Just like the mattress, a mattress foundation plays a very important role in the quality of sleep that you will get with your new mattress. It does not make sense that you spend a considerable amount of time to choose the best mattress to suit your need and neglect the foundation. It is equally important to pay attention to the foundation just like you do when looking for the mattress.
Should You Use a Box Spring or Foundation Under Your Latex or Memory Foam Mattress?
As most people are aware, a foundation is the mechanism or support base that sits under a mattress. Both latex and memory foam mattresses required a uniform and solid foundation in order to work correctly.
What Kinds of Mattress Foundations Are There?
There are two basic kinds of mattress foundations that are currently available: foundations and box springs.
For the most part, box springs are a combination of steel and wood springs that at as shock absorbers for traditional innerspring mattresses.
On the other hand, foundations are a solid structure that is used with latex or memory foam mattresses, and typically are a wood-slatted or solid wood top system that has a cover over it.
Do You Need to Use a Solid Foundation or Box Spring With Foam Mattresses?
Your foam mattress just needs to have a solid base. A bunkie board, a metal base, wooden slats that are closely laid, or even the floor all will work fine instead of using a box spring. However, if your box spring is firm and rigid (with less than one inch of give), then it should be fine to use with a latex or memory foam mattress.
Typical foundations that are available in today’s market are made with either a wood slat and steel frame combination or a steel frame and has a zippered cover, and tacked cardboard or solid wood top. They are ideal to use with latex and memory foam mattresses because they offer a uniform, solid bottom to use with a foam core. The less give there is, the better.
Why Do Memory Foam and Latex Mattresses Need to Have a Solid Base?
In contrast to traditional mattresses, latex and memory foam mattresses are very heavy. That naturally means they need to have more support.
Can I Use A Memory Foam Mattress With My Old Box Spring?
Older box springs (ones that are typically more than 10 years old) tend to have too much give within their spring systems and do not provide a good support base to use with a foam mattress. If you have a box spring that is in good shape still and is under 10 years old, push against its springs in several different spots to test it. Make sure that there is the same consistent feel in the entire box spring and there isn’t more than one inch of give. If so, it might work fine with your memory foam mattress.
1. Platform Bed Frame
This is a basic kind of bed frame that has been designed to be used with no box spring. It has the necessary built-in support already for any type of mattress. This type of frame is fairly simple and a box spring is not required, which means they are often less expensive than a traditional bed frame. They can also offer plenty of under-bed storage space, depending on which style you choose, and for those who live in a small space that can be a huge bonus. (Floating and low-profile platform beds have a tendency to not offer any storage space, so make sure you check all of the details before buying a platform bed frame)
2. Wooden-Slat Mattress Foundations
A wooden-slat foundation also works well, as long as its slats are close together. The slats should be a maximum of 3 inches apart, and preferably 2 inches apart. You will have to measure or check with the retailer to ensure that the slats are not too far apart. Otherwise, you will need to place 1/2 to 3/4-inch plywood or pressboard over the slats in order to create a uniform, solid bottom (typically the board will be in two cuts that can be butted together for larger mattresses).
The Zinus wood-slat foundation is very sturdy and at an affordable price. It also sports a very modern and clean appearance. Its assembled height is around 10 inches off the floor, so combined with the mattress, sits at a good height from the floor. I used a 10-inch mattress with mine – it wasn’t too high or too low, which made it easy to get in and out of my bed.
Along with the other benefits they offer, a slatted mattress foundation is also a good option since they allow a mattress to breathe, which is very important.
3. Foldable Metal Platform Foundations
It is established that platforms work very well with latex and foam mattresses. They unfold easily and then fold back up within seconds for easy storage. The metal support stands are placed close together in order to provide the necessary support.
This type of foundation is ideal for guests’ beds that have to be stored away after used. However, they can also work very well as your long-term, main mattress. I highly recommend this type of platform foundation. The box it comes in is quite small because it is collapsible. It is lightweight as well, which makes it quite easy to move. It is excellent for storage also.
4. Adjustable Base
Which is the best adjustable base? The ones made by Leggett and Platt are by far the best. They are very durable, back with a good warranty, and constructed with quality craftsmanship and components.
These adjustable bases are used almost exclusively by the number one memory foam mattress company with their models. (hint: the company that uses the glass-of-wine test with their mattresses).
Note: An adjustable base enables you to select the angle of your bed (you raise the head and/or foot section. Usually, they come with manual controls or a remote).
5. Box Spring Replacement Foundations
If your current box spring offers a nice height but is too old for use with a new foam mattress, then a good option is to get a box spring replacement foundation. That will give you the same height that you are used to without having to sacrifice any support in the process.
The Classic Brands Instant Foundation is available in all sizes and is easy to assemble. It is ideal to use with both latex and memory foam mattresses.
6. Bunkie Boards
Also called bunky boards, these are flat objects that are used for supporting your mattress. Usually, they are made from particle board or plywood and is a very cost-effective and simple way to provide your latex or memory foam mattress with a solid base.
Bunkie boards are especially great since you can use them to update your current setup to prepare for a new mattress. So you can top your existing platform bed, foundation, or box spring with a bunkie board to ensure it will support a new mattress.
Are you on a tight budget? You can always make your own simple bunkie board by using a piece of plywood. However, just be aware, if you use this approach, that the plywood should be immediately covered or treated. Plywood tends to chip, so it could snag your sheets or mattress quite easily.
Is Putting A Memory Foam Mattress on the Floor Okay?
People ask me this question all the time. Yes, it is fine to put your memory foam mattress on the floor directly. These mattresses need to have a uniform, solid bottom, and that is provided by the floor. The floor acts as the foundation.
It will be a low-profile bed since you won’t have the same elevation that a frame and foundation offer. So, it will be harder to get out of bed. However, many people do it, especially individuals just getting started and trying to save money.