What’s New in Box Springs?


What’s New in Box Springs?

For many of us, the box spring is a Ho-Hum item. We buy a mattress, and a box spring is included. When the new mattress is delivered and set up, the box spring is placed on the rolling steel frame, which is adjusted for fit. Then the new mattress is placed on the new box spring. We think we know what a box spring is, so we just take it for granted.

The truth is, that plain old box spring under our bed might not be as old a design as we think. It may be something new, and if we did not pay special attention to it, that may not be realized. But before we go on to what is new in box springs, lets go back to why we have them in the first place.

We now have several kinds of foundations for beds, many owing their origin to the box spring, even if that is not what they technically are. Why a box spring? It was first put under an innerspring mattress to keep it off the floor or ground. The user was free to flip the mattress without bringing up a layer of dirt. Appearing on both sides of the Atlantic at the same time were springs inside the wood-framed foundation. Coils heavier-gauged than those in the mattress were nailed or stapled to a wood frame with cross slats. The coils were wired together and the top edge bound with a perimeter rod. This was the standard design.

With the introduction of foam mattresses, box springs were unsuitable. Most manufacturers of memory foam and latex (foam rubber) mattresses began providing foundations with solid or slatted wood tops to provide consistent support for the foam support cores of these specialty sleep beds. Slatted foundations provide underside ventilation for cooling and freshness. But the foundations continued to be called box springs out of conventional use.


Luxury mattress makers began making their own 8-way hand-tied box springs for better support, but these were too pricey for the general public. Then makers of components for innerspring mattresses and box springs developed new designs for the new mattresses. One key feature of these newer designs is zero-deflection or minimal deflection. Deflection is the amount the surface of the box spring depresses under weight. Reducing deflection, but still having resilience was a key to the box spring acting as a shock absorber withour overflexing the mattress.

Semi-Flex from corner HSM PowerStack corner

Semi-Flex PowerStack

The Semi-Flex® by Bedding Components (a subsidiary of Leggett & Platt) and the PowerStack by HSM Solutions are similar in concept, though differing in actual design. Heavy-gauge wire forms flat-bottom “V”s and flat-top “A”s for firmer support with needed give. These and the perimeter and cross wires are welded together to form a one-piece spring for a zero-deflection box spring.

sigma-flex true-flex

Bedding Components has a few more designs, such as Sigma-Flex® and True-Flex™ modular systems. The uniquely-shaped non-coil springs interlock. Modules are fastened to the frame with the connecting components. These have the advantage of more bounce than Semi-Flex and PowerStack. And since they are modular, a box spring of any size can be constructed.

Semi-Flex and PowerStack box springs are suitable for memory foam, gel, and latex mattresses. Sigma-Flex and True-Flex can be used with innerspring mattresses (ask before getting them for a foam mattress, airbed, or softside waterbed).

New coils are also being developed for box springs, but since they have a higher deflection, they are usually reserved for innerspring mattresses.

What’s new in box springs? The springs. Other innovations may be reported on later as they come into view.

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2016 at 10:35 PM and is filed under beds, box spring, box springs, coils, firmness, foundations, innerspring, springs, support, wood . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One thought on “What’s New in Box Springs?”

  1. People give a lot of their time in selecting the furniture but do not give much attention to the mattress. Mattress is very important for the overall health of a person. Thanks for this post. It is really useful

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