The difference between a boxspring and a slatted base. How to choose between the two.

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The difference between a boxspring and a slatted base. How to choose between the two.

Choosing the perfect bed is an important decision. Not only for your sleeping comfort, but also for the look and feel of your bedroom. When considering the various options, you are often faced with a dilemma: will you go for an elegant box spring or do you prefer the simplicity of a slatted base and a mattress, with or without a bed frame? Both bed systems have their own features and advantages. In this article, we will delve into the comparisons between a box spring and a slatted base. Then you can make an informed choice that suits your personal sleeping needs and preferences.

Evolution of the bed

In days gone by, we heard our grandparents talk about beds. Theirs was a simple bed base with springs or boards upheld by four legs, sometimes surrounded by a bed frame and with a mattress on top. In the world of beds, a lot of research has been done in recent years, resulting in a gradual change. With the rise of the box spring, also called a hotel bed because of its luxurious image, we have automatically come to think that a 'normal bed' is inferior. Nothing could be further from the truth. In addition to the box spring, bed bases have evolved quite a bit, and the comfortable slatted base also made its appearance. With a solid mattress on top, you will undoubtedly equal the sleeping comfort of a box spring.

A box spring or a slatted base, the difference at first sight

But which of these two modern bed systems is the best? Actually, a lot depends on the quality of the materials and the mattress. In this article, we provide you with the differences between both types of bed systems. This will make it easier to choose which one you prefer.

The fundamental difference between a box spring and a slatted base lies in the composition:

  • An Ergosleep® box spring consists of a wooden base (box) with hundreds of individually packed springs (pocket springs) and a matching mattress so that the bed system forms a freestanding unit.
  • An Ergosleep® slatted base is simply a bed base that can either stand alone on legs or can be placed in a bed frame. A mattress is placed on top of the slatted base. Because the slatted base does not necessarily require a bed frame, the price of this option is lower than the cost of a box spring.

How to make the right choice between a box spring and a slatted base?

Some people opt for a box spring, while others prefer a slatted base with a bed frame. That choice often has more to do with appearance and budgetary considerations. However, don't be blinded by the exteriors of both bed systems because, as you may have suspected, looks don’t give the full picture. The box springs are upholstered, for example, and Ergosleep® also offers beautifully upholstered headboards and bed frames.

When purchasing a new bed, be sure to think about your sleeping comfort, which  is determined by the contents of the bed combination. And because all of us are built differently and have different needs, Ergosleep® created a very unique and scientifically based system. During an 8-minute SLEEP DNA® measurement in an Ergosleep® Cocoon in a bed store near you, your personal body profile or SLEEP DNA® is measured, after which it can be integrated into a box spring or a slatted base. The choice between a box spring and a slatted base will depend mainly on how you experience the comfort of both systems. Let’s take a closer look at each bed system...


What is a box spring?

It is a misunderstanding that a box spring is a complete bed. A box spring is not a bed, but nothing more than a bed base. In other words, a wooden box on legs. This box is filled with individually packed pocket springs allowing them to move independently of each other. This is a major advantage compared to cheaper box springs that you can find elsewhere. These usually contain bonnell springs.

The box is upholstered by default, giving it a luxurious appearance. We can only call it a box spring bed when a mattress, and possibly a top mattress, is placed on top of the box. Which mattress you put on top depends on your personal preferences and your budget. At Ergosleep®, we offer pocket spring mattresses and latex mattresses. By adding an upholstered headboard and/or footboard to the box spring bed, you create a complete box spring combination.

What does a box spring combination consist of?

  • An upholstered wooden box with pocket springs on legs
  • A mattress
  • Possibly a top mattress
  • Optionally, a matching upholstered headboard and/or footboard

Quality down to the ‘core’ of the box

The Ergosleep® box spring owes its name to the thermally hardened pocket springs, which are much firmer compared to those of a mattress core. However, did you know that some box springs do not deserve their name? Don't be misled by cheaper box springs that are well encased in a nicely upholstered box. Often a plain foam core is hidden inside. These so-called box springs have nothing to do with the high-quality pocket spring box springs from Ergosleep®. The higher the number of springs in the box spring, the more support it will provide.

