Best Bunk Bed Mattress (2021): Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Bunk beds are a great way to save space, and still provide plenty of sleeping room for children and college students. Bunk beds can comfortably sleep two to three kids in one bedroom. Bunk beds are also a great option for adults, especially if you live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment with roommates and have limited space.
In our article, we share some of the best bunk bed mattresses in the industry today, and offer helpful tips on how to find the best bunk bed mattress.
Best Bunk Bed Mattresses
|Amerisleep AS3||Zoned HIVE® technology evenly supports the body to ease pain and promote comfort|
|Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid||Active Flex provides softness without losing support|
|Zoma Mattress||Gel memory foam dissipates body heat, preventing night sweats|
|Zoma Hybrid||Targeted support from pocketed innerspring coils|
|Vaya||The simple design of two breathable foam layers provides optimal pressure relief|
|Nest Bedding Big Kids Bed||Responsive foam layers prevent deep sinkage|
|Sleep on Latex Pure Green Natural||Eco-friendly materials make for an all-natural mattress|
The Amerisleep AS3 is one of the best bunk bed mattresses for your child. As one of Amerisleep’s most popular models, the AS3 relieves pressure points in the shoulders and hips, which are heavier sections of the body where pressure can build up. The medium firmness is ideal for most sleeping positions, so your child can enjoy consistent comfort and support and a good night’s sleep.
The top layer contains Bio-Pur®, a partially plant-based foam made with castor oil. Unlike traditional memory foam, Bio-Pur® is cooler and more responsive. This comfort layer conforms to your child’s body for pressure relief without trapping heat. Your child also won’t feel stuck inside the mattress.
The Affinity foam layer below contains HIVE® technology to encourage spinal alignment. This special zoned support system has hundreds of hexagonal-shaped segments that create softness under the shoulders, hips, and firmness under the head, back, and legs. The even pressure relief ensures your child wakes up refreshed for the day.
The last layer is Bio-Core®. You can be reassured that your child will enjoy constant support without the risk of Bio-Core® developing soft spots.
The Amerisleep AS3 comes with a 100-night sleep trial. Your child can try out the AS3 risk-free. If you decide the mattress isn’t for you during the trial period, Amerisleep will donate the bed and give you a full refund.
The AS3 is backed by a 20-year warranty—one of the best in the mattress industry, covering manufacturing defects and sagging greater than 0.75 inches. During the first ten years, Amerisleep will fully replace the mattress at no extra cost. During the last ten years, Amerisleep will repair or replace the bed, but the customer is responsible for a portion of the cost.
Amerisleep AS3 Highlights
- Medium feel ideal for most sleeping positions
- Breathable memory foam won’t trap heat
- Outstanding 20-year warranty
If you’re looking for a softer mattress for your child, look no further than the Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid. This is one of Amerisleep’s softest hybrid models. Your child will love the plush surface and long-lasting support. Other soft mattress models may feel too soft and lack support—not so with the AS5 Hybrid.
The AS5 Hybrid comfort layer is Amerisleep’s signature Bio-Pur® foam. The memory foam is made with castor oil, so not only does Bio-Pur® relieve painful pressure points, but it also has less off-gassing odor. Your child can fully enjoy the mattress without a chemical smell which may cause headaches and allergic reactions. The thick comfort layer also hugs your child’s body, relieving pressure points without sinking.
Next is the Active Flex transition foam. Active Flex is a super-soft, highly responsive foam that creates a soft mattress without sacrificing support. Active Flex automatically adjusts to your child’s sleeping position, ensuring comfort and support to the spine.
The last layer is a support core of zoned pocketed coils. Steel innerspring coils form three zones of support—areas under the head, shoulders, and legs feel softer, while areas under the back and hips feel firmer. Each pocketed coil reacts individually to movement, relieving pressure in the back, hips, and other sensitive areas.
With the 100-night sleep trial, your child can try out the mattress risk-free. If they’re not happy with it after a month, Amerisleep will issue a full refund.
The AS5 Hybrid also comes with Amerisleep’s 20-year warranty. The warranty covers sagging greater than 0.75 inches. Most mattress companies only cover sagging at least 1 inch.
Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid Highlights
- Soft surface cushions the body without sacrificing support
- Active Flex foam automatically adjusts to shifting weight
- Zoned pocketed coils provide targeted support
If your child is active and enjoys sports, the Zoma Mattress is an excellent choice. Temperature-regulating, responsive foam layers relieve pressure points and continuously support the body. The Zoma Mattress may also improve muscle recovery, so your child can wake up feeling refreshed instead of sore.
Gel memory foam tops the Zoma Mattress. Cooling gel absorbs and disperses body heat, preventing your child from waking up hot. A cooler sleep may also improve recovery from the previous day’s activities.
This top layer also contains Triangulex™ technology. Triangle-shaped segments form three zones of support, and the areas under the head, shoulders, and legs feel softer, while areas under the back and hips feel firmer.
The transition layer is a unique foam called Reactiv™. Reactiv™ has an elastic feel, creating more bounce. Reactiv™ prevents your child from sinking too deeply into the mattress and encourages healthy spine alignment.
The bottom layer is called Support+. It’s a durable base foam that keeps the body resting on the surface without sagging. Support+ enhances the contouring properties of the comfort layers and reinforces the shape of the mattress, so the surface remains level.
The Zoma Mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial. You can return the Zoma Mattress if your child doesn’t like the bed for a full refund after the adjustment period.
The Zoma Mattress is covered by a 10-year warranty that protects against sagging greater than 0.75 inches and other manufacturing defects. During the warranty period, Zoma will repair or replace the mattress at no extra cost.
Zoma Mattress Highlights
- Excellent for active kids
- Cooling gel memory foam absorbs body heat
- Durable base foam offers stable support
4. Zoma Hybrid
The Zoma Hybrid is another excellent mattress model offered by Zoma. The Zoma Hybrid has the same comfort layers as the Zoma Mattress, but contains pocketed coils in the support core instead of foam. Your child can get a good night’s sleep from resting on cooling foams and targeted support coils.
Triangulex™ sleep technology in the comfort layer has a deeper compression under your child’s shoulders and boosts support to their lower back. Plus, since the comfort layer contains gel memory foam, your child can sleep cool. Gel pulls heat away from the body, regulating temperature and preventing overheating.
The elastic Reactiv™ layer maintains spinal alignment. Softer foams may cause a child to feel trapped inside the mattress and not allow space for growth, resulting in aches. Reactiv™ is more responsive, so your child is less likely to wake up feeling sore.
The support layer contains hundreds of pocketed coils. The innerspring coils make the mattress bouncy and provide better support to a child’s growing body. Plus, since each coil is wrapped in fabric, your child won’t wake up from noisy coils.
With your purchase, you can try out the Zoma Hybrid for 100 nights. The Zoma Hybrid also comes with a 10-year warranty, covering sagging greater than 0.75 inches and any manufacturing defects. Should you notice any issues, Zoma will take care of the problem during the warranty period.
Zoma Hybrid Highlights
- Zoned sleep technology encourages spinal alignment
- Elastic foam prevents deep sinkage
- Pocketed coils target pressure points
If you’re looking for a simple memory foam mattress for your child’s bunk bed, the Vaya Mattress may be the perfect solution. The bed contains two layers of breathable and responsive foam. Your children won’t feel trapped inside the mattress and can easily change sleeping positions.
The thick Vaya Comfort Foam has an open-cell design. More air pockets create better circulation inside the mattress, regulating body temperature. Your child can rest comfortably without disruptions from night sweats.
The durable Vaya Support Foam evenly distributes body weight across the sleep surface for even wear and tear. The Vaya Support Foam can support your child’s growing body without fear of the bed developing soft spots or sagging. The Vaya Support Foam also enhances pressure relief for maximum comfort and support.
The Vaya Mattress includes a 100-night sleep trial. Should your child not like the mattress after a couple of months, you can return it for a full refund.
Each Vaya Mattress comes with a 10-year warranty, covering sagging greater than 0.75 inches. As long as the mattress is under warranty, Vaya will repair or replace the bed at no additional cost.
