Best Bunk Bed Mattress

The 7 Best Bunk Bed Mattress [2020] – Reviews and Buying Guide

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Shopping for a bunk bed mattress?

You've come to the right place.

Most bunk beds feature two twin beds stacked on top of each other. So most of the bunk bed mattresses you'll find in stores are twin size.

But you can also get a queen or full-size mattress if you have a twin over queen/full-size bunk bed.

Generally, thinner mattresses (no more than 7 inches) are best for bunk beds. This is mostly for safety. A thick mattress will cover the bed rails, rendering them useless.

A thick mattress on the bottom bed will be too close to the bottom of the top bed. It's easy for someone to hit their head when getting in and out of bed.


What's In This Buying Guide?

In this buying guide, we recommend the best bunk bed mattresses for both kids and adults. We also give you some tips on how to choose the best bunk bed mattress.

If you are also shopping for bedsheets, check out at our reviews of the best luxury sheets.


The 7 Best Bunk Bed Mattresses for 2020 

In a hurry? Here's a quick list of our top picks plus a comparison table.

Mattress toppersAwardMaterialsSizeCover
LUCID
LUCID
Best CoolingGel memory foam + bamboo charcoal polyfoam5"Polyester cover
Pure Green
Pure Green
Best LatexNatural latex + organic wool padding8"100% organic cotton cover
Sleep EZ
Sleep EZ
Best HypoallergenicNatural latex + natural wool padding 7"/9"100% natural cotton cover
Signature Sleep
Signature Sleep
Best SupportCharcoal and gel infused memory foam6"Knit fabric cover
Zinus
Zinus
Best Spring Mattress Soft foam + Bonnell support coils 6"Quilted cover
Ultimate Dreams
Ultimate Dreams
Best BudgetFoam + quilted top7"Quilted cover
Classic Brands
Classic Brands
Best Memory FoamMemory foam + dense support foam 4.5"Stretch knit cover

Best Bunk Bed Mattresses: Reviews

1. Best Cooling: LUCID 5 Inch Memory Foam mattress

LUCID 5 Inch Memory Foam mattress

Lucid's 5″ memory foam mattress is perfect for kids transitioning from a crib to a proper bed. It also works great for tweens, teens, college kids, and guests.

If you don't have a bunk bed, you can also place it on a platform, box spring, or sofa. You can also put it directly on the floor.

Because of its low profile, you can also use it with a trundle bed.

The mattress combines gel memory foam and bamboo charcoal-infused support foam to keep the bed cool.

Pros

  • Good cooling performance.
  • Lasts long.
  • Great pressure relief and support.
  • Inexpensive.

Cons

  • The slight smell when new – but it goes away quickly.

Our Review

You can get the Lucid mattress in several sizes, including Queen, twin, full, and twin XL. So it should fit most standard bunk beds.

The mattress has a dual-layer design with a 1″ memory foam layer at the top and a 4″ high-density foam base.

The result is a firm mattress (about 6-7/10 with ten being the firmest) that is perfect for kids. The memory foam layer provides just the right amount of body contouring and pressure relief while the foam base provides support.

Despite being only 5″ high, the Lucid mattress lasts a surprisingly long time. We went through customer reviews and found that, after 2-3 years, users say the mattress is still in great shape – no sagging and no permanent indentations.

For hot sleepers, the Lucid mattress has two tricks to keep you cool. The memory foam layer is infused with cooling gel while the support foam is infused with bamboo charcoal.

Both the gel and charcoal greatly improve cooling.

The Lucid mattress will be delivered and compressed into a box. Once you unbox it and lay it out, it takes about two hours to fully expand.

Issues & Limitations

Several customers have complained about a chemical smell when the mattress is new. This is normal with foam mattresses.

With the Lucid mattress, the smell is barely noticeable and dissipates quickly. Even odor-sensitive customers were able to comfortably sleep on the mattress after a few hours.

Bottom Line

If you need a comfortable and durable but inexpensive mattress for your child's bunk bed, the Lucid 5″ memory foam mattress is a great choice.


