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Logan Foley

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For many parents, bunk beds are a valuable space-saver. These stackable beds sleep two or three children at once, making them ideal for little ones who share a bedroom. Adults can use bunk beds, as well. They are particularly common in dorm rooms and overnight hostels.

You should make a few considerations when choosing a mattress for your bunk bed. Most of these beds can accommodate twin, twin XL, and/or full size mattresses, but larger sizes will be too wide and long to fit within the bunks. Low-profile mattresses are often ideal, as well. Mattresses that are too thick are often too heavy for bunk beds, and these models can also pose safety concerns on upper bunks.

Below, we’ve listed our top picks among best bunk bed mattress models sold today. Each selection is based on experiences from verified owners and our own product research and testing. Our best bunk bed mattress guide also looks at how these beds are designed and constructed, along with which types of mattresses work best with them.

The Best Mattresses for Bunk Beds

Product Details

Nest Big Kids Bed

Nest Big Kids Bed
Mattress Type:
Foam
Firmness:
Firm (7)
Nest Big Kids Bed
Highlights:

The 7-inch Nest BKB is constructed using plush adaptive polyfoam that gently cushions the body and a high-density foam base for added support.

Who it's best for:
  • Children who like the adaptive feel of an all-foam bed
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Hot sleepers

Our first pick is the Nest Big Kids Bed, or BKB for short. This all-foam model is constructed with a 2-inch comfort layer of Energex polyfoam, an adaptive material that conforms a bit and offers a light bounce on the surface. Energex is an open-cell foam, which makes it fairly breathable and means the mattress won’t sleep too hot.

The bed’s support core is made from 5 inches of high-density foam with enhanced edge support to prevent excessive sinkage when your child gets on and off the mattress. Compared to other all-foam mattresses, the BKB is fairly durable and should last for several years – even after your kids have left the bunk bed. For added protection, the mattress contains a non-chemical fire barrier.

With a total profile of 7 inches, the mattress should be suitable for any standard bunk bed and thick enough for most growing children. You can choose from twin, twin XL, and full sizes.

The BKB is a bit more expensive than most competing bunk bed mattresses, but its above-average durability and strong performance still make it a high-value bed. You’ll also receive a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind. Shipping is free within the contiguous U.S., and the mattress ships compressed to your doorstep.

Sleep On Latex 7" Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress

Sleep On Latex 7
Mattress Type:
Latex
Firmness:
Soft (3.5), Medium (5.5), Firm (7.5)
Sleep On Latex 7
Highlights:

Available with a medium soft, medium firm, or firm feel, the 6-inch Pure Green Mattress is produced from ventilated latex that promotes airflow to cool off the surface and offers a long lifespan (seven to eight years on average).

Who it's best for:
  • Kids who prefer a soft or medium firm mattress feel
  • Those who enjoy bouncier, more responsive beds
  • Hot sleepers

The Pure Green Mattress by Sleep on Latex is a low-profile, all-latex model available in two different profiles. We’re recommending the 6-inch Pure Green for bunk beds. These models are constructed with a layer of organic wool batting over a support core of natural Dunlop latex. These materials create a very distinct feel. The latex provides some gentle body-conforming but also retains some natural responsiveness, so kids won’t sink too deeply into the bed.

The 6-inch Pure Green is also ideal for kids who tend to sleep hot. The wool batting has natural temperature-regulating properties, and it also helps wick away moisture from the sleeper’s body. The latex layer is ventilated to promote extra airflow, as well. Additionally, the cover is made from breathable organic cotton.

You can select from three firmness levels for the mattress. The soft feel contours a bit more closely, but excessive sinkage should not be a problem for most children, while the firmer options are highly supportive and don’t conform as much.

The Pure Green Mattress is considered very affordable compared to other all-latex beds. Sleep on Latex offers free delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is also backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Read Our Full Sleep On Latex 7" Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress Review

Signature Sleep 6" Mem Foam

Signature Sleep 6
Mattress Type:
Foam
Firmness:
Signature Sleep 6
Highlights:

The budget-friendly Memoir 6-inch from Signature Sleep features a plush and adaptive memory foam comfort layer that is ideal for side sleepers and anyone who enjoys close contouring.

Who it's best for:
  • Kids who prefer the body-hugging feel of memory foam
  • Sleepers with growing pains
  • Value-seeking parents

Next up is the Memoir 6-inch Memory Foam from Signature Sleep. This mattress is designed with 1.5 inches of memory foam over a high-density polyfoam base, creating a very adaptive and closely conforming feel. The mattress is considered medium in terms of firmness, so most kids won’t sink too deeply, but the memory foam promotes deep cradling and bodily support. The mattress is also exceptionally lightweight and should be suitable for any bunk that accommodates twin and/or full sizes.

