child reading in a bunk bed

Are Box Springs Necessary For Bunk Beds?

Box springs provide a solid foundation underneath your bed mattress. They are not as popular as they once were, but they are useful for some mattress types as they can offer some protection and shock absorption. Box springs can be made out of wood or metal and these days some don’t actually have springs at all. However, despite the support they can offer to mattresses, should they actually be used with bunk beds?

Box springs shouldn’t be used with bunk beds. They are too big and bulky, and they can actually be dangerous. Let’s look at the reasons why in more detail.

What is a box spring?

A box spring is basically a base which goes underneath your mattress. It can sit on top of a wooden or metal bed frame, or you can just use it by itself, in which case it usually has supportive casters underneath. Some manufacturers don’t actually use springs in a box spring anymore, but the name is still used.

What are the benefits of using one?

Here are some of the advantages of using a box spring under your mattress:

  • Validates the warranty of a new mattress

Some manufacturers actually require you to use a box spring with a mattress if you want to keep an extended warranty, especially if it doesn’t use memory foam.

  • Elevates your bed

By using a box spring, your bed is higher up from the floor which should make it easier to get in and out. It also makes it harder for small children and pets to jump up on top of the mattress!

  • Reduces wear and tear on the mattress

Using some mattresses without a box spring can make them wear out a lot faster, so you’ll need to purchase a replacement sooner. A box spring can help absorb some of the shock when someone lies on top of the mattress.

  • Makes some mattresses more comfortable to sleep on.

Some mattresses are more pleasant to lie on if they have a box spring underneath.

  • Improves ventilation and allows damp and moisture to escape

With a solid box spring underneath a mattress, it can improve the circulation of air and allow any moisture to release. This can help prevent any build up of mildew.

Do you need a box spring for a bunk bed?

You don’t need a box spring for a bunk bed, as they aren’t really safe. Box springs are between 5”-9” thick, so they can elevate the mattress on the bottom bunk, making it too high and close to the top bunk. And if you try and use one on the top bunk, the mattress will be too close to the ceiling which is a hazard when someone tries to get in and out of the bed. Also, having a box spring on the top bunk will be too heavy, which increases the chances of the frame collapsing.

Can a Bunkie board be used instead of a box spring?

A Bunkie board is essentially just a thinner alternative to a box spring. It’s just a flat piece of board that is only around 1”-2” thick which makes it a great choice for a bunk bed. You just need to ensure you place the board directly underneath the mattress. Bunkie boards are typically made out of plywood, solid wood or particle wood.

Zinus Annemarie Solid Wood Bed Support Slats
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Do you need a box spring if you have slats?

Many bunk bed designs come with wooden slats which will provide support for most mattresses. The only drawback is that they can sag over time, so it might suit younger children rather than teenagers. As they offer support for the mattress, there is no need for a box spring.