9 Box Spring Alternatives to Save Time, Money & Look Great

Updated: | Categories: Bedroom
box spring alternatives

Box spring alternatives are often readily available when we need them. When we move for the first time and don't have furniture or the budget, our mattress isn't meant to use one, or we need to quickly create a sleeping surface for guests, there are easy options.

There is no way to overestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. It is the key to a happy, healthy and balanced life of productivity and play, which is the big picture.

But waking up well rested also sets the tone for the day ahead. You are attentive, productive and a lot more useful to yourself and others. And the trick to that satisfying life is often your bed and its mattress.

A box spring is kind of a shock absorber for the mattress and is preferred by those who like a high bed and spring mattresses. They're also make your bed more comfortable when you lie down, providing more air flow and flexibility.

But the world is now slowly looking for many reasons to continue using these. It costs extra, eventually loses its firmness, and can harbor moisture, mold, and dander. A DIY box spring alternative or none at all is better for most modern mattresses.

9 Box Spring Alternatives

So if you are here looking for an alternative to box springs, you have come to the right place. Let’s dive right in.

Under-Mattress Slats

under-mattress wood slats are a perfect alternative to box springs

These are horizontal wooden strips for a bed frame that support your mattress. With slats you can keep your bed at the height of your preference without compromising on looks. And it is easy to get them customized too.

Usually these wooden slats are either screwed into the frame so they don't move around under you or are tied together with a fabric to keep each other in place. This is important so you don't have any portion of the mattress sagging under your weight.

Platforms made of wood are inexpensive and eco-friendly since they are made from reclaimed wood. Wooden platforms also give you space for storage underneath, though that's considered bad bedroom feng shui.

And if you don’t store things under the bed, it makes way for better ventilation. Slats are also a lot lighter than box springs which means it is not a herculean task to move them.

Mattress on the Floor

mattress on the floor

Sometimes the way to solve a problem is to go simple and minimal. A mattress on the floor is actually a pretty great alternative to box springs. It's great for those on a budget and is pretty comfortable too.

If you have children you don’t have to worry about them falling off the bed. They will happily roll on to the floor and laugh about it. Interestingly, they are also a popular choice in bohemian-themed homes. And they look great when done right.

However, here’s a couple of things for you to note. Most types of bed sheets and blankets will be on the floor which makes them prone to dust. A lot of customers don’t like that. If you have pets, it is difficult to keep them off it.

You won’t have the option of storage space under the bed and if the bed is not made, the whole room somehow looks lazy. If your decor is modern or contemporary, this doesn't fit into it, either.

It looks out of place and odd unless your interior decorating is designed to supplement it. Sleeping on a thin mattress on the floor is not always helpful for the back. Even if it works for a bit, it is not a permanent or even a long-term solution without the right kind of mattress, like a foam or silicon mattress.

DIY Box Spring Alternative

diy box spring alternative

If you are not satisfied with the options above, there is a way to do it yourself. You'll need to get wooden blocks, an electric drill, a circular saw, a counter stick drill bit, a staple gun, and some other materials required to build a wooden box.

This is quite easy even with hand tools if that's all you have access to, but make sure the quality of the build is sturdy since you'll be trusting it to support your weight while you sleep.

Here’s what you do. Start by cutting the wooden pieces to match the measurements of your bed. Attach the wooden pieces to the slats using screws. Leave a little space on both ends.

After that, build the outer box and add upholstery to it and place the mattress on it. I know those aren't the clearest details, but you can find tutorials online if you look. You'll end up with the ultimate in box spring alternatives if you do it right.

Milk Crate Bed Base

milk crate bed platform are great box spring alternatives

This is a funky little base that is made out of plastic milk crates. That’s right. Consider this. A series of 16-quart milk crates make a sturdy base because each of them can hold 35 pounds of weight and already have air flow gaps built in.

Place them upside down or sideways (with the open side facing outwards to add to the storage space, though you'll need more crates to cover the surface area and to add enough strength).

Connect them with zip ties and use as many crates as you need till you are confident that the base structure is solid till you get to the size of a mattress.

