What Is A Bunkie Board? And Other FAQs

Have you ever wondered what a bunkie board is?

Well, a bunkie board is a covered flat slab that is usually placed on a base to support a mattress.

Most people use these boards to make their mattresses even and comfortable.

Or as replacements for box springs, which may have raised the beds too high for comfort.

bunkie board without cover
CC image courtesy of p_oles on Flickr

You can also use these boards to replace slats and for changing your young ones cribs to full-size beds.

These boards do not work well as standalone, and some of them have shorter life spans than the mattresses.


Are they necessary?

No, they aren’t necessary unless your bed frame doesn’t provide you with the support you desire.

Your base can work just fine if it has adequate slats that support your weight and that of your mattress.

What are bunkie boards made of?

Traditionally bunkie boards were made of wood but this changed as they evolved. Nowadays the boards feature either wood or metal, and they also include coverings.

The metal bunkie boards look like thin versions of metal foundations/ box springs. They can feature metal bars and wires going across the frames.

The covers feature different fabrics such as cotton and polyester, which may come in padded designs.

Where can you place the bunkie board?

You can use a bunkie board on most bed bases and frames including daybeds, bunks and platform beds. You can also use with a box spring on the floor if this is your preferred sleeping arrangement.


Why do guys use bunkie boards?

As I mentioned earlier, bunkie boards provide extra support for mattresses. They can keep your mattresses from sagging in the frames.

They keep you from feeling the bars of your bed frame, and this is why they work well for foam mattresses.

A good one can also help keep your mattress from sliding, so it stays in place.

So, what about the price?

Why is a bunkie board expensive?

I believe it depends on the materials used to make the board and the brand. The price of this board ranges from affordable to what you would consider expensive.

For example, you can find a wooden one priced below $50 and one made of steel priced above $80.

The wise thing to do would be to shop around for the one that fits your budget.

The good thing is, besides the brick and mortar stores, these boards can be found in e-commerce stores that usually house more brands.


Are they safe?

Well-made bunkie boards are safe and durable. Good boards can even work on cribs and other busy spaces such as kids’ beds.

It depends on the construction and if the assembling is done correctly. A sturdy bunkie board that has been properly assembled will be safe for kids to jump on. And a non-sliding one will keep your mattress in place.

Do the boards come in different sizes?

Yes, bunkie boards come in different sizes from the twin to the California king size.

bunkie boards supports the mattress

And although the small-sized boards are more popular, most manufacturers also create boards that work for the big beds.

So, if you have a full-size bed frame inquire about a full-size bunkie board. Find out about the dimensions and if the board can fit on your bed.

One good thing is you can also find foldable and split bunkie boards that are easy to move and store.

How thick are these boards?

The thickness varies with most boards, but it ranges between 1.5 to 2 inches. These figures usually represent the boards’ heights.

Do bunkie boards require assembling?

Some boards do require assembling, while others don’t. The good ones usually come with manuals for the assembling processes. The fully assembled boards are easy to set up than their counterparts.

How long do bunkie boards last?

The lifespan of bunkie boards depends on their construction and maintenance. A well-maintained board can last over 2 years. As I mentioned earlier, most wooden boards don’t last as long as mattresses or their metal counterparts.

What should you consider before buying bunkie boards?

You should consider the following:

  • Size of the board- This should be the same size as your bed base
  • The type of board that will work for you either metal or wood and if it includes upholstery.
  • Price- Look for one that fits your budget
  • Weight- The board should be able to support your weight and mattress
  • Bars spacing- This is mostly for the metal boards that feature bars. The spacing in between the bars shouldn’t be too wide to sink in the mattress.
  • Assembling- Get a fully assembled or easy to assemble one that comes with the necessary hardware. You can find this information from the reviews of the product.


Can you make your own Bunkie board?

Yes, you can if you enjoy DIY projects. Here’s a summary of how you can go about making one.

You’ll have to get the following:

  1. A long quilted fabric that can fit your base
  2. A customized sheet of plywood that can fit your bed base
  3. Fabric adhesive and staples/ sewing machine


Measure the inside of your bed frame to get the dimensions of the board.

If you don’t know how to cut wood, then buy a plywood sheet from a store that offers customization services so that you get the exact size.

plywood for making a bunkie boardThe board should be at least 1.5 to 2 inches shorter than the size of your bed base.

Sand the board after receiving it to smoothen out rough edges, and then place it on a clean surface.

You can use a sander or sandpaper for this activity.


Cut the quilted fabric. You can improvise with some comforters that you don’t use. Cut one piece to be the exact fit of your board and another piece a few inches wider and longer (around 2 inches).

You can use the adhesive to glue each fabric piece on the board, and then overlap the extra fabric and staple it.

Or use fabric glue to fit the edges of the fabric, and then sew them up and leave one side as the opening.

Dress the board afterward and staple the overlapping fabric at the opening.


How do you use the board?

You clear the bed/ base by removing your bedding and mattress. Then place the board properly on the base, followed by your mattress and bedding.

At this point, your bed is ready for use.


Bunkie boards improve the support of most bases without interfering with the texture of mattresses. You can fit and change sheets easily and keep your mattress in place with a non-slid board.

But you can’t use brackets to fit headboards on them because they don’t work well alone.

Bottom line: A good bunkie board will work well with your base to provide you with the support you desire.

So, would you consider getting one for your bed frame?

Author: Brenda

Brenda Nadi is a proud mama, entrepreneur, and sleep blogger. She creates guides, tips, and reviews of sleep products that make comfortable environments for new buyers.

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