Do Baby Cribs Need Box Springs?

When it comes to child safety, every parent knows how much it can stress you out. You do everything under the sun to protect them from harm throughout the day until you lay their sleepyheads down, safe and sound, in their cribs. Unfortunately, we continue to worry about them, even while they are sleeping. What if the bottom of the crib falls out, causing your baby to fall on the floor? Should you install a box spring to handle their movements better? Do baby cribs need box springs?

The simple answer is no. A crib is made with a built-in supportive mattress foundation. Box springs are only necessary to support heavyweight and absorb shock. Babies are light enough to sleep on a baseboard that you can adjust according to their age. Box springs in baby cribs are unnecessary.

Most people are familiar with the steel frame with springs type box spring from their childhood days. We even had them installed in our first beds, and it made for a wonderful bed-jumping experience. However, today those box springs are used more as a décor element or vertical plant trellis than sleeping support in a baby crib, and this article will explain why.

What Is A Box Spring?

A box spring is used as a support for a mattress. Most modern-day box springs are constructed from a wooden frame with springs in the middle and finally covered with cloth to prevent the springs from pinching you when it expands and contracts. A mattress usually comes with a box spring as a set. A box spring has a few functions, including;

  • Improves airflow
  • Raises a mattress higher off the ground making it more comfortable to get on and off the bed.
  • Reduces wear on a mattress and absorbs impact.
  • Provides a sturdy flat surface for you to sit on them without the mattress sagging down.

Why Don’t Baby Cribs Need Box Springs?

Baby cribs do not require box springs, and they don’t make them that way anymore. Nowadays, baby cribs are constructed with a bed base with different height settings.

  • One for newborns (highest setting)
  • One for babies that have started rolling around (slightly lower setting)
  • One for when they begin to stand and pull themselves up (lowest setting)

Some baby cribs have more settings, but standard cribs have only three.

Like a bed, a crib also consists of four sides, but the difference is in the base. Unlike an adult bed, a crib comes with a secure platform. For a baby, this is the equivalent of a box spring for a big bed. This foundation provides more than enough support for your baby to sleep on.

The mattress is placed on top of the baseboard, and the crib is safe and comfortable enough, so there is no need for a box spring. There are various types of box springs, including;

  • Metal box springs
  • Coil box springs
  • Wooden box springs
  • Semi flexbox springs
  • Zero deflection box springs

Safety Concerns

A box spring is very important for a bed, but you should avoid it in baby cribs for various safety reasons. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a simple sleeping environment for a baby is the safest one.

All that is required is a firm surface covered with a sheet, and as your baby starts to grow, you should be able to lower the height of the mattress to keep them from climbing (or falling) out.

Placing a box spring in a crib raises the mattress. According to a study conducted in 2011, almost 10 000 babies are rushed to the ER every year due to falling out of or getting stuck in their crib. A box spring gives your baby a latitude to escape the area supposed to keep them safe and out of harm’s way.

Essentially a crib is designed for children no taller than 35 inches. A standard crib can handle the weight of the mattress and the child without strain, and there is no need for you to place a box spring under their mattress. It will serve absolutely no purpose.

A standard baby crib mattress is 4-6 inches thick, and if you were to add a box spring, the crib can essentially only hold your child if they were 29 inches in height or shorter to prevent a falling incident.

Five Facts About Box Springs

Fact 1

Box springs have two key benefits, namely;

  • Elevates the bed makes it easier to get into and out of, especially for the infirm or elderly.
  • They reduce mattress wear (thanks to the springs) – The metal coils absorb shock when getting on or off the mattress.

Fact 2

Peripheral benefits. A mattress laid directly on the ground can’t be used as a makeshift couch. A bed with a box spring takes impact better, supporting a mattress on a bed frame. Placing one directly onto a frame is going to cause significant sagging. This isn’t good for the long-term usability of the bed and frame.

Fact 3

The market for box springs is versatile. Sleepers with chemical sensitivities can find hypoallergenic models. People that suspect they might need to move can opt for a split box. You can even choose the height or density of coils per your reference.

Fact 4

Bedsprings have been in mattresses for over 150 years. That might seem impressive, but the earliest evidence of bedding was found in South Africa and is speculated to be somewhere around 77000 years old. It was a collection of plants used to soften the ground for sleep, including plants that kept away certain insects like malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Fact 5

The phrase “sleep tight” used to be literal. Beds that lay directly on the ground attracted mice and other pests. In the 14th century, the best way to lift a bed was with ropes. These ropes would become loose over time, thus the need to tie them again to prevent falling out onto the ground.


As you can see, every purpose a box spring serves is not necessary for a baby. Baby cribs don’t need mattress shock absorbers because there isn’t much shock to absorb in the first place. And secondly, you can adjust a baby crib baseboard manually as the baby grows; therefore, baby cribs do not need box springs.


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