Updated August 6, 2020Bunk beds are the perfect space savers for kids’ rooms or college dorms. These stackable beds optimize space, allowing more room for play areas or other furniture, but you have to be careful when buying bunk bed mattresses. They should not be too thick or heavy, otherwise, they pose safety concerns.In this article, we discuss the important criteria for choosing a bunk bed mattress and recommend our top picks. We also go over other things you should consider before choosing the right bunk bed mattress.Important Criteria for Bunk Bed MattressesTo avoid accidents or injuries from rolling off the bed, federal laws have regulated guidelines mandating guard rails on the upper bunks. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the top of the guardrails must be no less than 5 inches above the top of the mattress. Before buying your bunk bed mattress, measure the distance between the top of the guardrail and the bed frame. This measurement determines how thick your mattress can be to safely fit the upper bunk.On a too-thick mattress, sleepers may bump their head on the ceiling or on the upper bunk. Too heavy mattresses can exert too much pressure on the bed frame, potentially damaging it.Our Top Mattress RecommendationView on AmerisleepRead AS1 customer reviewsAS1 Highlights100-night sleep trial20-Year WarrantyDesigned to reduce pain pointsHeat reducing mattress coverComes in King, Queen, Twin, Full, and SplitsOur Runner-UpView on ZomaRead Zoma customer reviewsZoma Highlights100-night sleep trial10-Year WarrantyDesigned for faster recoveryTriangulex™ technology promotes healthy postureComes in King, Queen, Twin, Full, and SplitsBest Bunk Bed MattressesMattressHighlightsPriceAmerisleep AS1Lightweight mattress with eco-friendly Bio-Pur® and durable Bio-Core® offers a firm, yet contouring sleep surface.$594Zoma MattressGel memory foam layer with Triangulex™ technology relieves pressure points and dissipates heat.$399Vaya MattressBreathable and contouring Vaya Comfort Foam sleeps cool while alleviating pressure points.$349Latex for Less MattressFlippable organic mattress made with natural latex offers a medium and firm side.$699Amore 2-Sided 11” Flippable MattressLightweight, double-sided foam bed allows you to choose a firm or soft side.$3701. Amerisleep AS1The Amerisleep AS1 is our top recommendation because it’s 12-inch thickness is suitable for a bunk bed while being comfortable enough for a restful night’s sleep. It includes 2-inches of plush Bio-Pur® and 8 inches of firm Bio-Core® support layer wrapped in a soft, breathable fabric. This mattress cover is designed to wick away moisture, keeping you cool as you sleep.The eco-friendly Bio-Pur® comfort layer is made by substituting a certain portion of the petroleum with natural plant oils, so the mattress sleeps cooler than traditional memory foam beds. These plant-based foams are CertiPUR-US® certified, so they are free of chemicals like CFCs, formaldehyde, phthalates, PBDEs, and are low in volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions. Low VOCs means the off-gassing odors are minimal.The plant-based foam layer conforms to your body, relieving pressure points, while the sturdy Bio-Core® base layer prevents mattress sinkage beneath your back or abdomen. This could misalign your spine, causing back, neck, or muscle pain. The firm feel of the AS1 is perfect for back and stomach sleepers because it reduces the chances of spinal misalignment. This layer, made with strong polyurethane foam, also increases mattress durability by preventing sags.The Amerisleep AS1 includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty, covering manufacturing defects and sags greater than 0.75 inches. They are available in all standard sizes, including the twin, twin XL, and full sizes commonly used in bunk bed frames. They are light enough for bunk beds with the twin mattress weighing 45 pounds, twin XL and full weighing 49 pounds and 63 pounds respectively. Amerisleep’s mattresses are shipped free within the continental US.2. Zoma MattressThe Zoma Mattress is 1 inch thicker than the AS1, but a twin size weighs 45 pounds similar to the AS1. It’s the perfect weight for bunk beds because excess weight can cause structural damage to the bed or cause it to collapse. We recommend this mattress because it offers targeted comfort to your back, shoulders, and hips, while providing a cool sleeping experience. It contains 2 inches of Triangulex™ gel memory foam, 2 inches of Reactiv™, and 7 inches of Support+, all encased in a knit fabric cover that wicks away heat.The gel memory foam layer with Triangulex™ technology, comprises hundreds of triangular-shaped segments forming a 3-zone support system. This layer provides targeted support to your back, shoulders, and hips. The cooling gel dissipates heat, keeping you cool through the night.Typical bunk bed sleepers are children