The pressure-relieving properties of memory foam make the Memoir a great option for kids and preteens, especially those who primarily use the side or back sleeping positions. By cushioning the body and providing support for the spine, the mattress can help alleviate aches, pains, and pressure points that often coincide with growth spurts. The mattress also absorbs movement from sleepers very well. This can help reduce sleep disturbances for bunk-sharers when one of them gets up in the middle of the night.

Compared to other memory foam mattresses, the Memoir is very affordable. Signature Sleep exclusively sells mattresses through third-party retailers and prices vary by seller, but you should be able to find a twin or full size model for a low price. The mattress is backed by a 10-year warranty no matter which retailer you choose.

Lucid Memory Foam

Lucid Memory Foam
Mattress Type:
Foam
Firmness:
Soft, Medium Soft, Medium, Medium Firm, Firm
Lucid Memory Foam
Highlights:

Designed for a medium soft feel that hugs the body closely and aligns the spine, this 6-inch Lucid model sleeps cooler than many competing all-foam beds thanks to its gel-infused memory foam layer and a breathable Tencel cover to assist with moisture control.

Who it's best for:
  • Kids who prefer moderate contouring and a firmer surface feel
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Value-seeking parents

Our final best bunk bed mattress pick is the 6-inch Gel Memory Foam from Lucid, another brand that only sells their beds through third-party retailers. Featuring a comfort layer of gel-infused memory foam and a high-density polyfoam support core, the mattress offers a firm feel and will conform to a minimal extent. Kids can still enjoy the distinct contouring of memory foam without sinking too deeply or feeling trapped in the mattress. At 6 inches thick, this model is suitable for any bunk bed that accommodates twin, twin XL, or full sizes.

Like other models with memory foam layers, this bed can reduce pressure points by cushioning the body and supporting the spine. The mattress is encased in a soft polyester and Tencel lyocell cover for added breathability and plushness on the surface. Motion isolation is another strong point. The top layer absorbs movement and prevents it from transferring across the surface, and on to the other bunks. If your kids share a bunk bed, you won’t need to worry about them losing sleep over disruptions from their mattress.

The 6-inch Gel Memory Foam’s price-point varies by retailer, but this is another budget-friendly pick. Lucid backs this model with a 10-year warranty, as well.

How to Choose a Bunk Bed Mattress?

In order to find the best mattress for a bunk bed, you’ll need to take a few factors into account. The mattress should meet certain size, weight, and thickness requirements for the bed, especially if you plan to use it on a top bunk. Other variables include price, durability, firmness level, and the age, body type, and sleep position of the sleeper who will primarily use the mattress.

Read on to learn more about choosing the best bunk bed mattress. We’ll also cover bunk bed styles and safety concerns for these bed models.

What to Look for in a Bunk Bed Mattress

During your search for the right bunk bed mattress, you’ll likely come across a wide variety of beds advertised with misleading terms and descriptions. Some mattress companies tout their models for “universal comfort” regardless of the sleeper’s body type and sleep position, or make the claim that their beds will last for at least 10 years. As you browse different brands and models, keep in mind that each mattress is designed to feel more comfortable for certain types of sleepers, and less so for others. We encourage you to focus on the nuts and bolts of the mattress and consider the following factors instead.

