Box springs have been used for many years, but they’re not the most practical or comfortable choice for bedding. They’re heavy, bulky, and they take up tons of space. Moving to a new home with a box spring is a pain, so why not try something new?

So, what are the best box spring alternatives? Try these suggestions:

  • Wooden Slats
  • Memory Foam Bases
  • Metal Base Frames
  • The Floor
  • Innerspring Mattresses
  • Hybrid Mattresses
  • Platform Beds
  • Futons

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn whether or not your bed needs a box spring, why many people prefer to toss theirs, and how you can make your own DIY box spring alternative at home. Without further ado, let’s dive in the details below to help you get a new bed setup.

1. Wooden Slats

Wooden slats are a comfortable alternative to box springs that provide top-notch support. They stretch across the base of a frame (either wood, metal, or plastic) to create a heavy-duty barrier that can hold hundreds of pounds. With a mattress laid on top of a wooden slat frame, the weight is evenly distributed to prevent each board from breaking.

Wooden bed slats as a boy spring alternative.

One of the best features of wooden slats is that they’re relatively affordable and super lightweight. If you’re tired of carrying a box spring with you every time you move, you’ll fall in love with the portability of wooden slat frames. They can be removed, carried, and replaced without taking too much effort. A good example would be the Zinus Deepak Wooden Slats.

2. Memory Foam Base

Memory foam is another popular choice to replace box springs. You can place a memory foam mattress on another base or use it as its own base. Some people prefer to get a dense, firm memory foam mattress to act as a platform while stacking a traditional soft memory foam mattress on top. There are plenty of possibilities.

Much like wooden slats, memory foam bases are easy to move. They’re bendable, making it easy to turn corners and fit it wherever you want to. You can also wrap it in a washable sheet to prevent the foam from getting dirty.

3. Metal Base Frame

Metal base frames are a good option if you want something that’s affordable and easy to clean. The only problem with them is that they’re prone to squeaking and rust (unless they have a painted/powdered layer), but you can prevent it by wiping moisture away regularly. With all of that being said, metal frames can support massive beds without showing signs of breaking any time soon.

Metal bed frame as a box spring alternative.

You also might consider metal base frames if you want to save money. Most of them don’t cost nearly as much as box springs, making them an excellent choice for dorm rooms, apartments, and new families. You could try out the AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Bed Frame.

4. The Floor

These days, mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are firm, while others are incredibly soft. If you get your hands on a firm mattress, you can set it right on the floor. The only issue will be getting out of bed if you have back problems beforehand, but many people who sleep on the floor experience relief.

Sleeping on the floor comfortably

There’s no doubt that using the floor as a supportive layer for your mattresses is the cheapest way. After all, it’s free! However, you can throw a blanket underneath to add a slight cushion while also allowing you to wash it whenever you need to.

5. Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses used to be one of the worst options for comfort and back pain. We’ve all been to a cheap motel and laid down on those hard coils that dug right into our backs. However, innerspring mattresses have made a huge leap in comfort thanks to cotton and other materials. You can get the best of both worlds!

The reason that people use box springs is that they want the supportive layer below their mattress. With an innerspring mattress, the springs are built inside of the bed. You won’t need anything below it because it’s already as supportive as it needs to be.

6. Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses are made by combining the support of an innerspring mattress with the comfort of a memory foam bed. If you’re still a bit too worried about using an innerspring mattress, hybrid beds will be worth checking out. They come with shortened coils and several layers of dense and soft memory foam to prevent you from feeling the springs.

Another reason that you might want to consider getting a hybrid mattress is that you don’t need a base for it. You can put it on a box spring, wooden slats, or a metal frame, but none of them are necessary to get the support that your back needs. The Linenspa Hybrid Mattress is a favorite among hundreds of happy sleepers.

7. Platform Beds

Platform beds are made to elevate the bed using a solid platform. For the most part, platform beds are made out of wood, but there are also several plastic and metal options as well. The best part about these kinds of beds is that they look fantastic and modern. You can choose how high it sits and how much storage is available below.

Platform bed as a box spring alternative.

Although platform beds can be quite heavy and challenging to move, they have a wide range of prices. There’s a style for everyone, whether your budget is $200 or $2,000. Since they’re usually made out of solid material, they won’t break down or tear as easily as other kinds of beds.

