Does a Box Spring Wear Out?

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 02/13/2023

Is your sleep getting worse and worse? Does your bed seem more and more uncomfortable? 

Most people would immediately blame their mattress, but the truth is that your box spring could also be to blame. 

So, do box springs wear out? Certainly. Here’s what you should know. 

What Is a Box Spring?

Some mattresses need adequate support, and that’s what a box spring is used for

A traditional box spring is built as a wooden frame with steel springs covered in fabric. All of these elements aren’t used just to support the mattress properly. 

A box spring absorbs shock, makes the mattress last longer, and even makes it more breathable. Box springs are also used to raise the bed off the floor, making it cleaner and more comfortable. 

Box springs are usually put on top of a bed frame, but you could use a standard box spring on the floor and place the mattress on it. Some frames, like a panel bed frame, even require a box spring as part of the mattress set. 

Most modern mattresses don’t need a box spring, but innerspring mattresses usually do. Your hybrid mattress might also benefit from this support system. When it comes to foam beds, there are better systems than box springs. 

Box springs also can’t be used on an adjustable bed because they aren’t bendable.

Check the mattress warranty first if you’re wondering whether your mattress needs a box spring. Many manufacturers give out mattress warranties that tell you exactly how to take care of new mattresses.

How Long Does a Box Spring Typically Last?

Most box springs have the same lifespan as regular mattresses—they last 8 to 10 years. 

But sometimes, a box spring can deteriorate way faster. That’s why it’s essential to look for high-quality box springs. 

However, if you have a sturdy box spring and take care of it correctly, it could last up to 20 years!

Why Is Your Box Spring Getting Old?

Box springs are usually made up of four parts, each of which has its own job and lifespan. 

Over time, these parts handle pressure differently and start to change in different ways. 

Here’s how box springs wear out.

Wooden Frame

If you need a box spring that’ll last, look for one with a wooden frame made from hardwood. These frames can last up to 10 years and sometimes even longer. 

On the other hand, low-quality, cheaper models of box springs are usually made with plywood, which isn’t very durable. Plywood can start deteriorating after just a couple of years. 

Metal Springs

The steel coils in a box spring give rigid support and absorb shock. In other words, they handle a lot of pressure, so they’re usually the first ones to go. 

If your mattress or box spring is sagging, those coils give way. High-quality coils can last up to ten years without breaking. But thin, low-quality metal coils can start collapsing in no time. 

Steel Grid

Besides the steel coils, the metal grid is also there to provide the rigid support needed for most mattresses. And if it’s a low-quality steel grid, it will deteriorate faster and start to bend. Check whether the metal grid patterns are off.

Fabric Cover

Finally, box springs are usually covered in fabric, and this dust cover is prone to wear and tear. It’s traditionally made from linen or cambric, which is a cotton fabric. The fabric covering the box spring is used to protect the box spring from dirt and bacteria, just like a mattress cover does for a mattress.

Signs Your Box Spring Is Getting Old

Is it time to get a new box spring? Has it already been ten years since you got it? 

It’s time to inspect your box spring. Box springs wear out, and here are several factors you should watch out for. 


Your current box spring sagging and bending in places is a sure sign that it can’t provide support anymore. The steel coil springs are giving in, and it’s time to do some shopping.


If you hear creaking or squeaking noises while using your mattress, the actual springs are showing their age.

However, before you throw out the whole box spring, check what exactly is making the noise. Old mattresses with coils also get noisy when they stop providing support, and you want to avoid getting rid of an excellent box spring if the mattress has a couple of old springs. 

Damaged Coils And Grid 

If you notice apparent broken, bent, or damaged springs or slats in your box spring, it’s time to get a new one. These fractured or damaged coils can’t provide support for the mattress; they’ll keep getting worse and could even be dangerous. 


If your box spring is over ten years old, it’s already due for a thorough inspection. Yes, some box springs wear out after 20 years, but now is the time to pay attention to the details. 

Bad Sleep

A box spring is used to support the mattress. And if the bed doesn’t have proper support, it can’t support you. 

And what happens when you don’t get proper support? That’s right—lousy sleep. If you notice that you’ve been sleeping worse and worse lately, check the state of your mattress and the box spring. 

How Can I Make My Box Spring Last Longer?

You won’t have to replace your box spring in less than 10 years if you take care of it. This rule can be applied to mattresses, bed frames, and even box springs. 

And it all comes down to maintenance. 

Remember to rotate the box spring every couple of months to change the pressure points. Also, try not to jump on your bed because that puts too much stress on the coils. 

It’s also about good hygiene. We know it’s tempting, but try not to eat in bed. Clean your mattress and the box spring every three months to stay safe from dust mites and bed bugs, and wash your sheets often! 

Box Spring or Mattress – What’s the Problem?

You sleep poorly, wake up groggy and in pain, and you have to ask, “Who’s to blame?” 

Most people would immediately blame their mattress, but a box spring could also be the guilty party. 

Sagging, joint pain, and overall lousy sleep are common signs of this. But before you get a new mattress on a whim, take your time and check both the mattress and box spring for apparent signs of damage. They handle the same type of pressure, but that doesn’t mean they last the same!

You want to avoid getting a new mattress and realize that the problem was in the box spring all along! 

Box Spring Alternatives

If you need to replace your box spring, the best alternatives are: a platform bed or a mattress foundation.

Platform Bed

Platform beds are an all-in-one solution that provide a firm surface and a solid foundation for the mattress. The system in a platform bed frame is constructed from a flat surface made from wood, metal, or plastic, and the mattress sits directly on the bed base.

Platform beds give more support and can handle all mattress types, but they’re mainly used for heavier foam mattresses, like latex and memory foam. Platform beds offer space for storage drawers under the bed frame, and they’re cheaper.

Mattress Foundation

This box spring alternative is built from metal or wooden slats to support the bed. The wood slats in these mattress foundations provide a firm surface and have fabric covering them. A mattress foundation can handle a lot of weight and is suitable for all mattress types. 

What Can I Do With My Old Box Spring?

Should you throw your old box spring in the trash? Sure, you can do that. The process is similar to getting rid of your old mattress

But you could also recycle it or find another way to DIY it. Some ideas include using wood frames for craft projects or parts of the grid as decorations or photo frames. It’s all up to you! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between a Box Spring and a Foundation?

Both box springs and foundations are used to support the mattress and look similar on the outside. 

However, box springs are built with steel and are mainly used for innerspring mattresses. 

On the other hand, most foundations are built from one solid metal or wood frame covered in fabric. They are better for latex and memory foam mattresses and can handle more weight. 

What Are Split Box Springs?

If you have a big mattress, like a king or queen size, you need a box spring of the same size. Big box springs can be hard to move around because they aren’t bendable. But a split box spring comes in two halves, which is more manageable. 

How Tall Is a Box Spring?

Typical box springs are 7 to 9 inches tall. However, if you don’t want your bed to be that high, you can go for a low-profile box spring. These box springs are only 4 to 5 inches high. There are ultra-low box springs and even much taller options out there. If you want a modern, low mattress, consider a platform wood foundation with no wooden legs.

Final Thoughts

Well, everything’s covered. So what is the aftermath? Are you getting a new box spring, a new bed, or even a completely different mattress support? 

We hope this guide helps you either way. Good luck and have a good night’s sleep!

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.