What is a Bunkie Board? Is it same as a Box Spring?

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The mattress industry is increasingly phasing out traditional bedding norms. As a result, we are seeing many innovations in the industry. One such innovation is the bunkie board and one of the most popular questions asked about it, is ‘what is a bunkie board?’

That’s the question we aim to answer here in this article. Additionally, we will compare it to its greatest rival, to help you make a more informed decision when shopping for a new mattress and bed.


What you need to know about a Bunkie board: What is it?


With the increasing popularity of luxury mattresses made of memory foam and latex, having the right foundation is even more important now.

A comfortable, pressure-relieving mattress will be useless, despite all its benefits, when placed on an unsupportive foundation. That’s where the bunkie board comes into play.

A bunkie board is a 2-inch-thick, flat wooden platform made to place on top of a platform, daybed, or bunk bed. It acts as a supportive layer placed under the mattress just like a box spring.


 – History of the bunkie board


Bunkie board or bunky board which derives its name from the bunk bed was originally created for bunk beds. Given standard dimensions of a bedroom’s height, placing box springs on bunk beds was simply not viable.

This led to the creation of a sturdy but thinner support base for such beds. Thus, a bunkie board was born.

 – The purpose of a bunkie board

This type of board is increasing in popularity because of its ability to offer firm sturdy support for the mattress. It has numerous advantages over the traditional box spring in that it’s slimmer and more aesthetically appealing. 

It’s also preferred over the box spring for its sturdy firm support.

 How is a Bunkie board made?

Originally, bunkie boards used to be made up entirely of a single plank of wood. This made them so expensive to acquire at the time.

Today, however, these boards are made from plywood and particle boards. Making them much more affordable.

Bunkie boards are made of 2-inches of plywood or particleboard then enclosed in fabric. They usually fit perfectly over your platform bed’s slats, which is ideal, especially if you use a memory foam or latex mattress.

As this prevents the slats from digging into your mattress which can result in faster wear and tear causing joint pains.

Bunkie boards come in all bed sizes too, which means you can get them in twin, twin xl, full, queen, king, and cal king sizes.


 Is a Bunkie board necessary?


A bunkie board is indeed necessary if you do not have a proper foundation. Not only does it offer support but it also protects your mattress from excessive wear and tear. 

You need a bunkie board if you are using a platform bed, bunk bed, trundle or day bed, whose slats are widely spaced. Remember the recommended space between slats is 2-3 inches. This ensures proper airflow, while still maintaining the right amount of support for your mattress.

This, however, is not the only reason to get a bunkie board. Here are more benefits of a bunkie board.


  – Benefits of a bunkie board

  1. Bunkie boards help you keep a low profile bed. Unlike, traditional foundations bunkie boards are mostly thin (about 2 inches thick). This helps maintain your bed’s low profile and avoid the use of a step ladder which is common with other types of foundations like box springs.
  2. Bunkie boards are also light in weight, which makes them easier to move. You should consider this if you move a lot or live alone. Other types of foundations might be too bulky to move around.
  3. Bunkie boards are also more affordable than say box springs.
  4. They are easier to assemble. Most bunkie boards come in a single flat wooden plank which requires no assembling at all. That’s great because you only need to place the board on the bed frame. This kind also tends to be cheaper than any other kind.

 The difference between a Bunkie board and  Box Spring


Now that we know what a bunkie board is, how does it differ from a box spring?

A box spring is a bed foundation made of wood or metal and springs. It was created to support spring mattresses. Designed in a box shape with slats on top and springs in the middle spaces, box springs are great shock absorbers. 

Other than support, a box spring’s other goal is to absorb the shock produced during mattress compression when weight is added on top of it

Box springs are good for lifting the mattress off the floor. But since they are usually enclosed in fabric and sometimes have padding inside. They tend to look like a second mattress.

Which makes it necessary to lift them off the floor as well. What this does, is raise the profile of a bed too high. 

A factor that most people don’t like, therefore resulting in the need for a lighter support base, which is where Bunkie boards come in.

However, both types of foundations have their perks and drawbacks. The comparison table below will help us analyze this better:

Comparison elements

Box Spring

Bunkie Board


A sturdy wooden/metallic frame consisting of springs. Usually, covered in fabric.

A flat wooden base used to support a mattress. Usually covered in fabric

Average size

4-9 inches thick

2-inches thick


Costs more. The average price of $100- 250

Costs less. The average price of $ 40- 100

Ease of moving around

somewhat difficult to move around

Easy to move around

Best suited for

Spring mattresses

Memory foam or latex mattresses


Lasts longer

Does not last as long as a box spring


Hopefully, this article helped answer ‘What is a bunkie board?’. However, as per whether you should get a bunkie board or a box spring? It will largely depend on your needs.

A good tip is to ask the mattress salesperson, what the manufacturer recommends for their mattress. As seen above, some foundations are better suited for one type of mattress than the other. 

Remember a good night’s rest is good for your health, so shop wisely.


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After 8 years as a sleep expert in a couple of mattress stores and seeing thousands of people experiences with many brands, he decided to write and put all of these years of experience into help guides so others can make the right decision when buying sleep products without having to suffer sleepless nights as a result of choosing the wrong mattress.

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