Do Loft Beds Need Box Springs? (And How to Pick One)

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These days, most beds come with some sort of structure between the mattress and the floor.

Its purpose? To absorb shocks, provide underlying support, improve airflow, and raise the bed to a more comfortable height for the user. Some also cite hygiene reasons, because well, mattress on the floor doesn’t exactly give out clean vibes. This structure comes in several options—one of which is a box spring.

In traditional beds, a box spring sits underneath the mattress and often comes in a wooden frame or a metal grid and is filled with, you guessed it, springs. Given that you’ve clicked on this article, I’m guessing you’re wondering what its function is in a loft bed situation, and if it even needs it at all.

In most instances, box springs are not necessary for loft beds. However, if you want to put a box spring in your loft bed for whatever reason, some designs make it possible. 

The Purpose Of Box Springs

Let’s start with what box springs are designed to do. As mentioned earlier, a box spring’s primary purpose is to provide underlying support for the mattress. It also helps with shock absorption, which is why you’ll often see them in beds that have a lot of bounce, like waterbeds. Yes, those are still around, although to be honest with you, I’m a little bit confused as to why people still opt for them, especially if they keep sharp objects nearby.

Box Springs can come in handy when you’re putting a lot of weight on the bed. 

If you have a lot of people sleeping in one bed, or if you’re a particularly heavy person, the box spring will help to spread that weight out and keep the mattress from sagging. It also helps with airflow, which is vital for keeping your mattress in good condition—mattresses can get pretty stinky if you don’t air them out often.

Related: Small Room Loft Bed Ideas for Low-Ceilings

The Difference Between Box Springs and Foundation or Platform

In addition to box springs, you’ll also see mattresses with foundation or platforms.

Box springs used to be the only option, but they’ve been slowly phased out in favor of other options in recent years. A foundation is just a wooden or metal frame on which the mattress sits, with no spring action. Platforms are very similar to foundations, though many tend to have built-in storage space for you to store things like clothes, books, or other belongings.

Deciding whether a bed requires box springs, foundation or platform is ultimately a matter of individual choice. Platforms are generally the easiest and cheapest option. They are easy to assemble, and you typically don’t need any tools to put them together.

A foundation is a good option if you want something that is more sturdy and can support heavier mattresses.

Box springs are for those who like a lot of bounce on their bed. For example, if you have young kids who often like to use your bed as a trampoline (this was me when I was young), then box springs might be a good idea.

Do Loft Beds Need Box Springs?

Now that we’ve gone over what box springs are and their purpose, let’s answer the question at hand: do loft beds need box springs?

In most cases, no.

Loft beds are designed to be raised off the ground, so a box spring is unnecessary. In fact, adding a box spring to a loft bed can make it more challenging to get in and out of bed.

However, if you want to use a box spring with your loft bed for some reason, some designs make it possible. For example, you could buy a loft bed with an integrated box spring or buy a special conversion kit that will allow you to use a traditional box spring with your loft bed.

Related: Can you put a loft bed on risers?

When Putting Box Springs In A Loft Bed Is A Good Idea

However, there are instances when putting box springs in a loft bed might make sense.

For starters, if you have a lot of people sleeping in one bed, or if you’re a particularly heavy person, the box spring will help to spread that weight out and keep the mattress from sagging.

If you live in a very humid climate, using a box spring with your loft bed can help to keep the mattress from absorbing too much moisture and becoming damaged.

Finally, If you want to use a memory foam or latex mattress, which doesn’t have a lot of bounce, you’ll need to use a box spring to get the most out of those types of mattresses.

Personally, I would only consider putting a box spring if my loft bed mattress is on the lower end height-wise rather than close to the ceiling. The idea of having a bouncy bed and sleeping up high just feels a little unsettling—I’d prefer it to be medium-firm and sturdy.

Ultimately, whether or not you should put box springs in your loft bed comes down to personal preference. Remember, most loft beds are designed without the use of box springs in mind, so if you want to put them in your loft bed, make sure that the design of the bed allows you to do so.

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