The bed has slats, and slat beds usually don't require a box spring. I called around and have even asked Google. The slats provide the support for the mattress. The slats for this bed sit only 6 inches off the floor when installed/ screwed down. They have cute little 6 in. high supports in the middle of each slat, so that is the intended position. So unless you want to sleep really close to the floor, with the tall head and foot boards towering above you, you are forced to buy a box spring mattress, to sit on top of the slats under your mattress. I expect it is a design flaw, and the reason this lovely bedroom set was such a reasonable price.
I ordered this bedroom set, first because of its' beauty, secondly because it is touted as being "solid oak" and I got such a great price for it. I'd just gotten rid of a solid oak bedroom set and I can definitely attest to the fact that this IS NOT A SOLID OAK bedroom set. during placement of the box spring, the wood on the headboard was dented by the wood on the box spring. that should not have been!!!! solid oak is not soft like that. I had my previous set for 19 years with absolutely no damage to the wood, and it took a sledge hammer to destroy it.
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