It used to be that everyone with a bed had a box spring, but in the age of the foam mattress – or better yet, the floor-bound futon – there’s a growing segment of the population that doesn’t even know what a box spring is, or what it’s supposed to do.Ah, but the real question is: Did it ever do anything?Mattress
marketers will spring to their defense, so to speak, but the design itself brings its purpose into question. How do springs situated inside
a rigid frame actually help anything? To answer this requires an understanding of the modern box spring.Box Springs vs. Foundations
Truth be told, it’s now uncommon to find box springs that have actual springs. Industry gurus will tell you it’s because they’re expensive to make – and they are – but it’s also because better designs have come about, and those designs are also cheaper to manufacture.Enter the foundation. Unlike a traditional box spring, a foundation may feature one of many internal structural designs built to optimize stability, weight distribution and mattress longevity.It might sound fancy, but it’s basically the result of some engineers looking at a box spring and saying, “Springs in a box? That’s
the best we can do?”Purpose & Performance
Foundations do absorb weight, which can improve the way your mattress feels and how it performs, particularly if it’s an innerspring mattress. It can also increase the longevity of the mattress, but that's not always the case.Take foam mattresses
, for example. Foam has its own weight-distribution properties and performs better on slats or a platform that provides a very rigid surface.Box Springs Get You Higher
Of course, one of the box spring’s greatest attributes is that it elevates a mattress up and out of the bedframe. And, ever since the invention of the bed, there has always been something comforting about sleeping farther from the floor rather than closer to it.So, if you prefer a little elevation while you slumber there’s no better way to go than with a box spring. But, you’ll do your pocketbook a favor by remembering that it’s very hard to justify any bells and whistles when it comes to an empty box.