The mattress is the most important part of your bedtime furniture, but lets not forget what supports the support. Box springs provide a firm and flat surface to place your mattress. If properly designed, this support is evenly distributed across the entirety of the mattress. As an added benefit, a quality box spring will reduce wear and absorb shock, extending the life of your mattress. This can be particularly important if you invest a lot of money in a quality mattress. Lucky for you, we’ve done the dirty work for you and researched the best box springs and compiled a list for you here.
Check out our list of the best box springs to find your mattresses’ new best friend, and read through our guide to learn more about choosing the right box spring for you.
General Thoughts on Box Springs Compared to Other Mattress Support
There are three basic types of supports for mattresses namely platform bed, foundation and box springs. Platform beds are typically low bed frames, which often have foot and head boards as well as a firm panel of wooden slats to support a mattress. A foundation is basically a wooden frame that has slats which are covered in cloth or synthetic fabric.
A box spring on the other hand is a wooden frame that has a series of heavy gauge spring coils and is also covered in fabric. Box springs are placed on a wooden or metallic bed frame and are specifically designed to absorb weight and distribute it evenly across the support base while platform beds and foundations basically provide a firm surface to support the mattress.
The best box springs feature a wooden frame which encloses a grid or a series of upholstery grade coil springs. The frame is covered in a thick fabric called ticking on the sides and a skid-resistant fabric covers the top. Another fabric is placed at the bottom to bar dust particles. The box spring elevates the mattress to the suitable height, avoiding dust and cold air. The strong spring construction absorbs weight and disperses it evenly since the coil springs used have less give as compared to those used in innerspring mattresses. Box springs also provide a firm, flat structure to place the mattress.
A box spring helps the mattress to have a longer lifespan and is best recommended for double-sided innerspring mattresses. Double-sided (reversible) innerspring mattresses tend to lose much of their life expectancy if placed on a platform bed or foundation. The coils in an innerspring mattress and those found in the box spring move along together thus absorbing the body weight of the sleeper and can make a stiffer mattress feel softer.
High quality box spring design features a thin strong insulation on the top of the coil springs as well as a layer of firm cotton placed directly under the top fabric. Buying from reputable mattress companies is highly advised since most of the cheap available box springs are merely foundations and lack springs. Furthermore, a low quality box spring will produce squeaky sounds when one rolls over the mattress or gets on/off the bed which can be very annoying.
5 of the Best Box Springs
Here is our list of the best box springs of 2016.
Made by one of the best manufacturers of high quality mattresses and box springs, Continental Sleep, this unit comes fully assembled and ready to use. The box spring is covered in a heavy duty non-skid cloth fabric. It has a firm wood frame with strong that can withstand a lot of pressure without breaking thus no squeaky sounds are produced. The Continental Sleep Full Coil Box Spring is part of the Fifth Ave Collection by Comfort Bedding and is available in various sizes. The unit meets all federal and flammability standards.
This standard size box spring is made from heavy duty steel for long lasting durability. It comes disassembled to allow for easy mobility in any room size. The Smart Box Spring from Zinus has a strong, firm steel structure to offer support while still guaranteeing comfort. The package includes all the needed tools for easy assembly and a 5-year limited warranty.
Low Profile box springs are becoming more common with modern style beds. Having the box spring thinner, means that the mattress is easier to get on and off of. This support base has a hardwood foundation and is shipped in a small compact package including all parts, assembly instructions and tools. This Instant Foundation is shipped disassembled so as to lower transport costs and make it easier to move. The firm build of this item provides support and prevents the mattress from caving in or sagging. It is available in the following sizes Twin, Twin XL, Queen, King and California King.
This modern box spring offers a firm support and comes with a Bi-Fold foundation design for easy mobility. The compact size lowers the risks of nicks and scrapes on walls and furniture. Also the split foldable design allows for easy maneuvering on small doorways, corners and narrow hall ways as well as saves costs on shipping of the item, which easily makes it one of the best box springs. It has a heavy duty steel construction covered in fabric as well as a non-skid fabric in the center to keep the mattress in place. This Best Price bi-fold box spring requires no assembly and comes with a 5-year warranty.
This remarkable combination includes a deluxe spring mattress as well as a Bi-Fold box spring. The mattress has numerous independent coil springs (iCoils) to ensure motion separation and customized support for a comfortable night’s sleep. The Bi-Fold Box Spring on the other hand is easy to use in tight spaces and is made from heavy gauge steel for firm support and long lasting durability. The box spring does not require any assembly. The box spring has a 5-year limited warranty while the mattress comes with a 10-year limited warranty
Advantages of Box Spring Support
There are many advantages to owning a box spring and giving your mattress some extra support. We’ve summed up some of the most important ones below.
- The best box springs can help spruce up the aesthetic appeal of the bedroom space by adding more height to the bed. In a loftier space this can be a great way to make it more cozy. They provide the best option for people who may prefer sleeping on high raised beds and also ensure a suitable height away from cold air and dust. Typically they are available in two sizes: standard and low-profile, which are enough to provide the desired height.
