A box spring provides support and acts as a shock absorber for a mattress; a wood platform is simply that, a fixed platform that does not give or flex. A mattress by itself has no support without a box spring or foundation. So how do you know when to replace and when to keep?
The life span of a box spring foundation is roughly 8-10 years. When getting a new mattress, people are often tempted to hang on to their old box springs. Box springs won’t show their wear the same way as mattresses do, but over time, the support materials do break down and wear out. Using a worn-out box spring set with a brand new mattress will cause your brand new mattress to “age” prematurely. Also, not replacing a box spring or foundation with a new mattress purchase may affect the warranty as it is difficult to predict the mattress’ performance with a worn box spring.
When choosing between box springs and simply a wooden foundation, you need to determine what you want from your mattress. For example, if you buy a memory foam mattress primarily for less bouncing or give, and prefer a very firm mattress, then a “box spring” set without the springs or a wooden foundation is the right choice for you. (Your box springs should actually give and spring back when you press down on them. “Faux” box springs are often sold in conjunction with memory foam mattresses but still called “box spring foundations” simply as a matter of habit. Make sure you buy what you think you are buying.)
What are the health benefits to replacing your box springs or foundation? A worn down box spring set won’t spring back as it is intended to do causing uneven support of your mattress. This “camouflaged” (because it’s on the underside) sagging can cause sore spots, tight muscles, back and neck pain—all of which can lead to a restless sleep which can in turn affect your concentration, mood and overall health. Save yourself the headache: replace your box springs or mattress foundation after the recommended life-span has expired and get a better night’s sleep.