Best Foundation for Memory Foam Mattresses
Whether you have just purchased a memory foam mattress or are planning to, you’ll need a stable base for your new bed.
Unlike innerspring mattresses, memory foam beds are prone to damage if used on the wrong foundation. Innerspring mattresses only need a supportive flat structure to rest on. Foam mattresses need a supportive, flat surface with a solid structure. For example, if pairing your foam mattress with a platform bed, the slats should be three inches apart or fewer to sustain the mattress’ durability and protect your warranty.
In our article, we discuss our top options for memory foam mattresses and explain the difference between box springs and other popular foundations. We’ll also discuss which bases are most compatible with memory foam mattresses.
Best Mattress Foundations
|Amerisleep Mattress Foundation||Modern, clean style with a non-slip slat pack.|
|Zoma Foundation||Sleek style with 100% solid pine wood.|
|Letha Platform Bed||Features solid, pine wood to match most decor.|
|Zinus Walter 9-inch Metal Box Spring||Lightweight frame with easy assembly.|
|Colby Upholstered Platform||Features a headboard with channel-tufted accents.|
|Rhoton Platform Bed||Has a low profile and comes with a 5-year warranty.|
The Amerisleep Mattress Foundation has a modern, clean-lined style. The slats are no more than three inches apart, providing strong, proper support to enhance the performance of a memory foam mattress.
The slats are completely enclosed in non-slip fabric, keeping the mattress hygienic and stop it slipping across the foundation’s surface. The non-slip fabric surrounding the slats distributes weight evenly, which is crucial to the mattress’ durability. Its design helps a memory foam mattress breathe.
FUN FACT: Air circulation is essential to a foam mattress, it enhances the longevity and comfort of the mattress in several different ways. It also helps you keep cool at night.
The bed base was designed to be set up without tools. The joints just click into place.
The height of this foundation is adjustable. For those who like a low profile bed, placing the foundation directly on the ground is a valid option. Amerisleep does suggest to leave the legs on for proper air circulation.
For those who want a little extra height, the wooden legs add 4.75 inches.
Amerisleep Foundation Highlights
- Solid wood rails
- Easy, tool-free assembly
- Supports air circulation
Next on our list is the Zoma Foundation by the Zoma Sports Mattress brand. It’s built to complement their memory foam mattress, so it should work just fine with any other memory foam bed on the market. It has a sleek, modern appearance, and comes with adjustable legs, allowing you to modify its height to fit your needs.
Zoma’s foundation is easy to assemble, the frame itself has smart corner clips that snap together, and it’s optional legs twist right on. You can use the Zoma Foundation in place of a box spring, or you can set it on the floor to function as a bed base.
The Zoma Foundation has a 100% solid pine frame, so it should be rather sturdy. The slats included in the slat pack are solid pine, as well. They upholster the frame in a dark polyester knit fabric to blend in with most decor. Plus, they back their foundation with a 5-year warranty, guaranteeing its durability.
The Zoma Foundation stands 14.5 inches tall with its attached legs. The frame itself is 8.5 inches tall, while the legs tack on an additional 6 inches.
- Easy to assemble frame and slat pack
- Slatted design improves airflow
- Comes with lengthy warranty
3. Letha Platform Bed
The Latha Platform Bed uses CertiPUR-US® wood. The solid pine is painted black, so it can blend seamlessly with the rest of your decor.
Two inches between the slats extend the life of your mattress by distributing its weight evenly, meaning a box spring isn’t necessary. Even more support is added to the solid wood frame through the three center support legs.
You can pay an additional fee for the company to assemble the bed for you; however, the assembly doesn’t require very much time or effort. All tools to put the foundation together are included with the bed.
This bed is made in China and it comes in a twin, full, queen, and king size. It comes with a 5-year warranty, covering manufacturing and material defects.
- Solid wood rails
- Easy, tool-free assembly
- Supports air circulation
4. Zinus Walter 9-inch High Profile Metal Smart Box Spring
The Zinus is a box spring alternative. It’s a free-standing, box-like structure that sits on the floor or rails of a bed frame. It does not come with a head or footboard. You can choose between a 4-inch, 7.5-inch, or 9-inch profile.
Unlike most box springs, this foundation has a sturdy steel construction, giving the structure long-lasting durability. Foam-padded tape cushions the steel joints for noise-free use. Its slats are spaced 2.5 inches apart and have a non-slip grip applied evenly to stop the mattress from shifting around.
The metal construction promotes easy assembly, and all the necessary tools are included with the metal bed frame. Altogether, the frame weighs around 50 pounds, making the heavy-duty base easy to move.
The Zinus Walter’s smart base comes in a twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. It also comes with a 5-year warranty to guard against defects and material flaws.
- Non-slip slats
- Can be used with existing bed furniture
5. Colby Upholstered Platform
Colby’s Upholstery Platform bed comprises of wood, steel, polyester blend fabric, and foam. While the frame and slats consist of wood and steel, creating a durable foundation, the polyester and foam make up a fade and stain resistant foot and headboard with channel-tufted accents. All materials used to produce this mattress have been CertiPUR-US® certified.
This bed has a standard 6.3-inch floor clearance and weighs approximately 75 lbs, giving the user decent storage space underneath the bed. The wooden frame queen and king models can hold up to 500 lbs.
The Colby bed comes in twin, full, queen, and king sizes and is made in China. It does require assembly, but all tools are included. It does not need a box spring. You can place a memory foam mattress directly on the foundation without fear of losing support because the slats are three inches apart.
This bed comes with a 30-day return policy and an optional three or five-year protection plan.
- CertiPUR-US® materials
- Soft upholstery
- Supports up to 500 lbs.
