Platform Beds and Overcoming Box Spring Myths
North American mattress manufacturers have long built mattresses with the added expense of a box spring foundation for use on steel frames that simply sit on a floor. Platform Beds which are used throughout the rest of the world attempt to break out of this mold. Offering an affordable alternative with built in mattress support and additional storage space below as a more sensible alternative.
When talking about platform beds it requires understanding exactly what one is and how it works. Simply put a platform bed is a bed that uses either a slatted or solid foundation in lieu of a box spring foundation that is built into or is a part of the complete bed. There are many variations of platform beds but this definition seems to sum up well what this category of bedroom furniture is.
One might ask though, “What about the box springs, won’t I ruin my mattress?” In all honestly North America seems to be one of the few places in the world that actually use mattress box spring combinations. Strange as that may sound it’s true. Places such as Asia, Europe and Africa use a mattress on a platform and it seems to have worked pretty well for them up to this point. The key is making sure that the mattress is well supported. You don’t have to purchase a box spring for a platform style bed.
While a box spring can make this work over a thin metal frame on the floor. A platform system already has this support built into it. Wooden slat systems are a popular choice for many beds. What happens is a shelf or ledge is built into the side rails of the bed. On top of this ledge will sit the wooden slats. These are typically connected together using a polypropylene material which allows them to space out correctly over the bed. Wood screws are then used to secure the slats to the rails. These slats serve a foundational role in supporting the mattress. This is a tried and true method for bed construction.
Another way of creating a foundation on a platform bed is to use a metal steel frame with either European slats or solid paneling secured to the frame. This frame then simply floats or rests on the frame below it providing ample support for most any mattress. The solid paneling systems are becoming more popular as individuals purchase latex or memory foam mattresses which often require a solid foundation beneath them to meet the warranty requirements. In this respect platform bed systems are versatile and can work for mattresses that need air flow or have to provide rigid support.
You might be wondering why there are so few beds out there that use a mattress box spring combination without a storage system. Quite simply because when the bed uses a box spring there is no room or space with which to put storage drawers or a drawer box beneath the mattress in the bed. Of course there are some beds out there that can accommodate drawers below, a box spring and a mattress all at the same time but getting into those beds requires some work.
Platform bed systems have unused open space beneath the bed. Since they don’t use box springs this makes it easy to design a bed that can accommodate some storage, yet keep it at the same height as most traditional mattress box spring beds. Drawer systems could be as simple as a drawer box on casters that rolls beneath the bed. Alternatively the drawer system could be more complex by being built into the rail system and could be constructed with English dovetail joints. This would be a very high end piece of furniture.
In conclusion it’s easy to see that platform beds are the way to go when you want to save on space as well as in your wallet. Since these beds already have built in foundations, one doesn’t need to purchase a box spring with their mattress. Foundations are typically available with slats or solid paneling allowing these beds to work with almost any mattress. Because the construction of a platform bed is open below, drawers can easily be configured into the bed maximizing the use of the sleeping space for storage as well. When considering a new bed for maximizing space, storage and affordability, why not consider a platform bed.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phil Pendleton is a furniture professional experienced in manufacturing, distribution and sales. Currently he writes for several online furniture retail websites. He invites you to break out of the mold of mattress box spring beds and explore the world of platform beds with their built in foundation, storage options and affordability. http://www.PlatformBeds.com