2. Best Latex: Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress

Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress

Latex mattresses offer great support, sleep cool, and last long. Our favorite latex mattress for bunk beds is the Pure Green natural latex mattress.

It is 100% natural – no foam or synthetic latex. If you prefer buying natural or green products for your family, the Pure Green mattress is a good choice.

Pros

  • 100% natural.
  • Sleeps cool.
  • Natural wool quilting for extra pressure relief and cooling.
  • Natural cotton cover – breathable and moisture-wicking.

Cons

  • Not ideal for those looking for a softer mattress.
  • Heavy.
  • Pricey.

Our Review

If you don't want to get a memory foam mattress, latex is a good alternative. It provides firmer support, lasts longer, and has no heat retention issues.

If you opt for a latex mattress, make sure it is natural latex like the Pure Green mattress. Natural latex has no chemicals, is more comfortable and it's better for the environment.

The Pure Green mattress has two layers, both natural latex. The base layer is extra-firm with an ILD rating of 44. ILD (indentation load deflection) is a measure of the firmness of the foam.

The top layer is slightly softer with an ILD of 30. This allows it to contour to your body, relieving pressure on your shoulders and back.

The extra-firm base and softer top layer result in a firm mattress. It provides great support, especially for back and stomach sleepers.

To add a bit of softness to the mattress, the organic cotton cover is quilted with natural wool. The wool provides extra padding to cushion your pressure points.

It also improves cooling and is a big help with night sweats.

The Pure Green mattress is 8″ thick, making it perfect for most bunk beds. You can get it in all standard sizes ranging from twin to California King.

Issues & Limitations

Let's start with the price. The Pure Green mattress is expensive for a bunk bed mattress. That's because it's natural latex. If you are looking for a budget bunk bed mattress, this is not it.

Another issue is weight. For an 8″ mattress, the Pure Green mattress is heavy. It's tedious to move. But that's not the fault of the manufacturer – natural latex is generally dense and heavy.

A final issue, though this one is subjective, is the firmness. If you are looking for a plush or even medium-firm bunk bed mattress, this is not it. The two natural latex layers in the Pure Green mattress result in firm support with minimal give.

We don't recommend Pure Green for a side sleeper. It's best for back and stomach sleepers.

Bottom Line

If you are not a big fan of synthetic mattresses, the Pure Green natural latex mattress is a great, though pricey, choice.


3. Best Hypoallergenic: Sleep EZ Natural Latex Mattress

Sleep EZ Natural Latex Mattress

Another reason to get a natural latex mattress is that it's hypoallergenic. The Sleep EZ natural latex mattress is a great choice for people with allergies or asthma.

In addition to natural latex, it also contains natural wool, which is also hypoallergenic.

Like the Pure Green mattress, the Sleep EZ mattress is more expensive than your ordinary bunk bed mattress. But if you want a high quality, comfortable and eco-friendly bunk bed mattress, it's worth it.

Another reason to choose the Sleep EZ mattress is the multiple firmness options available, something you don't get with most bunk bed mattresses.

Pros

  • 100% natural latex.
  • Natural cotton cover and wool padding.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Sleeps cool.
  • Wool and cotton cover helps with night sweats.
  • Multiple firmness options

Cons

  • Expensive.

Our Review

With most bunk bed mattresses, you have to live with the firmness you end up with.

Many bunk bed mattresses are on the firmer end of the scale, so side sleepers and those who prefer a softer mattress can have a hard time finding a comfortable mattress.

Luckily, Sleep EZ caters to all types of sleepers. You can customize the mattress to your needs.

The first selections are for size. You can choose from a twin to a Cal King mattress. You can also choose a split king or Cal king. The split options are handy if you need different firmness levels on each side of the bed.

Next, you choose your preferred height. Sleep EZ offers the mattress in four heights: 7″, 9″, 10″ and 13″. For bunk beds, we recommend the 7″ or 9″ height.

You can then choose how you want the mattress configured. Perhaps a medium top layer and a firm bottom layer or a soft and firm combo.

Sleep EZ has some handy images on their website showing what level of firmness you get with different configurations.

