Recently upgrade your sleep set? A mattress foundation is one of the single most important things you can buy to prolong the lifespan of your new mattress. While many view a foundation as an accessory to their new bed, they go hand-in-hand, and it’s crucial to find the best foundation compatible with your new mattress to get the most out of your investment.
Research and Resources
In making this article, we:
- Researched fifteen leading brands.
- Referenced multiple review sites such as Tuck and Sleepopolis for the most comprehensive information.
- Spent 8 hours writing and revising the article to deliver the most value-driven, accurate content possible.
The Amerisleep Mattress Foundation is our Editors’ Choice as the best mattress foundation because it easy to assemble, designed to support all mattress types, and competitively priced. Plus, it comes with detachable legs, meaning it can work as a box spring or stand-alone base.
In this guide, we’ll be discussing what a mattress foundation is, the benefits of using one, how it differs from a box spring, how to best support different mattress types, and finally, our recommended mattress foundations you can buy today.
A foundation is a wooden or metal frame with a sturdy, flat board attached to the top of it to provide even support to a mattress above. In a bed set, the foundation is placed directly on the bed frame between the head and footboard so your mattress can rest on top. Though many people use the terms “box spring” and “mattress foundation” interchangeably, they are actually two different things— while a foundation is compatible with most mattresses, box springs can cause damage to foam beds and are better suited for innerspring or hybrid mattresses.
For the most part, many mattress and bedding brands have ditched the idea of using a box spring and instead design and sell mattress foundations; this transition began because these companies found foundations provide thicker, more durable support and are expected to hold up longer than the average box spring.
So, why do people buy a box spring or foundation? One of the biggest reasons people pair these products with their bed set is to maintain their warranty. Usually, the warranty agreement your new mattress comes with explicitly states what kind of support your mattress needs to last it’s expected lifespan. In fact, a lot of the times more prominent mattress companies will sell a compatible box spring or foundation that’s designed to be paired with their mattresses, so you can buy both at once and be sure you have the best support. If a company doesn’t sell a compatible support system to go with your new bed, they’ll state what kind of support your mattress requires; whether that be a solid, flat surface or a slatted surface.
Now, you may be wondering, what is the difference between a box spring and a foundation anyways? In the next section, we’ll discuss their key differentiators.
Overview of the Best Mattress Foundations 2019
|Amerisleep Mattress Foundation||8.5"||$275||Yes||5 Years|
|Leesa Foundation||7.5"||$295||No||3 Years|
|Casper Mattress Foundation||7.5"||$300||No||10 Years|
|Beautyrest Low Profile Mattress Foundation||5.5"||Varies, Contact Retailer||No||10 Years|
|Helix Foundation||7.5"||$275||No||5 Years|
|Nest Foundation||5.5", 8"||$399||Yes||Lifetime|
|PlushBeds Mattress Foundation||5", 8"||$300||No||?|
|Layla Mattress Foundation||8"||$299||No||10 Years|
What is the Difference Between a Box Spring & Mattress Foundation?
As we mentioned before, a foundation is a wooden frame with a solid, flat board secured to the top. A box spring, on the other hand, is a wooden or metal frame with steel coils inside arranged in a grid. You then set your mattress directly on top of this spring system, which adds an extra bounce to your bed. While a foundation offers a flat surface to lay your mattress on, a box spring provides a bed of coils. The biggest issue with box springs is their tendency to damage the bottoms of mattresses, especially foam, which will void your warranty.
Benefits of Mattress Foundations
While most of the time a mattress foundation is required to meet warranty guidelines, they also provide other, sleep-promoting benefits, as well.
For starters, a big bonus to using a mattress foundation is the added height it gives your bedframe. Mattresses can range in height from 6 inches tall to over 14 inches thick, and a bed frame can easily swallow up a thinner mattresses. To add extra height to your bed set, include a foundation underneath of your mattress. A taller bedframe is easier to get in and out of, so you can roll out of bed in the mornings trouble-free.
Box springs and mattress foundations alike help you get more restorative, pain-free sleep by helping to distribute your body weight across the bed. These sleep accessories also absorb shock and pressure to prevent you from experiencing backaches when you wake up.
Mattress foundations ultimately help prolong the lifespan of your mattress by aiming to prevent sagging and indentations from occurring throughout the mattress. However, there are certain risks you run if you buy a cheap or low-quality mattress foundation that does not support your bed correctly. For example, a mattress foundation that offers sub-par support can cause your mattress to feel uncomfortable. If your mattress has poor support and begins to feel uneven, lumpy, or sagging, you’re likely to point the finger at the mattress itself and not consider the base may be the source of your sleep issues. Make sure you’re getting the most of your investment towards better sleep by pairing your new mattress with a well-crafted foundation.
While mattress foundations are an excellent addition to any bed set, it’s important to mention, though, that not everybody needs a mattress foundation. Yes, all mattresses need a proper support system, but what if your bed frame alone fits the bill? In the next section, we’ll discuss the bed frames you can buy to avoid having to splurge on a mattress foundation, too.