The dimensions of an Ergosleep® box spring combination

Usually, a box spring is not larger than a bed with a slatted base. After all, it stands on its own and, therefore, cannot be placed in a bed frame. If you choose to add a headboard and/or footboard, you need to take into account its size and thickness to know whether the entire combination still fits in your bedroom.
Just like a double bed consisting of 2 slatted bases and mattresses, a double box spring bed consists of 2 box springs and 2 mattresses. This way, you and your partner can each choose a mattress that suits your own preferences and needs.

What are the advantages of a box spring?

  • Ultimate comfort
    One of the most attractive aspects of a quality box spring is its unparalleled comfort. The combination of a resilient box spring base, a high-quality mattress and optional top mattress, provides a sleeping surface that adapts to your body and provides support in just the right places.
  • Ergonomics and excellent support
    Box springs are designed to provide excellent support to the mattress and, therefore, to your body. This can be especially beneficial if you suffer from back or joint problems. Opting for an Ergosleep® box spring gives you the added benefit of a free measurement of your SLEEP DNA®, after which you know exactly what level of support you need in your box spring base.

  • Look and style
    Ergosleep® box springs have a luxurious look. They are available in different styles, fabrics and more than 200 different colours, so they can fit perfectly with your bedroom decor.

  • Comfortable height
    In general, box springs are slightly higher than slatted bases on legs or in a bed frame, which could make getting in and out of bed easier, especially for people with mobility issues.

  • Damping and sound absorption
    The springy construction of a box spring can absorb noise and reduce vibration, resulting in a quieter sleeping environment.

  • Excellent ventilation
    Although a mattress will be placed on top of the box, the individually packed spring structure leaves sufficient room for excellent ventilation.

  • For all budgets
    The finishing touches will mainly determine the price of a box spring bed. Ergosleep® offers quality box springs at an affordable price.
    What are the disadvantages of a box spring?

  • The size
    A box spring combination can be quite large. When choosing your bed, you’ll need to take your bedroom dimensions into account.

  • Cleaning
    Unless you opt for a leather-look upholstery, it is best to keep in mind that a fabric-upholstered box spring is more difficult to clean. For those with house dust allergies, this can be a problem.


What is a slatted base bed?

A 'normal or regular bed' is a traditional type of bed that consists of a metal frame containing a slatted base that provides support for the mattress. With a mattress on the slatted base, and possibly a top cover mattress, you have the perfect basis for a wonderful night's sleep. Ergosleep® offers many different pocket spring mattresses and latex mattresses.
A slatted base is actually a stand-alone bed base on legs that does not necessarily require a bed frame to function as a bed. However, if you want to match the aesthetic appearance of a box spring, you can have additional components fitted around a slatted base, such as a bed frame, a headboard, a footboard and/or extra mattress layers.
Known for its simple and timeless designs, such a bed combination is often a popular choice because of its durability, versatility and budget-friendliness. As with a box spring, you can have a bed frame around a slatted base upholstered in fabric or leather look materials in different colours and styles, so that your bed perfectly matches any bedroom.

What does a slatted base combination consist of?

  • An upholstered bed frame, with or without legs
  • A slatted base, with or without legs
  • A mattress
  • Possibly a mattress topper
  • An optional headboard and/or footboard

A slatted base as the basis

The Ergosleep® slatted bases consist of high-quality, springy bending slats made of laminated beechwood and an extremely durable suspension system with shape memory. The slats are encased in rubber slat supports and are attached to a metal frame with springy support elements. The support arms are easily adjustable to different height positions. Because the slats float above the frame, you do not feel the frame edges when lying down. The springy supporting elements allow the slats to move smoothly with you, making the slatted base feel comfortable.

The right slatted base in your bed frame.

