How to Select a Box Spring

How to Select a Box Spring

box spring with a mattress on a bed

box spring with a mattress on a bed

Many people ask, “Do I need a box spring?” The answer is yes. As the foundation of any bed, the box spring is almost as important as choosing the right mattress. The box spring was built for durability and designed to absorb and distribute the weight of your mattress for added comfort and a more sound sleep. In addition to the extra comfort, your box spring will help prolong the life of your mattress. Box springs are generally made from wood and contain a steel reinforcement to provide strength. A thick fabric called ticking is applied to the sides, a skid-resistant fabric is added to the top, and the bottom is covered with a fabric dust barrier. There are a few things to consider when choosing a box spring, such as the size, type, and material. 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.



Diagram for the height of a box spring

Plan for Your Desired Bed Height

A benefit of a box spring is the added height to your bed. However, this means you need to take into account the total height of both the box spring and mattress. The two most common box spring heights are a standard 9-inch box spring and a low profile 5-inch box spring. With the popularity of memory foam toppers and high-profile deluxe mattresses, the addition of an average 9-inch box spring can make a rather tall bed. If your mattress is already at the desired height, look for a low-profile box spring. Although the low-profile box spring is much smaller in size, it still provides the same support and durability as a 9-inch box spring.

Diagram of a split box spring vs. a standard box spring

Split Box Spring vs. Standard Box Spring

Whereas a standard box spring comes as one whole piece, a split box spring comes in two sections to make up the size of your mattress. Unlike a mattress, a box spring can’t be squished into submission to fit through narrow halls and doorways. If you have a queen size bed or larger, and narrow halls in your home, you may need to purchase a split queen box spring. A split box spring does cost slightly more than a one-piece model; however, the ease of moving them makes up for the extra expense. A split box spring will require support in the center of the bed frame, so ensure your bed frame will accommodate this type of box spring.

Two box springs made from different materials

Select Materials That Suit Your Lifestyle

Box springs come with many options, including ones with densely packed coils as well as boxes with hypoallergenic fabrics, organic fabrics, and natural fillers. If you come across a cheap box spring that looks very similar to a higher priced one, read the fine print; there could be major differences in spring type, fibers, or other parts of the box spring.

A mattress with a built in box spring on the bottom

Don’t Overlook the Included Box Spring

Always take a good look at the mattress and box spring set. Often, manufacturers sell these combinations according to consumer popularity or as a promotional offer. With these packaged deals, it’s possible to get a box spring for significantly less than the retail price. Plus, the set may be under the same warranty terms, making maintenance easy and affordable.