Box Spring vs Foundation vs Platform Beds. Who will Win?

When it comes to choosing a bed, there are many things to consider. Durability, size and storage space are top of many buyers’ lists. Design is just as important too, particularly when the bed is the main focus in the room.

Beds are one of the most important pieces of furniture in the home – people do spend approximately one third of their lives in them after all. Nothing affects your daily performance more than sleep, and we all know how difficult it can be to function after a restless night.

The type of support you own will matter a lot when it comes to buying a mattress. Different mattresses have different bed requirements, but in general there are three types of supports that are most commonly used: platform bed , box spring bed,  and foundation bed

Trying to decide on a platform bed and a box spring bed or a foundation bed? The advantages and disadvantages of each type are important to consider, especially for personal sleeping preferences. The sleeping benefits of a platform bed are different from the sleeping benefits of a box spring and foundation bed. Keep reading to learn more about the differences from each others in platform, box spring beds and foundation beds.

infographic comparison platform vs boxspring vs foundation beds

Infographic Comparison Platform vs Boxspring vs foundation Beds

What Actually A Platform Bed?

platform bed, also known as a cabin bed, is a bed the base of which consists of a raised, level, usually rectangular horizontal solid frame, often with rows of flexible wooden slats or latticed structure meant to support just a mattress. This platform alone provides adequate, flexible support and ventilation for a mattress, eliminating the need for a box-spring or separate bed base (foundation).

Platform beds are designed as a sturdy base to create a solid, raised platform for the mattress. This means that you don’t need a box spring with a platform bed, the way you would for a standard bed frame.

Traditional bed frames are designed with box springs in mind. The platform bed removes that extra layer, allowing you to cut out the middle man (or box, in this case) and place your mattress directly on the platform bed. Because of the lack of a middle layer, the platform bed typically lies lower to the ground than styles featuring a box spring.

Platform beds are also available in a variety of formats. You can get plain metal support to keep it simple – just add a mattress and bedding. This style also allows you to customize each addition you make to the bed. The other type of platform bed is already made up of a headboard, footboard, and side rails (or some combination of the three) with wood or metal slats under the mattress. With this design you’re getting a complete look.

Structures of Platform bed

Platform bed

Benefit of Platform Beds:

A platform bed can save owners money because they don’t need to spend money on a box spring. These savings can be used towards the purchase of a higher quality mattress.

Structure of platform bed

Any type of mattress can be used on a platform bed, but they are perfect for memory foam mattresses. They provide the flat solid surface that memory foam requires. Slats used for supporting the mattress provide good air circulation and reduce the chances of mold and mildew. The aesthetic value of platform beds adds highly to their appeal. Owners love the low profile and sleek modern design, which makes spaces feel less cramped. Since they are close to the ground, platform beds are very stable. The solid surface provides a firm night’s sleep, which is better for maintaining posture during sleep. Storage drawers that are incorporated into the design provide space saving benefits and help stay organized.

  • Not needing a box spring means you can save money.
  • Use any type of mattress, from classic coil mattresses to modern furniture.
  • Solid surface gives a firm night’s sleep.
  • Storage platform beds increase storage space.
  • Air circulation through slats keeps mattress cool.
  • Flat solid surface ideal for memory foam mattresses.
  • Available in many types of designs, such as traditional, modern, and asian.

platform bed with storage

Disadvantages of Platform Beds

Since they are low to the ground, platform beds may not suit people with knee and back problems. This is an important consideration because getting out of bed can be difficult for people with certain disabilities. On moving day, platform beds are difficult to maneuver around tight corners, stairs, and doorways. They work better with high-quality mattresses, which are more expensive. Clutter tossed underneath the beds is easily visible to guests.

  • Spend more money on high-quality mattress.
  • Platform beds are difficult to transport on moving day.
  • Getting up after sleeping requires more effort because of low height.

How To Assemble a platform bed | Video

What is a Box Spring?

