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5 Best Bunkie Boards [Queen & King] for Long-Lasting and Uniform Support

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 23 minLast updated on February 28, 2021

Struggling to find a supportive mattress? Or perhaps you need a new foundation for your mattress  because your current one doesn’t offer enough support?

Stop right now!

Did you know that you can easily enforce your bed frame without spending tons of money? A bunkie board can quickly solve your sinking mattress problem.

Below are five of the best-reviewed bunkie boards with a detailed buying guide to help you make the right decision.

A Quick Preview

Zinus Annemarie
Cheapest Pick

Zinus Annemarie
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Zinus Gulzar
Best Metal Bunkie Board

Zinus Gulzar
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Classic Brands Extreme
Best Wood Bunkie Board

Classic Brands Extreme
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Acme
Best Space-Saving Design

Zinus Adrianne
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Signature Sleep
Best for Firm Support

Spinal Solution
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Our Reviews of 5 Top-Rated Bunkie Boards on the Market

Cheapest Pick - Zinus Annemarie

Zinus Annemarie

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Highlights:

  • no assembly required;
  • tenacious cover fabric prevents mattress slippage;
  • solid wood construction.

I will begin the list of top-rated bunkie boards with this model by Zinus. It has it all: durable materials, supportive surface, and a reasonable price tag.

The Annemarie bunkie board is made of solid wood — I believe it’s pine — and encased in a tenacious polyester fabric. The number of slats varies depending on the size, the queen-sized board has 10 slats placed 4 inches apart.

The slats themselves are durable and may work as an additional supportive layer if your bed has those dreaded body-shaped gulleys. The slats have a weight capacity that holds even the bulkiest of hybrid beds. Plus, the anti-sagging properties serve as a firm foundation for your foam or latex mattress.

Also, there's no need to assemble this board — hello convenience. Simply, pull it out of the package, unroll, and enjoy.

Overall, I love how sturdy this bunkie board is.  Pair it with any type of mattress and you have yourself an extremely durable and affordable bunkie board

Best Metal Bunkie Board - Zinus Gulzar

Zinus Gulzar

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Highlights:

  • high-quality steel construction;
  • straightforward assembly;
  • completely noiseless.

Now, let's discover the metal options. Here’s another model by Zinus in my bunkie board review. The Gulzar bunkie board is made of high-quality steel, so you can expect eternal durability and endless support for your mattress. 

The board requires some assembly, but you can manage it in a few minutes. All 14 slats have quick-lock construction on both ends, so you simply snap them into the frame, and you’re all set.

The Gulzar comes with both foam padding, for a noise-free sleeping experience, and anti-slip tape that helps hold your mattress firmly in place.

The space between the slats may seem wide at first, but when I was testing this bunkie board with an average memory foam mattress, it didn’t sink through the slats. Do take note, if you weigh over 250 pounds, it's recommended you use a thick mattress with the bunkie board, otherwise, the mattress might sink too deeply under your weight, resulting in uneven support.

Overall, I would recommend the Zinus bunkie board as a universal pick for almost any sleeper. It's made of high-quality material and delivers a reliable, supportive bunkie board.

Best Wood Bunkie Board - Classic Brands Xtreme

Classic Brands Extreme

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Highlights:

  • no assembly required;
  • can enhance the motion absorption of your mattress;
  • wood is tenacious and may help keep your mattress firmly in place.

Here’s another wooden option that cemented its place among the best bunkie boards. And that’s due to the quality wood it's made from: it’s strong and excels at shock absorption.

This board is constructed with slats tied together with a wide rubber string. So, all you need to do is place the bunkie board on top of your bed frame and it secures itself. Then, simply place your mattress over the board and enjoy a good night's sleep.

The Classic Brands Extreme is suitable for any mattress type and may withstand bigger loads without cracking or breaking. I strongly believe that owners of heavy latex beds and bulky hybrids may benefit from using this bunkie board without any issues.

The manufacturer suggests you measure the inner perimeter of your bed frame — that’s where the slats lie — rather than the outer one, to select the right size.

To sum up: if you need a basic yet durable wooden bunkie board, go for the Classic Brands Xtreme. It pairs well with any type of mattress and creates a sturdy foundation.

Best Space-Saving Design - Zinus Adrianne

Zinus Adrianne

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Highlights:

  • plywood slats for reliable support;
  • no assembly required;
  • easy to move or transport thanks to the rolling design.

Another cool bunkie board I want to mention in my review is this wooden slat board by Zinus called the Adrianne. This model is ideal for those times when you need to move, rearrange the furniture, or if you use a sofa bed and need to reassemble it every day.

The Adrianne slats are connected via velcro. This means there's no need to assemble anything and you can start using your new bunkie board immediately after it arrives. The plywood slats are sturdy and can work with different mattress types.

