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Platform Bed vs Boxspring Bed Comparison Guide

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

Are you struggling to decide what bed to get next? Or are you uncertain about the difference between a platform bed, a solid foundation base, and a box spring bed? It can be quite confusing because there are so many options to consider! And when bed salespeople start talking about the desired elevation and optimum mattress support it might feel like they are speaking a foreign language. Well, kick that worry out the bed! At The Mattress Warehouse, we offer many types of beds for sale and we value your nighttime experience, so we decided to give you a thorough comparison between platform and box spring beds. In this article, you’ll learn about the similarities and differences between these two bed bases, as well as why we prefer solid foundation and platform beds over the outdated box spring base.

Types of platform beds 

A platform bed is essentially a bed frame (it may or may not have legs) with either a solid or slatted top for a mattress to lie on. Solid tops generally give more support and a firmer sleep experience, whereas slatted tops may have a slightly softer feel. Platform beds can be made from a variety of solid materials, i.e., wood or metal and can support all kinds of mattresses because they are generally quite sturdy. Moreover, they also come in different sizes to cater for various bedroom sizes and designs.

There are a number of different platform bed design types:

  • Base with storage
  • Upholstered base
  • Headboard base
  • Classic base
  • Floating bed base

1. Platform bed with storage space 

Platform bases with storage space typically look like wooden boxes with drawers on the side(s). The sides of the bed base will most likely be covered by some kind of fabric to make it look stylish. As with all platform bases, the top will be solid or slatted for that extra support. This platform bed is most suitable for bedrooms with limited space or minimalistic contemporary themes.

2. Upholstered platform bed 

The upholstered platform bed is usually low-rise and can either have a slatted or solid surface. It comes in various colours and is commonly suitable for bedrooms with a more chic and modern style.

3. Headboard platform bed 

What screams ‘sophistication’ more than an elevated platform bed with a headboard? These platform beds are popular in larger rooms with an elegant vintage style. The headboards that come with these bases can vary in style and fabric – leather, padded, wood or metal.

4. Classic (wooden) platform bed 

The wooden platform bed is a rigid, elevated framework with closely placed slats on the surface. It is a timeless bedroom piece that gives a room a rustic, cosy feel. If a wooden bed frame is made from solid wood, it tends to last for years and years. You can probably pass it on to your children and it will still be fine. But if the frame is made from chipboard it will not last that long (even though it might be cheaper to buy).

5. Floating platform bed 

This platform bed has an elegant, contemporary wooden design. It is typically a solid base with an enlarged wooden board on top, hiding the feet of the bed from view. This gives the illusion that your mattress is floating on a solid wooden platform. These bed bases go well in large, airy bedrooms and exotic resort-type rooms.

Types of box spring beds 

In South Africa, a box spring bed base is known as a “spring foundation base”. It is also worth noting that this technology is quite outdated, and as such we don’t sell box spring/spring foundation beds at The Mattress Warehouse.

Having said that, you still came here to find out what the difference is between a box spring and a platform bed, so we’re going to tell you anyway.

The box spring bed is exactly as it sounds – a rectangular bed base (looking like a box) containing coil springs. This structure is made of wood or metal and is often covered with a breathable material. Its main purpose is to provide a divide between the bed frame, or floor and the mattress. Box spring bed bases offer a soft, springy sleep experience. It is not as sturdy as a platform bed base and as such, cannot support the weight of heavier, foam-based mattresses.  You should only use a box spring bed base with traditional innerspring mattresses. Heavy, foam mattresses will wear out the coils in the box spring, not only damaging the bed base, but also damaging the mattress itself.

1. Ultra-low profile 

Ultra-low profile box spring beds are the lowest beds you can get. The spring box is typically 5 cm in height and contains the most miniature coil springs. It is suitable for individuals on the shorter side or those who prefer a more contemporary low-rise bedroom style. Inner coil spring mattresses are the best fit for this type of box spring bed.

