A common piece of advice experts offer for consumers during mattress shopping is to order a new box spring to go with it. Often, buyers ignore this advice partly due to money issues and a genuine feeling that their current box spring is still fairly good enough to hold up for a couple more years.
However, this decision tends to backfire in most cases, as the fairly worn out box springs struggle to provide adequate support for the new mattress, causing sagging and other indentations that can reduce the mattress’s lifespan significantly.
Box springs last longer than mattresses because their average lifespan is approximately 10 years compared to the 7-year average for mattresses. However, most box springs provide average to mediocre support in the final years which can ruin a new mattress.
What Is A Box Spring?
Box spring is a popular mattress foundation featuring wood with coiled springs in the middle and covered by a piece of fabric. It provides support to the mattress and absorbs the shocks from the sleeper’s body to prolong its lifespan.
Additionally, box springs also raise the mattress from the ground and give consumers a flat and firm structured surface to lie, sit, or undertake other activities.
Box springs come in the same standard sizes as mattresses meaning queen size models for instance go with queen size mattresses. This is why finding a mattress and box spring combo can be so easy whether shopping online or in a showroom.
Do I Need A New Box Spring?
This is a fairly common question many consumers ask when shopping for a new mattress especially after being reminded that they need to add a box spring. There’s no universal answer for this as an individual’s circumstances will determine whether a new box spring is necessary or not.
However, if you fall into any of the categories below then ordering a new one may be the smartest option.
1. The Current Box Spring is Worn Out
Do you have an old box spring that is showing signs of sagging and disintegration? If yes, buying a new one can be rewarding in several ways. Box springs may improve sleep quality by providing adequate support for the sleeper’s body weight.
Additionally, the springs can prop up the mattress and reduce the shocks from the weight of the sleeper. The result is an improvement in the lifespan of the mattress especially among those with a few extra pounds.
This is one of the reasons why industry experts recommend getting a new box spring to go with a new mattress regardless of the type and price tag.
2. Mattress Warranty Stipulation
Mattress brands are offering more generous warranties like never before in a bid to beat the competition and attract sales. However, these warranties do not come without stipulations for consumers to follow.
Few things can disintegrate mattresses quicker than worn out box springs. These foundations typically feature sagging springs which may not only fail to provide the right level of support for the mattress but can also progressively ruin the areas of the mattress it makes physical contact with.
Even the best mattresses featuring superior components and crafted under world-class processes can suffer significant wear and tear when exposed to box springs which have seen better days. No wonder some manufacturers demand that consumers order new box springs as a pre-condition to successful warranty claims if anything goes wrong.
3. Buoyant Sleeping
The presence of coiled springs explains the buoyancy typical in innerspring mattresses and hybrids. Many older Americans grew up on coiled spring mattresses and only shifted to foam models in the last few years.
While memory foam and latex may offer numerous benefits including proper spinal alignment and custom support for each sleeper’s unique contours, many consumers say they miss the buoyancy effect from coiled spring mattresses.
The good news is that box springs can be a great way to enjoy some degree of buoyancy even on a foam mattress. This is thanks to the coiled spring component of box springs that props up all types of foam mattresses.
Personally, I love coming home to The Zinus Armita 9-inch Box Spring from Amazon. It is perfect for anyone who prefers sleeping a bit higher from the floor and provides world-class comfort and support for my body. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
What Are The Signs That Your Box Spring Is Worn Out?
Even though the conventional practice is to buy a new box spring every time you’re shopping for a brand new mattress, the recommendation may not always be easy to follow. When money is tight and you can barely afford a new mattress, adding a box spring to the mix may not seem like the most important thing to do.
As such, you might want to confirm that the old box spring is worn out by conducting a physical inspection before shelling out on a new one. Here are a few signs that a new box spring is non-negotiable.
Creaking or Squeaking Noises: This is common in box springs with their good years behind them. The slightest pressure may lead to loud noises and unbearable sleeping difficulties especially among chronic insomniacs and those suffering from anxiety or stress.
Sagging: Box springs are designed to offer a flat surface for sleeping, sitting, or relaxing in bed. Any form of sagging across its surface can rapidly affect the structure and shape of mattress resulting in sleep disruptions during the night.
Have you seen the article we wrote on How to Fix and Prevent Mattress Sagging? Click the link to read everything you need to know to protect your mattress from sagging and other physical indentations.
Damaged Steel Grids: Can you spot signs of bending or disintegration of the steel grids found on box springs? If yes, that may be a clue that the box spring needs to be replaced sooner than later. Remember, these steel grids are designed to provide support and any damage can lead to sleep disturbances.
