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Box Spring vs Foundation – What’s the Best Choice?

Box Spring vs Mattress Foundation

Both box springs and foundations do the same thing, but they are different. Some types of mattresses work better with the one-bed base than the other. Depending on the kind of mattress you have, you may choose one over the other.

You’ll require a specific mattress and bed structure based on your preferred sleeping surface. Both foundations and box springs have several benefits and drawbacks to take into account.

Let’s get started on the box spring vs. foundation discussion to make your bed shopping experience a little bit simpler.

What’s the Difference Between a Box Spring and a Foundation?

Even though box springs and foundations look similar, they serve different purposes. Consider the significant distinctions that we’ve outlined here.

Mattress Compatibility

Box spring was necessary when most mattresses had springs since the mattress support structure was under some strain. Box springs are still an excellent alternative for many older innerspring mattresses nowadays.

Mattresses made of latex, memory foam, or a hybrid of the two generally benefit from a foundation rather than a box spring because of its additional support.

Read the warranty on your mattress to find out if it needs a box spring or a foundation. The contract will tell you which type your mattress needs.


Even though a foundation and a box spring may look alike, they are made differently. A box spring is a frame made of wood or metal with coils inside and some fabric wrapped around it.

The top of a foundation is covered with a frame constructed of wooden panels or slats.


Box springs have a spring system that gives them more bounce, while foundations are solid and help keep mattresses from sagging over time.

A box spring will give you more support, but its main job is to absorb shocks when you move around on your mattress. The best choice for you would probably be a foundation if you needed more stable support.


The coils inside a box spring give it support. Depending on how frequently they are used, these coils may deteriorate over time and lose their ability to support your mattress.

Because hardwood slats rather than coils are used for support and are less susceptible to deterioration over time, foundations are frequently more enduring.


Box spring and foundation prices are highly proportional to the size of the base required to hold a given mattress.

A smaller box spring or foundation, similar to a smaller bed, will be less expensive than a larger one.

But generally speaking, the price of foundations is a little higher than that of box springs. A queen-sized mattress and foundation will often cost you around $350, while a queen-sized box spring typically costs about $200.

Box Spring vs Foundation Comparison Table

ParameterBox SpringFoundation
Mattress CompatibilityAppropriate for innerspring mattressesSuitable for use with all mattresses
DurabilityBroken coils provide squeaking noise and reduced support.More enduring and solid
WeightNot as heavy as the foundationMore robust than a box spring
SupportGives your mattress support and more bounce.Gives your mattress a firm base.
ConstructionWooden or aluminum frame with steel coilsBox with a top wooden slat.
Average PriceLess costly ($100–300)More expensive ($200-$500)

Comparison of Box Springs and Foundations

Still don’t know which choice is best? Let’s look at both sides of the box spring vs. foundation argument.

Box Spring Pros

✅ Coils add bounce to a hard innerspring mattress.
Absorbs motion to keep the bed from shifting when someone moves.
✅ Offers crucial support, especially for innerspring mattresses, to avoid sagging.
✅ The metal coils promote airflow and breathability.

Box Spring Cons

🚫 Coils could deteriorate over time
🚫 The possibility for squeaky coil noise, particularly over time
🚫 Sagging can occur even after several years.
🚫 Heavier than some bed bases and foundations.

Foundation Pros

Less prone to break than a box spring
Adaptable to almost all mattress types
Avoids sagging by offering consistent support

Foundation Cons

🚫 Heavy based on materials and slats
🚫 Doesn’t bounce back.
🚫 It is $100 to $2,000, more expensive than a box spring.

Factors to Think about Box Spring vs Foundation

A box spring and a foundation both support a mattress, but there are significant variations between the two. Most mattress types work well with most foundations.

Box springs that are too old can sometimes make a mattress warranty void. Before you decide which one to buy, think about the following things.


Box springs give a little bit, but they also give you more bounce, so they are best for people who move around a lot while they sleep. If you want your mattress to feel firmer, you should think about getting a foundation.


Foundations are sturdy and less likely to crack than box springs, which can make their inner coil system wear out rapidly over time.


Box springs are frequently more breathable and have more excellent airflow since they contain an inner coil structure and are less dense than foundations.

But if you choose a mattress foundation with slats that are further apart from each other, you can improve airflow.


Unlike the $600 or more for a metal bed, box spring for a queen-size bed will only set you back $100 to $300. However, foundations are frequently between $200 and $500, making them reasonably expensive.

Depending on the features and brand, adjustable frames for some foundations can cost upwards of $1,000.

The price of a box spring or mattress base will ultimately be determined by the frame’s size, material, manufacturer, and brand.

Mattress Compatibility

Box springs are made for innerspring mattresses, while foundations can be used with almost any type of mattress. Some box springs can cause the warranty on a new bed not to work.

Alternatives to Foundations and Box Springs

Besides box springs and foundations, there are various alternative methods for sustaining a mattress at night. Platform beds and adjustable bases are examples of them.

With remote control, adjustable bases are perfect for people who snore or have sleep apnea since they let you change the height and angle of the bed by 40 to 70 degrees.

Platform beds are straightforward bed frames that rest on the floor and don’t need a foundation or box spring.

They are large, space-saving solid wood slabs with an appealing modern appearance.


Can a mattress be ruined by box springs?

Indeed, a box spring won’t work with a latex or memory foam mattress because those aren’t designed to be supported by springs.

Box springs are only suitable for innerspring mattresses, so they probably won’t give enough support to heavier mattresses and could cause them to sag or wear out too soon.

Can a box spring or foundation be placed on the floor?

Even though a box spring or foundation can be put on the floor, it’s best to put them on a frame. Placing your bed base on the floor can block airflow, wear down the upholstery, and get your mattress dirty.

Does your mattress need a box spring or a base?

Some mattresses for the floor don’t need a box spring or a base. Using one, on the other hand, can give you better support and help your mattress last longer.

Why is a box spring necessary?

Box springs were developed to complement them to help innerspring mattresses withstand shock and lessen daily wear. This arrangement allows the bed last longer.

There is no need for a box spring with modern mattress options like foam, hybrid, or latex.

What should the price of box springs be?

Box springs are much cheaper than mattresses. On their own, an excellent traditional box spring will cost between $100 and $300.

You can often get bundles or even free box springs when you buy a mattress online, so it’s worth looking around for if you know, you’ll need one.

How to find a box spring?

Most traditional spring mattresses are sold with box springs. It’s not uncommon to find a mattress and box spring sold together at discount prices, especially in warehouse clubs and on the internet.

How much should it cost to lay a foundation?

The price range for mattress foundations is much broader than that of box springs. A good foundation can cost anywhere from $200 to $2000.

However, a robust, high-quality mattress foundation can be bought for between $200 and $500, so there is no need for one to cost thousands of dollars.

Bottom Line

While a mattress foundation will last longer and provide more firm support, the box spring is still a viable alternative for those who desire a softer, “bouncy” bed.

No matter which bed base you pick, ensure you don’t skimp on quality. A cheap or inappropriate mattress base can drastically impair the comfort of your bed by altering its firmness, support distribution, and propensity to sag.

The good news is that many mattress producers provide details regarding the best option for box spring vs foundation, so think about asking them for advice before you buy.

Also Read: Do you Need a Box Spring? Things to Know in 2023

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