Do Memory Foam Mattresses Need Box Springs for Support?

No, memory foam mattresses don’t need box springs for support. In fact, the large gap between coil springs or slats causes the memory foam to sag in the middle. As a result, there will be dips in the middle, and the mattress might wear quickly.

Memory foam mattresses conform to the body’s contours while we sleep, giving our body the necessary support for a peaceful sleep. But such a mattress needs support itself to keep from disintegration. So, do memory foam mattresses need box springs? If not, what type of support do they need?

You need to know more about how this combination works and why box springs aren’t good for memory foam mattresses. Let’s find out.

How Is a Memory Foam Mattress Built?

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Memory foam mattresses are quite different from traditional mattresses we use on box springs. These mattresses are made with viscoelastic polyurethane foam. There are two distinct characteristics of these mattresses.

  1. Viscous foam means you need to exert pressure on the mattress for a long time to change its shape. So, the mattress slowly molds to the body shape when we sleep.
  2. And the elasticity of the foam makes it retain its original shape when we get up from the bed.

There are three common memory foam types.

  • Traditional
  • Open-Cell
  • Gel

Among them, traditional memory foam mattresses are the most common. But they can be too warm due to their heat retention capability. Open-cell or gel memory foam mattresses have internal pockets to improve ventilation.

Memory foam mattresses usually have three layers. The top layer is made with soft foam for cushioning. A firmer foam layer called bonded foam is used beneath that to remove excess heat. And the bottom layer has a dense PU foam that acts as the base.

What Is a Box Spring?

What Is a Box Spring

A box spring is made of wooden or metal frames with coil springs or slats inside them. These coil springs or slats have a distance greater than 2.75 inches in between. So, when you put a traditional mattress on top of the box spring, the coil springs or slats work as shock absorbers. This counters the sleeper’s movement.

Box springs are also helpful for giving the bed a bit of height. Instead of directly putting mattresses on the floor, a box spring underneath elevates the bed to make it comfortable.

Do Memory Foam Mattresses Need Box Springs?

No, the memory foam mattress doesn’t need a box spring. Rather, the box spring may be harmful to memory foam in a significant way.

As stated above, coils in box springs are often 2.75 inches or more apart from one another.When you place a memory foam mattress on top of box springs, the base of the mattress rests on those springs.

When there is movement on the mattress, it reaches the base of the mattress and flexes those springs. You might notice the following consequences.

  • The bottom of the mattress gets sagged easily. These indentations permanently disintegrate the mattress’s shape, causing the foam to lose its elasticity over time.
  • As the base sags over box springs, indentations reach the top layer of the mattress. Even though the indentations at the bottom might not be visible from the outside, you will see a concave shape on top of the bed. As a result, people sleeping on the bed might unintentionally roll over to the middle of the bed.

This is why box springs aren’t a good foundation for memory foam mattresses, especially those with air pockets between the top and the bottom layers. So, what can you use to support a memory foam mattress? Find out next.

Proper Surfaces for Memory Foam Mattresses You Should Use

We already know memory foam mattresses need support, and that support shouldn’t come from box springs. So, what alternatives can we use to make the memory foam mattress hold its integrity for a long time?

Platform Beds

These are wooden or metal surfaces to support the memory foam mattress. They can sometimes have a solid surface or come with slats. But there will be no headboard or footboard in these beds.

A problem with using these supports is the heat is often trapped between the memory foam and the solid surface.

Panel Beds

These beds are made of wooden panels, and they usually have headboards, footboards, and wooden slats. The ventilation is great on this type of support. But you need to consider the thickness of the slats and the gap between the slats.

The gaps should be at most 2.75 inches to support the mattress properly.

Adjustable Beds

Adjustable beds are similar to platform beds, but you can adjust the height of the bed. They can even be inclined to give you comfortable sleeping or reading positions. These beds also have solid surfaces to provide enough support to the memory foam mattress.

Can I Use Box Springs with Memory Foam Mattresses, Anyway?

Yes, you can, but that might void the warranty of the mattress. Some companies instruct users not to use memory foam mattresses on box springs if you have no other way than to use your old box spring as support, follow this trick.

Use a bunkie board in between the mattress and box springs. A bunkie board is a flat plywood panel that comes in various sizes. It is a very economical solution to support memory foam. Once you place a bunkie board on top of the box springs, the memory foam mattress won’t sag anymore while getting enough support from the solid surface.

People Also Asked:

Can you sleep on a memory foam mattress without box spring?

Yes, you can sleep without a box spring. A box spring is a type of foundation that is typically used to support mattress and provide extra height and stability.

Do you put anything under a memory foam mattress?

You don’t need to put anything special under mattress because memory foam mattresses are also designed to be used on a flat, solid surface, They can be placed directly on a platform bed or on the floor.

How long do memory foam mattresses last?

In general, memory foam mattresses can last for several years, with some high-quality models lasting up to 10 years or longer.Lifespan of a memory foam mattress depends on several factors, including the quality of the mattress, the weight and size of the person using it, and how well it is cared for.

Should memory foam mattresses be rotated?

Yes, it is generally a good idea to rotate your memory foam mattress every few months to help it maintain its shape and support.


Understanding the type of support a memory foam mattress needs is important for getting the right support during sleep. Memory foam mattresses are designed to last longer when placed on solid or slatted surfaces with small gaps. When the question, ‘do memory foam mattresses need box springs?’ arises, the answer is, ‘no, box springs don’t provide enough support to memory foam mattresses.’ They cause the mattress to sag over time and catch premature wear.


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Rene C. Evans

Hi, I'm Rene C. Evans author and owner of this website. Though this website is not related to manufacturing company of mattresses but I extensively studying, and analyzing mattresses and inform you solutions regarding mattress problem that will help you to take rest properly.

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