General Question

Spargett's avatar

Is it just me, or are box springs a scam?

Asked by Spargett (5343 points ) May 12th, 2008

Seriously. They seems so redundant. Give me one thing they do that a bed frame or floor can’t.

P.S. A bed frame can raise the hight of mattress as well.

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9 Answers

andrew's avatar

On some mattresses if don’t have one, it will invalidate the warrantee.

If you don’t have a platform bed and have slats that are more than 1/2 (or even 1/4) inch apart, your mattress will suffer, and your warrantee will be invalid.

That said, I just purchased mattress, no box springs.

playthebanjo's avatar

A lack of them doesn’t seem to bother the guys under the overpass sleeping in the boxes.

El_Cadejo's avatar

It depends on how your frame is. If its one that only has like 2 or 3 wood planks going across to hold up the bed your mattress will sag. If your mattress is just on the floor though your fine.

The way my bed frame is set up theres no bars or anything so a box spring is needed to support the mattress otherwise it would just fall right through to the floor when i lay on it.

Spargett's avatar

I’ve noticed IKEA marketing a much more practical solution, which is a series of wood planks that can be laid into an existing bed frame.

Seesul's avatar

@Sparg. We have one of their sofa-beds and it has that and works great. Instead of folding it up each time and causing that horrible distortion in the center, half the queen uses the foundation of the sofa and the other half pops up in a simple frame box like you describe with the planks. They then provide a thick cushion mattress cover which joins the two pieces.

Redfishvanish's avatar

Reasons for a boxspring:

1. To support the mattress over a raised open frame. Mattresses are engineered to breathe. Your body gives off dirt, dust, and moisture that would build up in the mattress over time if nearly one half of the surface area were blocked. Note that this is especially true in foam edge mattresses like Sealy Posturpedic and Spring Air Back Supporter. That dirt, dust, and moisture can cause unhealthy issues like mold and dust mites to increase to the point where they pose a breathing hazard. It’s worth pointing out that for times shorter than about one year, these effects are not hazardous.

2. To support the weight of your body. Mattresses themselves are not enginered to support your body. They are engineered to give you proper spinal alignment, and proper comfort. The box spring absorbs your weight, allowing the mattress to do its job more effectively, and having the mattress last longer because it is doing less work. Now, it’s arguable that a box spring, at 30% of the price of the mattress, allowing the mattress to last 50% longer is not that much of an economic incentive. (saving you about $35 per year)

3. To avoid “shock” associated with sudden impact. This is what the industry tells us, anyway. I am personally not convinced that a box spring is going to help someone who insists on jumping up and down on their bed, or having constant vigorous sex on top of it. That person seems beyond help anyway. I might add here that the common misconception that it is just a box is incorrect. Except for the very cheapest models, all box springs have working steel structure inside.

Seesul's avatar

Counterpoint to reason 1. Cover your mattress when new with an allergy free cover and that is all you need to wash..

#2 Doesn’t a platform do the same thing, usually for less money?

These are questions, not statements. Just seems logical to me.

Redfishvanish's avatar

@Seesul. The anti-allergen covers would not work in the way you’re suggesting, unless they are completely waterproof. Among the waterproof ones, only one would really work the way you’re suggesting. And it costs on the order of 60% of a quality box spring.

The platform acts like just a hard surface in most cases, and not a weight absorbing device. The cases where it doesn’t, the platform would cost significantly more than a quality box spring. Those solutions are only for people who don’t want the extra height associated with a boxspring.

Seesul's avatar

I’m just going by what my allergist (an MD with a specialty in the field) told me and it appears to have helped. It wasn’t cheap, but certainly not 60% of the box spring. I consider our platform as a piece of furniture, as it has drawers in it. It is high quality, came unfinished, is solid wood and was about the same price as a box spring.

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