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Mattress Trends: It’s All About the Base

This post was most recently updated on May 13th, 2019

Purple mattress base is one of the few (but growing) online mattress brands that sells a bed base with their mattress, which makes them so on trend. The Las Vegas Market exposition is an annual event that showcases the latest Furniture, Home Décor, and Gift items. This year’s show featured many mattress platforms and bases. Bed platforms and bases are part of a larger trend of online mattress retailers or “bed in a box” mattresses like Leesa, Casper or Purple mattress which appeal to a younger demographic.

These mattress companies sell mattresses that are ordered online and shipped to you. You will not find them in a retail store. In addition, these mattress brands only feature the top mattress. They aren’t sold as a set with a box spring or base. Hence, you need to purchase a base for your mattress (unless you want to sleep on the floor).

Along with mattresses, bases have changed a lot from the wobbly, noisy and “difficult to move” bedframes of the past. Today’s bases are compact, much easier to set up and look much better too!

The design of bases make them capable of supporting heavy mattresses that would normally require a box spring. Mattress bases are ideal for people in small apartments or living spaces – or people who move a lot (think college students) because they can be boxed up or more easily moved. Families like them for the affordability and storage. Still others love the luxury of having a bed base that’s adjustable.

Anyone who wants to buy a mattress base this year has a lot of selection to choose from!  To help you find the right mattress base for your bed, I’ll share some general mattress base buying tips.  Then, I’ll highlight a few of the best mattress bases for 2016/2017.

Note: This post contains affiliate links and we earn a small commission should you click and buy.

How to Choose the Right Mattress Base

Here are a few points to consider before choosing your new mattress base.

Understand the different types of bases
Before selecting a mattress base, it is important to understand the types of bases available.

The most common types of mattress bases include:

  • Box springs
    A box spring base has a wooden frame (the box), which contains additional steel reinforcements and heavy gauge wire coils that act as springs. The springs in a box spring base work well with innerspring mattresses to provide additional support and comfort. According to Wikipedia, the purpose of the box-spring is threefold:

    • to raise the mattress height, making it easier to get in and out of bed
    • to absorb shock and reduce wear to the mattress
    • to create a flat and firm structure for the mattress to lie upon.
  • Platform bed bases or mattress frames
    A bed frame that has a headboard, footboard, and wooden slats to support the mattress. The wooden slats are typically one to two inches wide and separated by gaps that are no more than 3 inches wide.  You can put a mattress directly on top of the wooden slats.  These bases are typically lower to the ground compared to a box spring or foundation bed.  Platform bed bases can be used with any type of mattress, but innerspring mattresses will be more comfortable on a box spring base.
  • Foundations
    A foundation base is a timber or metal box that supports the mattress. It has slats rather than springs inside, but it is covered with fabric so it looks a like a box spring base.  This type of base can be used with a latex mattress or a mattress with a dense material.  They are not recommended for use with some innerspring mattresses.
  • Bunkie Boards
    If you don’t want to add a lot of height or just keep your base affordable, you can buy a Bunkie Board, which is just a piece of 1.5″ wood that has a cloth cover and comes in pieces so it’s easy to assemble or move.
  • Adjustable bases
    Adjustable bases are typically made from metal and have joints which allow the bed to change shape. In the past people called an adjustable base a hospital bed or an electric bed. Basically you can lift your head or your feet so you can sit up in bed.When first introduced they were thought of more for the elderly but today adjustable beds much more popular as a lifestyle choice and appeal to a younger demographic.They’ve gone high tech too with apps, remotes, built in massage, zero gravity phone/device chargers and more. Work in bed, many have USB ports to charge your electronics – there are so many options.

    As far as health goes, an adjustable base is ideal for back pain. A zero gravity setting puts your body in a neutral position to take pressure off your body. And there’s even a snore button that elevates your head just enough to help prevent snoring.

    Adjustable bases are much more fashionable too. Forget the metal bar and sterile look.They come in different colors and fabrics. You can put an adjustable base in your bedroom as it is but most people drop it into a bed frame with a headboard and footboard. Couples can choose a split model so each side operates independently.

