Cutting a Box Spring to Fit It Around a Tight Turn

How To Cut A Box Spring in Half

On our big moving day, we had about 7 adults working to get everything from the old house to The Mad House.  Since it was a really short move, that was plenty of people.  We really only ran into one problem: our queen sized box spring.
ENTRY

That sucker was just not going to fit up these steps.  The clearance between the ceiling over the landing and the newel post of the banister was just too small.  Even with five intelligent, adult men working on it, my mom directing traffic, and me helpfully yelling, “PIVOT!” from the living room, it just wasn’t meant to be.
We looked into buying a split box spring for our bedroom, but they cost a few hundred bucks that we didn’t have to spare.  My mom did some online research and found that it was possible to cut our existing box spring in half, fold it, and fit it up the stairs.
I was skeptical, but we figured the worst that could happen is that it wouldn’t work and we would have to spend the money to buy a split box spring.  We had nothing to lose but a little time.
I am pleased to say that cutting the box spring worked PERFECTLY!  The process was easier than I imagined it to be, and now our bed is comfortably set up in our master bedroom and not in our downstairs hallway.

IMPORTANT: This tutorial works for what is known as a semi-flex box spring  (which consists of a wood frame with metal top frame and fabric covering).  If you have a different kind of box spring, this tutorial won’t work for you.

Materials for Cutting a Box Spring


CUTTING AND BENDING THE BOX SPRING

remove boxspring staples

The first step in the whole process is the worst step.  Lay the box spring face down on the floor and begin removing ALL the staples holding the top piece of fabric down.  Plan on scooting around the box spring for a good half hour, popping out staples with needlenose pliers or a flat-head screwdriver.  Save the fabric for later.
TIP:  Carry a plastic cup with you as you go and deposit the staples inside.  Nobody wants to step on a rogue mattress staple a week later.



what the inside of a boxspring looks like

Once the staples are out, remove the top piece of fabric exposing the inside of the box spring.  So THAT’S what is inside of those things!

Determine where you will cut the box spring in half.  It should be just to one side of the middle crosspiece.  Remove the staples holding down the mattress cover, just for a few inches on either side of this mark.  You will need to pull the mattress cover back to fold the box spring in half, and the cover would keep you from being able to do that.  You don’t have to take it all the way off; you just have to be able to push it out of the way.

saw through the middle of the boxspring

Using a handsaw, cut through the frame JUST to the left or right of the middle crosspiece.  Do NOT cut any crosspieces!  Repeat on the opposite side and the middle, like this:

box spring graphic

Sorry for my lame diagram, but I hope it helps you get the idea.

carefully bend the boxspring in half

Now that the box spring has been cut, it is time to fold it in half.  You will need a few people for this step.  Stand the box spring up on its side, with one person on each end.  Use a fulcrum like a doorframe (or my body in our case) and carefully bend the box spring, bringing the two ends together. 
Now, the springs shouldn’t be so taut that they will FWOI-OI-OING the box spring back flat again if you let go, but you should still secure it to be safe.  Packing straps, bungee cords, or duct tape will all work to maintain the bend.
Carry that half-sized box spring wherever you need it to go!


PUTTING THE BOX SPRING BACK TOGETHER

Once you have managed to get the box spring into the room in which it will be living, you will need to properly put it back together.
Unstrap the box spring, and lay it flat on the floor.  Lay something large, flat, and heavy, like a wooden bookcase, on top of the box spring to help it to flatten all the way out again.  Leave it for a few hours or overnight.

reinforce the sawed supports

Once the metal springs are pretty much back into shape, you can work on shoring up the sawed wood frame.  Place 1×1’s on either side of the center slat and screw it into the crosspieces.  (See picture above)  Add one 1×1 to each of the two side slats.  Screw those into the crosspieces as well.

reinforced supports

Use straight metal brackets screwed into the frame to reconnect the wood slats you sawed earlier.  At this point, the box spring is probably sturdier than it was before you cut it in half!

replace the fabric

Place the fabric covering back onto the box spring and staple it into place.

finished bed

Set the box spring on your bed frame,  add the mattress and bedding, and enjoy your new bed!

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