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Does A Crib Need A Box Spring?

Oh, sweet slumber — As you put together the perfect place for your beautiful baby to drift off into dreamland, you may be wondering what sleep essentials you need to purchase for the nursery. Everyone knows to buy a crib and a crib mattress, but does a crib need a box spring?

Great for a Bed, Bad for a Crib

A box spring is the foundation of your bed. Its main function is to provide support for the mattress. A bed frame is composed of four sides with a few slats of wood in between. Unfortunately, once a person climbs on top of the mattress, these will not adequately hold everything up. Thus, the box spring is an essential part of the structure when you consider the amount of weight that it has to bear. 

This item also raises the mattress to a more ideal height and allows for increased airflow through the mattress, giving you a cooler sleep. However, while a box spring is extremely important for a bed, it is not something you need for a crib. As a matter of fact, this is an item that you should actually avoid. 

RELATED: How To Keep Your Baby or Toddler From Climbing Out of the Crib

Sleep Essentials For Infants

According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), a safe sleeping environment is a simple one. A firm surface covered by a fitted sheet. The environment needs to be cool, between 68 to 72 degrees. Then, as your baby becomes more mobile, it will become necessary to lower the height of the mattress to ensure that they cannot climb out of the bed. 

Looking at the construction of your crib, you will notice that just like a bed, there are four wooden sides. The difference lies in the base. Unlike a bed, cribs come equipped with a secure platform. This is basically the equivalent of a box spring. This metal lattice foundation provides support to the mattress and allows for ample airflow. Moreover, this thin foundation keeps the mattress low. 

RELATED: The Safest Cribs, Mattresses and Bassinets for Safe and Sound Sleep

Crib Safety Concerns

If you were to put a box spring in a crib, this would substantially increase the height of the mattress, giving your child the latitude to get out of the area that is supposed to be containing them. This can be extremely dangerous. 

In fact, a study conducted in 2011 showed that “Nearly 10,000 children are taken to the emergency room each year — an average of one every hour — after falling or becoming wedged or caught in cribs, playpens, and bassinets”.

Cribs are designed for children who are less than 35 inches in height. This is based on the assumption that you have placed a standard crib mattress in the space, and nothing else. Crib mattresses normally range anywhere between four to six inches in height. Therefore, assuming that a box spring would be an equivalent size, this would mean that your child would only need to be 29 inches in height to potentially harm themselves. 

RELATED: The Best Crib Bumpers – Decorate the Nursery Safely

FAQS – Does A Crib Need A Box Spring?

Does a convertible crib need a box spring?

Convertible cribs give you the luxury of a one-time purchase that will last you through the majority of your child’s formative years. This transition from a crib into a “bed” gives the impression that a box spring would be necessary. However, that is not the case.

When transitioning this furniture piece into a toddler bed, the dimensions will remain the same. Therefore, the provided metal platform will continue to serve as the necessary support for your child.

However, if you choose to buy the extra pieces to transform it into a full-sized bed, then there will come a time when the box spring is necessary.

Final Thoughts

While a box spring is a necessary item for when you purchase your child’s big kid bed, when it comes to the crib, steer clear of this item! Thankfully, that is not a hard task as they are pretty impossible to find. Most companies only make box springs small enough to fit a twin bed. Nonetheless, if you do find one in passing, keep moving along!

Remember that when it comes to your child’s sleeping space, less is more. The only things that should be in the crib are the mattress and your baby! 


  1. Cribs Frequent Cause of Injury for Babies, Toddlers, www.webmd.com
  2. Content…, www.urmc.rochester.edu

Heidi Butler    

Heidi is a wife, mother, Newfie owner, writer and Meteorologist. She was born and raised in Texas and has worked in the broadcast industry for going on a decade.

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