Do Memory Foam Mattresses Need Box Springs?

Do memory foam mattresses need box springs or other support?

Do memory foam mattresses need box springs or other support?

Memory foam mattresses are great for providing pressure point support for your entire body, which in turn is going to give you a much better night’s worth of sleep, and waking up with less body aches and pains.  Finding an affordable memory foam mattress with a great warranty is easier than ever, but what about a box spring or mattress support?  Do memory foam mattresses need box springs?

Do Memory Foam Mattresses Need Box Springs?

The easy answer is no, that they don’t need a box spring support underneath them.  However… they do work better with firm support underneath them.  Is a box spring the best choice for under a new memory foam bed?

Let’s took a look at a few options that are available to you for consideration when looking for mattress support.  There are basically two types of mattress support systems on the market; box springs and foundations.

  • Box Springs:  Typically these are are a combination of wood and steel springs that are the traditional support for most all inner spring mattresses.
  • Foundations:  Are more solid and are used most consistently for memory foam mattresses.  Most often these have wood support structures using a slatted system, or are made of metal grid mesh.

Both types of mattress support are great for raising the bed higher off the floor, which makes transition to layout and getting up easier, as well as offering needed support to the mattress itself.

Some people, college kids or young adults starting out on their own will sometimes just place their new mattress on the floor.  That’s not a good idea however, as both an innerspring mattress and memory foam bed will likely develop issues with mold if placed directly on the floor.

If you have a memory foam mattress or are thinking of getting one, you will want to most likely buy a foundation for it instead of a box spring.  Foundations are going to offer better overall support for a heavy memory foam mattress.  But with that said, if you have a box spring that is in good condition, it will likely work fine for being used under your new foam mattress.

Usually if a a box spring is less than ten years old it will still have good support, good enough for a memory foam mattress.  You can test your box spring by pushing against the springs in a dozen locations or more… make sure the entire box spring has the same consistency.  It needs to be firm and rigid with an inch or less of give.  If you test your box spring and it has too much play in it between areas – don’t use it.  Get a new memory foam mattress foundation.

What Types Of Memory Foam Mattress Foundations Are Available?

There are basically two primary types of foundation for memory foam mattresses on the market; metal frame and wood slat.  Let take a look at both!

Metal Frame Memory Foam Mattress Foundations

These types of foundations are highly affordable, and very durable.  I actually own three such types of foundations for memory foam beds at my cottage and my guest bedroom at home.

The metal support pieces are close enough together to provide the continuous support that heavy memory foam mattresses need.  They are surprisingly lightweight as well, and usually can be folded in half which makes moving them if you need to rather easy.  They also offer height advantages and ample storage space underneath.

For more information and buying options for a metal foundation check out my blog post here

They are not too badly priced wither.  Check out the Amazon add link below for a typical Queen sized metal foundation and ready some fantastic reviews.


Wood Slat Memory Foam Mattress Foundations

Wood slat foundations work well too, and usually come in a more contemporary design over the metal foundations.  I have a wood slat foundation in my master bedroom just like the one pictured below, and my wife and I love it.

Slats should be about three to four inches apart.  Some people will tell you they need to be closer.  But certainly you don’t want the slats further apart then four inches.  You may need to measure when assembly a wood slat foundation like you see above, to make sure they are close enough and will provide good support.

Another option is to buy a sheet of 3/4″ plywood and lay over the slats to create a solid bottom for your mattress to lay on.  Of course the bigger your mattress and foundation, you may need to buy more than one piece of plywood to cover the wood slats evenly.  This is usually not required, but some people like to do it.

Check out my review of the wood slat foundation here on my Foundation page

Surprisingly the more contemporary foundations like the one seen above are nicely priced and have some great customer reviews all over the web.  Check it out below at Amazon.



I hope this blog post helped answer any questions you may have wondering if memory foam mattresses need box springs.  If looking for more information in general on memory foam mattresses please check read my post “Memory Foam Mattress – Best Bed To Have” here.

If you are in the market for an affordable memory foam mattress with a great warranty, check out my reviews of the beds I actually own and use at home and at my cabin.  You don’t have to spend thousands, just a few hundred, and you can get a fantastic memory foam bed with a 10 to 25 year warranty.  Check out my Zinus Memory Foam Mattress Review here.

Of course if you have any questions regarding memory foam mattresses needing box springs, ask them below in the comments.



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