What Is A Bunkie Board And Why Do You Need?

What Is A Bunkie Board And Why Do You Need?

Written by Mehran Uzair

Last Updated on Feb 17, 2023

In this article:

    Setting up your bedding is genuinely overwhelming. You need to check if the mattress meets the correct firmness level, height, motion-transfer isolation, etc. Additionally, you need to buy bed sheets, pillows, pillowcases, and innumerable others. But don’t miss out on the material that will be in the midst of your mattress and bed frame. 

    What is a bunkie board? Is it something related to a surfboard or a related item? No! If you have recently visited a mattress showroom, you might have encountered the term ‘bunkie board.’ A bunkie board bridges the gap between your bed frame and the posh mattress. Box springs have been present for the longest time, but if you are looking out for something sleek, then a box spring will not suffice. It is made of either wood, plywood, or particleboard. Need more information about what is a bunkie board? Keep reading.

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    What Is a Bunkie Board?

    A bunkie board is a long piece of wood or plywood, or particleboard that acts as a protective layering between the bed frame and the mattress. A bunkie board is also known as a bunky board. It effortlessly fits into different bed frames - metal bed frames, solid foundations, box springs, and slatted foundations. A bunkie board was majorly created to support a bunk bed that needed something slimmer than a box spring. Although you don’t entirely know what a bunkie board is, there is more to it. Continue reading to know the history of the bunkie board. 

    A Brief History of Bunkie Board

    Now that you have an idea of what is a bunkie board, it is essential to know about its history too. A Bunkie board is a result of providing base support to the bunk bed mattresses. Though traditional innerspring mattresses were undoubtedly popular as a support for your mattress, it was becoming quite high-rise for bunk beds. Since bunk beds are ordinarily present in hostels, dorms, and similar places, placing an innerspring mattress makes those beds touch the ceiling. Neither could it be placed on the top or below. This was when the formation of a bunkie board took place. 

    Though you should know that it took quite some time for the bunkie board to reach its place today. Initially, it was simply a long piece of wood or plywood that pillared the entire mattress. But with gradual evolution, the bunkie board has become relevant for diverse bed frames, mattress sizes, and configurations. The contemporary bunkie boards are designed with wood stripes, and they also vary in width, thickness, and length. 

    How Does a Bunkie Board Work?

    Quite fascinated by the whole purpose of a bunkie board? Then it’s time you enlighten yourself about the proper usage of a bunkie board. A bunkie board is utilized to deliver support to the mattress and the bed frame. It helps in balancing as well as offering comfort. People tend to opt for an affordable bunkie board when they notice their bed deteriorating, only to avoid the enormous cost of purchasing a completely new bedding set. 

    You can choose to place that bunkie board between your mattress and the bed frame, between metal or wood bed slats and the mattress, or simply over the top of the box spring of the mattress.

    Do I Need a Bunkie Board?

    Now that you know what a bunkie board is, you might be considering buying it as you are planning to buy a new mattress or have already purchased one. We have narrowed down some factors that will help you determine if you need a bunkie board. 

    • Solid Foundation

    Have you purchased a bed frame possessing solid foundations and no bed slats? Then here’s the thing, you will not need a bunkie board. However, if you like it elevated, then there is no harem opting for a bunkie board to add to the height without disturbing the structure. 

    • Slatted Foundation

    If you own a slatted foundation, you can seamlessly place the bunkie board on the foundation and the mattress on top of that. Since a bunkie board is available in diverse sizes and designs, you can choose to select the height of your wish - 1, 2, 3, or more. 

    • Adjustable Bed Foundation

    This one is slightly different; if you own an adjustable foundation, there is no need for a bunkie board. Why? This is because anything between the mattress and the bed frame will avert proper bending.

    Pros and Cons of a Bunkie Board

    Like everything globally, bunkie boards also comprise specific pros and cons. So let us start with the pros first. 

    Pros of Bunkie Boards

    • Downward Profile:

      Since a bunkie board is relatively low in height, it becomes easier for people to get up and down easily. Unlink box springs, which are quite high, and bunkie boards are effective for older people or children to make transfers easier.

    • Additional Mattress Aid:

      What is a bunkie board famous for? It is renowned for providing your body with the extra comfort and soothing feel you always wanted while sleeping. In addition, a bunkie board is instrumental in sagging and slumping the new mattress into the bed slats. 

    • Adaptable with Different Bed Sizes :

      What is a bunkie board’s adaptability quotient? Well, a bunkie board will be all worth your money because it fits all types of bed frames. Starting from box springs to solid foundations, to metal bases, and more. In addition, it includes any size and is versatile. 

    • Absorbs and Disperses the Pressure:

      What is a bunkie board's absorbing power? Quite a lot! A bunkie board sponges and disperses the pressure smoothly across the surface of the mattress. Therefore, there is no scope for discomfort causing your body. 

    Let us move to the cons section. It is essential to know the cons before making a calculated decision. 

    Cons of Bunkie Boards

    • Restrained Airflow: 

      What is a bunkie board’s airflow mechanism? Well, not so good. A bunkie board is a thing between the mattress and the bed frame, therefore, it doesn’t promote airflow. Thus, your body heat gets trapped in the bunkie board, and this problem aggravates if you’re a heavy sleeper. Because of the heat, allergens, molds, and other nuisances start forming, thereby escalating the problem.

    • Warping:

      Another issue with the bunkie board is warping. It tends to warp in wetter climates. Though, you can always opt for a non-wooden bunkie board to resolve this issue.

