Couple on Mattress at sleep well

Let’s Talk Mattress Foundations

Mattress Height and Different Sizes Available

Have you ever seen someone’s bed and it seems to be 8ft tall?  You ever wonder how they get up there?  Or maybe it’s your bed, and it takes a flying leap to get to bed each night.  We see that situation here at Sleep Well a lot, customers have issues with their bed being too high, or they like their bed higher than average, or they want it lower than average.  It all depends on how YOU like to have your sleep space.  Most customers do not even know there are options; they think they are stuck with having to climb Mt Everest every night to enjoy their nice plush mattress.  At Sleep Well part of our process is to make sure you are getting the mattress height that you need and that is right for you.  Over the next few paragraphs, we will explore the options available for mattress foundations and how they factor into the enjoyment of your new mattress, your sleep, and sometimes even your safety.

Why is our bed so high?

Bed height is determined by several factors, the height of the platform of your bed, the height of your foundation, and the height of your mattress.  With today’s mattress heights averaging around 14 inches, you can imagine that the inches start to add up quickly and soon your bed will almost be touching your ceiling fan (We’ve seen it happen).

What is a foundation?

Your standard mattress foundation, otherwise known as a box spring, is constructed of wood slats, or metal frame, covered by fabric designed to match your mattress.  The difference between wood and metal foundations is a matter of debate, some experts say wood is better, others say metal is better, both have legitimate cases for their preferences.  Sleep Well carries both metal and wood foundations.

The purpose of the foundation is to provide a flat surface for your mattress to lay on.  Your mattress is designed to be flexible, designed to give way to your curves, your body type.  Without a flat surface to support your mattress you would quickly feel the bumpy slats beneath your bed. A foundation eliminates the bumps and keeps your mattress supported.

Often we have customers say that they already have an old box spring that they want to keep and use.  We caution them on that thought due to the weakening of the foundations themselves.  Both wood and metal boxsprings flex and bend over time.  Your mattress may have body indentations, and those same indentations (weaknesses in your mattress springs, foam, and other material) can also be seen in your foundation.  It is always best to replace both mattress and foundation at the same time.

Different foundations heights

Foundations come in different heights for a specific use.  The standard foundation height is 9 inches.  This is the foundation/box spring that most of us are used to seeing.  They are the bread and butter of the mattress industry and most furniture stores will only stock this size of foundation due to the availability, pricing, and the common use.

The next size down is a 6-inch foundation.  This foundation is the size most customers with a bed, as opposed to just a bed frame, would use.  This foundation holds the average mattress at hip height and makes it easy to get on or off your mattress.  No need for a trampoline to get to bed each night.

The next size down is called a bunkie board.  Bunkie boards are best known for use on bunk beds for children. However, they are made for adult beds too.  This 2inch foundation is the smallest size available and brings your final bed height down a whopping 7 inches from a standard foundation.  Our most common customer application for this size is the senior citizen looking for a SAFE bed height that would eliminate the dangers of falling.

What height is best?

Most common height preferred by our customers is hip height.  Anything more than that and you have to climb into bed.  Any height less than that and it becomes an issue with squatting to lay down, which to some people with knee issues can be painful and even dangerous.

While shopping for a new mattress make sure you are asking questions about the availability of differently sized foundations and have the sleep expert work out the final bed height with you so that the properly sized foundation will be delivered to your house.  These may sound like common sense issues,but you’d be surprised how many times these questions are not being asked.

One final thought on foundations and final bed height, mostly just sharing an experience that we as a company have had.  Safety is a huge consideration for us as we make our recommendations for foundation height.  We have had a customer fall out of bed and injure themselves due to a bed height being too high for them.  Your safety will always be our biggest consideration, and sometimes, unfortunately, that consideration may go against the “decor” look that you are going for.  We’re always going to honor your decision, but we will remind you that safety needs to be your consideration as well.

Please feel free to add to our story, comment below! Thanks for reading and remember when you Sleep Well, you Live Well.

Knowledge is power, here’s a few other quick reads to help you shop for your next mattress:

Does a “Name Brand” Make Better Mattresses?

Foam vs Springs and the Importance of Sex

The Cheap Mattress

Finding the Right Mattress for Your Sore Back

What is Proper Back Support?

About the author:

Javier is the owner of Sleep Well, professionally trained sleep stores, specializing in specific mattresses for specific needs. He lives to give. He is an active member of his community and church. His hard work and efforts pay off for him when he can help others, and give to efforts for the betterment of others.
His spare time is spent with his beautiful wife, Gretchen. They are craft beer hobbyists who enjoy making their own beers, visiting small breweries, and making new friends. Their lives revolve around church, family, exercising, four great dogs, and keeping up with their home in Alamogordo NM.