What is in a box spring mattress and what makes a great one? First off if you are looking for a mattress that has layers of gel foam or memory foam this will not be the mattress for you. Some of these types of mattresses do not contain any type of gel foam or memory foam. The mattress should have strong spring action in it. It will be firm or soft whatever your preference is. These types of mattresses will be cheaper than your standard gel foam or memory foam mattresses. This means they may not be as long lasting as traditional mattresses. The quality of these mattresses may not be as high as traditional mattresses either. If you have limited financial resources, or you are on a budget, or if you just do not want to spend a truckload of money on a mattress then this is the mattress for you. You do want to get a durable and comfortable box spring mattress though one that will last you a decent amount of time.