Platform Bed vs Box Spring (Ultimate Comparison)

Bed Frames
September 27, 2022

Are you in the market for a new bed?

Whether you're just tired of waking up with lower back pain or looking to upgrade your bedroom decor, making the right choice is essential. But it can be hard to decide between two popular options: platform beds and box springs.

To make things easier, we've put together an ultimate comparison of these two styles so that you can determine which will best suit your needs.

Get ready to get into all the details about platform beds vs box springs; by the end of this blog post, you'll know exactly which one is better for your unique situation!

What is a box spring?

A box spring is a tall, rectangular box that is placed under a mattress. It is typically made of wood or metal and has a solid surface. A box spring is designed to provide support for mattresses and can help to prolong their lifespan.

In addition, box springs can help to absorb shock, making them ideal for use with heavier mattresses. Box springs come in a variety of sizes, and most models can be adjusted to fit different bed frames.

While a box spring is not required for all types of beds, it can be a helpful addition for those who want an extra level of support. A box spring can give your mattress a new lease on life by providing the support it needs and improving airflow.

Pros

Here are some pros of a box spring:

  • Takes the weight of a mattress off your bed frame.
  • Improve the support and comfort of your mattress.
  • Improve airflow around your mattress, preventing dust mites and other allergens from accumulating.
  • Extend the life of your mattress.
  • Raises the mattress to a more comfortable height.

Cons

Here are some cons of a box spring:

  • They can be expensive.
  • They’re not always necessary and are primarily only made for innerspring mattresses.
  • They’re not always the most comfortable option. If you have back problems, a platform bed might be a better choice.
  • They can look pretty bulky and be a bit of an eye sore.
  • Although they can be used with different types of mattresses, they are primarily designed for coil-based (innerspring) mattresses.
  • If you need to add more height to your bed, bed risers may not work if the box spring does not have legs to secure them to

What is a platform bed?

The No Fuss Plus bed frame from Quagga Designs with a mattress and bedding on top in a bright bedroom
Credit: Quagga Designs


A platform bed frame is a structure upon which a mattress rests and provides support.  Platform beds are usually made of wood or metal and feature a flat, rectangular surface with no box springs. They come in many different styles and sizes, allowing you to find the perfect option to match your bedroom. However, they usually do not come with a headboard or a footboard.

Platform beds can provide a great solution if you want to save money and don't need the extra support that a box spring provides. They are usually less expensive than traditional bed frames, and they provide enough space for you to store items underneath!

Platform beds are also usually lower to the ground, making it easier for young children and those with mobility issues to get into bed. However, getting out of bed may be an issue, especially for those with mobility issues. If a platform bed is too low to the ground, it may take more effort to get out of bed which may present a struggle to get out of bed every morning or cause injury.

Find out how you can find your perfect bed height.

Pros

Here are some pros of a platform bed:

  • Lower cost than traditional beds with box springs.
  • Easier to get into bed.
  • Provides adequate support without a box spring.
  • The extra space beneath can be used for storage (such as under bed storage boxes).
  • Depending on the material (like a wooden frame), a platform bed can be more sustainable

Cons

Here are some cons of a platform bed:

  • Can be too low to the ground for some people, which can make getting out of bed more difficult.
  • The mattress may move due to it resting on a platform.

Platform bed vs box spring

We will now take a look at how a platform bed and a box spring compare in terms of weight, height, price, firmness, storage space, mattress compatibility, aesthetics, assembly, and squeaking.

Box spring

Here is how a box spring stands up against a platform bed:

Weight: 60-105 lbs

Box springs are generally lighter than platform beds and are made from a mix of materials:

  • A frame (made of wood or metal)
  • Metal coils/springs or a metal grid
  • Fabric on the outside

Height: 2-9 in.

Box springs can range in height from 9 inches to as thin as 2 inches. You have the option of throwing it on an existing platform bed or purchasing a box spring with legs.

Price: $50-$800

Box springs can be as cheap as $50 and can go up to $800 in price depending on the materials and quality.

Firmness: very firm

Since box springs have such a solid surface, mattresses tend to feel firmer. For example, something as soft as memory foam mattresses might feel firmer on a box spring in comparison to a platform bed frame.

Storage space: none

Box springs are enclosed with coils, meaning you can't use it for storage.

Mattress compatibility: innerspring

Box springs are designed for a traditional innerspring mattress. This is because the box spring was designed to be a shock absorber for this type of mattress. It isn't advised to use heavier mattresses such as latex because these may break the coils in the box spring and result in sagging.

Aesthetics: bulky

The box spring has a more traditional and formal look. It is also quite bulky in comparison to a platform bed.

Assembly: moderate difficulty

A box spring is not the easiest to assemble, as they usually come with a lot of different metal pieces including small nuts and bolts.

Squeaking: Fairly Common

According to Slumberyard, "a box spring is the most common source of bed squeaking." This is because there is a high chance of a spring rubbing up against the wood that would cause this.

Overall, a box spring is a good choice if you want a more traditional look, need extra support, or if you have an innerspring mattress.

Where a box spring falls short is its storage capabilities and aesthetics. It's advised that you only use it if you have an innerspring mattress, so if you ever want to switch your mattress to something else like a latex mattress, you might have to get rid of your box spring as well as it will no longer be compatible.

A box spring also falls short in terms of aesthetics, risk of squeaking, having minimal to no storage, and moderate assembly difficulty with lots of parts.

