What Kind of Foundation Does Your Mattress Need?
There are some people who disregard the significance of a foundation. It is similar to owning a house without a foundation, you really can’t have one without the other. This also goes with people who think that a mattress can be laid on the ground. Dong this will decrease its useful life, and not provide the support it is designed to provide. It is better to have a foundation that will prolong the longevity of the mattress as well as provide continued support.
There are various types of foundations available out there, and choosing the best one can be a challenge. It is possible to purchase a foundation that might produce discomfort and is unstable. Thus, you have to know the kind of foundation that you really need.
In this guide, we outline the best foundation you should purchase to go along with your mattress, depending on the type you have, as well as discuss the various types of foundations on the market today.
1. Best Foundations for Innerspring Mattresses
What is an Innerspring Mattress?
An innerspring mattress utilizes a steel coil support system. Different kinds of spring systems are available on the market today. Some of these have springs that are connected into a single unit, whereas others have units with pocketed coils that are covered separately.
They differ in the number of coils, coil gauge, design, and shapes. Fibers, foams, and additional layers of smaller steel springs are several of the different materials that are used to cover the innersprings. Mattresses work at their optimum level for the benefit of the sleeper if they have a greater number of support points, a greater number of coils, all things considered.
Box Springs for Innerspring Mattresses
A box spring is characterized by a wooden frame that is meant to absorb weight, combined with wire coils. There are some models that add steel to reinforce the strength of the box spring.
This type of foundation has a support system with an attachment of a large number of heavy gauge wire coils on a grid. A skid-resistant fabric serves as covering on the top of the box spring as well as a fabric that covers the bottom to serve as a dust barrier. The box spring helps elevate the mattress to a suitable height. This allows the sleeper to escape from dust and from extreme cold.
There are few choices when it comes to a box spring. These include high-quality modular grids with square coils for better durability and coil spring beds with cone-shaped wire coils for support and flexibility of rigid mattresses.
Semi-flex box springs are made of a wooden frame. It has a rigid metal grid above slats to provide support and minimal flexing.
Coil spring and modular grid box springs work best with double-sided innerspring mattresses. The coils of the box spring are in resonance with the coils of the mattress. The sleeper finds comfort as a mattress can feel softer when these coils move and flex as the coils absorb the body weight of the sleeper. However, it is not recommended to use box springs with single sided, no-flip coil mattresses as these decrease their lifespan.
There are manufacturers that allow the placement of a latex model directly on a box spring. However, this weight can bend the springs and sag the mattress, and is not recommended.
2. Best Foundation for Memory Foam Mattresses
What is a Memory Foam (Viscoelastic) Mattress?
Memory foam (viscoelastic) models are made of multiple layers of high-density polyurethane foam. This type of foam conforms to the shape of the sleeper as it reacts to heat and contours the curves of the body.
Platform/Slatted Foundations for Memory Foam Mattresses
There are many advantages when it comes to purchasing platform/slatted foundations:
- This slatted foundation is made of wooden slats or metals that are close together that offer the support necessary without buying a box spring.
- It provides an illusion by making a small bedroom seem much larger and most models have built-in storage spaces.
- It is best to use slatted foundations for mattresses because these offer support and airflow. It is crucial to use slats that are not more than 3 inches apart in order to obtain adequate support. Sagging will less likely to take place if the slats are closer together, and it is recommended to have more slats than less.
- The spaces in between the slats give breathability as the mattresses require breathing due to the solid foam’s core layer. This also helps the mattress not be subjected to build up of mildew or mold. There are two kinds of platform foundations. These are the curved European flexible slatted foundations and the solid wood slats. These two differ in that the former offers specific support for each individual sleeper. The slats are flexible and adjust to the sleeper’s size and weight. The latter, on the other hand, gives the sleeper a more solid feel as this helps decrease bounce and motion.
Frame with Box Springs/Foundations for Memory Foam Mattresses
Keep in mind that models made of memory foam perform best on flat and rigid surfaces which ensure even support as well as prevent sagging.
- A middle support bar should be utilized within a frame for box springs/foundations This center support provides additional stability that prevents sagging of mattresses in the middle. One of the main reasons why mattresses sag, sink, or bow in the center in that there is a poor quality foundation and frame.
- It is not suited to use old traditional box springs. Rather, it is best to buy box springs/foundations that are specific for a foam mattress.
- Coiled springs characterize traditional box springs as they are designed to compress under pressure. Thus, it would not be suitable for a memory foam model as they have a solid construction.
The perfect fit for these mattresses are these newly designed wooden foundations. These foundations are made of wood or steel grids that allow equal distribution of weight and have very little give. This permits the mattress to provide the comfort and solid support to the sleeper that will not void the warranty.
Choosing a Good Foundation for Your Memory Foam Mattress
- Material – The material of the foundation is crucial in choosing a suitable one. It would be best if the material is made of wood as this has a longer lifespan.
- Size – It is significant to consider the size of the foundation. It is not enough to assume that it is okay to have a smaller size of the foundation nor would it suffice to have a larger foundation. There must be a perfect balance when choosing the size of the mattress as this can affect its stability and the comfort it provides.
- Stability – The foundation must be able to withstand pressure and weight. If this is not the case, it would be best choose one that offers stability. The foundation should have a long lifespan and remain stable when used.
