“Do I Need A Boxspring?” LOL, yes.

7 Aug

Shifman’s eight-way, hand-tied boxspring.

Why are we laughing? As a mattress manufacturer, we understand the importance of boxsprings, but live in a world completely uneducated about them. Is it the world’s fault? Eh, not necessarily.

I often use Wikipedia for daily information and usually find a ton of material. The search term “mattress” for instance, produces a page full of information regarding the history of mattresses, what’s in them, what’s new about them, who makes them, etc..

Try typing “boxspring” into Wikipedia’s search field. The page result is sad. You don’t even have to use the scroll bar to read the entire article, which by the way, doesn’t cite any reliable sources or references. I’m using Wikipedia as an example, but the reality is that boxspring literature is almost non-existent.

And while the internet lacks information about boxsprings, other organizations discredit their importance. Just this month, the highly regarded organization, Consumer Reports released an article that critically undervalued the necessity of boxsprings without any explanation. This is not only confusing to the consumer, but frustrating as well. Especially because many mattress manufacturers require consumers to purchase the boxspring in order to receive a full warranty. And if consumers are reading information about why they shouldn’t buy a boxspring, and yet are still required to buy one, it’s not too suprising when a consumer becomes bitter about their purchase.

Poor ole’ Boxspring: the Eeyore to the Winnie-the-Pooh, the coleslaw to the burger and fries, the kid-brother to the high-school football jock.

For too long, boxsprings have been misunderstood, picked on, put down and forgotten about. Not buying it? According to Google, it took me .18 seconds to find a message-board that posed the question: “Do I need a boxspring?”

Luckily the people-of-the-world stopped living their lives for a few minutes and responded to (what I presume is) the best of their ability.

Below, the first four replies.

“A boxspring is good if you like your bed to squeak, other than that I’m not sure.”

Now, although, I do appreciate the ingenuity of the responses, I can’t say that I blame these Q&A moguls for thinking that way.

Boxspring vs. Foundation: A lot of the reason why people are bewildered by a boxspring’s functionality is because the boxspring has actually devolved over the years.

The boxspring was initially created to provide strong, flexible support and help prolong the life of the mattress. Its coils were designed to respond independently to movement and pressure for optimal weight transfer. Essentially, the boxspring functions as a shock absorber. So it doesn’t quite matter what happens above the mattress (uhem, uhem) because the mattress itself won’t take on all the brunt of the movement. Instead, the boxspring supports the mattress by providing some give so the mattress remains firm and durable.

Now think about what would happen to your mattress if it were only supported by a solid-wood foundation. If there is nothing below the mattress absorbing the shock, then you are likely damaging the inside of the mattress. It would be like driving a car without shock absorbers. Can you imagine what that would do to your tires (and your teeth)??

Unfortunately, modern bedding manufacturers are mostly to blame when it comes to the decline of the boxspring. Not all, but many manufacturers have purposely downgraded the boxspring to save on costs and maximize profits.  Instead of taking the time to create true boxsprings, the manufacturers build solid wood foundations, palm them off as boxsprings and get away with selling inferior products. And let me be clear about something: not all boxsprings are perfect. In the way the mattress manufacturers get away with selling wood-foundations labeled as “boxsprings”, other mattress manufacturers use a lower coil count and steel with little-to-no give. When shopping for a mattress set, don’t forget to ask two important questions: 1. What’s in the mattress? And 2: What’s in the boxspring?

So do you need a boxspring?

The answer is always yes. As long as it’s a true boxspring (and not a solid wood foundation), a boxspring will maximize your comfort by providing proper support and also prolong the life of your mattress, allowing you to achieve a great night’s sleep.


13 Responses to ““Do I Need A Boxspring?” LOL, yes.”

  1. narissa October 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Thank you. I heard a lot of the ridiculous answers and back and forth. You were clear and made a lot of sense. I will invest in a real box spring this weekend!

  2. Anne D October 12, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    Is it bad/does it make any difference to leave the box spring on the floor/flat surface (vs. off the floor)?

    • Shifman October 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      It is acceptable to place a boxspring directly on the floor, as long as it provides even support. You’d be surprised how many floors are uneven!

  3. josiahkalia October 17, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    How do you tell if you have a real box spring or just a foundation?

    • Shifman October 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

      You can tell if you have a boxspring by applying pressure to the top surface. If the surface gives with pressure, then there are coils. If there is no movement, then it is a foundation. A coil boxspring maximizes comfort by conforming to natural body contours and reduces wear and tear on the mattress providing long-lasting value.

  4. jessie October 22, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    I was actually finding your pitch credible until you suggested manufacturers “palm” wooden foundations instead of “pawn,” who writes for you?

    • Shifman October 23, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      Thank you for your comment. As you will see in the following links from Merrriam-Webster, “palm off” and “pawn off” are interchangeable. I hope you can now find our blog post more credible. Please let us know if you find any other alleged spelling or grammatical errors. -Pawn off: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pawn%20off -Palm off: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/palm%20off

    • personman April 20, 2015 at 9:06 am #

      Wow, what an ignorant comment! Since you’re on the internet to begin with, why not do a quick Google search and learn that you are incorrect.

      Pawn off means just what it sounds like: get rid of it (by taking it to the pawn broker, etc.)

      Palm off carries the same connotation as sleight-of-hand magic: trick someone into taking something inferior without them realizing.

  5. Nick August 1, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    When it comes to buying a mattress that comes with only a cheap foundation instead of a spring boxspring would you agree it doesn’t matter if you have the foundation or not? I’m guessing that’s the intention of the articles advising that it doesn’t matter.

    • Shifman August 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

      Hi Nick! We always recommend utilizing a boxspring, because it works with the mattress providing extra comfort and durability. Visit our boxspring page http://www.shifmanmattresses.com/about-us/do-i-need-a-boxspring/ and take a look at our image to see what I mean. If you’re are buying a mattress that comes with a foundation, then yes, it doesn’t matter if you have the foundation or not. A foundation is just a flat, hard surface.


  1. How To Choose The Right Mattress « - August 15, 2012

    […] liked and didn’t like about your last mattress and start writing some mattress brands off. Boxspring vs. foundation, cotton vs. latex, king vs. queen: it always helps to know what you want before you shop. Also, […]

  2. Best Mattresses for Back Pain « - August 28, 2012

    […] mattress components work together to provide proper support. Coil count, upholstery materials and boxspring information are components you’re going to want to know about. I highly recommend buying a mattress set […]

  3. Two-Sided Mattresses: The Legend, The Myth. « - November 13, 2012

    […] the last forty years most manufacturers changed their procedures: new machines replaced hands, solid wood-foundations succeeded boxsprings, and low density polyurethane foam dethroned all-natural cotton. And to top it off, mattresses […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: