You think that you need a new foundation for your mattress because your current one doesn’t offer you enough support?
Stop right there!
Did you know that you can enforce your bed frame without spending all the money in the world? A bunkie board can easily help you with that.
Below are 5 best bunkie boards reviewed and a detailed buying guide to help you make the right decision.
A Quick Preview
|Zinus Annemarie||Wooden slats; polyester fabric||Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and Cal King||5 years||8.5|
|Zinus Gulzar||Steel||Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and Cal King||5 years||8|
|Classic Brands Extreme||Wood||Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and Cal King||Not specified||8|
|Acme||Wood||Twin, Full, and Queen||1 year||7|
|Signature Sleep||Steel; polyester cover||Twin and Full||1 year||9|
Our Reviews of 5 Top-Rated Bunkie Boards on the Market
I will begin the list of top-rated bunkie boards with this model by Zinus. It literally has it all: durable materials, supportive surface, and reasonable price.
The Annemarie bunkie board is made of solid wood — I believe it’s pine — and is encased into a tenacious polyester fabric. The number of slats varies depending on the size, with the Queen-sized board having 10 slats placed four inches apart from each other.
The slats themselves look pretty durable and may work as an additional supportive layer if your current bed foundation started to wear out a bit. They have enough weight capacity to hold even a bulky hybrid bed or serve as a foundation with anti-sagging properties for your foam or latex mattress.
Also, you don’t need to assemble this board, which is also great. Just put it out of the package, unroll and enjoy.
Overall, I loved how sturdy and durable this bunkie board is, given its affordability. It can be paired with any type of mattress and serve you really long.
Best Metal Bunkie Board
Switching to metal options, and here’s another model by Zinus in my bunkie board review. The Gulzar bunkie board is made of high-quality steel, so you can expect literally eternal durability and great support for your mattress.
The board requires assembly, but you can manage it in minutes. All 14 slats have a Quick-lock construction on both ends, so you just need to snap them into the frame, and you’re all set.
The Gulzar comes with both foam padding for noise-free sleeping experience and anti-slip tape that will help hold your mattress in place.
The spacings between slats may seem quite wide at first, but I was testing this bunkie board with an average memory foam mattress and it didn’t sink through the slats. Note, though, that if your weight is more than 250 pounds, it’s recommended to use this bunkie board with a thick mattress; otherwise, the mattress might sink too deeply under your weight, resulting in uneven support.
Overall, I would recommend this Zinus bunkie board as a universal pick for almost any sleeper. It simply does its job and is made of high-quality material.
Best Wood Bunkie Board
Classic Brands Extreme
Here’s another wooden option that claimed its place among the best bunkie boards. And that’s due to the quality wood it is made of: it’s really strong and excels at shock absorption.
This board is basically the slats tied together with a wide rubber string. So, all you need to do is place this bunkie board on top of your bed frame and let it secure itself. Then, you can place your mattress over this construction and enjoy a good sleep.
The Classic Brands Extreme works great with any mattress type and is able to withstand bigger loads without cracking or breaking. I believe that even the owners of heavy latex beds and bulky hybrids may benefit from using this bunkie board without any issues.
The manufacturer suggests you measure the inner perimeter of your bed frame — that’s where the slats lie — rather than the outer one, in order to choose the right size.
To sum it up: if you need a basic yet durable wooden bunkie board, go for the Classic Brands Extreme. It pairs well with any type of mattress and creates a sturdy foundation for it.
Best for Petite Sleepers or Kids
One more bunkie board I’ve reviewed is designed by Acme. This one will make a great purchase for a kid’s bed or a lightweight sleeper, as it’s made of plywood that, even despite being pretty durable, still has lower weight capacity compared to other wood types.
So, this bunkie board is rollable, which is very convenient for storage and transportation. It has 13 slats placed about 3.5 inches apart. Plus, it can support even thinner mattresses so that you don’t feel the slats through the mattress.
My only complaint about this bunkie board is that the wood feels unfinished, and it can damage the surface of your mattress. You can solve this issue, though, by adding a piece of cloth on top.
Overall, I love that the Acme bunkie board is affordable and yet supportive. Plywood can serve you well for years, so do not hesitate to purchase this bunkie board for your child’s bed or for yourself, if you’re a petite sleeper.
Best Heavy-Duty Design
And the last candidate in my selection of top-rated bunkie boards is made by Signature Sleep. The most prominent feature of this bunkie board is that it’s made of heavy-duty materials, meaning that it’s capable of withstanding bigger loads than other models.
The Signature Sleep’s board is made of steel and has two halves that you need to slip into each other. The construction features mesh wires along with thicker slats, so it can offer decent support for any mattress type.
Also, there’s a polyester fabric encasement for the bunkie board included. Not only will it serve as a protector but it also will create some grip so that your mattress won’t slide off.
I think that this bunkie board will make a good choice for lightweight sleepers or those who have kids, as the only two sizes that the manufacturer offers are Twin and Full. But I really liked the quality of this board and how it performs in terms of support.
What Is a Bunkie Board?
Now let’s make sure you understand what a bunkie board actually is.
As you can see from these reviews, it’s an additional layer of slats that you put inside your bed frame.
Or straight on the hard floor, if you’re trying to lead a minimalist lifestyle and want to get all the health benefits of floor sleeping.
A bunkie board typically is around 1-2 inches thick. This is more than enough to create a supportive layer for your mattress, and it goes well with both flat and bent slats that many bed frames come with. Also, such thickness doesn’t make your bed awkwardly high, so you won’t have problems with getting in and out of it if you have some mobility issues.
