Do You Need a Box Spring With a Platform Bed?

With memory foam and latex mattresses being all the rage in the sleep industry, it didn’t take too long to notice the need for more supportive mattress foundations. Enter the platform bed, a type of bed frame that uses either a slatted or solid surface to provide a suitable base for all mattress types.

Due to the construction of platform beds, more traditional mattress foundations are no longer needed, yet many people still want to sleep on innerspring or hybrid mattresses. So, now you might wonder, do you need a box spring with a platform bed? 

The short answer to this question is no, you don’t, but you can, depending on the construction of your mattress. We’ll explain the details, and you’ll learn a little bit more about platform beds and box springs as well as their main differences.

What Is Box Spring?

A box spring is a wooden box that contains a layer of metal or coil springs covered with a breathable material on the surface and a dust-barrier fabric at the bottom. Some types of box springs have a metal frame for enhanced support. Box springs can be put directly on the floor or on a bed frame for additional height. By keeping your box spring on a bed frame, you can also prevent skidding.

The coil layer in the box springs provides air circulation while the springs absorb your body weight and add support to your mattress.

Box spring beds are a more popular option if you have an innerspring mattress due to the fact that the coil layer in the mattress gets aligned with the coils in the box spring, which makes your mattress extra soft. Coils isolate motion and enhance shock absorption as well.

While box springs are a perfect fit for an innerspring mattress, they aren’t suitable for latex or memory foam mattresses. The weight of these mattresses can break or deform the coils, leading to decreased support and sagging.

Advantages of Box Springs

  • Makes your bed higher.
  • Provides more flexible mattress support.
  • Lighter and easier to move.
  • Absorbs shock from innerspring mattresses.

Disadvantages of Box Springs

  • Offers minimum to no storage space.
  • It’s compatible only with innerspring mattresses.
  • Metal springs can be a little bit noisy.
  • Springs can lose support over time.
  • Many people buy an additional bed frame to put on the box springs, which can be an additional expense.

What Are Platform Beds?

A platform bed is a low-profile bed frame with a sturdy base, which can be slatted or solid and provides proper support for your mattress. Platform beds offer excellent value for bed frames because they can support any mattress type on their own. More regular bed frames, including four-poster beds or sleigh bed frames, often require an additional box spring or mattress foundation.

Platform bed frames with wooden slats are an excellent choice for warm sleepers because of the aerated design of the slats. That means they have good airflow as the air can pass between the wooden slats and keep the humidity and heat away from the bed base, reducing the chances of mildew. The slats are usually covered with breathable material in order to avoid the mattress sliding off the bed base.

A slatted platform bed is an excellent pick for any type of mattress only if the wooden slats are no more than 7 centimeters apart. If the slats of your platform bed are farther apart, the slatted platform bed cannot provide proper support for hybrid, memory foam, or latex mattresses. It’s also better to buy a platform bed with a solid wooden frame over less expensive particle beds with boards that don’t have the durability of solid wooden beds. On the other hand, a solid platform bed is compatible with all mattresses.

Advantages of Platform Beds

  • Usually includes storage space in the shape of a storage drawer.
  • Modern and simple look that goes with all bedroom styles.
  • Variety of styles available .
  • Suitable for all mattress types.
  • Allows air circulation throughout any mattress type.

Disadvantages of Platform Beds

  • Lower profile may be unsuitable for disabled or older sleepers.
  • Can be difficult to move.
  • The rigid and solid base can cause pressure points and back pain.

Differences Between Box Spring and Platform Bed

When it comes to platform beds and box springs, the basic feature differences are height and weight, price, comfort, support, storage space, and compatibility.

Height and Weight

A platform bed is a lower-profile bed. In contrast, box springs add to the height of your bed. Thus, many people find it more convenient to get out and in of their bed if it has an additional box spring.

Though the features will vary depending on the type of mattress you use, box springs are lighter than platform beds. Therefore, they are quite easier to move.

Price

The price of both box springs and platform beds will mainly depend on the material, size, and brand. Regular box springs usually cost approximately from 100 to 500 dollars. On the other hand, a platform bed can cost approximately from a couple of hundred to several thousand dollars.

Keep in mind that you have to invest in additional accessories such as bed foundation. On the other hand, a platform bed is usually the cheaper option as you won’t need to purchase a mattress foundation or box spring to go along with it.

Comfort

If you want firmer mattress support, a solid platform bed is the perfect choice for your needs. Platform beds also allow air circulation, keeping you cooler during sleep.

However, box springs provide excellent responsiveness and are better at absorbing shock. Due to this, box springs can ease lower back pain.

Comparing box springs vs. platform beds comfort is futile because it mainly depends on your preferences and the type of mattress you sleep on.

Support

A coil box springs are more likely to lose support over time than a solid platform bed or a wooden slats platform bed. As the springs wear and tear out, they can sag and leave areas of your mattress without support. The traditional box spring typically lasts no more than ten years. On the other hand, platform beds can last more than ten years with minimal maintenance and care. However, the box spring coils are more flexible than the wooden slats of the platform bed.

Space for Storage

Platform beds with built-in storage space are quite a popular pick, especially for those who live in small apartments and need additional storage space. The storage drawers are put under the bed, so you can minimize the space in your bedroom. There are different styles of platform beds, including the one with bookshelves that are built-in for extra storage.

On the other hand, box springs don’t have much space for storage. But, if you own a box spring that is higher from the floor, you’ll be able to use the space under the box springs as storage.

Compatibility

Box springs are most suitable for innerspring mattresses, while platform beds are more compatible than box springs as they are suitable for most types of mattresses, including hybrid, latex, and memory foam mattresses.

So, Do You Need a Box Spring with a Platform Bed?

Basically, platform beds are designed in order to provide proper mattress support and keep your memory foam mattress under its warranty. However, they aren’t particularly suitable for this type of mattress. Because of the platform bed’s good supportive nature, you can put any type of mattress on the surface of your platform bed, even those mattress types that require a box spring, and you don’t even need to use a box spring.

Moreover, platform beds are considered as stand-alone mattress support, and by using a platform bed, you can save on both money and space. Since the added expenses for the box spring are no longer needed, you can invest that money in something else that you need. Additionally, you don’t have to deal with the added bulk of a box spring, and you can take the storage advantage of platform beds if you deal with a lack of space for storage.

Can You Use a Box Spring on a Platform Bed?

If you own a mattress that already has this type of mattress foundation, or you’re required to buy one with your new mattress because of the mattress warranty issues, you might ask yourself if you’re able to use a box spring on your platform bed. The answer to this question is yes. The construction of the platform bed offers very good support for everything that you want to put on it, but you need to consider several factors before using it.

First of all, using a box spring together with a platform bed will raise the profile of your bed. This is quite okay and even desirable in many cases, particularly because platform beds usually have a low profile to start with and can be too low for comfort. 

However, platform beds are designed to be used with no additional support, and they can provide support for the mattresses that cannot be used with a box spring. The headboards or footboards can be of lower profile as well. If this is the case, if you raise the bed profile overall, you can cover up the floorboard and headboard, which are a part of the decor.

A Few Words Before You Go…

In the end, as you can see, whether you’ll use a box spring with your platform bed is a totally personal choice as long as you have the best mattress support that will offer you better sleep. If you want, you can also buy a bunky board as well to use the advantage of what a box spring has to provide, basically adding height and extra support overall.

But you aren’t obligated to use anything else with your platform bed for any particular reason other than personal, regardless of the mattress type you use. Platform beds are designed to be used as a stand-alone part of your bedroom furniture to offer all the support that mattresses need.