The Best Mattress Foundations And Platform Beds According To A 25 Year Industry Pro
We’re trusted with mattress reviews, but a lot of customers also want to know where they can find reviews of the best platform beds and mattress foundations to go along with their mattress. I spent 25 years designing and manufacturing my own line of mattresses and foundations, so I understand how to engineer them for durability.
It’s important to buy a foundation, whether it is a simple metal frame, an upholstered wooden foundation, or a foundation with storage built in, that provides sturdy support. Understanding what the differences are between various types of foundations will make it easier for you to buy a unit that will last as long, or longer, than any mattress.
Box Spring Vs. Foundation-What’s The Difference?
One of the most confusing things about buying a mattress is understanding the industry jargon. Very simply, “box spring” is an old fashioned term describing a separate piece that you placed under your mattress that also had springs or coils built in.
Mattress stores would traditionally sell you a “set” which included both the mattress and a coordinating box spring. Gradually, box springs have faded away except when purchased with traditional innerspring mattresses.
Today, the term “foundation” describes any firm, supportive surface, made with steel or wood typically, that provides a continuously smooth base on which to place your mattress.
Unless you and your partner weigh more than 500 lbs. in combined weight, almost all wooden slat or metal slat foundations will work. Also, most foundations sold online are backed up with pretty reliable warranties.
Also, choosing a slatted or rigid platform as a foundation further enhances spine alignment and proper back support, as described in this National Institute Of Health’s article taken from Bio-Medical Engineering Online.
A typical foundation for an all foam, hybrid, latex, or coil mattress. This option is made by Silk & Snow, and happens to include an upholstered head board.
Many of the foundations we review below don’t have a head piece, or are crafted from wood or metal, without upholstery.
Bought A Mattress And Need A New Platform, Bed Base, Or Foundation Piece?
If you’ve already purchased a new mattress, or if you are trying to find a platform or base for an existing mattress you can jump below to check out the options I have reviewed and recommend. If you’d like to check out mattresses I’ve reviewed, click here to get to our mattress guide, by category, and we’ll help you narrow down your options.
The Basics: Why A Mattress Foundation Or Platform Bed Is Essential To A Good Night’s Sleep
A mattress foundation, also known as a mattress base or box spring, is a support system that is placed under a mattress to provide stability, height, and support. Its primary function is to help distribute the weight of the mattress and the person or people sleeping on it evenly, which can extend the lifespan of the mattress and improve overall sleep comfort.
There are several types of mattress foundations, including:
- Box Spring: Traditional box springs are wooden frames covered with fabric and contain springs or coils. They are designed to absorb shock and provide additional support to innerspring mattresses. However, modern mattresses often do not require traditional box springs, as they have their own support systems.
- Platform Bed: A platform bed consists of a solid, flat surface or a slatted base on which the mattress can rest directly. These beds eliminate the need for a box spring and are suitable for various types of mattresses, including memory foam and latex.
- Adjustable Bed Base: Adjustable bed bases are motorized frames that allow you to adjust the angle and position of your mattress. They are popular for people who want to customize their sleeping position for comfort or health reasons.
- Metal Bed Frame: A metal bed frame provides a stable foundation for a mattress and can be used with or without a box spring. They are typically lightweight and durable.
- Platform Foundation: Similar to a platform bed, a platform foundation is a solid or slatted surface designed to support a mattress. It is often used with memory foam or latex mattresses.
The choice of a mattress foundation depends on the type of mattress you have, your personal comfort preferences, and the bed frame you are using. Some mattresses, like memory foam and latex, work well with platform-style foundations, while traditional innerspring mattresses may benefit from a box spring or a solid base. Adjustable bed bases are suitable for people who require customized sleeping positions, such as those with certain medical conditions.
It’s essential to match the foundation or support system with your mattress to ensure proper support and comfort. Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific mattress model, as using the wrong foundation can affect its performance and durability.
They also tend to be less expensive that wooden foundations or platform beds and are shipped in kit form in easy to manage packages, making them highly portable and less prone to nicks and dings. Keep in mind that most metal bases require a mattress and a foundation or box spring as well as a mattress on top. Here are some advantages of buying a metal base:
- Stability and Durability: Metal bases are typically constructed with sturdy materials such as steel or iron, which offer excellent stability and durability. They can effectively support the weight of a mattress and the sleeper without sagging or warping over time. Metal bases are designed to withstand regular use and provide long-lasting support.
- Noise Reduction: Metal bases are often designed with features like reinforced frames and noise-dampening mechanisms, such as rubberized connectors or noise-reducing caps on the legs. These elements help to minimize noise caused by movement and ensure a quiet sleeping environment.
