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Foundation vs. Box Spring: What’s the Difference?

June 19, 2024  ·  6 min read

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Something that is often overlooked when purchasing a new mattress — but is extremely important — is what goes underneath your mattress. Think of your mattress as a house: if you want your house to stay sturdy and supported, you need a solid foundation. The same thinking applies to your mattress. Investing in a quality base is the key to maintaining a supportive mattress that will help you get your best night’s sleep. 

Box springs have been the base of choice for years now among mattress owners, but in our expert opinion, they’re not as good as a mattress foundation. When choosing between a foundation vs. box spring, here are the pros and cons at a glance:

Mattress foundation pros:

  • Provides more stability and support
  • Made of durable, high-quality wooden materials
  • Promotes better air circulation for cooler sleep
  • Expands the lifespan of your mattress
  • Lasts longer than a box spring

Box spring cons:

  • Coils can break down and lose support over time
  • Risk of mattress sagging 
  • Less stability compared to a mattress foundation
Texas Mattress Makers foundation vs. box spring infographic

In this article, our mattress experts will explore the differences between a foundation vs. box spring and why we recommend mattress foundations as a foundation for a bed.

Is a foundation the same as a box spring?

Mattress foundations and box springs often get mistaken for one another, but they are not the same thing. Visually, when either of these bases are underneath a mattress, it’s very hard to tell which is which. Both accessories aim to:

  • Keep your mattress off of the ground
  • Support your mattress
  • Prevent damage to your mattress
  • Increases the lifespan of your mattress
  • Promote better airflow

The difference between a foundation vs. box spring is what’s on the inside and how they perform.

Inside of a box spring, you will find metal mattress coils covered in fabric as the mattress support system. A mattress foundation is a wooden structure with wooden slats running across its surface. It contains no mattress coils and is also covered in fabric. Because these two bases are constructed differently, they perform differently, even if they serve similar purposes.

Foundation vs. box spring: An in-depth comparison

Before we discuss the differences, we would like to note that we produce our mattress foundations in-house at our Downtown Houston factory. In this comparison, we will refer to our Texas Mattress Makers foundations and how they are constructed. The same quality and durability may not be applicable to every foundation on the market.

Let’s compare these two different bed bases side by side.

Mattress FoundationBox Spring
Materials and ConstructionOur foundations are made from locally sourced, top-quality wooden materials. Traditional box springs are made with metal coils and a wooden frame.
Durability and StabilityThe quality of our wooden materials provides better stability and support compared to regular box springs. 

Wooden foundations are sturdy enough to support heavier materials such as latex or hybrid mattresses with foam and coils. Any mattress is compatible with a foundation.
Due to the fact that coils move with the mattress, box springs are less stable compared to foundations.

Box springs are compatible with innerspring mattresses because they absorb shock. They are not compatible with heavier materials, thus limiting your options.
Lifespan and SupportOur locally sourced wood can withstand wear and tear for years to come without breaking down or losing its structural support.

Mattress foundations evenly distribute weight across the surface of the mattress, supporting your body and promoting healthy spinal alignment.
Mattress coils can break down the longer you sleep on them. A bad box spring can cause a dent in the mattress, resulting in aches and pains and low-quality sleep.

While box springs may give enough support at first, particularly for innerspring mattresses, over time, the coils breaking down can lead to decreased support and stability.
Feel and ComfortWooden foundations will not change your bed’s mattress firmness or comfort feel. The structure also provides better air circulation, keeping you and your bed cooler throughout the night.Because coils are springy, the responsiveness can change the feel of your mattress. Some sleepers have noted that box springs make their beds feel softer, which is not ideal for every person.

How to choose a mattress foundation

Do I need a foundation for my mattress? Absolutely! Having a mattress foundation extends the lifespan of your mattress, protects it from damage and hazards, and allows your bed to support your body best.

When shopping for a foundation for a bed, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you are choosing the right one. 

  • Be sure to choose a foundation made with top-quality materials such as our locally sourced wood to create a strong base for your bed.
  • Measure the height of both the foundation and your mattress so that you can get in and out of bed easily without complications.
  • Make sure the foundation fits your mattress size perfectly as an ill-fitting foundation can lead to mattress damage or uncomfortable sleeping conditions. 
  • Check the warranty and return policy.

We offer a few different models of foundations that can suit a variety of needs. If you’re unsure of which foundation is best for you and your mattress, speak with any of our mattress experts who will gladly assist you.

Please note that if you choose to place your mattress on the floor without a bed frame or foundation, you are choosing to void your warranty at most mattress stores including Texas Mattress Makers. Visible dips and sinking-related issues with your mattress caused by a defective foundation or bed frame that was supplied by another manufacturer are also not covered in our warranty. Learn more about our warranty.

Protect Your Mattress

Find Quality Mattress Foundations at Texas Mattress Makers

When selecting the right base for your mattress, consider the differences between a foundation vs. box spring, specifically the lasting advantages and support provided by a mattress foundation. Its ability to support your mattress and your body can ensure high-quality sleep, making it a valuable investment for any sleeper.

If you’re looking to extend your mattress’s lifespan and get the best sleep of your life, Texas Mattress Makers has exactly what you’re looking for. Visit any of our mattress stores in Katy, Downtown Houston, The Woodlands, Rosenberg, Humble, or Baybrook, TX, to get started.

More Helpful Articles by Texas Mattress Makers:

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