What Is a Latex Mattress Foundation? Who Needs One?

You've done your research, taken your time, and decided on the perfect mattress for you. Now take the time to make sure that dream mattress is at its best night after night.

Latex FAQ: Should I buy a foundation for my latex mattress? A foam mattress needs a solid foundation combined with constant airflow. With the right foundation, you'll get years of soft support and comfortable sleeping temperatures. You'll experience your mattress at its very best and protect your warranty in the process.

What Is a Mattress Foundation?

foundation imageA latex foam mattress lacks the internal stability provided by traditional innerspring mattresses, but it's this lofty, soft, body-contouring support that has made latex and other foam mattresses so popular. To perform well, a latex foam mattress (or memory foam mattress) needs a little extra external stability. Mattress foundations are designed to be placed underneath a foam mattress to provide that added support.

Other Support Options

Traditional options like box springs or bed slats just don't offer the tailored support of a mattress foundation. Box springs can allow parts of the foam to sag between the support beams, creating an uneven support surface and stressing your mattress.

In addition, many latex mattress foundations are designed to be shipped in pieces and then assembled at home using only a few bolts. This design makes for a foundation that can be easily disassembled, moved, and re-assembled as the need requires -- a huge advantage over box springs.

Bed slats can set your mattress up to suffer the same fate as box springs, though you can ameliorate some of the problems by adding extra slats to your bed. With added slats, you can create a more even sense of support. Still, traditional slats are wider and create greater compression in the foam, while allowing less air space to encourage air circulation than that provided by good mattress foundations.

Some companies and salespeople will try to help you save a little money by telling you to put your specialty mattress on your old box spring or on bed slats. And that solution may work for a little while. But if you want the true benefits of a latex foam mattress, you need to make sure your mattress can do its job.

Warranty Concerns

Keep in mind that in some cases, only certain compatible mattress foundations are allowed by the mattress's warranty. Using your mattress on any other support surface can void your warranty and shorten the life of your premium mattress, so make sure to ask questions and read the fine print if you want to use an alternative foundation.

Construction of a Mattress Foundation

foundation imageA mattress foundation is foam mattress technology's take on a traditional box spring. Designed with closely-spaced slats on a supportive frame, mattress foundations provide the perfect support for the softer substance of foam.

A good mattress foundation will be constructed of thin wooden slats, spaced evenly, no more than two to three inches apart. Some foundations are then covered with a solid layer, similar to thin plywood, to ensure that none of the foam sags between the slats. Some foundations are also finished with a cloth foundation cover,usually quilted wool or cotton, to aid in moisture wicking while still allowing optimum air flow.

The best and longest-lasting foundations are built of hardwood. You can obtain organic or sustainably produced options in keeping with the philosophy and health benefits behind your organic or all-natural latex bed.

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The Final Word

An improper foundation can result in a mattress that's overly compressed or allowed to sag, creating unnecessary and unnatural pressure and pull within the mattress structure. Over time, that added pressure can result in damage to your premium mattress. To make sure that your mattress lives a long and supportive life, talk with your vendor to find a foundation that's designed specifically to work with your mattress.

You took the time to select that perfect mattress. Now take a little time to choose a foundation that's guaranteed to work optimally with your foam mattress. Care for your mattress, and your mattress will care for your body and provide quality sleep for years to come.