Is the foundation the basis for every mattress built and do I really need one?
Some of these supporting bases are flexible and some are not. In most cases I would say yes to a new foundation in conjunction with your new mattress, but there are exceptions. If you are putting your mattress on a solid platform, no foundation is necessary unless you need more height. Another example where a person would not use a foundation is when they are putting a mattress on an adjustable base because they do not flex. The adjustable base will replace the need for a foundation. However make sure your mattress is one that can be used on an adjustable base.
Different mattresses may have different foundation requirements.
This is an important factor because they will keep your mattress within its warranty guidelines.When buying most latex mattresses it is important to make sure that the foundation is built with slats that are spaced about 2” apart. Refer to the mattress warranty card to be sure. This allows the mattress to breathe and still give it a rigid foundation to set the mattress upon. The use of an old fully flexible box spring is not recommended because it gives too much. A rigid platform or even a drawer pedestal will do fine.
Most manufacturers of memory foam mattresses recommend a rigid foundation, platform or semi flexible boxspring that basically doesn’t have any give. We frequently get asked if a softside waterbed can be used on a foundation or a boxspring designed for a conventional spring mattress and the answer to that is NO! A queen 7” deep softside waterbed can weigh 1400-1500lbs. Use it with a regular foundation and you may find your self sleeping on the floor. If you want to use it on a platform or drawer pedestal make sure the system has the proper support needed to support the weight of a waterbed.
Will not using a boxspring foundation void my warranty?
Finally I must say I am a bit puzzled by the warranties on mattresses these days. Years ago when most were two-sided mattresses the manufacturers said to use them on a Full-flexed boxspring. The story was that the boxspring did a large portion of the work making the mattress last longer and kept your mattress within the warranty requirements. Now with the new fire code #1633 most mattresses are one-sided and put on a semi-flex spring or rigid wood foundations. We are now told they will last just as long. It kind of makes you wonder if someone is pulling our leg.