You might be asking yourself, “Do I need a box spring? And what is a box spring, anyway?”
Let’s clear it up for you.
A box spring is essentially the support system for a mattress. The boxed spring itself is a series of springs that have been enclosed in a wooden frame and then covered with a cloth to keep the springs and frame from being visible. The box spring is placed under the mattress on the bed frame. It keeps the mattress from sagging and falling off the bed frame. Without the boxed spring it will be harder to get in and out of bed as the mattress will be closer to the floor.
With a box spring the mattress is raised off the floor and getting into bed is much easier. It also acts as a shock absorber. When you lay on your mattress the box spring bears your weight more than the mattress. This will help prolong the life of your mattress. Without it there would be very little support for the mattress; the sleeping surface would not be flat and not very comfortable.
When choosing a mattress you must also consider the box spring as well. The life of a spring is not long and often they need to be replaced after several years. It has been said that choosing the box spring is as important as choosing a mattress as they come in a variety of types and styles.
For example, there are variations in height of the box spring just as there are with mattresses. The number of springs and the material covering them also vary, which can affect the comfort of your bed. You may even consider choosing a mattress that does not require an inner spring.
There are several types of beds on the market today that do not require a boxed spring underneath them. However, there must be some sort of frame to support the mattress; otherwise it would fall onto the floor. Some of these beds include futons, baby cribs and bunk beds. All of the mentioned beds are not known for their comfort. Unless you purchase an extremely expensive, high quality mattress for these beds, you are not going to be able to sleep on these mattresses for long periods of time. Without the boxed spring there is no flexible support for the mattress. There are no springs to bear the weight of the person lying on the bed. There is a hard flat surface.
It is important to buy a boxed spring that matches the size of your bed frame and your mattress. It would be pointless to buy a box spring that is smaller than the mattress as you would roll off. Buying one that is larger than the mattress would simply not look right.
The only time you would not buy a box spring that matches the size of your mattress perfectly is when you buy a king size bed. In this case, you would sometimes buy two twin box springs which equal the size of the mattress. This has been done simply to make transportation of the king size bed easier. It would be very difficult to move a king size box spring around a corner in your house.
More Box Spring Resources:
Metafilter has this interesting thread about the pros and cons of using box spring sets.
Is your box spring set giving you cancer? Doubtful, but here’s an interesting take by Scientific American.
Can box spring sets be used in an Evil Plot? This “Best of Craigslist” post apparently thinks so.
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