The City Mattress Blog

What Is a Bunkie Board?


heavy duty sleep logic bunkie board by sleep logic

Exploring the world of bedroom furnishings brings us to the bunkie board, a simple yet transformative piece that often goes unnoticed. Nestled between your mattress and bed frame, this unassuming sleep surface accessory could be the key to unlocking a whole new level of sleep comfort and mattress support. Let’s explore the many benefits of bunkie boards along with more information about them. 

Understanding Bunkie Boards

A bunkie board is a key component in ensuring a comfortable and supportive sleeping environment. Here’s what you need to know about this essential mattress support:

  • Bunkie Boards Explained: A bunkie board is a thin, flat piece of material, typically wood, plywood or particle board, used to provide mattress support. They are usually one to three inches thick and designed to fit between the mattress and its base, creating a solid, flat surface for support.
  • History and Design of Bunkie Boards: These were originally developed for bunk beds, giving them the name “bunkie boards.” They were invented in the early 20th century as a slimmer alternative to box springs, offering more uniform support than traditional slats​​.
  • Bunkie Board Material and Construction: Bunkie boards can be made from various materials, including wood, metal and plastic​​. They are often covered in fabric, enhancing their appearance and protecting the mattress and board.

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Purpose and Benefits of Bunkie Boards

Bunkie boards bring a combination of functionality and convenience to modern bedding setups, catering to specific mattress types and bed frames. Incorporating a bunkie board into your bed setup can be a simple yet impactful way to improve your sleeping experience. They can enhance the support for your mattress and also adapt to various bed types, making them a versatile and cost-effective solution for many households. Let’s take a closer look at how and why:

  • Stable Support for Mattresses: The primary function of a bunkie board is to offer a stable, supportive surface. This is crucial for foam and hybrid mattresses, which need consistent support across their entire surface to prevent sagging. Without proper support, these mattresses can lose their shape, compromising both comfort and longevity.
  • Versatility with Bed Frames: They are particularly useful for beds with slats that are spaced far apart, where they ensure even weight distribution and consistent support across the mattress. As an alternative to box springs, bunkie boards provide a low-profile support system that works well with a variety of bed styles, including modern platform beds.

Comfortable bed with storage space for bedding under slatted base in room

Source: New Africa/

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Bunkie boards are a budget-friendly option compared to traditional box springs. This makes them an attractive choice for those who are looking for a supportive base without the added cost. They are especially beneficial in situations where there’s already an existing strong platform in the bed, negating the need for a more expensive box spring​​.
  • Easy Handling and Transport: Their compact size and lighter weight make bunkie boards easy to handle and move, a convenient feature for relocations or room rearrangements​​. This portability also makes them ideal for temporary bedding setups or for use in guest rooms.
  • Enhanced Mattress Stability: Adding a bunkie board beneath your mattress can significantly enhance its stability. This can result in a firmer sleeping surface, which some people prefer for back support and overall sleep quality.
  • Multiple Usage Scenarios: Bunkie boards are adaptable to various bed types. They can be effectively used between the mattress and the platform of a bed, between the mattress and the slats of a bed frame, or even placed on top of an existing box spring to add extra support. This versatility makes them a practical addition to almost any bed, providing benefits in terms of support, comfort and mattress longevity.

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Potential Drawbacks of Bunkie Boards

While bunkie boards offer several benefits, it’s important to consider their potential drawbacks to ensure they meet your specific needs. It’s important to weigh these considerations when deciding if a bunkie board is the right choice for your bed. Understanding these limitations will help ensure that you choose a bed base that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

  • Thickness and Stability: Some bunkie boards may be too thin, potentially lacking the needed stability for certain mattresses or bed setups​​. This issue could lead to inadequate support, particularly for heavier mattresses that require a more robust foundation.
  • Limited Support for Back Problems: Individuals with back issues might find that a bunkie board doesn’t provide enough support for their needs​​. This can be a concern, especially for those who rely on their bed to offer targeted back support and relief. However, the proper choice of mattress will help alleviate this issue. It’s also important to note that any new sleep surface may result in perceived issues, as one study found, so when trying out a bunkie board, give it some time. 
  • Movement During Sleep: Due to their lightweight nature, bunkie boards could move or shift during the night, especially for active sleepers who toss and turn​​. This movement could lead to discomfort or disruption of sleep, potentially affecting sleep quality. This largely depends on the base you are using it with, so might not be true for all. 
  • Incompatibility with Adjustable Bed Frames: Bunkie boards are generally not compatible with adjustable bed frames. Their rigid structure can interfere with the adjustable mechanisms, making them unsuitable for use with these types of beds. This limitation is important to consider if you’re curious to know if adjustable bed frames are worth it and compatible with other stabilizing bed bases. 

woman waking up in bed

Source: Dean Drobot/

Wrapping Up the Bunkie Board Story

The bunkie board stands as a modest yet mighty hero in the world of sleep support. While it may not suit every bed or resolve every issue, its benefits in enhancing mattress stability and providing uniform support are undeniable. Whether used in minimalist modern setups or as a savvy space-saver, the bunkie board holds its ground as a valuable player in the pursuit of a restful night’s sleep. Consider your own bedding scenario and whether this unsung bedroom component could be the missing piece to your perfect bed puzzle.