Worn-Out Coiled Springs: Brand new box springs feature strong and solid springs that absorb the shock of the sleeper’s body weight. Unfortunately, the springs wear out slowly over the years. If the steel springs are showing signs of significant wear and tear, the time may be right to look for a new one.
Over 10 years old: Box springs are designed to last up to 10 years. If your current one has been in use for more than a decade, shopping for a new one can be a great idea just to be on the safer side even if there are no obvious signs of physical damage.
Alternatives to Box Springs
Are you wondering whether there are solid alternatives to box springs? The answer is yes, several other platforms can provide similar benefits for sleepers. Unless your mattress manufacturer explicitly requires box springs to maintain the warranty, any of the options below can be a solid choice.
Slats are typically planks of wood or steel laid across a bed frame to keep mattresses from slipping or even shifting. The wood planks also ensure a sturdy and flat surface to keep the mattress from caving due to the sleeper’s body weight.
Additionally, slats can offer even weight distribution while providing proper alignment of the sleeper’s spine with other body areas. The good news is that they’re usually lightweight and more affordable than the others we’ll delve into below.
Slats are also easy to install without the need for any complicated assembly instructions. However, be sure to install them properly to gain the right level of support especially for heavy-duty mattresses.
The Olee Sleep 14-Inch Heavy Duty Steel Slats from Amazon provides stable and long-lasting support for mattresses. It is easy to assemble and eliminates the need for a Box Spring for any kind of mattress.
2. Wood Foundation
These are slabs of flat wood integrated into bed frames to provide support for the mattress and sleeper. They often come in a corrugated board style without gaps or slats to keep the mattress surface flat.
Wood foundations are designed to keep mattresses flat while reducing the risk of sagging to the barest minimum. This means even average quality mattresses can maintain their shape for long periods.
Besides, wood foundations offer maximum support for innersprings, memory foam, and latex thanks to the absence of slats which typically feature spaces that can cause damage during long-term use.
The only downside is their heavyweight nature which can make it difficult to transport without some extra hands. Those living in small apartments with space concerns may also be better served by choosing another option.
3. Platform Beds
These are low-profile bed frames featuring a slatted or solid surface to accommodate and provide support for the mattress. Platform beds look similar to box springs with the main difference being the absence of coiled springs in the middle.
They can offer superior breathability thanks to the presence of holes and channels that promote air circulation. This may result in amazing sleep during hot summer nights when mattresses can heat up beyond comfort.
Also, these beds are flexible and compatible with headboards and footboards as well as nightstands and other pieces of complementary furniture. They can be quite affordable and suitable for those living in studios and apartments with space concerns.
4. Adjustable Bases
Adjustable bases can be another solid alternative to box springs. They come in a special design that elevates the head and foot sections between 40 and 70 degrees for a more comfortable sleeping experience.
They can be the perfect solution for anyone that desires reduced snoring, maximum comfort, and speedy injury recovery. These flexible beds may be perfect for back and side sleepers as well as stomach sleepers who want to switch to the back.
Adjustable beds can be the perfect solution for anyone who loves to read or watch TV in bed. Some models have integrated massaging features to provide even more comfort.
The LUCID L100 Adjustable Bed from Amazon has been worth every penny since it arrived in my home. It is my go-to option every time I’m struggling to sleep due to any form of body pains or injuries. Seriously, you should consider buying one because it has been a game-changer to my sleep.
Are you tired of sleeping elevated from the ground or have personal circumstances that make a raised bed impossible? Either way, the floor can be a viable option if you’d rather not sleep on a box spring. Floor sleeping can also be a cost-effective option when money is tight.
The good news is that the floor can be an oasis of cool air during summer heatwaves when a restful shuteye can seem next to impossible. It can also protect mattresses from sagging and other forms of structural disintegration that may be caused by faulty box springs or other bed platforms.
However, the downsides to floor sleeping include exposure to dust mites, dust particles, bacteria, and other allergens. If you prefer sleeping on the floor, make sure the mattress is lifted regularly to prevent molds and mildew from developing under it.
Have you read the article we wrote on Sleeping on a Hard Surface? Click the link to read some benefits you wish you knew about ditching beds.
Box springs may last longer than mattresses yet it is still advisable to buy a new model whenever you shop for a new mattress. This can ensure that the mattress gets a clean slate in terms of support to maximize its lifespan.
Some mattress brands demand a new box spring to maintain its warranty and going contrary to that can void the chances of a successful claim in the future should anything go wrong with the mattress.