What Is a Bunkie Board?

The Complete Guide to Bunkie Boards: What They Are used For and How They Compare to Using a Box Spring

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Bunkie boards get their cute name from their origin as a way to support mattresses on bunk beds. Imagine trying to hoist a thick box spring onto the top bunk. No way! Enter the bunkie board: a lightweight but durable foundation to keep your bunk bed mattress firm and supportive.

A bunkie board is typically made with steel rods to create a sturdy platform. You can also make your own bunkie board out of plywood, or you can buy plywood bunkie boards online.

In this article, we’ll cover the purpose of a bunkie board and how it’s different from a box spring, as well as the common dimensions and places to purchase a bunkie board for those in need.

What Is the Purpose of a Bunkie Board?

Bunkie boards provide support for your mattress. Alternatives to this are box springs and wooden slats that come with certain styles of beds.

Some beds, namely platform beds, do not need any extra mattress support. This style is made with solid sheets of wood, effectively supporting a mattress all on its own.

At the end of the day, some kind of support for your mattress is crucial. Without it, your mattress will sag, and your sleep hygiene will decline, not to mention the potential for back pain. Our bodies need support, even while we sleep. Making sure your mattress has something solid to hold it up is more important than many people realize.

There have been studies done to define comfort to figure out what is best for sleeping. Some studies claim that the position one sleeps in should be similar to how they stand. All this is to say that if you stand with a good, straight posture and want to replicate this when sleeping, a sturdy and supportive mattress will help with this.

Unfortunately, having a mattress that is too sturdy can also be a problem. Harvard Health recommends doing a test run on your current mattress to see if it is too soft or if it could be softer. To do this, you can use a homemade plywood bunkie board.

These plywood bunkie boards can add support and change the feel of your mattress. It may alleviate any back pain or sleep problems entirely. Then you can decide from there if you want to invest in a heavy-duty steel bunkie board as a permanent solution.

Additionally, many mattresses that come with a warranty require that you use mattress support. Ignoring this requirement may cause your warranty to be void. Most mattresses come with specific recommendations regarding their suitable foundation, so you might check with the company you bought yours from to find out more.

Using a bunkie board is a great way to extend the life of your mattress if you have a low-profile bed. They are also great if you want to hide the support so that you cannot see anything from the sides of the bed when you walk into your bedroom.

Bunkie Board vs. Box Spring

Did you know that the modern box springs we have today do not even have springs in them? Yup! Traditional box springs used to be just what they sound like: large boxes filled with springs to help support mattresses.

Since the 80s and 90s, however, box springs have been made with steel bars inside. They still serve the same function of mattress support, just with different materials. They are still called box springs, but they can also be called foundations. These terms both refer to the same thing.

The difference between a bunkie board and a box spring is the thickness. Box springs are typically 8 to 10 inches thick, while bunkie boards are under 4 inches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you can find information about bunkie board sizes and weight limitations.

What Size Is a Bunkie Board?

Bunkie boards range between 1.5 and 3 inches thick. They come in every standard size to match your bed frame and mattress.

What Is a Twin Bunkie Board?

A twin bunkie board offers mattress support the size of a twin bed. Twin beds are 38 inches wide by 73 inches tall.

What Is a Bunkie Board Queen?

A bunkie board queen is a steel-supported framed board that fits under a queen mattress.

What Is the Size of a Queen Bunkie Board?

Queen bunkie boards are 59.5 inches wide by 79 inches tall.

What Is the Size of a King-Size Bunkie Board?

A king-size bunkie board is 75 inches wide by 79 inches tall – almost a perfect square!

What Is the Weight Limit for a Bunkie Board?

We strongly favor steel bunkie boards for maximum support. But if you are looking for an economically priced option, plywood bunkie boards can support up to 200 pounds.

Steel bunkie boards can support up to 500 pounds. As a rule of thumb, we recommend steel bunkie boards for beds shared by two people.

Where Can I Purchase a Bunkie Board?

You can buy bunkie boards online, but make sure you read the description if purchasing from somewhere like Amazon. Some bunkie boards look like they may be made of steel when, in fact, they are made of plywood, and vice versa.

Wrap Up

If you have a bed with a thin profile, have a mattress but no support, or want to replace your old box spring in favor of something sleeker, a bunkie board may be for you.

Bunkie boards are a great space-saving alternative to a traditional bulky box spring, work very well to support bunk bed mattresses, and can even be used to separate a futon mattress from the ground. Whatever the case, we hope this guide helps clear some confusion in your search for a firm and reliable bunkie board.

Nate Devore
Nate Devore
For over 15 years Nate has been obsessed with solving his own personal and difficult health challenges related to sleep, energy, and fatigue. As one of our sleep experts at sleeping.com, Nate is passionate about helping you get the best night’s sleep possible.

Medical Disclaimer: The content on this page should not be taken as medical advice or used as a recommendation for any specific treatment. Always consult your doctor before making any decisions.

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