After you’ve chosen the right bunk bed frame, you’ll need to choose the best mattresses since they aren’t usually included with the frame. There is an impressive variety of bunk bed mattresses to choose from, which can make the decision difficult.

Do you want a firm or soft mattress? Memory foam or inner spring? Will the mattress be compatible with the bunk bed frame you’ve chosen? There are lots of considerations, so we’ve researched for you and put together a selection of the best bunk bed mattresses that will fit most bunk bed frames.

What to Look for When Buying a Bunk Bed Mattress

Choosing a mattress is never easy. There are many factors to consider, including quality, firmness, materials, and more. Still, there are additional considerations when purchasing for bunk or loft beds. Because you’ll be placing the mattress in a loft or raised platform, you need to take into account its weight and thickness. Headroom is also a consideration, particularly in a room with low ceilings such as a basement bedroom.

Also, consider who is sleeping on the bunk bed mattress. Will toddlers be using the bunks? You won’t need the same amount of support you’ll need for college students or adults. Some people sleep best on an extremely firm mattress while others prefer a softer, more forgiving foundation.

What Size Mattress Do You Need?

If you already have your bunk bed frame, you’ll need to buy a mattress that fits the frame. This is usually either a twin or full mattress, although some bunks have space for a twin XL mattress, which is a bit longer than a standard twin mattress. These are common in college dormitories.

There are also bunks that have a full-size bed on the bottom and a twin loft bed. Check the instructions included with your bunk bed frame or take measurements to find out what you need.

How Thick Should it Be?

Most bunk bed mattresses are thinner than standard innerspring or memory foam mattresses because they need to fit into a frame that accommodates a lower bunk and the loft bed. You want to go as thick as possible, however, for your comfort without sacrificing space.

A mattress between seven and twelve inches thick should provide you with enough comfort. Keep in mind that you’ll be able to use a thicker mattress in the bottom bed because you’ll have more headroom. In the upper bunk, try to stick with a mattress that’s no deeper than seven inches or no higher than the guardrails on the bed.

A thinner bunk bed mattress is particularly important if you have younger children sleeping in the bed and you worry about them rolling out. For this reason, it is particularly important to look at the comfort features of the mattress, since you can’t rely on the mattress’ thickness to provide comfort.

Mattress Materials Primer

While most bunk bed mattresses are made of memory foam, you can also find innerspring and individual coil options. Understanding the differences between them can help you make the right choice when shopping.

Innerspring

This is the most traditional style of mattress and is usually combined with a box spring. The steel springs are locked into a coiled shape and covered with soft material for comfort. The rows of springs provide a suspension system for the body.

Pocketed Coil

These are coils similar to those in an innerspring, but each coil is individually wrapped in a soft material rather than covered in rows.  This provides more contouring and less movement over the surface of the mattress.

Memory Foam

This polyurethane material offers the most advanced body contouring, cradling the body without any pressure points. It’s an excellent option for children’s mattresses because it’s hypo-allergenic and doesn’t harbor bacteria or dust mites. The firm support is also excellent for toddlers and stomach sleepers.

You can also find combination mattresses that use two different materials, such as coils and memory foam, to give you more features, such as firm support with less movement. Take the time to consider what you’re looking for and how you’ll be using your bunk bed mattress before purchasing.

Where to Buy Bunk Bed Mattresses

Buying your bunk bed mattresses from a reputable company will ensure they last for years and are protected by a good warranty. Because bunk beds are a particular niche market, you won’t find a lot of selection if you go to a standard retail store or even a mattress outlet. Your best bet is to order from a major online retailer that carries many of the top brands.

The brands below are some of the most popular, highly-rated mattress companies offering bunk bed mattresses, giving you the freedom to choose the ideal mattress for your needs:

  • 5 Little Monkeys, kid-focused mattresses for optimal comfort and health
  • Ashley Furniture, an industry leader in fine furnishings and mattresses
  • Bed Boss, manufacturer of a variety of mattresses from superior materials
  • Fortnight Bedding, crafted using the latest developments in sleep technology
  • Slumber 1, using unique rebound technology for a personalized sleep experience
  • Zinus, for reliable and affordable sleep solutions

We’ve selected what we consider some of the best bunk bed mattresses available to make it easier for you to find the right one for you and your family. Each one of these has particular features that make it a stand-out, whether it’s the price, the support, or the quality of the materials.

The Best Twin Size Bunk Bed Mattresses

Ashley Furniture Signature Design – iKidz Children’s Mattress and Pillow Set

Ashley Furniture iKidz twin mattress and pillow set

If you’re on a budget, Ashley Furniture has the solution. This is an excellent bunk bed mattress for the price, and it even includes a pillow at no extra cost. You get a memory foam mattress and pillow, so you’ll get firm support combined with comfort.

Because these feel relatively stiff when you first lie down, it may take a bit of getting used to for younger children, but once they are accustomed to this mattress, they’ll love the cradling comfort. The iKidz mattress is made of hypo-allergenic materials, so if your child has sensitivities, this is a remarkably budget-friendly choice. The mattress has a reinforced knit cover that’s soft and breathable.

