When you buy a mattress, there is a certain belief that you will need to get a box spring. Box springs are meant to help add stability to the mattress. Though they are technically not required, having a box spring is generally seen as one of the better options for keeping your mattress healthy. Getting a box spring, though, can be pricey. Here’s how to make your own.
There are two ways to make your own box spring. The most popular way is to measure out and cut wood, then make a box with multiple slats to help support the mattress. The other option is to use a kit for your own box spring mattress support and follow the instructions.
If you don’t want to spend tons of money moving the boxspring, we totally understand it. Thankfully, this guide will help you understand how to make it happen.
Table of Contents
- How To Plan Out Your Box Spring
- Put Together Your Box Spring: The Step-By-Step Process
- What Happens If You Don’t Use A Box Spring?
- Related Questions
How To Plan Out Your Box Spring
Your box spring will need to be measured out to fit your bed frame as well as your mattress. Before you get a bunch of wood, you need to figure out what bed size you have. Here’s a quick chart to refer to in order to determine your mattress size. Regardless of the bed size, you will need to plan for a minimum of six slats to support your mattress.
|Bed Size||Length in Inches||Width in Inches|
What Kind Of Wood Should You Use?
Any form of two-by-four wood will work well. As long as it can be joined with a hammer and nails, it will be pretty good to use. Most DIY box springs are made of oak or pine.
Do You Need To Make Your Own?
Here’s the thing about box springs: you don’t have to have one. If you really want to, you can put your mattress on the floor. If you don’t want to make your own from scratch, that’s okay too. Amazon has full kits that you can use for easy, fuss-free assembly. A box spring is a nice thing to have, but many modern beds don’t actually need them. They come built with bed slats.
If you’re really want to skip most of the labor, you can just lay out six-bed slats across the frame of your bed. This will give your mattress a little support and also keep it off the floor. It’s not the firmest method and you might have boards break, but it can work for the most part.
Put Together Your Box Spring: The Step-By-Step Process
Now that you have the mattress sizing, here’s how you should design your box spring:
- The height of the box spring is up to you, but most prefer to have at least six inches of height. Check your bed to see if it needs extra space, though.
- You will need three rectangular frames made of wood. These will act as the structural support of the box spring. They should be the length of the mattress and should be as wide as the height you want the box spring to be. Join them at the corners using the method of your choice. We suggest brackets or extra-large dowels.
- Put together a large wooden rectangle the size of the mattress. This will be the base of the box spring. Use dowels, brackets, or a similarly sturdy joining method to make it happen.
- Attach a rectangular frame to either side of the box spring base. Join them using brackets or the wood joining method of your choice. Screws work, too.
- Attach the third rectangular frame to the center of the box spring base. This frame is here to make sure that your mattress will have ample support in the middle, and will reinforce the slats’ strength.
- Cut six two-by-fours to the width of the box spring. Attach these in even spacing across the box spring frame.
- Enjoy your new frame. It will hold your mattress beautifully.
How Much Will A DIY Box Spring Cost?
The primary reason why people choose to make their own box springs is because of the price. If you decide to do it all on your own from raw materials, you will pay between $50 to $70. A typical box spring bought in-store will cost between $150 to $400, depending on the materials, size, and frame style.
If you are moving, hiring movers to haul a box spring can easily cost between $200 to $400 or more. This is why many people choose to leave behind bulky items in hopes of curbing moving fees. If you want to save money on a mover or just want to save cash on a new spring, DIYing it is a smart move.
Are There Other Alternatives To A Box Spring?
Aside from putting the box spring on the floor or just using slats to lift the mattress, there are a couple of ideas you can consider using. These include:
- Getting A Prefab Bed With Some Built-In Slats. A lot of beds now come fully outfitted with mattress slats on the bottom of the bed’s base. In some cases, they’re even made of super-sturdy metal. If your bed frame comes with pre-added slats, chances are you won’t really need a box spring at all.
- Opt For A Platform Bed. Platform beds aren’t quite tall, but they do *technically* offer a way to keep your bed off the floor. They are lifted up and the entire frame of the bed is posted up on a large platform. Most don’t go higher than four inches off the floor, so it’s still low.
- Get A Thick Mattress. Have you seen some of the newer memory foam mattresses in stores? More and more people are starting to get deep mattresses, which means they can be anywhere from 10 to 16 inches thick. You might not even need to lift a bed if this is the case.
- Double Up On Mattresses. A mattress on a mattress? Yes, it is doable, and yes, it’ll lift your bed up. While this might not offer the same firmness as a box spring would, it’s still a viable option in most cases.
What Happens If You Don’t Use A Box Spring?
Honestly, not much. If you don’t use a box spring for your mattress, you might notice a little bit of sagging. However, this only happens if your mattress isn’t given support via slats or through the act of putting your mattress on the floor. If you find a way to get the support your mattress needs, nothing will really happen.
Box springs were originally there to help raise the bed and also make sure the mattress doesn’t sag. During the days when wire-spring mattresses were the only option you had, sagging would cause the mattress to warp pretty fast. Nowadays, mattresses have far more support internally. Moreover, you aren’t left with wire-frame mattresses as your only option.
Since new technology improved mattress quality and bedframes now also come with slats, there might not be a need for a box spring at all. So if you don’t feel like having one, don’t assume that your mattress or sleep quality will suffer. Chances are, you’ll be A-OK.
Can I use a slice of plywood instead of a box spring?
You can, and honestly, it’ll give you support. It can help fix a sagging mattress in a pinch, but it’s important to remember that plywood can damage the materials that make your mattress last less. This is why it’s not an advisable method to support your mattress. After all, you do want support, but you also want to get the most use out of your mattress.
A better option would be to sand down and smooth out a plywood board. Or, better still, just go for regular two-by-four slats across the bottom of the bed.
Is it safe to put a mattress directly on slats?
Honestly, it usually is. The vast majority of mattresses that are on the market today are designed to work directly on the slats. It’s now industry standard to warn people if a specific mattress needs to have a box spring in order to stay stable. If your mattress doesn’t have an advisory or the salesman doesn’t say it needs a specific box spring, it’s okay to assume that you can place it right on the slats.
Obviously, using a box spring is still the best course of action—or at least the most traditional. If you can do it, go for it.
Do you need to have a box spring under a memory foam mattress?
Memory foam mattresses are one of the many types of modern mattresses that don’t sag. Since they don’t have metal springs, the chances of them warping are fairly low. Most people who are in the mattress industry agree that you don’t necessarily need a box spring for this mattress type. However, if you do have one, it won’t hurt.
Like most other modern mattress types, using a box spring on memory foam is a decision that’s all up to you.