What Is A Mattress Foundation

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
21 min read

Simply looking at the term “mattress foundation” should give you a good idea of what it is. There are numerous varieties of foundations that can hold a mattress. Learn more about the different types of mattress foundations and why they’re so important in this helpful guide.

A well-supported base can extend the life of a mattress and improve its comfort and support. It may even prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. The abundance of choices on the market, though, might make selecting the best option seem like an insurmountable task.

What Is A Mattress Foundation And Do You Need One?

You can elevate your mattress with the help of a base. It’s not the same as a bed frame or box spring, though; we’ll get to those in a minute. In addition, the materials and construction of a mattress base vary.

Box Spring vs Foundation: What's the Best? | Mattress Advisor

There are many wood-and-metal hybrids available as bases for buildings. A cloth layer is also used as a covering to ensure nothing gets damaged. Additionally, a foundation’s height can be adjusted to suit individual tastes.

Benefits of Mattress Foundations

Many mattress and bedding manufacturers no longer promote or even offer box springs with their products, instead opting to focus on the design and sale of mattress foundations. Companies started making the switch to foundations because they give stronger, more long-lasting support than a standard box spring.

What’s the deal with box springs and foundations, then?

  • Keep your warranty in tact. Using a mattress foundation, which is designed specifically to support mattresses, is a requirement of many mattress warranties.
  • Support your new bed as best you can. Supports your mattress evenly and firmly so you can have a good night’s rest.
  • Preserve your mattress for as long as possible. Reduces the likelihood that your mattress may develop sags or impressions too soon.
  • Raise the profile of your bed by an additional 5cm. A mattress’s height can vary widely, from 6 inches to over 14 inches, so a bed frame may be unable to accommodate a very tall mattress. You may make your bed appear more stately by using a base. Having a higher bedframe makes it much less of a struggle to get out of bed each morning.
  • Serves to maintain the position of your bed. When you go in and out of bed, or if you toss and turn during the night, your mattress shouldn’t move around on a solid base.
  • Pressure and stress will be mitigated. Having a sore back in the morning is not inevitable if your home has a solid foundation that can take the impact of any falls or heavy furniture.
  • Better air circulation while you sleep. Slatted mattress foundations are designed to allow heated air to escape.
  • Makes it easier to maintain a tidy bed. Mattresses that are kept off the floor are less likely to become a breeding ground for dust mites and other allergens. And it aids in preventing moisture from accumulating on your mattress.

Your new mattress will typically come with a warranty agreement that specifies the minimum level of support required for the mattress to endure its full lifespan. More often than not, reputable mattress manufacturers will also offer a box spring or foundation that is specifically made to work with their products.

How Important Is A Mattress Foundation?

Never underestimate the importance of a solid mattress base in preventing your mattress from sagging. As a bonus, regular use will have less of an impact on the mattress’s structural integrity. You can sleep on the foundation by itself, or you can attach it to a bed frame.

As you will see in the following section, there are a variety of mattress foundations available to meet individual needs. The company that made your mattress may suggest a certain one in order to maximize its useful life. Finally, a foundation can be used in conjunction with any bed frame.

You could use it as a standalone bed frame or complement an existing one. Some bed frames feature legs that may be removed to allow for this. Also, a frame isn’t necessary for a mattress to rest securely on the floor; a foundation would do the trick.

Is A Foundation The Same As A Box Spring?

Most homeowners think of box springs when they think of a mattress foundation. However, these are not interchangeable parts, and various mattress kinds require various supports structures. A box spring, for instance, is appropriate for innerspring mattresses since they aid in weight distribution.

The box spring will provide support and stability, and the mattress will distribute your weight evenly. However, if you choose for a foam or hybrid mattress, you can skip the box spring. Since box springs lack a stable base, a proper foundation is required for these beds.

Types Of Mattress Foundations

The best mattress base should be discussed next. Whether or whether you need one for your particular bed configuration can be determined by familiarizing yourself with the various kinds. In addition, there are three distinct varieties to keep in mind when shopping for one of these items:

Bunkie boards

The bunkie board is the least expensive option for a mattress foundation. This board, as the name implies, is made out of wood similar to plywood and is often covered in fabric. The substance means that it won’t significantly raise the level of your bed.