and young adults, and they tend to feel hotter than adults or seniors. Their physically active lifestyle often makes them hot sleepers, so they can benefit a lot from this gel memory foam comfort layer.The next layer is Reactiv™, a bouncy material that prevents the body from sinking into the mattress. This responsive layer makes it easier to switch sleep positions. Its medium feel appeals to a vast variety of sleepers, including side, back, and combination sleepers.The Support+ base layer reinforces the upper layers and prevents indentations on the surface.This CertiPUR-US® certified mattress is manufactured in the United States and ships free to the contiguous 48 states. The Zoma Mattress includes a risk-free 100-night sleep trial. It’s also backed by a 10-year warranty.3. Vaya MattressThe Vaya Mattress is a good choice for many sleepers because it offers high-quality comfort at an affordable price. This medium mattress contains 3 inches of Vaya Foam and 9 inches of base foam, wrapped in a polyester blend cover. This soft fabric improves airflow within the mattress for a cooler sleep.The top comfort layer is 3 inches of Vaya Foam, a latex-like material that conforms to your body but does not trap heat like traditional memory foam. This responsive foam does not make you feel “stuck” in the mattress. The base layer is 9 inches of sturdy foam to prevent mattress sinkage and sag.Vaya’s twin, twin XL and full sizes are slightly heavier than AS1 and Zoma mattresses. A twin bed weighs 54 pounds, a twin XL weighs 68 pounds, and a full weighs 78 pounds so check the weight limit of your bunk bed before buying the mattress.This mattress includes a risk-free 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. It’s made in the USA and ships free to all the lower 48 states.4. Latex for Less MattressThe Latex for Less Mattress is an ideal choice if you are looking for an organic bunk bed mattress. This double-sided bed gives you the option to choose from a medium or a firm side. If your firmness preferences change with time, simply flip the mattress to suit your needs.These organic mattresses are available in two thickness options, 7 and 9 inches, but the thinner mattress is meant for those who weigh less than 100 pounds. Ideally, they are good for children in the 6-10 age range. However, check the weight limit of your bunk bed because latex mattresses are heavier than other foam mattresses.The Latex for Less Mattress contains an organic cotton cover, a natural wool fire barrier, and natural latex foam harvested from the sap of rubber trees. The GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) cotton cover ensures the fabric is made with more than 70 percent organic fibers, which has been responsibly farmed and manufactured.The 100 percent natural wool fire barrier meets federal safety standards without using harsh chemicals. Organic wool also wicks away moisture, keeping sleepers cool in bed.The next layer is OEKO-TEX® certified natural Talalay latex with a medium feel, followed by Dunlop latex with a firm feel. Both Talalay and Dunlop latex are made from the sap of rubber trees, but the manufacturing process varies, leading to a slight difference in texture. Talalay latex is more bouncy, while Dunlop latex is more springy. The OEKO-TEX® certification ensures minimal use of chemicals while making the foam.Beneath the firm Dunlop latex layer lies the natural wool flame barrier and cotton cover layers, making it double-sided. That way, even when you flip the mattress, you still sleep on the cotton cover while experiencing the firm feel of the Dunlop latex layer. If you want to sleep on the medium side of the bed, flip it back so the Talalay layer lies above the Dunlop layer.Like our other recommendations, Latex for Less mattresses are also made in the US. They include a risk-free 120-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.5. Amore 2-Sided 11” Flippable MattressThe Amore 2-Sided Flippable Mattress gives sleepers the option to choose either a soft or firm side to sleep on. Lightweight sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds feel comfortable on a soft mattress, while those weighing more than 130 pounds may prefer the firm side.A GOTS certified organic cotton cover, a natural wool flame retardant layer, a 1-inch FusionFlex™ foam serving as a comfort layer, and a 2-inch transition foam layer are present on both sides of the mattress.The FusionFlex™ foam repels body heat and relieves pressure points, while the transition foam reinforces the comfort layers, minimizing pressure on the base.At the core lies the two layers responsible for the softer and firmer sleeping surface on each side. While one contours to the body, the other has a firmer feel, offering sturdy support as you sleep.Amore also gives you the option to upgrade to a copper ion-infused fabric cover instead of the regular organic cotton cover. Copper