Healthy Sleep

Bed Foundations: Should I Choose a Bed Frame or a Bed Base?

When some people think about beds to sleep on, they think of a mattress, and that's basically good to go. I mean, sleeping shouldn't be so complicated, right?

But, when you've invested in a high-quality mattress, you'd want to prolong its life; this is where bed foundations enter.

Shopping for mattresses usually goes hand-in-hand with shopping for your bed foundation.

In this article, we look into the different foundations to give you full control over what you want for your new bed.

Why do I need a bed foundation?

Bed foundations or bed bases are placed under the mattress to serve as its primary support. This support lifts your mattress from the ground, which ensures that your mattress avoids damage.

Not having support for your mattress can lead to poor quality sleep and some back pain due to the excessive rigidity of the ground, as compared to a proper bed foundation.

Excellent mattress support also aids in better air circulation. Slats on the bed foundation allow the air to flow freely, which means your mattress will be able to breathe.

Likewise, a mattress foundation lifts your bed from the ground, giving it a natural height for you to lay down on; this makes it easier for you to jump in and out of your bed.

Types of bed foundations

Box spring bed bases

It is what it sounds like, it's a rectangular box that's about the same size as your mattress, and it has springs inside it. 

The springs inside these traditional box springs serve as support to your mattress's weight and the weight of your body, distributing the mass evenly across the bed.

Although today's "box springs" don't include the springs or coils inside anymore, the name is retained, and its function remains unchanged.

When using a box spring bed base, your bed is independent of a headboard - which you may decide not to use or purchase separately.

Bed frames

Frames are structured pieces of bed foundation with a sturdy rim close to the dimensions of your mattress size.

Bed foundations are often made with either wood or metal, and in some cases, hard plastic.

Others would also call bed frames bed platforms, considering that some of the bed frames have a flat rigid surface on top that serves as the central platform for your mattress.

A thing about slats

Bed slats are wooden planks or metal beams laid across the bed frame, serving as the primary support against sagging of your mattresses.

A platform bed or a box spring could benefit from either metal slats or wooden slats.

Slats on your bed base increase rigidity and overall structural strength to your mattress foundation.

Slatted bed bases allow for even weight distribution across the surface of your mattress, which can aid in prolonging its life.

Platform bed frames as a mattress base

Bed frames are an excellent option for a mattress base as it can be both functional and decorative. Bed frames typically have a headboard integrated into its main structure, and is also its main identifier.

Apart from the headboard, having a footboard isn't uncommon in bed frames. These bed frames' characteristics can bring more character and personality to your bedroom as there is more freedom in choosing how your bed can look.

Unlike box spring bed bases, frames usually have a hollow space underneath the structure. This space can be used as storage space inside your bedroom. In fact, there are a lot of crates and organizers designed just for this function.

A downside to using bed frames as a mattress base, on the other hand, is the lack of height. Taller people might find bed frames too low, especially if they're using mattresses on the thinner side.

Bed frames with adjustable bases are beginning to gain popularity, and this adequately addresses the lack of height but considerably adds to its cost.

For larger beds made of hardwood or metal frames, another area of consideration is mobility. 

If you're the type of person who enjoys redecorating your room every now and then, consider the weight of using a bed frame versus a box spring.

Box type bed bases

Box type bed bases are a low-profile option for bedrooms that want to maintain a minimalist aesthetic. 

It's as simple as it gets, it's a rectangular box where you can place your mattress on top. 

Other individuals who choose to keep it clean and straightforward may opt for the bed base alone, but it can also be furnished with an optional headboard if you decide to have one.

Another advantage of box-type bed bases is the small footprint it consumes, which allow smaller bedrooms to still cater to larger mattresses (such as queen and king beds) without the expense of taking so much room.

Taller people can also enjoy an increased height of the bed since box-type bases typically have more height than platform bed counterparts.

Having an increased bed height makes it easier to get in and out of bed, which can also help the elderly. 

They're not the most stylish option, but they're very cost-effective and provides the same functionality as the other bases.

So, which one should I choose?

It all boils down to preference, the space you have in your room, your budget, style preference, and the materials you choose.

There's no absolute winner between the two, as they both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

It remains true that you would always be better off using a bed foundation regardless of mattress types.