    Bunkie Board vs Box Spring

    Illustration of Bunkie Board vs Box Spring

    Quite a popular topic of discussion, what is a bunkie board and how is it different from a box spring? Speaking of the intent, both the bunkie board and box spring serve a similar purpose of adding comfort and support to the mattress. The only line of difference is, while a box spring is bulky, a bunkie board does the work being a sleek and compact one. Therefore, it is even more considered by people. 

    You might consider shifting to a bunkie board if:

    • You plan to amp up the height on top of your slats and bed foundations
    • You’re not willing to spend so much on a box spring
    • You own a bunk bed and need support
    • You possess a memory foam bed, bunkie boards are competent  enough to hold hefty foam beds 
    • Your box spring has worn out and you need an additional element to hold up the bedding

    Bunkie Board vs Plywood

    The dilemma is real, do you wish to proceed with a bunkie board or plywood? To narrow it down, plywood does play the role of a bunkie board to a certain degree. First, you need to select moisture-resistant plywood having ¾ inches thickness and perfectly fits the bed size. This is undoubtedly a more affordable option but check the sizes thoroughly. If you plan to keep your box spring, you can also place your plywood on top of it to protect the mattress. 

    Though on any fine day if we are asked, a bunkie board is a better option. Why so? It has a longer life cycle, it is tidier, and thwarts impairment better.

    Bunkie Board vs Slats

    Bed slats are wooden or metal bars to support your mattress. Though they have the same function as bunkie boards, the latter is more efficient. Bed slats might dig into your mattress and damage it when it comes to bunkie board vs slats. But bunkie boards being flat surfaces, will provide better support to your cozy mattress. You can combine a bunkie board with slats for extra support if you have a heavy foam mattress.

    How to Choose a Bunkie Board?

    Quite a critical step that talks about how to choose a bunkie board. Once you know what a bunkie board is used for, it is time you determine the factors before choosing it. You don’t wish to spend ample money on buying a bunkie board that doesn’t meet your requirements. Therefore, continue reading to learn what is a bunkie board’s buying tips.

    • The bunkie board you are planning to purchase needs to have a weight capacity of supporting the weight of the mattress and the sleeper. Generally a bunkie board holds up to 500 pounds or more.

    • You need to invest on a bunkie board that offers the perfect size - twin, full, king, or queen. Anything very small will not be supportive enough, on the contrary, anything too big might just hang over the mattress and affect your safety. 

    • Though bunkie boards are quite effortless to assemble by simply screwing. If you still don’t wish to proceed with any kind of assembling, opt for a one-piece or rollable bunkie board. 

    • If you have a restless partner or a kid, you obviously need to opt for noise-free design of a bunkie board. Ensure that you keep an eye on this feature. 

    • If you wish to own a bunkie board that doesn’t undergo wear and tear for years, then simply look at how long the warranty is. If it’s quite lengthy, then be rest assured that the manufacturer is confident about its durability. Also, reviews help a lot in this regard. 

    • If you wish a more durable bunkie board, opt for a thicker one. Maximum bunkie board models own a thickness of two to three inches. 

    • Only because a bunkie board is not so heavy on the pocket, it is not of supreme quality. The price of the bunkie board depends mostly on the features it offers, and the price range varies from as affordable as $25 to as high as $200.

    DIY Bunkie Board

    Want to get creative rather than buying a bunkie board? Here are the steps to follow to make your bunkie board.

    • Take a thin sheet of plywood ( 1 to 3 inches thick)

    • Now, remove your mattress and measure the bed base. You can subtract 1 inch from each measurement to make the plywood fit perfectly.

    • Cut the plywood after you have taken measurements.

    • Smoothen the sharp edges with sandpaper to prevent them from damaging your mattress.

    • Cut out an upholstery fabric according to the measurements of your plywood.
    • Paste the fabric on the board with a good quality adhesive so that it doesn’t come off.
    • If excess fabric hangs out, you can fold and staple it.

    If you want to add support to the mattress, then a bunkie board would be perfect. It not only adds to the support but also comfort. Your mattress will thank you for sure! If you own an adjustable mattress, a bunkie board is just not the right thing to spend money on. If you don’t have a height problem, you can also opt for a box spring. But bunkie boards outshine other things when making firmer, more comfortable, and durable bedding. 

    Disclaimer: This website does not offer medical advice nor professional medical services; rather, it is provided solely for educational, informational, and/or entertainment purposes. Individuals seeking medical advice should consult a licensed physician. The information provided should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition, disease, or injury. When you have a medical condition, you should always talk to licensed doctor or other certified medical professional. You should never delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment based on the contents of this website. Call 911 or immediately go to the nearest emergency room if you think you may have a medical emergency. The contents of this website are provided "as-is", Dreamcloud Sleep and its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, contributors disclaim any warranty of the information contained herein. Please contact support@dreamcloud.com to report any errors, omissions, misinformation, or abuse.
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While a twin XL bunkie board can hold up to 250 lbs, while a king or queen board can hold up to 450 to 500 lbs.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"f5b82c4","title":"How long does a bunkie board last? ","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EA bunkie board typically lasts for 2 to 3 years. Bunkie boards made of steel or wood last longer.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"1f1b0a4","title":"Do you need to add a bunkie board if you have slats?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EYou might be needing a bunkie board if your slats are not close enough. Foam and hybrid mattresses that are not more than 2.75 inches apart need to require slats to prevent premature sagging. \u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"0913cfc","title":"Where to Buy a Bunkie Board?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EYou can find a bunkie board in mattress showrooms having an adverse collection. 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