If you still have a good bed frame with the right dimensions, there’s a good chance that an Ergosleep® slatted base will fit in your current bed. If this is not the case, your new slatted base can be a stand-alone on legs or a new Ergosleep® bed frame can replace your existing bed.
For yourself and your partner, you’ll need two slatted bases that can be connected with connecting legs. Our slatted bases and bed frames are available in different lengths and widths.

What are the advantages of a slatted base?

  • Ergonomics and support
    In terms of ergonomics, the Ergosleep® slatted bases are certainly not inferior to the Ergosleep® box springs. Our slatted bases also include adjustable zones and slats that reduce pressure points where your body needs it. After a free measurement of your SLEEP DNA®, we know exactly which slatted base suits your body and how it should be adjusted to promote a healthy sleeping position.

  • Budget-friendly
    A slatted base with or without a bed frame is usually a bit cheaper than a box spring.

  • Simplicity and durability
    A slatted base on legs or in a bed frame is often chosen because of its simple and durable design. Both the bed frames and the slatted bases are made of sturdy materials, making them durable and resistant. A quality slatted base provides a solid foundation for your mattress. As a slatted base usually has fewer moving parts, it tends to last longer.

  • A simple and flexible style
    A slatted base does not demand all the attention in your bedroom. When incorporated into a bed frame, your slatted base combination usually exudes a timeless simplicity, from rustic to modern, creating a harmonious whole with your interior. It provides a neutral background for your duvet covers, fitted sheets, pillowcases and decor.

  • A flexible choice of mattress
    With a slatted base, you can use different types of mattresses, giving you more freedom to choose the most suitable mattress for your personal sleeping needs.

  • More space
    A slatted base, whether or not combined with a bed frame, is less boastful than a box spring and usually takes up less space in your bedroom. Some slatted base combinations have room at the bottom for storage drawers, which can be useful if you need extra storage.

  • Easier to clean
    For a thorough clean, you can easily lift the slatted base out of the bed frame. 
    What are the disadvantages of a slatted base?

  • Hanging a slatted base in a bed frame is not always possible
    If you already have a bed frame with four legs, it is important to know that the Ergosleep® slatted bases cannot be attached to all bed frames. But rest assured, all our slatted bases can be supplied with legs. Therefore, they can fit into many existing bed frames.

  • Lower to get into bed
    The ergonomic entry into a slatted base combination depends on the height of the legs. For your slatted base, you will have to choose longer legs.

Sleeping comfort: box spring versus slatted base

Due to the popularity of the box spring, people tend to think that this bed base is more comfortable than a slatted base. Let’s be clear: this is a myth! Although a box spring consists of individually packed springs, the slatted base with its flexible slats offers equal lying comfort and body support. Why is that? Very simple: Ergosleep® offers you a choice of different support levels in both the box springs and the slatted bases. As a result, everyone will find a bed base to suit their body profile or SLEEP DNA®. In addition, our box springs and slatted bases are available in a flat version as well as in a manually or electrically adjustable version.
So, is there any difference at all? Yes, there is, albeit purely visually. By default, all box springs are upholstered. Therefore, they immediately offer a luxurious look to your bedroom. To have a similar effect with a slatted base, simply place it in an upholstered bed frame.

A considered and well-informed decision

When choosing between a box spring and a slatted base, there are several factors to consider. Your personal sleep preferences, sleeping needs and the aesthetics of your bedroom all play a role in your decision. When making your choice, carefully consider the various aspects described above such as sleeping comfort, style, entry height, storage space and durability.
A visit to an Ergosleep® store near you to try out both options and get expert advice, can help you make an informed decision. Whether you choose the sumptuous comfort of a box spring or the timeless simplicity of a slatted base combination, the decision should result in a better night's sleep and a bedroom you look forward to relaxing in every day. A free 8-minute SLEEP DNA® measurement provides important assistance to our sleep advisors who will help you to find the right bed for you. Make an appointment now in a store near you and soon you will sleep like a baby in the bed of your dreams.