The mattress arrives rolled in a box. Just unroll it and let it sit for a few days to expand and air out. It comes in either a twin or full size, so it’s also a good choice if you have a bunk with a full-size bed on the bottom.

You can order it in either pink or blue to suit your child’s preference or the room’s décor. This mattress is advertised as compatible with all types of bed frames, but measure to make sure it works for your particular bunk beds.

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BEDBOSS Siesta 5-Inch Dual Layered Memory Foam Mattress CertiPUR-US Certified

Bed Boss twin size mattress

This versatile mattress can be used for anything from a twin bunk bed to day beds. It’s an affordable memory foam option, so you’re getting that valuable combination of comfort and support that doesn’t require a box spring. The CertiPUR certification means it’s low on harmful chemicals, which will give parents peace of mind while their kids slumber. It’s low in VOCs and manufactured without ozone-depleting heavy metals, formaldehyde, and other toxins.

Although it’s just five inches thick, Bed Boss uses two different types of foam to ensure a genuinely supportive and long-lasting product. The 3″ base layer is dense and will hold up for years, while the 2″ upper layer relieves pressure points. If you have back or neck pain, this is a crucial feature.

The mattress is delivered rolled and compressed. Simply unroll and let expand overnight, and it will be ready to go. This is a great price on a mattress that is a good choice if you have low profile guardrails on your bunk beds or low ceilings to contend with.

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5 Little Monkeys Mattress Twin Size Sleep System

5 little monkeys twin size mattress organic cotton

This top-of-the-line mattress set is billed as a “sleep system,” with every detail carefully thought out. It is expensive, but this is a beautifully constructed, hypo-allergenic bed made with an organic cotton cover wrapped around a three-layer mattress made of CertiPUR memory foam. The mattress features temperature regulating technology so kids will be cool in the summer and warm in the winter without getting sweaty.

This mattress set includes a waterproof mattress cover of organic cotton that’s machine washable to remove grime and potential allergens. It’s woven of exceptionally soft jersey knit for superior smoothness that standard cotton can’t match. The foam-filled pillow is anatomically designed especially for children and youth.

This mattress is an excellent fit for most bunk beds, but you’ll want a Bunkie board to extend the life of the mattress at this price point. For parents who seek the ultimate in purity, comfort, and quality, this is the bunk bed mattress you’re looking for.

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Zinus 6 Inch Spring Twin Mattress 2 Pack

This is an incredible bargain. You’re getting not one, but two bunk bed mattresses with your purchase. If you’re looking for a quick, convenient way to get set up, this is a good solution that won’t break the bank.

While the mattresses are CertiPUR certified, they aren’t chemical-free, so you will need to let them air out for several days. These mattresses have a foam component combined with individually wrapped coil springs for support with a softer feel than memory foam options. If you prefer a firmer foundation, you may want to use a mattress topper.

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The Best Full Size Bunk Bed Mattresses

If you’ve purchased a bunk bed set that features a full-size bed on the bottom, you’ve probably discovered that there are fewer quality mattresses available for the bottom bunk. You can buy a standard full-size mattress, but if it’s too thick, whoever sleeps in the bottom bunk will bump their head every time they sit up.

Having the mattress sit too high in the guardrails is also an issue. Finally, you don’t want to use a mattress that needs box springs for comfort, so a full-size mattress specifically designed for a bunk bed is still your best bet.

Slumber 1 6″: Comfort Bunk Bed Spring Mattress, Full Size

Slumber full size mattress good for bunk beds

Besides being great for regular day beds, the Slumber 1 6″ bunk bed mattress also works just fine for a children’s or youth’s full-size bunk bed frame. It’s an innerspring mattress wrapped in a layer of foam, combining traditional and more innovative materials. Some reviewers mention that if you’re an adult, you can feel the springs and may want to invest in a mattress topper. For the price, the construction is excellent with tight seams and an attractive, quilted cover.

To learn more about this mattress, click here.

Fortnight Bedding 6 Inch Foam Mattress with Blue Nylon Cover Made in USA (Full)

Fortnight full size bunk bed mattress nylon cover

This versatile mattress is designed to be used in bunk beds, day beds, and RVs. It’s protected with a removable nylon cover for easy clean up of spills or accidents, making it ideal for toddler beds. It’s also CertiPUR certified and free of PBDEs, ozone depleters, heavy metals, and formaldehyde.

The nylon foam construction of this mattress gives excellent support that’s firmer than memory foam or innerspring. This makes it a smart choice if different people will be using the bed, as it will be supportive enough for side, back, and stomach sleepers. Although a bit more expensive than other full-size bunk bed mattresses, it’s worth it for the support and easy cleanup.

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Making Your Bunk Bed Mattress Choice

There are many considerations when you’re shopping for bunk bed mattresses. Before you place your order, take the time to:

  • Measure the height of your bunk bed guardrails
  • Measure the inside of the bunk beds
  • Measure the height between the lower bed and the bottom of the upper bed
  • Measure the height between the upper bed and the ceiling

These measurements will help you determine how thick your new bunk bed mattresses should be. Next, decide what type of mattress you want and how firm you would like it to be. Finally, set a budget and determine what features are most important to you. Using these as a guideline, you’ll be able to quickly narrow down your choices to find the perfect bunk bed mattresses for your new bunk bed frame.