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DIY Bunkie Board if You nor Your Cat are Good at Building Things

DIY Bunkie Board if You nor Your Cat are Good at Building Things

In our previous Just Cuddles Blog Post, we answered some important questions about the basics of Bunkie boards, including should you get a Bunkie board? and how will your cat feel about this? 

But if you’re on a budget, you might have some additional questions, such as will your cat help you pay for a bunkie board? or what if you don’t have a cat? You may even go so far as to ask what are inexpensive alternatives to a bunkie board?  

While we’re much more mattress experts than cat experts, we can assure you that these affordable bunkie board options will, in fact, satisfy your cat. Note: neither the store-bought Bunkie boards nor the alternatives are edible. Do not add salt. The decision as to whether you should get a cat will be the topic of another article. 

So, here you are: you’ve decided to take the plunge and commit to a life of better sleep, better back support, and comfort. We’ve always known our customers (and their cats) were the smartest of the bunch.  

You’ve embarked on the next comfort-building exercise of your new life: should you get a bunkie board?  

Yes. You can read more about why in our last article, but essentially a bunkie board provides your new mattress with the support it needs to give you your best night’s sleep… every night. There are 700 tiny mattresses in each mattress, so having solid underneath support is extremely important for the mattress to function optimally. 

Darn, Sleepovation doesn’t yet offer bunkie boards for purchase! And just because you’re sleeping better doesn’t mean you’re made of money. Are there inexpensive alternatives to a Bunkie board?  


If you’re crafty and on a budget, this article is for you. 


Budget-Friendly Alternatives To Bunkie Boards: 

Plywood can act as a great option to use as a bunkie board. Just make sure to wrap it in a piece of fabric (let your cat choose the color) to avoid splinters, punctures, etc.  You can even choose to add another layer of padding in between the plywood and the mattress.  


Materials To Build Your Own Bunkie Board: 

Plywood that corresponds to the size of your bed frame 

A thick fabric that will fold over roughly five inches (usually 3-5 yards, depending on the size of your bed) 

Padding (optional) 

Staple gun 


Floorspace (you’ll need to layer and staple everything together easily) 

A cat  


Building Your Own Bunkie Board: 

First, measure your bed frame and write down your measurements. This is arguably the most important part. Head down to your local hardware store and purchase the corresponding size of plywood. It will usually be your choice as to whether the store cuts the plywood board into the desired size for you, or you do this at home with your own set of tools. 

Make sure to also purchase a thick piece of fabric that is larger than the plywood (leaving an extra 5 or so inches to fold over the board) so that you can wrap it around and create a snug fit. A staple gun will be your friend here. 

You can also add padding on your Bunkie board, in between the plywood and the fabric. This is not necessary, but it will provide a little extra support.  

The plywood itself should be 1.5-2 inches thick to provide ideal support for your mattress. 

How you transport this plywood home is up to your cat. We’re not here to step on any toes. 

If transporting plywood isn’t an option for you (you live in an apartment, don’t have a vehicle, or your cat says no) you can also easily purchase the desired size from your (second-favorite) online retailer. 


Steps To Create Your Own Bunkie Board: 

Be sure to verify the plywood fits into your bedframe before beginning the next steps. You’ll want to leave enough room for the thick fabric as well. If it’s too tight of a fit, lightly trim or sand the plywood to create the optimum fit in your bed frame.  

Next, unfold the fabric onto your floor, with the inside/wrong side of the fabric facing up. If you’ve opted for an extra layer of padding, place this in the middle of the fabric, and place the plywood on top of the padding. Make sure you have an even amount of extra fabric (at least several inches) folding over the perimeter of the board. Make sure there are no wrinkles, snags, and that everything is lined up evenly. 

Staple the fabric liberally to keep it tight-fitting.  

There are many blogs that offer step-by-step instructions on how to build this bunkie board alternative, and we encourage you to do your research since we’re betting neither you nor your cat has extensive experience in building your own bunkie board. We’re just here to provide affordable options to you. 

Next, place your new, affordable, hand-crafted bunkie board into your bedframe. Place the mattress on top. Jump on your bed. Let your cat get cozy. 


The Super-Duper Cheap and Easy Option 

So, your cat won't help and you can't find a staple gun. Fear not, budget-conscious cat-lover. There’s an even easier option if you just can’t wait to take a snooze on your new mattress: 

Head to your local hardware or home improvement store. Locate the wood section and ask a representative for help. Give them the dimensions of your bed frame. The friendly representative cuts the plywood into three easy-to-carry slabs while you casually chat about your bossy cats.  

Transport your plywood slabs home, and place them over the slatted base or box spring of your bed. 

You’re done! 

A few disclaimers: we are not carpenters. Embark on this journey at your own will. Enlist your friends (the strong ones. The ones with staple guns). Do not attempt to move heavy mattresses and plywood alone. Entrust in the supervisory skills of your feline. 

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