Mattress and Boxspring Shopping Advice


One question we frequently hear from our Seattle shoppers is, do I need a mattress set (mattress plus boxspring, also called a box) or can I get by with a mattress only?

Ready for some Q&A? We’re here to help dispel some myths about mattress shopping and make the process easier and more transparent for you.

Q: What’s the value of a box? When shopping for a new mattress, do I NEED to buy a new box, or can I use my old boxspring? Is using a platform bed — a bed that supports the mattress all on its own on a raised, horizontal frame — as good as using a boxspring?

A: All of these are good questions, and the answer may vary. Most boxes these days are just fabric covered height. They have wooden slats across the top; oftentimes there will be cardboard over the slats. The few companies that still use coils or metal in their boxes use a rigid structure with little to no give. Therefore, a box is merely height to hold a mattress on a frame. This is one of the reasons platform beds have become more popular over the years. As boxes have become an unnecessary part of a bed’s support system, people have chosen to save money by selecting frames that no longer require a box.

You might not need a box under your mattress

The right bed frame eliminates the need for a box underneath your mattress. If you don’t require the height & your mattress is in good shape, a platform bed with slats is all you need!

CHECK OUT STURDY PLATFORM BEDS

It used to be that boxes were an integral part of a bed’s support system. If you go back far enough in the history of mattresses, you’ll find that batting materials like hay, wool, and cotton were the sleep surfaces of choice for most people (nowadays, we would liken these beds to futon mattresses). Back then, coil boxes would provide responsiveness to a sleep surface that was generally quite firm. As mattress companies evolved, coil systems were inserted into beds to increase their comfort life. These heat-tempered coils were able to maintain their shape for up to 2 million compressions, whereas batting materials compressed fairly quickly.

With coils now being part of the mattress, the coil boxes became a liability for mattress companies. The number of coils used in boxsprings were not numerous enough to handle the weight of a mattress plus people combined, and mattress companies were more likely to have warrant-able sags to mattress sets they sold. Often times, people needed to insert plywood between the mattress and box to firm up their sleep surface. When people didn’t firm up the bed themselves, sags in low coil count boxes led to problems for mattress manufacturers and consumers alike.

So mattress companies changed. Boxes are now manufactured with little to no give so that sags are less likely to be a result of the box, and are sometimes an unnecessary purchase.

Q: I’m in the market for a new bed, and my bed frame requires the use of a box. Do I need to buy a new one?

A: Unfortunately, you may. Mattress warranties require that you put the mattress on a good support system. Platform beds are almost always okay, but old boxsprings generally aren’t. As I said before, these old support systems can develop sags, and that will telegraph through, and potentially even damage a new mattress. If your old box has a slatted wood top and no give, then you should never need to replace it. These platform boxes are a permanent solution, and essentially all mattresses are okay on these.

Q: Then why did the salesperson tell me I HAVE to replace my box, or that it would void my warranty?

A: It may be that the salesperson doesn’t have enough education, or it could be that a rare mattress company has a unique policy. A platform box is equivalent to a platform bed. If there is center support under the middle of the box or mattress, you will meet the warranty requirements for nearly all mattress companies. If you are using a box, anything over a twin or full size mattress should have center support. If you’re using a platform bed, even a full needs that support.

Ready to try a platform bed instead of a box spring?

With solid construction & the appropriate number of wooden slats for support, a well-built platform bed eliminates the need for a box under your mattress.

SHOP FOR HIGH QUALITY, AFFORDABLE PLATFORM BEDS

10 thoughts on “Mattress and Boxspring Shopping Advice

  1. SAB says:

    I am replacing a 10 year old high quality mattress with a new latex mattress. My foundation appears to be of the solid platform type you mention,and I’d like to use them because i don’t want to give up the height that they provide (as opposed to a platform bed). I was thinking of putting the new mattress on the foundation, but i don’t think there are enough slats on it to support a latex mattress. Can I simply add another layer of wooden slats on top of the foundation and then use it? Thanks for any advice.

    • Blake says:

      That is not a terrible plan. It really depends on what your time is worth. Buying a new box that has the proper support designed in will be pretty darn inexpensive. A good queen slatted box is about $150 here in our store.

  2. design bedrooms 2014 says:

    Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and
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  3. kathy says:

    Does anyone have any information about the Stearns and Foster bed the “Kathryn”. We are looking into purchasing a new bed but have a store credit for the last new bed we bought. It developed a “valley” within 6 months.