Here’s an example of a highly rated split king adjustable base with dual controls.

DynastyMattress Reverie Adjustable Bed Base - Wireless - Bluetooth - Massage, Under Bed Lighting, SPLIT King

mattress base

Questions to Ask Before you Buy a Bed Platform

Does the mattress brand you own require a certain type of base?
Some mattress manufacturers recommend a specific type of base for their products.  For example, manufacturers of innerspring mattresses often suggest customers only use box spring bases with their products.  If you already have a mattress or have selected a new mattress, check which base the manufacturer recommends.

Do you need under bed storage space?
Some platform or foundation mattress bases come with drawers or a storage compartment that is accessed by lifting the mattress.  Box spring bases cannot have a storage section because they are filled with steel coils.

Do you prefer a firm or soft bed?
Your bed base has an effect on how soft your mattress feels.  A box spring mattress can make your bed feel softer while a foundation base or platform base makes the mattress feel more firm.

Do you prefer a high bed or a low bed?
Box springs usually add extra height to your mattress, while many platform bases are closer to the ground.  This might be an important consideration if you have mobility issues and struggle to get out of bed. It could also be important if you have young children and are worried about them falling off the bed.

How noisy will the bed base be?
Some box spring bases and metal bases become noisy over time.  If you are really sensitive to noise coming from your bed, choose a platform bed base that does not have potentially noisy parts. Another consideration is sex – if your platform isn’t solid it may not hold up or can be noisy.

Do you have a bad back or health issues that make sleeping flat difficult or painful?
If you sleep more comfortably in a soft chair than on your bed you might consider an adjustable bed for health reasons. You shouldn’t wake up feeling worse than you do in the daytime with back pain. Adjustable beds are also a solution for someone who has a tough time breathing where a different position can help clear the airways and even prevent snoring.

 

Classic Brands Adjustable Comfort Adjustable Bed Base with Massage, Wireless Remote and USB Ports,Home Life Electric Adjustable Platform Bed Frame with Remote Control - Linen Brown -Pragma Bed Pragmatic Adjustable Bed Frame, Head and Foot, Twin X-Large, GrayAdjustables by Leggett & Platt Simplicity Adjustable Bed Base, Wireless, Massage, Split KingMattress Genie Bed Lift System (Full Size (5700 Model))Adjustables by Leggett & Platt S-Cape Adjustable Bed Base, Wireless, Massage, Wall Hugger, Queen

 

Popular Mattress Platforms

I really like the look of a floating bed base inside of a bed frame with a tall headboard (featuring a Purple brand metal bed base).

Here are some of the hottest mattresses bases for this year!

The Purple mattress adjustable powerbase is my favorite. Click the link to read more about it’s features.

Purple Mattress Base

Purple is new but has a reputation for selling high quality mattresses that are affordable and extremely comfortable.  Since Purple beds need to be on a flat, sturdy surface you shouldn’t use a traditional box spring base — if you do, it can actually damage the mattress and void its warranty.

Note: we currently use box springs but ours are due for an upgrade. I’m not worried about damaging the mattress but we are looking at options for our base – like this one. I want to raise our bed profile up since Purple isn’t as tall as our other mattress and I want to add extra loft. I’m even more tempted to get a split king adjustable base!

If you have a Purple mattress like we do and want to stay in the Purple collection of products, don’t overlook the Purple platform. It is an extremely strong base and the design will extend the life of your mattress. Plus, it’s very quiet and lightweight. The platform itself weighs about 45 lbs. Amazingly, this simple and portable platform can hold an incredible amount of weight – up to 4,600 lbs – without bending or breaking. Ideal for people who put a lot of weight on their mattress (like sumo wrestlers), people who live in an apartment, or who move often.

Purple base platforms comes in the following sizes: Twin XL, Queen, King, and California King.

