Sound sleep is essential to good health. Lack of sleep can contribute directly to heart disease, high blood pressure and even depression, which makes sleeping on the right mattress and mattress support combination key factors in getting a good night’s rest. Regardless of the mattress size, type or comfort level you prefer, the underlying system that supports your mattress is just as important as the mattress itself when it comes to sleeping well.
Mattress Support Types
Just as there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” mattress, the same is true for bed mattress support systems, since not all mattress types are compatible with every support method.
The three most common mattresses support systems are Box Springs, Foundation Supports and Platforms. Which is best? That depends in large part upon the type of mattress the system is meant to support.
Box Spring support systems consist of a series of wire coils attached inside a wooden box placed on a metal bedframe that keeps the box spring and mattress combination off the floor. The purpose of the box spring is to absorb motion and evenly distribute the combined weight of the mattress and its sleeper or sleepers.
The two box spring support options are either cone-shaped interior coils that offer good support and flexibility or a grid system made up of square coils that offers superior support and can extend the life of the mattress. Either type of box spring can be used with double-sided innerspring mattresses, since the box spring’s coils move and flex in harmony with coils within the mattress, causing much of the sleeper’s weight to be absorbed and making the mattress feel softer.
Box springs are intended to be used primarily with innerspring mattresses. Placing a latex mattress on a box spring support isn’t recommended, since the extra weight of the latex filling can bend the springs and cause the mattress to sag and shorten its life. Other mattress types not recommended for use with box spring support systems are memory foam, gel memory foam, innerspring mattresses that don’t require flipping and other non-coil mattresses
Platform beds are the most versatile among the three support systems, since they will accommodate all mattress styles. The solid, flat surfaces of platform beds or foundation mattress supports provide the most comfort and support for mattresses without inner coils, including foam and gel foam.
Platform beds are low, one-piece bed frames that support the mattress with wooden slats placed laterally and spaced a few inches apart. The mattress is placed directly on the platform, which eliminates the need for a box spring or foundation, making platform beds an economical choice. Platform beds come in sizes to fit all mattresses from Twin to California King. When shopping for a new mattress to be used with a platform bed, however, be sure the slat widths comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations to prevent voiding the warranty.
Try to avoid platforms made from particle board or compressed cardboard. They’re inexpensive, but if your budget allows, choose a solid frame platform bed. Solid frame platforms are generally more comfortable and durable, will last longer than the alternatives and the extra support they offer can help prevent waking up with a stiff neck or lower back pain.
Today’s platform beds can also be attractive pieces of bedroom furniture. They’re available in various designer styles, including Modern, Asian and European. Many have space-saving storage drawers or compartments beneath the platform, which is great for smaller bedrooms with limited closet space. Most are also low profile, so consider an adjustable platform that can be set to the height you prefer for improved comfort and convenience. This is particularly helpful to some older people or persons with physical limitations.
As with platform beds, foundations are also wooden frames with slats that support the bed’s mattress. Having fabric covers, foundations look much like box springs. Unlike box springs, however, foundations are meant to just support mattresses rather than distribute the sleeper’s weight and absorb shock and motion. Due to the increasing popularity of foam and memory foam over innerspring mattresses, many people today prefer foundation supports rather than box spring or platform systems.
Box springs, platforms and foundations are all good mattress support systems. The key to better sleep is matching the mattress to the support, which is where Sit ‘n Sleep’s friendly and knowledgeable Sleep Consultants come in. They’ll answer your questions and point out the pros and cons of each system to help you match the mattress to the support system that will suit you best. Our 38 conveniently located outlets throughout Southern California are open seven days a week, so stop by and test the various combinations of mattress types and support systems. You’ll be glad you did, and what’s more, you’ll soon rest easier.