Question about very old mattress

Here goes:

When I was growing up, our family had this old (antique?) mattress and box spring. It was my mom’s as a kid, and I’m not sure if it was new to her. It was a red and white striped mattress that seemed pretty flexible when you flipped it, and a open metal box spring that looked similar to a bonnell innerspring. It was SO COMFORTABLE! Everyone in the family agreed on this. It was so old, but no one even thought about getting rid of it. Was it something about the box spring being a real box spring that made it so comfortable, or the mattress itself? I’m looking for a new mattress but I keep thinking about this old mattress and how nice it was. I’m posting a photo of a similar box spring, as I don’t have photos of the one at my mom’s house. It was on a metal bed like the one in the photo.

Hi treje,

It would be a combination of all the layers and components in the sleeping system not just the box spring itself. The same box spring with a different mattress would feel different and the same mattress with a different box spring (or a foundation that has no flex at all) would also feel different.

There are still some manufacturers that make “old fashioned” mattresses with box springs and there are also some ultra premium brands that do the same (although they are in much higher price ranges) but they are much less common in the industry today and outside of the super premium manufacturers are generally local manufacturers rather than national brands.

That certainly an interesting picture of a bedframe with a built in box spring that you wouldn’t see much nowadays :slight_smile:


Hi Phoenix,

It’s not built in. It sits on top of the metal rails of the bed. It’s basically an all-metal, uncovered boxspring that I think it built like a bonnel or continuous coil box spring. It seems to have been the standard for a while. I read somewhere that it was so bed bugs had nowhere to hide on a bed.

Here’s another I saw online, that shows how the box spring is separate.

Here’s another, and another. The bed in the metal bed ad kind of looks like my mom’s. I would consider looking at it if it weren’t for the possibility of bedbugs!

There’s also beds with a flat criss cross of wires on spring for a foundation, but that’s different.

Hi treje,

Thanks for the clarification and the additional pictures.

Some of these old vintage or antique beds are certainly different from what you would generally find today.