Best Mattress for Bunk Beds

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Bunk beds are a smart way to add an extra sleep surface without taking up more floor space. They usually have two mattress frames, one above the other, though different configurations are available.

These space savers are a popular choice for families with children, teens, or a guest room. They’re also often seen in hostels, dorms, barracks, and other places with limited space.

Because bunk bed frames differ from standard frames, there are additional factors to keep in mind when choosing the right mattresses, including weight, profile, and safety. 

We’ll take a look at some of the best mattresses for bunk beds and weigh their pros and cons. We’ll also explain what sizes and types of mattresses are best for bunk beds, how firm they should be, and how much they cost.

The Sleep Doctor’s Picks

Best Overall

Nectar Mattress

  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
  • Price: $599

Best Value

Silk & Snow Hybrid

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
  • Price: $650

Most Comfortable

Puffy Mattress

  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium (5)
  • Price: $699

Best Luxury

Nolah Nurture 10

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Reversible: Soft (3), Firm (7)
  • Price: $999

Best for Side Sleepers

Layla Mattress

  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness: Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)
  • Price: $749

Best Overall

Nectar Mattress

Nectar Mattress
  • Mattress Type Icon

    Mattress Type:

    Foam

  • Price (Queen) Icon

    Price (Twin):

    $599

  • Firmness Icon

    Firmness:

    Medium Firm (6)

  • Warranty Icon

    Warranty:

    Lifetime, Limited

  • Weight Icon

    Weight:

    66 lbs.

  • Sleep Trial Icon

    Sleep Trial:

    365 nights

Highlights

  • Gel-infused memory foam designed for cooling
  • Generous sleep trial and warranty
  • Slip-resistant lower cover to limit shifting

Ideal For

  • Sleepers who need pressure relief
  • Value seekers
  • People who want excellent motion isolation

If you’re looking for a versatile mattress that pleases a wide range of bunk bed sleepers, the Nectar is an excellent choice.

This medium firm (6) all-foam model starts with a 3-inch memory foam comfort layer that shaped to our testers’ bodies to ease pressure. Built-in cooling gel is designed to draw heat away, and our temperature readings showed that the surface maintained a fairly neutral temperature. A 2-inch transitional layer of firm polyfoam deepened the contouring while preventing our team members from sinking against the support core.

High-density polyfoam makes up the 7-inch core, providing stability. The mattress cover is a blend of polyester, nylon, and polyethylene designed for breathability and moisture control. A slip-resistant bottom cover limits mattress shifting, while the mattress’ all-foam construction isolates motion well. In our testing, this combination reduced jostling that could otherwise cause the bunk bed frame to creak.

Our testers under 230 pounds found the mattress comfortable across positions, so the Nectar may be an ideal option for children with changing needs and sleep preferences.

The mattress is 12 inches thick, making the Nectar a better choice for most bottom bunks than top bunks. Top bunks typically need a lower-profile model for safety reasons.

The Nectar comes with a 365-night sleep trial, a lifetime limited warranty, and free shipping in the contiguous United States. 

Despite its lightweight design, our testers felt the Nectar’s exceptional motion isolation and slip-resistant bottom cover gave it a secure feel well suited to bunk beds. The close conforming also makes the mattress comfortable for sleepers with pressure-induced aches and pains.

Best Value

Silk & Snow Hybrid

Silk & Snow Hybrid
  • Mattress Type Icon

    Mattress Type:

    Hybrid

  • Price (Queen) Icon

    Price (Twin):

    $650

  • Firmness Icon

    Firmness:

    Medium Firm (6)

  • Warranty Icon

    Warranty:

    15 Year, Limited

  • Weight Icon

    Weight:

    94 lbs.

  • Sleep Trial Icon

    Sleep Trial:

    100 nights (30-night requirement)

Highlights

  • Zoned support core to promote good posture
  • Gel-infused memory foam engineered for cooling
  • Silver-infused cover designed for antimicrobial protection

Ideal For

  • Hot sleepers
  • Side sleepers
  • Those who tend to sit or sleep close to the edge of the bed

The Silk & Snow Hybrid Mattress is an affordably priced medium firm (6) model that includes high-quality features to satisfy discerning bunk bed sleepers without breaking the bank. 

