Putting a Mattress on Plywood – Is It OK?

Mattress Plywood

Plywood is a basic alternative that many have turned to in the past to help give their mattress more support. Whether plywood actually helps or not is questionable at best. Most who use plywood do so with spring mattresses and box spring bases. Consider the following if you want to use plywood to help support your mattress:

  • Plywood will not yield or bend in places where the mattress needs to be flexible. Basic plywood boards are not sized perfectly to fit mattresses and can cause more discomfort overtime.
  • Box springs are designed to absorb the energy from a spring mattress. A plywood board prevents the box spring from absorbing that energy which defeats its original purpose.
  • By preventing the box spring from properly distributing weight and energy, it will increase its rate of wear and tear over time. Plywood is not very flexible material and is not conducive to the support system of a traditional spring mattress set.

In the past, plywood was recommended by doctors to help our mattresses support our body weight while sleeping. This was during a time when spring mattresses and box springs were the primary bed sets on the market. Times have changed and new mattress types are available.

At best, it seems the plywood tactic was not as effective. It was a cheap and simple solution during a time when the mattress market was fairly limited. Many today still use the plywood method to help support their traditional spring mattresses, however. Does using plywood have any benefits at all?

Pros and Cons of Using Plywood for a Mattress

Those who do use plywood to help support their spring mattress may be curious to know what are the costs and benefits of doing so. The advantages of using plywood to support a spring mattress are not very numerous.

  • The only benefit of using plywood to support a spring mattress is cost. Plywood is fairly cheap and people turn to it to save money on new mattress set ups.
  • Plywood may help prolong your mattress by adding some temporary support. This support is only temporary and the plywood can cause other issues to the mattress set overtime.

Using plywood to support a spring mattress has more disadvantages than not. If you are using a plywood board for your mattress, it can cause the following detrimental effects:

  • The mattress will probably wear out much faster than by just replacing the base or foundation. 
  • Prevents the mattress from being flexible, which can cause discomfort to your muscles and joints while sleeping.
  • Lack of flexibility prevents your body from getting the support it needs while sleeping.
  • Plywood stops the mattress from “breathing” which can lead to the buildup of moisture and potential mold outbreaks on the board.
  • Plywood can crack and splinter which will tear and eventually unravel the fabrics of the mattress.

In general, it is recommended to not use plywood to help support your spring mattress. It will cause more harm than good overall. It is an outdated tactic that, over time, has proved to not help with mattress support as intended. Using plywood is also bad as it can cause problems with mattress warranties.

Plywood and Mattress Warranties

Many mattresses come with initial warranties on their purchase. This is common with furniture in general. The key thing with warranties is they will not be honored if your furniture breaks under certain conditions. 

  • Many retailers and manufacturers will not honor mattress warranties if the mattress wears out by use of plywood
  • If the plywood damages the mattress within the warranty period, the warranty will also not be honored

Many manufacturers and retail outlets are strict when it comes to plywood usage. Plywood ultimately causes more damage than it helps, even in the case of warranties. In general, do not expect to get your bed fixed via warranty if it has been worn or damaged by use of a plywood support board. 

Be sure to read the terms of your mattress warranty carefully if you use a plywood board for your mattress. If your mattress gets damaged by the plywood, the warranty will be voided in many cases. Even if the plywood was not the cause of damage, its presence alone will cause the warranty to be invalidated.



Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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