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Do You Need a Box Spring for a Platform Bed?

Do You Need a Box Spring for a Platform Bed?

Platform beds have been a growing trend in recent years. They’re popping up all over the place as a great option for a bed frame. Many people have questions about how to use a platform; one such question is whether or not you need a box spring for a platform bed. 

With all the different mattress types and bed types out there, it can be tough to know which can go with which. That’s why we’ve come up with this quick guide to give you all the info you need on platform beds and how to use them. 

Whether you have a platform bed or are considering getting one, this is the article for you. Let’s jump right in.

What Is a Platform Bed?

First things first, we need to establish what exactly a platform bed is. Odds are you’ve seen one before because they’re super common and useful for bedding.

A platform bed is a type of bedframe that is versatile and can support a wide variety of different mattresses. It consists of a standard frame and the platform on which the mattress rests. This platform typically consists of wooden slats that are placed horizontally across the bed. There are gaps between each slat, so it’s not just one piece of wood. 

Some platform beds, such as the bunkie board, are simply one large piece of wood that the mattress sits atop, but there are some disadvantages to that type that we’ll talk about in a minute. 

Platform beds are simple, affordable, and easy to assemble, and they can support any type of mattress, which is what makes them so popular. They’re also easy to customize with headboards and footboards. 

Another advantage of platform beds is that the top surface of the mattress tends to be lower to the ground than other types of beds. Most modern design styles prefer lower-profile furniture that sits closer to the ground. It provides a minimalist, sleek look, and it’s also more convenient in comfortable than climbing up into a bed. 

Other Types of Beds

There are a few other different types of beds worth mentioning as well. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses. 

Panel Beds

Another type of bed is called a panel bed. While the platform bed is designed to hold any type of mattress, panel beds are designed to hold a mattress foundation, such as a box spring. The frames of panel beds come with rails along the sides that a box spring rests in; then, the mattress lies on top of the box spring. 

Foundation Bed

A foundation bed is similar to a platform bed in that it has wooden slats that support the mattress. They can also be home to any type of mattress that you have. The main difference is in the frame itself. 

Instead of having a frame supported by wooden legs, the foundation bed has a wooden foundation that features panels on the sides that start at the floor and go up to where the platform is. These panels are sometimes upholstered to look nice. 

This gives the same support as a platform bed, but because you can’t reach under the bed, you can’t store anything under your bed. For some people, this might not be a big deal, but for folks with limited storage in their homes, you need every last square inch you can get.

Foundation beds can also be lower to the group like platform beds, but their solid foundation is slightly bulkier. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on what style you prefer. 

What Does a Box Spring Do?

Box springs are specifically designed to be the support base for an innerspring mattress. An innerspring mattress has springs inside to provide you with support throughout the night. And a box spring is a wooden frame covered with fabric that has springs inside. This is designed to support the mattress. 

Just a few decades ago, you couldn’t have a bed without also having a box spring. Innersprings dominated the market, and box springs are the best way to support an innerspring mattress. 

Box springs not only support the mattress, but they also help to keep your mattress cool throughout the night, which is incredibly important. Because the box spring is mostly hollow, it allows air to flow beneath the mattress, helping to keep it cool. 

Staying Cool While You Sleep

You may have heard about the REM stage of sleep. It’s the phase of sleep that is the most important part of our nightly rest. It helps us with memory function, hormone function, and a whole host of other critical body functions. Without REM, our bodies couldn’t perform properly. 

Having a lower body temperature while you sleep is linked to how much REM sleep you get. If your body is too warm, you’re likely to get less REM every night, leaving you not as well-rested. Keeping your temperature down is one of the most important functions of a box spring. 

Do You Need a Box Spring on a Platform Bed?

In short, the answer is no, you don’t need a box spring. However, there are certain situations where it’s good to use a box spring and some situations where you absolutely should not use one. 

Innerspring Mattresses

Mattresses that use springs like innerspring mattresses don’t need as much support as other types of mattresses. The springs hold the structure of the mattress together. A box spring provides that small amount of support that the mattress needs while also letting some air get under the mattress to keep it cool while you sleep on it, as we discussed above. 

That said, you can also choose to forgo the box spring and put your spring mattress straight on the platform bed. This provides a much firmer foundation than the innerspring is designed for, so it will likely not be as soft as it would be if you went with a box spring.

For these mattresses, a box spring is definitely preferred, so it’s totally fine to put a box spring on a platform bed if that is what you have. This will provide a more raised look than most platform beds, but it is by no means a bad thing. 

Memory Foam, Latex, and Hybrid Mattresses 

With any mattress type other than spring mattresses, from memory foam to latex to hybrids, a box spring is completely unnecessary and sometimes completely ineffective. 

Box springs are designed to provide some support to mattresses, but most of that support is towards the edges of the box spring and where the springs are located. Foam mattresses need a lot more support than a box spring can give. 

If you try to put a foam mattress on a box spring, the mattress won’t get enough support and your mattress will sag. To get proper support for your foam mattresses, they need to be placed on a slat board where the slats are no more than 2.75 inches apart. 

Do Platform Beds Keep Your Mattress Cool Like Box Springs?

We’ve talked a lot about staying cool throughout the night. Box springs help their spring mattresses to do that, but do platform beds help foam mattresses stay cool? In short, yes!

Foam and Heat

Foam mattresses get proper airflow underneath with a platform bed. Foam is a lot thicker material than the usual cotton upholstery used in innerspring mattresses, which means that it traps heat more. Many people, especially hot sleepers, are wary of foam mattresses for this reason. 

There is another type of foam mattress called gel foam mattresses. This mattress has two layers. The bottom layer is a foundational layer of dense foam, and the top layer (the one you sleep on) is made of a unique gel foam that is designed to give you a cool night of sleep. 

This gel gives the foam a more open cell structure. Essentially, it creates pockets of air between the foam cells to allow for more breathability, effectively allowing a cooling effect so that you can stay cool through the night.

Box Spring and Platform Beds

Do you need a box spring for your platform bed? No, you don’t. It will help you if you have an innerspring mattress, but it will hurt you if you have a foam or hybrid mattress. Just go with the option that fits your mattress, and you’ll be fine. 

For more info on beds and for an amazing selection of mattresses, mattress pads, bed frames, and more, check out eLuxury


Do You Need a Box Spring? | Sleep Foundation

UCLA study links length of REM sleep to body temperature | UCLA Health

What is REM Sleep and How Much Do You Need? | Sleep Foundation

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