And if you need to put your bunkie board away, simply roll it up. The Adrianne does not take up much space and could be the ideal solution for smaller apartments and sofa beds. 

The only thing I want to warn you about is the plywood which can rub against your mattress and may cause damage over time. Therefore, it’s advisable to cover the bunkie board with protective fabric before placing the mattress on top of it.

Best for Firm Support - Spinal Solution

Spinal Solution

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Highlights:

  • stitch fabric casing for a better grip;
  • wooden construction for reliable performance;
  • split into two parts, easy to store and carry.

If you feel like your bed requires sturdier support, this wooden bunkie board by Spinal Solution would be an excellent choice. With strong wood construction and a solid design, the Spinal Solution offers your mattress reliable support. You can use it with your old box spring, or if you're looking to make your mattress higher. It’s also a great way to add a firmer feel to your bed.

Now, the Spinal Solution consists of two halves. You can easily store it or transport it if needed. The board is encased with durable stitched fabric. This fabric protects the mattress from rubbing against the wooden surface. The fabric also increases the board’s grip, which means your mattress will stick rather than slide. 

This bunkie board is 1.5 inches thick. This may come in handy if you want to raise your mattress and make your bed slightly taller. The board is sturdy and can offer support to a wide range of sleepers, from petite to heavier folks.

Benefits of Using a Bunkie Board

Bunkie boards have many benefits:

  • Sag prevention. People buy bunkie boards because they can offer great support and eliminate issues with a weak bed frame (2) or mattress that has started to show signs of wear and tear. This board can work well with any type of mattress — you can easily use it as a low-profile box spring alternative for your innerspring bed — and prolong its lifespan.
  • Enhanced airflow. If your bed frame has a solid surface, say, made of plywood sheet, it may block the airflow under the mattress and thus contribute to the development of mold and unpleasant odors. A slatted or mesh bunkie board, on the other hand, has spaces between the slats which eliminates moisture and heat issues, and promotes air circulation.
  • Better fixation. Some bunkie boards are encased in a tenacious polyester fabric. This may help prevent your mattress from sliding, which is common for metal and finished wood bunkie boards. 
  • Healthier sleep. Constantly waking up with back pain? It could be more than just your mattress that's the problem. A great sleeping environment includes what your mattress sits on. A bunkie board creates a solid surface under your mattress, so the mattress itself can support your bodyweight, and you might just find your pain issues disappear.

If you’re looking to enhance mattress support, getting a bunkie board is a much more affordable option than getting a new bed frame. And if you choose high-quality materials, a bunkie board can last for years.

What Is a Bunkie Board?

What Is a Bunkie Board

Now, let’s discover what a bunkie board is.

As you can see from the reviews, it’s an additional layer of slats that you put inside your bed frame (1).

If you lead a minimalist lifestyle and want to get the health benefits of floor sleeping you can put a bunkie board directly on the floor. 

A bunkie board is typically around 1-2 inches thick. This is more than enough to create a supportive layer for your mattress, and it pairs well with both flat and bent slats that many bed frames come with. Also, such thickness doesn’t make your bed awkwardly high, so you won’t have problems with getting in and out of it if you have mobility issues.

Initially, bunkie boards were designed to support mattresses in bunk beds, where the height of every bunk is critical for your comfort and safety.

How Does a Bunkie Board Work With Different Types of Bed Foundations?

The next part of my review is dedicated to the compatibility of bunkie boards with other elements of a bed.

I've included the most common items used with bunkie boards. Let’s see how they compare. 

Bunkie Board vs Box Spring

A box spring is – you guessed it – a box filled with springs. Back when innerspring beds were the leaders on the mattress market, it was the most common foundation type.

Today, memory foam and hybrid mattresses rule the industry. And the overall manufacturing standards have also changed. Today, chances are you won't need a box spring for your bed. Especially since today’s box springs don’t even have any springs. They are more commonly made of a metal or wood foundation.

Now, if you already have a box spring, you can still use it with a bunkie board without any problem. But please note this combination may alter the feel of your mattress, making it rigid and firm. 

Here's the best part: 

You can easily ditch your box spring and replace it with a bunkie board, as it can work with almost any type of mattress.

Bunkie Board vs Plywood

Another common type of mattress base: a simple plywood sheet trimmed to the size of your bed frame.

Plywood is flexible, which means this foundation can offer decent support for thinner mattresses that aren’t too heavy. Keep in mind, a solid surface won’t allow the air to circulate as well underneath the mattress.

And this is where a bunkie board can come in handy.

With slatted or wired construction, it helps create a gap between the plywood and the mattress, allowing air to flow freely around the bottom layer. Airflow means less mold and a more hypoallergenic, healthy sleep. 