Dense mattresses will be more secure on account of the extra surface area. Memory foam mattresses are suitable for use with a bunkie board foundation. To prevent the foam from becoming dented, some homeowners use a box spring or slats.


The platform or solid style of mattress base is the one most people picture first. You can use it in the bed frame in place of slats or as a standalone base if your bed frame has removable legs. It was briefly noted above that platform bases are a great option for people who are short on sleeping quarters.

Space-conscious apartment dwellers can save floor area by swapping out their box springs for a bed’s platform foundation. You may get the same benefits of having a bed frame by using these instead. Mattresses should not be placed directly on the floor; instead, a platform foundation should be used.


The adjustable variant of the foundation is another option available on the market. Price-wise, it’s a notch over the other two, but you get a lot more for your money. Changing the firmness of this base is as easy as changing the name of the bed you sleep in.

Do you, for instance, need to prop up your head or feet when lying in bed reading or watching television? Getting some height can help ease pain or increase blood flow. Be aware, though, that mattresses with steel border wires can make it difficult to use an adjustable mattress base.

Best Mattress Foundation: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

1. Best Mattress Foundation Overall: Amerisleep Platform Bed

The Amerisleep Platform Bed is a great option because it is easy to assemble, durable, and affordable. In addition, you don’t have to have an Amerisleep mattress to use one of their foundations; it’s made to be universally compatible.

What Is A Mattress Foundation? (Answers & Detailed Guide)

The base of an Amerisleep mattress is 13.50 inches high. The grey upholstery and solid wood panels on this foundation go with a wide variety of design styles. The side rails integrated into the design of this bed frame from Amerisleep ensure that your mattress will remain in place.

The Amerisleep foundation has a unique slide and lock system that makes construction quick and straightforward without the need for any equipment. Additionally to the weight of the mattress, their base can support up to 800 pounds. The Queen size of this foundation costs $499.

2. Best Cooling Mattress Foundation: Zoma Foundation

Similarly, the Zoma Foundation is worth looking into. The Zoma Foundation, like the Amerisleep Foundation we just covered, can be used in place of a box spring or on its own. The dark upholstery of the Zoma Foundation goes with a wide variety of design styles, and its slat-pack structure provides exceptional support.

With its corner-clip construction, the Zoma Foundation’s assembly couldn’t be simpler. The slat pack, which is rolled out on top of the foundation, provides uniform, solid support for your mattress. All sorts of mattresses can find a good match with the slat pack because the slats are only three inches apart.

Read the warranty carefully to see what kind of foundation is required to maintain the mattress’s warranty. (If you don’t use the right foundation, you may void the warranty on your mattress.)

The legs and the side rails of this base are made of solid pine wood, a material that Zoma uses extensively in their construction. They have confidence in their base so much that they offer a year-long guarantee.

If you are interested in purchasing or learning more about the Zoma Sleep foundation, please visit the Zoma Sleep website. The typical cost of a Zoma Foundation for a queen is $300.

3. Best Budget-Friendly Mattress Foundation: Vaya Platform Bed

The purpose of the Vaya Platform Bed is to provide as an alternative to the standard bed frame. Even though this eliminates the possibility of using your preferred bed frame with the Vaya platform bed, it also guarantees that the Vaya bed stands on its own two feet, looking and feeling fantastic.

The platform bed’s straightforward construction ensures a quick and straightforward assembly process. Slats and a center support can be added to a bed in a matter of minutes. The frame may be assembled in seconds without any hardware.

The wooden frame of the Vaya Platform is covered in a light grey polyester fabric at the slats and the base. Since the bed’s appearance is softened by the fabric’s neutral color and pattern, it may be easily accommodated in practically any bedroom design.

Oversized slats make for a nearly smooth surface with minimum gaps. This not only promotes airflow through the mattress’ foundation to remove trapped moisture and body heat, but also guarantees stable support to prevent sagging.

