What’s the Alternative to Box Springs? Exploring Modern Options

We all know a well-supported mattress plays a big role in getting a good night’s sleep. One of the most common support structures is the infamous box spring. It’s been doing the job for years, but they can get pretty noisy and uncomfortable over time. So I decided to do a deep dive and share several ideas for a better alternative to box springs.

You can get a platform bed frame or an adjustable bed for a sleek aesthetic and optimal support. Alternatively, you can keep things simple by just adding wooden slats or bunkie boards.

Continue reading to find out what box springs are, their history, how and why they’re used, and then learn more about the modern alternatives!

What’s the Purpose of Box Springs?

What’s the Alternative to Box Springs? Exploring Modern Options

Before I get into the alternatives to box springs, it’s important to know about their intended function. This will help you understand what to look for when substituting it.

To begin with, spring boxes were invented near the end of the 19th century to support innerspring mattresses. That’s why, back in the day, they were mostly sold as a package.

In case you didn’t know, an innerspring mattress is one of the oldest and most common types of mattresses. It’s composed of a layer of coils encased in layers of soft materials like foam or fiber.

As time went on, several benefits of using spring boxes came to light, such as:

1. Increase the Bed’s Height

The standard height of a spring box is about 9 inches, and the low profile one is around 5 inches. These extra inches raise the bed, putting the mattress at a more convenient level. Thus, getting into and out of bed is more comfortable, especially for people with mobility issues.

2. Provide Adequate Support

A box spring is a sturdy wooden frame that contains springs or a metal grid and is the same size as your bed.

It’s easy to see how this can provide adequate support for mattresses, specifically those placed on beds that aren’t designed to carry mattresses on their own, such as the traditional metal bed frame.

3. Allow Airflow

Box springs aren’t compact structures; instead, they’re somewhat hollow. This allows air to circulate properly beneath the mattress. You might be asking, why is this important? 

Primarily, it prevents moisture accumulation, which can lead to mold growth. Allowing air to circulate keeps things from getting moldy over time and can also keep your mattress from developing a foul odor.  It isn’t always a guarantee, but having air circulation definitely helps.

4. Protect the Mattress

Shock absorption is a key feature of box springs. This means it takes in some of the force exerted on the mattress. In the long run, this helps to keep your mattress from showing signs of wear and tear.

In fact, because of this, some mattress manufacturers recommend using box springs, and some even include them as a warranty requirement.

If you’ve ever been in the market to buy a new mattress, you will notice a lot of them come packaged with a corresponding box spring as part of the purchase.

Top 5 Box Spring Alternatives

What’s the Alternative to Box Springs? Exploring Modern Options

Now that you know the benefits of box springs, you can see why they’re necessary for a good night’s sleep. Yet, they’re not the best option for everyone. There can be a handful of problems associated with box springs.

If you’ve ever used a box spring for along period of time, you know they can break down and become uncomfortable. Sometimes there can be an issue because the mattress type doesn’t go well with the box spring, especially if you are mixing and matching brands. Other times it’s simply a matter of aesthetics. 

Having dealt with some of these issues myself in the past, I decided to compile a list of five alternatives that offer all or some of the advantages of spring boxes, but with a modern twist!

1. Platform Bed Frame

Starting with one of the most popular options on the market. A platform bed frame might hurt your wallet, but it’s well worth the investment. 

Platform beds are basically bed frames with a solid surface that can be slatted wood, metal, or another framework. This surface serves as the mattress‘s support system, so you don’t need to buy a box spring, just a mattress.

The great thing about platform beds is that they come in a variety of shapes and designs. Most of them have a contemporary flair that most of us love. They can. also provide storage space, which box springs don’t. 

With these bed frames, you get all the benefits of box springs and more. However, most of their designs don’t offer the same increased height as box springs, as they’re usually a little lower.

2. Wooden Bed Slats

There are bed frames that come with their own wooden slats, or you can get them separately. In any case, they’re an excellent choice for anyone on a tight budget. 

These slats are spaced 1.5-2 inches apart to allow air to reach the mattress. They form a solid foundation for all types of mattresses, including heavy ones. Plus, they offer exceptional storage space underneath.

As a piece of advice, opt for fir or pine wood; they’re both sturdy and reasonably priced. It’s also a good idea to use thin slats that are 3-4 inches wide so that you can easily move them around when storing the bed or redesigning the room.

