Do Bunk Beds Need Box Springs? (Quick Answers)

You may have used a box spring under the mattress with your regular bed to support and uplift the mattress to a comfortable height. Also, regular beds need a box spring underneath the mattress for improved airflow to make the mattress cool.

So all these purposes that a box spring serves to any regular bed can certainly make you think over whether your bunk beds also need box springs or not? Therefore, let’s dive deeper into this topic and learn the rationales.  

Do Bunk Beds Need Box Springs?

Bunk beds don’t need box springs underneath the mattresses. Because box springs are too heavy for bunk beds to hold, so using one on a bunk bed can cause serious mishaps. Besides, a box spring will raise the height of mattresses which will reduce the headspace in both the top and bottom bunk area.

Are Box Springs Necessary For Bunk Beds?

Box springs are absolutely not necessary for bunk beds. It’s because traditionally bunk beds are neither manufactured nor designed to use a box spring in them. So in terms of functionality, safety, and look, bunk beds really don’t play along well with box springs. 

To say precisely, box springs are quite bulky so if they are used with bunk bed’s bunks, they will create extra pressure on them which the bed board will not be able to hold. As a result, the top bunk can collapse and cause unwanted accidents. 

Moreover, box springs will add about an extra 9 inches of height to the bunk beds which will make the bed too high. And such a height will cross the safety rail of the top bunks, therefore, anyone can fall down and injure himself. 

Besides, an excessive high bunk bed doesn’t even look good. 

DHP Twin-Over-Full Bunk Bed with Metal Frame and Ladder, Space-Saving Design, Black

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Do Twin Bunk Beds Need Box Springs?

Since any type of bunk beds are not made with the purpose of using a box spring over them, twin bunk beds also don’t require a box spring to be used on the bed slats. 

Basically, bunk beds are made for kids and twin bunk beds are most used by them. Therefore, using box springs underneath the bunk mattress will raise the height. Especially the height of the top bunk which will increase the danger level for the kids staying up there. 

Also, the increased height by placing box springs in twin bed bunks will curtail the headspace. So any growing children will not get enough headspace to sit on the bed, especially in the bottom bunk. As a result, twin bunk beds necessarily don’t need box springs. 

Is It Possible To Use A Low-Profile Box Spring On A Bunk Bed?

It is possible to use the new low-profile box springs on a bunk bed but it’s entity dependent on the structure of the bunk beds. 

Hinging on how a bunk bed is designed, manufactured, and made of which material, many bunk beds’ safety rails are high enough to fit 15 inches height of bedding. And that includes an assortment of bunk mattresses and box springs. 

Therefore, if you have gotten such a bunk bed that can accommodate 15 inches height while leaving 5 inches height below the top safety rails, you can use a low-profile box spring on the bunk bed.

ZINUS Metal Box Spring with Wood Slats /4 Inch Mattress Foundation / Sturdy Steel Structure / Easy Assembly, Queen

However, make sure that the total height including bedding, mattress, and box spring doesn’t exceed 15 inches. 

Also, check out how the bunk bed is manufactured so that you can get an idea about its strength and durability to hold a box spring. Once you are assured of all requirements, only then use a low-profile box spring on bunk beds. 

Why You Shouldn’t Use Box Springs On Bunk Beds?

Perhaps your skepticism hasn’t been cleared out till now regarding why you should not use box springs on bunk beds despite they offer so much benefit. Therefore, this section has included detailed justifications of all the main reasons for your better understanding. 

Bulky: 

The first and obvious reason is the bulkiness of box springs. Box springs are really heavy in weight that bunk beds can not bear. It’s because bunk beds are not designed with the capacity of holding bulky box springs. 

So if you decide to use a box spring on your bunk bed, the bed boards may not be able to hold the weight of the box springs. As a result, the bunk beds can suddenly collapse due to too much pressure and can cause severe mishaps which you will not want. 

Even if the bulkiness of box springs doesn’t cause the bunk bed to collapse, it surely will create a dangerous situation for both the top and bottom bunk. Therefore, you strictly should never box springs on your bunk beds. 

Dorel Living Phoenix Bed, Mocha Twin Bunk, Twin over Twin

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Unsafe: 

Box springs make the bunk beds unsafe and it’s a major reason that clearly explains why you should not use box springs on your bunk beds. The top bunk especially becomes really precarious for the person who sleeps there. 

