- How Sleep Works
- Sleep Disorders
- Sleep Resources
- Sleep Health
- Sleep Medicine
Bunk beds come in many different shapes and sizes, including double and triple stacks, lofts, trundles, and L-shaped designs. These stacked beds can be great space-savers for dorms, guest rooms, and children’s bedrooms. Bunk beds can accommodate most mattress types, including innerspring, hybrid, foam, and latex models. However, shoppers seeking a mattress for their bunk bed should consider certain factors, such as the bed frame’s size and the bed’s overall weight capacity.
Generally, Twin, Twin XL, and Full mattress sizes are best for bunk beds. We recommend lighter-than-average models with slimmer profiles; these smaller mattresses will not put too much stress on the bunk bed, which can lead to structural issues. And because children often use bunk beds, parents may want to invest in relatively cheap mattresses – especially if their kids are in the process of growing.
This guide will take an in-depth look at key considerations and factors for choosing a bunk bed mattress. Below you’ll find our picks for the best bunk bed mattresses sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Best Bunk Bed Mattresses
Editor’s Pick – Latex for Less Mattress
Runner-Up Pick – Sleep on Latex Pure Green Mattress
Best Value Bunk Bed Mattress – Zinus Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
Best Luxury Bunk Bed Mattress – PlushBeds Natural Bliss Mattress
The ideal bunk bed mattress is light, thin, and inexpensive. Our Editor’s Pick, the Latex for Less Mattress, meets these criteria and offers several additional benefits for sleepers. The mattress is constructed from natural latex and organic cotton, making it a good option for eco-friendly shoppers. The bed’s flippable design offers a closely conforming ‘Medium’ side and a ‘Firm’ side that offers moderate yet consistent body contouring. As a result, the Latex for Less Mattress is optimal for sleepers whose firmness preferences fluctuate from night to night. The mattress offers great temperature neutrality and sleeps cool for most, as well.
Latex for Less Mattresses come in 7″ and 9″ profiles, both of which are suitable for most bunk beds. The mattresses weigh up to 84 pounds in a Full size, making them considerably lighter and better for bunk frames than many other latex models. The mattress is highly affordable, as well, with all Twin, Twin XL, and Full size options falling below $900.
Latex for Less offers free standard delivery for customers in the contiguous U.S., along with White Glove delivery – which includes in-home mattress assembly and old mattress removal – for an additional charge. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
The Pure Green Mattress from Sleep on Latex is comparable to our Editor’s Pick, the Latex for Less Mattress. Both beds are constructed from natural latex and organic cotton, and sold in either 7″ or 9″ profiles. While the Latex for Less Mattress is flippable with two firmness settings, the Pure Green Mattress is a one-sided model offered in ‘Soft,’ ‘Medium,’ and ‘Firm’ settings. This range should accommodate most bunk bed sleepers regardless of their weight or preferred position.
Like other latex mattresses, the Pure Green has a longer-than-average expected lifespan – about seven or eight years of nightly use. The Pure Green also sleeps fairly cool, due in part to its breathable organic-cotton cover and natural, moisture-wicking wool layer in the comfort system. The maximum weight for a Full-size Pure Green mattress is about 100 pounds, which should be suitable for most bunk beds. Price-points are exceptionally low, as well; a Full-size 9″ mattress costs less than $800 regardless of firmness setting.
Sleep on Latex offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S., as well as expedited delivery options. Deliveries are coordinated through UPS Carbon Neutral Shipping, which minimizes the company’s environmental footprint. The Pure Green Mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Sometimes, low mattress price-points indicate lesser quality and higher discomfort potential. Our Best Value pick is the Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress from Zinus, a brand that offers a wide range of low-cost, high-quality beds. The Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress is available in four profile options, including 6″ (‘Firm’) and 8″ (‘Firm’) designs that are well-suited for bunk bed frames. The mattress is exceptionally lightweight; Full-size 6″ and 8″ mattresses both weigh less than 50 pounds, making them ideal for double and even triple bunks.
The Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam mattress provides moderate yet consistent body conforming, which can alleviate tension and pressure points in the sleeper’s most sensitive areas. The Green Tea infusion also helps cool down the mattress, which can be beneficial for those who sleep hot; comparatively, most competing all-foam beds do not offer the same level of temperature neutrality.
Prices for Zinus beds vary since they are widely available through third-party retailers, but Twin, Twin XL, and Full sizes for this mattress are generally priced below $200. Zinus ships mattresses for free anywhere in the contiguous U.S. When purchased directly through Zinus, the mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
For bunk bed mattress shoppers with higher budgets, we recommend the Natural Bliss from PlushBeds. This mattress is constructed with natural latex comfort layers and support cores, which gives the bed exceptional durability and strong temperature neutrality. The Natural Bliss is available in four profile options, including 6″ and 8″ designs that are well-suited for bunk beds. ‘Soft,’ ‘Medium,’ ‘Firm,’ and ‘Extra Firm’ settings are also offered; this range accommodates most sleepers regardless of their weight or preferred position.
