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Which box spring is best?

When it comes to investing in a good night’s sleep, most people direct their attention to selecting the perfect mattress. It’s easy to assume that a mattress alone will provide the comfort you need to rest easily, but the importance of a proper box spring should not be overlooked.

The full steel construction of the ZINUS 9 Inch Smart Metal Box Spring provides evenly distributed support for mattresses of all types. This model’s availability in multiple sizes and thicknesses make it the best, most flexible box spring to replace the one you already own or complete a new set.

What to know before you buy a box spring


Box springs provide a flat, even surface to prevent your mattress from sagging. Box springs also raise a mattress up to a more comfortable level, which is especially helpful for those with health issues that make getting up from too close to the ground a potentially dangerous challenge.


Today’s mattresses and bed frames come in various configurations, some of which will require features that are present only in specific kinds of box springs.

  • Zero-deflection box springs are the most common. They offer strong, unyielding support and are compatible with nearly every type of modern mattress. Zero-deflection box springs are usually constructed of wooden slats, but some newer models are made out of durable steel.
  • Coil box springs are the most traditional type of box spring. Made of wood and wire coils, they are designed to conform and bounce, but still provide even mattress support. They are best used with innerspring mattresses.
  • Semi-flex box springs offer a combination of support and flex somewhere between the first two types. They are constructed from a wooden frame and feature a strong metal grid. They are best used for large, heavy memory foam or latex mattresses.
  • Split box springs are divided into two halves to make moving them easier and are a popular choice for those with large king or queen beds. Split box springs require a bed frame that has the proper central support to accommodate them.


Box springs are available in standard, low-profile and ultra-low-profile heights. Tall beds have a regal appearance, but can be problematic for smaller people to climb into and out of. For children, a shorter box spring will bring their mattress closer to the floor. This will help prevent serious injury from inevitable tumbles off the bed during play or sleep.

What to look for in a quality box spring


Box springs traditionally have been constructed from wooden boards, springs and metal wires. Many modern box springs, however, have traded the wood in for steel, a material that provides superior strength and longer life than wood.


The outer material provides a more pleasant look to a box spring and also prevents pets or children from getting pinched or injured between springs and slats. A hypoallergenic fabric cover can keep dust and irritants from accumulating inside the box spring.


Depending on how easy it is to access the box spring’s destination, you may want to seek out split box springs or a model that does not arrive fully assembled. Many box spring options come disassembled for lower shipping costs and easier transport to the bedroom. Fully assembled box springs are notoriously cumbersome to navigate through hallways and tight corners.

Box spring tips

  • Sets are often a great value. Mattress and box spring combination sets can save you a lot of money and offers another benefit: The box spring is specifically designed to allow for the most comfort out of the accompanying mattress.
  • Covers can be customized. Don’t pass up a great box spring because you don’t like the cover. Many box spring covers are available, providing plenty of options to change the look.
  • Keep the cover clean. Hypoallergenic box spring covers keep dust out of the box spring’s interior, but they still accumulate allergens on their surface. Be sure to occasionally vacuum or even machine-wash your box spring cover based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

How much you can expect to spend on a box spring

Budget box springs can be purchased for as little as $100. These models will usually be made from inexpensive wood, prioritizing affordability over comfort and durability. Box springs of superior quality will typically cost between $150-$600, with some at the higher end of this price range coming as a set that also includes a mattress.

Box spring FAQ

How long will my box spring last?

A. You can expect a box spring of quality construction to last from 8 to 10 years before it begins to show noticeable signs of wear.

How can I tell if my box spring is wearing out?

A. The first thing you will notice when your box spring begins to wear out is that it will make noise when you put weight on it. Squeaking, crackling and groaning are all signs that it’s time to start looking for a replacement.

Do I need to replace my box spring if I get a new mattress?

A. Unless your new mattress is a different size than your previous one or has specific recommendations regarding the type of box spring you should use, you do not need to purchase a new box spring for your new mattress.

What’s the best box spring to buy?

Top box spring

ZINUS 9 Inch Smart Metal Box Springs

ZINUS 9 Inch Smart Metal Box Spring

What you need to know: Sturdy steel construction and simple assembly make this box spring an excellent all-around choice.

What you’ll love: Available in three different height options, this box spring can support various mattress types and ships in a compact, easily managed box. Includes a non-slip, knitted polyester fabric cover. Assembly can be accomplished with just one person.

What you should consider: Some users report that the spacing between this model’s slats may not be suitable for memory foam mattresses. Be sure to check the recommendations of your mattress’ manufacturer.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top box spring for the money

Classic Brands Instant Foundation

Classic Brands Instant Foundation

What you need to know: This box spring is a strong, durable option due to its solid spruce construction.

What you’ll love: Produced in American Amish country in Pennsylvania, this model is made from high-quality wood and includes all the necessary tools and hardware for quick, easy assembly. Its included cover is a neutral color.

What you should consider: Many users have recommended adding additional slats to make this model more suitable for foam mattresses.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

ZINUS No Assembly Metal Box Spring

ZINUS No Assembly Metal Box Spring

What you need to know: This box spring can be set up very quickly, thanks to its simple folding design.

What you’ll love: This model requires no assembly whatsoever. Its bi-fold construction makes it easy to move into the bedroom and also quick to store out of the way if it will only be used for guests.

What you should consider: The convenience of this model’s folding feature comes at the cost of support. Its thin metal slats are not appropriate for heavy mattresses.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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