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Plywood Under Mattress Instead of Box Springs: Does is Work As Expected?

A box spring is unnecessary to keep your mattress clean. It does, however, provide the foundation and support for your mattress, which provides you with a good night’s sleep.

But what if you don’t want a one? What if you put plywood under the mattress, instead of box spring? Is it really safe? Will it ruin the mattress? What about the sleeping experience?

Many people consider box springs an essential component to a mattress. It provides the foundation and support for your mattress, which will provide you with a good night’s sleep.

But it’s not as essential as one might think. Plywood is a respectable solution too.

Plywood comprises thin layers (or “plies”) of timber, which are glued together with adjacent grains running perpendicular to one another to give strength and stability as well as reducing bending and warping from moisture changes.

In this article, we’ll go over the pros and cons of using plywood instead of a traditional box spring. You’ll walk away with the knowledge you need to make an informed buying decision.

The Problem with Box Springs

A box spring solves the issue of space with futons and other mattresses and is also an excellent way of easily maintaining the right height for your mattress.

It lifts your mattress off the floor and provides some airflow for the space. In addition, it also gives your bed a more substantial feel. A box spring also can provide your sleeping surface with durability and stability, because the components of the box spring are glued together to avoid bending or warping.

This makes it perfect for those who have heavier weight and larger frames that require special support. It is also suited to those who need suspension in their bed, can’t get comfortable without a firm foundation, or simply enjoy the height and air flow provided by a box spring.

The problem with box springs is that they often have needless crevices which accumulate dirt and dust. They also usually lack a good foundation, forcing you to rely on a fitted sheet or other type of covering that may not be your favorite.

That’s why plywood is such a brilliant solution. It doesn’t matter what kind of surface you put it on – dirt or dust won’t accumulate.

A box spring also often combines with the height issue that mattresses on futons and other types of furniture come up against.

Do these issues sound familiar? Plywood might solve your problems.

Also Read: 30+ Best Box Spring Alternative Ideas: Creative Substitutes To Try

Why Plywood Under the Bed?

Plywood bed

Terry Cralle

There are advantages and disadvantages to using plywood as a mattress support. The choice between a traditional box spring and plywood depends on your needs and habits.

Story time!

I didn’t want a box spring under my mattress because I was worried about the height of my bed. I didn’t want to buy a new one because I could never find a box spring in any store that would fit the dimension of my bed, so I bought plywood.

The piece of plywood was just large enough to fit my mattress, and I used it as the foundation for my mattress.

It was easy to install and made my bed look nicer.

If you’re having the same issues I had with box springs, then plywood could be the ideal solution for you.

Editor’s note: When you use plywood instead of a box spring, it’s important to take some additional precautions.

Plywood Pros

Plywood gives many benefits as a mattress support:

  • It’s cheaper than a box spring or mattress pad, which means you’ll be able to purchase more bedding. This could come in handy if you enjoy having fresh sheets for each day. For example, it would allow you to change your sheets each day so you don’t have to wash them as often.
  • It offers more storage space underneath the bed than a box spring or mattress pad would, which can be helpful if you’re short on closet/storage space and need somewhere for things like winter clothes and blankets.
  • You can easily change the height of your bed with plywood. You can simply add more layers to raise the bed. Box springs have a fixed height.
  • Some people find that this type of support provides them relief from their pain because of chronic conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Plywood Cons

Plywood is great, but it has some flaws that could be a deal breaker for some people:

  • It lowers the mattress’ lifespan. A traditional box spring lets air flow below the mattress, while plywood will block it. This turns your mattress’ back into breeding ground for mold. Plus, wood splinters over time, and the splinters will cut into the mattress.
  • It’s more difficult to clean than a box spring or mattress pad, which means you’ll have to spend more time on this task and may not do it as often.
  • If you are having problems with your back or hips, then using plywood may not be for you because it also lacks the support of a box spring.
  • It will eventually warp and bend over time, which means you won’t be able to sleep on edges as easily. If your bed doesn’t have an edge for the plywood, it can also be uncomfortable to sleep on.
  • It’ll take some experimenting to find the right balance between support and hardiness.
  • If you have pets or small children in your home who might be tempted to jump on the bed and cause damage, then using plywood may not be for you. Plyboard can’t provide the same type of support that a box spring does.

Alternatives to Plywood and Box Springs

Plywood and box springs aren’t the only option available for your mattress. There are other solutions in the market. Platform beds and slats are viable options you should consider for your bed. Let’s see what makes them so good.

Platform beds

Platform beds are the most popular choice of support these days for several reasons. They are basically just raised platforms on which a mattress can sit.

This might seem like a downgrade from the regular box springs and mattresses, but don’t worry – it’s not that bad!

Platform beds are simplistic and work great, but they have the same issues of plywood and cost a little more. They are easier to use, though. There’s always a tradeoff.

Also Read:

Bed Slats

If you don’t wish to or cannot purchase a platform bed, slats may be the answer for supporting your mattress. Ordinary wood planks make up most slats, a series of boards placed close together for strength without sacrificing airflow.

They offer great airflow, preventing mold from forming on your mattress. Plus, they’re very light, meaning they are great for people looking for something easy to install. Other types of mattress support can get very heavy.


You don’t have to box yourself into box springs (see what I did there?). There are many viable solutions to support your mattress. Box springs just happen to be a very popular one.

Plywood is an excellent solution for those looking to save money and get crafty. Plywood is cheap and works great. It comes with some caveats, such as making your mattress harder. But some people enjoy that, so it’s even better for them.

Plywood’s versatility is unmatched. You can shape it however you want, and make it fit anywhere. You’ll save plenty of money and space by using it. The biggest downside to plywood is that it’s going to ruin your mattress, and that there is a real risk of letting mold proliferate on your mattress.

It’s also harder to clean, and overall less hygienic. Box springs and slats are way better supports if you are an allergic person, because the free flow of air gets rid of annoying allergens. Plywood (and by extension platform beds) traps these allergens between the support and the mattress.

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