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Foundations Made Simple: What You Need to Know

by Reyna Thomas

The mattress foundation you select for your bed can significantly impact comfort and longevity. For both your mattress and your sleep, a good foundation is key. Foundations also allow for mattress height adjustment and even provide air circulation benefits for a cooler night’s sleep. Once you’ve found the perfect mattress for you, you don’t want to spoil it by selecting the wrong type of support.  But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

What is a Mattress Foundation?

A mattress foundation, often known as a bed frame, is the support system that keeps your mattress in place. It is designed to equally distribute the mattress’s weight and absorb part of the compression that happens during regular use. Your mattress will last longer if it is supported by a good foundation. The most common type is a box spring, but there are also other types of foundations, such as platform beds and slatted frames, that you can use to raise the height of your bed and protect your mattress, so it lasts as long as possible.

Fully made-up bed with nightstands on both sides

Types of Mattress Foundations

Box Spring Foundations

A box spring is a sturdy platform with a wooden or metal framework and a layer of material on top.  Box springs can be used on their own or paired with a metal or wooden platform foundation. Box springs are meant to support mattresses that need more support, like innerspring mattresses, memory foam mattresses, and latex mattresses.

View of the corner of a box spring on a frame

Metal Frame Foundations

Metal frame foundations are typically used to keep the box spring in place, give your bed a bit of extra height, and provide additional under-bed storage. However, they are not intended to support a mattress on their own and must be used in conjunction with a box spring. Some metal bed frames can also be adjusted to meet your bed size.

Metal Platform Foundations

Metal platform foundations are an excellent way of supporting and lifting your mattress while also providing ample storage beneath your bed. You can also lay your mattress directly on top of these platforms, eliminating the need for a box spring. In some cases, you may need to purchase additional connecting pieces if you plan on using a headboard. If the slats on this foundation are narrow, memory foam or a latex mattress can work. But, if there is a substantial gap between slats, stick with hybrid or innerspring mattresses for this one.

Slatted Platform Foundations

View of a platform foundation without mattress

Wood or metal frames with spaced slats across the frame consist of slatted platform foundations. For all-foam mattresses, this foundation is ideal. Slatted platform foundations can also provide excellent under-bed storage, depending on their height. If you place your mattress right on top of one, they can help improve airflow. Hybrid and innerspring mattresses work great with this foundation.

Adjustable Foundations

Adjustable foundations allow you to change the angle and elevation of your bed with various settings. In a nutshell, they’re the peak of mattress foundations. This frame style can help relieve back and joint pain, sleep apnea, acid reflux, and snoring. It can also aid in the promotion of healthy blood circulation. Adjustable bases give your mattress more versatility and are a wonderful addition if you want to recline, rest, read, and sleep in your bed. Memory foam, latex, and an innerspring mattress work best with this style of foundation.

Why You Need a Good Foundation for Your Mattress

A solid mattress foundation can provide numerous sleeping benefits that you may not be aware of. While it may appear to be simply another “extra,” your mattress and foundation should be considered a set.

Placing your mattress on a solid and sturdy foundation can help you prevent sagging and amplify comfort. Having the proper mattress support ensures you’re getting all of the benefits of your mattress the way it was designed. They can also help your mattress maintain its stability by absorbing motion and weight, allowing it to keep its shape for longer, meaning it will last you longer. Additionally, if you have trouble getting out of bed, a foundation can raise your mattress an extra 16 inches on average, making getting out of bed easier. Lastly, raising your foundation off the floor can help prevent dirt, dust, and mold from getting to it.

Sideview of an adjustable foundation in an angled state

What to Consider When Choosing a Foundation

Some mattresses need a specific style of foundation. Most mattress brands will include the types of foundation that will work best with their mattresses. The size of your mattress can also affect the type of foundation you need. For instance, the larger the mattress, the more support it will need.

When looking for a foundation to go with your bed, you want to first define your budget. Of course, each foundation style brings a different price point. And the adjustable foundations are on the higher end due to their technological designs. The next thing you should look at is the materials it is made with. You don’t want to go with low-quality materials, as it means you’ll have to buy a new one soon in the future. You’ll also want to think about the style or additional accessories a foundation needs. Platform foundation styles don’t always come with headboards, and if that is something you’ll want, you need to make sure your headboard and foundation dimensions match up. Style is also essential if you plan on making a statement piece out of your bed frame.

Always keep in mind that the foundation you place your mattress on is just as crucial as the mattress itself. Get started with our selection today if you’re ready to find your foundation! If you’re still not sure what bed frame you need, check with our experts at or give us a call, we’ll be happy to help.