- Durability – Durability is also significant when choosing a foundation. You can read reviews in credible blogs and check if it can last from 3-4 years. Durability is crucial when it comes to buying the foundation as it is an investment that affects the feel and comfort of the mattress that it lies on.
- Shape – Make sure that the shape of the foundation is similar to the mattress. Buying an erroneous shape can damage one’s mattress and its balance.
- Breathability – In addition to the open cell structure, the base layers of memory models are made of high-density foams meaning moisture (from the air or perspiration or accidental spills, etc) is likely to get trapped inside them, thus having an open, breathable foundation will help prevent this.
3. Best Foundations for Latex Mattresses
What is a Latex Mattress?
Natural latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. Another type of latex is one chemically made from SBR (styrene butadiene). Latex mattresses are known for longevity (natural latex mattresses can last over 40 years), elasticity, and response.
Latex is naturally anti-microbial, hypo-allergenic, and resistant to dust mites, so unless you’re allergic to natural latex, mattresses that are made of latex are the healthiest choice for you.
Slatted Wood Bases and Metal Wire Grid Bases for Latex Mattresses
Just like with memory mattresses, latex models required a strong and solid base to hold both the weight of the mattress itself as well as the people sleeping on it. It’s a common knowledge that latex mattresses tend to be a lot heavier than most types mattresses due to the nature of their structure, especially natural latex. The surface has to be strong enough and the gaps are not too big to make sure the mattress doesn’t sink through it.
Slatted Wood Base – Ventilation is crucial to latex mattresses as well to reduce the risk of moisture which can possibly lead to mold, mildew, and even dust mites. The slats need to be no more than 3 inches, preferably 2 inches away from each other for stronger and more even support.
- Not flexible (or very little if it is).
- Narrow gaps between the grids.
- Comes with a strong fabric screwed on top of the grid system to ensure a flat surface for even support.
4. Best Foundations for Airbeds
What is an Airbed?
Airbeds utilize an adjustable air chamber as the support system. Residential air beds have air chambers that are covered by upholstery and padding materials. These materials include fiber and foams. Airbeds can be adjusted with their firmness. This allows each side of the bed to be used separately to suit the needs of an individual and couples. Airbeds have similar physical appearances as a conventional bed.
One advantage of an airbed is that it can be convenient as another option as a sleeping location. However, this cannot be utilized with a regular bed frame due to the incompatibility of standard, wooden frames that come between 3 and 5 slats for support. However, there are other options that can be done if a sleeper wants it to be elevated off the floor. Here are the following solutions:
Utilize a piece of plywood
Plywood should be of the same dimensions as the mattress and the bed frame. The plywood must be 0.75 inches thick. A tarp or a non-penetrative sheet can be used to cover the plywood. This prevents the material from splinters that can come from the plywood. If finished, the plywood can be put on the bed frame and the mattress on the plywood surface.
Use a Box Spring
A box spring can be an alternative to the plywood strategy. A box spring can be placed on the bed frame. A tarp can be used to cover the box spring to do away with sharp springs. After installation of the protective material, then the air bed can be placed on the box spring. The sleepers will now find it comfortable to have an elevated bed to sleep on.
Obtain a Special Frame
People who do not want to use DIY projects can opt for airbed frames, such as the Pragma platform. This platform allows the mattress to be placed safely on the frame. Moreover, it gives comfort to the sleeper.
5. Best Foundations for Waterbeds
What is a Waterbed?
A waterbed utilizes water chambers as the support system. Soft-sided beds and hard-sided beds are two kinds of waterbeds.
- A hard-sided waterbed contains a water chamber that is placed inside a rectangular wood frame.
- A soft-sided waterbed contains a water chamber that is placed inside a rectangular frame that consists of a rigid foam that is enclosed with a fabric casing.
Padding or upholstery materials cover the water chamber. These two kinds of waterbeds can be placed on top of a platform. Waterbeds are created to appear similar to a conventional bed. The water chamber could either be “waveless” or “free flow.” It is waveless when the baffles or fiber controls the motion of water. It is free flow when there is no obstruction of the water flow.
Things to Check When Buying a Foundation for Your Waterbed
There are various kinds of foundations for waterbeds. These waterbeds are the regular mattress called a soft side waterbed and the second is the original wood frame hardside waterbed. These two utilize a waterbed foundation.
Different individuals have different names for the bottom section of these flotation beds. It is also possible that these have different meanings. However, these things are all just the same. They differ on their appearances yet they all served as the base or bottom support to any waterbed.
Foundations for Hardside Waterbeds – Most buyers often confused with the foundations for hardside waterbeds. Their appearances are misleading as these do not look like a box spring or a foundation. The technical term for this is a Pedestal or a Riser. These are made of any material that includes painted particle board with pine to oak.
Foundations for Softside Waterbeds – Softside waterbeds are the modern day current style of waterbeds. These really look like a mattress and box springs. Most get misled as they do not know that is a waterbed until they lay it down. The supporting bases for these foundations are similar to a box spring of a regular model or a box spring. Its advantage compared to a regular mattress set is that it can hold more weight. The whole foundation and waterbed can be put on a heavy duty metal waterbed frame or center support system that takes off the burden from a footboard or a regular headboard.