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A new mattress is always something to look forward to. But, the accompanying box spring can sometimes be a hassle. More often than not, box springs squeak too soon, or cause divots in your mattress due to some of the coils wearing out sooner than others, making your mattresses feel lumpy and unsupported.
The easiest way around this is to use a platform bed frame or foundation that will last a long time and not squeak out like box springs tend to do. But what are the best mattresses that don’t require a box spring?
That’s why I’ve put together a list of our top three best mattresses without a box spring, so you know the mattress you’ve got an eye on will work without a box spring. Plus, near the end of the article, I go through more tips and tricks on finding the right mattress for your home.
Let’s dive in.
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Best Hybrid Mattress
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Best for Restless Sleepers
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List of 3 Best Mattresses Without a Box Spring
Editor’s Choice — Puffy Mattress
- The slow-adapting layers of the Puffy help isolate motion, keeping your or your partner fast asleep while the other moves.
- The 2-inch Cooling Cloud Foam layer has adaptive pressure relief, easing sore muscles and releasing tension.
- Foam core is supportive and resilient for adjustable frames, platforms, and slat bed frames so that you can use it on any base.
The Puffy mattress is my Editor’s Choice for the best mattress without a box spring due to its motion isolation properties, ability to alleviate pressure, and its cover. I’ve tested the Puffy mattress and found it performs reasonably well when muffling motion from a partner. This is due to the slow-adapting top layers, which absorb most movements, so you won’t get woken up easily if your partner comes to bed late. On top of this, I found the Cooling Cloud Foam layer excellent at delivering pressure relief. While lying down, I was instantly enwrapped in soft, conforming layers that helped ease my muscles.
Additionally, I tested Puffy’s cover and found it to be stretchy, breathable, and stain-resistant. Being made of 100% polyester, the cover tries to give you a breathable experience by allowing air to pass through, helping keep you free of trapped heat. It also makes the occasional spill nothing to worry about, as the stain-resistant cover can be removed easily with zippers and washed.
Read our full Puffy mattress review for more information.
- Stain-resistant cover can be easily removed and washed to keep your bedroom fresh-looking.
- Motion isolating layers help enhance your sleep quality by muffling distracting movements from a partner.
- Upper memory foam layer is slow-adapting and conforming, giving your body that cradling feel for better pressure relief.
- May be too soft for average and heavier stomach sleepers.
- May be too slow-adaptive for quick movements in bed.
Best Hybrid Mattress — Sparrow
- Coils are highly responsive, allowing you to feel supported and light without needing a box spring.
- The cover uses cooling properties, helping you feel temperature neutral throughout the night.
- The reinforced coiled around the edge allows you to use the entire bed width.
The Sparrow is my best hybrid mattress that you can use without a box spring due to its coil system, reinforced edges, and cushioning comfort layers. Our review showed Sparrow had an exceptionally high bounce, measuring 10.7 inches. This exceeds the Winkbed by 0.81 inches more. That means the Sparrow can deliver ease of movement in bed, so you enjoy a good mix of comfort, relief, and support. The Sparrow can effectively make your bed comfortable without the use of a box spring due to its own inner spring coils. Typically, a box spring provides a flexible base for the top mattress to have more give, but in the case of the Sparrow, its coils already accomplish this and will feel supportive and comfortable directly on a platform bed or slatted bed frame.
The edge support of the Sparrow is also something I tested, which I was impressed with. It measured 3.8 inches while I was lying on the edge (according to our tests, 4 inches is the maximum for firm edges.) That means the edges will support you and feel comfortable, even without a box spring.
What I Don’t Like About This Mattress
One feature I don’t like about the Sparrow is that, as it is quite plush, it may not have enough firmness to support stomach sleepers over 230 pounds.
Best for Restless Sleepers — WinkBed Mattress
- Tencel® cover is naturally derived and cool-to-the-touch, helping wick away heat during the night.
- Gel memory foam helps stabilize motion, reducing disturbances from a partner’s movements during the night.
- Individually encased coils offer targeted support, responding more in areas with greater weight so your back stays in better alignment.
The Winkbed Mattress is my best mattress for restless sleepers due to its Sleepcalm™ Motion Isolation Technology, cooling features, and individually encased coils. I’ve tested the Winkbed’s Luxury Firm option, and can say that although the Sleepcalm™ technology won’t silence all motion, it’s certainly reduced. I only noticed minimal motion transfer, meaning you aren’t likely to wake up from a partner getting into bed late. And unlike say, the Saatva Classic Mattress that only comes equipped with a breathable cover, Winkbed’s cover is made up of Tencel®, which is derived from Eucalyptus, and I noticed it feels cool to the touch and does a decent job wicking away heat. Along with the gel memory foam below, both work together, so I never felt hot while sleeping on this mattress.
