What Is a Mattress Foundation?

A mattress foundation can be simple or high tech, made from materials that are natural or man made, and ranging in price. Your mattress rests on a foundation that can elevate it off the floor and give a more sturdy feel to your mattress. 

If you’ve just got a new mattress or changing your bedding system, you may be considering a new bed foundation that can add a luxurious and functional element to your bedroom.

Let’s talk about mattress foundations, the various types, if you need one, and which one is suitable for your bedroom and lifestyle.    

What Is a Mattress Foundation?

What Is a Mattress Foundation For?

A bed foundation has significant tasks in the bedroom. An elevated mattress means the bedding is easier maintained, it’s easier to get in and out of bed and air circulation prolongs the mattress lifespan. Foundations can be made of wood, metal, and even include motors that add massage functions and control the head/feet incline, and lights, via remote control.  

Do I Need a Mattress Foundation?

A mattress foundation adds another layer of comfort to your sleep. The right bed foundation will elevate your mattress, provide air to ventilate under your bed, help distribute your weight evenly across the mattress, and keep your spine aligned. While you can put any mattress on the floor, this prevents your mattress from breathing, decreasing its lifespan with every use.   

Why Do You Need a Mattress Foundation?

A mattress foundation or bed base has some important functions;

  • It elevates the mattress so it’s easy to get in and out of bed
  • An elevated mattress means it’s easier to change the bedding 
  • A bed base that allows ventilation underneath creates air circulation that keeps your mattress fresh, prolonging its lifespan
  • If the mattress foundation has space underneath, it can be used for light storage (take care not to store too much under the bed as this will impede ventilation)
  • A modern mattress foundation can include a mechanical motor that controls the head and footrest via a remote control
  • An electric mattress foundation can have lights under the base, massage function, and USB chargers on both sides   

Different Types of Mattress Foundations

Box Spring

Best used with coil spring mattresses:

Think of a wooden box frame filled with springs and covered with fabric! That’s a box spring foundation. A spring coil mattress is designed with each box frame and complements each other. The box is the same size as the mattress but a King bed usually has two split boxes. These are very light but do not bend, therefore, take note of any tight corners in your home before deciding on this frame. A box spring for memory foam mattress will depend on its rigidity, if the base is firm it could be suitable for short term use but a base that has some sagging will not be suitable for memory foam.  


Best used with any mattress:

A foundation is generally made of wood and considered a more modern alternative to a box spring. A flat board lays on top of the wooden frame in place of slats or springs. A foundation can be stand-alone without a bed frame so it is ideal for a small bedroom. It can be placed directly on the floor or elevated. A foundation mattress can be spring, memory foam, latex, foam, or AirFoam™.     


Best used with any mattress:

A platform foundation is a wooden frame with legs and thin wooden bed slats that support the mattress. The wooden slats that support the mattress make ventilation easy, therefore, could prolong your mattress lifespan. An optional frame can be placed outside the foundation for adding a stylish touch to the bedroom. 


Best used with AirFoam™, memory foam, latex

An adjustable bed base is the most advanced foundation available. With head and feet incline at the touch of a button, you can find the coziest position in seconds. Nolah’s adjustable bases are made with a noise-free German engine for silent night time adjustments, so quiet that you won’t even disturb your sleeping partner!

The adjustable leg height can add up to 13 inches of space under the bed and for even more luxury, Nolah has an adjustable bed base with massage that includes USB chargers and built-in nightlight under the bed. Enjoy weightless Zero-G sleep position, programmable sleep positions, and massage function. The beauty of an adjustable base, apart from the functionality, is the durability, made with reinforced steel, it’s built to last a lifetime. 

What Is the Best Foundation for a Mattress? 

The best mattress foundation will add height to your bed and allow ventilation under your mattress. If you have a spring coil mattress a box spring could work well for you. A mattress foundation ideal for memory foam is foundation, platform, or adjustable. 

The types of bed frames that are suitable for your needs will also depend on the space available in your bedroom. If you have a small sleep space, having some under bed storage can be useful. Therefore, opt for a platform.    

What Is the Best Foundation for Nolah?

We recommend using our adjustable base, but also recommend a couple of good options from Amazon—see our recommendations here: 5 Recommend Bed Frames for Nolah Mattress.

Is a Mattress Foundation Ideal for Memory Foam?

The best foundation for memory foam mattress will be firm. A foundation, platform, or adjustable base is ideal for a memory foam mattress. The bed slats must be no more than 3-4 inches apart to fully support the memory foam. A box spring may not be the best option for memory foam unless it’s very firm and short term only. 

Is a Mattress Foundation Ideal for Latex?

Latex mattresses are heavy so require a sturdy bed foundation to support it. Also, latex mattresses are some of the most expensive, to prolong their lifespan, it’s best to invest in the best mattress foundation available. Ensure bed slats are close together or opt for an adjustable base that is ideal for a latex mattress.  

Is a Mattress Foundation Ideal for a Spring Mattress?

A box spring is an ideal foundation to accompany your spring mattress. The springs in the base could absorb some of your nighttime movements but motion transfer will still be quite high. A foundation is also another possible option due to the unanimous flat surface. However, a box spring foundation is perfect for a spring mattress. 

What is the Best Foundation for a Memory Foam Mattress? 

The best and most comfortable surface for your memory foam mattress will be an elevated height, flat, and strong. Never put your memory foam mattress directly on the floor, while this can be a good short term option, your mattress needs plenty of air to circulate to keep it fresh, prolonging its lifespan.  

Is a Foundation the Same as a Box Spring?

A box spring and bed foundation are similar, they’re both box shaped and made of wood. However, the box spring is a wooden frame, filled with springs and covered in fabric. The bed foundation is a wooden frame with a flat piece of wood on top. A bed foundation gives a more flat surface to sleep than a box spring.

Tips for Finding the Best Mattress Foundation

What is the best foundation for a mattress?

  1. Measure your sleep space
  2. Box spring is best for coil spring mattresses, don’t use AirFoam™ with a regular box spring
  3. Platform and adjustable bases are great for memory foam, latex, and AirFoam™
  4. Adjustable bases last a lifetime because they’re made from reinforced steel 
  5. Solid reinforcement under your mattress will help to distribute your weight and make the mattress more comfortable  


The best mattress foundation will fully support your mattress while elevating the bed for comfortable access. It will also allow plenty of air to ventilate under the bed and through the mattress, this prolongs your mattress lifespan by keeping it fresh. 

Whatever type of mattress you use, foam, latex, memory foam, spring, AirFoam™, establish a firm base for your mattress that is a flat surface. Any sagging in your foundation will cause your mattress to sag. This could result in muscle strains, aches, and put your spine out of alignment as you sleep.

Do I Need a Foundation for a Mattress?

  • A bed foundation gives height to your bed and provides air ventilation, prolonging your mattress lifespan
  • There are many types of bed frames
  • If using a spring mattress, a box spring is a perfect mattress foundation 
  • Never use a regular box spring for memory foam mattress 
  • The best foundation for memory foam mattress is flat, sturdy, and elevated 
  • A foundation and metal bed frame is popular and cost effective for most mattresses
  • A platform bed is cost effective and widely available 
  • An adjustable base is a great sleep investment because it’s made with reinforced steel and will last a lifetime, sleep comfort is optimized by added massage function, head and feet incline, USB chargers on either side, embedded nightlights, and silent German made motor, built to last a lifetime