones. So, before buying a bed base, consider the size of your room. If the area is limited, avoid bed bases with a head and footboard.
  • Height– You also need to consider the height of the bed base. The height is mainly a personal choice. Selecting a medium-height base is good. A standard 7.5- to 8.5-inch height is optimal for most people.
  • Weight – It is significant to know its weight limits. The bed base necessities support both the mattress and sleeper’s body weight. So, check the weight restrictions before buying a bed foundation.
  • Assembly– Selecting a bed base is easy to assemble. The complex assembly requires time and price. So, before buying a bed base, check the assembly and installation difficulty, and select an in-home assembly.
  • Price– Depending on budget, one selects a cheaper or more expensive bed base. But, sometimes more reasonable can be better, and expensive can be worse. It is safe to choose medium-prized bed bases. These usually give the best balance between quality, durability, and price.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article on bed foundations basics was helpful to you. For more info, always consult the sellers and ask them to explain the bed base in detail. Also, if they’re too costly, consult on different expense options, warranty, and return policy.

In a nutshell:

  • A box spring is best with innerspring mattresses. Memory foam mattresses on box springs may be too soft and offer less spinal alignment.
  • The platform bed is the most versatile as it supports any mattress directly on it without a box spring or foundation.
  • With traditional bed frames (usually having fewer slats than platform beds and therefore poor weight distribution), the sleeper needs a box spring or foundation below the mattress for weight absorption.
  • Also, note that latex or memory foam mattresses go ideally with platform beds or foundations for a good night’s sleep.
  • The primary function of a foundation is to provide support to your mattress and avert sagging. It differs from a box spring, which acts as a shock absorption system rather than a foundation.