When the world was watching Prince William wed Catherine Middleton, the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I was thinking about marriage. Maybe I’m one of a dwindling group of people captivated by the Royal Family and all the pomp and circumstance associated with such a grand ceremony, but for those of you who watched as they exchanged vows and shared kisses on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, it must summon some emotion in your hearts as well. They looked into each other’s eyes with such love and support. This brings me to today’s blog topic: support.

Just as the Royal Family has accepted Kate and has built a foundation around her as she now represents them, Kate has shown Will an incredible amount of support in his official duties. Those of us who are in supportive relationships know the power of having another person at your side, cheering you along and refusing to let you fall. Mattress sets are also good marriages.

I know, it seems like a stretch… what on earth do mattresses have to do with marriages- other than the obvious? But it is true! A mattress by itself has no support without a box spring. Platform beds are popular, people replace mattresses and keep their old, aged box springs, and many companies have turned away from box springs entirely to only offer foundations. I believe today is the perfect day to honor the box spring!

What is a box spring?
Box springs are the covered bottom piece to a mattress set. They come in several different variations, but mostly they have strong steel coils designed to provide lots of support for a mattress. The best box springs have give, meaning that when you apply pressure to the box spring, the coils compress. This function allows the mattress coils to release their pressure into the box coils that are much stronger, as they are not required for comfort. The act of reducing compression in the mattress innerspring coils simply allows those coils to do less work. Therefore they last longer. Your mattress will absolutely last longer and wear better with a box spring than without it. It’s physics!

What about those platform beds?
Well, they are certainly popular these days. This sleeker look is more modern, but what effect does it have on your mattress? I often tell clients in search of a platform bed, that many styles have a box spring-accomodating option, and that is something to consider, especially with the impact box springs have on mattresses. Mattresses will be firmer on platforms that don’t provide the same give as a box spring. They will also wear more quickly causing you to replace your mattress sooner. They will wear less evenly- meaning that not being able to distribute body weight through a box spring will cause body impressions to appear more quickly in the place you sleep. Not only does it wear faster, but it wears fastest where you use it most. If you are accepting of the fact that replacing your mattress occurs more frequently with mattress only purchases, and that most companies, including Holder Mattress, do not offer warranties with mattress only purchases, just try to pick a mattress that is softer than you think you might like and we’ll see you for a replacement when you need it.

What’s wrong with my old box spring?
I often hear customers saying, I need to replace my mattress, but my box springs look brand new. Can I just buy the mattress? Of course you can, but we will caution you against it. I liken this scenario to buying a new car and putting your old tires on it. It might work, might get you from A to B, but you won’t get the same mileage and there’s a chance the old tires weren’t made for the new car which can cause a lot of problems for the new car. Box springs don’t show their age the same way that mattresses do. Mattresses begin to sag, get lumpy, or imprint. Box springs won’t do any of that. However, rest assured that if your mattress has aged, so has your box spring. They lose support as materials break down. Therefore a new mattress which is not on a new box spring won’t receive the support it was designed to receive and will age prematurely. This is the exact reason we don’t warrant mattress only purchases. We cannot predict their life span on an improper support system. There are also several different types of box springs. We marry the mattress to the box that will best support it for its expected lifetime. An inappropriate box changes everything from feel to durability. The odds are not good that your old box is the right box for your new mattress.

My box spring is only a year old- it’s surely still in good condition!
That depends on where that “box spring” came from… Most companies, nearly all of the national brands, have stopped offering box springs in favor of the more economical foundation. When you go to a mattress store, a box spring and foundation look exactly the same. Most salesmen won’t introduce the subject either. You can buy a brand new mattress set, using the words “box springs” the entire time, and still have a foundation delivered to your home without ever being the wiser- or even knowing the difference. What is the difference? Foundations look like box springs, but they have no springs. They are just wood grid boxes that provide no more function than raising the mattress off of the bed frame. How can you tell what you have? Push on it. If you have a box spring, it has steel coils inside of it and will give under pressure. If you can push down on it (without a lot of effort, by the way) you have proper support. If you can’t push down on it, you have a foundation. If you have a foundation, it’s no better than a platform bed, and the same rules apply. It will age prematurely and feel firmer. Why do companies choose to sell foundations when they aren’t best for the mattress? Profit. By not adding steel coils to the box, they are saving a lot of money, and the mattress won’t last as long, which means their customers return more quickly to replace their products. Companies make more money, consumers spend more money. Not to mention the added bonus; weaker, cheaper innersprings feel firmer when the box has no give, meaning a foundation actually makes a weak mattress feel firmer. This causes customers to feel they are purchasing a good, firm mattress, when in reality, they aren’t. The mass manufacturer wins every time!

So as you can see, box springs are crucial when it comes to maintaining a quality mattress. The support of a spouse is just like the support of a box spring. The right choice in support determines the quality of life for wives, husbands, and mattresses!