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Bunk beds are space-saving solutions that can take your child through their teenaged years. Bunk beds also provide creative design solutions for bedroom offices and other small living spaces.
If you’ve never owned a bunk bed before, you may be pleasantly surprised at all the mattress options available.
Contrary to popular belief, bunk beds and mattresses come in multiple sizes, including king. Some even have enough rungs to comfortably accommodate three people.
Whether you have luxury or an iron-clad budget in mind, you’ll want your bunk bed mattresses to adhere to industry standards, or greater.
The bunk bed mattresses on this list offer a wide range of sleeping options. None skimp on quality, safety, or comfort.
There are almost as many configurations of bunk beds as there are families.
Some bunk beds are designed to be taken apart and used as floor beds, extending their life span.
Many include trundle beds tucked underneath that can be pulled out and used as a third bed. (Trundle beds are perfect as space savers and for sleepovers.)
Bunk beds also feature a variety of ladders or staircases. This is important not only for the sleeper, but for the person who will be changing the sheets and caring for the mattress.
Bunk bed types include:
- Twin or full loft bed. These beds provide sleeping space for one person on a lifted platform with room underneath for a desk, storage, or other usage
- Twin over twin. This is the most popular combination and great for siblings.
- Triple bunk. If you have enough ceiling space, you may opt for a three-level design. Some of these feature a full-size bunk on the bottom with two twin bunks on top, but the mattresses are usually all twin-size.
- Twin XL over twin XL. This is the mattress size most commonly used in college dorm rooms.
- Twin over full.
- Twin over futon.
There are also more rare bunk bed sizes:
- full over full
- full over queen
- queen over queen
- king over king
- Meet federal standards. The mattresses on this list adhere to federal flammability standards as regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. None have safety issues or legal concerns, such as recalls or safety alerts.
- Certified safe components. The absence of toxic materials has been verified through a third party and indicated via certification, such as CertiPUR-US or Made Safe. This helps ensure that the mattress is free of chemicals, such as lead and phthalates. Fewer chemicals also mean less off-gassing and smell, a big plus.
- Customer reviews. We checked out hundreds of verified consumer reviews and only included products that got mostly high marks.
- Price tags. We also kept budget in mind since bunk bed mattresses vary in cost.
Since twin is the most popular size used in bunk beds, we indicated cost as follows for twin-size mattresses:
- $ = under $300
- $$ = $301–$500
- $$$ = over $500
Keep in mind that mattresses go on sale throughout the year. Check the prices on websites to get the most accurate, up-to-the-minute cost of each mattress.
Beautyrest Bunk Mattress
This mattress is available in twin and full sizes. It provides medium-firm support. According to some
In-home delivery and assembly are included.
The manufacturer’s 1-year limited warranty may be contingent on the type of bed frame used.
Purple Kid Mattress
The Purple Kid Mattress is all foam (plus that famous “Purple grid” top layer) and provides medium-firm support. For those who know Purple, this mattress is softer than the adult version. It’s only available in twin. Like all bunk bed mattresses, it needs a strong, sturdy base for support.
You can remove and machine wash its cover, which is very handy.
The company only recommends the Purple Kid Mattress for kids up to 115 pounds.
To avoid sagging, Purple recommends using a base or box spring with slats that aren’t more than 3 inches apart.
Saatva Youth Mattress
This hybrid mattress comes in twin, twin XL, and full sizes. It gives medium to medium-firm support.
It’s designed to be flipped with a different level of firmness or softness on either side. Saatva recommends one side for children ages 3 to 7 and the other side as more comfortable for kids ages 8 to 12.
Saatva boasts that all the materials in this mattress are sourced in the United States, including the foam, springs, and organic cotton cover.
The eco-friendly design includes recycled steel rod coils, eco-friendly foam, and an all-natural flame retardant barrier made from thistle pulp. This mattress uses a proprietary botanical, antimicrobial treatment.
Free white-glove delivery, including removal of your old bed, is included.
Returns require a $99 transportation fee.
Even though this mattress is designed to be bunk bed compatible, it’s 10 inches high and requires guard railings that are at least 5 inches above its height. This means it may not be an appropriate choice for every top bunk.
Linenspa 6-Inch Innerspring Mattress
This budget-friendly mattress includes tempered steel coils and an upper foam layer in its construction. It comes in a full range of sizes, from twin to king. People with lower body weight may find this Linenspa mattress gives firm support.
This 6-inch mattress is thin enough to be used for trundle beds.
According to users, this mattress doesn’t provide spinal support or comfort for people with higher body weight.
To not feel the coils, a mattress pad is recommended for people with higher body weight.
Nest Bedding Big Kid Bed (BKB)
The Nest BKB comes in twin, twin XL, and full sizes. It uses CertiPUR-US certified foam and provides firm support. It’s shipped bed-in-a-box style.
This children’s mattress gets high marks from users for comfort, edge stability, and motion isolation. Users also say it provides a cool night’s sleep, with minimal heat retention.
At 7 inches, users found this mattress sturdier than other thin mattresses.
Some users complained of an off-gassing smell.
This mattress may also be too firm for some sleepers.
