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A box spring is basically a bed base. While not all beds call for one, the foundation is essential in many cases—and some people just prefer having one. Usually made of wood or sturdy metal with a cloth cover, box springs make up the bottom portion of a bed, bridging the gap between your mattress and the floor. They traditionally featured internal springs, but many modern designs use metal rods instead.
If you have a good mattress and a headboard you love, a box spring might be all you're missing. Besides elevating your bed and providing support, some mattress warranties require a foundation because it absorbs impact.
A box spring is mostly hidden underneath your mattress and bedding, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it any thought. There are various types, tiers, and features, all of which you should consider when shopping around. To make things a little easier, we rounded up the best box springs available today.
Check out our picks below.
Best Overall: Zinus 9 Inch Smart Metal Box Spring
For an all-around great box spring with solid construction and durable engineering, we recommend the Zinus Smart Metal Box Spring. Since it's made of heavy-duty steel, all sizes above a twin bed can support up to 700 pounds of weight, with a five-year warranty to back it up.
This high-profile platform is 9 inches tall, so it's perfect for those who like their bed to be a little more elevated. The Smart is super easy to put together and comes with all the necessary tools. It has a soft knitted cover and can go over any bed frame or platform bed.
Best Budget: Wayfair Sleep Metal Box Spring
If you're looking for something a bit more affordable, the Wayfair Sleep Metal Box Spring is a solid choice. Made of steel with rods instead of springs, it's exceptionally sturdy and easy to assemble—all you'll need is an Allen wrench.
This box spring has a breathable netted fabric cover that'll match virtually any bedding set or bedroom decor scheme. It's available in either a 5-inch or 9-inch profile height and is compatible with most bed frames.
Best for Memory Foam: Mainstays 5" White Jacquard Smart Box Spring
Constructed out of ultra-sturdy steel, the Mainstays Smart Box Spring can support a memory foam mattress and any combination mattress with gel, latex, or intersprings. It comes with a white jacquard cover, which is removable and machine-washable.
This versatile 5-inch box spring can be set up in seconds—no tools needed. Plus, if you need to move it or store it, it folds back up into a conveniently compact configuration.
Best Low-Profile: Beautyrest Flat Foundation
With solid steel struts, a non-skid top, and reinforced corner guards, the extra-sturdy Beautyrest Foundation is designed to minimize any motion or shifting. The low-profile option is 5.5 inches tall with a clean, minimalist look.
This box spring has a neutral gray cover and can be used with any mattress or bed frame. However, if you use it with a Beautyrest bed and mattress, it's backed by a 10-year warranty.
Best Metal: Alwyn Home Bessler Standard Profile 14" Metal Box Spring
The Alwyn Home Bessler is made of sturdy metal and comes with a textured fabric cover. While this bed foundation has a 14-inch profile height, it comes in compact packaging. You should have no problem fitting it through a doorway, hallway, or around any tight corners. It's also easy to assemble and comes with all the necessary tools.
Best Wood: Spinal Solution Wood Mattress Foundation
Unlike most others in its category, the Spinal Solution Mattress Foundation is constructed out of wood. The support slats are designed to evenly distribute the weight of the mattress, which can help minimize tossing and turning. Though it weighs only 40 pounds, it supports up to 800 pounds of weight.
This box spring can be set up within seconds and is easy to store and transport. It comes in two profile heights, 4.5 inches and 7.75 inches.
Best Box Foundation: Tuft & Needle Box Foundation
Tuft & Needle's take on the box spring is this 7-inch Box Foundation. Whether you want your bed to sit a little taller or need something to go over a standard bed frame, you can't go wrong with this handy base.
With sturdy wood construction and a woven stone-gray cover, the Box Foundation is durable with a mid-century feel. It comes in a compact box and can be set up in minutes. Also, the non-skid fabric cover ensures your mattress stays in place, so you won't have to worry about readjusting it each night.
Best Cover: West Elm Linen Cotton Box-Spring Cover
Most box springs come with covers, but like bedding, they don't last forever. If yours needs replacing or you just want something that complements the vibe of your sleeping quarters a little better, we suggest this chic cover from West Elm.
The top is 100 percent cotton, and the sides are a linen-cotton blend. With a 200-thread-count weave, the rich, crisp fabric has a high-end appeal. It's 16 inches deep and can fit effortlessly around most box springs.
Thanks to its structured corners, you'll have a clean, tailored finish every time. This box spring cover is available in three neutral colors, white, tan, and beige, to complement almost any bedroom decor style.
The best box spring currently on the market is the Zinus 9 Inch Smart Metal Box Spring (view at Amazon). We appreciate its reasonable price tag, heavy-duty metal construction, and high-profile design. That said, the 5.5-inch Beautyrest Flat Foundation (view at Pottery Barn) is an excellent choice if you prefer a low-profile look.
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This shopping guide was written by Theresa Holland, a freelance writer and homeowner with extensive personal and professional experience researching furniture and home goods. Check out more of her work on Byrdie and MyDomaine.