by Lisa Sefcik
Box spring mattress sets first gained popularity among North American consumers in the 1930s. Despite persuasive newcomers, such as latex and memory foam mattresses, many people still choose a box spring mattress when selecting a new bed. Take a look at this box spring mattress fact sheet to learn more about this popular bedroom furniture.
Construction: A box spring mattress set consists of two components: a box spring mattress and an innerspring mattress. The box spring is often described as the shock absorber of this type of mattress set, as it is designed to bear the brunt of body weight, as well as distribute it evenly. The heart of the innerspring mattress is its system of spring wire coils. During the manufacturing process, coils are tempered with heat or electricity to make sure they quickly return back to their original height after weight is applied and released.
Judging quality: Innerspring mattress coils vary in number, size and height, as well as gauge, which refers to the thickness of the wire used in the coils. These factors affect the overall quality of box spring mattresses. Innerspring mattresses typically have 300 to 800 coils, depending on the size of the mattress. A larger number of coils may seem desirable, but gauge is of utmost importance in determining the bed's firmness and overall durability. Mattresses with 400 coils made with a heavier wire (12.5 gauge) can offset the need for a larger number of coils. It's also helpful to pay attention to how coils are distributed. Certain mattresses may be constructed with coils concentrated in areas that require more support, such as the spine and hips, shoulders and knees.
Sags: After years of use, box spring mattress sets tend to sag in areas where body weight is applied, be it the midsection, lower spine or shoulders. Beds may also begin to show signs of sagging around the mattress's parameter due to sitting or sleeping on the edge of a bed. When a bed becomes uncomfortable, the innerspring mattress is often held squarely accountable.
Box spring mattress care: Rotating and flipping a box spring mattress set can increase its life. After purchasing a new set, the innerspring mattress should be rotated every two weeks for the first few months, after which it can be rotated every month or two. Flip the mattress during every other rotation as well. Rotate box springs (never flip) every three months.
Lifespan: The average life of a box spring mattress set is five to seven years. When a box spring mattress set begins to feel uncomfortable, replace both the box spring and innerspring mattress at the same time.