What is a Mattress Foundation? - DynastyMattress


What is a Mattress Foundation?

Thomas Nguyen
foundation wooden box

It's crucial to know the ins and outs of the average bed setup - if you don't, you won't be able to select the components needed to create your perfect sleeping oasis. So, you need to learn about each component, from the mattress foundation to the actual mattress to the mattress cover. Today, we'll focus on the former; if you've come across the term "mattress foundation" and felt confused, this blog post is for you.

Nowadays, many people are interested in a minimalist bedroom design that doesn't include a mattress foundation. But it’s never a good idea to go without a foundation, especially if you bought a high-quality mattress. The more you know about mattress foundations, the more you'll realize that they're an indispensable part of any bedding setup. 

In this article, we'll talk about what a mattress foundation is, how it can benefit you and your mattress, and how to choose the best one for you. Let's get started!

What is a Mattress Foundation?


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A mattress foundation is the support system for your mattress. It's the frame that your mattress will sit on top of, and it plays an important role in the lifespan of your mattress. A foundation provides a stable, level surface for your mattress, and it also helps to absorb some of the impact and weight of the mattress to protect it from wear and tear. 

Types of Mattress Foundations and Their Cost

The definition above seems simple enough, but there's more you need to know when it comes to foundations. In case you weren't aware, there are many different types of mattress foundations. Here's some information about each of them:

  • Box Spring ($30 - $300+). A box spring is a metal frame that contains springs, and it's usually covered in fabric. Box springs were once the most common type of mattress foundation, but they've since been replaced by more modern options like platform beds and wood slats.
  • Platform bed frame ($100 - $500+). Platform beds are similar to box springs in that they provide a stable, level surface for your mattress. However, platform beds don't contain springs, and they're usually made of wood or metal. 
  • Metal Frame ($50 - $200+). A metal frame is a simple metal structure built to give the underside of your mattress long-lasting support. Though some don't consider a metal frame a proper foundation for a mattress, they are a step up from plopping your mattress on the floor and calling it a day. Metal frames are preferred by many because they're affordable and easy to set up. 
  • Slatted Foundation ($100 - $1,000+). A slatted foundation is a foundation that contains slats, which are pieces of wood or metal arranged in a specific pattern to provide support for your mattress. Slatted foundations are ideal for those who want mattress support without the bulkiness of a box spring.
  • Metal Platform Base ($60 - $150+). A metal platform base is a foundation made of metal that usually has a series of crossbars or slats to provide support for the mattress. These platforms are often height-adjustable. 
  • Bunkie Board ($50 - $150+). Bunkie boards are thin, lightweight boards to sit your mattress upon. Most people use them in combination with a metal or wood platform base. 
  • Split Bed Frame ($80 - $1,000+). A split bed frame is a bed frame that's split in two so that each side can be moved independently. It may be made from metal or wood. 
  • Adjustable Bed Frame ($500 - $2500+). An adjustable bed frame is a bed frame that can be adjusted to different positions, usually by remote control. You'll love this foundation type if you regularly watch TV or work on your laptop in bed. Adjustable bed frames may come in both split and non-split versions.

Now that you know more about mattress foundations, chances are you've got a better idea of what you need. 

Does Your Mattress Really Need Foundational Support?

box foundation

No matter which mattress you opt for, it will need a foundation; this applies even if you're using a traditional metal frame with a headboard and footboard. These types of frames aren't designed to support a mattress without a foundation, and over time, the frame will start to sag in the middle, which can cause your mattress to become uncomfortable and uneven.

Some people believe that they can get away with using a box spring instead of a more proper foundation, but that's not really the case. A box spring is designed to absorb some of the impact of your body weight as you sleep, but it's not as sturdy as a wooden or metal foundation, and it doesn't provide the same level of support. Over time, a box spring will start to sag in the middle,, leading to sleep comfort issues for you and decreased mattress longevity.

If you have a platform bed, then you might not need a mattress foundation. These types of beds are designed to be used without a foundation, and they provide a stable, level surface for your mattress. However, if you have a platform bed with a slatted base, then you may need a foundation. The slats on a platform bed are often too far apart to provide adequate support for a mattress without a foundation.

5 Benefits of a Mattress Foundation

Now that you know more about what a mattress foundation is, let's talk about some of the benefits of using one. After reading through the below benefits, you’ll wonder why some people pass on them. 

Extends the Lifespan of Your Mattress

A mattress foundation helps to reduce the rate of wear and tear on your mattress, extending its lifespan. 

Keeps Your Mattress Cleaner

Another benefit of using a mattress foundation is that it keeps your mattress clean. When you place your mattress directly on the floor, it's more likely to pick up dirt or attract dust mites. But when you use a foundation, your mattress is lifted off the ground, minimizing the dust and critters it comes in contact with. 

Improves the Quality of Your Sleep

In addition to protecting your mattress and keeping it clean, a mattress foundation can also improve your sleep quality. This is because a foundation provides a stable, level surface for your mattress, which helps to reduce late-night tossing and turning. It also enhances comfort through increased shock absorption when compared to mattresses without a foundation. 

Allows For Better Airflow

Using a mattress foundation allows for better airflow under your mattress. This is important because it helps to keep your mattress cool and prevents mold and mildew from setting in..

Adds Height to Your Mattress

Adding a mattress foundation can also add height to your mattress, making it easier to get in and out of bed. This is especially beneficial for those who have mobility issues. Imagine the difference in getting up from the floor versus getting up from a chair - getting up from a higher surface puts much less stress on your muscles and joints. 

How to Select a Mattress Foundation

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With so many mattress foundation options, you may feel a little bit lost when it comes to choosing the right one for you. This section will help you out with that. Here, we'll share four main things to consider when choosing a mattress foundation. 


One of the most vital considerations for selecting a mattress foundation is its size. Your foundation should be large enough to accommodate your mattress. A mattress Foundation that's too small could lead you to slip off the side of your mattress during the night because of sagging around the perimeter. Mattress foundation manufacturers will always tell you which mattress sizes a particular foundation is compatible with. You can feel confident going with their recommendations. 


Once you've selected the size of your mattress foundation, consider the type of mattress foundation you want. Recall the various mattress foundation types we went over earlier. Do you prefer a low-profile option? Go for a bunkie board. If you want a versatile foundation that you can adjust as you please, go with an adjustable model. For more traditional options, opt for a box spring, metal frame, or platform frame. 


How much can you afford to spend on your mattress foundation? Often times with mattress foundations, you get what you pay for. So, if you can spend a little more on yours, you'll enjoy enhanced durability and good overall longevity. If you can afford to splurge on it, adjustable bed bases are a real joy to have - they enable you to sleep, lounge, and even work comfortably in your bed. And at the same time, they give your mattress ample support to enhance its usability and give you more restful, comfortable sleep. 

Who It's For

Last but not least, think about who the mattress foundation is for. If it's for a guest bedroom, you might not need to spend as much on it as you would for your primary mattress. If you plan on using it for a long time, aim for a higher-quality, more durable option. In addition, if the bed is for a heavier person, you'll want to go for a metal-enforced mattress foundation - one that won't crack or buckle under pressure. And for children, you can usually go for a lower-cost, thinner foundation. 

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With these tips in mind, you should be able to find the right foundation to help improve your sleep quality and give you the best possible sleeping experience. We wish you many nights of blissful sleep!


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