Do Box Springs Wear Out?

The comfort and longevity of your mattress and your good night’s sleep heavily rely on your mattress’s foundation quality. If you’re asking yourself whether box springs wear out and how long they last, you definitely care about protecting both your mattress and the ensuing sleep quality.

One typical mattress foundation is the standard box spring. Depending on the box spring quality, it can last more than ten years. If you’re interested in learning more about box springs and investing in one, read our article – you’ll find it very informative and useful.

What Is a Box Spring?

A box spring is a support system for your mattress designed to be the same size as the bed. It’s built of a wooden frame that is filled with a steel grid or springs and wrapped in fabric. You put the box spring directly under your mattress to provide support.

The box spring is designed to serve several purposes:

  • Providing underlying mattress support.
  • Lifting the mattress up to a more comfortable height
  • Protecting the mattress by playing the role of a shock absorber.
  • Improving the airflow, helping to keep the mattress cooler.

Box springs provide support, but they also act as a shock absorber from the mattress itself. This is a useful characteristic for innerspring mattresses, but it can damage memory foam mattresses. A memory foam mattress that lacks the rigid structure of an innerspring mattress is recommended to be used with a quite solid support base like a platform bed.

Over ten years ago, a box spring was basically a must when you bought a new mattress. However, nowadays, whether you buy a box spring or not is up to you. You still need to purchase box springs for certain mattress types, but for others, you don’t.

Generally, the phrase “box spring” refers to the standard design that in fact actually uses a metal grid or springs surrounded by a metal or a wooden frame.

Types of Box Springs

The best bed frames and mattresses come in numerous different configurations, and some of them require certain features that only a specific type of box springs has. Basically, there are four types of box springs, and they all are available in standard, low-profile, and ultra-low-profile box spring heights:

  • Zero-Deflection Box Springs
    These are the most common box springs. Zero-deflection box springs provide strong, unyielding support, and their advantage is that they are compatible with almost all mattress types. These box springs are typically built out of wooden slats, but in some of the newest boxes, they’re built out of steel.
  • Coil Box Springs
    These box springs are the most traditional ones. Coiled box springs are built out of wire coil springs and wood, they’re creed to bounce and conform, and at the same time, coil box springs provide even support for your mattress. This type of box springs is best for innerspring mattresses.
  • Semi-Flex Box Springs
    This type of box springs offers a combination of flex and support somewhere between the previous two kinds. Semi-flex box springs are built out of a strong metal grid and wooden frame. If your mattress is large and heavy, or you own a latex or memory foam mattress, this type of box springs is the perfect support for your mattress.
  • Split Box Springs
    As the name suggests, this type of box springs is divided into two parts for making their moving much easier and are the best choice for people who own large queen or king beds. These box springs need a bed frame with better central support.

So, Do Box Springs Wear Out?

The answer to this question is a big yes. You may not think of it because box springs are hidden under your mattress, but you need to keep in mind that your box spring does wear out. It’s essential to look for indicators of box spring damage, as a box spring that is worn out can cause your mattress to sag prematurely.

Do I Need a New Box Spring? Signs That Your Box Spring Is Worn Out

If you’ve decided you want to stick to a box string as the foundation for your mattress, the real question is when you should get a new one. Keep in mind that time isn’t always the best sign. High-quality box springs can last up to 20 years or even more. On the other hand, low-quality ones can last several years. On average, you can expect your box spring to last approximately 8 to 10 years.

With only a quick look at your current box spring, you can get an idea about its current condition. Some indicators of damage or other problems include:

  • Squeaking noises can be a sign of weak or loose joints.
  • Bowing or sagging.
  • Metal coil springs that are over ten years of age.
  • Broken or bent steel grid.
  • Fractured slats.

You might need to remove the protective cover from the bottom of the box springs in order to inspect the slats and other internal parts. Pull out the staples that keep the cover in place to check inside. If everything looks okay, you can put the cover on again with a staple gun.

A good rule of thumb is when you buy a new mattress to also buy a new box spring as well. Your old box spring might look fine, but it’s not always easy to see the signs that a box spring is worn out. Additionally, your old box spring may last just several years if it’s on the older end. If you replace the box spring and the mattress together, you can maximize the lifespan of your new mattress.

Ways to Extend the Lifespan of Box Springs

It’s essential for your box spring to remain comfortable and clean for as long as possible. With minimal maintenance and care, you can extend the lifespan of your box spring.

Here are some tips on how to extend the lifespan of your box springs:

  • Use an organic protector for the mattress to make sure that you have a healthy sleep environment. The mattress cover will protect your bed from dead skin cells, spills, sweat, allergens, and dust. They are quite simple to find, and you can buy them on Amazon, for instance.
  • Change and launder your bed sheets regularly, at least once per week.
  • Regularly vacuum the felt cover of the box spring, moreover if the cover can be removed launder it.
  • Don’t eat in your bed. Crumbs might accumulate in your mattress, and your box springs will become a favorable environment for bacteria to breed.
  • Rotate the box spring every 2 to 6 months to minimize your body impressions and to contribute to even wear.
  • No jumping on your bed. The springs will deteriorate and collapse faster.
  • Air out the box spring in direct sunlight every couple of months. This way, you’ll disinfect your box spring and decrease humidity.

If you follow these simple precautions, you’ll drive out dirt, bacteria, and dust away. They’ll always help promote a healthy and clean sleeping environment, at the same time extending the lifespan of your box spring.

Box Spring Alternatives

Instead of box springs, you can choose to use different support systems as a mattress foundation, such as:

  • Bed Foundation
    Bed foundations feature a metal frame or wooden frame. However, they don’t include the coil springs found in box springs. Just like box springs, a bed foundation can be used together with a bed frame in order to provide maximum support to your mattress, or you can just put it on the floor.
  • Platform Bed
    This mattress foundation is built of a slatted wooden or metal frame, together with legs and support bur on the center to lift your mattress. These mattress foundations can also come along with posts, headboards, and other features that add to the decor of your bedroom. You don’t need box springs or an additional foundation if you use a platform bed, but make sure that the slat dimensions are suitable to your mattress.
  • Adjustable Bed
    These beds can be elevated or lowered at your foot and head. This enables you to customize the angle of your sleeping postures. Some of the adjustable beds allow for every side to be adjusted independently, which is a very good option for partners with different angle preferences. Just like platform beds, adjustable bases can support your mattress without needing a foundation or box spring. 

A Few Words Before You Go…

In the end, we can say that just like your mattress, your box spring can wear out over time. As we said, most box springs will last anywhere between 8 to 10 years. If you notice that your box spring starts squeaking, sagging, or leaning on one side, it may be time to buy a new box spring.