What Is A Bunkie Board? All That You Should Know

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A bunkie board is thin mattress support used in bunk beds. They were initially developed in the early 20th century as an alternative to slats and box springs. They are lighter but offer a higher level of support than a traditional box spring or slatted base. The term bunkie board was first used in the 1930s and remained popular throughout the decade.

The bunkie board is a lightweight bed support system made of plywood wrapped in fabric. It sits between the frame and the mattress to give your mattress extra support. Compared to a traditional box spring, a bunkie board is less bulky and easier to move. You can buy one online and install it yourself. Here's how it works: A bunkie board sits between the mattress and the bed frame, providing the same level of support as a box spring.

Why Do You Need A Bunkie Board?

A bunkie board is unnecessary for a foam mattress, but it can be helpful if you need a little extra height to prop up your box spring. The average cost of a bunkie board is $50 to $150, so if you're on a budget, you can probably do without one. The panels are available at home supply stores or online, and they're pretty easy to make. Whether using a foam mattress or a traditional bed frame, getting the correct thickness is essential to avoid a sagging mattress. Also, along with a proper mattress, it is also required to sleep on bedsheets with a higher thread count. You must note that higher thread count may mean better quality.

Bunkie Board Vs. Box Spring

If you're in the market for a new mattress, you might be wondering which one is better: a box spring or a bunkie board?

  • A Bunkie board weighs only thirty pounds, compared to a hundred to one hundred pounds for a box spring. It's very lightweight and easily portable, and you can quickly move it yourself. A box spring is bulky and difficult to move around, and it's also cumbersome.
  • A box spring is ideal for high-end mattresses made of sturdy material, like a metal frame. But a bunkie board is more affordable and portable, so you should check before buying. You should also be aware that a bunkie board won't be suitable for an adjustable bed, so you can consider a box spring or bunkie board if you don't have this option.

Bunkie Board Vs. Plywood

  • Unlike the traditional bunkie board made of solid wood, plywood, or particleboard, a plywood bunk bed has no exposed slats and is less expensive than a wood bunk.
  • Choosing between Plywood and Bunkie Board is a personal choice. Depending on your budget, plywood will cost you around $150 for a 4-foot x 8-foot board. However, if you plan on using a bunk bed for your child, the more expensive option is likely to result in a lower quality product.
  • Both plywood and Bunkie boards are solid and hold a good mattress.
  • When comparing plywood and Bunkie boards, it is best to remember that a plywood bunk board is sturdier than a wooden one. A wood slat is cheaper and more durable than a plywood bunk board, but it isn't as strong. If you want to avoid this, you should choose a plywood bunk board. This type of bunk bed is generally more expensive than a wooden one.

Bunkie Board Vs. Slats

  • Bunkie boards are a cheaper alternative than slatted mattresses. They are not as sturdy as solid wood, and they are not as supportive as slatted beds. Slatted beds are made of plywood and particleboard, which don't have the same weight-bearing capacity. But some bunkie boards are made of much more durable materials, including wood and metal.
  • While a bunkie board offers similar results to slats, it provides less support for mattresses. Memory foam mattresses may feel uncomfortable on slatted beds. However, a bunkie board can be paired with a slatted frame for an added layer of support. Although a bunkie board is thinner than a slatted bed frame, it still offers adequate support for mattresses.
  • If you're on a tight budget, you may want to consider buying a Bunkie Board instead of a slatted bed. A bunkie board is also cheaper and provides solid support to your mattress, and can also be a good option for a platform bed. Slatted beds can be more expensive, but they don't add much height to your mattress. You can purchase a Bunkie Board at a home decor store, big-box store, and specialty retailers. And they're available in all mattress sizes. You can even have custom sizing.

Some Tips To Buy A Bunkie Board


When buying a bunkie board, it must be made of durable material. A good quality one will have no gaps or creaks and be thick and comfortable. It should also be easy to transport. You can also buy a folding board that's easy to carry. There are several options available on the market, so you're sure to find one that matches your needs and preferences.


When buying a Bunkie board, the next thing you should consider is its price. Usually, the most affordable option is particle board or plywood, but you should opt for a slightly broader and longer top piece to overlap with the frame. The bottom portion should also be at least a couple of inches smaller than the width and length of the bed since you'll have to put fabric around it. You'll need a giant board if you plan to put a thicker mattress on it.

In Conclusion

A bunkie board can work with a box spring or solid platform bed frame. They can also be used with slatted foundations. These can make the space between the bed and the ground safer and less awkward for your child. A solid wood bunkie board is an excellent choice if you're concerned about formaldehyde emissions.

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