Do you really need a box spring or foundation for your new mattress?

Some retailers recommend consumers use foundation, base combined with mattress

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SAN ANTONIO – Mattress shopping can be confusing enough, and the box spring or foundation is often an afterthought for shoppers. So does the box spring really make a difference, and do you even need one?

“You may be tempted to skip the cost of a box spring, but depending on where you buy the mattress and what type of mattress you're buying, that can be a really tricky decision,” said Haniya Rae, Consumer Reports’ home editor.

The Better Sleep Council said, "While most people focus on the mattress for comfort, in reality, your foundation is responsible for much of your bed’s comfort and support."

Some companies, such as Wink, recommend consumers use its foundation or base. But for those with memory foam or latex mattresses, it may be a different story.

“Some memory foam and latex mattress sellers will say all you need is a sturdy surface,” Rae said.

Online mattress company Lull said its mattresses will work with anything from a box spring to a slatted bed from or even the floor. Still, other companies recommend a foundation or a slatted or solid Bunkie board of a bed frame.

Consumers should do their research before deciding on a mattress to make sure it’s the right fit.

“It all really comes down to the warranty,” Rae said.

If you don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions, you may be voiding the warranty, which will cost you more money and sleep in the long run.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.