3. Adjustable Bed

Adjustable beds are worth considering if you don’t mind splurging on a bed frame. They not only have designs that complement any bedroom decor, but they’re also extremely practical alternative to box springs. 

These beds have multiple controls to help you adjust them to the desired position; yes, they’re similar to those found in hospitals. This makes them a fantastic choice for anyone who enjoys sitting comfortably on a bed to watch TV or read. 

This type of bed is also convenient for the elderly or those with medical conditions that require specific sleeping positions. For instance, sleeping upright or with their head elevated is more comfortable for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Additionally, these beds have a firm base for the mattress to rest on, so box springs are unnecessary. You should be aware that not all mattresses are compatible with them. It’s best to stick to the following types because they match the flexibility of adjustable beds perfectly:

  • Latex
  • Memory foam
  • Hybrid

4. Bunkie Board

Bunkie boards, as the name implies, were originally used to support mattresses in bunk beds. They’re durable and didn’t add much height to the bed, so they were a good fit. They’re simply boards of thin wood, about 2 inches thick, covered in fabric.

You can use these boards alone or pair them with slats for added support. They won’t raise your mattress as a box spring would, so if you prefer lower-profile beds, you’ll appreciate this feature.

One drawback of using bunkie boards is that they don’t provide adequate airflow like the other structures on this list.

5. Coconut Coir Mattress Pad

If your bed frame has a solid platform that supports the mattress but you want to ensure proper ventilation, this is the option for you. A coconut coir bed pad is typically an inch thick and is placed directly beneath the mattress to allow for natural airflow. 

This pad’s mainly made of coconut fiber mixed with natural latex. We can thank this eco-friendly combo for the remarkable air circulation that this pad creates. 

Is It Okay to Place the Mattress Directly on the Floor?

What’s the Alternative to Box Springs? Exploring Modern Options

You’ve probably seen the idea of laying the mattress directly on the floor with some lovely plants and macrame products around; it’s going viral these days. I have to admit it creates a unique, minimalistic vibe in the room, especially when combined with the right decor. 

What’s more appealing is that you won’t have to pay a dime for any supporting structure. The floor acts as a firm foundation for the mattress, preventing it from sagging and protecting you from discomfort. 

However, as we move on to the not-so-bright side of this idea, we’ll discover a few downsides. Here are the three of them:

1. Reduced Air Circulation

I’ve been stressing the importance of allowing air to reach beneath the mattress and suggesting solutions for it all along. Well, a mattress placed on the ground is obviously not one of these solutions. 

As it’s lying there, there’s less chance of air circulating and a higher chance of bacteria as well as mold growth. That’s why you’ll often see people doing this have their mattress stand upright frequently to allow it to breathe.

2. Inadequate Insulation

Having your mattress on the ground during the colder months may not be a wise decision. This is especially true if you have heat-transmitting flooring, such as ceramic tiles.

Sleeping in chilly environments has already been shown to disrupt your sleep cycle. So, if you live somewhere with bitterly cold temperatures, I suggest investing in a bed frame.

3. Difficulty Maintaining Cleanliness

Maintaining proper hygiene while your mattress is in this position is critical. You don’t want to sleep on a dusty surface, or worse, on something that dust mites call home. 

Consequently, you’ll need to keep your mattress and the area around it clean at all times. This isn’t feasible for everyone because it’ll require a lot of time and effort.

Alternative to Box Springs: Wrapping Up

There are many excellent box spring alternatives. The best option for you will entirely depend on the benefits you seek, your taste, and your budget. 

If you decide to take a chance and leave the mattress on the floor, make sure to read the warranty first. Some manufacturers require that the mattress be placed on a support structure, or the warranty will be voided.

Share Post:

About the author

Easy Sleep Guide

We are a group of individuals who have a fascination, with the world of sleep and dreams. Our website and social media community were created with the purpose of educating and informing our audience about every aspect of sleep. We cover everything from tips to the advancements in sleep technology. Our team, consisting of real life experts works tirelessly to curate top quality content that offers an understanding of sleep related topics. We take pride in being your trusted source, for all things related to sleep providing insights and knowledge to help you achieve an revitalizing sleep experience.

    Comments are closed

    © 2022 Soflyy. All rights reserved.