“Initially, bunkie boards were designed to support mattresses in bunk beds, where the height of every bunk is critical for your comfort and safety.”
Benefits of Using a Bunkie Board
Now, let’s see how a suitable bunkie board can be useful for you:
- Sagging prevention. The main reason why people buy bunkie boards is that they can offer great support and eliminate issues with a weak bed frame or a mattress that has started to wear out a bit. This board can work well with any type of mattress — you can even easily use it as a low-profile box spring alternative for your innerspring bed — and prolong its lifespan.
- Enhanced airflow. If your bed frame has a solid surface, say, made of plywood sheet, it may block the airflow under the mattress and thus contribute to the development of mold and unpleasant odors. A slatted or mesh bunkie board has spaces between slats, which promotes air circulation and eliminates moisture and heat issues.
- Better fixation. Some bunkie boards are encased in a pretty tenacious polyester fabric. This may help prevent your mattress from sliding, which is common for metal and finished wood bunkie boards.
- Healthier sleep. If you constantly wake up with back pain, not only the mattress could be the one to blame. What your mattress sits on matters too. A bunkie board creates a supportive surface under your mattress, so the mattress itself will be able to do its job properly, and your pain issues may go away.
“If you’re looking to enhance mattress support, getting a bunkie board is a much more affordable option than getting a new bed frame. And if you choose high-quality materials, a bunkie board can surely last you for years.”
How Will a Bunkie Board Work With Different Types of Bed Foundations?
The next part of my review is dedicated to the compatibility of bunkie boards with other elements of a bed.
Here are the most common items people use, so let’s see how they get along with a bunkie board.
Bunkie Board vs Box Spring
A box spring is basically a box filled with springs. It had been the most common type of foundation as long as innerspring beds were the leaders on the mattress market.
Today, when memory foam and hybrid mattresses rule the industry and the overall manufacturing standards are much different compared even to five years ago, chances are that you don’t need a box spring for your bed. Especially given the fact that today’s box springs mostly don’t have any springs and are rather made as a metal or wooden foundation.
Now, if you already have a box spring, you can use it with a bunkie board without a problem. But note that this combination may alter the feel of your mattress, making it very firm.
The good thing is:
You can easily ditch your box spring and replace it with a bunkie board, as it can work with almost any type of mattress.
Bunkie Board vs Plywood
Another common type of mattress base is a simple plywood sheet trimmed to the size of a bed frame.
Because plywood is very pliable, this foundation can offer decent support for thinner mattresses that aren’t too heavy. However, a solid surface won’t allow the air to circulate underneath the mattress.
And this is where a bunkie board can come in handy.
With a slatted or wired construction and a small height, it will help create a little gap between the plywood and the mattress, for the air to flow freely around the bottom layer.
Bunkie Board vs Slats
Slatted bed foundations are available in any mattress store, and the choice of types, sizes and materials is really wide.
Although they are compatible with any type of mattress, their supportive properties are strongly tied to the quality of the materials. So, sometimes they do offer the needed amount of support, and sometimes they don’t.
But here’s the deal:
You can put a bunkie board on top of your platform bed slats and enhance the support without any efforts, instead of purchasing a new bed frame.
Most Common Materials for Bunkie Boards and Their Pros and Cons
Now, let’s briefly go through the main types of materials used for making bunkie boards, and see their pros and cons.
- Plywood. If you’re purchasing a cheaper mattress support board, chances are it will be made of plywood. Depending on the thickness of the slats, this material can offer decent support and may even feel a bit bouncy, so make sure you don’t mind that. The weight capacity and durability of plywood are not so good compared to other materials, so don’t expect long-lasting support.
- Pine. This one is a perfect material for a wooden bunkie board. Pine slats are capable of holding a heavy mattress and a couple of average-weight sleepers on top of it, but they are quite flexible and prone to squeaking.
- Steel. If you’re looking for a quality bunkie board, then your go-to option may be steel. Polished steel slats aren’t afraid of moisture and rust, and can easily hold the weight of a large sleeper for years. However, you need to check the spaces between the slats. Usually, they are bigger than in wooden models, which may not work for all types of mattresses.
- Metal alloys. The alloy of different metals is a more affordable way to make a durable bunkie board. However, the particular metals used during the manufacturing process will impact the quality of the final product.
How to Find a Good Bunkie Board?
In order not to get lost among the offers, you will need to know what to look for in a good bunkie board. Below are the key features we pay attention to when searching for models to review:
- Weight capacity. The weight capacity of a bunkie board depends on two things: material and construction. Metal boards, obviously, are sturdier than wooden ones. Also, if you’re buying a bunkie board for a large guy, consider one-piece designs, as they have fewer weak points.
- Size. Choosing a Queen bunkie board isn’t rocket science; after all, it’s the most popular mattress size on the market. With any other sizes, however, it might be a bit different. Most manufacturers can offer bunkie boards in Twin, Full, Queen, and King sizes, but if you own a California King bed or a Twin XL, it might be harder to find a compatible bunkie board. These sizes typically have lower market demand, so you may eventually need to look for other types of mattress support.
- Ease of assembly. I personally hate assembling, so a perfect bunkie board for me is a one-piece or rollable one. It’s also the reason why most models in this review don’t require assembly. However, if you need a King bunkie board, you will probably have to assemble it, as it’s too bulky to come as one piece. If you still don’t want to bother much, look for models with the lock-in construction which don’t have tons of screws and bolts.
- Noise-free design. Finally, you surely need your bunkie board to be quiet. Try to choose models with foam padding or those covered with fabric. Alternatively, you can buy foam tape separately, or use a piece of cloth, such as an old sheet or curtain.