Note that the 9″ mattress has three layers, and you can choose how firm you want each of them to be.

If you opt for a split mattress, you can configure the firmness for each side.

We've never seen a mattress this customizable.

Regardless of the mattress, you end up the building; all layers will be natural Dunlop latex. Also, each mattress comes with an organic cotton cover quilted with natural Joma wool.

Issues & Limitations

The Sleep EZ mattress is, as we expected for a natural latex mattress, pricey. All that customization also doesn't come cheap.

If you are shopping for a budget mattress, consider one of the foam bunk bed mattresses in this buying guide.

Another sorta downside is that all those choices can be confusing. It's great that you can choose the best mattress for your needs, but it can take some time to configure it.

Bottom Line

The Sleep EZ natural latex is a great choice if you are looking for an eco-friendly and comfortable bunk bed mattress. It is also the best choice if you want a mattress that's firmer or softer than ordinary bunk bed mattresses.


4. Best Support: Signature Sleep Flex 6″ Charcoal Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Signature Sleep Flex Charcoal Gel Memory Foam Mattress

The Signature Sleep Flex 6″ memory foam mattresses use a 4-layer design to provide support. It holds your weight while also contouring to your body and ensuring your spine is properly aligned.

The Signature Sleep Flex is an especially good choice for sleepers with back pain.

Pros

  • Great support and pressure relief.
  • Good cooling performance.
  • It helps with back pain.
  • 10-year warranty.
  • Good value for money.

Cons

  • The slight chemical smell when new.

Our Review

Most people associate mattress support with firmness. But a firm mattress is not necessarily supportive. Sure, it can hold your weight, but it may cause spinal misalignment and hurt your back.

A supportive mattress supports your entire body, including your spine, hips, and shoulders. It's firm enough to keep you from sinking too deep into the mattress and soft enough to cradle your pressure points.

The Signature Sleep mattress does all this using four layers of memory foam.

The first layer is charcoal and gel-infused memory foam. The charcoal and gel help with cooling and moisture control. They also keep the mattress smelling fresh.

The second foam layer has channels cut into it. They improve ventilation, which keeps the mattress cool and fresh.

The third layer is convoluted foam. The convoluted design further improves ventilation and pressure relief.

The fourth layer is a high-density foam base that provides compression support to keep the mattress from sagging.

The four layers are wrapped in a breathable knit fabric cover with a fire retardant barrier beneath it.

Issues & Limitations

Like most memory foam mattresses, the Signature Sleep flex has a slight chemical smell when new. It dissipates quickly but can be bothersome if you are sensitive to odors.

Bottom Line

The Signature Sleep Flex provides a great mix of soft pressure relief and firm support. It's ideal for most types of sleepers, including those with back pain.


5. Best Spring Mattress: Zinus 6 Inch Spring Twin Mattress 2 pack

Zinus 6 Inch Spring Twin Mattress 2 pack

Spring mattresses offer great support and are perfect for kids who like a bouncy bed. The Zinus 6″ mattress consists of two soft foam layers on top of firm Bonnell coils.

The low profile design means you can use the Zinus mattress on most bunk beds, trundle beds, and day beds.

By the way, this is a 2-pack, so it's ready for use on double bunk beds.

Pros

  • Great support and pressure relief.
  • Responsive (good for kids who love a bouncy mattress).
  • Great price, considering it's a two-pack.
  • 10-year warranty.

Cons

  • The slight smell when new.

Our Review

Don't panic when you receive the mattresses. The box they come in appears far too small to hold two mattresses.

But once you open the box, the mattresses pop up and gradually inflate to full size. The manufacturer recommends waiting 48 hours for the mattress to fully inflate, but most people say kids can sleep on it after 12 hours.

The Zinus mattresses are twin sizes, so make sure your bunk bed size matches.

The mattresses start with a soft fiber-quilted cover followed by two foam layers. These provide soft pressure relief for shoulders, hips, and the lower back.

The core of the mattress consists of Bonnell coils. They provide compression support to prevent sagging and are the reason the mattress feels so bouncy.

