Mattress Tips

Everything you need to know about keeping your mattress in top shape throughout its life.

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Mattress Tips

What’s the Difference Between a Box Spring and Foundation?

Your mattress should be comfortable, with the right amount of support to help you get your best rest. But did you know that your mattress needs good support, too? Whether you sleep on a foam or hybrid mattress, you need the right bed base.

You've got a few choices when it comes to bed bases. Can you just put your mattress on the floor? Do you use a box spring or a foundation? Aren't those the same thing? The different base options are actually very different. But, don’t worry, we're here to help you decide which base is right for your mattress.

Bed Bases 101: Box Spring vs. Foundation

On a very high level, a bed foundation or bed base is whatever your mattress sits on. Whether that’s a bunky board, box spring, foundation or adjustable base, your bed base should give your mattress the right amount of support (so your mattress can support you).

The type of mattress you have will partially dictate what kind of foundation you need. For example, you shouldn’t put an all-foam mattress on a box spring. Below, we’ll talk about the different types of bed bases so that you can make the right choice for your bed.

Box Springs

A box spring is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a wooden-framed box with supporting coils or “springs” inside. Box springs are good bases for innerspring mattresses because they help distribute the weight of the mattress evenly. Most box springs sit on a metal bed frame.

At Leesa, we have a foam mattress and a hybrid mattress option, we do not recommend putting them on a box spring. Box springs are designed to support innerspring mattresses and therefore, can change the way your foam mattress feels. The Leesa mattress is designed to offer maximum comfort when placed on a hard, stable surface (like a foundation or platform bed). Because traditional box springs contain coils, it doesn’t give the support needed for you to get the full benefit of a foam or hybrid mattress. Using a foundation with solid reinforcement across the entire foam mattress surface is a better choice for the mattress longevity.


A foundation is basically anything that supports, raises and houses your mattress and usually consists of a wooden frame and slats. Foundations are firmer bed bases than box springs because they’re spring-less, which makes them the perfect base for your foam or hybrid mattress.

When choosing a foundation, you want to make sure the slats are close enough together to give your mattress the right amount of support. If they’re set too far apart (more than three inches), your foam or hybrid mattress may sag through the spaces, changing the feel of your bed and ultimately, shortening the life of your mattress.

Good Bases for your Foam or Hybrid Mattress

Like we mentioned before, a box spring won't give your foam or hybrid mattress enough support and over time, your bed will start to sag through the gaps in your box spring. Don't stress—we've broken down the different types of bases and foundations that will work with your Leesa or Sapira mattress so you can rest on.

Foundation + Metal Bed Frame

One of the most common foundation setups you’ll find is a foundation and metal bed frame duo. Since basic wood foundations don’t have legs, putting it on a metal bed frame lifts your bed off the ground and gives you room under your bed for extra storage. This is a low-profile, basic bed base option and you can usually get both of these pieces without breaking the bank.

Platform Bed

A platform bed is basically what it sounds like: a solid, sometimes slatted surface for your mattress. A platform bed takes the place of both your bed frame and foundation (so, it’s one piece of furniture). There are tons of platform bed options, from more ornate, decorative platform beds with headboards to more low-profile, sleek ones.

Adjustable Base

Another great base option is an adjustable base. An adjustable base will give your Leesa or Sapira mattress the support it needs to support you while you rest. Plus, you can customize your comfort with an adjustable base for lounging, relaxing and sleeping.

Whether you prefer the minimalist look of a foundation and metal frame or want something more decorative like a platform or adjustable bed, all of these bed base options are great for your foam or hybrid mattress.

Can I put my Foam or Hybrid Mattress on the Floor?

The short answer to this question is yes! It's your mattress, so we can't control what you decide to do with it. However, we don't recommend leaving your bed on the floor as a permanent solution. Your mattress needs to breath and on the floor, it won't get airflow. If you don't have another choice or have to keep your mattress on the floor until you can buy a base, lean it up against the wall at least once a week so it can breathe a little.

Plus, with foam mattresses especially, keeping them on the floor can cause mold and bacteria to grow on your mattress, especially if you live in a more humid climate. (Yuck!) It's best if you let your mattress breath through a slatted foundation or platform.

What about a Bunkie Board?

If you’ve been Googling bed bases, you’ve probably come across a bunkie (or bunky) board. Typically found in bunk beds, thus the name “bunkie,” these boards are designed to work with traditional metal bed frames and provide support to mattresses that are being used without a foundation. A bunkie board is thick piece of plywood used to increase the firmness of box springs. Because of its solid, smooth surface, a bunkie board could be used to support your foam mattress, but may not be as good of an option as something more solid like a foundation, platform bed or adjustable base.

Ready to find the perfect base for your Leesa or Sapira mattress? Rest on with Leesa.