Whether you like a lower bed for its looks or for practical reasons, Bunkie Boards are increasing in popularity
If you’re in the market for a new mattress, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll support your new mattress. You may have heard the term “Bunkie Board” – no, it’s not made in Bunkie, Louisiana – it’s an increasingly popular alternative to a traditional box spring foundation.
Bunkie Boards (also spelled bunkie-board or bunky board) are normally 2 inches high, made of particle board or plywood and covered in fabric. They were created to fit on bed slats and support a mattress without adding much to the height of the bed. Modern Bunkie boards are an economical and sturdy alternative for consumers looking for a supportive, low-profile solution. And they come in every mattress size, from California King to Twin XL.
The difference between Bunkie Boards & Box Springs
The type of foundation you choose to support your mattress will affect your sleep and how you feel when you wake up. If your mattress lacks proper support, that means you lack support, which could mean painful mornings.
Box springs are a common option – and they do the trick most of the time. They were first introduced to complement traditional spring mattresses and absorb body pressure against the springs. They were also helpful for providing extra support where it was needed most – shoulders and hips. Modern box spring foundations are simply wooden boxes covered in fabric, designed to support innerspring mattresses (most no longer have springs inside them).
If a box spring is your mattress foundation, you don’t (technically) need a bed frame. A box spring supports and protects your mattress, allowing for appropriate airflow for your mattress and you. But remember, if you sit your box spring on the floor, it may be too low for you to sit comfortably on when you’re putting on your socks.
With the increasing popularity of memory foam and latex mattresses, how we support those mattresses has shifted, making Bunkie Boards a solid choice. If you’re using a bed frame with built-in slats (commonly used in platform beds) a box spring may increase the height of your bed so much that you’ll need a step ladder to climb into bed. Because Bunkie Boards are sturdy, economical and don’t add much to the height of the mattress, they’re a smart foundation alternative.
If you’re shopping for a Bunkie Board, you can find it at home décor stores, big box outlets and some mattress specialty retailers. They come in all the usual mattress sizes but many retailers offer custom sizing as well.
How to shop for a mattress foundation
Buying a foundation for your mattress is as important as buying the mattress itself. The best mattress foundation will give your bed height, making it easier to get into and out of bed and provide airflow. If your mattress can’t breathe, you’ll wake up a hot, sweaty mess, which is why it’s never a good idea to place a mattress directly on the floor. A good foundation will also absorb pressure, limiting wear and tear on your mattress and extending its comfort life.
So how do you do know what to look for when shopping for a mattress foundation that’s right for you? This list will help.
- Consider your mattress–and it’s warranty–first. Talk to the person who sold you your mattress and ask their opinion for the best way to support that particular mattress. Remember, mattress salespeople know what works when it comes to supporting; they see the sales as well as the returns.
- Consider your bed frame. Do you have a platform bed or a bed frame with traditional legs? The height of your bed frame will help guide your choice.
- Consider an adjustable bed frame. Do you want to adjust your position in bed so you can watch TV or work on your laptop? Or do you suffer from a medical condition like acid reflux? An adjustable bed base is a smart choice.
- Add up the bodyweight that your mattress will be supporting. Not every foundation will work for everyone (or every couple), so talk to a sales professional about mattress and foundation weight limitations.
- Look beyond the foundation to add features you may want. Consider how a headboard or footboard will affect the look and feel of your bed once it’s in your bedroom.