Elevating todays mattresses on old antique beds can often pose quite a dilemma. When antique iron beds were being made back in the 1800’s, the rail system that held the mattresses off the ground was at an average of 13″. Todays Hollywood and Harvard bed frames are only 5″ off the ground.
This whole issue becomes compounded when a person has a “pillow-top” mattress that can be anywhere from 12″ to 23″ in thickness, just depending on the thickness of the pillow top and whether the added pillow top is on both sides of the mattress. Occasionally the added pillow is only on one side.
So now you have to contend with the box spring that comes with your mattress……. unless you were savvy enough to have known a “hard foundation” is better, orthopedically, for your mattress than a 8″ thick box spring that exacerbates the flex the mattress already has with the springs inside it.
So lets take stock of what you’re dealing with if you do happen to have a “pillow-top” mattress. We start with the constant of 13″ rails off the ground, where your mattress and box spring will start. Now add 8″ for your box spring. That puts us up to 21″. Now add a minimum of 15″ for the mattress and that will put you up to 36″ off the ground. Can you say “step stool”.
Here’s how you can overcome the height issue and also get the benefit of adding years to your mattress.
GET RID OF YOUR BOX SPRING………
Have you ever purchased a mattress and box spring and the salesman said be sure and flip and rotate your mattress every 3 to 5 months. Why would he say that? Is a precautionary suggestion or a necessity like putting oil in the engine of your car. There are certain things that are required of production made items to insure their longevity. Flipping and rotating your mattress is one of them a mattress company loves to through in your face, if and when you ever want to return your mattress while the warranty is still in effect. That warranty is completely negated if you’re not able to stipulate in writing that you turned and rotated your mattress as per the manufacturers instuctions.
So why do they ask you to flip and rotate the mattress? Because the springs in the mattress are made of “coiled” steel, as are the springs the mattress sets on in your box spring. So what do you think would happen if you set a “coiled spring” on top of another “coiled spring” and it wasn’t perfectly aligned? Your right…….it would fall off. A similar thing happens when the mattress and box spring aren’t completely aligned. A spring will then want to bend and in so doing it will create bumps and divots in your mattress. Flipping and rotating doesn’t always give a spring an opportunity to permanently bend.
So what can be done?
You first want to be able to lower the height of the top of your mattress to a more manageable level for getting in and out of bed. Here is the easiest, and by far, best way to achieve this. Get rid of your box spring and get a “low-profile” hard foundation around the thickness of 2″ , or as close to that as possible. Here on the West Coast we call them “bunkie boards”.
They are far more orthopedically sound and beneficial than a box spring. With a hard foundation/bunkie board, the springs are resting on a flat surface. That means there’s really nowhere other than up and down for the springs to go, when someone is on top of them. If you’re able to find a 2″ thick “bunkie board”, you will have effectively lowered the height of the top of the mattress by 6″. That’s quite a bit. Now the proportions of your bed frame look far better also.