Mattresses That Do Not Need a Box Spring

Traditional beds have two parts: a mattress, made from coiled metal springs encased in batting or heavy fabric and a box spring below to provide extra support. Alternatively, there are several other kinds of mattresses that do not require a box spring for support.

Air Mattress

Not every mattress needs a box spring.

Air mattresses generally come in two varieties.  The simple ones are blown up with a foot pump for weekend guests or campouts.

The more sophisticated air mattresses are made for everyday use.  Everyday air mattresses are padded, and you can adjust the amount of air on either side.

Foam Mattress

Foam mattresses are made from different types of foam, including latex and polyurethane.  Quality foam mattresses are made from viscoelastic, also known as memory foam.

Memory foam contours itself to the body of the individual, and the foam softens in reaction to heat, making these mattresses firmer in winter. 


Futon mattresses are usually filled with foam or cotton and are made so that they are foldable to fit futon frames.  The mattresses come in different thicknesses.

A thin futon mattress works when you are using the futon as a couch but is a bit uncomfortable to sleep on.  Thicker futon mattresses are a better choice if you want to use the futon as a bed, but they also come with a higher price tag.


Waterbeds offer therapeutic benefits as they can distribute body weight evenly.  However, they require more maintenance and upkeep than traditional beds and cannot be moved around a room as easily as a regular mattress and box spring.

About the Author

Lee Weal began writing and editing online content as a corporate intranet administrator in 2000 and was also the publisher and editor of a monthly employee newsletter. Her articles specialize in children's issues and home improvement.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images