Bunkie Board vs Slats

Slatted bed foundations are available in most mattress stores, with an endless array of different types, sizes, and materials.

Although they are compatible with any type of mattress, a bunkie board's supportive properties are strongly tied to the quality of the materials used. So, depending on the material type they sometimes offer the right amount of support, and sometimes they don’t.

But here’s the deal:

You can put a bunkie board on top of your bed slats and enhance the support without any effort, instead of shelling out extra money on a new bed frame.

Most Common Materials for Bunkie Boards and Their Pros and Cons

Now, let’s explore the main types of bunkie board materials, and uncover the pros and cons.

  • Plywood. If you’re purchasing a cheaper support board for your mattress, chances are it is made of plywood. Depending on the thickness of the slats, this material can offer decent support while still maintaining some bounce. The weight capacity and durability of plywood is not the greatest compared to other materials, so don’t expect long-lasting support.
  • Pine. This is a reliable material type for a wooden bunkie board. Pine slats are capable of holding a heavy mattress and a couple of average-weight sleepers. However, it is prone to squeaking. 
  • Steel. If you’re looking for a robust quality bunkie board, steel may be your best go-to option. Polished steel slats aren’t afraid of moisture and rust, and can easily hold the weight of a large sleeper for years. However, you may need to check the spaces between the slats. Usually, they are a fair bit wider than wooden models, which may not work for all types of mattresses.
  • Metal alloys. Different metal alloys can create an affordable, durable bunkie board. It's worth noting that particular metals used during the manufacturing process can significantly impact the quality and durability of the final product.

How to Find a Good Bunkie Board?

Which bunkie board is best? First find out what to look for in a good bunkie board. Below are the key features we pay attention to when searching for top models to review:

  • Weight capacity. The weight capacity of a bunkie board depends on two things: material and construction. Metal boards are generally sturdier than wooden ones. Also, if you’re buying a bunkie board and you're heavier than average, consider one-piece designs, as they have fewer weak points.
  • Size. Choosing a queen bunkie board isn’t rocket science; after all, it’s the most popular mattress size on the market. With any other sizes, however, it can be different. Most manufacturers offer bunkie boards in Twin, Full, Queen, and King sizes, but if you own a California King bed or a Twin XL, it might be harder to find a compatible bunkie board. These sizes typically have lower market demand, so you may need to look for other types of mattress support.
  • Ease of assembly. I hate assembling things, so the perfect bunkie board for me is a one-piece or rollable board. Notice how most models in this review don’t require assembly. If you, on the other hand, need a king bunkie board, you will probably have to assemble it yourself, as it’s too bulky to come as a one-piece board. If you want to spend less time assembling and more time sleeping, look for models with the lock-in construction which don’t have tons of screws and bolts.
  • Noise-free design. Finally, I know it's important for your bunkie board to be quiet. In this case, opt for models with foam padding or a fabric cover. Less sqeaking means less headaches. Alternatively, you can buy foam tape, or at the very least use a an old sheet or curtain to minimize rubbing noises. Anything to keep yourself, your partner, and your family resting easy. 

FAQ

What is a bunkie board made of?

A bunkie board is typically made of plywood or particleboard. However, you can also find solid wood and metal bunkie boards among modern options.

What does a bunkie board do?

A bunkie board supports a mattress as a low-profile alternative or an addition to a box spring. It’s suitable for bunk beds (hence the name), daybeds, and trundles.

How thick is a bunkie board?

The average thickness of a bunkie board varies from 1.5 to 2 inches.

Final Words

It's clear that a more supportive bed doesn’t mean replacing it completely. A simple bunkie board is an affordable and effective way to enhance your mattress, and prolong its lifespan.  Now, the models I selected work for specically for that purpose. It's time to announce the bunkie board I love the most. Without further ado, I give you the Signature Sleep. I love everything about this bunkie board: durable steel, easy assembly, and it has improved the supportive properties of my not-so-fresh memory foam bed. If, however, you're more of a fan of a wood option, I recommend investing in the Zinus Annemarie. Constructed with sturdy pine slats, it quickly turns your bed frame into a supportive foundation for any type of mattress.

What about you? Do you have a favorite? Do you plan to use a bunkie board with your old box spring? Let us know in the comments below. 

References

  1. Susy Salcedo (2016, December 7). Bunkie Board: What Is It and How Do I Make One? Retrieved from https://www.nectarsleep.com/posts/bunkie-board/
  2. Bunkie Board Buying Guide (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.livingspaces.com/inspiration/ideas-advice/guides/bunkie-board-buying-guide

Our research

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Bunkie Boards Considered

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Hours of Research

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Sleep Experts Consulted

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