How to Choose the Best Foundation for Your Mattress

Finding the right mattress to help you get a healthy, restful night of sleep is only half the challenge. While a good quality mattress can certainly offer several therapeutic benefits, placing that mattress on an unbalance, wobbly foundation can detract from the remedial benefits and cause discomfort and a loss of sleep. Unless you are sleeping on a traditional Japanese futon that is placed directly on the floor, chances are that you will be using a foundation for your mattress. While many suppliers will sell standard foundations, opting for a specific bed foundation can supplement and even enhance the benefits of different types of mattresses. Below, we offer a complete rundown on the benefits of a mattress foundation and go on to offer a few helpful suggestions for choosing the best foundation for the mattress you love.

What is a Mattress Foundation?

A mattress foundation is almost always built as a wooden frame covered in fabric that acts as a base upon which your mattress sits. Inside the wood frame, either springs or metal rods are inserted to support the weight of the mattress and the sleepers. One of the most obvious benefits of a mattress foundation is that it raises the height of the mattress, making it easier for people to get in and out of bed. The foundation also can significantly extend the lifetime and performance of the mattress itself as it offers a soft cushion to avoid rips or tears, which can occur with common sleep movement. Furthermore, a proper mattress foundation can absorb the shocks from regular movementn as well, thus complementing the performance of the mattress.
While many furniture and bedding retail stores will often attempt to sell complete bed sets, which include the mattress, the foundation, and a frame connected to a header and footer, it is possible to purchase a separate mattress foundation that is designed to supplement the qualities of a certain type of mattress.

Types of Mattress Foundations on the Market

There are a few different types of mattress foundations on the market today. Box springs foundations are perhaps the most common type of foundation and are most often used in combination with traditional innerspring mattresses. Box spring foundations are made of wood and steel springs. Besides raising your bed to an adequate height, box springs also increase comfort levels as they essentially act like miniature shock absorbers. The springs help to reduce movement from agitated sleepers who toss and turn throughout the night. They can also help absorb strong, sudden compressions in the mattress (think of a child jumping on the bed), and thus protect the mattress from damage. In some cases, certain mattress manufacturers will require a box spring foundation to validate any warranty or guarantees associated with mattress performance and durability.

Another common type of mattress foundation on the market is a simple wood foundation, which is known as a bunky board. For people who appreciate minimalist interior design, this type of mattress foundation is extremely low profile and makes for a low sleeping surface. Bunky boards are manufactured from a single slab of wood or plywood that is cut to match the size of your mattress. Simple fabric lines the wood to protect the mattress and decrease the possibility of movement and shifting. Besides being one of the cheaper options, a bunky board can  add a modernas well,  streamlined look in a bedroom and is a great choice for people who have bedrooms limited in square gootages.

Regular wood foundations offer a firmer surface for mattresses and are usually best for people who appreciate firmer sleeping surfaces. As mattresses have grown in thickness over the past several years, many bed manufacturers are producing low-profile wood foundations that are between 4 and 5 inches in height. These foundations provide the same amount of support though they also contribute to a sleek look in the bedroom.

Lastly, for homeowners who make it a priority to have the latest tech gadgets in their home, an adjustable mattress foundation, also known as a power base, is a great investment. This type of foundation can be moved and shifted for a variety of therapeutic purposes. Certain power base models can be operated by Bluetooth technology to raise your back, neck, or legs to reduce pressure points that cause discomfort while sleeping. Furthermore, some models might even include massaging features. If you enjoy lounging in bed in the evening, adjustable foundations can also be tilted to make it more comfortable to watch TV or read a book before returning to a flat surface to fall asleep. Instead of having to play with hard to reach buttons to change the settings on these types of foundations, some models even include smart technology which allows you to program and control the movement of your bed and mattress from your phone.

Best Foundations for Different Types of Mattresses

While the best type of foundation for your mattress will largely depend on your own specific sleeping habits and preferences, certain types of foundations are naturally suited and compatible with the different types of mattresses on the market.

Memory Foam Mattress

One of the main benefits of Memory Foam mattresses is that they are designed to prevent pressure points that can lead to pain. Because the foam will surrender and adjust to the individual shape of your body, these types of mattresses generally do not need any extra support or “give” from the foundation. For this reason, bunky boards or low profile wood foundations are often the best choice. You can use a box spring as long as the spring has less than one inch of elasticity and adjustable foundations can also be a good choice for higher-end models.

Ergoflex 5G Memory Foam Mattress
Patented Cool-Sleep™ airflow system allows for air-flow and temperature regulation

Ergoflex 5G Memory Foam Mattress Highlights

Brand: Ergoflex
Mattress Firmness: Medium Firm/6, Firm/7
Mattress Construction Type: Latex and Memory Foam
Mattress Thickness: 9"
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Single, Long Single, Double, Queen, King, King Single
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: 30 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Side, Stomach sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.7/5.0


Latex Mattresses

Because latex mattresses do not have any interior support, it is best to use a solid wood foundation that incorporates a rigid support system. You should look for bunky boards or low profile foundations that do not have slates, but rather offer a flat, even surface with no sagging whatsoever.

PlushBeds Luxury Bliss Collection Latex Mattress
Motion-isolating coils and organic latex keep your spine in a natural position for deep sleep

PlushBeds Luxury Bliss Collection Latex Mattress Highlights

Brand: PlushBeds
Mattress Firmness: Medium/5.5
Mattress Construction Type: Latex
Mattress Thickness: 12"
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Split Queen, King, Split
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: 100 nights
Warranty: 25 years
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Side, Back, Stomach sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.8/5.0


Innerspring Mattresses

Lastly, innerspring mattresses are naturally designed to work with a box spring foundation. The sets of springs will complement one another, reduce movement, and work together to maximize comfort for people who enjoy softer sleeping surfaces.

Sealy Response Performance™ Innerspring Mattress
Comfort Loft Cover with MoistureProtect for comfortably moisture-free sleep

Sealy Response Performance™ Innerspring Mattress Highlights

Brand: Sealy
Mattress Firmness: Plush/3.5, Cushion Firm/5, Firm/6.5
Mattress Construction Type: Foam and Coils
Mattress Thickness: 11 1/2″ to 14″
Compatible for Bed Frame Size: Twin, Twin XL, Queen, King, Split King, Split Queen, California King
Mattress Sleep Trial Time: 120 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Delivery: Free shipping and returns
Perfect For: Side, Back sleeper
Customer Rating: 4.6/5.0