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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.
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The innovative Helix Kids is a flippable mattress designed to meet the needs of growing children. One side of the mattress has a medium firm (6) feel meant for kids between the ages of 3 and 7 who need a more supportive surface to promote proper development. The opposite side is medium soft (4) and best suited to kids between 8 and 12 years old, who tend to prefer more cushioning from their mattress.
Each side features a top layer of adaptive polyfoam, followed by a memory foam transitional layer. A shared support core of pocketed coils is positioned between the foam layers and provides stability to both sides of the mattress. The coils are reinforced along the perimeter to ease the process of getting in and out of bed. Both sides feature a water-repellent and stain-resistant finish to protect the mattress from liquid damage due to spills or bedwetting episodes. Thanks to steady airflow through the coils and a breathable Tencel cover, the mattress also sleeps quite cool.
The Helix Kids is competitively priced and orders to all 50 states qualify for free ground delivery. You’ll also receive two of Helix’s best pillows, the Helix Dream Pillow, for free with your purchase. The mattress is compatible with any bunk bed that accommodates twin or full size models. Helix Sleep offers a 100-night sleep trial with this mattress, and customers who decide to keep it also receive a 10-year warranty against structural defects.
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The Nectar Mattress is an all-foam bed with a well-rounded design that should feel comfortable to a wide range of children. It has a lighter weight than hybrid and latex beds, making it a good fit for top bunks, and the price is competitive compared to other foam models on the market.
The bed is constructed with three layers of foam, beginning with a comfort layer of memory foam that gently hugs the body. Beneath is a transitional layer of polyfoam that enhances the bed’s contouring properties, but also has a bouncy quality that pushes back and provides support. The core contains a layer of high-density foam that feels sturdy and supportive. The cover is made with a poly-blend fabric and is quilted for a plush feel.
With a medium firm (6) feel, the Nectar offers the “body hug” commonly associated with foam beds but is also slightly firmer than many foam models. This makes it ideal for sleepers who enjoy the feel of foam but don’t enjoy the sensation of sleeping “in” the bed. The strong contouring offers very good pressure relief, which is ideal for back and side sleepers up to 230 pounds who experience painful pressure buildup in the shoulders, hips, or spine. The foam surface eliminates virtually all motion transfer, so children are unlikely to feel movement if sharing the bed with a parent or pet.
Nectar backs the mattress with a 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty. Shipping is free to the contiguous U.S.
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Many mattresses are specifically designed for children but the Saatva Youth takes kid-friendly beds to the next level. This reversible innerspring features two distinct sleep surfaces, each one intended for sleepers in a certain age range. One side is equipped with a waterproof barrier and a water-resistant finish, along with a comfort layer of zoned polyfoam that provides reinforcement and cradling for targeted support. This surface is best suited to kids between the ages of 3 and 7. The other side has a firmer polyfoam layer geared toward children in the range of 8 to 12 years.
The shared support core contains low-gauge hourglass coils that deliver excellent stability for both sides of the bed, ensuring a decent lifespan before a replacement is needed. The coils also promote air circulation to help the mattress stay cool, while a breathable organic cotton cover regulates temperature at the surface level to keep your child comfortable throughout the year.
The Saatva Youth is available in twin, twin XL, and full sizes, making it compatible with virtually any bunk bed made today. The mattress measures 10 inches thick, so getting in and out of bed should be relatively easy for most children.
Saatva offers free White Glove delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. This service includes scheduled delivery date and time, full assembly in a room of your choice, and removal of your old mattress and/or box spring. Your purchase also comes with a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty that covers structural defects.
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Most memory foam mattresses are prone to absorbing and trapping heat, which can result in an uncomfortable night’s sleep for people with fibromyalgia. The Cocoon Chill lives up to its name thanks to an infusion of phase change material (PCM), which is engineered to dissipate body heat on contact. This element makes the Chill a good option for those who normally sleep hot on foam beds.
The Chill’s three-layer design consists of a memory foam comfort layer over polyfoam transitional and base layers. Each layer is progressively firmer and denser from top to bottom, resulting in an adaptive, cradling feel without excessive sinkage. The Chill is medium firm (6), so it will feel firmer and more supportive than the average memory foam mattress. The Chill measures 10 inches thick, making it a medium-profile model. PCM fibers are woven into the cover, which feels soft and stretchy.