Supportive Bed Frames
If you’re replacing your entire bed set, you can buy a bed frame designed to give your mattress the right support, so you don’t have to buy a mattress foundation, too. Alternatively, a lot of mattress foundations come with detachable legs, so you can use them within your bed frame, or place them directly on the floor to work as a “frame” itself. If you do not want to replace your entire bed frame, or you have limited space, we recommend finding a mattress foundation with detachable legs, so you have the option to use it with a bed frame or on its own.
Bed frames that don’t typically require extra foundation support include platform beds and adjustable bases. When replacing your bed set, we recommend buying an adjustable base to get the best sleep, if your situation permits.
Platform beds are relatively popular due to their ability to properly support almost every type of mattress you can buy. A platform bed has a relatively simple design consisting of a frame and a sturdy base. The base of a platform bed can be slatted or a solid surface depending on the model you buy. Either way, both slatted and solid surfaces are compatible with a large portion of mattresses.
Adjustable beds provide a variety of sleep-promoting benefits that help you achieve undisturbed sleep night after night. First and foremost, adjustable bases work wonders to alleviate back pain. Because adjustable bases include head and foot articulation, it’s easy to find the most comfortable position to ease pressure points and discomfort. For people who suffer from sleep apnea, or share the bed with a partner who snores, an adjustable base can be your solution for a peaceful night. Propping your head up at an angle helps keep your airways open, preventing symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. Keeping your upper body propped at an angle also helps prevent acid reflux and heartburn.
Even though adjustable beds are ideal for improving your sleep, they can be pricey, and not everybody can squeeze one in their budget. In the next section, we’ll discuss the best mattress foundations you can buy to give your new bed the best support.
What is the Best Mattress Foundation?
A simple search on Google will give you hundreds of mattress foundation results, which can make choosing the best one a bit of a challenge. To make your search easier, we’ll be discussing our eight recommended foundations. Let’s dive in.
Amerisleep Mattress Foundation
Amerisleep sells our recommended mattress foundation. We like the Amerisleep’s Mattress Foundation because it’s easy to setup, comes with removable legs, comes with a 5-year warranty, and is competitively priced. Plus, it comes with free shipping! Amerisleep’s Mattress Foundation is 8.5 inches thick and, with the legs, stands at 13.25 inches tall. Because it has detachable birch legs, it can be used as a base on its own or placed down within your bed frame where a box spring would be found.
This foundation has pine side panels with grey upholstery, matching most decor, and an encapsulated slat pack. To make sure your bed stays in place, Amerisleep designs this slat pack to have a non-slip surface. The slats within this slat pack are exactly 3 inches apart, which makes them ideal for supporting almost every mattress type.
As we mentioned, this foundation is one of the easiest to set up. It has a peg locking design, which means you can slide and lock the different pieces together, requiring zero tools. Their foundation can hold up to 800 pounds, in addition to the weight of the mattress. The price of this foundation is $275 for a Queen.
Leesa Mattress Foundation
Next on our list is Leesa’s mattress foundation. We’re fans of this base because it comes with a 3-year limited warranty, but it ranks second because it lacks in detachable legs. The Leesa foundation is designed to fit down within most bed frames to take the place of a box spring, or it can be set directly on the floor, just without legs.
The design of the Leesa foundation is very similar to that of Amerisleeps; they both include upholstered side beams and a roll-out slat pack to give your mattress sturdy support. The setup of this foundation is relatively simple, too. The four corners of the foundation are pinned together to maintain the frame, and the slat pack rolls out across the surface of the foundation.
The Leesa foundation is built to be compatible with both their memory foam and hybrid mattresses, so it’s a fit for a majority of bed types. The upholstery of this foundation is a lighter gray, meant to compliment the design and color of the Leesa mattress. Overall, this foundation stands at 7.5 inches tall and costs $295 for a Queen.
Casper Mattress Foundation
Casper is a well-known mattress company that sells a variety of sleep-promoting accessories to compliment your new mattress, including a foundation. Casper’s foundation is designed to be compatible with all of their mattresses, both foam and hybrid, so it’s a safe choice for most beds.
Just like the other two foundations we touched on, Casper’s is simple to set up— requiring zero tools. This foundation includes wood side panels with dark gray upholstery as well as a slat pack. The slats within the slat pack are 4 inches apart, which provides good support for some mattresses; however, other beds require the slats to be a maximum of 3 inches apart, so it’s not a universal fit.
Though we like this foundation to offer support within your bed frame, it’s not meant to be set directly on the floor— so, unless you have a bed frame you plan on using, this foundation is not meant for you.
Two big perks to shopping with Casper is their free shipping and 10-year limited warranty. You can buy one of their mattress foundations on their website, costing $300 for a Queen.
Beautyrest Low Profile Mattress Foundation
As we mentioned, mattress foundations are useful for adding height to a bed frame; however, if you require support and aren’t wanting to add extra inches to your bed set, choose a low profile foundation. Beautyrest is one of the biggest brands in the mattress industry, and they sell their products at retailers nationwide. Beautyrest designs and sells a variety of mattresses and mattress foundations, so you’re usually able to find one that works for your sleep needs.
