Do You Need a Box Spring for a Memory Foam Mattress?

Back in the day, every mattress needed a box spring. You may remember the days when innerspring mattress sat on top of hard, wooden boxes called box springs. It’s possible you even made the painful mistake of laying directly on a box spring thinking it was a mattress.

If you get the feeling you haven’t seen a lot of box springs around recently, you aren’t alone. Once deemed essential, these bedding accessories are now usually unnecessary. Foundations or simply bed frames have taken their place against the bottom of your mattress.

Learn all about box springs: Find out why they were needed once, and find out why you don’t need one with your new Panda Classic Mattress.

What do box springs do?

A box spring is a firm foundation designed to provide additional support for an innerspring mattress. While made from wood or another material around the edges, box springs contain coils or springs on their insides, making innerspring mattresses feel even springier.

Which types of mattresses need box springs?

Innerspring mattresses have a lot of inherent structural integrity. Even when placed on top of not-so-firm surfaces, they will keep their shape and continue providing adequate support.

Mattresses made from other materials are different, however. A memory foam mattress will sink in between the gaps placed in the wooden frame of a box spring, and a similar situation would occur if you put a box spring under a latex mattress.

Here’s a cheat sheet for finding out which mattresses need box springs and which don't:

  • Innerspring mattresses DO need box spring foundations
  • Hybrid mattresses MIGHT need box spring foundations — consult with the manufacturer to find out
  • Latex mattresses DO NOT need box springs
  • Memory foam mattresses DO NOT need box springs — placing a memory foam mattress on a box spring could be harmful to the mattress and to your health

Do memory foam mattresses need box springs?

The answer is no: Memory foam mattresses do not need box springs. Placing a memory foam mattress on a box spring could warp it and cause back pain, insomnia, or other common sleep problems.

What do I put a memory foam mattress on?

So, what do you put a memory foam mattress on if you don’t put it on a box spring? Most people choose to put their memory foam mattresses directly on their bed frames. You can also get a solid base called a foundation that goes directly on the floor or between your mattress and your bed frame.

Let’s take a look at your options in a little bit more detail:

Can I put a memory foam mattress directly on a bed frame?

Yes, you can, and the majority of memory foam mattress owners choose to put their mattresses directly on their bed frames. This is the simplest approach, and it keeps you relatively low to the ground while offering optimal ventilation.

Bed frames run the gamut from the very simple to the intricately ornate. Choosing a bed frame for your memory foam mattress can be an excellent way of personalizing your new sleep environment.

Can I put my memory foam mattress on a foundation?

Yes, it’s also possible to put a memory foam mattress on a foundation. These pieces of bedroom furniture are essentially large rectangular boxes that roughly approximate the shape and size of your mattress.

Foundations are not usually as aesthetically pleasing as bed frames, but they are more minimalistic and can sometimes be cheaper.

Is it bad to put my memory foam mattress directly on the floor?

In most cases, yes, it is a bad idea to put a memory foam mattress directly on the floor. Any type of mattress can become home to dust mites, mold, and other allergens when left on the floor.

Also, having your airways closer to the floor can increase the amount of dust you inhale while you sleep. Perhaps most importantly, putting a mattress directly on the floor prevents proper ventilation under the mattress, which can lead to moisture accumulation.

If you really want to put your mattress directly on the floor, you can compromise by lifting and leaning it against the wall for a few hours once per week.

What are the best ways to protect my memory foam mattress?

You want to get the most out of your investment in a new mattress. Treated correctly, your upgraded sleeping environment should last you close to a decade. Review the following tips to promote the longevity of your mattress and avoid common mattress care mistakes:

Put a cover on it

Mattress covers are for more than just mitigating biological messages. They also prevent common contaminants like dust mites from entering your mattress and create a barrier between your body's moisture and your mattress’ materials.

Some owners of new mattresses even choose to use two covers. One thin cover wraps all the way around and zips, creating a perfect seal. Another, thicker cover serves as a softness-enhancing pad and backup protective barrier.

Start with a topper

Most people approach the problem of mattress toppers backwards: They put toppers on old mattresses to make them more comfortable when they should have put toppers on their mattresses in the first place to prevent wear and tear.

If you put a topper on your mattress the first night, it’s like adding an extended warranty. Taking some of the pressure from your body weight, a topper delays the inevitable compression that culminates in mattress material breakdown.

Get it off the floor

We don’t want to keep harping on this point, but it’s a bald fact that putting your mattress on a frame will extend its usable life. Trust us when we say that you’ll get tired of lifting your mattress to air it out every week — keeping it off the floor permanently is the best approach.

Elevating your mattress doesn’t need to be expensive. You can even take tips from DIY tutorials and craft your own bed frame using reclaimed or recycled materials.

Flip or rotate it

It’s often recommended that you vertically flip innerspring mattresses about midway through their usable lives. This practice isn’t appropriate when it comes to memory foam or latex mattresses, but you may want to rotate your mattress horizontally 180° every year or so to prevent the formation of the telltale indentations that mark the end of a mattresses usable life.

Skip the box spring with Panda

At PandaZzz, we always embrace the latest innovations the moment it’s prudent. We aren’t sad to see box springs go, therefore, and eagerly await the newest inventive solutions bed frame and foundation manufacturers devise to keep your mattress off the floor, your body cool, and your bedroom chic.

As an innovative multi-layer memory foam mattress, the Panda Classic has no need of a box spring. We do invite you, however, to place your Panda Classic on a fitting surface that will keep it cool, dry, and comfortable for years to come.

Some people don’t like putting their mattresses on anything. Others go so far as to sleep directly on the floor.

If you’re anywhere near normal, however, you'll want to preserve some empty air between your mattress and the floor. Treat your Panda Classic right from the beginning for the best results, and trust us to honor our warranty and guarantee if anything goes wrong.