  • Size: The vast majority of bunk beds sold today are compatible with twin, twin XL, and/or full mattress sizes. All three of these sizes are best suited to one person and will probably be too narrow for two or more sleepers. Make sure to check the specs on your bunk bed to see the proper size for each individual bunk.
  • Profile: Low-profile mattresses of 6 to 7 inches thick are typically best for bunk beds. This ensures the mattress is thick enough to support the sleeper, but not too tall for the bunk and its safety rails. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the mattress should be at least 5 inches shorter than the top of the rails. (Scroll down for a detailed list of bunk bed safety tips.)
  • Weight: Bunk beds always have a listed weight capacity that includes all mattresses and sleepers. For this reason, lighter mattresses tend to be best for bunk beds. Excessively heavy mattresses pose serious safety concerns for sleepers on lower bunks. Before selecting a mattress, add up the total weight for all sleepers who will use the bed and subtract this number from the bed’s listed weight capacity.
  • Contouring: Mattresses that contour evenly and consistently can distribute your weight and reduce pressure points throughout the body. Poor spinal alignment is a common issue for side sleepers, so they typically need closer contouring to ensure the shoulders, lower back, and hips are evenly supported.
  • Noise: When picking out mattresses for a bunk bed, you should consider all-foam or all-latex models that do not make any noise. This can reduce nighttime disruptions for everyone sharing the bunk bed. Hybrids and innersprings tend to produce more squeaks and creaks due to their coil systems.
  • Price: The cost of a new mattress largely depends on the bed’s material composition. All-foam and innerspring mattresses are the cheapest options, with an average queen size price-point of $900 to $1,200. All-latex and hybrid models cost a bit more – about $1,600 to $2,200 for a queen size, on average.
  • Temperature Regulation: Mattresses with breathable components tend to sleep noticeably cooler than other models. These components may include ventilated latex or foam comfort layers, coil systems that promote steady air circulation, and covers made from breathable fabrics and fibers. All-foam mattresses generally absorb and trap the most body heat.
  • Durability: The average mattress will perform for six to eight years before a replacement is needed. Excessive sagging and loss of support are the most common reasons for retiring a mattress. All-latex mattresses tend to last longer because latex is a naturally durable material that won’t sag or deteriorate as quickly as memory foam or polyfoam.
  • Firmness Level: Mattress firmness is assigned using a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 the firmest. Most mattresses sold today fall between 3 and 8. A softer mattress conforms more closely for side sleepers and those weighing less than 130 pounds, but it will probably sink too much for people who weigh more than 230 pounds – especially back and stomach sleepers. These individuals should consider a firmer mattress with stronger support instead.
  • Pressure Relief: For any given sleeper, the best mattress for pressure relief will conform to the body and support the spine without sagging too much beneath the sleeper’s heaviest areas. Therefore, a mattress that alleviates pressure very well for one sleeper may not provide enough relief for another person with a different body type or way of sleeping.

What Types of Bunk Beds Are Available?

If you’re in the market for a new bunk bed, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of styles. The most common bunk bed designs include the following:

  • Standard: A standard bunk bed is constructed with two stacked bunks of the same size. Most standard models are designed for two twin bunk bed mattress models, but you may also find some that are compatible with twin XL or full sizes instead. The top bunk is detachable, allowing you to separate the beds. This makes standard bunks ideal for two siblings who will eventually sleep in separate rooms.
  • Triple: Triple bunk beds are built with three separate bunks of a matching size – twin, in most cases. The bunks may be stacked three-high. Another common design is two adjoining bunks on the bottom in a straight line or an L-shape, with the third bunk stacked over the middle where both bottom bunks intersect. Like standard bunk beds, most triple bunk beds can be detached to create three individual beds.
  • Standard Loft: In a standard loft bunk bed, the sleep surface is stacked over an open space that measures at least three to four feet high. This space may contain a workstation with a desk and computer – a popular layout for college dorms and teenager bedrooms. Most standard lofts are also tall enough for a sofa or chair to fit underneath.
  • Triple Loft: Triple loft bunk beds feature two top bunks that connect at a 90-degree angle. As is the case with a standard loft, you’ll find an open space of at least three to four feet high beneath one of the bunks. The other bunk is stacked over a third bed. Due to their larger specs, these bunk beds are normally positioned in one corner of a room to maximize floor space.
  • L-Shaped Bunk: An L-shaped bunk bed features two individual bunks. Rather than being evenly stacked, the bunks are stacked in perpendicular fashion. A ladder next to the lower bunk allows sleepers to access the top bunk. Many L-shaped bunks also offer drawers or compartments for added storage.
  • Twin-Over-Full: As the name suggests, a twin-over-full bunk bed is constructed with a twin size top bunk and a full size bottom bunk. These beds are a good option if you have three children sharing the bed but their room is not tall enough to accommodate a triple bunk.
  • Trundle: A trundle bunk bed accommodates three individual sleepers. Two use the evenly stacked bunks, while a third bed can be accessed using a pull-out drawer attached to the bottom bunk. When not in use, the third bed can be pushed back in to free up more floor space.
  • Futon: A futon bunk bed has a top bunk similar to that of a standard or triple bunk. The bottom contains a futon-style sofa that can be folded down to create a bed surface. Futon bunk beds are another popular choice for dorm rooms.

What Types of Mattresses Are Best for Bunk Beds?

Material composition is an important mattress consideration because each mattress type carries certain pros and cons based on its components. For bunk beds, all-foam models tend to work best. These mattresses are relatively light, so you won’t need to worry about exceeding the bunk bed’s weight capacity. They are also completely silent, allowing sleepers to get onto their bunk without disturbing their bunkmates.

Most mattresses sold today fall into one of five general categories based on their materials, but only a few of them are best for use in a bunk bed. Each category is fairly consistent across different models in terms of price, durability, and performance, but you’ll also find plenty of variation between models of the same type.

