Best Bunk Bed Mattresses

If you need to fit more than one sleeper in a single room—especially one that’s tight on space—bunk beds provide an elegant solution. While they come in a variety of designs, we typically think of the standard bunk bed, which features two twin beds stacked on top of one another. Bunk beds are essentially two beds or more with the footprint of one. Even loft beds that only include a single bed are excellent space savers as other furniture can fit below the bed.

Bunk beds can be used by anyone, but they’re most common in children’s rooms or dorm rooms. They are ideal if your kids share a room or if you’d like extra space for sleepover guests. While bunk beds are fun for kids and convenient for parents, they do come with some safety considerations. All bunk beds are regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and must include guard rails and other safety features, but there are still some risks. It’s recommended that children five and under not sleep on the top bunk. Be sure to check weight limits and talk to your children about bunk bed safety. If everyone is on the same page, a bunk bed can be a fun and practical addition to your home.

It may stand to reason that any mattress of the appropriate size would work in a bunk bed, but bunk beds actually have different mattress requirements than traditional beds. In this guide, we’ll outline how to choose a bunk bed mattress, run through specific shopping considerations and share our top five picks for the best bunk bed mattresses.

What are the Best Bunk Bed Mattresses?

Brand Model Mattress Type Thickness Price (twin)
Sleep on Latex 7” Natural latex 7” $575
Select Sleep 7" Natural latex 7" $625
Gel Memory Foam Gel memory foam 6" $175
Green Tea Gel memory foam 6" $104
6” Memory Foam Memory foam 6" $110

Bunk Bed Mattress Reviews

Sleep on Latex 7”

Construction: This 7” mattress starts with a 6” support core made from 100 percent natural Dunlop latex. The comfort layer is made from 1” of organic New Zealand wool, and the mattress has a removable organic cotton cover. Shoppers can choose from soft, medium or firm models.

Why We Picked It: Because bunk beds require thinner mattresses, you’ll want to pick a material that has good compression support. Natural latex is one of the most durable mattress materials available. The wool in the comfort layer is also temperature regulating, so it’s a good fit for those who sleep hot. And if you’re choosing this mattress for your children, then you’ll sleep soundly knowing their little heads are resting on all-natural and organic materials.

Pros:

  • More affordable than other latex mattresses
  • Multiple firmness options available
  • Removable cover that can be dry-cleaned
  • Great conforming and pressure point relief

Cons:

  • Mandatory 30-night break-in period for sleep trial
  • Latex is heavier than other materials, which may make it difficult to place in top bunk

 

Sleep EZ 7” Select Sleep

Construction: The Select Sleep 7” mattress is part of the Select Sleep Series by Sleep EZ. The support core is composed of two separate 3” layers of latex that can be customized based on your preferences. Each layer is made from either Dunlop or blended Talalay, and you can choose from four different firmness options for each layer: soft, medium, firm and extra firm. The Sleep EZ website will even suggest different configurations based on height, weight and sleep position. The mattress has a 1” comfort layer made from natural Joma Wool and a removable cotton cover.

Why We Picked It: The Select Sleep mattress is highly customizable, meaning you can order mattresses for top and bottom bunks that have very different feels. You can also change the configuration of the layers at home if you need to change the feel over time. Latex is not only durable, but it’s also naturally hypoallergenic, making it a good fit for allergy sufferers. The mattress comes with a free mattress protector, which can be vital, especially if the mattress is for a child.

Pros:

  • Firmness and materials are customizable
  • Great conforming and pressure point relief
  • Removable cover
  • Free mattress protector and latex pillow

Cons:

  • Mattress is heavy and can be difficult to move
  • There is a $99 fee if you return the mattress

 

Lucid 6” Gel Memory Foam

Construction: The Lucid 6” Gel Memory Foam mattress starts with a 4” support core made from high-density polyfoam. It’s topped with a 2” comfort layer composed of gel-infused memory foam. Gel memory foam is designed to pull heat from the body, and the comfort layer is ventilated for breathability. The mattress is encased in a polyester cover and has a firm feel.

Why We Picked It: The low profile of this mattress is perfect for bunk beds, and its firm feel means sleepers likely won’t be able to tell how thin it is. The mattress is designed specifically for children and teens. If you like the conforming abilities of memory foam for your child but are worried it will sleep hot, then this mattress may be a good fit. Ventilated gel memory foam is designed to counteract the tendency of memory foam to trap heat.

Pros:

  • Ventilated gel memory foam pulls heat from the body
  • Excellent conforming and pressure point relief
  • No noise so kids will not disturb one another when they adjust positions
  • Light and easy to move

Cons:

  • Only one firmness option available
  • Mattress may be too firm for some children, especially those on the smaller side

 

Zinus 6” Green Tea

Construction: The Green Tea Memory Foam features a 5” support core made from high-density polyfoam. The comfort layer is composed of 1” of memory foam, and the mattress has a cover made from jacquard knit. The comfort layer is also infused with green tea extract and ActivCharcoal to keep it smelling fresh. This mattress has a firm feel.

Why We Picked It: Zinus produces an affordable mattress, and because you’ll have to purchase two for a bunk bed, affordability is key. The firm feel means that little ones will feel supported even though the mattress is only 6 inches thick. Its memory foam comfort layer provides a plush feel even though the mattress is firmer. Green tea extract is a unique addition that keeps the mattress feeling fresh over time.

Pros:

  • Below-average price point
  • Light and easy to move
  • Excellent conforming and pressure point relief
  • Mattress has a fresh scent

Cons:

  • Memory foam can sleep hot for some individuals
  • One firmness option available

 

Signature Sleep 6” Memory Foam

Construction: The 6” Memory Foam mattress by Signature Sleep has a 4.5” support core made from high-density polyfoam and a 1.5” memory foam comfort layer. It comes with a cover made from breathable knit cover. Overall, the mattress has a medium-firm feel, but it’s designed to provide different levels of support in three different zones of the body.

