Bedrooms and Baths

Types of Bases for Mattresses

A good night’s sleep is important for good health. To achieve this, make sure your bed is very comfortable. Having the right mattress plays a big part, but do you know that what goes under the mattress is just as important as well? Mattress bases, or also known as mattress foundations, are supports that you put underneath the mattress. It pays to know what kind of mattress base works for your mattress of choice, and what can provide you the best support. All mattress bases are good options – it all boils down to your preferences and desired effect.

Here are the types of mattress bases:

1. Box springs

Types of Bases for Mattresses

A box spring is a wooden frame that is as big as the size around your mattress. Inside the frame, there are metal coils that provides support and flexibility to mattresses, and extend the life of an innerspring mattress by absorbing shock. It also keeps memory foam mattresses from sinking between bed slats. The coils of the box spring also move along the coils of a mattress, so a stiffer mattress can feel softer.  It’s usually covered in fabric to match the mattress.

When buying a box spring mattress, you may have a few options like coil spring beds with cone-shaped wire coils, or high-quality modular grids with square coils. The cone-shaped wire coils offer good support and flexibility, while the latter offer greater durability for the mattress.

Box spring mattresses add height to your bead surface. This is a good choice for those traditional bed designs. This style is the original mattress foundation, so a lot of people use this term to refer to all types of mattress bases. This is good to pair with all types of mattresses, and bed frames with six or fewer slats across the bottom.

2. Platform base

A platform base is a low bed frame, often with a headboard and sometimes with a foot board, and has a solid panel or wooden slats which support the mattress. The wooden slats in a platform base are no more than 3 inches apart. Unlike a traditional bed, the platform base doesn’t need a box spring or foundation to be placed on it before you can put a mattress.

Platform bases are often made of solid wood, compress cardboard or particle board. If you can afford, solid wood platform bases are the best choice. Platform bases also come in different styles. You can choose from modern, Asian, European or traditional. Many of platform bases today also come with storage underneath, like drawers.

3. Divan base

A common bed base of choice, a divan base is basically a wooden box covered with padding or wading, and is upholstered in various fabric, color and finish options. It takes the weight of mattresses and provides an even and consistent surface for sleeping. They sit a mere inch or two above the floors, and comes with drawers for storage.

A divan base is either a sprung edge divan or a platform top divan base.

  • Sprung edge base

This type of base uses a frame within the base, which springs are placed. It can be a set of pocket springs, or a bonnell coil (continuous springs). Pocket springs are more responsive, but are more expensive. Pocket sprung edge base are also of higher quality and provides a better feel overall. These springs are then padded and upholstered to make a luxurious and comfortable base and to give a softer feel, especially when used in latex or foam mattresses. However, some people don’t prefer the extra sink in a sprung edge base, so a platform top may be a better option.

  • Platform top base

This type of base have a non-sprung, solid top panel usually made from hardboard. Instead of a spring unit, a wooden platform layer can be found, and it is also padded and upholstered. It provides a firmer feel, and is less expensive than a sprung edge base.

4. Bedstead base

Bedstead base use a slatted base and some sort of headboard and footboard. This type of base can cover anything from metal, wood, sleigh beds, roll top base, antique brass frames and the like. This base is made of a lot of pieces, which means it’s a bit time-consuming to assemble. But the great thing about this base is that it’s available in a lot of different styles and it’s a cheaper choice.

Metal bedstead bases are known for being fiddly and hard to put together and can be squeaky over time. This can also damage your mattress, so make sure you board it first to prevent sagging. The wider the gaps of the slat, the greater wear and tear it can cause to your mattress. Also, you need to tighten each screw periodically, or install small rubber washers for every joint after assembling the base.

5. Ottoman base  

An ottoman base provides storage underneath, featuring a hinge lifting lid, so you can use the storage space directly under the mattress. It has no springs, and is topped with a platform, like a typical ottoman. This means the whole area underneath the bed can be used as storage. It can be paired up with the type of headboards that are also used with divans. This is a great choice for small bedrooms, where the use of drawers may not be practical. It provides a great storage for some spare bedding, winter clothes and storage boxes.

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