On what to base your mattress

When outfitting our bedrooms, we often think that the mattress is critical to a comfortable sleep. Although it plays a considerable part, what it sits on is just as important. Without the proper support, the best mattress will not perform. 

A good foundation will keep your mattress from sinking, sliding, and sagging. This decision will save you money in the long run because you will not have to replace your mattress as often.

There are a few options available for bed foundations. These include a box spring, a wooden slat platform, or a solid base.

Most of us are familiar with the box spring as a foundation for our beds. A box spring is made with steel coils in a wood frame covered with fabric and is about eight inches high. The coils absorb shock and body weight and are best with lightweight innerspring mattresses. If you plan to get a memory foam mattress, you may want to avoid a box spring since this type of mattress is heavier than a coil mattress and can damage the box spring. Box springs last on average ten years. If you prefer a higher bed, especially if you want it to be easier to get in and out of, then a box spring is good. Since the overall bed is higher, a box spring works better if you prefer a traditional décor style. There are newer slim-line versions of box springs available that are not as high, so if your décor style is modern, ask the retailer for this type. Box springs are available in metal or wood. Wood is lighter in weight, making it the better choice if you plan to move the bed around. Also, wood will not rust and squeak due to our salty ocean air.

Platform beds are great in modern décor style condos and casas—the platform doubles as support for the mattress and a decorative bed frame. Most platform beds are only between five to twelve inches high, so they are best if you do not mind getting up from a lower bed. A platform bed can either have slats or a solid surface, and the mattress is placed directly on top. If you prefer a firm sleep surface, then the solid base is better than using slats since the slats will give some slack depending on how far apart they are spaced. A platform bed will last longer than most box springs depending on the base's material. Composite wood beds do not usually last as long as solid wood or metal, although they cost significantly less. If not correctly treated, solid wood is prone to termite and wood-eating bugs and can crack, warp, or bow if not adequately dried. Metal platform beds are prone to rust.

Adjustable bases have motion functionality. Press a button to raise the base under your head or feet or both. This adjustment eliminates pressure points on your back and neck. Some adjustable beds now have Bluetooth technology. Instead of a separate control plugged into the base and wall outlet, you can use your smartphone. Another advantage of an adjustable base is that it stimulates better blood flow, decreasing your chance of a medical condition. They help reduce snoring and sleep apnea, acid reflux and heartburn, digestion problems, headaches, arthritis, sciatica, and edema. You can also get an adjustable base with additional lumbar support, massage features and pre-set positions. You can pair an adjustable base with almost any mattress except those with a steel border wire exterior.

Bunky boards are a very low bed foundation. They are made from a solid piece of wood the same size as a mattress, then wrapped in fabric to reduce sliding. These are usually the lowest cost foundations and are best for memory foam mattresses. Bunky boards are ideal if you prefer a modern décor style and do not need to worry about getting in and out of a low bed.

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