When shopping for a mattress, people don't often think about shopping for a new box spring, and yet, many times they leave the mattress store with a mattress set, mattress and box spring. But do they really need a new one? That's a great question and one that potentially save you some money in the short term or the long term.
Most mattress stores advertise their mattresses on sale as a set, box spring and mattress. And since they sell them and advertise them as a set, most of the time consumers just purchase the set without knowing what their options are. What are those options?
- Keep your existing box spring. Usually, your current box spring is in perfect condition, and yet ends up heading to the local landfill. Why? Because you buy the set, likely because the salesperson told you the warranty is voided if you don't. However, if your set is less than 15 years old, your current box spring is in perfect condition and perfect for that new mattress. The majority of box springs on the market are made of solid wood and/or metal, unyielding and breathable, the perfect foundation for a mattress. And unless you broke it or it's squeaking, there is no reason to not use your existing box spring. In fact, save the money and the space in a landfill and spend some of that savings on a good mattress protector or encasement to keep your new bedding free of dust mites.
- A slatted platform. Nowadays box springs are nothing more than a rudimentary platform bed with fabric covering it. One of the more recognizable foam manufacturers actually uses a simple solid wood box covered with fabric. A platform bed is a perfect foundation for today's mattresses. They are stable, breathable, and sturdy. Make sure the slats are no more than 3-4" apart and that the slats themselves are no more than 3-4" in width. This ensures proper air flow and prevents mold underneath the mattress.
- Plywood is not an option. Following the logic that solid is better, some consumers will put a solid piece of plywood on their frame in place of a box spring. This would not be advisable and actually could harm both the mattress and your health. Plywood is not breathable and accumulated moisture, over time, can lead to the mattress molding on the bottom. You can always use slats in place of plywood, even on a Captain's Bed or metal frame.
Do you have to buy the new box spring? Test your box spring and look for the following issues: When you push on the surface of the box spring, can you find soft spots or spots that feel inconsistent? It may be time for a new box spring. Is you box spring one of the older ones that actually have a spring in them and are flexible? That type of box spring can alter the feel of your mattress from what you felt in the showroom. When you push on the box spring, can you hear it squeaking? If yes, it's time to take advantage of that deal on a set. And if your box spring passes these test, you may want to save yourself some money and save some space in the landfill.