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Is It Okay to Put a New Memory Foam Mattress on Top of an Old Spring Mattress?

Memory foam mattresses have become prevalent in bedrooms as people seek for solutions that will help them improve their quality of sleep. If you’re thinking of buying a memory foam mattress for yourself, have you thought about what you’ll do with your old mattress?

One of the first questions that come up is whether it is okay to put a new memory foam mattress on top of an old spring mattress. The simple answer is yes. Doing so shouldn’t adversely affect the benefits you would get from sleeping on a memory foam mattress.

However, there are some considerations that you should be mindful of. Read on if you’re interested in learning about the pros and cons to sleeping with both an old spring mattress and a memory foam mattress.

Pros of Adding a Memory Mattress to an Old Spring Bed

A good night’s sleep will certainly affect how you feel the next day. Your mattress plays an important role in that. If the bed is comfortable and provides good support you are more likely to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Here are some benefits of having an extremely cushioned and supported sleeping area.

Prevent and relieve pain

The unique mixture of support and pressure point relief offered by a memory foam mattress sets the stage for preventing and relieving pain. Owners of memory foam mattresses have reported reduced pain in the shoulders, hips, and back.

Likewise, it’s a favorite for people with painful conditions, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. With the foam’s ability to support correct alignment and relieve pressure on the sensitive spots, memory foam sleepers will experience optimum comfort.

Can accommodate different positions

Whether you prefer sleeping on your side, back or stomach, a memory foam bed can accommodate any sleep position. The visco foam, or more commonly referred to as memory foam, is designed to evenly cradle and mold each part of your body, allowing you to settle into your comfiest position sans the pressure points.

For those who are like to sleep on their back, the foam mattress curves to your spine, which provides great lumbar support and allows your back to relax.

Provides relief on pressure points

One of the core benefits of using a memory bed is its ability to reduce pain in sensitive areas and prevent pressure sores. Every time you lay down on a memory foam bed, the material adjusts and yields to your shape, instead of forcing your body to contour to the mattress. Unlike other materials like spring, memory foam doesn’t place extra upward pressure on the person sleeping.

Spine alignment and back support

Memory foam mattresses support every part of the body individually and evenly by spreading the weight of the sleeper across the surface of the bed. The foam mattress contours to the curves of your body, allowing your spine to remain in its neutral position and supporting your lower back.

On springs and other materials, weight is normally concentrated on spots that contact the bed. For the most part, heels, hips, and shoulders bear the brunt. And, this also means that the lumbar area doesn’t get adequate support, especially for side and back sleepers.

No motion transfer

Motion in conventional mattresses can make a ton of waves, meaning sleep disruption is highly possible for couples. And, it can be quite a problem for light sleepers as well as couples with varying schedules.

One of the perks of a memory foam bed is that the material isolates and absorbs motion instead of transferring it. Once a person rolls over or gets out of bed, their partner won’t be jolted out of sleep or bounced around.

Cons of Adding a Memory Mattress to an Old Spring Bed

It may make your bed uncomfortably high

For generations, traditional beds have been mainly composed of a couple of essential components – the foundation and the mattress itself.

A foundation is the mechanism or support base that sits beneath a mattress. To make your memory foam mattress work properly, you need a solid and sturdy foundation.

The foundation has three major purposes:

  • It creates a flat and hard foundation, allowing the mattress to lie in a horizontal position.
  • The foundation helps reduce mattress wear as well as absorbs some of the impact caused by body weight.
  • The foundation raises the whole mattress to a pretty convenient height, so people can, with greater ease, get in and out of bed.

So, when you add a new memory foam mattress on top of an old one, you’re adding more elevation to your bed. A 4-inch foam mattress may make your bed so high that you might need to use a stool to get up on it.

It may cause damage to your new memory foam mattress

Retaining the old spring bed may increase wear and tear on the memory foam’s underside, especially if the springs are starting to show through. 

Also, your old spring mattress may be deformed, meaning there’s a risk for the new one to deteriorate earlier than expected. Even worse, the older one may contain odors and germs that might come in the new memory foam mattress.

It may be uncomfortable

Putting a memory foam mattress on top of an old spring mattress will increase your odds of having a not-so-comfortable night’s sleep. Remember, a mattress also needs to breathe. And, when you put a new mattress over an old one, regardless of the material, the later will lose ventilation, which can ultimately lead to mold issues and allergies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a solid foundation or box spring with a foam mattress?

When it comes to memory foam mattresses, all you need is a solid base. A bunkie board, a metal base, closely laid wooden slats, or even the floor will do just fine as an alternative to the box spring. If, however, your box spring is firm and rigid, it should be fine to use with a latex or memory foam mattress.

Do I need a solid base?

Memory foam mattresses, compared to the typical mattresses, are pretty heavy. And, that means your memory foam mattress will require more support.

Can I use my old box spring?

Older box springs, especially the ones that are more than ten years, usually have too much give, as far as their spring systems are concerned. So, it’s not an ideal support base for a memory foam mattress. 

But, if you own an existing box spring that’s still in excellent shape and is less than ten years old, try it by pushing against the springs in several spots. Check if the whole box spring has the same consistent feel and make sure that it has less than an inch to give.

How to protect my memory foam mattress?

While providing a solid base for your memory foam mattress is essential to extending its lifespan, caring for your bed does not stop there. Check out these tips on how you can protect your foam mattress.

  • Do not jump on your foam mattress
  • Keep it out of direct sunlight
  • Use a mattress cover
  • Let it breathe
  • Rotate it every six months

If you already have a box spring in place, you can get away with a new memory mattress on top of your older one. Usually, a mattress needs a solid foundation, like a box spring, so that the bed’s structure does not break down. Most newer mattresses need a sturdy metal frame to keep their overall firm structure and solid shape.

Final Thoughts

Putting a new memory foam mattress on top of an old spring mattress is an acceptable course of action, but it is unnecessary. The box spring by itself provides adequate support for the foam mattress. Inclusion of a spring mattress would simply elevate your sleeping area to an unusual height. Just retire the old spring mattress and put the new memory foam mattress on top of the box spring.