Optionally, you can cut plywood and fit it to the top. Then place the mattress above it. When doing DIY projects with plywood, you must wear safety goggles when making the cuts. Using bolts and large washers, attach the plywood to the crates. And you are good to go.

Platform Bed

platform bed

Moving on from mattresses to beds. Platform beds are great box spring alternatives when moving away from extra expenses and bulk, especially if you are looking for a little height over placing your mattress on the floor. Platform beds also tend to look better than box spring beds. So there’s that.

Nowadays, you can get platform beds in a lot of variations like minimalistic designs, modern ones like floating beds, and classic ones with four posts along with drapes. So you have many options for upholstery and headboards.

The point is, you don't have to have box springs even with the old spring mattresses. Sometimes, for older mattresses, placing them on a solid surface can help extend their usefulness, saving you some money.

Adjustable Bed

adjustable bed

These are built for maximum comfort in all situations. Whether you are reading or working or watching TV, there is a way to find the perfect posture and continue doing what you’re doing without compromising on the health of your back and neck.

You have probably seen these in hospitals for patients who have gone through surgeries, given birth under extra stress, are in a coma, or are bedridden due to pain. But that is a grim picture.

Adjustable beds are great for health because of options like elevating your legs and head. This is very useful for those who have problems regarding their blood circulation. They're one of the neatest bed alternatives out there, and are now being accepted as a genuine type of bed now.

These beds are also great if you like to lounge around for extended periods of time. Think of those moments when you stacked up pillows and tried to take a nap with a cough. It's like having a Lazy Boy recliner.

If you have one of these and are asking "what can you use instead of a box spring," you don't even need to ask that question. They're not meant to use one and I've never seen one that can flex and bend along with the adjustable bed.

Memory Foam Mattress

memory foam mattress

As the name suggests, these are made of foam that molds to the body at varying levels of firmness. The idea is to give support to all parts of the body as needed, based on the preferences of the user. If you have one of these, you don't need a box spring at all.

They're very comfortable and are great for those who are dealing with chronic pain, especially in the back, neck, and shoulders. They're also allergen repellant which is a bonus.

Manufacturers often discourage the use of memory foam mattresses with a box spring, which is not difficult. For one, you don’t need it and also because memory foam mattresses come with the ability to absorb shock.

They should be placed on a firm surface. However, these mattresses can be a bit expensive compared to the other models. You can choose a cheap base. The floor itself or wooden slats in your bed frame will do. Slats can provide more breathability.

Hybrid Mattress

hybrid mattress

These are multi-layered mattresses where the base has springs like pocket coils and the top layer is made of memory foam so that you get maximum support. The idea is to bring the best of two worlds to customers.

These are an intelligent mix of those two models. And adding a box spring is just a redundant exercise that's unneeded. Adding one can actually lower the life expectancy of your mattress over time.

Innerspring Mattress

innerspring mattresses are bed spring alternatives in the sense that they have them built in

Also known as coil spring mattresses, these have springs inside the mattresses that can do away with the need for a box spring. They're quite popular and come with many different types of coils that are processed to support and distribute weight evenly. You'll have several options in firmness and durability.

A pocket coil system is recommended because they offer the best possible support. They are also a very durable option. If you’ve ever slept on an old coil mattress and felt the springs poke you in the back or fell into a rut sunk into the mattress, remember that it doesn't happen with pocket coil systems. So rest easy.

Box springs are not required with coil mattresses because your bed already has springs. You might think double springs will be great for children to bounce around but that destroys the mattress and tampers with its ability to give you a good night’s sleep.

Pick From the Box Spring Alternatives Above & Rest Well

Box springs were quite the rage (still are in many places) but it’s time to look beyond the traditional options, especially since mattresses have evolved drastically. In the 21st century, we have a great new set of challenges to meet in terms of health and happiness. And what better way to do that than to start with your bed?

These box spring alternatives can be permanent if you're on a budget or in a temporary living space, or can tide you over until you save up the money to purchase what you need or want.

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Rick Worst Headshot Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast, who's life is consumed by all things home and garden. Starting as a hobby, Worst Room has grown into an information and inspiration wheelhouse for professionals and home owners alike. Rick serves as owner and editor for our many content contributors. Learn more about operation here.