Box Springs: Necessity Or Outdated?

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
March 10, 2022
min read


In the days before memory foam mattresses, most beds needed a box spring to protect them from the floor. In contrast, most modern mattresses now rest on some type of bed frame. This renders the old-timey box spring mostly unnecessary in most bedrooms. But does that mean there’s no more space for traditional box springs in today’s homes? Not necessarily.

Read on to learn more about box springs and whether or not you need one.

What Is a Box Spring?

Consisting of a sturdy wooden frame and metal springs, these sleep accessories serve as a supportive foundation for your mattress. Many companies explicitly manufacture this mattress foundation to match your bed's dimensions. Lastly, they’re usually wrapped in fabric for aesthetic purposes.

Reasons to Use a Box Spring

Now that we’ve defined what a traditional box spring is, you may be wondering if you need one at all. Here are some reasons you may want to consider purchasing a solid base for your modern mattress.

Gives You A Bit Of Extra Height

Sleeping on a mattress that sits directly on the floor means you might struggle when getting up and out of bed in the morning. However, having a platform bed foundation like a box spring can lift your actual mattress to a more comfortable height. It can also serve as a mattress protector if your bed's getting scratched up from being on the floor.

Underlying Support For Your Traditional Mattress

If you own an innerspring mattress, then you know that sustained use results in your bed losing its shape over time. And when people spend an average of 36 years in bed, that means a lot of use. That’s because the actual springs in these mattress models are susceptible to warping caused by body weight, so a sturdy foundation is an absolute necessity. This is especially true if you have a metal frame.

Adding a box spring can create a well-designed bed surface for better sleep and a longer-lasting mattress.

Relieves Pain

Whether you have a luxurious foam mattress or an affordable mattress that's been in your family for decades, sleeping without a platform can make body aches worse. In contrast, an even flat surface can keep body pains at bay.

Improves Airflow

The lack of air circulation makes warm nights even hotter, which results in restless evenings. That's where box spring bases can help. These platform bases lift your mattress off the ground, letting heat travel and dissipate through most types of mattresses.

Shock Absorption

If you own a traditional innerspring mattress, then you’ll need something to help absorb the shock of your body weight. That’s because innerspring mattresses contain actual metal coils to create a firm surface for sleeping, but these need a little bit of extra support to be comfortable.

A word of warning to memory foam mattress owners: certain kinds of box spring supports can void your mattress warranty, so be sure to check that out before purchasing one.

Does a Purple Mattress Need a Box Spring?

The short answer is no. Purple mattresses are top-of-the-line mattresses designed with comfort and better sleep in mind. We do not recommend using box springs with our mattresses, but what we do recommend is even better.

To get the most life out of your Purple mattress, we recommend pairing it with a Purple bed frame. Purple bed frames are strong, easy to assemble, and create a solid base for your mattress. With a Purple bed frame, you know you’re getting the best for your Purple mattress.

Purple Mattress Box Spring

When To Skip The Box Spring

So now that we know how bouncy coil box springs can contribute to more restful nights, you may be wondering if there are any situations when it doesn't help. The truth is that traditional box springs don't have a place in most modern bedrooms, but there's more to it than that.

Here's when you should skip the box spring altogether.

If You Own A Modern Mattress

Modern-day mattresses can be pretty advanced, with memory foam beds and adjustable bases becoming increasingly popular. However, these high-tech sleep solutions lack traditional beds' solid inner structures. This makes partnering them with box springs a terrible idea since the coils can wreck the soft surface and void most mattress warranties.

If you'd like some extra height, check out a few modern bed frames or box spring alternatives.

If You Prefer More Modern Bed Frames

Given that there are so many types of foundations on the market, you shouldn’t feel pressured to fit a box spring into your sleep zone. If you prefer the flexibility of an adjustable bed frame or the look of wood pallets, then you may want to skip box springs altogether. For hybrid mattresses, look at adjustable bases and other state-of-the-art bed frames.

If You Like Sleeping Directly On The Floor

If you’re the kind of person that prefers sleeping with their mattress directly on the ground, that’s totally fine. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to furnishing your bedroom, and box springs or bed frames aren’t a necessity if they’re not wanted. However, we recommend investing in a mattress protector if you’re going to sleep on the floor.

Box Spring vs Foundation vs Platform: What's The Difference?


As we mentioned earlier, there are plenty of foundation options on the market for all kinds of sleepers. But when it comes to looking for a box spring alternative, there are really only two others to consider: the foundation and platform bed. Here’s how they differ.

  • Foundation: As the name suggests, this is a type of foundation that provides a very sturdy surface for beds to lay on. Usually made from wooden slats, this box spring alternative pairs well with hybrid mattresses and other soft bed types.
  • Platform: A platform bed frame combines the idea of mattress support with a bed frame and usually comes with little wooden legs for a bit of lift. Some options also include extra storage space, which can be great for small spaces. However, platform beds tend to be a little pricier than other alternatives.

The best practice for your mattress is to have some kind of base between it and the floor. You can lay your mattress directly on the floor, but it can lessen the life of your mattress. Floors don’t provide the amount of stability, protection, and shock absorption mattresses need to last their intended lifespan. A mattress left on the floor could quickly lose its structure. This could result in a less comfortable night’s rest and a sore body.

Should You Still Use A Box Spring?

The question of whether or not you need a box spring isn’t a straightforward one, and that’s because it all boils down to your personal preference. While folks with old-timey innerspring mattresses should definitely consider purchasing one, they’re not a necessity for a good night’s sleep.

On the other hand, owners of more modern mattresses should probably skip them altogether. That said, there are other bed support options on the market – browse our selection of bed frames today!

Platform Purple Base

Platform Bed

Strong, simple, storage friendly.

Purple Base

Purple Bed Frame

Upholstered, stylish cozy addition.

Ascent Purple Base

Purple Ascent Adjustable Base

Provides premium, customizable support for your mattress.

Frequently Asked Questions About Box Springs

Does Purple mattress come with a box spring?

Purple mattresses do not come with box springs. We recommend pairing your Purple mattress with a Purple bed frame to assure you get the most out of the life of your mattress. Use of a box spring may damage your Purple mattress and void the warranty.

Can Purple mattresses be used on a box spring?

A Purple mattress should not be used on a box spring. Use of a box spring can damage your Purple mattress and void its warranty. Instead, pair your Purple mattress with a Purple bed frame for the best possible comfort.