    Thanks

  4. vineeta says:

    I have a Rice Bed. I bought a box spring (9″) and Serata Winding Creek Fm Mattress (10″). The height of the bed has gone up. If I put slates on the bed and remove the box spring ……will that be a good support to my mattress.

    • Blake says:

      My suspicion is that the feel will change with the removal of a coil box. If you have a slatted box, then you aren’t sacrificing anything in terms of durability or feel. I’d check out my post about platform beds to make sure that the support you are creating is adequate.PLATFORM BED BLOG

  5. Seeking a new mattress says:

    Your advice is awesome! I’m going to replace my 20 years old mattress but don’t know how to shop a new mattress. Your article helps me a lot! I have a question, which one is better the latex mattress or memory foam?

    • Blake says:

      Latex. Hands down. Not even close. Memory foam is a well marketed mediocre product. Latex is a poorly marketed superior product. Just make sure that you choose a bed you can flip, and uses only botanical latex. It’d be worth checking out our beds featuring Botanicore latex.

  6. Sten says:

    Very interesting point with a guarantee of the mattress. I understand that if the bed frame does not meet the standards of the mattress – a guarantee disappear? Some companies offer a lifetime limited warranty, they probably rely on ignorance of the buyer. Thank you that opened my eyes, I do not think about it.

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We only sell two sided mattresses. Here's Why:

A 2-sided mattress you can flip and rotate is better for your body and your wallet! Flippable mattresses last up to 3 times as long as ‘can’t flip’ ones. It’s simply untrue that 2-sided mattresses are no longer being made. Here at Bedrooms & More Seattle, they’re all we sell — because it’s what is best for our customers and the environment.

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Night & Day K-Series/P-Series

Spices Bed Rails

Dual System Headboards • Works with both K-Series and P-Series Rails •
dual_diagram
K-Series   P-Series
k-series-info   p-series-info

New “Dual System Headboards”

We are in the process of changing many of our headboards to be both “K Series” and “P Series” capable. The headboards will have both sets of holes for using either way. The new headboards will be marked “Dual System Headboard” on the boxes. This process will take time for all sizes and finishes to be available and will be gradual, as the new versions come in and the old version get depleted. We are telling you now so that you can be aware of what the “Dual System Headboard” terminology means when you see it on the box or in our catalog. The list of headboards that will be switched to the new “Dual System” are listed below. Of course, you will need to order the correct rails and footboards depending on whether the customer wants “K” or “P” Series. The new “K Series” height allows for the use of the bigger bunk bed drawers and/or trundle and “K Series” footboards already have the privacy panel built in. We are also making the Folding Footboard Bench Footboard “Dual System”. If you need one of the new items to be “Dual System” (for “K Series”), you will need to specifically request it until all old versions are gone, to make sure you get the new version.

Spices Bed Rails & Accessories Compatibility

  K-Series Rails P-Series Rails
Dual-System Headboard   Matching Accessories   Matching Accessories
Blackpepper Bed Dual-System tick
  • K-Series Basic Footboard
  • Folding Footboard Bench
  • Cinnamon Drawers
  • Cinnamon Trundle Bed
tick
  • P-Series Basic Footboard
  • Footboard Panel
  • Folding Footboard Bench
  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
Chameleon Bed Dual-System
Nutmeg Bed Dual-System
Rosemary Dual-System
Solstice Bed Dual-System
Tamarind Bed Dual-System
Folding Footboard Bench Dual-System Footboard tick
  • Cinnamon Drawers
  • Cinnamon Trundle Bed
tick
  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
 
  K-Series Rails P-Series Rails
Other Spices Headboards   Matching Accessories   Matching Accessories
Basic Footboard (P-Series) To form a Basic Bed cross   tick
  • Footboard Panel
  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
Coriander Bed cross   tick
  • P-Series Basic Footboard
  • Footboard Panel
  • Folding Footboard Bench
  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
Saffron Bed
Thyme Bed
Laurel Bed cross   tick
  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
K-Series Basic Footboard To form a Basic Bed tick
  • Cinnamon Drawers
  • Cinnamon Trundle Bed
cross  
Jasmine Bed tick
  • K-Series Basic Footboard
  • Folding Footboard Bench
  • Cinnamon Drawers
  • Cinnamon Trundle Bed
cross  
Sandpiper Bed
Vanilla Bed
Ginger Captain’s Bed tick
  • Rolling Bucket Drawers
  • Captain’s Trundle Bed
cross  
Carmel Bed cross Note: Carmel Bed has its own matching rails.

  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
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