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The Best Mattresses for Bunk Beds – A Comprehensive Review Guide

CEO Khai Intela
Introduction: Bunk beds are a unique and fun way to maximize space in a smaller guest room or create a playful bedroom for your kids. Choosing the right mattress for bunk beds is crucial to...

Introduction: Bunk beds are a unique and fun way to maximize space in a smaller guest room or create a playful bedroom for your kids. Choosing the right mattress for bunk beds is crucial to ensure ultimate comfort and safety for the people using them. In this comprehensive review guide, we will explore the different types of mattresses suitable for bunk beds and discuss important factors to consider when making your selection.

What to Look for in a Mattress for Bunk Beds

Type of Mattress

When it comes to bunk bed mattresses, there are several options to consider:

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are popular for their durability and support. They offer great responsiveness, bounce, and airflow due to their strong coil base. However, traditional innerspring models with continuous coil construction may start to sag over time and lack sufficient comfort layers for pressure relief.

Image of innerspring mattress Caption: Example of an innerspring mattress

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses combine coils from innerspring mattresses with latex or memory foam. This combination provides a durable and supportive base with upper layers that offer pressure relief and contouring. However, hybrid mattresses are generally more expensive due to their advanced design.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses offer slow-moving and cozy contouring that conforms to your body. Low-profile memory foam mattresses are a great choice for bunk beds because of their affordability and motion absorption properties. However, they may not be ideal for those who frequently change positions during the night.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are an excellent eco-conscious choice that provides top-notch pressure relief, durability, and responsiveness. Unlike memory foam, latex mattresses quickly bounce back to their original shape while still offering pressure-relieving properties. However, they are typically the most expensive option for bunk beds, although the smaller sizes associated with bunk beds can help offset the cost.

Other Considerations When Shopping for a Mattress for Bunk Beds

Sleeping Position

Different sleep positions require varying levels of support and pressure relief:

  • Back sleepers benefit from medium-firm mattresses that evenly distribute their weight and provide lower back support.
  • Side sleepers need slightly softer mattresses to relieve pressure on their shoulders and hips. Memory foam or latex mattresses with a soft to medium firmness are ideal for side sleepers.
  • Stomach sleepers require proper support for their hips to prevent lower back pain. Firmer and highly supportive mattresses are recommended for stomach sleepers.
  • Combination sleepers who change positions throughout the night need mattresses that are quick-responding and buoyant. Latex, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses with a versatile medium-firm feel are suitable for combination sleepers.

Weight/Body Type of Sleepers

Consider the weight and body type of the sleepers using the bunk bed:

  • Ensure that the mattress and frame can safely support the sleepers' weight.
  • Medium or medium-firm mattresses generally work well for most people. Heavier individuals may prefer a firmer feel for better spinal alignment, while lighter individuals may enjoy plush beds for pressure relief.


Most bunk bed frames accommodate two Twin mattresses (38 inches wide by 75 inches long) in a Twin-over-Twin design, which is perfect for saving space. Twin XL mattresses (38 inches wide by 80 inches long) are suitable for taller or growing children and teens.

Larger bunk bed frames can fit two Full-size mattresses (54 inches wide by 75 inches long), allowing single sleepers to have more space. Queen-size mattresses (60 inches wide by 80 inches long) can also be stacked on top of each other with a compatible bunk bed frame.

Mattress Height

The height of the bunk bed mattress is crucial, especially for the top bunk:

  • Opt for low-profile mattresses (7 inches tall or less) for the top bunk to prevent the mattress from sitting above the guardrail, reducing the risk of falling.
  • The height of the bottom bunk is less important for safety but may affect clearance.


Medium-firm mattresses are generally a safe choice when ordering a bunk bed mattress online. However, if kids will be using the bunk bed, it's advisable to visit a mattress store and have them try out different models to determine their preferred level of firmness. Many online mattress brands offer extended sleep trial periods, allowing you to test the mattress at home and return it if it's not a good fit.


Look for bunk bed mattresses with modern cooling features to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the night. Consider foams with gel infusions, aerated structures, and specialized cooling technologies. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses also provide airflow through the coils. Additionally, prioritize breathable fabric covers, such as cotton, for enhanced temperature regulation.

Motion Isolation

While bunk beds typically aren't shared, mattresses with good motion isolation can be beneficial in situations where multiple people may use the bed. Memory foam mattresses excel at absorbing motion, making them suitable for most bunk bed setups.

Pressure Relief

Choose bunk bed mattresses that relieve pressure built up throughout the night. Medium to medium-firm mattresses with latex or memory foam are often a great choice, as they provide adequate support and contouring for various body types and sleep positions.

Image of Julia Forbes testing a mattress for pressure relief Caption: Julia Forbes testing a mattress for pressure relief

Edge Support

Good edge support is particularly important for the top bunk of bunk beds. It provides an extra level of security and stability. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses typically offer excellent edge support, while foam mattresses reinforce the edges with higher-density foam.


Consider your budget when purchasing bunk bed mattresses, keeping in mind that you will likely be buying two mattresses. Luckily, the rise in direct-to-consumer online shopping has made quality mattresses more affordable. Additionally, the smaller size of bunk bed mattresses helps balance out the overall cost.

Bunk Bed Safety Tips

Federal law and safety standards require that bunk beds comply with specific regulations, including guardrails on both sides of the top bunk and for lower bunks positioned more than 30 inches off the floor. The American Academy of Pediatrics also provides additional safety tips:

  • Children under six years of age should not sleep on the top bunk.
  • Place bunk beds in the corner of the bedroom for added stability.
  • The guardrails on the top bunk should be at least 5 inches higher than the mattress.
  • Avoid gaps between the bottom of the mattress and the guardrail that exceed 3.5 inches.
  • Provide extra slats for added stability on the top bunk.
  • Remind kids to use the stairs or ladder to get in and out of bed.
  • Ensure that the ladder is secure.
  • Discourage roughhousing on bunk beds.
  • Remove any dangerous objects from bunk beds.
  • Avoid hanging items from the top bunk that may pose strangulation risks.
  • Use a night light for safe navigation on the top bunk in the dark.

In addition to these tips, make sure the bunk bed is securely assembled before use, use the correct size mattress for the top and bottom bunks, and allow only one person to sleep in the top bunk.

With these factors and safety tips in mind, you can confidently choose the best mattresses for your bunk beds, ensuring maximum comfort and peace of mind for everyone using them.