Note: the twin Zinus mattresses are mostly designed for kids. The coils are not strong enough to support an adult's weight. When you test the mattress yourself, it may not feel very supportive, but it's perfect for kids.

Issues & Limitations

Because of the foam layers on top, the two Zinus mattresses have a slight chemical smell when new. This may be an issue if you are sensitive to odors.

Most people didn't find the smell to be a problem, and in any case, it disappears in a couple of days.

Note that the foam used in the Zinus mattress is CertiPUR-US certified, so there's no harmful off-gassing. It's just a ‘new foam' smell that all foam mattresses have.

If it bothers you or your child, let the mattress sit uncovered in a well-ventilated room for 24-48 hours.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a bouncy and supportive mattress for your kids' bunk bed, we recommend the Zinus 2-pack 6″ mattress.


6. Best Budget: Ultimate Dreams Crazy Quilt 7 inch TriZone Mattress

Ultimate Dreams Crazy Quilt 7 inch TriZone Mattress

If you are looking for a pocket-friendly foam bunk bed mattress, we recommend the full or twin size Crazy Quilt mattress from Ultimate Dreams.

The mattress features a quilted cover and a tri-zone core for targeted support.

Pros

  • Great price.
  • Excellent support, thanks to the tri-zone design.
  • Padded top relieves pressure on shoulders and back.
  • Low profile design – perfect for bunk and trundle beds.

Cons

  • Not ideal for teens and adults – not enough support for heavier sleepers.

Our Review

The Ultimate Dreams Crazy Quilt is far from a luxury mattress. It's a basic and affordable mattress designed mostly for kids.

The 0.75″ quilted cover provides just enough pressure relief for toddlers and older kids. The 6.25″ firm core ensures their spine is properly aligned, and they don't sag into the mattress.

The core has a zoned design with three sections of varying firmness. It's softer under the shoulders for added pressure relief and firmer in the middle for lumbar support.

The zoned design improves overall support and body contouring. It can also help with back pain.

The Crazy Quilt mattress is available in two sizes: twin and full. With a total thickness of 7″, it fits perfectly on most bunk beds. You can also use it on a trundle bed or a daybed.

Issues & Limitations

Crazy Quilt is a great mattress…for kids. If you are looking for a mattress for yourself or a teenager, we do not recommend the Ultimate Dream Crazy Quilt mattress.

It doesn't have quite enough support for anyone older than 10-13 years. The soft comfort layer is too thin to provide any meaningful pressure relief for someone heavier.

If you plan to use on a guest bunk bed or traditional bed, that's ok. It's not too bad if used for a night or two. But for daily use, it's ideal only for kids.

Bottom Line

The Ultimate Dreams Crazy Quilt mattress is a great choice for a kids' bunk bed or trundle bed. We especially love the tri-zone design and, of course, the affordable price.


7. Best Memory Foam: Classic Brands 4.5-Inch Memory Foam Mattress

Classic Brands 4.5-Inch Memory Foam Mattress

If you are looking for a cheap and comfortable memory foam mattress for a bunk bed, sofa bed, or trundle bed, we recommend the 4.5″ Classic Brands mattress.

The mattress is thinner than most bunk bed mattresses, so we recommend it only for kids or for occasional use on a guest/sofa bed.

Pros

  • Low price.
  • Great pressure relief for shoulders and lower back.
  • Supportive polyfoam base.

Cons

  • Some off-gassing when new.

Our Review

The Classic Brands 4.5″ memory foam mattress is advertised as a replacement for a sofa sleeper mattress. But it also works great for a kids' bunk bed.

It's not as thick as other bunk bed mattresses, but it provides plenty of support and pressure relief for children.

The top 2″ memory foam layer hugs the body, preventing pressure points under the shoulders, hips, and lower back.

The base consists of a 2.5″ layer of high-density polyfoam. It prevents sagging and ensures the mattress lasts a long time.

The 4.5″ profile works great for most bunk beds, especially those with a low railing. It leaves enough railing exposed to protect your child from falling off the bed.

The Classic Brands mattress is available in three sizes: twin, full, and Queen.