2. Low profile 

This type of box spring has a thickness of 5 – 15 cm. It offers minimum bed height but is still taller than the ultra-low profile type. Low-profile box spring beds pair excellently with a thicker innerspring mattress. This pairing often creates an open and welcoming feel to the bedroom.

3. Standard 

The standard box spring is the most popular of the spring box beds. Its thickness of 15 – 25 cm makes the bed height neither too low nor too high. This box spring base is suitable for innerspring mattresses of any favoured thickness and allows for more rigid basal support.

4. Zero-deflection 

Zero-deflection box spring beds are a sturdier kind of box spring. They are typically made of metal and take a similar physique to platform beds. Instead of coils to support the mattress surface, they have metal slates. This feature makes them compatible with memory foam and latex mattresses as well as innerspring mattresses.


Differences and similarities between box spring & platform beds 

We all have different sleeping styles influenced by lifestyle, health or physical stature. It is therefore crucial to make an informed decision when purchasing a bed. To make your life easier, here is a table comparing platform- and box spring bed bases so that you can choose the best bed base for your unique sleeping needs:

Table explaining the differences between a platform bed and a box spring bed.

The Mattress Warehouse’s top picks – platform & solid foundation base beds 

Because we do not sell spring foundation beds anymore, we’ll do you one better – introducing better than a box spring base solid foundation base beds. And what better way to illustrate the difference between platform- and solid foundation beds than by showing you some examples? Check out some of our top-selling platform and solid foundation bases:

Platform beds 

  1. Our Bayside Bed (Rustic) is an absolute charmer! Its strapping frame offers long-lasting support along with a sea-breeze rustic feel. This platform bed is suitable for sleepers keen on a headboard and slightly more elevation.

Whitewashed wooden platform bed with beige and white linen on top.

A vibrant wood-slatted platform bed with a coastal white rustic coating.

  1. The BP Indunda Steel bed is one of our most highly rated platform beds, with a 50×50 meshed surface. The durability and rigid support offered by its frame put Hercules to shame! This bed accommodates individuals with limited space, with its classic and minimalistic dormitory design

Metal frame platform bed. A rigid steel platform with an elevated lodging-style framework. 

  1. We also offer a contemporary, low-rise slatted Burma (Driftwood) platform bed. Beds with no headboards are trendy at the moment with their ‘gipsy chic’ style. They appeal to sleepers who prefer to rest on firmer beds and do not have physical hindrances.

Low profile platform bed with plush white bedding and a wooden cabinet to the left of the bed.

A low-profile modern platform bed suitable for an exotic bedroom design. 

Solid foundation beds

Even though it is called a solid foundation base, the base is actually not solid but slatted. This is to enhance airflow through the mattress to reduce heat- and mould buildup and increase the longevity of the mattress.

  1. The Serta Aristocrat bed pretty much says it all. This majestic coil box spring mattress accommodates back and side sleepers with its body-contouring coil spring system. It is most complementary to ritzy-themed bedrooms.

Serta solid foundation bed base.

A high-profile coil mattress on a solid foundation base with a debonair silhouette.

  1. One of our most restorative and sought-after solid foundation beds is the Kooi B-Series Medium PT bed. Its quality springs offer a medium firmness that is suitable for all sleeping styles, thus making it a recommendable product for the hospitality industry and for guest bedrooms.

Kooi B-Series solid foundation bed.

An all-around supporting and comfortable solid foundation bed. 

  1. The Universe Bedding Grand Resort Pillow Top bed is an elegant solid base bed with an enticing plushy feel. Its standard profile accommodates all sleeping types.

Universe Grand Resort solid foundation bed.

A luxurious and snuggly solid foundation base bed with optimum support and body contouring.

Beds for sale at The Mattress Warehouse 

At The Mattress Warehouse, we know a ruffled mind makes a restless pillow. We offer a variety of mattress-supporting platforms to guarantee you a peaceful zizz! Bid discomfort ‘goodnight’ and say hello to our stylish and affordable bed platforms. Find a store near you or shop online at your convenience. We deliver across the country and on the knocker, with a 100-night comfort trial!

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