- The spring grid is usually very firm and yields only the slightest bit which creates firm support for the mattress. Box springs evenly distribute the pressure exerted on the mattress across the foundation when one is lying on the bed or getting on/off the bed. Since they are designed to offer flexibility to the mattress, box springs contribute to its longevity. Generally as a person gets older the more the body requires pressure relief which translates to more ‘give’ from the mattress as well as the foundation type. Box springs are known to achieve this quite well as they tend to make a stiff mattress feel softer. Also, mattresses tend to sag in the middle or cave in very fast if placed on a bed frame alone.
- Reversible or double-sided inner-spring mattresses are specifically designed to be used on box springs for maximum comfort and durability. The alignment and simultaneous movement of the coil springs in box springs and mattress allows for relaxation, shock absorption and gives soft feeling on a rather stiff mattress. Additionally, double sided innerspring mattresses have been found to have a reduced life span if used on platform beds, foundations or floor due to the increased risk of popping a spring in the mattresses. Some spring mattresses will feel a bit different on a platform bed or foundation because these supports absorb most of the body weight thus affecting the conforming properties of the mattress.
- Some brands also require that the consumer must buy the accompanying box springs for full warranty coverage. This translates into an even greater value for money due to the lowered maintenance costs. Notably, some manufacturers may invalidate the warranty if the mattress is not properly supported thus the need to consider a firm support (box spring) for the mattress.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a New Box Spring
Most mattresses today are designed with an all-inclusive design that merely requires a firm, flat surface beneath it for instance foundations, platform beds or even the floor. The traditional box springs were made to be used with innerspring mattresses, however even modern coil mattresses have undergone a lot of improvement featuring a soft conforming top layer and a firm supportive base.
This apparent ‘phasing out’ of box springs demands extra caution and research before deciding to buy a box spring as some sellers may coerce the consumer to buy one just to unload unneeded box springs or even worse sell typical foundations in place of box springs. The increased popularity of platform beds and foundations has not made the challenge of finding a good quality box spring any easier.
The ability of the coil spring to withstand body weight must be put into account and also the fact that the springs tend to lose their elasticity with age is another factor. Some box springs have cone-shaped wire coils which offer ideal support as well as flexibility of a firm mattress. Others come with high-quality modular grids that have square coils for increasing the longevity of the mattress.
Today, most box springs do not actually have springs (irony at it’s best?). Instead some of them comprise of wooden frames with a rigid, firm metal grid just above the slats for adequate support and minimum flexing. The best quality box springs are found in high end luxury bed brands like Vi-Spring, E.S. Kluft & Co.’s ‘Aireloom’ and ‘Kluft’, Royal-Pedic and Hästens.
Replacing of old box springs after purchasing a new mattress is very necessary since they can develop weak points which can affect the performance, warranty validity and durability of the new mattress. Also traditional box springs may not be compliant with flammability standards thus using older box springs with the new mattress may pose a safety risk.
Most brands sell the mattress and box spring as a combination, which typically will be under the same warranty terms. The accompanying foundation type sold together with the mattress is usually the best suited for the job. One of the best alternatives to box springs is platform beds this is because they do not require a bed frame thus can greatly save on costs. Some platform beds provide storage space underneath where drawers can be installed or the open space can be utilized as desired.
The following elements can help in determining the best box springs:
- Type of Box Spring. Broadly there are two types of box springs: standard and split box spring.
- Split Box Spring. The split design has two foldable or separate parts and is slightly expensive than the standard one which comes as one whole piece. The split foldable design is mostly credited to engineers at Leggett & Platt who came up with a collapsible box spring that was not only easy to move but also cheap to transport. The biggest advantage of the split box spring is that it is easier to move in narrow halls, staircases and doorways, however it requires enough support at the center therefore ensure the bed frame is strong enough to accommodate this box spring type.
- Mattress Type. Reversible inner-spring mattresses are well suited for use with box springs. On the other hand, one-sided innerspring mattresses and non-coil mattresses like latex, memory foam, waterbeds and gel hybrid mattresses have to be used on a firm, flat surface such as foundations or platform beds. Memory foam mattresses may be used on the box spring as long as it is evenly distributed to avoid discomfort since the mattresses usually take the shape of the bed base. A quarter inch of perforated plywood may be placed over the box spring to give it the needed support and air circulation underneath the memory foam mattress. Generally non-spring mattresses require to be used on firm surfaces with no ‘give’ for them to provide their intended conforming abilities properly.
- Materials. It is advised that the consumer must always consider high quality materials that suit their lifestyle. Box springs may feature organic fabrics, hypoallergenic fabrics, densely packed coils or even natural fillers. Close inspection on the differences in fibers, spring type and other box spring parts can help in determining the best box springs.
- Preferred Overall Bed Height. One major advantage of box springs is the added height to the bed. Therefore, it is very crucial to take into account the overall height of the bed and what you are comfortable with. The two most common box spring sizes are the standard 9-inch and the low profile 5-inch. If a high-profile mattress and/or foam toppers are to be used then a low-profile box spring will offer the most ideal height.