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The Best Bunk Bed Mattress Size for the Ultimate Sleepover

Written by, Viktor Gruevski

Updated July, 18, 2023

You finally caved into your children’s demands for a fun bunk bed? Or perhaps you are converting a guest room or a cabin into the most wonderful sleeping destination, and space is essential? 

In that case, read our thorough bunk bed mattress size guide to learn what to look out for when buying a pair of comfy mattresses.

What’s a Bunk Bed?

The words ‘bunk bed’ evoke memories of sleepovers, summer camps, and sibling rivalry. But, bunk beds also prove practical in numerous situations. This simple piece of furniture accommodates two, or even three, sleepers in the same space needed for one. 

Bunk beds were created to be used in confined spaces and communal sleeping facilities, such as ships, barracks, dorms, hostels, etc. Furthermore, they are available in various sizes, ranging from a standard bunk bed single mattress to a king-size mattress.

How to Choose the Right Bunk Bed

Choosing the right mattress for bunk beds is crucial to fostering restful sleep. However, when it comes to bunk beds, you should also consider several aspects of the bed design since they can enhance the sleeping experience.

Safety First!

Bed safety is essential Even more so with bunk beds since one of the units is elevated up to two metres and generally occupied by children. Therefore, ensure you get safe bunk beds that meet strict strength, safety, and durability requirements.

After purchasing and installing a bunk bed setup, you can also advise your children to use it responsibly by:

  • Avoiding to play on it or lean over the top bunk;
  • Not exceeding the occupancy limit of the top bed;
  • Using the ladder to get to the top bunk.

Note: Even when adults use regular bunk beds, they should still adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding weight limits.

Types of Bunk Bed Frames

Are you unsure what kind of bunk bed frame option to choose? Well, your use case scenario should be the deciding factor when getting one or more of the following types of bunk beds:

  • Single bunk beds—the most popular bunk bed design out there, which includes a one-person single bottom and top bunk mattress connected with a step ladder.
  • Three-sleepers—these beds incorporate a double bed at the bottom (with or without drawers) and a single bed on the top.
  • Trundles—these unconventional beds have wheels to help you store them beneath the main bed and take them out when the need occurs.
  • L-shaped bunk beds—these have a bed frame that combines two beds at a 90-degree angle (one above the other), with an extra storage room beneath the top frame.
  • Loft sleepers—these are bunk beds without the bottom bed, which leaves you with free space that can be used for anything from a chair to a working desk.

Note: The above list excludes other types of uncommon bunk beds, such as beds built into walls or ‘tree-house’ beds. Moreover, if you have a knack for design, you can also find a manufacturer to make any type of bed you can imagine.

What Size?

Are you’re unsure about the bunk bed dimensions you need? At the risk of stating the obvious, first consider the number of occupants that will use it, as well as their size and weight. Then, take into account the space you are working with before deciding on one of the following mattresses, which also dictate the size of bed you need:

UK Bed Sizes Imperial Dimensions Metric Dimensions
Small Single 2’6” x 6’3” 75cm x 190cm
Single 3’ x 6’3” 90cm x 190cm
Small Double (Queen) 4’ x 6’3” 120cm x 190cm
Double 4’6” x 6’3” 135cm x 190cm
King Size 5’0” x 6’6” 150cm x 200cm
Super King Size 6’0” x 6’6” 180cm x 200cm

Note: The bed sizes in bunk beds may also differ depending on their general design.

Bunk Bed Material

Bunk beds are typically made of two types of materials: wood or metal.

Wooden beds are made from a large variety of hardwoods and softwoods alike. The most popular choices include oak, mahogany, walnut, cherry, pine, and rubberwood. On the cheaper side, you can find laminated wood, albeit of much lesser quality.

On the other hand, metal frame beds do not lack sturdiness despite their more affordable price. They also fit well in the minimalist modern bedroom. Metal bunks are typically made of steel tubes and are powder coated for durability and aesthetic appeal.

Choosing the Right Mattress Type

Besides the bunk bed mattress dimensions, you should consider the following mattress features as well to transform your bedroom into your dream haven:

  • Low profile—the ideal thickness for the upper bunk bed should be about 6 to 7 inches, which will provide enough comfort and support while allowing for extra space for the safety rail and the headroom below the ceiling.
  • Quiet model—restless sleepers who move a lot might bother their bunkmates; therefore, you should consider getting an all-foam bottom and top bunk mattress that eliminate motion and, consequently, overnight interruptions.
  • Lightweight design—get a lightweight mattress, especially for the elevated bunk, since the bunk bed weight capacity might not be able to hold thick and heavy mattresses.
  • Temperature control—hot air rises, especially during hot summer evenings, so the top bunk will always be a few degrees warmer; therefore, search for a mattress with cooling technology, so both sleepers rest comfortably.

Note: These features are typically displayed on the mattress product page. If you cannot find this info online, you can always learn more about your chosen mattress for bunk beds by asking the seller.

Don’t Go to Bed Yet

Bunk beds are an excellent purchase since they can accommodate both adults and children practically and inexpensively. These little sleepover corners and their mattresses are available in a large variety of sizes, styles, and materials. Therefore, if you are unsure which design to choose, consider your needs and the features described in this guide. Whatever you choose, you will undoubtedly enjoy a unique sleeping experience.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

How do I make the top bunk?

To deal with the challenging aspect of making your top bunk each morning, ask for a hand or step onto a steady stool. Whatever you do, make sure you’re far from the ceiling and maintain your balance, so you don’t fall.

What is the best size mattress for a bunk bed?

Bunk beds are ideal for maximising a small space, whether in an RV, a dorm, a small apartment, or a child‘s bedroom. Bunk beds typically require low-profile mattresses that are 6 to 7 inches thick. However, you should also consider the occupant’s age, size, as well as your bed size.

What is the difference between a bunk bed mattress and a regular mattress?

You don’t need a special bunk bed mattress size, and you can use any mattress you want. Just make sure that your mattress fits snugly into the bed frame to prevent slips and falls, and also, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

I'm an interior architect by education with a tendency for content writing and research. Whenever I’m waiting for the engine to finish rendering my model, I love reading and researching on a wide variety of topics. I especially love writing content that is backed up by thorough research and relevant data. Given my engineering background, I'm more for the empirical data, not the "I couldn’t help but wonder..." vibe. When I'm not busy writing or drawing, you can find me hiking with my beagle or binge-watching in my bed. There is no in-between.