Do Memory Foam Mattresses Need Box Springs?

Do Memory Foam Mattresses Need Box Springs?

Memory foam mattresses provide lumbar and pressure point support like no other sleeping surface in history. But what kind of support do memory foam mattresses require? In other words, should you set your memory foam mattress on a standard box spring unit?

The Traditional Mattress Set-Up

For generations, traditional beds have consisted of two basic components: a mattress and a box spring unit (otherwise known as a divan). The typical divan consists of a wooden frame that contains a series of springs. This unit serves three essential purposes:
  • It raises the mattress to a convenient height that allows people to get in and out of bed with greater ease.
  • It reduces mattress wear and contributes to the absorption of impact through its series of gently yielding springs.
  • It creates a hard and flat foundation that allows the mattress to lie in a perfectly horizontal position.

Box spring units are generally covered in cloth and often sit on a raised bed frame with an attached headboard.

Box Springs and Memory Foam Mattresses: Do You Need One?

Furniture and bedding experts tend to agree that box springs are not essential for owners of memory foam mattress. Unlike less comfortable and stable traditional mattresses, memory foam can rest on any rigid and flat surface, so your old box spring, a bunkie board, or other foundation will work. As experienced mattress seller and owner of Jack Reiter explains, even the floor of your home will provide excellent support for your memory foam mattress. However, Sleep Passport contributor Rich Silver echoes the position of countless mattress professionals when he insists that there is nothing at all wrong with placing your new memory foam mattress on your old set of box springs. In fact, leveraging a box spring or bunkie board is a great way to bring your memory foam mattress up to the desired height while providing an ideal flat and firm-resting surface.

Essential Memory Foam Mattresses Support Requirements

Rich Silver insists, however, that memory foam mattresses should only be placed upon box spring units that are in excellent condition and contain no broken slats. Moreover, you should not place a memory foam mattress on slatted bed frame intended to also have a box spring unless you have the box spring or other appropriate foundation or the memory foam mattress will sag into the gaps in the frame. This is particularly important because memory foam is pretty heavy, and memory foam mattresses can weigh upwards of 180 pounds for a king. Whatever you choose to rest your memory foam mattress upon, it must be strong and unbroken in order to prevent unwanted sagging and slippage. So go ahead and put your new memory foam mattress on box springs. No matter what firm and flat surface you lay it upon, you are on your way to a better night’s sleep!

Updated: 09/13/2019