Height: 16.5 inches tall – 2.5 inches taller than standard bed platforms. You get room to store things under your bed AND makes your Purple mattress a bit taller overall. This platform comes with a lifetime warranty.

Purple Mattress Platform base

Forever Foundations Metal Bases
Forever Foundations is highly rated and consists of steel frame platform bed bases that are well-made, durable, and lightweight.  The frames are suitable for all types of modern mattresses. At approximately 16 inches off the ground, there is plenty of space under your bed for storage. Click to see Forever Foundations mattress bases.

 

Forever Foundations Store More Metro Steel Bed Frame, QueenZinus 14 Inch SmartBase Mattress Foundation / Platform Bed Frame / Box Spring ReplacementOlee Sleep OLR14BF04Q Heavy Duty Steel Slat Bed Frame T-3000, QueenLUCID Foldable Metal Platform Bed Frame and Mattress Foundation - Cal King

Zinus SmartBase Mattress Foundation
The Zinus SmartBase mattress foundation is an excellent choice for replacing your box spring base or bed frame.  Supporting up to 2400 pounds, it stands 14 inches off the ground which provides you with additional storage space.  You can place memory foam, spring or latex mattresses directly on the SmartBase.

The SmartBase brand mattress foundations have a 5 year limited warranty. Check out the range of SmartBase mattress bases.

 

South Shore Ottoman Storage Bed
This is a clever foundation base with an innovative design that provides a huge amount of storage space.  Two metal hydraulic cylinders lift the top of the bed base up at a 45 degree angle, so you can store items inside the bed.  This bed base can support memory foam, spring or latex mattress and is an excellent choice for people requiring more storage space.

Click to see South Shore mattress bases.

Greatime BS1111-2 Queen White Leatherette Storage Bed; Queen Size, White Storage BedModus Furniture RV26D7 Riva Platform Storage Bed, King, Chocolate BrownWhite Twin Mate's Platform Storage Bed with 3 Drawers

Hope this helped demystify mattress bases for you. I’m partial to the Purple mattress adjustable base and that’s what I hope to get for my bed. Do you have questions about choosing a mattress base for your “bed in a box” mattress? Post a comment!



6 thoughts on “Mattress Trends: It’s All About the Base”

  • I had no idea that base foundations could adjust to zero gravity! My wife and I are always talking about how we want something that will help us feel more relaxed during our meditations and what better way to do that with some new bed features! Thank you so much for the helpful mattress tips!

  • You’re welcome Jack – and you’re right, it would be a great way to meditate while you almost levitate! I think that would make a great video! If you do get one, please take a clip of you meditating and come back and share it with me! I’d love that!

  • When using the Purple platform frame with anything other than a Purple mattress, check with the mattress company about the warranty. The slats on this frame are greater than 3 inches at 5 1/2 x 8 3/4. This will void the warranty on most mattresses. My king Purple mattress bulged through even with no one in the bed (which may be one reason we didnt like it) I now have to place 3/4 inch plyboard on top to make the warranty on my new mattress valid.

  • Thank you Regina, for taking the time to point this out. We use our box springs even though we know it voids the warranty. Most mattress warranties are useless anyway (it has to be severe imprints for example and if we got to that point we’d buy another mattress). I will research and find frames that fit their requirements. It’s not as easy as I thought – most have slats too far apart. I’ve heard of others using plywood but I’d prefer to help others avoid that.

  • You literally have no idea what you are talking about through most of this. From someone in the bedding/mattress field it’s highly annoying to see these articles of disinformation. It’s borderline propaganda (which is not a good thing).

  • I’ve been to the show, the main industry magazine reported on this also. Bed bases (adjustable beds) and frames are popular because the online mattresses are just the top mattress. They don’t usually come with a foundation. Most at the show are focused on physical stores while I focused on online stores, because that’s my expertise. I’m going to guess you’re old school – coming from a furniture background? You didn’t give any details on what you consider propaganda. I own a Purple powerbase and a Zinus metal platform bed. People often ask me what to pair with your mattress and their options. That’s what this post provides.

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