Once you’ve found the mattress that you like, there is one more step to make sure that you will be getting the best possible sleeping experience. This step is to find a support structure to lay your mattress on so that it can perform as it is designed to. Certain mattress types are designed to be placed on either a strong support structure without any “give” or with some sort of “give”. Most mattresses today are designed to work on a support structure without “give”.
All support structures provide good support but in order to achieve the best effect for both the mattress and the support, you have to pair them correctly, for example, an innerspring mattress on an adjustable base will not work but a latex or memory foam will. There are many types of bed frames and support structures, each with their own set of strengths and disadvantages. Here they are.
Foundations and Box Springs
Foundations and box springs are support structures that have similarities in both appearance and function but ultimately, they differ from each other in how they provide support to both the mattress and the people sleeping on it. To put it simply, a foundation is a solid, sturdy surface that provides firm support to the mattress and a box spring has more “give”, meaning that it also acts as a shock or weight absorber.
If you are set on getting either a box spring or a foundation because you already have an existing bed frame for it, then you should always get both the mattress and the foundation from the same manufacturer if possible because they are designed to work with each other and it also eliminates potential problems like voided warranty and the foundation and the mattress not having the same exact dimensions.
Buying both the mattress and the foundation from the same manufacturer is not always possible because not all manufacturers carry foundations. In this case, you can buy standalone foundations, just make sure that it complies with the requirements of the mattress. If you are only buying a mattress and you already have a foundation, also make sure that the requirements of the mattress are fulfilled and there won’t be any issues. Here are the best foundations that we have reviewed.
Platform beds are mattress frames that come with slats or solid wood panel and it also has a headboard and a footboard. It’s basically a complete bed and it doesn’t require the use of box springs or foundations. A platform bed can be used with almost all types of mattresses with the exception of some innerspring mattresses and waterbeds.
Platform beds are very popular today and there are many reasons why. Eliminating the need for a box spring or foundation can be very economical as you don’t have to pay extra, you only have to pay for the platform bed and the mattress. Another reason for its popularity is the number of styles to choose from. You can choose from traditional looking beds to asian style beds to modern and more. Here are some of the platform beds that we recommend.
If you want the best when it comes to mattress support structures, an adjustable base should be your choice. You can control how you’d like your mattress to support you by adjusting the head or the foot of the base. You can use an adjustable base with foam mattresses, latex and air mattresses. From our experience, the best type of mattress to pair with an adjustable base is latex because it is the most flexible type of foam.
Aside from being able to adjust the position of your mattress, adjustable bases also have other features, depending on the model. Some of the higher end models have massage features, wireless remotes, usb ports, phone apps and more. While these features are great to have, the best benefit that you will get from an adjustable base is improved health and sleep. We have a more in depth coverage of adjustable bases here and we also reviewed some of the best models.
Choosing which support structure to purchase is entirely up to you. If you already have an existing frame, then it might be wise to opt for a box spring/foundation. If you are starting from scratch, then it might be best to go with a platform bed so you can save some money. If budget is not a problem and you want to get the best comfort and support, an adjustable base is a great option.