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Do You Need a Boxspring?

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It’s a simple enough question, do you need a boxspring with a mattress? With so many advancements to mattress technology, is it really still necessary to use a boxspring?

The quick answer? Yes, you will most likely need a boxspring for your mattress. However, there are some situations in which it won’t be necessary.

Why do you need a boxspring?

Boxsprings serve two basic, but important functions.

  1. Foundation – They provide a strong and stable foundation for your mattress. This helps increase the longevity of your mattress by reducing shock, wear, and tear.
  2. Increased Height – They elevate the mattress off of the floor. This simply helps to make it easier to get in and out of bed.

It’s also important to note that some mattress warranties require you to use the mattress on a boxspring or platform bed. If you fail to do so, this can void your warranty. So be sure to confirm the details of your warranty if you plan to forgo the boxspring.

Do you need a boxspring with a platform bed?

In a word, no. Platform beds utilize slats or a solid surface. This surface or slats accomplish the same goal of the boxspring, provide a stable platform. Generally, they are lower than a traditional mattress would be with a boxspring, which can be a desirable and modern aesthetic you may want to achieve for your bedroom.

By using a platform bed you eliminate your need for a boxspring.

IKEA has several inexpensive platform beds. However, they can be a bit on the flimsy side. If you have a heavier mattress or move frequently the IKEA platform may not hold up very well. I use a platform bed from Copenhagen Imports. It’s simple, but very sturdy and well made.

Bellmar Platform Bed Frame

My platform bed – King sized Bellmar from Copenhagen Living

Can you put a mattress on the floor?

You certainly can. In many situations, there will be no significant negative effects. However, placing a mattress directly on the floor can result in the following:

  • Reduced airflow – since the mattress sits directly on the floor it will not be able to expel air and breath as easily as it could on a boxspring or platform bed
  • Less hygienic – everything that gets on the floor can now more easily get on your mattress
  • More difficult to get into – if you’re older or otherwise have trouble getting in and out of bed, having a bed on the floor can make actually getting in / out of bed more difficult
  • Void your warranty – some mattress warranties dictate that the mattress must be on a boxspring or platform bed, if you want to keep your warranty you should double check the  warranty terms

The biggest risk to placing the mattress on the floor is mold. If you live in a moist or humid environment mold can be a serious issue. If the mattress is sitting directly on the floor it can become more easily susceptible to mold. So be very careful if you place the mattress on the floor.

Boxspring Alternatives

If you aren’t a fan of the traditional boxspring you may want to consider one of the following boxspring alternative options.

  • Low-profile boxspring – functionally a low-profile boxspring will act exactly like a traditional boxspring, however their height is usually about half that of a traditional boxspring. This can allow you to still achieve the benefits of a normal boxspring, with a much sleeker design and style.
  • Adjustable foundation – if you have an adjustable foundation you will not need a boxspring. Adjustable foundations allow the mattress to shift height and angle, reducing stress on your back, internal organs, and breathing.
  • Steel Boxspring / Frame Combo – these are essentially a basic steel frame / boxspring together in one. They sit lower to the ground, closer to a typical platform bed and replace your need for a traditional frame and boxspring.
  • Platform Beds – as I mentioned above, platform beds are a great boxspring alternative. The only downside is they can be quite pricey, especially if you buy something quality.
  • Mattress on the Floor – if you like the lower look and aren’t concerned about voiding your mattress warranty placing the mattress on the floor is another option. You may want to get some type of a mat to place it on, as this will help to keep it a bit cleaner.






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