Vaya Mattress Highlights
- Open-cell design improves air circulation
- Children won’t feel stuck resting on responsive foam layers
- Long-lasting support without sags
6. Nest Bedding Big Kids Bed
The Nest Big Kids Bed can support up to 120 pounds, ensuring the bed lasts beyond childhood into the teen stage. The Nest Bedding Big Kids Bed only weighs between 30 to 40 pounds, making it a great option for top bunks.
The comfort layer of Energex™ foam contains more air pockets for better circulation. The foam molds to your child’s body, relieving pressure points without trapping heat. The responsive structure also makes it easier to switch sleeping positions. For additional comfort, the layer is topped with a quilted foam cover for optimal pressure point relief.
The base foam layer provides stable, long-lasting support. There’s less risk of the mattress sagging over time thanks to the high-density materials. Plus, this support layer lends better edge support, so your child is less likely to roll off the bed if they prefer sleeping on the edge of the mattress.
The Nest Big Kids Bed comes with a 100-night sleep trial that starts the day you receive the mattress. Nest Bedding does require that you keep the mattress at least 30 days before they’ll accept any returns. If the bed isn’t a good fit for your child, Nest Bedding will pick up the mattress and refund it.
Nest Bedding provides customers with a lifetime warranty, covering sagging greater than 1 inch. The warranty lasts as long as the customer owns the mattress and can’t be transferred to a third party. In case of a defect, Nest Bedding will repair or replace the mattress.
Nest Bedding Big Kids Bed Highlights
- Specifically built for kids
- Lightweight mattress for top bunks
- Breathable, responsive foam layers
7. Sleep on Latex Pure Green Natural
Parents who prefer an all-natural mattress for their children, the Sleep on Latex Pure Green Natural Mattress is the best option. The bed contains natural and organic materials from sustainable sources. The mattress is also Greenguard Gold, OEKO-TEX®, and ecoInstiut certified, meaning the bed is made without the use of harsh chemicals, like formaldehyde and flame retardants.
The Natural Latex Comfort layer conforms to your child’s body, reducing pressure points for a pain-free night of sleep. Your kids are less likely to feel sore the following morning from the previous day’s activities or growing pains. The latex foam is also more responsive, encouraging spinal alignment, and preventing the body from sinking too deeply.
The Natural Latex Foam Base supports a child’s growing body and distributes body weight for even wear. The latex foam also boosts conforming abilities for better pressure relief.
Your child can enjoy the Sleep on Latex Pure Green Natural Mattress for up to 100 nights. Sleep on Latex only asks you to keep the bed at least 30 days before issuing any returns. The 30-day mandatory period ensures your child can adjust to a new sleep surface and see if it’s a good fit.
The Sleep on Latex Pure Green Natural Mattress comes with a 10-year warranty. The warranty covers any manufacturing defects and sagging greater than 1 inch. During the ten years, Sleep on Latex will replace the mattress in case of a defect.
Sleep on Latex Pure Green Natural Highlights
- Natural and organic materials
- Pure latex mattress without polyurethane fillers
- Durable base evenly distributes body weight
Types of Bunk Beds
Before choosing a mattress, consider the type of bunk bed frame you have or are thinking of purchasing. The bunk bed frame can narrow down your mattress options, especially regarding how many bunk bed mattresses you may need to purchase. Also, some frames are built to hold larger sizes, which can also affect your overall budget.
Standard Bunk Bed
This classic bunk bed design features two twin or twin XL size mattresses stacked on top of each other. Some standard bunk bed models are constructed so that the two beds can be separated to stand on their own. This is a nice perk if your family tends to move a lot, and the size of your children’s room changes.
Triple bunk beds have three twin or twin XL mattresses stacked on top of each other instead of the standard two. Like the classic bunk bed, some triple bunk bed models can be disassembled as traditional beds. A triple bunk bed is an excellent choice if you have more than two young children.
Standard Loft Bed
A standard loft bed has a bed suspended above an open space underneath. To be considered a loft bed, the open space must be at least 40 inches, or a little over 3 feet tall. This space can serve as storage or have a built-in desk for studying, depending on the model. Standard loft beds are common in college dorm rooms.
