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How to Select a Box Spring

by Jeanette Ponder

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Pillow-top mattress and box spring

Many people underestimate the importance of a good box spring, but as the foundation of the bed, it can be just as vital to the comfort of your mattress set as the mattress. Before purchasing a box spring, it's necessary to think about size, quality and value, as well as comfort. The right box spring can make or break a mattress purchase, so shop wisely and take the time to select the box spring that's right for your bed. To select a box spring, good research and patient shopping are the keys to success.

Selecting a Box Spring:

  1. Keep in mind that a box spring is part of a mattress set. You will have to deal with the total height of both the box spring and mattress. With the popularity of pillow-top and other high-profile deluxe mattresses, the average 9-inch-thick box spring can make for a very tall bed. If the mattress is tall and you do not want a taller bed, look for a low-profile box spring that will keep the bed at a reasonable height.

  2. Keep measurements in mind. Unlike a mattress, a box spring can't be squished into submission to fit through narrow halls and doorways. For large beds, It may be necessary to purchase a two-piece split box spring instead of a one-piece box spring. Unfortunately, a split box spring does cost slightly more than the usual one-piece model. However, the ease of movement more than makes up for this extra expenditure, and you may also have no choice, depending on the layout of your home. A split box spring will require support in the center of the bed frame, so check to see if your bed will accommodate this type of box spring.

  3. Select the materials that best suit your lifestyle. These days, bed springs come in all sorts of varieties, with densely packed coils, hypoallergenic or organic fabrics, natural fillers and other options. If there's a large price difference between two box springs that look very similar, read the fine print; there could be major variations in spring type, fibers or other parts of the box spring.

  4. Always take a good look at the box spring that comes with the mattress. Often, manufacturers sell these combinations according to consumer popularity or as a promotional offer. With these package deals, it's possible to get a box spring for a significantly less amount than the full retail selling price. Plus, the combo set may be under the same warranty terms, making maintenance easy and affordable. However, you may also be getting an inferior-quality box spring.

Box Spring Tips and Warnings:

  1. A memory foam mattress does not require a box spring, and its performance may actually suffer from being on a box spring.

  2. Buy a new box spring every time you purchase a new mattress. Older box springs may not offer optimum support and may negate the warranty on the new mattress.

  3. Be careful when moving. Box springs are too often considered indestructible, but the wooden frame can crack if abused during moving, negatively affecting the performance of the mattress set.

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