The cover is a polyester and spandex blend infused with silver, which is intended to provide antimicrobial properties. Quilted into the cover, a 1-inch polyfoam layer cushions the surface. It’s followed by a 2-inch memory foam layer that cradles sleepers and redistributes their weight. A gel infusion in the memory foam is engineered to combat heat retention by wicking away body warmth. Our testers found that this combination provided notable pressure relief without trapping heat against their bodies.

Individually pocketed coils make up the zoned support core. These coils enabled our team members to move easily while limiting the spread of vibrations. Increased firmness across the middle enhances lumbar support to promote good spinal alignment. An additional layer of firm foam wraps around the outside of the core for robust edge support that may make it easier to get into and out of a bunk bed.

We found the Silk & Snow Hybrid particularly comfortable for side sleeping. Our testers under 230 pounds also enjoyed it for back sleeping, and those under 130 pounds felt it was supportive enough for stomach sleeping.

At 12 inches thick, the Silk & Snow Hybrid might be a little too tall for some top bunks. However, it’s ideal for many bottom bunks.

The Silk & Snow Hybrid has a 100-night sleep trial. Shipping is free in the contiguous United States and the Canadian provinces. The Silk & Snow Hybrid also comes with a 15-year limited warranty.

While hybrid mattresses often come at a premium price-point, the Silk & Snow Hybrid is budget-friendly. This makes it approachable for families that need a bunk bed mattress with the responsiveness of springs and the conforming of foam.

Most Comfortable

Puffy Mattress

Puffy Mattress
  • Mattress Type Icon

    Mattress Type:

    Foam

  • Price (Queen) Icon

    Price (Twin):

    $699

  • Firmness Icon

    Firmness:

    Medium (5)

  • Warranty Icon

    Warranty:

    Lifetime, Limited

  • Weight Icon

    Weight:

    48 lbs.

  • Sleep Trial Icon

    Sleep Trial:

    101 Nights

Highlights

  • Proprietary materials crafted for cooling and cradling
  • Stain-resistant, removable, washable cover
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Ideal For

  • Families with kids
  • Sleepers with sharp pressure points
  • Those with allergy symptoms

The Puffy is an all-foam mattress with a medium (5) feel. The model’s mid-range firmness, conforming layers, and balanced support make it a comfortable option for many sleepers.

A 2-inch Cooling Cloud memory foam comfort layer cradles sleepers, while a gel infusion is engineered to offset the heat retention common in foam models. Next, 2 inches of Climate Comfort polyfoam add contouring. A 6-inch high-density polyfoam core provides even support. While our testers felt this construction provided exceptional pressure relief, our temperature readings showed mild heat retention.

The Puffy includes a stain-resistant, removable, washable top cover for easy cleaning. Meanwhile, the base cover is grippy to help keep the mattress securely in place.

Because of its close-conforming foam layers, the Puffy’s motion isolation is excellent. Combined with the shift-preventing bottom cover, this may help prevent the bunk bed frame from shaking when sleepers toss and turn.

Our testers under 130 pounds found the mattress comfortable across all positions. Side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds also enjoyed the hug of the foam comfort system.

The Puffy is 10 inches high, which might be suitable for either a top or bottom bunk depending on the frame. 

Standard shipping is free in the contiguous United States. The Puffy comes with a 101-night sleep trial. It also has a limited lifetime warranty.

The Puffy’s lightweight construction may be a good fit for bunk beds, which often have lower weight limits than other types of frames. The hypoallergenic, stain-resistant, washable cover may also appeal to families whose kids are prone to allergies or accidents.

Best Luxury

Nolah Nurture 10

Nolah Nurture 10
  • Mattress Type Icon

    Mattress Type:

    Hybrid

  • Price (Queen) Icon

    Price (Twin):

    $999

  • Firmness Icon

    Firmness:

    Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)

  • Warranty Icon

    Warranty:

    Lifetime, Limited

  • Weight Icon

    Weight:

    N/A

  • Sleep Trial Icon

    Sleep Trial:

    120 nights

Highlights

  • Flippable with soft and firm sides
  • Made with natural materials
  • Zoned support core

Ideal For

  • Hot sleepers
  • Families with children
  • Most weight groups and sleep positions

The Nolah Nurture 10 is a hybrid mattress made with natural materials and designed with kids in mind. It’s flippable, including a soft (3) side for smaller children and a firm (7) side to support them as they grow.