A Vaya Foundation is $499 with free shipping for a queen size frame. Customers can also select a frame in twin (regular or extra long), full (standard or extra long), king, or California king sizes. Regardless of what size they choose, their frame will be backed by a 1-year warranty.

4. Best Metal Mattress Foundation: GhostBed All-in-One Foundation™

The foundation’s two-piece legs screw onto the aluminum frame, so you may take one out to make the bed shorter. Many people find it convenient to be able to alter the height of their beds to suit their needs while getting in and out of bed.

The GhostBed All-in-One FoundationTM has a 20-year guarantee and is available for free shipment.

5. Best Innovative Mattress Foundation: Nest Mattress Foundation

Next up, we have the mattress base that was made specifically to go with a Nest Bedding mattress. This is a favorite of ours because of how adaptable and flexible it is. The foundation from Nest Bedding may serve as a box spring or a bed basis thanks to its detachable legs.

This base can be purchased as either a low profile version (5.5 inches in height) or a high profile version (eight inches in height). The height of the base is increased by the five-inch removable legs. In addition, it comes in a number of other shades, including as black, tan, and gray.

Nest’s foundation is designed to work with a wide variety of mattresses thanks to its 3″-apart slat pack and wooden side panels.

One cool thing about this stand is that it has two USB charging connections, one on each side. Fortunately, the Nest Bedding foundation is similarly straightforward and requires no tools for set up. The Nest Mattress Foundation, in size Queen, costs $399, making it the most expensive of the options we’ve looked at.

6. Best Box Spring Replacement: PlushBeds Mattress Foundation

PlushBeds produces and sells another excellent mattress base. PlushBeds provides a high profile, 8-inch thick orthopedic mattress base in addition to a low profile, 5 inch tall foundation. These mattresses can accommodate users weighing up to 1,200 pounds, making them ideal for those who weigh more than the average person.

PlushBeds uses spruce wood in their mattress foundations, so they should be durable. This is a great bed frame because the slats are only 2.5 inches apart, providing plenty of support for a wide range of mattresses. The one and only drawback to purchasing this base is that it cannot be used independently of a bed frame.

These foundations are backed by a warranty, but when we contacted PlushBeds, we were unable to find out how long it was or what it covered. If you want to make sure you’re getting the most for your money, read up on the company’s return and warranty policies before making any purchases.

PlushBeds queen size foundations cost $300.

Risks with Cheap Mattress Foundations

You should be aware of the potential consequences of purchasing a cheap or low-quality mattress foundation that does not properly support your bed. If your mattress foundation isn’t providing enough support, for instance, you may find it difficult to sleep on.

If your mattress isn’t providing enough support and has started to feel uneven, lumpy, or sagging, you might blame the mattress itself instead of the base. You may maximize the benefits of your new mattress by using a sturdy base.

Even while mattress foundations are a great asset to any bed, not everyone requires one. While it’s true that mattresses should be supported, what if your current bed frame is adequate on its own?

Bed frames, which can be purchased separately from a mattress base, will be discussed in the next section.

Alternatives to Mattress Foundations

If you’re replacing your entire bed set, you can save money by purchasing a bed frame made specifically for supporting mattresses. Many mattress foundations also feature removable legs, allowing you to utilize the foundation either within your bed frame or on the floor as a “frame.”

A mattress foundation with removable legs gives you the flexibility to use it with or without a bed frame, which is ideal if you do not want to buy a new bed frame or have a small bedroom.

In most cases, bed frames such as platform beds and adjustable bases can stand alone without the need for a separate foundation. If budget allows, consider upgrading to a bed with an adjustable base when it comes time to replace your current bedding.

Metal Bed Frame

A metal bed frame is a cost-effective and low-maintenance option for showcasing your new bedding set. Although placing a mattress directly on a metal bed frame might cause major wear and tear, these will do a great job of keeping your box spring or mattress base in place.

This bed has a sturdy metal construction with a central support bar. In addition, you can have metal bedframes that can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of mattress thicknesses and widths.

