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Which Mattress Foundation Is Best For Me?

You have many different choices when buying any type of mattress foundation or bed frame for your new bed, no matter what mattress type it is. Lots of options make it even more important to go into the shopping process with at least a small game plan. At Mount Pleasant Mattresses, we like to consider four factors when choosing which bed frame is best for you, and for other people living in the Charleston area or anywhere else in the United States.

AFFORDABILITY

How much does the bed foundation cost? What is your budget? You can pay $5,000+ for top adjustable bases, or under $200 for many box springs.

FUNCTIONALITY

How do you want your new bed frame to function? Do you want to be able to kick your feet up at night, or is a flat frame okay for your needs?

DURABILITY

If you'll only be sleeping in the bed for a year or two, a long-lasting and durable mattress foundation may not be completely necessary!

DESIGN

Are aesthetics important to you? If you care about how a bed base looks, you will have different purchasing options than if you do not.

Best Mattress Foundations

urban woods platform bed
An Urban Woods platform bed, made from sustainably sourced materials.

Platform Beds

A solid, low-profile mattress foundation that's beautiful by modern design standards, the platform bed supports any type of mattress without the need for a box spring or metal rail system.

The Platform Bed; Modern Mattress Foundations

Benefits

Though platform-style bed frames are mostly popular because of their looks, their features are equally beneficial to sleepers looking for the best mattress foundation for their bedroom. 

Platform beds are highly ventilated because they're only one flat piece of solid wood. Increased ventilation helps keep your mattress cooler at night, which is important when choosing a foundation if you "sleep hot" at night.

Functionality is also a major factor for a platform bed buyer because many models come with built in drawers and accessories that will help save space in your bedroom.

Downsides

Unlike cheaper foundation systems (like metal rails with a box spring) and even equally-priced adjustable bases, quality platform beds are generally made by hand using hard woods so they can be more difficult to find and purchase. Shipping lead times also tend to be longer than more accessible foundations.

By their very design, the platform bed can only lay in one position-- flat. If you want a premium foundation that can move around and elevate your head and feet, then we suggest buying an adjustable bed base.

Pricing

Unlike cheaper foundation systems (like metal rails with a box spring), platform beds are more expensive than other mattress foundation alternatives, making them a premium choice.

Top Brands

Who makes the best platform beds? Top manufacturers include Astoria, Urban Woods, All Modern, and Zipcode Design. Astoria is known for elegant, solid wood options while Urban Woods out of California creates sleek platform beds from sustainably-sourced wood.

Additionally, designer Wade Logan creates upholstered platform beds that have a much different look than those made by Urban Woods, Astoria, or All Modern.

leggett platt adustable bed base - prodigy 2.0 plus model
Prodigy 2.0+ Adjustable Base by Leggett & Platt

Adjustable Bases

The most functional mattress foundation on the market today, adjustable bases are the luxurious choice for sleepers looking to take their bedroom to the next level. The most popular feature of adjustable beds (and where they get their name) is the ability to change your sleep position with the touch of a button. Elevating your head, feet, or both to watch television or relieve pain is simple!

The Adjustable Bed Frame; The Perfect Mattress Foundation

Benefits

Some adjustable bases can rise up to wake you up in the morning, and though this is a small benefit to buying an adjustable bed frame, it's a sign of what other features the functional bedroom furniture has in store for new sleepers.

How do adjustable bases match the nightly needs of any type of sleeper?

  • Raise your whole torso and upper-body up to read or watch TV in bed.
  • Tilt your head up while sleeping to help with snoring problems using anti-snore features. 
  • Elevate your feet to relax after a tough day's work, or rigorous exercise. 
  • Massage your body-- because why not? Everyone loves a great massage, especially when it's free!

Downsides

Big furniture items with lots of parts (like adjustables) can be difficult to move and assemble. If "easy setup" is important to you and you want an adjustable bed, then you should consider a "white glove" delivery service. Many companies will set the bed up for you if you select this option.

Like any type of electronics, there's always a risk your adjustable base will malfunction due to old-age or electrical factors that fall your direct control. Simple foundations like platform beds are less likely to 'break' than beds with moving parts.

Pricing

In recent years, adjustable bed frames have considerably decreased in price and as a result, have become more affordable for many shoppers.

They're still more costly than something like a box spring and metal rail combination, but if you're willing to sacrifice 'luxurious' features like massage and 'zero-gravity', there are many affordable adjustable bases on the market nowadays in comparison to 10-15 years ago! 

For premium models, adjustable frames are priced in a similar range to platform bed setups.

Top Brands

The top two adjustable bed manufacturing companies in the United States are Reverie and Leggett & Platt.

Many mattress manufacturers (like Casper, Ghost Beds, and other bed-in-a-box sellers) offer "white label" bases that are manufactured and assembled outside of America and have almost identical features when compared to each other.

If you want a name-brand with a reliable warranty attached, we suggest you go with either Leggett & Platt or Reverie.

wood mattress foundation by sleeping organic
Premium White Pine Wood Foundation by Sleeping Organic

Wood Slats Foundation

Combining the affordability of a box spring set with many features of a platform bed, "ready to assemble" wood slat bed frames are the best bang for your buck if you want a great mattress foundation that will improve your sleep without the high price tag.

