Can a Bad Box Spring Ruin a Mattress?

January 19, 2024 | Casper Editorial Team

At the end of a long day, we’d all probably love to tumble into a cozy bed that rivals marshmallows, clouds, and cotton candy in terms of softness. But if you’re finding your mattress foundation feels a little more lackluster than it used to, don’t panic. It may not be the traditional mattress’s fault. 

Instead of wondering whether these are signs you need a new mattress —what you should ask is, can a bad box spring ruin a mattress?

The answer: under certain conditions, yes, it can.

To achieve a smoother slumber and eliminate tossing and turning, it can help to learn when and why your traditional box spring could result in an uncomfortable mattress—as well as what you can do about it. With some bed-boosting solutions, you can ensure you’ll be sleeping soundly in no time. 

How Can a Box Spring Make a Mattress Uncomfortable?

A box spring serves the purpose of elevating your mattress, providing a supportive mattress foundation, and giving a little extra bounce to mattresses that need it. But how exactly can a bad box spring make even a brand-new mattress feel uncomfortable? 

Essentially, when the infrastructure of the traditional box spring has worn down in any way, it can cause noticeable changes in your memory foam, hybrid, or spring mattress, too—and can ultimately affect your comfort level. 

A faulty box spring could cause a handful of issues for your mattress, such as:1 

  • Loss of support
  • An uneven surface
  • Sagging and lumps
  • An unstable foundation
  • Inadequate airflow2

When they’re well cared-for, a quality box spring can last up to 10 years.1 But over time, even the best box springs can begin to lose their structure. 

Say goodbye to faulty box springs and hello to the reinvented box spring. Casper’s Mattress Foundation provides your mattress with strong and sturdy support to keep your mattress durable.

How to Identify a Faulty Box Spring

If you notice your mattress is feeling less dreamy than it should, it might be time to check out your box springs. But what exactly are you looking for? 

Here are a few signs your box spring might be past its prime:4

  • It has a bent or damaged steel grid
  • The metal springs are loose
  • Any wood framing is warped or broken
  • The box spring bows, sags, or dips in the middle
  • It makes creaking or groaning sounds when you move it

With these warning signs up your sleeve, you can usually self-diagnose the status of your box spring. Use your best judgment or ask an experienced mattress expert their opinion if you’re still unsure. 

What to Do If Your Box Spring is Broken

If your box spring is no longer supporting your bed (or your sleep, for that matter), it might be time for a replacement. Luckily, there’s no shortage of options in today’s world of box springs, mattresses, and bed frames. 

Whether you’re working with a brand-new mattress or one that’s been with you through the ages, the first step is to determine whether you really need a box spring—or if you can do without it altogether.

If You Have a Modern Mattress, Consider Ditching the Box Springs 

If you’re used to sleeping with a box spring under your mattress, it might feel strange at first to go without it. However, you can take comfort in the fact that many modern mattresses can provide satisfying support on their own. In particular, mattresses made without coils (or with fewer coils) might not need a box spring.1

A few of these mattress options include:3

  • Memory foam mattresses – This type of mattress is known for molding to your body as you sleep. Thanks to the memory foam mattress’s shock-absorbing features, this type of foam mattress generally doesn’t need the extra bounce of a box spring.
  • Gel mattresses – With the addition of technologically enhanced gel throughout, this type of mattress can provide unique heating and cooling options. That means all the airflow of a box spring without the added bulk. 
  • Hybrid mattresses – A hybrid mattress combines a memory foam mattress with, gel-infused padding, and a steel coil for support. This mattress can usually provide just as much comfort without a box spring.

Choose a Platform or Foundation Bed Instead

Whether you have one of the mattress types above or a more traditional mattress with springs, a platform bed or foundation bed can provide just as much support as a box spring. 

While you can put a box spring on top of a platform or bed, it’s not usually necessary. A platform bed offers built-in support from the wooden and metal platform on which it sits. Meanwhile, a foundation bed can provide the elevation and airflow of a box spring without the unnecessary weight of the metal springs.

When paired with a soft and supportive mattress, a platform bed or foundation bed can provide the perfect minimalist setup to whisk you away to dreamland. Need help deciding if you should opt for a platform bed instead? Check out our full comparison of a platform bed vs. box spring.

Replace Your Box Spring

If you simply prefer your bed with a box spring, or if you have a mattress that just works better with one, it might be in your best interest to replace your old one.

Here are a few things to ponder as you scout for a new set of springs:4

  • Mattress compatibility – Before replacing your box spring, you should ensure that you have a mattress best suited for springy support, like an innerspring mattress.3 Or, you can opt for a modern-day box spring equivalent, like the Casper Foundation.
  • Mattress height – Think about how much height you like for your bed. If you happen to prefer a taller bed, a high-profile box spring may be more suitable. On the other hand, a low-profile box spring might be your best bet if you have a tall mattress. 

Consider replacing your setup with a mattress foundation vs. box spring for sleek, modern support.

Casper for All Your Sleep Support

Whether you’re looking to maintain a long-lasting relationship with your beloved box spring or are in the market for something new and exciting, Casper has you covered. Supported by innovative sleep technology and snooze enthusiasts, we can help you find the perfect mattress, foundation, or bed frame for a more comfortable sleep.

Discover your dreamiest sleep yet with Casper. 


  1. Casper. Do You Need a Box Spring? Everything You Need to Know.
  2. Furnishing Tips. 8 Ways to Know if You Need a New Box Spring. 
  3. The Better Sleep Council. Decide Which Mattress to Take to Bed.
  4. MasterClass. 4 Benefits of Box Springs.