Although latex mattresses tend to be relatively heavy, the 6″ and 8″ Natural Bliss models each weigh less than 90 pounds in a Full size or smaller. The mattress is a great option for sleepers with aches and pains in their neck, shoulders, hips, and other sensitive areas; the ‘Soft’ and ‘Medium’ beds conform very closely, while the ‘Firm’ mattress provides moderate but consistent contouring that is ideal for heavier people.
PlushBeds mattresses are constructed from natural and organic materials, making them very eco-friendly. Prices for bunk bed-friendly sizes of the Natural Bliss range between $699 and $1,299. PlushBeds offers free standard delivery within the contiguous U.S., as well as in-home assembly for an additional charge. The Natural Bliss is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.
When selecting a mattress for a bunk bed, shoppers should take several factors into consideration. These include attributes of the bunk bed, such as weight capacity and mattress size accommodations, as well as durability, comfort, and other mattress performance considerations. Shoppers may also want to consider relatively inexpensive beds, particularly if the bunk bed is for growing children. Read on for our full list of bunk bed mattress buying tips.
First, let’s look at some of the most common bunk bed designs sold today:
The table below provides a breakdown of mattress needs for these different bunk bed types.
|Bunk Bed Type||Number of Sleepers||Mattresses Needed||Stacked or Elevated Beds?|
|Standard Loft||1||1 Twin||Elevated|
|Triple Loft||3||3 Twins||Both|
|Twin-over-Full||2 to 3||1 Twin
|Futon||2 to 3||1 Twin
1 Futon (Twin or Full)
|Trundle||3||3 Twins||Stacked, with third bed contained in a pull-out drawer at the bottom|
|L-Shaped||2 to 3||1 Twin
1 Twin or Full
|Elevated, usually at a right angle|
Now that we understand mattress size needs for different bunk beds, let’s look at some key characteristics of a good bunk bed mattress.
With few exceptions, bunk beds sold today are designed for Twin-, Twin XL-, and/or Full-size mattresses. These are the three smallest standard sizes for mattresses. Typical measurements include 38″ wide and 75″ long for a Twin; 38″ wide and 80″ long for a Twin-XL; and 53″ wide by 75″ long for a Full. Twin and Twin XL mattresses sleep one adult or child comfortably, while a Full can accommodate two sleepers (as long as they don’t require a lot of space).
The mattress weight is key because most bunk beds have weight capacities for all levels. For instance, a Standard bunk might have a 200-lb. capacity for the top bunk and a 500-lb. capacity for the bottom bunk. Keep in mind that the weight capacity refers to the sleeper and the mattress. A Twin-, Twin XL-, or Full-size mattress can weigh anywhere from less than 50 lbs. to more than 110 lbs. Typically, foam mattresses tend to be the lightest options; latex hybrids are usually the heaviest.
Top levels of bunk beds must feature guard rails to prevent sleepers from rolling off the bed and potentially hurting themselves. To make sure the mattress remains protected by the guard rails, a low-profile bed is often needed. For most bunk beds sold today, we recommend a mattress that measures 9″ thick or less.
Temperature neutrality refers to how much heat the mattress absorbs; some beds retain a large amount of body heat from sleepers, allowing them to feel excessively warm or hot, while others sleep fairly cool by comparison. Temperature-neutral mattresses can improve sleep quality and duration for all sleepers, particularly those who tend to sleep hot on their own. Innersprings, hybrids, and aerated latex beds normally offer the best temperature neutrality.
A good mattress should alleviate aches and pains throughout the sleeper’s body, rather than adding more discomfort. Many beds ease pain and pressure points by conforming to the sleeper’s body, forming a tight impression around their figure that releases tension and improves spinal alignment for side sleepers. Mattresses that provide the best conforming typically include memory foam and latex models, as well as hybrids with thick comfort layers.
The average mattress needs to be replaced after about seven years of consistent use. Parents of children who sleep on bunk beds may want to replace their mattress earlier, especially if their kids are experiencing growth spurts.
Whenever a sleeper gets into/out of bed or shifts positions, they produce motion transfer that can sometimes be felt in other areas of the mattress – or other levels of a bunk bed. For this reason, highly responsive mattresses – namely innersprings – can produce excessive transfer that creates sleep disruptions for sleepers on other bunks. Memory foam and latex beds tend to provide the best motion isolation.
Beds that squeak and creak can cause sleep disruptions for those who use bunk beds. Some mattress types – such as memory foam and latex models, and hybrids with pocketed coils – produce little to no noise, making them more suitable for bunks.
Most mattresses that are suited for bunk beds have lower-than-average price-points, largely due to their smaller size and lower profile. However, shoppers may pay extra for mattresses built with luxury materials such as organic textiles, gel-infused foams, or natural latex.