During our hands-on tests, the Chill earned exemplary ratings in the temperature control performance category. None of our testers experienced the bothersome heat absorption we’ve come to expect from memory foam mattresses, and this can be attributed to the PCM infusion. The surface feels cool and comfortable at all times.
The Chill’s firmer-than-average feel also made this mattress popular with our side sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. These testers felt little to no pressure buildup in the shoulders, hips, and other areas where discomfort often occurs. Motion isolation is another area where the mattress excelled. We did not notice any transfer of movement during this portion of our testing.
The Chill is priced reasonably for a memory foam mattress and shipping is free for all orders in the contiguous U.S. Each purchase is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.
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Avocado’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the company’s adult mattress line. The Eco Organic Kids Mattress is a latex hybrid featuring environmentally friendly materials from top to bottom. These include the cotton cover and wool batting layers that encase the entire mattress. Both of these materials have earned certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard. Likewise, the Dunlop latex comfort layer is certified by the Global Organic Latex Standard. Avocado is also a carbon negative company that maintains their status through carbon offsets and other eco-conscious programs.
The support core contains individually pocketed coils. The latex and coils make the mattress feel quite responsive, which is a perk for children who prefer bouncier beds. The coils generate plenty of airflow, the latex is ventilated to promote extra circulation near the surface, and the wool has moisture-wicking properties. Together, these materials allow the mattress to sleep exceptionally cool.
Avocado recommends the mattress for children who weigh less than 115 pounds. The 7-inch profile complies with current safety standards for bunk bed mattress height. You can also choose between twin, twin XL, or full sizes, making the mattress compatible with virtually any bunk bed on the market today.
Shipping is free of charge for all orders in the contiguous U.S. Each purchase includes a complimentary copy of “My Little Blue Planet,” a children’s book produced by Avocado that tackles environmental issues in a kid-friendly way. The Eco Organic Kids Mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Best for Younger Kids
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The Puffin is Nest Bedding’s all-foam mattress aimed at small kids. A firm (7), supportive design lightly cushioned with a foam comfort layer keeps their bodies on an even plane to help ensure proper growth and development throughout their childhood. The Puffin also has a 7-inch profile and is available in twin, twin XL, and full sizes, so the mattress will be compatible with most bunk beds sold today.
The cover is infused with phase change material to capture and release body heat on contact, resulting in a sleep surface that always feels cool even during warmer or more humid times of the year. A base layer of high-density polyfoam stabilizes the mattress and prevents your child from sinking too much. Weighing between 30 and 40 pounds depending on the selected size, the Puffin is lightweight and easy to move between bunks as needed.
Nest Bedding provides free ground shipping for all orders within the contiguous U.S. and each mattress comes with a 30-night trial period. A lifetime warranty covers structural defects in the Puffin for as long as you retain full ownership. For an additional fee, you can also obtain a protection plan that covers stains and liquid damage for 3, 5, or 10 years after the purchase date.
Best Pressure Relief
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The Brentwood Home Juniper is an all-foam bed with a low profile that is perfectly suited for the top or lower bunk. For parents who care about what their child’s mattress is made out of, the Juniper is composed of safe and eco-friendly materials – with the certifications to back it up.
The mattress begins with a cotton cover that has Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification to ensure organic sourcing. The comfort layer contains an inch of memory foam that moderately hugs your child’s body, followed by a polyfoam core that provides sturdy support. The entire mattress has GREENGUARD Gold certification, which demonstrates that it has met strict standards for off-gassing and absence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The foam is partially composed of plant-based BioFoam, which is engineered to run cooler than traditional foam. Children who tend to overheat on foam beds will sleep cooler on this model. The bed has an overall medium firm (6) feel that should feel cushioned enough for kids who enjoy plushness but firm enough to support the body and keep the lower back from sinking in excessively. Lighter and low-profile beds are well suited to top bunks for safety reasons, so the 6-inch profile on the Juniper makes it a good fit for bunk beds.
Brentwood Home offers a 1-year sleep trial, with a 30-day break-in period required before refunds may be issued. The mattress is also backed by a 25-year warranty. Shipping is free to the contiguous U.S.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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At SleepFoundation.org, we conduct extensive first-person experience tests on all but a select few products. This hands-on approach allows us to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations for mattresses, pillows, sheets, and other sleep essentials.
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