Buying a Mattress Set vs Separates Which Is Right for You?

When you need a new mattress, you’ll find that there’s a lot to consider: material, size, price and then there are sets. You can buy a single mattress, or a separate, but you can just as easily buy a mattress set.

And mattress sets make sense for a lot of buyers.

Which is the right option for you? It depends. Huffington Post lists a lot of things to consider when buying a mattress, but few people mention sets vs separates.

What’s a Mattress Set and a Separate?

Separates mean you’ll buy a mattress only, or you can also buy a box spring. When you buy a mattress set, you’re buying both a mattress and box spring. This means you’re buying a package deal, and you’ll often save money in the process.

Do You Need a Set?

Mattress set in a bedroom.

If you’re buying your first mattress or bed, you’ll want to buy a set. You can buy each part separately, but it makes sense to get everything you need at one time. You’ll need a box spring of some sort to put your mattress on top of when sleeping.

Box springs also provide additional support and raise the mattress off of the floor.

So, a general rule of thumb is that you’ll need a set if you’re:

  • Just buying your mattress for the first time
  • You have an older box spring and mattress

According to Prevention, you’ll need a new mattress every 5 – 10 years on average. states that you only really need to replace your box spring when it’s worn.

The Box Spring Debate Debunked

There is a big debate whether or not you always need to change your box spring when you buy a new mattress. While it’s not a necessity, the train of thinking is that if you buy a set, you won’t have to replace the box spring during the lifespan of the mattress – in most circumstances.

But, if a box spring is newer or has little wear, there’s really no need to purchase a set.

You can purchase just a mattress and keep the same box spring. The only time this isn’t true is when the box spring:

  • Displays visual wear and tear
  • Shows cracks and signs of damage
  • No longer fits the mattress size

Otherwise, you can take the risk of just buying a mattress and replacing the box spring as needed. But if both the box spring and mattress are 10 years old, it may be a good idea to just replace both at one time.

There’s also one other time when buying a set is a must – when bugs invade.

Small, tiny bugs can invade your mattress and box spring. Dust mites or bed bugs can be so bad that you need to replace your mattress and box spring. Brigham Young University explains how many of these bugs are living in your home and how to spot them.

You can see the explanation below:

Benefits of a Set vs Separate

If you’re thinking that it’s better to go the cheaper route (separates), you also need to consider the benefits of both sets and separates before making a final choice:

Mattress Set Benefits

  • Longevity
  • Less worry of box spring replacement
  • Might save some money on the pair
  • Maximum support and comfort

Separate Benefits

  • Cheaper in price when buying one
  • Can mix and match models in the future
  • Greater variety of models to pick from

So, when you look for separate mattresses or box springs, you’ll find that there’s a much greater variety of options available than if you just chose a mattress set.

Overall, it comes down to needs. If your box spring or mattress is newer but one or the other needs to be replaced, it makes sense to go the separate route.

Can I Buy a Set on a Budget?

Separates mattress set in a bedroom.

Yes. There are budget options available, and most of the time, these budget options are rated among the best and cost less than buying each piece individually. According to USNews, prices for a queen set can range from $299 – $1,199.

I’ve seen prices on both ends of the spectrum, and oftentimes, you’ll find a few models for cheaper, too.

If you’re on a budget, there are a few options:

  • Wait for major sales
  • Look at lower-end sets
  • Save up money

You have to remember that the average person spends around a third of their lives in bed. If you suffer from a restless night of sleep, you’ll be less productive. The same USNews article found that the average worker loses $2,280 in productivity per year due to lack of sleep.

This is reason enough to replace your mattress and/or box spring to ensure that you’re as productive as possible with more energy to do the things you love to do.

If you find yourself suffering from a restless night of sleep, you may just need a new mattress.

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