Platform bed


The No Fuss Plus bed frame from Quagga Designs with a mattress and bedding on top in a bright bedroom with concrete floor
Credit: Quagga

Here is how a platform bed stands up against a box spring:

Weight: 50-200 lbs

The weight of a platform bed depends on the material it's made from. They are usually made of either metal or wood.

Overall, a platform bed is typically heavier than traditional box springs.

Height: 8-13 in.

The height of a platform bed varies depending on the style. Most platform beds sit low to the ground, while others are taller. Generally, a platform bed tends to be higher than a box spring.

Price: $100-$2,000+

Platform beds can range in price depending on the material they are made from and the overall quality. The price may also be impacted by other factors such as where it is manufactured and inflation levels.

Firmness: sturdy

Platform beds are generally very sturdy, especially metal and wooden ones. However, since they often have a slatted surface, the mattress you use may feel less firm than it would on a box spring.

Storage space: 5-10 in.

Depending on how high the platform bed is, its storage space can range from 5-10 inches. Some platform beds come with storage drawers or you can put storage boxes underneath.

Mattress Compatibility: all

The great thing about a platform bed is that it provides an ample amount of mattress support for all mattress types such as a foam mattress. Where a box spring is only compatible with innerspring mattresses, a platform bed is compatible with all types of mattresses.

Aesthetics: wide range

Platform beds come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors and are primarily made of metal or wood. Within these categories are even more options:

  • A metal platform bed made of iron or steel.
  • A wood platform bed made of birch, maple, walnut, oak, etc.

If you want something that is the most sturdy, go for the metal platform bed. If you're looking for something with a natural touch, go for a wood platform bed.

Assembly: 5 min. - 2 hours

The assembly time varies between platform beds. Depending on the amount of hardware, pieces, and tools required, the time it takes to assemble a bed base can range from 5 minutes to 2 hours.

Squeaking: Possible

Squeaking is always a possibility for platform beds. The most common reason a bed may squeak is due to loose screws or generally metal rubbing against metal.

To maintain the lowest chance of your bed frame squeaking, try to go for a platform bed that has minimal to no hardware.

Overall, a platform bed is a great bed base.  Even though they are considered a low profile bed frame, you still have the option to store items underneath unlike a box spring which has coils making this impossible.

In addition, you can use whatever mattress you want on a bed frame and they come in all shapes, sizes, and materials to suit your taste.

Where a platform bed falls short can be in its sturdiness. Although they are sturdy, they may not feel as firm as a box spring due to the mattress foundation usually resting on slats rather than a flat surface on a box spring.

FAQ

Why platform beds are better than box springs?

Platform beds offer a superior style that you simply cannot get with box springs. This bed base is typically made from sturdy wood, which can make them sturdier than box springs.

In addition, platform beds are not enclosed and filled with coils. This leaves more space in your bedroom to store things. Not only is this practical, but platform beds also look sleek and modern which is perfect for any contemporary bedroom!

All in all, if you're looking for something both stylish and comfortable, platform beds deserve strong consideration.

What are the disadvantages of a platform bed?

A platform bed can be a convenient and space-saving option for many, but there are also some potential drawbacks to keep in mind. The only real drawback of a platform bed is that it can be heavy and difficult to assemble depending on the frame.

In addition, your mattress foundation may shift when you reposition or move around on the bed which can get annoying.

All these factors should be taken into consideration when choosing whether or not a platform bed is right for your needs.

Which is better platform bed vs box spring?

When it comes to whether a platform bed or a box spring is better, there are a few things to consider like mattress types. Traditional mattresses or canopy beds might need a box spring to provide support. However, if you have a latex mattress or an adjustable bed, then you may not need a box spring.

Plus, platform beds come in a variety of styles and materials, unlike box springs. So if having a bed base that matches your aesthetic is important to you, you'll want to go for the bed frame.

Both a platform bed and a box spring are great choices depending on your needs.

Note: If you are struggling with acid reflux or sleep apnea, an adjustable bed might be the most suitable choice as opposed to a platform bed or box spring! Adjustable beds are a great investment for those seeking additional comfort and convenience. An adjustable bed also provides the perfect combination of comfort, support, and flexibility in one product.

Can I use a platform instead of a box spring?

The short answer is yes, you can use a platform bed instead of a box spring.

A bed frame is a foundation for a mattress, while a box spring helps to absorb shock and provide additional support and should only really be used if you have a traditional innerspring mattress. The only other time you can use a boxspring is if you simply prefer it over a bed frame or like the way your mattress feels when using one. It's important to have a good mattress foundation to sleep on for adequate sleep!

While you can use a bed frame without a box spring, it is not necessarily recommended if you have an innerspring mattress. Using a bed frame without a box spring can cause the mattress to sag and make it uncomfortable to sleep on.

In addition, bed frames are not designed to absorb shock, so they will not provide the same level of support as a box spring. For these reasons, it is best to use both a bed frame and box spring if you have an innerspring mattress.

Platform bed vs box spring: Which reigns superior?

When it comes to the battle between platform bed vs box spring, a platform bed is a clear winner when it comes to storage capacity and overall variety.

Unlike a box spring, a bed frame doesn't have any coils in it meaning you can effortlessly store whatever you want underneath. Plus, they come in all shapes, sizes, and materials to suit your taste.

If you have an innerspring mattress or simply prefer a box spring, then we recommend going with a box spring.

Which do you prefer, a box spring or a bed frame?

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