Foam

Definition: An all-foam mattress is constructed with comfort and transitional layers of memory foam or polyfoam. If a mattress contains both types of foam, it is considered a “mixed-foam” model. The support core is always made of high-density polyfoam. The average all-foam mattress costs between $900 and $1,200 in a queen size.
Exceptional Pressure Relief: Most all-foam mattresses offer noticeable body-conforming and even weight distribution. For side sleepers, softer all-foam models cushion the shoulders and hips to help align the spine and alleviate pressure. Firmer foam mattresses tend to alleviate more pressure for back and stomach sleepers by promoting even support with minimal sagging.

Hybrid

Definition: A hybrid is a specific type of coil mattress that offers more cushioning and closer body-conforming than a traditional innerspring. The comfort layers are often made from contouring materials like memory foam, latex, and microcoils, while the support core almost always contains pocketed coils and some type of base polyfoam. The average hybrid costs between $1,600 and $2,200 in a queen size.
Balanced Comfort and Support: Hybrids are a comfortable compromise for many sleepers. Their adaptive comfort layers offer a deeper contour, resulting in better pressure relief and motion isolation than you normally receive from a coil mattress. However, the coils offer sturdy edge support and better temperature control than the solid base layers found in all-foam and all-latex models.

Innerspring

Definition: An innerspring is usually constructed with one or two thin comfort layers of polyfoam, along with a support core of steel coils. Innersprings are the most popular type of mattress sold today. This category is also the cheapest, with the average queen size model priced between $900 and $1,100.
Excellent Responsiveness: Innersprings are highly responsive, creating a noticeable bounce on the surface than many people enjoy for sleeping (as well as sex). Most people have an easier time moving across these mattresses compared to those that respond more slowly and sink deeply. Edge support for innersprings is above average, as well.

Latex

Definition: Latex is a foamy material processed from the sappy extract of rubber trees. Latex is naturally responsive and feels bouncier than polyfoam or memory foam, but it also offers body-contouring and pressure relief without a deep sink. Latex is very durable, as well. The average latex mattress costs between $1,600 and $2,200 in a queen size.
Temperature Control: Latex does not absorb and trap heat like foam, so all-latex mattresses tend to sleep quite cool. Many of these models have ventilated layers for added airflow, and their covers are often made of breathable fabrics like organic cotton and rayon from bamboo.

Last Things to Consider with a Bunk Bed Mattress

Now that we’ve discussed bunk bed styles and the best types of mattresses for these beds, let’s conclude this guide with some final considerations for first-time bunk bed shoppers.

Bunk Bed Safety

Bunk beds are subject to federal laws outlined in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and other pieces of legislation. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), federal bunk bed requirements include the following:

  • Each upper bunk must have a guardrail on each side. Lower bunks do not require guardrails if they are 30 or fewer inches off of the ground.
  • The guardrail must run the entire length of the side next to the wall. An exception is made for gaps of .22 inches or less between the guardrail and the nearest end.
  • On the side away from the wall, gaps between the guardrail and the end of the bed cannot exceed 15 inches.
  • The top of the guardrail must exceed the mattress profile by at least 5 inches on all sides.

The CPSC also lists requirements for bunk bed ends, entrapment prevention, and materials used to construct the bed. We encourage you to read all CPSC bunk bed requirements, and please make sure the bunk bed you buy meets all of the federally mandated criteria.

Long-Term Use

Mattress durability should be a major consideration, but you may not need a mattress with an exceptionally long lifespan for your bunk bed. Children often outgrow their mattresses during their pre-teen and teenage years. By the time they hit junior high or high school, they may be too tall for a twin or full size bunk bed mattress. In these cases, buying a cheaper mattress with a shorter lifespan for the bunk bed may be more cost-effective than paying top dollar for a very durable model.

Many siblings also stop sharing bedrooms when they reach these ages. Most bunks can be disassembled into single beds, allowing your child to keep using the same mattress after they no longer sleep in the bunk. If your child does not undergo any major growth spurts, they may be able to use the same mattress for the remainder of their childhood.

Body Weight

As we mentioned earlier, the listed weight capacity of a bunk bed refers to the sleepers and their mattresses. If your two children weigh 50 to 60 pounds and share a bunk bed with a 200-pound weight capacity, this means their mattresses should weigh no more than 40 to 50 pounds each. If the same children share a bunk bed with a weight capacity of 400 to 500 pounds, you’ll have more wiggle room for selecting a mattress based on weight.

Most bunk beds have weight capacities of 200 to 500 pounds. Always check this figure before buying mattresses for your bunk and never exceed the weight capacity under any circumstances.