Platform Beds

The versatility of a platform bed in accommodating a wide variety of mattresses has contributed to its widespread acceptance. One of the best things about a platform bed is how straightforward it is. These beds have a robust, flat platform on which to place your mattress and strong legs in a standard rectangular shape.

Typically, there is no head or foot board, but it may be possible to add one.

You can find platform beds with either slats or a solid base. The vast majority of beds can be used on either slatted or solid surfaces.

Metal Platform Base

A metal platform foundation is a good option if you want to store things under your bed. These are reliable, quick to assemble, and low-maintenance.

Most of the time, they are taller than standard platform beds, allowing you to store things under the bed while still having enough room to put your mattress on top.

These are just like regular platform beds, but they’re made out of metal instead of wood.

Adjustable Beds

Many people find that adjustable beds are the key to getting a good night’s rest without interruption.

Primarily, adjustable bases are excellent for reducing back discomfort. Adjustable bases that allow for movement of both the head and the feet make it simple to find the ideal position for relieving pressure points and other sources of discomfort.

Anyone with sleep apnea or a bedmate who snores can benefit from an adjustable base. You can avoid snoring and other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea by propping your head up at an angle while you sleep.

Acid reflux and heartburn can be avoided by keeping your upper body at an angle.

Although adjustable beds are the best option for those looking to enhance the quality of their sleep, they may be very costly. We’ll talk about the best mattress foundations for your new bed in the next section.

What’s the Best Support for Different Mattress Types?

The optimal kind of support varies from mattress to mattress because of the different ways in which they are constructed.

Never use a box spring with an all-foam bed, especially one with a memory foam mattress. The longevity of your mattress will be shortened by the use of traditional box springs, which can compromise the foam’s structural integrity and undermine its ability to support your body. Foam mattresses, on the other hand, work well with flexible bed bases like adjustable metal frames or slatted wooden ones.

Both a box spring and a foundation work well with a hybrid or innerspring mattress; it’s just a matter of personal preference. These mattresses can also be used on a variety of different bed frames, giving you more flexibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are beds without box springs comfortable?

Many of the most luxurious mattresses on the market today are designed without box spring support in mind. In addition, a box spring is not suitable for use with a foam mattress since it cannot provide the uniform support that is required by a foam bed. The mattress can stretch the bed out of shape by sinking between the box spring’s coils, which are set too widely apart.

Can you put a mattress directly on slats?

Slats that can withstand wetness and are spaced no more than 3 inches apart are OK. Mold and mildew are fostered by moisture, but wood treated to resist it is protected from this. Also, if the gaps between the slats are wider than three inches, your mattress will lose support and become less comfortable.

What Is A Mattress Foundation? (Answers & Detailed Guide)

Is it better to have your bed high or low?

A standard bed frame can add another 16 to 25 inches to the height of a mattress, making for a total height of 5 to 65 inches. Most people find sitting on the edge of their bed most comfortable when their knees are at the same level as their hips. Bed risers can be used to add an extra inch or two to a bed frame that is otherwise too short.

Do mattresses need a foundation?

Perhaps, but it’s not required. Choices range from conventional wooden frames to sleek metal designs and versatile platform styles. If you want the best of both worlds, you can combine a foundation with a classic bed frame.

Can you use a piece of plywood instead of a box spring?

If it’s at least 0.75 inches thick and resistant to moisture, you can. A solid piece of plywood will hold your project evenly, but it will also prevent air from flowing through, which might lead to moisture buildup. Using wood that is resistant to moisture will keep your mattress dry and clean.


Choosing a mattress is only part of creating a relaxing bedroom environment. The question of what a mattress foundation is should also be considered. This framework is not quite the same as a bed frame, but it will do in a pinch.

While there are many varieties of mattress foundations, they all serve the same basic purpose: to give the mattress a solid base. This will help keep the mattress from sagging or sinking too soon. The bed will be raised to the appropriate level as well.

One could say that a solid base is essential for every mattress. Find out what the maker suggests for a more restful night’s sleep. You should be able to easily determine which is best for your bed.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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