Triple loft bunk beds consist of two top bunks set at a 90-degree angle, with a bottom bunk under one bed and an open space or study area under the other bed. This style of bunk bed fits either twin or twin XL size mattresses. The triple loft bunk bed is perfect for larger children’s rooms and families with more than two kids.
This bunk bed design features a twin mattress over a full size mattress. While the twin-over-full bunk bed has two mattresses, it can accommodate up to three children, offering more sleeping space than the standard bunk bed.
An L-shaped bunk bed features two bunks joined at a perpendicular angle, forming an L-shape. The top bunk is usually a twin or twin XL mattress, while the bottom bunk may be a twin or full size mattress.
A trundle bunk bed is similar to a standard bunk bed, except the bottom bunk holds a third bed underneath, accessible via a pull-out drawer. Trundle beds are ideal if your child’s bedroom has limited floor space, and fits up to three people.
This design has a top bunk, usually a twin or twin XL size mattress, with a futon bed underneath that can convert into a couch. This is another bunk bed design common in college dorm rooms and a great sleeping space for older children.
How to Find the Best Bunk Bed Mattress
To find the best bunk bed mattress, consider mattress type, mattress weight, mattress height, firmness, size, and price tag. These elements can help you pinpoint the right mattress and ensure a long-lasting bed for your kids to enjoy.
There are four mattress types—memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid. Each mattress type contains different materials that create a unique feel. For instance, memory foam conforms to the body for a hug-like sensation, while innersprings are more bouncy. Any of these mattress types are good choices for bunk beds.
Memory foam is an excellent option for optimal pressure relief. Heat and pressure from body weight soften memory foam, causing the material to conform to the body.
The contouring properties of memory foam relieve pressure points without losing support. Without body weight, memory foam reverts to its original shape.
Memory foam mattresses may cause overheating because the material is dense, but mattress manufacturers alleviate this problem by adding cooling properties, including gel, plant oils, and copper and graphite infusions. Gel absorbs and disperses body heat, while copper and graphite pull heat away from the body. Plant oils create more air pockets, trapping less body heat so you sleep cooler.
Latex shares similar properties as memory foam, like conforming pressure relief. Unlike memory foam, latex doesn’t conform as close to the body, so you sleep cooler. Also, latex is more responsive, with a bouncier surface than memory foam. Your child can easily switch sleeping positions. However, latex is heavy, so if you’re considering a latex mattress, it may be better for bottom bunks.
Innerspring beds are common in most households. They’re a low-cost option that provides comfort and support from steel innerspring coils. The coils make the surface of an innerspring bouncy and responsive. The open structure also offers cooling from air circulation inside the bed.
Nonetheless, innerspring mattresses are the least durable mattress type. Coil springs can break and sag after a few years of regular use.
Hybrid mattresses provide pressure-relieving memory foam and the bounciness of innerspring coils. Hybrids are a great option if you’re torn between a memory foam or an innerspring mattress. Your child can enjoy both with a hybrid.
Hybrids contain more layers than other types of mattresses so they may cost more than other types of mattresses. Plus, a hybrid is one of the heaviest bed types, something you need to consider if you want a hybrid mattress for your child’s bunk bed.
Mattress weight is an important factor to consider because bunk beds have weight capacities for every bunk. Top bunks tend to have a lower weight capacity than bottom bunks; 200 pounds for the top compared to 500 pounds for the bottom.
When looking for a mattress, you want to take into account both the mattress weight and the sleeper weight. This ensures the bunk bed can function at its best without sinking down and possibly breaking.
Bunk bed frames feature some type of guardrail for top bunks, with some models also including this protection for bottom bunks. When choosing a bunk bed mattress, you don’t want a bed with a tall profile. Otherwise, if the mattress is taller than 9 inches, the guardrail won’t prevent your child from rolling out of bed because the mattress may be level with the guardrail. A low-profile mattress is a better option to ensure your child’s protection.
The best mattress firmness for children is medium-firm, which gives plenty of support while relieving pressure points. Plus, children won’t feel stuck when resting on a medium to medium-firm mattress.
The medium to medium-firm surface may help the mattress last longer compared to softer beds. The comfort layer is less likely to break down over time.
