Bunk Bed Mattresses Buying Guide

They may have short usage periods, but bunk beds tend to have long lives, passing down from one child to the next, from one family to another. For hygienic and comfort reasons, you'll want to replace the mattress for each new sleeper. The good news is that bunk bed mattresses are fairly inexpensive.

Types of Bunk Bed Mattresses

Types of Bunk Bed Mattresses

There are two types of mattresses for bunk beds, so the shopping process is straightforward.

Standard Size

Most bunks are stacks of two twin-size beds. You can place any twin-size mattress in the bed, as long as it's not thicker than the side rails meant to keep the sleeper from falling out. A mattress that is no more than 6 inches thick is perfect. The bottom bunk may be larger than a twin, but it will still be a standard mattress size, either full or queen. Some companies offer bunk bed mattresses that have a solid foundation built in, meaning you don't have to rely on slats to hold the mattress in the frame.

Specific to the Manufacturer

European bed makers, and some American manufacturers, make mattresses that are specially designed for their particular bed frames. In this case, it is wise to purchase the bed and mattresses together to ensure a solid and safe fit. If the bed is a hand-me-down, return to the manufacturer to buy a new mattress.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

The best bunk beds have sturdy frames, safe side rails, excellent support slats for the mattress, and handy ladders for access. The mattresses are secondary to the bed purchase, but you will still want to consider a couple of points:


Periodically, it is good for a mattress to be turned to prevent uneven wear patterns. Because this can be tricky in a top bunk, choose a mattress that is not too heavy and bulky. If you purchase a mattress with a stability board built into it, you won't be able to flip it over.

Longevity vs. Budget

The lifespan of a bunk bed mattress is short. Therefore, it's best not to spend too much initially. For young children in particular, buy a basic, inexpensive mattress, then invest in a good waterproofing cover and quality bedding they can use later.

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