In addition, I think you’ll like the targeted support that Winkbed’s coils offer. I tested the Luxury Firm on my back, and noticed it held me up with just the right amount of cushioning for my lower back and hips, and kept my spine even and straight. The strong inner coil system makes this mattress compatible with slatted frames and foundations, ensuring you can add it to almost any base.
Read our full Winkbed mattress review for more information.
- Tencel® cover and gel-infused foam work together to absorb heat if you’re a hot sleeper.
- Encased coils respond to weight separately, giving you better support in your hips and thighs if you are a heavier sleeper.
- Motion isolation technology helps keep you asleep from disturbances, making this a good option for partnered sleep.
- The cover isn’t removable, meaning you would need a mattress protector to ensure it stays stain-free.
- May be too firm for lightweight sleepers.
Our Methodology - Why I Picked These Mattresses
The best mattresses without a box spring typically have a good mix of comfort and support, utilizing layers of memory foam to cushion the body, and a foam core or innerspring system to hold weight evenly. This strong core allows the mattress to feel good on any surface, such as a bed frame or platform.
When I reviewed mattresses, I checked their core first, testing out the individual layers of the mattress for feel, density, and durability. I tested the mattress while lying down on my back, side, and stomach, seeing how evenly my weight was distributed and how comfortable I was. I also measured sinkage, using a ruler to check compressions in the upper and lower parts of my body. Motion isolation was tested with a glass of water on one end, and compression tests of varying strength on the other to see how much the water would move. Mattresses were tested on a slatted bed frame, giving me a better idea of if they would work in this list of mattresses that work without a box spring. My personal reviews, plus many years in the mattress industry, have helped me put together the best mattresses without a box spring.
How Do You Choose the Best Mattress Without a Box Spring?
To choose the best mattress without a box spring, you have to look for a new mattress with a good balance of comfort and support, is compatible with a variety of bases (as stated by the manufacturer), and has a good price point. It’s essential to know what goes under a mattress, and how to maximize your comfort. Choosing a new mattress and upgrading from an old one can benefit your sleep health (1). Not only that, but choosing the right firmness of mattress, such as medium-to-firm, can lead to longer time asleep, and fuller sleep (2).
The base of a mattress does play a role in if a mattress will be suitable for better sleep. If a box spring is a big ‘no’ on your list, you’ll want to know the difference between a platform bed and a box spring and opt for a mattress compatible with a platform bed or any frame with slats. Typically, mattress companies will explicitly state on their website what types of bases are compatible with their mattress. As long as they say you can use the mattress on a slatted bed frame, foundation, adjustable base, or anything similar, you’ll know you can use the mattress without a box spring.
What Types of Mattresses Without a Box Spring are Available?
The most common types of mattresses without a box spring are hybrid mattresses, which are a mix of memory foam and coils. You’ll also find mattresses without springs, made of memory foam layers and a high-density core. Both mattress types can typically be used on a foundation or platform frame instead of a box spring unless explicitly stated by the manufacturer.
What Materials and Features are Best for a Mattress Without a Box Spring?
The best mattress without a box spring is typically made of solid materials that make it durable and counted among mattresses that don’t sag. This is usually done with an inner spring core or high-density foam core designed to last a long time. However, if you want to be doubly sure your mattress will be durable, you can always look for mattresses made in the USA that don’t require a box spring. Mattresses made in the USA typically have stricter standards to meet before being shipped out, like making mattresses without fiberglass, so you know you’re getting a quality place to rest your head.
Sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t absorb motion can be hard, especially if you and your partner sleep together on a platform bed or a mattress without a box spring. That’s why it’s essential to also look for mattresses that are a good fit for a restless partner. That way, they help to keep you and your partner disturbance-free with motion-isolating layers, and are suitable mattresses that don't need a box spring.
Also Read: Best Mattresses for a Guest Room
What type of mattresses do not need a box spring?
Most foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses do not need a box spring. However, always confirm with the manufacturer to know which mattresses that don't need a box spring and are compatible with platforms and slatted frames.
Can I have a mattress without a box spring?
You can have a mattress without a box spring. Most modern mattresses, including mattresses in a box, are counted among mattresses that don't need a box spring and function better with the rigidity provided by a slatted bed frame or platform base.
Finding the best mattress without a box spring doesn’t have to be a chore when you keep just a few things in mind, like its compatibility. As long as the manufacturer states that the mattress is compatible with different types of bases, like a slatted bed frame, you can freely use it without a box spring.
In my opinion, the best mattress without a box spring would be the Puffy Mattress. I’ve tested it to muffle motion excellently, and its conforming layers are great at delivering pressure relief and releasing muscle tension while lying down.
- NIH National Library of Medicine (March 2008.) Grouped comparisons of sleep quality for new and personal bedding systems. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17597575/
- BCM Slep Science and Practice (May 2022.) Effects of mattress support on sleeping position and low-back pain. Retrieved from: https://sleep.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41606-022-00073-x
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