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Best Bunkie Boards to Buy Online
Our top 4 favorite bunkie board options on the market
By TIM SUMERFIELD
If you are purchasing a new mattress you will likely be overwhelmed with having to choose from a variety of support systems for that mattress. There are multiple support systems available on the market from platform beds to metal frames with box springs, bed slats and bunkie boards. While all of these foundations provide the same function they all have their own unique benefits. In this post we will tell you what a bunkie board is, when to use them, along with our favorite options for bunkie boards that you can purchase online.
What is a Bunkie Board?
A bunkie board is essentially a thin 2” thick version of a box spring, used with a standard bed frame to support your mattress. Bunkie’s are usually made out of a mix of wood and fabric to provide an aesthetically pleasing and supportive base that doesn’t add a lot of height to your mattress. Some ultra strength versions of the bunkie board can be made out of a metal interior as well.
Where did bunkie boards originate?
Bunkie boards were originally made as support systems for bunk beds, due to the necessity for them to be thin but still supportive. They quickly caught on and began to be used across the entire bedding industry.
How do bunkie boards work?
Bunkie boards are placed on top of a standard bed frame instead of a box spring. The mattress is then placed directly on top of the board. The purpose of your bunkie system is to provide support for the mattress. NOTE: If you purchased a “platform bed” you do not need to purchase a bunkie board, as platform beds already come with slats. A solid bunkie board will help to distribute the sleepers weight throughout the mattress to provide a more sturdy base and more uniform weight distribution, minimizing sagging and “soft spots”. Bunkie’s are lower profile than a box spring (2″ rather than 9″) so it will keep your mattress lower to the ground.
When do you use a bunkie board?
Customers will want to opt for a bunkie board instead of a box spring when they prefer that their mattress sits lower to the ground. A bunkie board is only 2” thick and is able to provide support without the height of a traditional box spring.
Do you need to use a box spring with a bunkie board?
No, a bunkie board is used INSTEAD of a box spring. Just make sure you purchase one that is well built, as a cheap one may not give the needed support.
Do I need to add a bunkie board if I have a bed with slats?
No, a bunkie board provides the same support as bed slats. If your bed already has slats then you do not need to add a bunkie board unless your bed requires additional support.
Can you use plywood instead of a bunkie board?
While plywood may provide enough support for some sleepers, we do not recommend using plywood as a replacement for a bunkie board. Plywood varies in strength and thickness and may not hold up or provide the support you need.
Box spring vs. bed slats
Bunkie’s and bed slats are essentially the same thing. They are often used interchangeably to help make a mattress set sit lower to the ground. Technically bed slats are slats that are a certain width apart whereas a bunkie board is a solid board that sits on your mattress.
Box spring vs. bunkie board
A box spring and a bunkie board are interchangeable, both achieve the same function; to support your mattress. The main difference between bunkie’s and box springs is their thickness or height. A standard box spring is 9” thick whereas a bunkie is generally 2” thick. This means with a bunkie your mattress set will sit 7” lower than with a standard box spring. A bunkie is great for shorter individuals, people with very thick mattresses, high bed frames or for achieving a minimalist “low bed” look.
Ultimately, box springs and bunkie boards are both widely used support systems. It comes down to personal preference as to which is right for you.
Benefits of a bunkie board
There are a few reasons customers opt for a bunkie over a standard box spring. The main one being they would like to lower their mattress to make it closer to the ground or to fit in a custom bed frame.
There are far fewer options for bunkie boards available online compared to box springs and platform beds.
The Top 4 Best Bunkie Boards
BEST OVERALL PICK
What Customers love: Great for heavier weight loads
The Zinus Deepak easy assembly bunkie system is our #1 overall top pick. If you are looking for a great platform that is easy to assemble, affordable and sturdy then this is what you should buy. It sits perfectly on top of any standard size bed frame or bed set. The outer metal support along with the center metal support bar provide additional durability for even the heaviest sleepers and mattresses. It has over 800 reviews on amazon with over 75% of those being 5 star reviews. The Deepak is made to fit any standard size bed frame (Twin, Full, Queen, King). It will come in a small box and with Amazon prime free 2 day shipping and free returns, you can always return it if you find that it doesn’t suit your needs. Once you receive the Deepak slats, set up is very simple. You screw the metal border together, put the slats in and simply place the slat on top of your existing bed set.
BEST FOR AVERAGE/LIGHTER WEIGHTS
What Customers love: Zero Assembly Required
The Zinus Adrianne is the lighter duty cousin of the Deepak model shown in #1. Zinus made this model without the metal border support for the average or lighter weight sleeper. The biggest benefit to the Adrianne is that there is zero set up needed. When it arrives you can simply take the slats out of the box and put them on your bed set or bed frame. Plop your mattress on top of that and you are ready to go. The Adrianne should be a great fit for the majority of sleepers on the market.
BEST BUDGET FRIENDLY OPTION
What Customers love: Great price for the quality
The Annamarie bunkie set is another option in the Zinus lineup. Zinus is one of the only manufacturers who sells bunkie’s directly to consumers. The Annamarie is similar to the Adrianne in terms of its ease of set up and durability standards. This option is great for light and average weight sleepers but may not be the best support if your mattress will be holding heavy amounts of weight. The Annamarie comes 100% assembled and has an extra feature with the covered fabric over the wooden slats. This makes sliding your mattress on and off the slats very easy and protects against and snags or tearing that may occur with exposed wood slats.
BEST FOR ODD SIZE MATTRESSES OR BED SETS
What Customers love: Fits my California King mattress perfectly.
The Classic Brands bed slat system is a top quality bunkie setup that comes in a wide variety of sizes. Unlike the Zinus options, Classic Brands offers this set in a variety of sizes to accommodate odd size bed sets as well as California king sets and Twin XLs. If you you find that one of the standard bed slats above doesn’t fit your bed this is the one you should purchase.
Bunkie Board Alternatives
If you are looking for an alternative to a bed slat you have a few options at your disposal.
- Box Spring: A Box spring, as mentioned above, is simply a taller version of a bed slat system. It provides the same purpose and is the most common support system you can buy for your mattress. Many of the bed-in-a-box companies sell box springs in addition to their mattresses.
- Platform bed: If you want to get a bed slat and bed frame system all-in-one you will want to go with the ever popular platform bed. A platform bed allows you to plop your mattress right down on it without having to purchase any additional support system, like a box spring.
- Bed Slats: It is good for a lower profile sleeping platform and allows your mattress to sit at a lower height while still providing the support of a box spring.
In conclusion, bunkie boards are a great support system that you can use as an alternative to a box spring. They are affordable, easy to assemble and allow for a lower height for your mattress to sit at. Make sure you already have a frame to put bed slats on and be sure to measure that frame to make sure whichever bed slat you purchase will fit correctly on top of it.