Your Guide to Box Springs & Adjustable Bases

Last Updated on July 13, 2024

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

If you're shopping for a new bed, you may wonder whether an adjustable base or a box spring is the right choice for under your mattress. Do you need both? Or is one better than the other? Keep reading for everything you need to know.

Box spring vs. an adjustable bed side-by-side comparison.

What is a Box Spring?

First, let's review a bit of mattress industry lingo.

All mattresses should have some kind of support underneath them. Years ago, when traditional innerspring mattresses were popular, you'd need a box spring as well as a bed frame underneath your mattress. These box springs were typically made with springs and wooden slats, with the whole thing encased in fabric.

Since then, the world of mattresses has changed, with options like memory foam beds-in-a-box and hybrids to choose from. These newer mattresses don't require a box spring, specifically, but they still need support.

This is where your modern-day foundation or base comes in. You can choose from slatted bases made from wood or metal, or even platform bases that include an attached headboard and footboard. You then rest your foundation on top of a metal frame; it's not usually meant to be placed directly on the ground unless it's an all-in-one model.

Box Springs Vs. Adjustable Bases: How Do They Differ?

Fast forward to now, and you’ve got another option for underneath your mattress: an adjustable base. What’s the difference? A lot!

Below, we’ll compare a traditional box spring to the GhostBed Adjustable Base.

Traditional Box Spring GhostBed Adjustable Base
Customizable height No Yes
Head and foot elevation No Yes
Replaces the need for a bed frame No Yes
Massage function No Yes
Under-bed USB ports No Yes
Preset Zero-G, Reading, and Anti-Snore positions No Yes
Price (Queen) $200-$500
$2,995 $1,498

Do You Need to Use a Box Spring With an Adjustable Base?

This is another common question. And the answer is no—you do not need a box spring with an adjustable base. Your power base provides enough support, so your mattress can go right on top of it.

So, When Should You Use a Box Spring?

As we mentioned earlier, traditional box springs have coils inside of them. When paired with an innerspring mattress, the coils inside the box spring act as a continuation of the coils in your mattress, which absorbs some of the shock.

These days, however, mattresses are much more sophisticated. Innersprings are falling out of favor, with hybrids taking their place. With a blend of coils and other materials (like memory foam and latex), hybrid mattresses provide a best-of-both-worlds feel, without the need for a traditional box spring. You can place it right on top of your foundation or base.

If you have an older spring mattress, you may still need a box spring. When in doubt, check with the mattress manufacturer.

Build Your Bedroom with GhostBed

Seeing the value of an Adjustable Base? Thinking about sticking with a regular foundation? Here at GhostBed, we’ve got everything you need to get comfortable.

And if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our Sleep Experts are here to help!

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Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More

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