How to make a bunkie board for a bunk bed?

Here you will find a detailed guide on How to make a bunkie board for a bunk bed?. This also includes Tips and Warnings for the creators.

Bunkie boards are relatively easy to make if you know how to use a circular saw. If not, ask the lumberyard to cut the boards for you.

Slat-style beds without box springs, such as bunk beds and platform beds, can be downright uncomfortable, especially when they’re paired with thin or insubstantial mattresses. Bunkie boards solve this problem. Fabric-wrapped plywood provides just a little height and, more importantly, a flat surface to eliminate the bumpy feeling caused by the slats. Additionally, the board reduces the amount of friction or rubbing that otherwise occurs between it and exposed slats.

How to make a bunkie board for a bunk bed?
How to make a bunkie board for a bunk bed?

How to make a bunkie board for a bunk bed?

How to make a bunkie board for a bunk bed?

1. Measure the Frame

The mattress should be removed. Take a measurement of the area occupied by the mattress on the side and end rails of the bed frame. Remove 2 inches from both the width and length — that is, one inch from each side. Adjust the bunkie board size accordingly — the shortened size allows for the wraparound padded fabric, which softens the board’s edges and surface, making it less likely to puncture or damage the mattress. The smaller the board, the thicker the padding.

2. Cut the Plywood

Using a circular saw and carbide blade designed for plywood, cut the 3/4-inch plywood to the desired size. If your twin-sized bed or twin bunk-bed frames measure 38 by 75 inches, for example, you might wish to cut the board to 36.5 by 73.5 inches, allowing an inch and a half on each span for upholstery-quality quilted fabric.

3. Sand It Smooth

Use medium-grit sandpaper to abrade the edges and rough spots on both sides of the board. With a power sander, sanding plywood is relatively quick and easy. Over time, wood that is at least somewhat smooth is less likely to cause wear and tear.

4. Cut the Quilted Upholstery Fabric

Layout the quilted upholstery on the floor or another large work surface, wrong side up if applicable. Use scissors to cut two pieces — one for the top and one for the bottom of the bunkie board. Although the bottom piece can measure the board’s exact width and length, the top piece should be a few inches longer and overlap the fabric on the bottom for stapling.
A full-sized bunkie board should, for example, have a bottom fabric that measures 53 inches by 74 inches. size, and the top piece to about 59 by 80 inches, leaving a few inches on each side for stretching around.

5. Apply the Glue

Apply fabric adhesive to the plywood’s upward-facing side. Smooth the exact-fitting bottom upholstery or dustcover over the board, centered lengthwise and widthwise. Turn the plywood over. Apply adhesive to the plywood’s upper side. Put the slightly oversized piece of fabric into place, centering it as with the other side, and fold and staple each corner.

6. Finish With Staples

For a more padded finish, fold and staple the excess quilting onto the board rather than trimming it.


  • Tape measure
  • Plywood blade
  • Scissors
  • Circular saw
  • Staple gun and staples

Materials: Fabric-adhesive spray 3/4-inch plywood Medium-grit sandpaper Quilted upholstery-grade fabric


  • The lumberyard where you intend to buy the plywood can often cut lumber to size for you if you don’t feel comfortable using a circular saw, so be prepared with the measurements.
  • Using quilted fabric just on the top side of the bunkie board and inexpensive dust-cover material on the bottom will save you money.
  • When you work with a king-size bunkie board, it’s easier to have someone help you apply the fabric than to do it alone.


Open windows for ventilation when using any adhesive, and read the label for any other precautions.

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