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What is a Bunkie Board?

Christina Edwards
Christina Edwards

A bunkie board is used as a mattress support in bunk beds. It is typically a large plank that fits under the mattress. Although many bunk bed sets come with bunkie boards, some consumers may have to purchase or make one.

Basically, a bunkie board is just a large wooden platform, and it is often covered with a heavy fabric. Bunkie boards can be found in a wide ranges of sizes, often to fit the most popular sized bunk beds. These sizes can include twin, full, queen, and sometimes even king. They are also very thin, usually no thicker than an inch (2.5 centimeters).

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Similar to a box spring on a regular bed, a bunkie board provides support for bunk bed mattresses. Bunkie boards sit inside the frame of the bunk bed, and the mattresses sit on top of these platforms. This ensures that mattresses do not start to sag in some areas from the weight of people lying on them for extended periods of time.

Bunkie boards are commonly used in bunk beds for a couple of reasons. Because of the standard height of a ceiling in an average room, a bunkie board is necessary to allow enough head room for the people who occupy the bunks. If bunk beds used box springs for support, mattresses would be raised too much. Since they are so much thinner, bunkie boards are able to support the mattresses, as well as keep the occupants of the bunks from bumping their heads.

Safety is another reason most bunk beds use a bunkie board. The railing on the top bunk should be a certain height above the top surface of the mattress. Because they are so much thicker, a box spring would raise the top of the mattress. This would set the safety railings on the top bunk too high, and they would possibly scrape the ceiling.

If they do not come with the bed, a bunkie board can be purchased for each bunk. Most furniture and mattress stores sell them, and so do many online companies. When buying a bunkie board in a store, consumers will not usually have to worry about paying shipping, which can be quite expensive. One the other hand, shopping online can make it much easier for consumers to compare prices and find bargains.

Do-it-yourselfers can also build a bunkie board. Many experts agree that they are quite simple to make. All one needs to do is measure the inside of the bed frame and cut a piece of plywood to fit. If desired, fabric can be used to cover it.

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Discussion Comments


I know Bunkie boards are mostly used for bunk beds (hence the name, I guess), but can they be used for other types of beds as well? I have a foam mattress that it seems to me could benefit from a Bunkie board, but I don't want to waste money on one, or the time and money of making one myself, since they seem pretty simple, if it's not a good idea for some reason. From what I'm reading, they sound like they'd be perfect support for a variety of beds.

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