6. Rhoton Platform Bed
The Rhoton Platform Bed is a complete matte black steel frame with wooden slats. It doesn’t need a box spring as the wood slats are three inches apart and provide high-quality support for a memory foam mattress. The three center leg supports provide even more stability to the metal frame.
The Rhoton bed has a low profile of five inches, making it unsuitable for under the bed storage. It comes with a headboard, but no footboard, giving the foundation a sleek modern look.
This bed isn’t recommended for plus-sized couples as it has a weight capacity of 500 lbs.
You can pay a $70 assembly fee to have the base built for you, although customer reviews state the foundation is easy to assemble and comes with all the necessary tools.
The Rhoton bed comes with a 5-year warranty, protecting the user from a defective product. Reviewers have stated the foundation will squeak if the bolts aren’t tightened enough.
- Solid steel frame
- Optional assembly service
- Low profile
Why Do the Slats Need to Be Less Than 3 Inches Apart?
The Editors of Sleep Junkie highly suggest getting a foundation with slats no more than three inches apart and at least 0.5 inches tall. Adhering to these conditions will provide a setup promoting a solid surface supportive of the sleeper and bed, and prolongs the memory foam’s life.
Mattress bases not meeting these recommendations may cause premature material disintegration. The wider the slats are spaced, the more material is allowed to dip below the slats. If sagging between slats occurs, the mattress’s weight will press more generously on the slats, which quickens material decay and increases the risk of sagging and indentations.
Types of Foundations
It’s good to know your options. A large part of shopping for the best mattress foundation is learning which bases will work for your mattress.
Box Spring Alternatives
Bunkie boards are one of the many cost-effective alternatives to box springs for foam mattresses. They’re flat objects constructed from plywood or particleboard. Usually, they are placed on top of a box spring or the rails of an existing bed to ensure good support.
Steel Grid Platforms
This type of bed functions very much like a platform foundation, but instead of being made of wood, the grid platform is made entirely of metal. The mattress surface is designed as a grid of wide-spaced rectangles.
Even though there are many bloggers stating this base stands as a good option for memory foam mattresses, we would have to disagree. Steel platform beds do not meet the three inches apart or less rule. The grid design doesn’t have many points of contact, potentially leading to mattress indentation and eventual sagging.
Similar to platform beds, adjustable bases provide a flat, solid surface for your foam mattress. What makes this foundation unique is that you can raise and lower the head and foot of the bed for comfortable reading and watching TV. This bed is used for medical purposes because it allows you to angle your head slightly above the hip, decreasing the risk of acid reflux or obstructive sleep apnea.
Platform beds offer an affordable modern design without the use of a headboard and comes in varying profiles. Depending on the bed’s height from the floor, this foundation offers good under-the-bed storage. Some platform beds come with adjustable legs; although, there are others that don’t. Look into the platform bed’s legs if you want under-bed storage.
Because platform beds use a solid board for support instead of slats, they may not offer sufficient ventilation, which may result in heat retention. If you’re worried about heat build-up, consider a cooling memory foam mattress.
Sometimes called wood slat foundations, panel beds are made of wood to create a solid structure supportive of the mattress’s weight. The closely spaced slats allow the foam to breathe.
Placing a memory foam mattress on the floor is both a viable temporary and permanent option. The floor is a solid, flat surface to give uniform support. In other words, it meets all the requirements needed for a supportive surface, although the lack of air circulation through the bottom of the mattress can lead to heat retention.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you put under a memory foam mattress?
For proper support, many people place a mattress foundation between their memory foam mattress and their bed frame. That said, memory foam mattresses don’t need any extra foundations or box springs when paired with platform beds or adjustable bed frames.
Please note, box springs by themselves should not be paired with memory foam mattresses because they offer uneven support which can damage foam layers.
If you have a box spring you’d like to put under your memory foam mattress to give the bed extra support or height, make sure to place a bunkie board or 3/4-inch piece of moisture-resistant plywood between the box spring and the mattress. Doing so creates a solid, flat surface for the memory foam mattress.
Can you put a memory foam mattress on top of another memory foam mattress?
You technically can place a memory foam mattress on top of another memory foam mattress, but it’s not recommended, and doing so will probably void your mattress warranty. Memory foam mattresses need solid, sturdy support, and since memory foam mattresses are contouring and cushioning, they don’t necessarily provide solid support, meaning it’s not a great idea to place a foam bed on top of another foam bed.
Should you use a box spring with a memory foam mattress?
Box springs should not be paired with foam mattresses because they can damage the foam layers. That said, if you have a box spring currently and would like to use it with your new memory foam bed, you still can. Just place a bunkie board or piece of moisture-resistant plywood between the mattress and the box spring to create a solid, flat surface for the foam layers.
Do you need a special bed frame for a memory foam mattress?
You don’t need a “special” bed frame, so to speak, but memory foam mattresses do require a certain level of support. Most memory foam mattress warranties will specify that the mattress should be kept on a solid or slatted surface with slats no more than 3 inches apart. Most mattress foundations and platform beds meet this requirement, so it’s not terribly difficult to find a compatible bed frame for your foam mattress.
Can you put a memory foam mattress on the floor?
You can place a memory foam mattress directly on the floor, but we don’t recommend it. Placing your mattress right on the floor makes it more susceptible to dirt, germs, and moisture build-up, and moisture within your mattress can damage its foam layers and cause premature deterioration. While placing your mattress on the floor works as a short-term solution while you find a bed frame, it’s not the best long-term set-up.
Did You Find The Best Foundation?
You’re now armed with some solid knowledge regarding the best memory foam foundations and you’ve seen a few affordable options on the market today. All you have to do is make a decision and wait for the package’s arrival, unbox, and roll out your new foam mattress on your new foundation.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.