- Adequate Air Circulation: Metal bases are often designed with a slatted or open grid system that allows for proper air circulation around the mattress. This ventilation helps prevent the accumulation of moisture, mold, and mildew, thereby promoting a healthier sleep environment.
- Storage Space: Many metal bases come with additional features like under-bed clearance or built-in storage options, such as drawers or compartments. These features can be useful for maximizing space in smaller bedrooms or providing extra storage for items like bedding, pillows, or seasonal clothing.
- Adjustable Support: Some metal bases have adjustable features that allow you to customize the level of support for your mattress. For example, they may offer adjustable head and foot sections that can be raised or lowered to accommodate different sleeping positions or provide additional comfort options.
- Compatibility: Metal bases are generally compatible with a wide range of mattress types, including memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses. They provide a versatile support system that works well with various mattress designs and sizes.
Mattress Foundations: Modern Twist On Old School Box Springs
Mattress foundations are usually made of wood and have an upholstered fabric on the outside offer several advantages and have gained popularity as alternatives to traditional box springs. Here are some advantages and the reasons behind the shift to foundations vs. old school boxsprings:
- Enhanced Support: Wood foundations provide solid support for the mattress, ensuring proper weight distribution and preventing sagging. The wooden frame is designed to offer a stable and even surface, which helps to maintain the structural integrity of the mattress and prolong its lifespan. Old school box springs did not have a heavy duty, wood frame structure.
- Improved Durability: Wooden foundations are typically constructed using high-quality materials, such as solid wood or engineered wood products. This makes them more durable compared to box springs, which often feature a lighter wooden frame with a suspended coil unit inside, that wore down and developed indentations and ruts.
- Reduced Motion Transfer: Wooden foundations with an upholstered covering can help minimize motion transfer between sleep partners. The upholstery adds a layer of cushioning that absorbs vibrations and movements, reducing disturbances caused by tossing and turning during the night.
- Allergen Protection: The upholstered covering on wood foundations serves as a barrier against allergens, such as dust mites, pollen, and pet dander, which can accumulate in the mattress. This feature can be particularly beneficial for individuals with allergies or respiratory sensitivities.
- Noise Reduction: Wood foundations with an upholstered covering tend to produce less noise compared to box springs. The absence of springs eliminates the potential for squeaking or creaking sounds, providing a quieter sleep environment.
- Versatile Design: Foundations with upholstered coverings often feature a neutral and aesthetically pleasing design that complements various bedroom decor styles. They can be upholstered with fabrics that match the overall theme of the room, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to the bed setup.
The shift towards foundations as a replacement for box springs can be attributed to the changing mattress industry and consumer preferences, largely brought about by online mattress companies. Modern mattress designs, such as memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses, often do not require the additional support and cushioning provided by traditional box springs. Moreover, box springs are bulkier and can be challenging to move and maneuver, especially in narrow hallways or tight staircases.
Foundations offer a more streamlined and practical solution for supporting mattresses, as they are typically slimmer and easier to handle. They provide consistent support, prevent mattress sagging, and are compatible with a wide range of mattress types. As a result, foundations have become a popular choice for individuals seeking a more contemporary and functional bed support system.
Platform Beds Are Fashionable, Functional, And Can Be Easily Assembled Or Disassembled
Platform beds offer several benefits and have gained popularity due to their functionality, versatility in finishes and styles, and various features. There are a lot of choices available online, several of which I recommend below. Personally, I no longer use traditional bed frames in my own home, and opt for the cleaner lines of a platform bed setup. Here are some advantages and characteristics of platform beds:
- Streamlined Design: Platform beds typically feature a low-profile design with clean lines, making them visually appealing and suitable for modern or minimalist bedroom aesthetics. The absence of a bulky box spring or additional foundation components gives platform beds a sleek and streamlined look.
- Sturdy Support: Platform beds provide a sturdy and reliable support system for mattresses. They often feature a solid platform or a series of closely spaced slats that offer even support across the entire mattress surface. This helps to prevent sagging and ensures proper weight distribution, promoting a comfortable sleep experience.
- Space Efficiency: Platform beds often come with built-in storage options, such as drawers or shelves, underneath the bed frame. This is particularly useful in smaller bedrooms or spaces where maximizing storage is essential. The storage compartments can be used to store bedding, clothing, or other items, reducing the need for additional furniture pieces.
