Do You Need a Boxspring with a Platform Bed Frame?

With the evolution of mattresses and beds, you have to wonder about certain things and whether they’re still necessary. Take, for instance, the box spring. In the days of innerspring mattresses, box springs were necessary in order to give you a sturdy support layer, especially when considering the bed frames of old.

This raises the question: Do you need a boxspring with a platform bed frame? Let’s take a look at the situation and see if we can find an answer.

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In the days of innerspring mattresses, box springs served as the support layer, giving the mattress the ability to flex and move without being too firm. Because of the interconnected coils, sometimes there just wouldn’t be enough give, so a box spring was required to make the sleeper feel more comfortable.

Additionally, with many of the older style bed frames, which were basically just a square of metal rails, a box spring allowed the mattress to have a proper surface on which to sit. Now, to be clear, the box spring wasn’t invented until some time in the mid-1860s, so, in relation to the platform bed, it’s somewhat new.

So, let’s take a step back.

What is a Platform Bed?

Technically, any bed which is just a mattress is a platform bed. To be more precise in modern terms, a platform bed eschews a box spring in favor of wooden, metal, bamboo or leather slats or a solid layer spanning a frame.

Historically, the platform bed wasn’t all that different. Some of the first have been seen in Egyptian tombs, consisting of a wooden framework which was glued and lashed together. It has even been found, through the study of ancient hieroglyphs, that platform beds may have been held in high regard. Even more reason to have one, I suppose.

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What is a Foundation?

In many ways, the foundation is a combination of the box spring and the platform bed. It looks much like a box spring, being that it’s somewhat deep and covered in fabric, but internally, instead of wood and springs, it has wooden slats across the top in order to simulate a platform bed.

Using a foundation, you can use the older metal bed frames or place it directly onto the floor and put a mattress on top of it.

Is a Box Spring Necessary?

Whether or not you need a box spring depends entirely on the type of mattress you’re using. On a general basis, you don’t need a box spring. With many modern mattresses, a support layer is built in, making them perfect for use on a platform bed. In fact, most modern mattresses might even be too tall once you get a box spring involved.

What are the Downsides to Using a Box Spring?

Modern mattresses which include memory foam and latex layers are typically very heavy. Because of this, they can sometimes actually cause a box spring to wear out faster than it otherwise would. The sheer weight of them bears down on the internal springs, causing it to sag. With a platform bed, the weight is more evenly distributed so the mattress is doing all the work, whereas the platform or foundation simply helps to keep everything even with a slight flex.

What About Using Both?

Let’s say you’ve got a platform bed, but want to get a mattress which works best with a box spring. Can you use a box spring with a platform bed frame? Yes, absolutely. Considering it just sits on top of the platform, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between using a platform bed and using a metal bed frame if you’re using a box spring, as the frame has no impact.

Why Use a Platform Bed?

Using a platform bed is actually a pretty good idea for several reasons. Most importantly is the impact it can have on your wallet. Sure, putting a mattress directly onto the floor costs you nothing, but getting in and out of such a mattress can be problematic for people with knee issues or those who are overweight.

While not a general rule, platform beds can certainly be somewhat inexpensive, and not having to purchase a box spring can also save you some money. Additionally, with many of the inexpensive, but still good quality, mattresses out there these days designed for use on a platform bed, you’ll be in a good position to save some money.

Platform beds are also good for aesthetic reasons. You can typically find one which matches the height you like, unlike using an older metal bed frame which ends up usually being pretty low to the ground unless you use special lifts. They also have a cleaner look, typically. More on the modern edge of design, if that’s your thing.

Another great reason is storage. Considering you get the additional height without needing a box spring or foundation in between, you’ll have a fair amount of room for additional storage under the bed. In fact, many platform beds come with drawers underneath. This may not be very Feng Shui, but it sure is great if you don’t have a whole lot of storage in your room.

The Final Verdict

To answer the original question, no, you don’t need a box spring with a platform bed frame. Can you use a box spring with a platform bed frame? Absolutely, and in some cases, it might be necessary for your comfort. A thin mattress, or an older one with interconnected innersprings and not much support, would benefit from having a box spring, but it isn’t absolutely necessary for the longevity of your mattress.

Not using a box spring will not harm your mattress, and, in fact, many warranties out there for newer mattresses require them to be on some sort of platform to avoid sagging, seeing as they are designed to not use box springs. This is something to keep in mind during your shopping. Stay comfortable.

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