Each side includes a GOTS-certified organic cotton cover, a temperature-regulating wool fire barrier, and a 2-inch Talalay latex comfort layer. Combined, these materials cradled our testers and cushioned their pressure points while letting heat escape.

The HDMax Tri-Zone support core consists of 6-inch pocketed coils that react independently to contour to the body and isolate motion. Our testers felt minimal vibrations when we dropped a kettlebell next to them. Three firmness zones also help support good posture by limiting midsection sinkage. 

Most of our testers preferred the extra support of the firm side, especially when lying on their stomachs. However, our team members under 130 pounds preferred the soft side for back and side sleeping. 

The Nurture Mattress and its components hold several certifications pertaining to content and sourcing, including OEKO-TEX Standard 100, GOTS, eco-INSTITUT, and Rainforest Alliance.

This model is 10 inches high, making it versatile enough to work on either the top or bottom bunk of many frames. However, read the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the guardrails on the upper bunk are high enough and that the total weight does not surpass recommended limits.

Nolah provides a 120-night sleep trial. Shipping is free to the lower 48 states. The Nurture also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

With its kid-friendly design and high-quality materials, the Nolah Nurture is especially appropriate for families seeking natural luxury. The two built-in firmness options make the mattress adaptable to changing needs and preferences.

Best for Side Sleepers

Layla Mattress

Layla Mattress
  • Mattress Type Icon

    Mattress Type:

    Foam

  • Price (Queen) Icon

    Price (Twin):

    $749

  • Firmness Icon

    Firmness:

    Some TextReversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)

  • Warranty Icon

    Warranty:

    Lifetime, Limited

  • Weight Icon

    Weight:

    69 lbs.

  • Sleep Trial Icon

    Sleep Trial:

    120 nights

Highlights

  • Flippable with medium soft (4) and firm (7) sides
  • Zoned transitional layer for targeted support on the medium soft side
  • Copper-infused memory foam engineered for cooling and antimicrobial protection

Ideal For

  • Families with children
  • Shoppers with changing firmness needs
  • Hot sleepers

The flippable Layla Memory Foam Mattress comes with two firmness levels: medium soft (4) and firm (7). Both firmness levels are comfortable for some side sleepers as well as back and stomach sleepers.

The cover uses polyester, viscose, and a polyester and lycra blend. A ThermoGEL cooling agent is designed to limit heat retention. You can also remove the cover to clean it. 

With the medium soft side up, the comfort layer is 3 inches of memory foam infused with copper gel. The copper gel is engineered to draw heat away from the sleeper and combat microbial growth. Our temperature readings showed that the surface stayed cooler than we’d usually expect from close-conforming memory foam. Next, a 2-inch layer of polyfoam with surface-level channels adds zoned support and enhanced airflow. 

The firm side’s comfort system is 1 inch of copper gel-infused memory foam for supportive contouring with minimal sinkage. 

Wedged between the two comfort systems, a 4.5-inch polyfoam support core reinforces the surface while limiting motion transfer. 

In our tests, the Layla’s close-conforming soft side performed well for side sleepers under 230 pounds and back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds. The more supportive firm side did better with our side sleepers over 230 pounds and also earned high marks from back and stomach sleepers of all weight groups. 

With a 10.5-inch profile, the Layla may be suitable for top or bottom bunks depending on the design of the frame. 

Shipping is free in the contiguous 48 states. The Layla comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It also has a 120-night sleep trial. 

The Layla’s flippable design makes it a versatile option for families furnishing guest rooms or accommodating growing children. We found both sides had distinct benefits for certain sleep positions and body types.

Why You Should Trust Us

Our team members are veterans in the field of sleep products. We base our reviews and guides on extensive research, impartial criteria, and rigorous in-house testing to provide unbiased information. 

With a range of body types and preferred sleeping positions, our sleep experts personally test each mattress so we can accurately assess how a model performs for a broad range of sleepers.

What Size Mattress Is Best for a Bunk Bed?

Typical bunk bed frame sizes include twin, twin XL, and full. Twin mattresses are 38 by 75 inches, twin XLs are 38 by 80 inches, and full mattresses are 54 by 75 inches. For safety reasons, it’s vital to match the mattress size to the dimensions of the bunk bed frame.

