Latex and memory foam mattresses are meant to be used with a firm, flat mattress foundation, or platform bed. The surface of your mattress base should not flex at all.
Traditional innerspring luxury bed sets use a flexing box spring. The structure of the boxspring is specifically designed to give optimal support to its matching mattress. Not so with foam beds. Foam beds can go on any firm, flat surface, the harder the better. For example the floor is an ideal base, but not the most comfortable option.
Most people grew up using a boxspring that had some flex to it. Boxsprings are a familiar item, and most people have one in their homes. So when it comes time to buy a new foam mattress, it’s seems natural to use your old boxspring to save money.
Why A Firm, Flat Foundation is Necessary, Not Just a Good Idea
The beauty of a foam bed is in its simplicity. Your weight is spread out evenly across the surface of the bed, eliminating pressure points. The bed doesn’t push back too hard at any one point. Your hips and shoulders sink more deeply into the bed, creating natural spine alignment.
If you use a flexing box spring base, the system doesn’t work like it should. A flexing mattress base will create pressure points. But worse, every inch of flex is an inch that your spine is out of alignment. With some box springs this can be 2-3 inches.
A flexing base will create a dip in the center of the bed. This will tilt your body toward the center and cause gravity to pull on you in an uncomfortable way.
A few inches may not sound like much, but it makes a whole world of difference between a heavenly sleep experience and another uncomfortable night in bed.
Can I Just Put a Piece of Plywood Over It?
A lot of people try putting a piece of plywood over their old box spring to keep it from flexing. This makes it a tiny fraction more firm, but does not prevent flexing. Verticle supports inside the base are the only way to keep it from flexing
If you have some carpentry skills, then of course you can build a box that will work. But when you factor in the expense of the material and time to make it, most people will decide that it’s not worth it.
You can save money by purchasing a foundation as part of a mattress set. Usually the addition of a foundation to a foam mattress is only $100 - $200 depending on where you shop.
Foam Mattress Foundation Composition
Mattress foundations are made from wood and / or metal. Their design integrates a frame with vertical supports inside the base, a flat top, and fabric cover. They are lightweight, 30 – 60 pounds depending on size:
- California King size mattress set: 72” x 84”
- King size mattress set: 76” x 80”
- Queen size mattress set: 60” x 80”
- Full size mattress set: 54” x 75”
- Twin size mattress set: 39” x 75”
William's Loft™ Memory Foam Mattress