Platform Bed vs Box Spring vs Foundation

Getting a good night’s rest is one of the most important things we can give ourselves each night. A proper amount of time for restful sleep is what helps us be our best selves and capable of taking on each new day with potential!

Choosing the proper sleep arrangement can be difficult. Do you prefer a hard or soft mattress? Springs or memory foam? What is the difference between a platform bed vs box spring vs foundation? And how much does all this really matter?

Yes, all these conditions factor into your sleep quality, but do not fret! We’ve got some awesome comparisons to help you decide on whether you should go for a platform bed, box spring, or foundation. Check out our list and choose wisely!

Comparison Table

Platform Bed


Box Spring

Zinus 12 Inch Deluxe Solid Wood Platform Bed With Headboard
Zinus 12 Inch Deluxe Wood Platform Bed
Alex Upholstered Platform Bed

Can be as elevated as you need

The sturdiest situation for firmer sleepers

Needs a good mattress for ideal sleep

Typically made from sturdy wooden slats

Will more than likely last a long while

Shouldn't buy a box spring on its own since it needs to combine well with mattress

Can be flimsy if you buy something cheap

Won't move around or lose shape

Can be less expensive than more options

Should last a while if you choose a higher quality product

Is good for people with back problems

Can be a bit creaky or noisy

What is a Platform Bed?

A platform bed doesn’t require a box spring or foundation. Instead, the furniture houses the mattress right on a platform. Platform beds are typically made of wood with large slats that run throughout the frame. If no slats are used, sometimes a large, flat piece of wood is used instead for extra support.

Zinus 12 Inch Deluxe Solid Wood Platform Bed With Headboard

What is a Box Spring?

A bit more traditionally popular than the platform bed, a box spring is made of wood and coils. Box springs are matched with innerspring mattresses so that the box base and mattress give way for a better night’s rest.

What is a Foundation?

More commonly used, a foundation is a flat, sturdy base to place a mattress on. Instead of coils or springs, a foundation is sturdy enough to stand alone and has the strength to hold a wide variety of mattress types and sizes.

Zinus 12 Inch Deluxe Wood Platform Bed

What are the Major Differences?

When comparing a mattress foundation vs box spring, a mattress foundation can adhere to almost any type of mattress because of its sturdy makeup. A box spring needs to be used with an innerspring or memory foam mattress, otherwise the bed will be too hard and be uncomfortable or give way in places it shouldn’t. Nobody likes a saggy mattress.

As far as a platform bed vs foundation, the platform more commonly uses a solid piece of wood instead of slats or other materials such as metal. A platform bed is to elevate a mattress from the floor, while a foundation is to provide a steady, sturdy base for any type of mattress.Still confused? No worries, here’s a nifty YouTube video to help you break down all the differences!

What are the Benefits?

Although it may be a bit hard to choose which model would be best for you, the first thing you need to decide is what type of mattress you’ll be using.

Box spring

If you have an innerspring mattress that requires support, a box spring would be the best option. Box springs are great for support when combined with a mattress to give just enough way for you to sink into a bed without completely getting lost in it. A box spring is a common find and almost any mattress or bed manufacturer should carry them.


A platform bed is suitable if you are only looking for a base to place a mattress, or box spring and mattress combo on. Since this is a sturdier design, the platform is more so used to elevate the bed from the floor and suspend you. Platform beds can be heavy, since they are typically a skeleton made of sturdy wood, but they are durable and they should last you a long while if you invest in a sturdy product. In this case, you get what you pay for. This is typically the case when purchasing any type of furniture made from wood. The higher the class of wood, the better the product will be.

Zinus 12 Inch Deluxe Solid Wood Platform Bed with Headboard


A foundation bed is basically used for any mattresses. A foundation can be made of anything in order to give you the best night’s sleep from your mattress. It’s almost like a stage for the bed to shine on. A foundation could even be the floor if you prefer a solid, non-mobile foundation or if you prefer a harder mattress. People with back pain could benefit from a foundation bed since even metal can be used in order to make the product solid. It just depends on what you’re comfortable with.

What are the Downsides?


A box spring can be a bit tricky in that they are typically heavy and need to be combined with a proper mattress in order for it to really work. If you get a too firm mattress for a box spring that gives too much, you could end up with serious back problems and absolutely horrid sleep patterns.


A platform bed can give you almost the same kinds of issues if the platform is made from cheap wood or not heavy enough. You need to make sure the product is sturdy so the slats within the platform don’t break or crack. If you happen to not notice a broken platform bed and try to sleep on it, you could end up with many sleepless nights.


A foundation could just be too hard – plain and simple. If you’re not into a firmer sleep situation, this could hurt your back or keep you restless.


Overall, you know your perfect sleep conditions and you should choose accordingly! You could head out and test the waters at some furniture stores, or you could take our breakdown examples or conduct some more of your own research to find the perfect sleep situation for your lifestyle.In comparison, the foundation bed would be the pick for me since I prefer a sturdier sleep situation that won’t move around or lose its shape over time. That’s just personal preference, though. All of these products, if chosen correctly or paired well, will work if that’s what your body needs.

Have any experience with any of these products or have you found the perfect sleep combination you’re just dying to share with the world? Let us know in the comments below!

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