What is a Low Profile Box Spring? Do You Need One?

Box springs are a supportive foundation for coil mattresses. In addition to this, box springs make your bed taller, which can be beneficial for aesthetic or accessibility reasons.

Low profile box springs are a thin and modern take on the standard box spring. A thinner box spring has the functionality of a traditional box spring, only it’s less thick. You may prefer a thinner box spring to make getting out of bed easier.

Here, we break down the details of low profile box springs and help you decide if they’re right for you.

Low Profile Box Spring

Low profile box springs are a thinner version of the traditional box springs with all of the same benefits. They’re usually between 4 to 6 inches tall, while standard box springs are 9 inches tall. Box springs are often made from wood, particleboard, or solid spruce with optional coils and a fabric casing.

With a thicker mattress, the combined height of your mattress, the box spring, and the bed frame can get very tall—30 to 35 inches.

Overly tall beds can be challenging to get in and out of if you have limited mobility, you’re a shorter adult, or the bed is for a child. For those with limited mobility, your bed should be just tall enough so that when you’re sitting on the edge, your feet are flat on the ground and your knees are aligned with your hips.

While aesthetic purposes won’t make or break your comfort, tall beds can cover your decorative headboard, which isn’t ideal. Also, if your bedroom is small or has short ceilings, a tall bed can give the illusion of an even smaller room.

Benefits of a Low Profile Box Spring

  • Absorbs motion and shocks, like standard box springs
  • Allows for easier access
  • Makes bedrooms appear less crowded
  • Ensures decorative headboards are visible
  • Weighs less than standard box springs
  • Easy to transport through tight spaces such as hallways, stairs, and doors

Drawbacks of a Low Profile Box Spring

  • May not absorb as much motion and shock as standard box springs
  • Potentially offers less support compared to standard box springs
  • Can feel as though you’re sleeping too low to the ground
  • Overly short beds can also be difficult to access for some
  • Not ideal for people who prefer sleeping higher off the ground
  • Provides little to no under-bed storage space

Who Should Use a Low Profile Box Spring?

Low profile box springs are a good option for people with small bedrooms, sleepers with limited mobility, and shorter individuals. And of course, you should only ever use a low-profile box spring if you own an innerspring mattress.

Innerspring Mattress Owners

Box springs—low profile or not—are only usable with innerspring mattresses. Innerspring mattresses need box springs to absorb motion, provide strong support, and raise the beds higher.

If you use a box spring with any other type of bed—memory foam, latex, or hybrid—you risk damaging your mattress and voiding its warranty. There are countless other types of mattress foundations, so this shouldn’t be a big issue.

Sleepers With Small Bedrooms

If your bedroom is compact or has short ceilings, you may prefer using a low-profile box spring over a standard height box spring. Having a shorter overall bed height gives the illusion of more space in tight interior spaces, so a low-profile box spring might be a good solution.

People With Limited Mobility or Short Sleepers

People with limited mobility include the elderly or people with specific medical conditions. If you have limited mobility, you may get a low-profile box spring because they are generally easier to get in and out of compared to higher-profile mattresses and box springs.

Similarly, being short or a child makes taller beds difficult to access. Tall beds are also a potential safety risk for rambunctious kids who occasionally play in their beds. For this reason, low-profile beds are also a good choice for short adults and children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the kind of box spring you use matter?

The brand or profile of your box spring isn’t important. After all, most box springs function the same way. If anything, simply be sure to buy the corresponding box spring size to your mattress size. For example, get a California king box spring with a California king mattress or a twin XL box spring for a twin XL mattress.

Of course, be sure your box spring is in good condition. Old and worn-out box springs can damage your mattress, feel uncomfortable, and ruin a good night’s sleep.

When should you replace your box spring?

Most box springs last between 8 to 10 years, or roughly the standard mattress lifespan.

While you don’t lie directly on a box spring, the wooden frames can sag, bend, and snap. Similarly, the screws and bolts can loosen and rattle. Some box springs have actual coils and if they break, they can rip through your box spring and harm your mattress. A saggy box spring won’t support your mattress well, either, which can harm your bed.

We recommend simply buying a new box spring or foundation whenever you replace your old mattress and mattress set. Some brands will offer discounts and deals when buying a box spring with the purchase of a mattress.

What can you use instead of a box spring?

You should only ever use a box spring with an innerspring mattress, so if you have a different type of mattress, you’ll need another type of foundation.

Foundations for innerspring beds other than box springs include:

Bed slats
Solid foundation

Types of foundations for a memory foam mattress or a hybrid bed include:

Mattress foundation
Platform bed
Bunky board
Adjustable bed base

Our Zoma Mattress Foundation acts as a box spring and bed frame in one. This stable base has a sleek, low-profile design and is all you need to support any type of mattress, including memory foam, hybrid, and latex beds.

Are box springs really necessary?

Mattresses need some sort of foundation to support them, lift them off of the ground, and prolong their lifespans. Even if you use your mattress on the floor—which we don’t recommend—a box spring or platform bed will protect your bed from any dirt or debris on the floor.

Box springs are only necessary if you have an innerspring mattress. Even then, you also have the option to use a slatted or solid foundation instead of a box spring. For other types of beds, box springs can damage the mattresses and void warranties.

Why are box springs obsolete?

Box springs are only compatible with innerspring beds. However, innerspring mattresses have grown increasingly unpopular because they are uncomfortable, stiff, and break down easily.

With modern mattress options, including latex, hybrid, and memory foam mattresses, most buyers will go with one of these types of beds over an innerspring. Since innerspring beds are becoming obsolete, so are box springs.

Conclusion

Low profile box springs are half of the size of traditional box springs. A thin box spring is perfect for innerspring mattress owners who need a shorter bed for whatever reason. Shorter beds work well in small bedrooms and for short adults or children.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

James Nguyen, Sleep Expert James Nguyen

James Nguyen is Zoma's resident sleep expert and staff writer. James enjoys learning about the newest technologies in the mattress industry and doing deep dives into the science of sleep. He's tried nearly every gadget and gizmo in an effort to determine which sleep-promoting accessories can truly enhance your shut-eye. Outside of work, James takes his dedication to get healthy sleep seriously, and has even declared himself an "expert napper." James' research has been featured on Thrive Global and other media.

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