A box spring (foundation) is a bed base with a wooden frame and either springs or metal rods that provide support to a mattress. The box spring is usually the same size as the mattress that sits on it, and while the mattress provides support to the human body, the box spring ensures that the mattress itself is properly supported to maintain a long comfort life. Box springs raise the height of a mattress to make it easier to get in and out of bed, and they also absorb shock and reduce wear. In a complete bed set, box springs are typically placed on top of a wooden or metal bed frame that is connected to the headboard and footboard. It is also common to see mattresses and box springs used together without a complete bed. Many sleepers who don’t feel the need to have a decorative looking bed place their box spring directly on the floor or on casters that stand on the floor.

Example of Box Spring bed

Box Spring Bed

Advantages of Box Spring Beds

Traditional box spring beds are easily distinguished by their height, which is a look that is preferred by some people. Since they are higher off the ground, they can be used for sitting on, like a couch. Box springs prevent the mattress from sagging and support it properly, dispersing body weight evenly across the foundation. They add support and absorb body weight, which extends the life of the mattress. The warm and artful qualities of a traditional box spring is more appealing to certain people over the simplified modern look of platforms. They provide a softer sleeping surface compared to platforms.

  • Height makes it easier to slide out of bed without overexertion.
  • The box spring absorbs body weight and extends the life of the mattress.
  • The support of a box spring prevents the mattress from sagging.
  • The warmth and design style of box spring beds is preferred by traditional decor lovers.

Structure of Box Spring bed

Disadvantages of Box Spring Beds

Box spring beds have more costs attached to them, including the box spring, mattress, frame, rails, headboard, and footboard. Box springs can lose their support over time, which is why they need to be turned regularly. If the springs weaken, the mattress can sag and form soft spots. Box springs take up nearly all the space underneath the bed, allowing little space for storage.

  • Box springs lose support over time, thus needing to be turned regularly.
  • Little to no room for under the bed storage.
  • Additional costs attached, including a frame and rails.

How To Assemble a Box spring bed | Video

What is Foundation Bed?

A foundation is a sturdy flat structure that is usually constructed of wood, with a flat corrugated board on top. Some foundations may include metal in the construction. Foundations offer superior support for a wide variety of mattresses, including memory foam, latex, innerspring, and airbed mattresses because the solid surface helps to prevent premature sagging of the mattress.

Example of Foundation beds

Foundation bed

The foundation can be used with or without a bed frame, offering more options for the person who is concerned about space. Foundations can be placed directly on the floor or braced on the four corners to offer decorating options or space-reduction options.

The foundation should be the same size as the mattress without any visible gaps between the edges.

Benefits of a Foundation

The benefits associated with a foundation are quite similar to those of a spring base model in providing additional support for the mattress and acting as shock absorbers from abnormal movement.

A foundation can increase the height of your bed with the added benefit of adjustable height.

Whereas a box is usually the size or slightly bigger than the mattress, the lack of slats in a foundation offers adjustable levels of height to best suit individual needs. The tighter fit of a foundation will reduce the amount of jostling, allowing your mattress to maintain its shape over a longer period of time.

The solid construction of the foundation can help distribute the weight of the sleeper evenly over the surface, reducing sags and gaps in the material of the mattress. They are also less expensive to manufacture resulting in a lower cost to the consumer.

Foundations can support a wider variety of mattresses, from the innerspring coil to latex and even airbeds. The solid shape will support any mattress because the material won’t sag in between slats and will break down with time evenly, increasing the life of your mattress.

Structure of foundation bed

How To Assemble a Box spring bed | Video

Final Verdict:

It seems like there are definitely some advantages and disadvantages to both of them. Platform beds have no added cost to them unless you decide to add some extra features and they are very aesthetically pleasing. Box springs, on the other hand, are more traditional. However, they are an added cost no matter what kind of bed you buy that requires the use of the box springs. They also need to be flipped once in a while to avoid sagging. On the other hand, A foundation can increase the height of your bed with the added benefit of adjustable height. Foundations can support a wider variety of mattresses, from the innerspring coil to latex and even airbeds.

In this case, I would probably recommend the platform bed. There are more options for storage, they are generally affordable and they are a favorite among memory foam mattress users, which makes up most of our population. If you know somebody who is struggling with the decision, share this with them.





William James

With a passion for transforming spaces into personalized havens, William James is an accomplished interior designer with over 8 years of expertise. Specializing in crafting bespoke furniture pieces and possessing an innate flair for home decor, James has honed the art of creating functional and aesthetically pleasing interiors.

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