Bunkie Board or Plywood? Comparing Mattress Support Options

Yes, you can! Check out this article to find out how!

Pros And Cons Of Using Plywood Instead Of A Bunkie Board

Here's a quick pro and con list! This will help you decide whether to create your own DIY plywood mattress support or buy a bunkie board.

Compared To Plain Plywood, Bunkie Boards Can Be More Visually Appealing

Bunkie boards frequently have a nice-looking cloth covering. This is crucial since the board will be visible from underneath if you use it for a bunk bed or a loft bed.

In contrast, a plain piece of plywood might not be as visually stunning as a bunkie board covered in fabric. Plywood is prone to cracking and might snag on your clothes and mattress. The grade of the plywood you buy will determine this. The surface of plywood that is of higher quality frequently has a finer finish.

Plywood May Not Always Be Stronger Or More Resilient Than Bunkies

Bunkie boards may be more durable than a thin piece of plywood. That's because they are made to support the weight of a mattress. Select thicker plywood if you want to create your mattress support out of plywood. Typical bunkie boards range in thickness from one to three inches. I advise you to purchase plywood that is at least an inch thick. The weight of your mattress will be supported by thicker, higher-quality plywood.

Bunkie Boards Cost More Than Plywood

Plywood's lower cost makes it a better option for mattress support. Consequently, you can save some money by using plywood rather than a bunkie board.

Bunkie boards of good quality cost about $100. While the best models can cost up to several hundred dollars. In contrast, plywood is far more reasonably priced. This makes it accessible to a larger population. The typical price of plywood that meets your needs is $50.

Making A DIY Bunkie Board Is A Simple And Enjoyable DIY Project That Enables You To Manage Your Spending

Building your handmade bunkie board mattress support is simple and enjoyable. You can find instructions below.

Step 1: To determine the size of the bunkie board you should create, measure the mattress size. Remove the mattress from your bed first. After that, measure the size of the bed frame to determine how much room your mattress occupies. You'll be wrapping the plywood sheet with upholstery fabric, so keep that in mind. You will need a smaller board to fit into the bed frame if you choose cushioning that is thicker.

Step 2: Use a circular saw to cut your plywood, or get it cut for you. Once the plywood is prepared, cut it to the appropriate size. You can do this by using a circular saw. Twin-size and bunk bed frames measure 38 x 75 inches. So for this, you should cut a piece measuring 36.5 by 73.5 inches, or an extra inch on the sides for heavier upholstery. I advise taking your plywood sheet to your neighborhood hardware shop so they can cut it for you. That's if you don't own a circular saw.

Step 3: Smoothen the rough edges using sandpaper. To smooth away any roughness or abnormalities you may see on the cut edges. Then use the sandpaper you have prepared. The process will go considerably more quickly using a power sander. To avoid wear over time, you want a board that is smooth and sleek.

Step 4: Trim the upholstery fabric to the proper size. With the inside side facing up, measure and gently lay out the upholstery on the floor. Using scissors, separate the item into two. One for each of the plywood board's top and bottom. Ensure the top piece is just a few inches longer on both sides. This will allow it to be wrapped around the plywood.

Step 5: Stick the upholstery material to the plywood board's two sides. First, clean the plywood sheet on both sides. Next, carefully attach the fabric to 1 side of the plywood sheet. Once that is done apply an upholstery bonding spray to the other. Repeat on the opposite side.

Step 6: Secure the fabric with a staple. Wrap the extra fabric from the top so that it is flat with the board while holding the board's bottom side up. The folded fabric should be pulled firmly before being stapled. On each side of the plywood board, carry out the same procedure. Although the corners don't need to be perfect, if they're done well, the board will look nicer.

If you followed each step, your plywood piece will be transformed into the ideal bunkie board.

Bunkie Board Alternatives


A slatted support system is constructed of 3 inch-diameter hardwood or metal slats. These slats are often removable, making it simple to remove them and replace them with new ones. Slats can also be incorporated into practically any form of bed frame. One of the most well-liked bunkie board substitutes is slats.


  • Give the mattress dependable stability and a solid foundation
  • Instead of replacing the entire set of slats, individual components can be replaced


  • Individual slat gaps could lead to sagging
  • It could be challenging to separate and repair bent slats if they are integrated into the bed frame


Another option to utilize a typical bunkie board is plywood. Plywood is used to make a number of do-it-yourself objects, such as plywood bunkie boards. Plywood planks manufactured to order are common mattress support among skilled woodworkers. You can select the height and thickness level of a plywood mattress base.


  • Provide strong backing
  • Simple to customize and select your preferred thickness and dimensions


  • Unlike bunkie boards, does not come as a ready-to-use base
  • Not typically as strong as typical, high-quality bunkie boards


A mattress foundation known as a box spring is made of a sturdy timber frame that is cloth-covered. Box springs used to be made of coils or springs, but contemporary ones might not have even one. Bunkie boards are far thinner than box springs and don't add unnecessary bulk to a bed. They were really intended to replace box springs. Nowadays, the decision between a box spring and a bunkie board comes down to personal tastes. Oh and not forgetting, the kind of bed frame and mattress the foundation will be utilized with.


  • By absorbing body weight, standard box springs can increase the lifespan of mattresses
  • Similar to bunkie boards, give mattresses strong support and stop them from sinking


  • Some box springs are not stable enough to hold a mattress in place
  • Can give a bed too much height


Can You Use Plywood Instead Of A Bunkie Board?

Although plywood can be used in place of a bunkie board, it is less aesthetically appealing. And also less durable. A homemade bunkie board is preferable to using just plywood.

What Are Bunkie Boards?

A sturdy, bottom mattress support base known as a bunkie board is frequently used in place of a box spring. Your bed frame is directly supported by bunkies. They raise your mattress much less than box springs. That's because they are typically no thicker than 4 inches. They come in handy if you prefer a lower mattress or if there isn't a lot of vertical space.

Bunkie boards work well with memory foam and latex mattresses. That's because they are constructed from a single, flat piece of material. Memory foam and latex can be damaged by other mattress support systems.

What Is Plywood?

Wood veneer is stacked in layers to create plywood. The wood grains are alternated by stacking these wood plies on top of one another. After being stuck together, the plies form a sturdy, light-weight material.

Plywood is available in a variety of qualities and can be either soft or hard. Considerations for plywood include its physical stability, brightness, hardness, flexibility, and durability.

Be aware that you can substitute bunkie boards and plywood for box springs.

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