Should I keep a box spring mattress?
July 28, 2005 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Is there a reason I should continue to use a box spring mattress?

I have and have always had a box spring mattress. But now I finally have an apartment all to myself and have decided to furnish and decorate it like an adult. The last piece is the bed - currently, I have the skimpy metal frame with box spring and standard mattress (no head/foot board). When looking at new beds I'm mostly attracted to modern "platform" styles that only use the top mattress. Would I be less comfortable if I got rid of my box spring?
posted by mullacc to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
box spring is what americans call the large box under the mattress, right? you don't need it and i'm pretty sure this has been discussed here before. if it's sprung, rather than just a flat platform, then the mattress alone will be less soft - whether that feels better, or worse, or is noticeable at all depends on you and the mattress and base in question.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:54 PM on July 28, 2005

We have a Dania bedframe and use only the mattress. It's very comfortable, but it's also a VERY good mattress and the frame is definitely designed to be used without a box spring. It sounds like that's what you're looking at, too, so you should be good.
posted by peep at 3:00 PM on July 28, 2005

It's worth noting that mattresses last longer when on a box sping than when on a platform.
posted by bobot at 3:02 PM on July 28, 2005

spring, even.
posted by bobot at 3:11 PM on July 28, 2005

I'd recommend a 6 inch slab of latex topped with 3 or 4 inches of memory foam. Much more comfortable than any conventional mattress.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:14 PM on July 28, 2005

Discussions like these should be specific about the under-mattress: In my experience, 'box springs' have become rare. Instead, the mattres store sells you what they call a 'foundation' -- unlike springs and metal, the inside of a foundation is like a pallet (those wooden slat-things they stack goods up on, which allows the fork-lift to get in under and hoist it all up). Imagine a mattres-sized pallet, with a layer of padding atop some corrugated cardboard, top and bottom, inside the outer fabric cover. Not as heavy, nor noisy, as the traditional box spring. But also not as flexible, getting it around tight corners on moving day.
posted by Rash at 3:15 PM on July 28, 2005

Thanks for the answers - I'll be getting rid of that box spring (and the evil entity known as a bedskirt with it).

Sorry to add to the long list of mattress questions - I didn't realize it was such a common source of confusion. I feel a little less retarded now - though I'm still embarassed that I needed a good 10 minutes of explanation from my mom about what a coverlet was and how it differed from a comforter.
posted by mullacc at 3:41 PM on July 28, 2005

It's worth noting that mattresses last longer when on a box sping than when on a platform.

do you have any evidence for this, apart from statements by people selling box springs?
posted by andrew cooke at 3:41 PM on July 28, 2005

Maybe it's too late to change your mind but I've found that bed without box spring or whatever under the matress tend to be a lot less comfortable because they are less, well, springy.
posted by mai at 4:07 PM on July 28, 2005

Make that beds without box springs.
posted by mai at 4:07 PM on July 28, 2005

Are you looking to buy a new mattress as well as a new bed?

If you are getting rid of the box spring but keeping the old mattress, you might find it less comfortable with the platform bed. Also, if it's a solid platform, you will have to rotate the mattress every few months (I guess you are supposed to do this anyway).

I have a platform style bed from IKEA, but it's actually a series of slats instead of a solid board. It's a cheap bed, but I splurged on a top of the line pillow-top mattress, and have been sleeping comfortably ever since.
posted by luneray at 4:12 PM on July 28, 2005

luneray: I would be keeping the old mattress. Why would I find it less comfortable after ditching the box spring? I imagine it may feel more firm (which is fine for me).
posted by mullacc at 6:49 PM on July 28, 2005

Bought a better-quality Sealy or Simmons or Somesuch, and the salesguys in several stores stated flatout that (a) the mattress is no-flip; (b) it needs no boxspring, a platform is just peachy.

I rather suspect mattress design has changed these past few years, to eliminate the flipping (which I think also has to do with a new style of edge springing/padding), and to permit use of cheap-ass foundations and platforms.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:19 PM on July 28, 2005

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