Bunkie Board VS Plywood | The Real Difference You Should Know

If you have a mattress that likely requires a base with a flat surface instead of slats with gaps, you might be confused in choosing between plywood and a Bunkie board. Bunkie boards are essentially designed as a replacement for the box spring. They help in maintaining a mattress’ low profile look and are particularly useful when there is limited vertical space available.

On the other hand, plywood platforms are rather popular because they are significantly affordable and relatively easier to access. So, which one would be more reliable between the Bunkie board VS plywood? Here’s a little bit of information on each of both and a few differences to help you decide on what best works for you.

Things To Know About Plywood

Basically, plywood is a sheet material created by combining layers of veneer and gluing them together. Every adjoining layer is rotated perpendicularly in a cross-graining process to enhance its endurance. Cross graining allows plywood to resist any form of splitting when it’s nailed on the edges thereby minimizing shrinkage or expansion and bumping up its stability. Usually, an odd number of layers is used in cross graining. This is meant to provide a balanced sheet that is unsusceptible to warping.

The core layers similarly play a crucial part in making the plywood strong by increasing the separation between outer layers where the stress is greatest, which dramatically raises its ability to repel bending. Thanks to this technique of design, it’s possible to create larger sheets of plywood, handling the same loads while increasing the thickness although it’s also ideal for small-sized sheets. Plywood does not lose its quality or effectiveness in smaller sheets which means that regardless of your size specifications there will always be an option that befits your unique needs.

Things To Know About Bunkie Board

A Bunkie board is a flat wooden board that is trimmed to the size or dimensions of your mattress and placed directly beneath it on a bed to provide support. They are cloth covered pallets meant to provide a solid foundation and can serve in lieu of the box spring. They are custom-made for beds and essentially recommended for use with latex and foam mattresses.

The use of Bunkie boards is attributed to maximizing on service life and comfort by reducing the impact imposed by the slats. Most add about 2-3inches of height, which could be a challenge for those bunk beds with height restrictions for the safety of its users.

There are available options for every bed size with most acting as convenient alternatives for slats in bunk beds as spring boxes are in ordinary beds. You may not have heard of them because they are a relatively new entrant in the sleep equipment market. Variations mainly come in such aspects as thickness and size with thicker Bunkie boards considered to be stronger and more superior in providing better support than thin ones.

Zinus Deepak Easy Assembly Wood Slat 1.6 Inch Bunkie Board / Bed Slat Replacement, Queen
  • Strong and Sturdy 1.6 inch profile wood slat mattress support. Ideal for use with platform beds, bunk beds and daybeds
  • Fast and easy assembly with convenient and compact packaging
  • Offers additional support for spring, hybrid, and memory foam mattresses
  • Foam padded tape is added to the steel frame for noise-free use and non-slip tape on the wooden slats prevents your mattress from moving
  • Dimensions: 79" x 59" x 1.6"

Strength and Thickness Comparison

If you want more than an inch of thickness, then a Bunkie board is definitely a go. Because they occur in varying thickness levels, you get to decide on what works best for your needs. Generally, they are also more durable though if built from low-quality materials, they may not be as effective or supportive for your bed.

Plywood sheets, on the other hand, have a thickness that ranges from an eighth to 3 inches. And cutting a thick sheet can be a little difficult besides pushing you to exert more effort. This means that plywood would be more suitable in cases where there’s no need for a particularly thick platform.

Cost Comparison

When trying to decide whether to buy plywood or a Bunkie board, the cost will indeed be one key element to factor in. Consider how much you are willing to spend and think about whether or not you would like to create the bed platform yourself or if you would rather buy an item that is ready to use.

If you don’t mind spending a couple extra bucks, a Bunkie board could be exactly what you need. What’s good about Bunkie boards is that you will find one that is of the particular thickness and size you need and won’t have to cut anything.


However, if you prefer to save your money and forego a Bunkie board, and if you are sure you have all the necessary tools to carry out the DIY project, buying a plywood sheet and trimming it to the size of your mattress could help too. The upside to this alternative is that it will be a much cheaper option as opposed to having to invest a butt load of money on something that you would instead make yourself on a much smaller budget.

Relevant Resources:​

Last update on 2021-01-18 at 15:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
JEREMY JAMES - January 4, 2019

Plywood is not a cheaper option than a Bunkie Board.


Leave a Reply: