Foundations or Box Springs: What’s the Difference?

December 14, 2017 10:03 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In the world of mattresses, you’ve likely heard the words “box spring” and “foundation” tossed around interchangeably. Most people still use “box spring” today to refer to the structural support underneath your mattress. Many people assume that box springs and foundations are one and the same. However, this is not the case.

When shopping at a mattress store in Manhattan, KS, you’ll need to know the difference between a box spring and a foundation to understand which is the right option for your new mattress. Here’s a quick overview of the differences to help you out.

Box springs

A box spring is a structural component of your bed that is placed beneath the mattress. True box springs are made of wood and springs or coils arranged in a steel grid pattern. The box spring was intended to provide more “give” to the mattress, add support and absorb weight.

However, manufacturing box springs was relatively expensive due to the spring coils, and the mattress industry has largely moved away from them. You typically only find box springs with old beds or new luxury types. Since the shift from box springs, foundations have become the norm.


A mattress foundation is a sturdy wooden structure that sometimes includes metal supports inside. Foundations have very little give and offer very level support to a wide variety of mattress types. The use of steel supports or wood only can affect the amount of give and rigidity the foundation offers.

Foundations help prevent the mattress from sagging, extending the lifespan of your mattress. They are also much cheaper to manufacture than box springs were. Foundations are far sturdier than box springs and are best used with latex mattresses or more dense, flexible mattresses like memory foam.

Selecting the correct foundation

When you’re purchasing a new mattress at a mattress store in Manhattan, KS, you shouldn’t stress over choosing the right foundation in addition to the right mattress. Most mattresses are sold in conjunction with a foundation that is appropriate for its size, weight and density.

However, there are some general rules when it comes to pairing mattresses and foundations to keep in mind. Memory foam mattresses that don’t have springs typically require a much more supportive, hard foundation. Mattresses that have innersprings tend to pair better with foundations that offer some give.

In other cases, you can forgo using a foundation altogether. Platform beds are typically constructed with wooden slats and don’t require a foundation. If you have this type of bed, you’d put your mattress directly on the platform.

Ask the experts at Beds for Less

We know that selecting the perfect mattress can be difficult and that you might have lots of questions when it comes to choosing a different style or foundation than you’re used to. We’re here to help! At Beds For Less, our mattress experts can answer all your questions and help you choose the best fit.

Our mattress store in Manhattan, KS offers a wide variety of mattresses, beds and accessories. We strive to provide exceptional customer service alongside our honest and affordable prices. Visit us today!

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