Bed base

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A bed base

A bed base, sometimes called a foundation, is the part of a bed that supports the mattress. The bed base is itself held in place and framed by the bedstead (bed frame). In the United States, box spring bed bases are very common (to the point where 'bed base' and 'box spring' may be used synonymously). In Europe, sprung slats are much more common.

There are three main types:

  • A traditional box spring consists of a rigid frame containing extra heavy duty springs.[1] This foundation is often paired with an innerspring mattress, as it extends the life of the spring unit at the mattress's core. All-foam mattresses are often paired with platform-style bases.
  • An all-wood foundation usually has seven or eight support slats disposed below paperboard or beaverboard. This foundation, variously called a "no-flex", "low-flex" or zero-deflection unit, as well as an "ortho box", provides support similar to a platform foundation. All-wood foundations have become increasingly prevalent as U.S. mattress makers shifted to super-thick, one-sided mattresses.[2]
  • A grid-top foundation is a combination of steel and wood.

Typically the measurements of a foundation will be about 1-2" shorter than the measurement of a mattress.


  1. ^ "At High Point Market: Shifman highlights its handcrafting". BedTimes Magazine. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Nelles, Barbara (February 2012). "New features rev up steel frames & support systems". BedTimes Magazine. Retrieved 11 February 2014.