Split Box Spring
May 2, 2004 11:10 AM   Subscribe

How good does my box spring need to be? My current box spring won't fit up the stairs and into my new apartment, so I need to get a split model. Does it need to match the make/model of my mattress, and is there a real difference in quality?
posted by mkultra to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
FWIW, I haven't used a box spring in several years, originally for reasons not unlike yours... But I had also spent a lot of time in Europe for work, where box springs - at least where I was staying - were noticeably less popuplar than in the US. I bought a bed frame with attached head- and footboards from Ikea that has wooden slats across the bed to support the mattress. Its been extraordinarily comfortable. I didn't buy a "special mattress," just a normal one from a Verlo factory store in the Chicago area. You can buy the slats that support the mattress to "add on" to an existing frame, too.
posted by JollyWanker at 1:05 PM on May 2, 2004

we're talking about beds again, aren't we? and box spring is code for the thing that sits under the mattress?

without using google, or being an expert in beds, i would suspect that:
  • if it's sprung then you will have a softer bed than if it's not sprung.
  • if you live in a damp climate then a slatted support will allow the mattress to air better, but sprung (curved - see below) slats may warp in damper climes
  • slats themselves can be springy (curved) or rigid (see comment above about different softnesses)
  • with slats, be careful you can't feel them through the mattress - if you can, then you're probably also distorting the mattress badly (as it sags between slats) and could damage it.
  • bed companies would like you to spend lots of money on an expensive box because then they make a profit and so they will get as close to lying as the law permits in an attempt to make you buy one (see advertising crap reguritated by tcs on earlier thread - "i spend half my life in bed so should spend half my wage on it" - for example).
  • if the box has a rigid top with no ventilation, it is no different to sleeping with the mattress on the floor (assuming your floor is clean, even, dry etc)
  • if you buy a support made of two halves, and they are each individually sprung, then the centre will likely feel different (softer if they are sprung with springs, harder if there is simply flexure in a "rigid" top) - so if you don't want to sleep one on a side, get very rigid support
  • there is no need to match make and model, as long as you think a little. if you don't want to think, then matching make and model is an easy way to get you a bed that probably feels similar to what your bed felt like when it was first purchased.
  • apart from the rigidity of the base, durability of any springs (or similar) and whether or not it falls apart during energetic use, it's hard to see how quality is important.
  • conversely, no matter how trivial the item, someone here will have bought an expensive model and will post telling you how good it is. this is a fact of life.
  • if you don't fill the box up with springs, you can put drawers in it and keep stuff there.
  • wheels will help you move it around, but need to be lockable
  • there is no overall measure of "goodness" of these things. they are just boxes on wheels, for chrissakes.
  • the support should be placed on the floor, with the mattress laid on top of the support. both should be the same size.
that all seems like absolutley fscking obvious common sense, so maybe we could now close this run of questions on beds?
posted by andrew cooke at 1:08 PM on May 2, 2004

Response by poster: that all seems like absolutley fscking obvious common sense, so maybe we could now close this run of questions on beds?

To you, maybe, at least enough to write a lengthy passage that does little more than state the obvious without actually paying attention to the question at hand, or even being sure what a box spring is. Yeah, everything you said is all common sense, and stuff that did occur to me, but it doesn't answer my specific question.

It's a question that hasn't been asked, which you obviously don't know the answer to. Please, just ignore if it bothers you.
posted by mkultra at 1:26 PM on May 2, 2004

Skip the box springs. Platform beds are more comfy to me.
posted by adampsyche at 4:30 PM on May 2, 2004

Response by poster: Platform beds are more comfy to me.

I'm inclined to agree, but I'm not sure I wouldn't run into the same space constraints as the box spring (e.g. can't get it around the last section of stairs). I'll check it out, though...
posted by mkultra at 4:40 PM on May 2, 2004

I ran into the same problem - our queen size box spring wouldn't fit around a bend in our narrow stairs. we went to a local futon store and bought a platform bed that we assembled (easily enough) in the room. it's very comfy, and I don't miss the box spring at all.
posted by inky at 7:01 PM on May 2, 2004

I've heard split models aren't as good--and the split is usually where your lower back/butt falls--in the middle. You can get a frame with built-in springs (but that might not fit either).
posted by amberglow at 8:02 PM on May 2, 2004

oh, i've only ever seen/used the ones that are split in the middle-horizontally. An ex had one.
posted by amberglow at 10:22 PM on May 2, 2004

I would suggest that they're not really a necessity and certainly need not necessarily match your mattress.

I spent about 5 years sleeping on an extremely good mattress which rested upon two cargo pallets and have seldom slept in a bed so comfortable.

I am not an expert in beds though! Here's your grain of salt :-)
posted by dmt at 7:49 AM on May 3, 2004

Response by poster: Has anyone ever heard of someone who just cut a box spring in half and bolted it back together? It seems like that *should* work...
posted by mkultra at 8:33 AM on May 3, 2004

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