Mattress Accessories Buying Guide
In the world of bedding products, there are uncountable products to help you customize your sleeping spot. Here is a breakdown of some accessories that can enhance your nighttime experience, from items as common as box springs, to far-afield products like bridges. You'll find information about mattress toppers and pads in separate buying guides.
Types of Mattress Accessories
Mattress accessories are designed to enhance your sleep experience. In some cases, they are remedies for problems you may have with the mattress, such as low spots. In other cases, they can help you gain extra function or years of use out of your mattress. No matter what your concern or goal, there is likely a product designed to help.
The most common mattress accessory is the box spring, a foundational layer sold with mattresses. As its name suggests, a box spring is a lightweight plywood box covered in fabric that matches the mattress. Its purpose is to be a solid, strong, and level surface so the bouncy mattress can do its job cushioning you. If you have a platform bed or plan to rest the mattress on the floor of your bedroom, you do not need a box spring. But for every other bed frame type, a box spring is required. Without it, the pliable mattress will sink between the frame supports, resulting in a poor sleep surface and possibly the ruin of your mattress.
When you join two mattresses to make a larger mattress (pushing two twins together to make a king, for example), a bridge helps you fix the crevice that results between them. It is a foam strip that fills in the crack and cushions the hard edges of the mattresses so the sleep surface is level.
To protect your mattress from spills, wear and tear, or a toddler's potty accidents, you might want a cover. It's a thin material that may be cotton, polyester, or plastic (depending on its purpose) that you use to encase the mattress. It slips over the mattress and zips closed at one end. Covers can also protect you from pests that sometimes find harbor in mattresses, such as dust mites, microbes, or bed bugs. Many communities now require hotels, inns, and vacation rentals to encase mattresses with bed-bug covers.
Several companies make remedies for sagging mattresses. The most common type is a thin inflatable pillow that slips between the mattress and the box spring. When you inflate it with air using a hand pump, it boosts the sagging spot in the mattress to make the sleep surface level again.
For circulatory or other health reasons, a medical professional may recommend a wedge for your mattress. The wedge slips between the mattress and box spring to elevate the head or foot of the mattress by a few inches.
When you are looking to remedy a problem with your mattress using one of these accessories, weigh the cost versus the gains. Most of these accessories are inexpensive and will give you additional comfortable nights before you have to replace your mattress.
On a major mattress store's website, a basic twin-size box spring costs $70; a full-size is $90; a queen-size is $100; and a king-size is $160. A two-piece split queen-size box spring -- which is ideal for getting the box spring up narrow stairs, around corners, or into an elevator -- costs $160.
Just the foam bridge costs about $20. But getting the straps that wrap around the mattresses to cinch them together boosts the kit price to about $50.
Basic plastic costs as little as $10 for a twin size. Buying an antimicrobial or bed-bug cover will cost $15-$50, depending on the size of the mattress and the fabric.
You can buy a mattress-boosting pillow for as little as $30. And if you cut up a piece of foam to fill the divot, the cost is even less.
These start about $100 and cost up to $150 for a king size.