Why We Picked It: This mattress features the low-profile necessary for bunk beds without sacrificing comfort. Its medium-firm feel is a good fit for most sleepers. The mattress is easy for busy parents to find as it’s available at a variety of retailers and for an affordable price. If you’re looking for a quality mattress (or two) for a good value, the Signature Sleep 6” Memory Foam may be just the one.

Pros:

  • Below-average price point
  • Available at a variety of retailers
  • Excellent conforming and pressure point relief
  • Light and easy to move

Cons:

  • Some off-gassing when mattress is first unpacked
  • Signature Sleep only offers a 1-year warranty

 

How to Choose a Bunk Bed Mattress

Before choosing the right bunk bed mattress, you’ll need to consider the design of your bunk bed. Most bunk beds feature twin or full mattress, but twin XL, queen or king options are also available, depending on your needs. Following are the most common bunk bed designs:

Standard

The most common bunk bed design includes two twin-size beds, one stacked on top of the other. The beds are typically detachable, so the top bunk can be removed if needed.

 

 

Standard loft

In a loft, a single bed is elevated above an open space that is at least 40 inches high. This design is common in dorm rooms because a desk, dresser or other furniture can fit in the open space, but it can also be useful in a home.

 

 

Triple 

A triple bunk bed is similar to a standard but includes three twin beds instead of two. Designs vary. A triple might feature three beds stacked directly on top of one another. Another common design is two bottom bunks joined at their heads with one top bunk.

 

 

Triple loft

A triple loft features a top portion of two twin beds adjoined at the head in an L-shape. A third bed sits below one of the sides, and there is an open space below the other. Triple lofts typically sit in the corner of a room and are a great space saver.

 

 

Twin-over-full

This design is similar to a standard bunk bed, but the bottom bunk is a full instead of a twin. This can be a good option if you need to sleep two people on the bottom bunk or if one of your children would like some extra space.

Futon

A futon bunk bed includes a futon on the bottom bunk with a standard mattress stacked above. These are suitable for dorm rooms or for kids who would like extra lounge space in their rooms.

 

 

Trundle

Similar to a standard bunk bed, a trundle also features a third mattress that is housed beneath the bottom bunk. This third mattress can be rolled out when needed.

 

 

L-shaped

Instead of beds stacked directly atop one another, an L-shaped bunk bed features two beds that meet at a 90 degree angle. There is typically a ladder or stairs on one side of the bottom bunk and open space on the other side, similar to a loft.

 

Size Considerations

If you already have a bunk bed, then your mattress size will be determined by the design of your bed. Be sure to double-check the size of each bed before purchasing mattresses. Most bunk beds require two twin mattresses, but you may have a twin-over-full design or even twin XL, which are longer than traditional twins.

If you haven’t yet purchased a bunk bed, then consider which design will work best for your needs. Maybe you just need to save space, and a loft bed will suffice. If you have two or more kids in one room, then a standard or triple might be better. You might want an L-shape if you’d like two beds but also some space beneath the top bunk.

Mattress Thickness

Just as important as mattress size is mattress thickness. We don’t normally think much about mattress thickness for traditional beds, but bunk beds come with unique limitations and safety considerations. For the most part, a thinner mattress is better for a bunk bed. You’ll want to look for one that’s no more than 6 or 7 inches. A mattress that’s too thick will cover the guard rails, rendering them useless. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission specifies that there must be at least 5 inches between the top of the mattress and the top of the guard rails. If a mattress is too thin, however, it can lead to too large of a gap beneath guard rails, depending on the construction of the bed. Be sure to measure your specific bed to ensure the best fit.

There are other practical reasons why a thin mattress works well in bunk beds. A thinner mattress will also keep sleepers from hitting their heads when they sit up in bed. Thinner mattresses also tend to be lighter, making it easier to change the sheets (especially on the top bunk).

Other Shopping Considerations

There are some factors you should always consider when choosing a mattress, no matter what type of bed it’s for.

Firmness

All mattresses are rated on a firmness scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest possible and 10 being the hardest possible. Preferred firmness is completely subjective, though factors like weight and sleep position do come into play. Most sleepers are comfortable on a mattress that’s medium-firm, or 5-7 on the scale.

Weight and Body Type

Different bodies simply need different features in a mattress. Those who weigh under 130 pounds, which includes most children, tend to prefer softer mattresses. That’s because it conforms better to their bodies. Heavier individuals tend to like the supportive feeling of a firmer mattress.

Note that the top bunk in a bunk bed has a lower weight limit than that of traditional beds, which includes the weight of the mattress. Remember to take that into consideration when purchasing a mattress. Foam and innerspring mattresses tend to be lighter, while latex and hybrids are heavier.

Sleep Position

One of the most vital jobs a mattress has is keeping your spine aligned. The right mattress for the job will partially depend on a sleeper’s preferred sleep position. Back sleepers tend to like medium-firm mattresses that provide support while contouring to eliminate gaps between the small of the back and the mattress. Side sleepers can sometimes experience pressure points at the shoulders and hips, so they may prefer a mattress on the softer side. Stomach sleepers often have trouble keeping their spines aligned, and may need something medium-firm to firm.

Sleeping Temperature

Our bodies sleep best in cooler environments, but some of us simply tend to sleep hot. If your or your child is notorious for kicking off the covers, look for a mattress that doesn’t exacerbate the issue. Innerspring and hybrids tend to sleep cooler, while memory foam has been known to trap heat.

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