Issues & Limitations

You should expect some off-gassing when you unbox the mattress. Most customers don't find it to be an issue, but it can bother you if you are sensitive to odors.

The chemicals smell is not harmful – the foam is CertiPUR-US certified. Additionally, it disappears completely in a couple of days.

Bottom Line

The Classic Brands memory foam mattress is perfect for bunk beds, trundle beds as well as sofa sleepers.

If you already have a sofa bed mattress, but it's uncomfortable, you can use the Classic Brands mattress as a topper.


Buying Guide: What to Look For in a Good Bunk Bed Mattress

Twin mattress for bunk bed

Size

Choosing the size of a bunk bed mattress is similar to buying a mattress for a traditional bed – you get the mattress that corresponds to your bed size.

Most bunk bed mattresses are either twin or full size, the same size as most bunk beds. You can also find a queen size mattress if you have a twin over queen bunk bed.

Some companies sell the mattresses as a pair. You can order a twin/twin combo or a twin/full pack.

Thickness

LUCID mattress firmness

With a mattress placed on the bunk bed, there should be at least 5 inches from the surface of the mattress to the top of the rails. This is for safety purposes, especially on the top bunk.

That's why the best bunk bed mattresses are thinner than normal mattresses. The best thickness range is 5-7 inches depending on how high the bunk bed railings are.

Since most bunk beds are for kids, a thinner mattress does not affect comfort. The mattress can easily support their lower body weight.

For toddlers and kids under seven years, a 5″ mattress is good enough. For older kids and teens, get a mattress that's 6″ or 7″ thick to ensure adequate support.

Firmness

A medium-firm or firm mattress is the best choice for most bunk beds for kids.

Since kids have lower body weight, they don't need a soft mattress for pressure relief. A firm mattress with a softer top layer provides the right amount of body contouring and support.

Toddlers transitioning from a firm crib mattress may find a similarly firm bunk bed mattress to be more comfortable.

For older kids, you can choose a medium-firm foam or innerspring mattress to provide a bit more body contouring.

Sleeping Position

bunk bed mattress

Consider the sleeper's sleeping position when choosing mattress firmness. If they sleep on their side, look for a softer mattress (ideally memory foam) that will relieve pressure on the shoulders and hips.

For back and stomach sleepers, a firmer mattress is best.

Hot Sleepers

Avoid memory foam mattresses if you or your child (or whoever is using the bunk bed) is a hot sleeper. Memory foam, even gel memory foam, can get uncomfortably warm.

Get an innerspring bunk bed mattress instead.

Construction

Bunk bed mattress construction

The two most common types of bunk bed mattresses are foam and spring.

Foam mattresses are usually a combination of a memory foam comfort layer and a polyfoam base. Cheaper foam mattresses are made entirely of polyfoam.

Foam mattresses provide good support and pressure relief.

But they can get a bit hot and have very little responsiveness. If your kid is a hot sleeper or prefers a bouncy mattress, go with a spring bunk bed mattress instead.


Final Verdict

best mattress for bunk bed

While you can plop down a normal bed mattress on a bunk bed, getting a bunk bed mattress has several advantages. It's a better fit for the bunk bed, it's safer for the sleeper, and you can get a comfortable bunk bed mattress at a much lower price.


FAQs

Which mattress type is the best for a bunk bed?

Which mattress type is the best for a bunk bed?

A low profile mattress that's 4-7 inches thick is the best choice for a bunk bed. It's more comfortable, and it's safer.

What size is a bunk bed mattress?

Most bunk bed mattresses are full or twin size. But you can also get a queen size bunk bed mattress if you have a twin/full over queen bunk bed.

Do bunk beds need special mattresses?

Theoretically, you can use an ordinary 10″ + mattress on a bunk bed. But it would cover the rails, rendering them useless.

A too-thick mattress can also bring the bottom bunk too close to the top one or raise the top bunk too close to the ceiling.

So, yes, you need a special mattress for a bunk bed. Look for a low-profile mattress that's no thicker than 7″.

How deep should a bunk bed mattress be?

4 to 7 inches.


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