What Goes Under A Mattress?

What Goes Under a Mattress?

When setting up your bed, it’s important to consider what goes under the mattress. The foundation beneath your mattress plays a crucial role in providing support, comfort, and longevity for your new sleep surface. The most common options include box springs, platform beds, adjustable bases, and slatted bed frames. Each of these supports comes with unique benefits and considerations.

Box Springs

Box springs have been a go-to foundation for mattresses for many years. They consist of a wooden or metal frame filled with springs or a metal grid and are covered by a fabric casing.

Benefits of Box Springs

One of the primary benefits of box springs is their ability to absorb shock and reduce the wear and tear on your mattress. This can prolong the life of your mattress significantly. The springs in the box spring help to distribute weight evenly, preventing sagging and maintaining the comfort level of your mattress.

Box springs are particularly suited for innerspring mattresses that have similar coil constructions because they complement the mattress structure well. By providing a resilient and springy surface, they enhance the overall supportive feel of the mattress.

Considerations for Box Springs

Although box springs are beneficial for certain types of mattresses, they may not be ideal for all mattress types. For instance, foam mattresses, including memory foam and latex, benefit more from solid and flat surfaces, which a box spring might not fully provide. Additionally, box springs can add considerable height to the bed, which may be a concern for those with mobility issues or those who prefer a lower bed profile.

Platform Beds

Platform beds are a modern and stylish solution that integrates the bed frame and the foundation into one piece. They typically feature a solid or slatted surface that directly supports the mattress without the need for additional box springs.

Benefits of Platform Beds

One of the key advantages of platform beds is their versatility. They can support all types of mattresses, including innerspring, hybrid, memory foam, and latex mattresses. The solid or slatted surface provides a stable and firm foundation, which is especially beneficial for foam mattresses that require uniform support to maintain their integrity and comfort.

Platform beds come in various designs and heights, offering more options to match your bedroom decor and personal style. Many designs also feature built-in storage solutions, such as drawers or under-bed space, which can be a great asset for maximizing bedroom storage.

Considerations for Platform Beds

While platform beds are generally compatible with most mattresses, there are still a few things to keep in mind. Slatted platform beds should have slats no more than 3 inches apart to ensure adequate support, especially for foam mattresses. Too wide a gap can cause the mattress to sag between the slats, decreasing comfort and potentially damaging the mattress over time. It’s also important to ensure the bed’s height matches your preference and accessibility needs, as some platform beds can be closer to the ground compared to traditional setups with box springs.

Adjustable Bases

Adjustable bases are an increasingly popular option, featuring a motorized mechanism that allows you to raise or lower different parts of the bed at the touch of a button. They provide a high level of customization and comfort.

Benefits of Adjustable Bases

The main advantage of an adjustable base is the ability to customize your sleeping position. You can elevate your head, feet, or both, which can help with various health issues such as acid reflux, sleep apnea, and poor circulation. This level of customization can also enhance comfort for activities like reading or watching TV in bed.

Adjustable bases are compatible with numerous mattress types, especially foam and hybrid mattresses designed to bend and flex without damage. They also often come with additional features like massage functions, USB charging ports, and under-bed lighting, which can enhance the overall bedroom experience.

Considerations for Adjustable Bases

Cost can be a significant factor when it comes to adjustable bases, as they tend to be more expensive than traditional bed foundations. Additionally, the weight and complexity of setting up an adjustable base can be more demanding compared to box springs or simple platform frames. It’s essential to ensure that your mattress is made to be compatible with adjustable bases, as some innerspring mattresses may not be suitable for use with this type of foundation.

Slatted Bed Frames

Slatted bed frames are another common and supportive choice. These frames consist of wooden or metal slats that run horizontally and create a stable base for the mattress.

Benefits of Slatted Bed Frames

Slatted bed frames offer firm support and are particularly beneficial for foam and latex mattresses, which require even and consistent support. These frames allow for better air circulation around the mattress, helping to regulate temperature and prevent moisture buildup which can extend the life of your mattress.

Top 5 Mattresses Recommended By GoodSleepHub.com

Furthermore, slatted frames are often easier to assemble and are typically more lightweight than other bed foundations, making them a convenient and practical choice.

Considerations for Slatted Bed Frames

It’s crucial to ensure the slats are not spaced too far apart – ideally no more than 3 inches – to prevent any sagging of the mattress. Additionally, the durability and quality of the slats themselves are important. Thinner or poorly made slats might not hold up well over time, which can impact the support and comfort of the mattress.

Other Considerations

When choosing what goes under your mattress, there are additional factors to consider beyond the basic support structure you choose.

Mattress Pads and Toppers

Adding a mattress pad or topper can provide additional comfort and protection for your mattress. These can range from memory foam toppers to featherbeds, offering various advantages including improved comfort, temperature regulation, and added support.

Protecting Your Investment

To maximize the life of your mattress, it’s wise to use a mattress protector. This barrier shields the mattress from spills, dust, and allergens, keeping it clean and hygienic. A good mattress protector is breathable and doesn’t interfere with the comfort of your mattress.

Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is essential for all types of mattresses to prevent mold and mildew. Ensure your bed frame or foundation allows for enough airflow. Platform beds with a solid surface may benefit from occasional lifting and airing out, while slatted frames and box springs naturally promote airflow.

Height and Accessibility

The total height of your bed setup can affect your comfort and accessibility. Consider the combined height of your bed frame, foundation, and mattress to ensure it suits your needs. An overly tall bed might be difficult to get in and out of, especially for older adults, while a bed that’s too low might not offer the storage space you need underneath.

Weight Capacity

Every bed foundation has a weight limit that includes the combined weight of the mattress, sleepers, and any additional bedding or accessories. Verify the weight capacity to avoid overloading the foundation, which could lead to structural failure or reduced support over time.

Finishing Thoughts

Choosing what goes under a mattress is a critical step in creating a comfortable, supportive, and long-lasting bed setup. Whether you opt for a traditional box spring, a versatile platform bed, an advanced adjustable base, or a classic slatted frame, each option has its own set of benefits and considerations. Reflect on factors such as the type of mattress you own, your sleep habits, room aesthetics, and any health concerns to find the best foundation that suits your needs. A well-chosen foundation will not only enhance your sleep quality but also extend the life of your mattress, ensuring that you enjoy restful nights for years to come.


  • Ashton Roberts

    I love learning and sharing everything about sleep. I am one of the energetic editors here at GoodSleepHub, where I talk about how to get a better night's sleep. When I'm not writing, I'm probably walking my dog Luna or trying out new sleeping gadgets. My goal is to help you sleep easier and better. Join me, and let's find simple ways to enjoy great sleep every night!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

bottom custom


Good Sleep Hub
Available for Amazon Prime