8. Futons

Futons aren’t known to look luxurious, but they can be the perfect choice in a pinch. If you get the right kind of mattress on top, you’ll sleep better than ever. You’ll also be able to convert it into a couch whenever you want, which is nice for watching TV or entertaining guests. Speaking of which, futons are perfect for guest rooms.

Much like platform beds, futons come in a variety of prices. If you’re on a budget, then you’ll definitely still be able to afford a decent futon. If you don’t like the mattress that came with the frame, you can always toss it and place a different mattress on top.

Do You Need a Box Spring?

Box springs are designed for optimal support. Nobody doubts the effectiveness of a box spring, but they’re not always affordable, comfortable, or practical. Regardless of your reasons for not wanting a box spring, you don’t actually need one.

All of the bed frames and mattresses above will do perfectly fine without a box spring. In fact, some of them are specifically made to not use a box spring in the first place.

The only instance in which you’d need a box spring is if your bed slouches. Some beds bend or sink in the middle, which can be a serious problem. If there aren’t any supportive coils or layers that prevent it from slouching, you’ll need something to hold it up.

Without a box spring on these types of mattresses, you’ll start to feel a dip wherever you lay the most. If you’ve owned a mattress that had a permanent indent in the middle or on one of the sides, then it’s safe to say that it was made to work with a box spring.

Why Don’t Some People Use Box Springs?

While box springs are definitely useful at times, they’re also quite a hindrance for some of us. If you’re trying to get away from the old box spring in favor of a new bed from the list above, then chances are that your opinion falls in one of these five reasons:

  • They’re heavy and hard to move. Once you find a place for a box spring, it pretty much has to stay there for a few years until you muster the courage and willpower to move it elsewhere. This inconvenience also makes it very annoying if you’re moving to a new house or apartment.
  • They’re not always comfortable. The supportive nature of a box spring is nice, but sometimes it can be too much. According to Men’s Health, Many people have found that sleeping on the floor provided more support than a box spring, minus the back pain after waking up in the morning.
  • Box springs are expensive. The cheapest models are slightly above $100, but those ones aren’t good enough to keep you comfortable. If you want a good box spring that’ll be supportive and long-lasting, then you’ll have to fork out at least $350 to $500 or more.
  • Many mattresses don’t need box springs anymore. Whether you’re choosing a hybrid mattress or a dense memory foam bed, you don’t need a box spring like you used to. The luxury of saving money, time, and frustration is enough to steer most of us away from box springs for good.
  • Box springs don’t offer storage. With the ability to throw belongings under wooden slats, metal frames, futons, and platform beds, the idea of using a box spring seems too limiting. There’s no space to store anything underneath, which can be a huge problem if you live in a small space.

DIY Box Spring Alternatives

If you don’t want to try any of the box spring alternatives listed at the beginning of the post, you can always try to make your own. Those of you who are good with tools and light renovations will have no problem making these DIY projects. The milk carton suggestion doesn’t even require tools!

Here are three different methods to make your own bed frame from home:

Wooden Frame

Making a wooden frame can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. You can screw a few 2 x 4’s and a ½-inch wooden board on top and call it a day. However, you should seriously consider checking out a few different blueprints.

As long as you have enough support to hold the weight of your mattress, you’ll be able to make a solid wooden frame. The two best options are to make wooden slats with 2 x 4’s or to place a solid wood board on top as mentioned above.

Cylinder Blocks

Cylinder blocks have all sorts of uses. One of them is to make a bed frame by laying them all down on their sides. They’re incredibly heavy, durable, and they won’t rust or corrode. You can drill a wooden board on top of them to hold them all in place or cement them together.

The thing to remember about cylinder blocks is that they’re very abrasive. If you have them set on hardwood floors, you might want to think about putting a rubber mat underneath to prevent scuff marks.

Milk Crates

Milk crates offer support without costing an arm and a leg. Measure the size of your mattress and buy enough milk crates to fit the dimensions. Turn the crates upside down and zip tie them together. Each of them should be sitting flush with the next. The result should look like a rectangular shape of zip-tied crates.


Box springs aren’t as necessary as they used to be. These days, you have the luxury of buying innerspring mattresses, wooden slats, futons, and plenty of other comfortable and affordable options. You can even make your own DIY bed frame for very little money at all.

Before you buy anything or start a project, make sure that your mattress doesn’t require a box spring. If it does, then you might want to consider buying a new one. Otherwise, you’re good to go!

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