Generally, the top bunk can adjust with a 4-6 inches high mattress only as it’s considered safe for the sleeper. But when you will be using a box spring over there, the height of the box spring along with the mattress on top of it just will increase the total height of the upper bunk. 

Therefore, together with the box spring, the mattress will cross the safety rail of the bunk bed making it way too risky. And there’s a high chance that anyone can fall up from there crossing the safety rail and injure themselves badly, especially if it’s a child. 

So assuming such possible dangers, you better not use box springs with your bunk bed. 

Eliminate Headspace: 

Box springs on bunk beds eliminate the headspace and it’s the next reason that clarifies why you should avoid using box springs on bunk beds. 

When you are using a box spring, it increases the height of the bed which curtains the headspace between the bottom bunk and the top bunk.

Therefore, if the sleeper or your growing-up kids want to sit in the bed, his/her head will not get enough room to sit comfortably. Sometimes, it can cause unprecedented head injuries too. 

It also goes for the top bunk as well. If your room’s ceiling is not so high then the increased height on top bunk will also eliminate the headspace for the sleeper on the top bunk. 

Dorel Living Brady Solid Wood Bunk Beds with Ladder and Guard Rail, Twin Over Full, Graphite

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Looks Weird: 

Since bunk beds don’t need box springs on them, so if you place a box spring on the bunk bed it doesn’t look good, rather it gives a weird appearance in the room.

Because the beds look extremely high than they should be. So to maintain the look of the bedroom, you should not use box springs on bunk beds. 

Can I Use The Box Spring Once I Have Separated The Bunk Bed Into 2 Beds?

You can consider using box springs once you have separated the bunk beds into two. It’s because that time the bunk beds will not be stacked like any conventional bunk beds; rather, they will be used as free-standing beds. 

So at that time, the increased height of the separated bunk beds is less risky even if the safety rails are bypassed.

Because if someone falls down from that height, they will not be injured seriously as the bed will be standing as a free bed near to the ground. Also, there will be much headspace remaining for the sleeper to sit in the bed comfortably.

However, it’s still better if you don’t use box springs with separated sets of bunk beds. And even the separated bunk beds don’t necessarily need box springs on them. 

What To Put Under The Mattress On A Bunk Bed?

To end your concern regarding what you can put under the mattress on a bunk bed, here a list has been provided below. 

  • Plywood mattress foundation 
  • Wooden split bunkie board 
  • Steel frame bunkie board 
  • Heavy-duty solid wooden slats
  • Split-type rollable support wooden slats 

Zinus Annemarie Solid Wood Bed Support Slats / Fabric-Covered / Bunkie Board, Queen

Does Putting A Piece Of Plywood Under A Mattress Help For Bunk Beds?

Putting a piece of plywood under a mattress certainly does help the bunk beds. Plywood provides support to the mattress and gives a firm base. As a result, the mattress doesn’t sag from beneath and stays in a firm position for a long time.

3 mm 1/8" X 12" X 20" Premium Baltic Birch Plywood – B/BB Grade - by Wood-Ever (20 Pack)

Therefore, if you have an old sagging mattress or a new one that you don’t want to sag, just place a layer of plywood down over the slats of the bed’s frame. 

How Thick Should Plywood Be For A Bunk Bed?

The sheet of plywood you would be choosing for using over the slats of your bunk bed should have a thickness about 3-4 inches at least.

Also, should be in the accurate size to fit the bunk bed. A 3-4 inches thick plywood is suitable to hold the weight of the mattress, provide the mattress support, and prevent sagging. 

Can I Put The Mattress Directly On Bunk Bed Slats?

You directly can put the mattress on your bunk bed slats. Because bunk bed slats are sturdy enough to hold any kind of bunk mattresses such as memory foam mattresses, latex mattresses, get mattresses, etc.

Therefore, you just be assured that you can place any bunk mattress over the bunk bed slats and the mattress is going to get enough support from the strong yet sleek bunk bed slats that you have placed beneath. 

Box springs are not a necessary item for bunk beds. So you can directly place bunk mattresses over the bunk beds and prevent unwanted accidents that can take place for using box springs on bunk beds.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Wide Should a Bunk Bed Ladder Be?

How to Cover the Bottom of a Bunk Bed?

How to Secure Bunk Beds?

How Tall Should Ceilings be for Bunk Beds?

How Tall & Wide Should a Bunk Bed Be?