ions, embedded in bamboo rayon fabric, are naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial so they keep your mattress fresh and odor-free.The Amore Mattress ships free within the contiguous U.S. They include a risk-free 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.Factors to Consider When Buying a Bunk Bed MattressWhen you’re buying a bunk bed mattress, chances are you will need two beds instead of one. While looking for an affordable bed, make sure you don’t compromise on quality. Also, ensure the mattress isn’t too thick or heavy so it’s compatible with bunk bed frames.To find an affordable and comfortable bunk bed mattress consider the following factors:Bunk Bed TypeThe first step before buying a bunk bed mattress is to determine the number of mattresses you need, which depends on the type of bunk bed frame you buy. Here, we go over the different types of bunk beds available on the market.Standard Bunk BedMattresses Needed: 2A standard bunk bed includes two bunks of the same size stacked one over another. Most standard bunk beds are available in twin and twin XL sizes, but you may find some in full sizes as well. The bunks are detachable, so use them as two separate beds when needed. It’s a great choice for siblings who eventually shift to different rooms as they grow up.Standard Loft BedMattresses Needed: 1A standard loft bed needs a mattress for the upper bunk, while the place beneath it serves as a storage area or workstation. This open space is usually 4 feet tall, providing enough room for a chair or sofa to fit in it. Loft beds often include a pull-out desk and cabinets in the open space. They are commonly used in college dorms or a teenager’s bedroom.Triple Bunk BedMattresses Needed: 3A triple bunk bed is a taller variation of the standard bunk bed, with three bunks of the same size stacked on top of each other. In some triple bunk beds, the middle bunk may be placed perpendicular to the lower and upper section. This style of triple bunk bed takes up more space than the standard triple. Like standard bunk beds, even triple bunk beds are detachable for use as three separate beds.Triple Loft BedMattresses Needed: 3In a triple loft bed, there are two upper bunks joined at a perpendicular angle, with an open space beneath one of them and a lower bunk beneath the other. Like standard lofts, the open space beneath the triple loft is also 4 feet providing sufficient space for an individual to sit and study. They need more space than a triple bunk bed and are usually placed in the corner of the room to optimize the floor area.Twin-Over-Full BedMattresses Needed: 2Twin-Over-Full bunk beds are a good option for families with three children who don’t have bigger rooms or rooms with high ceilings for a triple loft or a triple bunk bed. Two children can comfortably sleep on the lower full size mattress, while the third child can sleep on the upper twin bed.L-Shaped Bunk BedMattresses Needed: 2An L-Shaped bunk bed includes two bunks, with one stacked perpendicular to the other. Sometimes, these beds feature pull-out desks, drawers, and cabinets doubling up as a workstation for children.Trundle BedMattresses Needed: 3Trundle beds offer an innovative way to save floor space because they house a bed in a pull-out drawer beneath the lower bunk. The upper and lower bunks are stacked one over another, like standard bunk beds.Futon Bunk BedMattresses Needed: 1A futon bunk features a bed on the upper section, with a couch beneath. The couch can be converted to a futon sleeping surface when needed. It serves as a temporary bed for a guest.SizeGenerally, bunk beds are available in twin and twin XL sizes, the two most compact bed sizes. A twin measures 38 inches by 75 inches and is often used in the kids’ room, while a twin XL is 5 inches longer, measuring 38 inches by 80 inches. The extra legroom in a twin XL comes in handy to accommodate growing teenagers and adults as well. Twin XL bunk beds are common in college dorms and teenagers’ bedrooms.Some bunk beds are also compatible with full size mattresses. Full beds are wider than twin XL mattresses, but shorter, so they may not be a comfortable option for tall sleepers. They are 54 inches by 75 inches, providing enough room for two children.Bunk Bed Mattress WeightKnowing the mattress’s weight is crucial when shopping for bunk beds because heavier mattresses can damage the bed frame or cause it to collapse. Most beds have specific weight capacities, which refers to the combined weight of the mattress and the sleeper.The weight capacity of the upper bunk in a standard bunk bed may be 200 pounds and the lower bunk may be 400 pounds. If a sleeper weighs 130 pounds, then the weight of the mattress on the upper bunk should not exceed 70 pounds.The weight capacity on the upper bunks may vary between 200 to 500 pounds for a child’s bunk bed. The weight capacity for an adult bunk bed may