There are several types of bunk bed frames, each with different characteristics. Not all options take the same size mattress on each bunk. Additionally, some frames have three bunks, and some have just one.

Bunk Bed Type
What It Is
What Sizes Fit

Standard

Two mattresses of the same size, one placed above the other

Usually twin

Loft

A bed above and an empty space below to accommodate a dresser, desk, etc.

Twin, twin XL, or full

Triple

Three beds stacked directly above each other

Usually twin

L-shaped

A bottom and a top bunk that are at right angles to one another, one atop the other

Twin, twin XL, or full on top, and twin, twin XL, full, queen, or king on bottom

Twin Over Full

A twin mattress directly above a full

Twin on top, full on bottom

Trundle

A bed that can be pulled out from under another bed frame

Usually twin

Keep in mind that bunk bed frames have different weight capacities, even among the same type. Be sure to check your frame’s rated weight capacity and calculate the total weight of the mattress and the individual sleeping on it before making a purchase.

How Thick Should a Mattress Be for a Bunk Bed?

A bunk bed mattress should be no thicker than what safely fits in the frame. This depends on the height of the guardrails and the depth of the frame.

Federal requirements stipulate that the mattress profile needs to be at least 5 inches below the top of the guardrail for the upper bunk. When in doubt, we generally recommend looking for a mattress 6 to 7 inches high. However, always check the thickness requirements for your specific bunk bed frame.

This is especially important for the top bunk because a mattress that is too thick could increase the risk of the sleeper rolling over the safety railings. It may be less of a concern for bottom bunks under 30 inches off the ground. Mattress thickness can also impact how much overhead space is available, so this is something to consider for both the top and bottom bunks.

What Mattress Type Is Best for a Bunk Bed?

The type of bunk bed mattress you should choose depends largely on who sleeps on it. The ideal mattress for small children may be different from the best option for guests. Safety, quietness, durability, and versatility are frequently top considerations.

Any of these four major mattress types may be suitable for some bunk beds, but each carries potential pros and cons.

Material
Description

Foam

Foam models are popular for bunk beds. They typically consist of at least two layers of foam intended to cradle and support the body. Their light weight makes it easier to stay within the recommended weight capacity, and they’re generally the quietest choice.

Innerspring

Innerspring models consist primarily of supportive metal coils. Responsive and easy to move around on, this type of mattress can simplify the process of getting in and out of the bed. However, innersprings are often prone to squeaking, which may be problematic for the sleeper on the other bunk.

Latex

Latex models usually contain natural latex derived from the sap of the rubber tree, though synthetic and blended options are also common. This type of mattress may appeal to shoppers who value durability or natural materials. While often heavier than other varieties of mattresses, latex models frequently have a lower profile.

Hybrid

If you have a guest room, a hybrid model may be versatile enough to accommodate different sleepers. A hybrid consists of a generous comfort system coupled with a metal coil core. This combination tends to provide a balanced performance. Since hybrid mattresses are often thicker than other designs, pay careful attention to the profile before selecting a hybrid model for a bunk bed.

How Firm Should a Bunk Bed Mattress Be?

The ideal bunk bed mattress firmness depends on the weight and preferred position of the sleeper. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to anticipate if you plan to use the bunk bed for guests. 

In general, most sleepers prefer a mattress with a medium (5) or medium firm (6) feel. Individuals who weigh under 130 pounds and side sleepers usually favor this range or slightly softer. Stomach sleepers and those over 230 pounds generally gravitate toward the higher end of the firmness spectrum. Back sleepers, combination sleepers, and individuals between 130 and 230 pounds typically fall right in the middle. 

How Much Does a Bunk Bed Mattress Cost?

Several factors can influence how much you’ll need to spend on a bunk bed mattress. First and foremost, you’ll likely need to budget for several mattresses. Standard bunk beds need two sleep surfaces, while triple bunk beds call for three. 

Since most bunk beds fit twin, twin XL, or full size mattresses, they should be less expensive than queen and king sizes. Choosing lower-profile models suitable for bunk beds also often saves money since they use less material.

Innersprings and all-foam models are often the most affordable options for budget shoppers, but there are also price variations between brands. Comparison shopping and watching for sales can help you get the best bang for your buck.