Most bunk beds are constructed for twin, twin XL, and full size mattresses. These three beds are some of the smallest standard mattress sizes, perfect for a growing child. Twin, twin XL, and full size mattresses are easy to move and lightweight, making them ideal for bunk bed frames.
Twin Size Mattress
A twin mattress is 38 inches by 75 inches, a great choice for small children graduating from a crib bed. Twin beds don’t feel overwhelmingly large to a small child, but can also accommodate their growing body.
Twin XL Size Mattress
Twin XL mattresses are similar in size to the standard twin, except they’re 5 inches longer. The extra length gives more legroom, accommodating any height. A twin XL bed is a great option for taller children and college dorm rooms.
Full Size Mattress
A full size mattress is 54 inches by 75 inches, providing 16 inches more sleeping space than a standard twin mattress. Full size mattresses are best for two small children or a teenager. They’re also a good size if your child tends to toss and turn at night.
The price for a bunk bed mattress may cost less because they have smaller price-points than larger mattress sizes, including a queen, king, or California king mattress. However, bunk beds contain more than one mattress, so if a twin size bed costs $500, you may have to spend at least $1,000 for two bunk bed mattresses.
Keep in mind that twin size beds may cost the least, but the bigger the mattress, the higher the price tag. For example, a full bed costs more than a twin. The average price for a full mattress is $700, while the average price for a twin mattress is $500.
The price also depends on the type of mattress. Beds with more layers, like hybrids, or mattresses containing natural materials, like latex, will cost more than memory foam and innersprings.
Consider Sleep Trials and Warranties
Before you commit to a bunk bed mattress, check out the sleep trial and warranty. These policies can help you find the right mattress for your child without wasting your money.
Sleep trials allow your child to try out a new mattress at home. Most sleep trials last 90 to 120 nights, depending on the mattress brand. If your child doesn’t like the mattress, most companies will issue a full refund. Some companies may also allow exchanges for a different mattress model or mattress firmness.
If a mattress doesn’t come with a sleep trial, the next best thing to look for is a return policy. While they’re not as good as a sleep trial, return policies still give you up to 30 days for your child to break in a new bed. If the mattress is not the right fit for your child, you can return it for a refund.
A mattress warranty covers any manufacturing defects and sagging greater than 1 inch. This measurement varies depending on the mattress company. Most high-quality mattresses come with a standard 10-year warranty, a nice feature if you’re looking to buy a bed your child can enjoy as they grow up.
Do bunk beds require special mattresses?
Bunk beds don’t need special mattresses. As long as the mattress has a low profile and fits inside the frame, most mattress types can work. Also, depending on the frame, bunk beds can usually fit only twin, twin XL, and full size mattresses. You may want to avoid beds that are more than 9 inches tall, because guardrails may not work if they’re level with the mattress—there’s little to no barrier if the guardrail is blocked by the bed.
Are bunk beds safe for adults?
Bunk beds are not just for kids—they’re also a great option for adults. Many manufacturers create bunk beds made specifically for adults, able to support a higher weight capacity compared to children’s bunk beds. If you’re considering a bunk bed, check the bed’s weight capacity, especially the top bunk, to see if the frame can support you and your mattress.
What is the difference between a bunk bed mattress and a regular mattress?
Both bunk bed mattresses and regular mattresses are the same. The only difference is size. The largest mattress a bunk bed can hold is a full size. On the other hand, regular mattresses come in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
How much weight can a top bunk bed hold?
The amount of weight a top bunk can support depends on the brand, but weight varies between 150 pounds to 450 pounds. Checking the bunk bed’s weight capacity, and taking into account body weight and the weight of the mattress ensures stable support without the risk of the bunk bed breaking down.
Are metal bunk beds better than wood?
Wood bunk beds provide better support than metal bunk beds. Metal can give under weight over time, while wood is more solid. Wood bunk beds may weigh more and have a higher price tag compared to metal, but wood bunk beds will last longer, while metal bunk beds are more vulnerable to rust damage.
Bunk beds are an excellent sleeping option, particularly for children and college students. Some models can accommodate two to three sleepers, while others provide storage or a space to study as well. The best bunk bed mattress ensures comfort and support for better sleep, especially for your children as they grow.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.