My Green Mattress Kiwi Bunk Bed Mattress
This innerspring mattress is bunk bed-friendly at 8 inches high. It gives medium-firm to firm support.
Customers report no off-gassing smell.
Since this mattress uses natural latex, it may not be appropriate for someone with a latex allergy.
Military discounts are available when buying direct from My Green Mattress.
Wayfair Sleep 6-Inch Medium Firm Memory Foam Mattress
This budget-friendly option from Wayfair Sleep is another mattress that ships bed-in-a-box style. The high-density memory foam in the mattress is CertiPUR-US certified. It gives medium-firm support and is available in twin.
This 6-inch mattress is covered in a breathable weave.
This mattress may take several days to expand to full size. For safety, don’t place on a top bunk until it’s fully expanded.
The warranty is sold separately.
Lucid 8-Inch Plush Gel Memory Foam Mattress
This hybrid mattress is made with CertiPUR-US certified memory foam and infused with gel and bamboo charcoal, which is meant to help keep the mattress temperature neutral and keep odors down.
It comes in a full range of sizes, including twin, twin XL, and full, as well as two firmness options: medium firm and plush.
Very young children may be more comfortable on the plush, softer firmness.
Some users complain about off-gassing and a new-mattress smell that lasts for several days.
Serta Sycamore Futon Mattress
If you have a twin over futon bunk bed, this foam mattress will work for the bottom bunk. It comes in full and queen sizes only. Materials include a durable, woven cotton cover, cotton batting, and CertiPUR-US certified foam.
Since futons tend to be on display, this bendable mattress is available in more than one color.
This mattress isn’t meant for use on a twin or top bunk. It comes in full and queen sizes only.
You can use it on the bottom level of a bunk bed, directly on the floor, or on a standard futon frame.
Nod by Tuft & Needle Adaptive Foam 8-Inch Mattress
This memory foam mattress is Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified. It comes in all standard sizes and gives medium support.
Most reviewers of the twin and twin XL praised how comfortable and supportive it is for them.
This mattress can take up to 3 days to fully expand.
Some users mention that it has a smell for around 2 to 3 days.
At 24 pounds for the twin size, it may be heavy for some people to install onto a top bunk.
There are a number of criteria to consider when shopping for bunk bed mattresses.
Keep in mind that you may wish to buy different types of mattresses for the top and bottom levels.
Types of bunk bed mattresses
Bunk bed mattresses offer many of the same options and features that standard mattresses do. Mattresses may be innerspring, foam, or hybrid types. Some are designed specifically for bunk beds. There are also futon mattresses designed for use on the bottom bunk.
Measure the height of the side railings
Mattress height is a significant factor. For safety reasons, your top bunk’s mattress shouldn’t be higher than the side railing.
There are 36,000 bunk bed-related accidents each year in the United States. High mattresses can cause the sleeper to roll out of bed. For most bunk beds, the top bunk’s mattress should not exceed 7 to 8 inches in height.
If you’re adding a thick mattress topper for softness or waterproofing, your mattress’s height should be low enough to accommodate that extra height.
Consider what headroom sleepers need
Mattress height also affects headroom for both bunks. Calculate how much headspace you, your child, or guest will need while sitting and sleeping on the mattress.
Be sure you can lift the mattress
Mattress weights vary considerably. A too-heavy mattress may be hard to lift or rotate, making it impractical for the top bunk.
Does the bunk bed or mattress need a foundation board?
Traditional box springs raise the mattress too high up for bunk beds to be safe. Your mattress will probably sit directly on a bunkie board, wooden slats, or crossbars.
To ensure comfort for the sleeper, make sure the mattress you choose works with your bunk bed’s foundation, especially if the crossbars are made from metal.
Who will use the mattress and how often?
Take into consideration the life span and expected wear and tear of your mattress.
Will your mattress be used for occasional guests or for nightly sleeping? A lower-priced mattress may make sense if it’s going to be used only occasionally or by a child for only a few years.
Look at the warranty and return details
Look for a manufacturer’s warranty. It’s common for each product to have a different warranty policy. This should include information about the terms the mattress is covered under.
High-quality mattresses come with a warranty of at least 10 years. The return policy, shipping costs, and at-home sleep trial should also be easy to find.
- Keep in mind that bunk bed mattresses may be designed specifically for certain age ranges. If you want a mattress you can use for a long period of time, look for ones that identify a weight limit of 200 pounds or more.
- Wear and tear will be a significant factor. To sustain the life of your mattress, choose one that can be flipped.
- Rotating your mattress every 3 months or so may help avoid sagging by evening out wear and tear over time.
- For safety as well as product life, make sure your mattress base is sturdy. Slats should never be more than 3 inches apart.
- Covering your mattress with a waterproof pad or cover will help protect it from spills and nighttime accidents.
- You can also consider an inexpensive foam or quilted cotton cover to prolong or refresh the life of your mattress.
Bunk beds come in all sizes. Some twin-size mattresses are better for bunk beds than others. To ensure safety, most top bunks require mattresses that are 8 inches high (deep) or less.
The mattresses should provide good support and comfort, no matter their size or how high off the ground they are.