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The one part of the day we all look forward to is sleeping. The thought of jumping into a comfy bed at the end of a grueling day is soothing not only physically, but also emotionally. Ask anyone why they are feeling grumpy and the most would answer with an awful night of sleep. To make sure that your day goes smooth sailing, comfortable sleep is a must. And what better way to ensure better sleep than having a good support system for your body.
Even the best mattresses can’t do much without good support. The railings you put your mattress on can either magnify the benefits or completely bust it. If you’ve been shopping recently, all of them suggest a box mattress. A box spring is easily available, cheap and has been in the market for decades. However, is it the best choice you make?
What is a box spring?
A box spring is exactly what it states, springs inside a box. They are the foundation to your mattress and support weight by distributing it over the springs. Although in recent times, manufacturers have completely done away with springs the name remains.
The main task of the box spring is to be able to sustain the shocks of people getting on and off. In addition to this, the springs make even the hardest of mattresses look comfy. They are the most versatile in terms of aesthetic value and comfort. Some mattress sellers will require you to own a box spring in order for your warranty to hold true.
Advantage of Box Springs:
The main advantages of box springs lie in their height. It elevates your mattress so that it can breathe easier, with increased airflow the life of any mattress is extended beyond their shelf life. Their height also means that they are not in contact with dirt and allergens on the floor, keeping them cleaner for longer.
It also makes it harder for small pets to be able to climb on the bed as easily. If you are a sleeper who tends to roll around a lot, box springs easily redistribute your weight without much strain on the mattress itself.
With box springs, you can get moderate functionality from most mattresses. Box springs are often accused of not being able to provide proper support. While most blame their mattresses for aches and pains, it actually stems from an improper foundation.
If you wish to go a step further and chose one that suits more of your needs, read this curated list for the best alternatives present in the market.
Alternatives for Box Spring:
1. Wood Slats
Slats are long planks of wood placed adjacent to each other in a bed frame. They are used to keep a mattress firmly in place without sagging or sinking. Wooden slats are thinner than box springs, so they provide lesser height to the mattress.
Wood by its nature is durable and has a long shelf life. However, they cannot handle acute stress. So, while sleeping will not break the slats, jumping on them will.
Slats are easier to install than box springs. These planks come in separately for the user to install themselves. since an individual piece doesn’t weigh a ton, it can be installed by a single person in a matter of a day. Even the elderly can install slats in the blink of an eye.
Due to their customizable nature, anytime you upgrade your bed you may only need to spend a fraction of the earlier cost by reusing the planks.
If not placed firmly, slats can move around quite a bit with continued usage. Make sure to place them in designated stop gauges for the best results.
The space between the slats provides added airflow to the mattress from the bottom, increasing its shelf life. By facilitation of air ventilation, you can delay premature sagging of mattresses from extensive usage.
- Easy to install, even for beginners
- Costs lesser than a box spring
- Lighter in nature
- Durable and versatile
- Provide greater ventilation to the mattress
- Can break under acute stress or added weight
- Do not add vertical height or aesthetics to the mattress
2. Platform Beds
Platform beds have been all the rage nowadays. They offer style, comfort, and extended storage all in one structure. Platform beds are functionally different from box springs and eliminate the need for one altogether. To decide if a platform bed is the one for you, read on ahead.
Platform beds are single structural units. They can be customized in a variety of shapes and sizes. For those who are into a minimalistic approach, these beds can be a visual treat. By combing a bed with storage space, they eliminate the need for extra bulky drawers.
With the added space, they become quite difficult to maneuver once set. Installing them can take up to a day, but can be done by a beginner. Depending on their make, platform beds offer moderate to good air ventilation for the mattress.
They elevate the mattress from the ground, making it more pleasing to look at. You can go a step further and add a headboard and footboard to match your bedroom’s theme.
As with all things, the more you pay, the better will the quality be. Platform beds are already on the pricier end for they offer a multitude of functions.
They can provide quite a bit of height; therefore it would not be recommended for toddlers or the elderly. The same height can be a blessing if you do not want your pets to jump on the bed.
- Provide extra storage space without compromising on the aesthetic
- Can support memory foam mattress well
- Wide range of selections to choose from
- Provide moderate to good airflow for the prevention of mold
- Extend ample support to the sleepers
- Can be customized as per users’ needs
- Easy to match with the theme of the room
- Come with a variety of additional features
- Easy to assemble without supervision
- Prices fall on the higher end of the scale
- Can be uncomfortable for those with knee and back pain
- Bulky in nature
- Difficult to move around once assembled
- Getting up requires extra effort
- Can be harmful to the side sleepers due to the added height
- Difficult to lift the corners of the mattress due to the tight fit
- Mess under the bed is hard to clean
3. Adjustable Beds
Probably the most technologically advanced support on the list, the adjustable base shifts its components to suit your needs. The base is divided into different parts that can be controlled via a remote to rise or fall. These are the kind of supports used in hospital beds for easy manipulation of the patient. However, they can also be used at your house for the ultimate sleep.
Not all kinds of mattresses are compatible with adjustable beds, and therefore each one comes with its own set of instructions. The support is made up of many moving parts, and therefore is prone to wear and tear. This is by the priciest support system, but it comes with its benefits as well.