range between 500 to 1,000 pounds. Before buying a mattress, verify the weight capacity of your bunk bed.Bunk Bed Mattress ThicknessThe mattress should not be too thick, otherwise, sleepers on the top bunk may roll over the guardrail and injure themselves. According to federal regulations, the top of the mattress must be 5 inches below the top of the guardrail to ensure the safety of the sleeper.While avoiding thicker mattresses, make sure you don’t end up buying 6 or 7-inch beds for adults. They are comfortable for children, but not supportive enough for sleepers weighing above 100 pounds. It’s better to opt for 9 to 12-inch thick mattresses while ensuring the 5-inch gap between the top of the mattress and the guard rail is maintained.Bunk Bed Mattress Temperature RegulationSome mattresses may trap heat, leading to sleep disruptions, which affects productivity the next day. To avoid this domino effect, choose mattresses with cooling technologies and breathable covers. Sleepers on the top bunk are more prone to feeling hot, as the hot air rises and hovers near the ceiling.Bunk Bed Mattress Noise PotentialFoam mattresses are preferred for bunk beds because the coil layer in innerspring and hybrid mattresses can be noisy. This causes sleep disruptions for everyone sharing the bunk bed. Memory foam and all-natural latex mattresses are perfect options, but latex models can be heavier than memory foam mattresses.Bunk Bed Mattress Firmness LevelDifferent firmness levels are suitable for various sleeping positions. Usually, side sleepers feel comfortable on a medium-soft or medium bed because it cushions their shoulders and hips.A medium-firm or firm mattress is suitable for back and stomach sleepers because it does not compress under pressure. This prevents mattress sinkage beneath the back or abdomen, maintaining spinal alignment.Combination sleepers are comfortable on a medium bed. They need the perfect balance between firmness and softness to suit their changing sleep positions.Mattress Warranties and Sleep TrialsMost mattress manufacturers offer a 10 or 20-year warranty covering manufacturing defects or sags. If you notice any of these within the warranty period, most manufacturers will repair or replace your mattress for free or a nominal charge.If you’re not sure about the mattress firmness or type suitable for your needs, buy a mattress with a risk-free sleep trial period. That way, you’ll be able to return the mattress for a full refund within the sleep trial, which typically lasts between 90-100 days.FAQsCan bunk beds collapse?Yes, they can collapse if they are not assembled properly. Make sure there are no missing pieces and all screws and nuts are tightened well. Plus, maintain the weight capacity as specified by the bunk bed manufacturer to avoid the risk of structural damage or collapse.Does a bunk bed need a box spring?No, placing a box spring on the top bunk will make the mattress taller than the safety guard rails, increasing the sleeper’s risk of rolling off the bed. You can place the mattress directly on the slats, but if the slats are more than 3 inches apart put a bunkie board on it to avoid mattress sag.How much weight can a top bunk bed hold?This depends on the bed’s design and the materials used to make it. Usually, solid wood bunk beds are sturdier than particle board or metal, so their top bunks can hold more weight than particle board or metal bunks. Children’s bunk beds can hold anywhere between 200 to 500 pounds, while adult bunk beds can hold around 500 to 1,000 pounds.At what age is a bunk bed safe?Children can graduate from a crib to a bunk bed, but they should not sleep on the upper bunk before the age of 6. According to the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), children younger than 6-years don’t have the coordination to climb down safely or stop themselves from falling. An estimated 14,600 children under the age of 6 were treated within 2001-2004 for bunk bed fall-related injuries.Should kids sleep on a firm or soft mattress?Infants should sleep on a firm mattress because a soft bed could cause suffocation, but toddlers do not need a firm mattress. When deciding on the mattress firmness suitable for your child, consider their body weight. Typically, children who weigh less than 130 pounds are comfortable on a soft to medium bed. Those weighing above 130 are better suited to a medium or firm comfort level.ConclusionBunk bed mattresses are not different from regular mattresses; the only difference is that you have to be extra aware of the mattress thickness. A low-profile mattress may not be comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep, while a super thick mattress may pose safety concerns. Verify the weight capacity of each bunk, check the mattress weight, and ensure the mattress height is 5 inches below the safety guardrail.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.