We like their low profile foundation because it’s constructed with heavy-gauge steel and wood and includes a Powerbeam® in the design for extra support. This foundation is only 5.5 inches thick, so it adds support without adding overwhelming height to your bed set.
The price of this foundation will vary from retailer to retailer; if you’re considering buying one, it’s crucial to do some research online or call to ask about pricing before making a decision. When you buy one of Beautyrest’s foundations, it comes with a 10-year limited warranty, protecting you from deterioration and sagging for the next decade.
Helix Mattress Foundation
Helix is known for selling all-foam mattresses tailored to specific sleep needs. To compliment their mattresses, they designed their own foundation. Helix’s foundation is built to fit down within a bed frame, but not stand alone, so that it would be a compliment to your existing bed frame.
This foundation is 7.5 inches tall and contains birch side panels. It has dark gray upholstery, so it fits nicely in most bedrooms. There are a few perks to shopping with Helix, including a 100-night sleep trial, 5-year warranty, and free shipping.
Like the other foundations we’ve discussed, Helix’s foundation comes with a slat pack, too. The only problem we have with Helix’s foundation is the spacing between slats. For the best support, slats should be around 3, or a maximum of 4, inches apart; Helix’s are 5 inches, which means it wouldn’t be compatible with every mattress in the market.
You can buy a Helix foundation on their website, the price for a Queen model is $275.
Nest Mattress Foundation
Up next on our list is Nest Bedding’s mattress foundation, designed to be paired with their mattresses. We’re fans of this foundation because it’s entirely customizable and versatile. Nest Bedding’s foundation comes with removable legs, so it works as a box spring or bed base, depending on how you plan on using it.
This foundation is sold as a low profile base or high profile base, being 5.5 or 8 inches tall, respectively. The detachable legs are 5 inches tall, so they add some height to the foundation, too. Plus, it’s available in several colors, including black, tan, and gray.
Nest’s foundation features wooden side panels and a slat pack with slats spaced 3 inches apart, so it’s compatible with a lot of different mattresses sold.
A fun feature of this base is the USB ports built-in to either side, making charging convenient. Fortunately, like other foundations featured, Nest Bedding’s foundation is easy to assemble, too and can be done without the use of any tools. A Queen-size Nest Mattress Foundation costs $399, making it the most expensive option on our list.
PlushBeds Mattress Foundation
Another one of our favorite mattress foundations is built and sold by PlushBeds. PlushBeds carries two different orthopedic mattress foundations— one low profile at 5 inches tall, and the other high profile at 8 inches thick. These foundations are excellent for heavier sleepers, as they support up to 1,200 pounds.
The PlushBeds mattress foundation is made with solid spruce wood, so it should be sturdy and long-lasting. We like this foundation because the slats are only 2.5 inches apart, so they offer adequate support for a variety of different mattresses. The only downfall to buying this foundation is that it has to be used within a bed frame, so it can’t be used as a base on its own.
These bases do come with a warranty, but after reaching out to PlushBeds to learn more, we did not receive any answers regarding how long it is or what it covers. Before buying with this company, make sure you have an understanding of their warranty and return policies to ensure you’re spending your money wisely.
The price of a Queen PlushBeds foundation is $300.
Layla Mattress Foundation
Layla is best-known for its flippable firmness mattress, meaning one side of their bed is firm, and the other is soft. To compliment their dynamic mattress, Layla designed a foundation with solid spruce wood. What’s cool about Layla’s foundation is that it’s compatible with any mattress on the market, so that you can pair it with any bed. Plus, the slats within the foundation are 2.75 inches apart, ideal spacing for the best support.
Layla’s mattress foundation comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty, which is the best coverage we’ve seen offered for foundations. This foundation is designed to be easy to put together, and many reviews of it state it was a breeze to build. In fact, one review says it was the “easiest frame to put together.”
You can buy Layla’s foundation on the website, with the price for a Queen totaling $299.
What’s the Best Support for Different Mattress Types?
All mattresses need proper support, but the best kind of support can change from bed to bed depending on the construction of the mattress. When it comes to all-foam beds, whether that be memory foam, poly-foam, or latex, NEVER choose a box spring for support. Though box springs have bouncy support, they can damage the consistency and support of foam, drastically reducing your bed’s lifespan. If you own an innerspring or hybrid mattress, you’re able to pair your bed with a box spring or foundation; deciding between the two comes down to a matter of personal preference. For strong support, choose a foundation; for bouncy support, a box spring is best for you.
Did You Find Your Compatible Mattress Foundation?
We hope this article has helped you determine the key differences in a box spring and mattress foundation and has guided you towards the best foundation for your new mattress. Before buying a foundation, always read the warranty requirements with your new bed to double-check what you’re buying meets the mark. Remember, during your search for the best bedding and sleep accessories, read reviews and online mattress guides to point you in the direction of your most comfortable bed set.