Do Box Springs Wear Out and Interfere With Your Sleep?
Is your mattress suddenly sagging? Perhaps you’re not sleeping as well as you used to. Have you considered whether the cause of your problems is the support system your mattress is on? Because the answer to the question “Do box springs wear out?” is a big yes, but it’s not always something we think of when we’re trying to solve our sleep problems or make our beds more comfortable. Here’s everything you need to know about box springs.
What Box Springs Are Designed For
What is a box spring? A box spring is a type of mattress support that has been around for a long time. It is usually constructed from a sturdy wooden frame with coils on the inside and cloth on the outside. Your mattress sits on top of the box spring.
They traditionally have three functions:
- raise the mattress height and keep it off the floor
- absorb shock and reduce wear to the mattress
- provide a support platform for the mattress
What Happens To Box Springs As They Age
Just like coils inside a mattress will sag with time, so will the coils inside a box spring. This is because the constant pressure of use over time starts to weaken the coils, which reduces their ability to carry out their function as a shock absorber and support platform for your mattress.
A low quality box spring may last a few years, while a good quality one can last more than 20. Most will last around 8-10 years. Box springs therefore have a lifespan, they are not something that lasts forever and ever while you just change out the mattress that goes on top of it.
Four Signs Your Box Spring Is Worn Out
Here are a few signs that your current box spring has passed its use by date:
- It makes a creaking or squeaking noise when weight or pressure is put on it
- If you can see any sagging or bowing anywhere across the platform
- If you can see any bending or damage to the steel grid
- If the steel springs are more than 10 years old they’re probably starting to wear out
If you’re unsure about whether your mattress is worn out too, the information in this article will help you decide.
Don’t Make This Mistake
I have seen many unhappy people who have bought new mattresses, only to find them saggy and lumpy almost straight away. Often, this is not the fault of the mattress, but because the box spring it is sitting on is too old. People often just go ahead and buy a new mattress, without even thinking about the foundation they will put that mattress on.
This can be a disaster as any mattress, whether you spent $5000 or $350, will sag if it’s on an old and worn out box spring. Your mattress won’t stand a chance, and you’ll be left feeling uncomfortable and cranky. So when you invest in a new mattress, it’s worth checking if you need to invest in a new platform for it too.
Should I Get A New Box Spring Or Something Else?
So. You’ve inspected your box spring and realized you need to buy a new base for your mattress. Should you buy a box spring, or should you buy a different type of platform?
The answer to this is it probably depends on you. Every mattress I have reviewed here on bestmattressforyou.com would work just fine on a box spring, but many manufacturers do recommend you use a platform base instead. I would imagine that from some of them, this may be a marketing tactic to encourage you to buy your accessories, but it probably also comes from a genuine concern about their mattress under performing on an old box spring.
If you have a new box spring, you’re fine. If you need to replace your box spring and you want some other options, these are what is typically available:
- Wood foundation: these tend to look like box springs, but are just wood inside with no springs. They are often sold as bases with mattresses in stores. I’ve reviewed a really solid and beautiful wooden bed frame here.
- Metal platform: this will look like a metal grid on legs. It will probably have a reinforcing line down the middle. When looking at a platform, make sure any spaces within it are no more than three inches wide. Anything wider than three inches won’t support your mattress properly and could contribute to sagging. If you’re looking for a metal platform bed I’ve taken a look at some of the popular Zinus models in this article.
- Wooden slats: this is a wooden frame with a reinforcement down the middle, and wooden slats that look like ribs. Just like with the metal platform above, you need to make sure that the slats are no more than three inches apart. We have a wooden slat base for our own mattress and it does a great job.
If you just want to get a new box spring for a reasonable price, click here to read my review of the trusted and well established U.S Box Spring.
Whatever you do, don’t just toss your old box spring and put your new mattress straight on the floor. Most mattresses stipulate that it should be used on an appropriate support base and going against this could actually void your warranty, along with leaving your mattress prone to mold and other nasties due to air not being able to circulate around it!
What Can I Do With My Old Box Spring?
So you’ve decided to replace your old box spring with either a new one, or another type of mattress support. You find yourself with an old box spring you now need to dispose of. What will you do with it? The obvious answer would be to dispose of it somehow, or perhaps chop up the wood. But did you know that there are hundreds of ideas for upcycling your old box spring? Now that a lot of people are looking at ways of reducing their waste and reusing old items, you might find some of these interesting. Pinterest has a ton of ideas, but these were my favorite four:
- Use a section of the old springs as a photo frame
- Use the old base or part of it as a pin board
- Use the old base or part of it at a kitchen tidy (or for any room where you can organize stored items by hanging them in baskets)
- Use a single spring for a fun craft project, such as the Christmas snowman ornament pictured
Do you have any other cool ideas for upcycling an old box spring? I’d love to hear about them, please leave me a comment.