Wood Foundations; An Affordable High-Quality Bed Frame

Benefits

"Assembly required" isn't the most exciting phrase to hear, but when it comes to getting a good bed foundation at an reasonable price-point, you'll be happy you took an hour to assemble your wood foundation.

Wood slat foundations are the best value in the mattress foundation category of bedding products. Ventilation is fantastic, much like the breathability of platform beds. If the foundation is made with high-quality wood, it will be extremely durable and will last you much longer than any metal rail and box spring on the market.

Downsides

If you don't want to spend an hour or so putting together your new bed foundation, then you should stay away from a wood slat foundation. The assembly generally isn't too difficult, but "assembly required" is considered a strong downside for many shoppers.

Pricing

Wood slat foundations are less expensive than adjustable power bases and platform beds, but more costly than boxspring and metal rail systems.

Top Brands

There are a handful of wood foundations available for sale on Amazon and Wayfair marketplaces. On Amazon, Zinus Sleep is a highly rated company for wood mattress foundations.

If you're looking to buy directly from a mattress store in Mount Pleasant, then you should consider Sleeping Organic's wood foundation because it is made in Charleston South Carolina with sustainably-sourced white pine wood.

metal rail bed frame by signature sleep
A metal rail bed frame by Signature Sleep.

Metal Bed Frame

Metal rail frames are a no-frills, cheap mattress foundation that many big-box mattress stores include for free, or for very cheap, with the purchase of a new mattress. They're typically used in combination with a box spring, though with some models it is possible to use them alone.

Metal Rail Bed Frames; Cheap Mattress Foundations

Benefits

If you're on a tight budget, a metal rail foundation system is a cheap way to raise your mattress off the ground without draining your bank account. Because this foundation type is not expensive, they're easy to find and purchase in most mattress stores and showrooms around Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and the rest of the United States. 

These frames generally come in no more than 10 separate metal pieces, so assembly is quicker than putting together any adjustable bases or platform beds (though some assembly still is required before it's ready so sleep on).

Downsides

When you're buying a cheap piece of furniture, you know it's not going to be the highest quality. The same is true with metal bed frames. They're meant to have a short lifespan, much like the mattresses they are sold with.

Metal mattress frames are not durable. You can expect your frame to last a maximum of 8 years, with many lasting closer to 5 years if they are moved often. 

If you're buying a metal bed foundation locally, make sure you read the weight limits included with the product's manual. These items are cheaply made, so if you and your partner are over the limit, you may be in for a wild ride when you first jump on the bed.

Pricing

Bed frames made with metal rails are amongst the cheapest mattress foundations on the market today. If you're buying an affordable mattress from a big box store like Mattress Firm, you may even be able to get one of these foundations included with your mattress completely free.

Top Brands

At this time, we do not recommend a metal bed frame and box spring combination because it does not provide enough ventilation to keep your mattress cool at night. For this reason, we have not researched which metal rail manufacturer is the "best," but if you must purchase this type of foundation, then Signature Sleep has high rating on Amazon.

box spring for mattresses by zinus sleep
A basic box spring made by Zinus Sleep.

Box Spring

Box springs can be used in combination with a metal rail system to add slight ventilation and raise your bed off the ground, or used by themselves. They're extremely cheap and note recommended if you're investing in a high-quality memory foam, latex, or memory foam & latex hybrid mattress.

The Box Spring; Worst Foundation For Warm Climates

Benefits

Boxsprings are abundant on the market because many sleepers think they're a requirement when purchasing a new mattress. For this reason, they're extremely easy to find locally and from online marketplaces like Amazon and Wayfair.

One of the only benefits of choosing a box spring and metal rail instead of a box spring alternative is cost. It's going to be the cheapest option for bed frames out there today, and will be into the future.

Downsides

Why should you choose something other than a box spring to put your mattress on at night?

Box springs are made from toxic fabrics and materials that will seep into your bedding and affect the air quality of your bedroom as you sleep and spend time in bed.

Box springs are not breathable, so if you currently sleep on one and you "sleep hot" at night, then the box spring may be to blame! Because of this lack of ventilation, the box spring is famous for trapping in moisture and thus, causing mold and mildew buildup in hard-to-see areas near your bed.

Pricing

Box springs are incredibly cheap products because they're manufactured in bulk with fabrics and materials that are not eco-friendly.

If you're buying a cheap mattress from a store like Costco, Sears, or Mattress Firm, then you may be able to get a box spring (as well as a metal rail system) included for free with your mattress. This combination will be 'good enough' if you're buying a cheap mattress you only need for a few years, but if you're investing in a long-term bed, then you should stay away from this option.

Top Brands

Mount Pleasant Mattresses & Foundations does not recommend sleeping on a box spring setup, even if it's used with a metal rail system.

These combinations do not provide adequate ventilation and as a result, can cause mold and mildew growth in warm climates like Charleston, SC and the many other warmer regions of the United States.

If, however, you are completely sold on needing a box spring and simply cannot live without one, then check out Zinus Sleep's box spring on Amazon because at a glance, it has positive reviews.

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