- Versatile Finish and Style Options: Platform beds are available in a wide range of finishes, styles, and materials, including different wood finishes and metal options. Wood finishes can vary from light tones like oak or maple to darker hues like walnut or mahogany, allowing you to choose a finish that matches your desired aesthetic. Metal platform beds can feature different finishes such as matte black, brushed nickel, or antique bronze, offering a variety of design options.
- Customizability: Platform beds can be customized to suit personal preferences and needs. Some models allow for adjustable head and foot sections, providing flexibility in terms of sleep position and comfort. Additionally, platform beds often offer compatibility with various mattress types, including memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses, giving you the freedom to choose the mattress that best suits your preferences.
- Easy Assembly and Maintenance: Platform beds are typically designed for easy assembly, with clear instructions and fewer components compared to traditional bed frames. Additionally, platform beds are generally low-maintenance, as they don’t require frequent adjustment or additional support components like box springs. Regular cleaning and occasional tightening of screws or bolts are usually sufficient for maintenance.
You’ll often be prompted to purchase a coordinating foundation with most online mattress companies, which is often a great idea, although you may not like the style of their foundation, and may want to find something else.
Almost always, it’s okay to buy a mattress from one company and your foundation from another. Companies that tell you that their foundation must be purchased to avoid “violating the warranty”, are scamming you, plain and simple.
Generally, the most popular, and reliable, mattress foundations are delivered in kit form and require some assembly. Most foundations are shipped this way to prevent damage, and to reduce the cost of shipping, which drastically lowers the price on your end, too.
There are many different options including steel foundations that can support up to 2,000 lbs., and wooden slat foundations (the most common) with upholstered sides that match your mattress.
If you need enhanced information about mattress sizes and understanding terms like “split king”, or want to learn more about hard to find sizes, check out our page that discusses mattress measurements. You can also visit our page on adjustable bases, as well. Adjustable bases can be used with many mattress options sold today.
The old school metal bed frame with casters has gradually become a thing of the past. We’ll offer a selection of foundations that include legs, which minimizes setup time, offers excellent support, and elevate your mattress to your desired height.
It’s also a good idea to buy a foundation along with a new mattress purchase if you do not have one, because the shipping will be reduced since you are already getting the mattress.
Many of our shoppers actually aren’t looking for a new mattress, but need a great foundation to support a mattress they already own.
Our reviews of the best platform beds and mattress foundations include a handful of options that I chose after reviewing dozens of mattress foundations sold online.
There are mattress foundations that provide storage underneath your bed, and most are equipped with legs, either metal or wood, that make the foundation a freestanding bed frame.
If they do not have legs, then you need to put the foundation on a metal bed frame first, then the mattress on top of that, so you will end up having three separate pieces if the foundation piece you purchased does not have built it legs.
A separate metal frame underneath a foundation with legs is not necessary.
Many foundations come with interchangeable legs of different heights to provide with your ideal height. Tip: the average sleep surface height for most people is The average bed height is around 26 inches.
This is ideal for most people because when you sit on the bed with your feet flat on the floor, your knees will be in line with your hips. This is a comfortable position and is easy to get in and out of bed.
Specs, Materials, And What You Should Look For When Shopping For A Foundation
I’ve engineered my own foundations for various web sites I’ve owned in the past, and I’ve always chosen solid wood, or wood with metal supports like brackets.
A wooden foundation, with a deck type slat surface is light weight, easy to manage and handle, and resists squeaking.
Some platform bed bases are made using solid planks fo wood, including The Amerisleep Platform Bed, but it does up the cost about $150 on average.
Personally, I’d opt for the plank panels if I lived in a cooler climate, and slats in warmer environments.
When I’m looking to do reviews of the best platform beds and mattress foundations I can find, I’m looking for birch, maple, acacia wood, poplar, and other densely grained hardwoods.
For connectors and mounting brackets, I like to see nylon, since it will not crack or squeak when rubbing together, and I want to see slats that can fix to the deck of the frame using velcro or wood screws.
This example of proper slat placement shows a 2″ slat with a 3″ gap between them.
This provides plenty of support and ventilation, and the centerline metal or wooden support beam is essential to prevent dipping and sinking in the middle of the foundation.
A Mattress Industry Insider Found The Best Mattress Foundations And Platform Beds On The Web
With upholstered side panels and a solid birchwood deck system, this ready to assemble foundation provides rigid support with a warm and finished look.
At just $350 in queen, it’s engineered with solid wood frame and reinforced metal beams, and I like the tighter spacing of the slats, at just 3″ apart.
The clearance underneath is 6″ industry standard and the finished height is 13″ tall. The maximum weight capacity is 1100 lbs, making it one of the beefiest and strongest platform bed options I recommend.