By controlling the shape of the support, you can alter the shape of the mattress to suit your present need. whether you are working on your bed or watching a movie, the mattress can be altered to give you ample of support. The adjustable base is a boon for those living with chronic back or knee pain, and it can be elevated to give the highest possible comfort to the user.
These kinds of bases become a necessity if you have a bedridden member, as they will spend most of their time on a flat surface. By introducing adjustable bases, you can improve blood flow, promote healing and do away with minor illnesses related to prolonged bed rest.
- Superior comfort to users in comparison to other bases
- Can be vital in decreasing chronic pain
- Gives independence in mobility for seniors
- Improves sleep quality drastically
- The versatile nature of the support makes it easier to climb onto and get down from the bed
- Better circulation of blood
- Improvement in airflow creates lesser snoring
- Requires special mattress for it to function
- Expensive in maintenance and purchase
- Variety of qualities present in the market
Moving ahead from the most modern support, comes the traditional way of sleeping. We have all slept on the floors at one point in our lives or another, be it a sleepover or as a guest in someone’s house. You can directly place your mattress on the floor without any form of a base as well.
You can either select a fold-up mattress, which has a metal grid attached, or a roll-up mattress that can be stored away for added space. If you are completely against having your mattress touch the ground directly, you can invest in a traditional tatami mat like the Japanese.
While some people swear by the benefits of sleeping on the ground, there are a lot of reports against it as well. Sleeping nearer to the ground can improve overall blood flow and respiration. There are even claims of reduced back pain with consistent use. Keeping the mattress on the floor is also safer for toddlers as there is decreased vertical fall.
In the long run, however, sleeping on the floor can lead to the development of chronic pain, due to the sagging of the mattress unnaturally.
If you place the mattress directly in contact with the floor, it can turn the mattress into a habitat for different types of insects, molds and mildews. Due to decreased ventilation, the shelf life may be reduced by years even.
- Improved overall blood circulation in the body
- Reduces the risk of scoliosis, or an unnatural curvature of the spine
- Improves posture in the long run
- Can be a boon for those living in hot climates
- Can have a positive effect on mental health
- The mattress becomes dirty quite easily
- The mattress can become host to a variety of insects and pathogens
- Not suitable for extremely cold climates
- Can lead to the development of chronic pain in the long run
- Not suitable for people who sleep on their side
- Can cause allergic reactions to dust on the floor
5. Innerspring Mattresses
The innerspring mattress has springs bunched together in them. They are the most popular choice in America and have dominated the market since the early 1900s. the trend has been shifting to other varieties recently, but the innerspring still holds strong.
The most affordable of the options present, the innerspring is also one of the most versatile mattresses. The more the number of springs, the higher is the comfort.
The springs redistribute the weight upon them evenly, providing for a comfortable night of sleep. Even if you toss and turn often, the springs adjust themselves accordingly as per the added weight.
The con to these is that the shelf life of such mattresses is quite low. With consistent use, they become more and more rigid in nature. The springs can also squeak around a lot, which may be a huge drawback for light sleepers.
- Consistent comfort to the sleeper
- Tried and tested through many generations
- Will not burn through your wallet
- Does not adapt to the curvature of the spine which can lead to pain
- Does not prevent motion transfer, which can disrupt the sleep of your partner
- Cheaper designs in the market can be flimsy and break down sooner
6. Memory Foam
Bring a little bit of space into your bedroom by choosing a memory foam mattress. The memory foam was actually developed by NASA scientists to be able to combat crashes. The memory foam traditionally consists of three inches of foam which are supported by a denser base.
With consistent innovation, memory foam has only gotten better over the years, now incorporating gel bases for added comfort.
Memory foam has been particularly hailed by those suffering from orthopedic conditions. It promises to provide added relief to those suffering from back problems. Memory foam pillows can even help to reduce cervical pain.
The sleeper experience sinking into the mattress as a result of its composition, and the shape is regained once the user gets up. Many sleepers report the sensation being similar to that of being cradled.
- Provides relief to pain on pressure points
- Gives proper spine alignment
- Restrains the motion to the user, which does not disturb the sleeping partner
- Resistant to dust mites and allergens
- Works well with adjustable beds
- Poor breathability of the mattress can make it uncomfortable in hotter seasons
- Lack of bounce can make the user feel stiff
7. Hybrid Mattress
Hybrid mattresses are the newest trend in the market. As their name suggests, they work to gain the advantages of the old while disposing of the cons. Hybrid mattresses usually have the sturdy base of an innerspring mattress with the comfort of a latex or memory foam on top.
The main advantage of a hybrid lies in its customizability. With different combinations, you can create your own custom experience based on the components you choose. Each part of the mattress has a particular function, therefore by increasing or decreasing the weight of the said part, you can capitalize on the benefits.
The cost of a hybrid mattress depends upon the materials you choose to put in it, and therefore the choice is ultimately, truly yours.
The pros and cons of a hybrid mattress are completely contingent on the make, so ask your manufacturer for the details of each particular piece.
With this expansive list of each type of mattress and their support, the sleep of your dreams is within grasp. Choose one that serves you best, after considering their price, output and shelf life. Each mattress is unique, and there is one for everyone.