Mattress foundations are now a common solution for bed support.
A quality foundation helps to maintain the structural integrity of the mattress, which in turn, increases longevity.
You should never put a new mattress on an old foundation. The type of foundation you need often depends on the type of mattress used; sometimes, the manufacturer produces a foundation specifically designed to complement a mattress.
Standard Mattress Foundations
Reasons why foundations are important:
- Foam foundations are used to support foam mattresses, helping to distribute the weight from the mattress evenly. As a rule of thumb, box springs should never be used for any latex or memory foam mattresses. Slat foundations are acceptable for memory foam mattresses, but the slats should be no more than eight inches apart.
- Mattresses made with micro coils or innersprings need firmer foundations instead of box springs, in order to prevent premature sagging. However, depending on the mattress construction, some give might be necessary for the mattress to conform to your body.
- Adjustable bed bases allow you to control the elevation of the head and foot of the bed to provide the most comfort for your specific needs. They work best with innerspring, foam and air mattresses.
- A box spring has metal springs in it that move along with the springs in a mattress. This provides a more cushioned feel for firmer mattresses because the springs absorb the stiffness.
- A platform foundation can be used with most types of mattresses and provide a very firm support as well as stability. They often come with built-in storage and have a clean, modern look for aesthetic appeal. However, platforms offer little to no give.
The reason that mattress manufacturers have shifted from box springs to foundations is that foundations provide thicker, stronger support for your body. They absorb more of the weight and distribute it evenly, which is better for your back.
Foundations tend to be cheaper than box springs, so many retailers include them with mattresses – it’s a quick fix. However, the wrong foundation can negate the benefits of a good mattress, so be informed before you invest