The Silk & Snow Platform Bed is shipped free in one box, has a 5 year warranty, and 30 night no questions asked trial period. Owners have consistently given it 4.8 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction.
Designed to never develop soft spots, this solid surface plank style top foundation is reinforced to stand the test of time.
With two center line support rails, we assembled it in five minutes flat. It is 13″ tall, has a one year warranty, and sells for $499 in queen. According to a third party review site we trust, 96% of Amerisleep Platform Bed owners would refer friends and family to this brand.
I weighs a little bit more than other solid wood foundations, primarily because of the solid wood decking panels. Ideal for colder winters as drafts and cold air are a bit more restricted.
The Amerisleep Platform Bed is made entirely in the USA, and sets up a little faster than most bases do without a headboard.
Looking for something a bit more upscale and sophisticated? I love this solid wood, all-natural, sustainable bed frame made of 100% Acacia wood.
It’s crafted using Japanese joinery with contemporary styling and has a refined but simplistic design.
Outfitted with a solid wood slat deck surface, I really liked the solid feel of this platform bed option. The headboard is nicely weighted and the finished look is more hand hewn than manufactured, which I like.
You can even purchase a matching nightstand as well, made from solid acacia wood. The wooden bed frame is $1200 with free shipping, and optional night stand is $350. Sustainably sourced from acacia trees on The Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
At just $225 in queen with free shipping, this is one of the most affordable metal and wood combination foundations I’ve seen that I like.
It ships with a set of legs that are removable, in the event that you already have a metal bed frame. Assembly takes 10-15 minutes, and the fabric exterior slips over the top of the unit like the lid on a gift box.
The Hyphen Versatile Foundation provides complete support for your mattress. The base is 8″ thick and includes removable 6″ legs for adjustable height.
I found the shipping box to be pretty lightweight and easy to handle. Ships in one box, has wooden slats that velcro in place and don’t slip. For the money, it’s one of the best basic foundations I’d recommend.
I’ve done plenty of reviews of the best platform beds and mattress foundations out there, and try not to leave out good deals, so long as they are made well and built to last.
At $300 in queen size, this foundation option with removable legs is 14″ tall, and includes sturdy is made of spruce pine fir lumber slats.
On the support deck, each slat is spaced for the ideal combination of support and airflow, and is pre-assembled so that you simply roll it out once you assemble the frame itself.
No tools are required, and a proprietary assembly mechanism allows corners to snap together in minutes. Free shipping and one year warranty. Also, their Zoma Mattress is pretty cool, too.
Owners rave about this foundation with comments like “finally a foundation that isn’t made like a jigsaw puzzle”. It’s basic, simple in design, and priced right.
For quick assembly and ease of takedown, too, it’s a great options for temporary living situations, apartments, college living, and guest bedroom options.
Priced at $650 in queen, this platform bed system with upholstered headboard and side panels includes a drawer built into the foot section of the bed.
Hardwood slats are spaced just 3″ apart and the frame features a metal center line support beam for added strength and resistance to dipping and compression.
What’s really cool about this system is that it’s available in three color options, pebble, oatmeal, and granite. You get free delivery, a 30 night no questions asked trial, and an uncomplicated five year warranty.
One of my favorites, made in Los Angeles from sustainably harvested timber grown in the USA, not imported.
Solid wood perimeter and deck slats, the craftsmanship of this bed foundation with wooden legs is available in either blonde or brown finishes.
That includes a patented interlocking corner design with finger and dovetail joints that provide exceptional quality, strength, and durability.
You can also opt to include a solid wood headboard and pay $1395 in queen, or if you need the foundation/platform just by itself, the price is $945, including free shipping, and a 10 year factory warranty.
No nasty, VOC-emitting glues or finishes. Note: the slats are wider on this platform/foundation than any other product I’ve reviewed.
If you are willing to make an investment in a platform bed, this provocatively designed frame is a showstopper in my opinion.
You opt for either solid maple or solid walnut. The maple option is $1099 and the walnut is $1199. Both are made in Avocado Furnishings L.A. factory with responsibly harvested timber and hand hewn and assembled.
This platform bed is the beefiest, most rock solid unit I’ve reviewed closeup. Worth the money, and owners love it.
While it does increase increase the price by $1,000 if you opt to upgrade, a solid maple or walnut headboard is really a work of art.
Imparting a sleek mid-century vibe, you can build your bedroom around this investment grade option. Same 10 year warranty and free shipping, arriving by FedEx directly to your door.
Avocado’s signature dovetail joints and patented interlocking design in each corner deliver superior strength. The solid wooden slats spaced approximately five inches apart provide the strong support your mattress needs.