Bunk beds can be a great space-saving solution for households. In the same vein, they are perfect for young people who host regular sleepovers with their closest friends.
However, picking a bunk bed that is both secure and suitable for your home can be a challenge.
This article serves as a comprehensive guide to bunk beds, from how to choose one to how to use it effectively.
Why Use Bunk Beds?
Bunk beds are an option worth considering for a number of reasons:
- Space-saving:Since bunk beds only take up a fraction of the space that a regular bed would, you can free up a lot of room for other uses, like a play area or an office.
- Money-saving:You can save a lot of money on a bed without having to buy a headboard, box springs, or any other unnecessary extras.
- FlexibleSome styles of bunk beds can be split in half to create two single beds on the floor. Some are able to change form at will, becoming couches, desks, and the like.
- Social:For overnight guests or for hosting sleepovers, a bunk bed with a trundle is an excellent choice.
- Lessons learned:When kids sleep in bunk beds, they learn to get along with others, share, and be flexible.
- Privacy:Kids have more personal space in a bunk bed than they would in a regular bed.
- Fun:It can be a lot of fun to spend the night in a loft or other enclosed space.
Are Bunk Beds Dangerous for Kids?
Bunk beds, like a lot of other things, aren’t inherently dangerous. Instead, they are sometimes put to risky use. Assuming they are purchased from a reputable retailer and used properly, bunk beds pose no danger to children.
What Age Is Safe for Bunk Beds?
Nobody under the age of six should be allowed on a top bunk, according to the experts.(1)The top bunk should not be used by children under the age of 6, as they lack the motor skills necessary to safely ascend and descend from it.
Any parent will tell you that kids that young still occasionally fall out of bed, so the top bunk should be avoided.
How to Choose the Best Bunk Beds
DIY bunk bed plans are widely available online in the form of articles and video tutorials. Don’t do that unless you know what you’re doing. Instead, opt for bunk beds made by a dependable brand.
Some of the factors to think about when selecting the best bunk beds for your children are presented here.
Here, your primary options are metal or wood. It’s a matter of personal preference rather than practicality or security when deciding between the two.
- Do you want storage drawers or bookcases integrated into your bunk beds?
- Is there going to be room for additional pieces of furniture on the floor?
- Is there storage space beneath the mattress?
- Can you fit boxes or something else under the bottom bed?
Make sure there is enough headroom above the top bunk so your child won’t hit their head if they sit up too quickly in bed.
Determine the bunk bed manufacturer’s suggested mattress depth. This depth of mattress should be used exclusively, and a box spring should never be used.
Check that the bed’s ladder and side rails are fastened firmly.
Make sure the guardrail will extend over the top of the mattress by at least 5 inches by measuring from the floor to the top of the guardrail and back down again.
The weight restriction on the top bunk must also be respected at all times. It is unsafe to put too much weight on it.
Is there a preference for the bunk beds’ footprint in the room? Make sure the beds’ footprint fits your room by measuring it.
Think about the distance the top bunk’s mattress will have to travel before it touches the ceiling, not just the height of the bunk beds themselves. And please warn your kid not to try to stand on the top bunk, where they risk hitting their head.
One thing to think about when shopping for bunk beds is whether or not they can be separated into two individual beds.
It’s a good idea to look for bunk beds where the lower bed can be transformed into a bench, workstation, or some other furniture piece.
There are bunk beds that include a trundle underneath the lower bunk, which can be used for overnight guests or, in a pinch, to accommodate a third child in the room.
The Best Bunk Beds
Find below our picks for the top bunk beds currently available.
1. Bedz King Stairway Bunk Beds
Bunk beds with an attached staircase instead of a ladder are preferable if safety is a top priority.
The Bedz King Stairway features a three-step staircase that is 22.5 inches wide and is enclosed by a barrier. That doesn’t mean the stairwell is enclosed, though. The barrier is instead constructed out of a banister and railings, just like on a regular set of stairs.
There are two drawers under the bed and one in each of the steps. The storage drawers beneath the bed are not mounted on slides or otherwise integrated into the structure of the bed. The drawers, on the other hand, have four wheels that make them simple to roll across carpet or hardwood.
With no cross bracing and a slat spacing of about 2 3/4 inches, this bench is a work of art. Memory foam mattresses are not recommended because they have a tendency to break down over time and get stuck in the gaps between the bed’s slats, as stated by the manufacturer.
- When separated, bunk beds become two standard twin beds.
- The stairway can go on either side of the bed.
- Assembling equipment is included.
- When separated into two single beds, the staircase opening can be used as extra storage space in the footboard.
2. Dorel Living Clearwater Triple Bunk Beds
The triple bunk bed from Dorel Living is an “L”-shaped structure that combines a standard set of bunk beds with a loft bed. The triple bunk bed can be tucked into a corner of a room, with the lower bunks taking up the left wall and the upper loft the right.
Three children can sit comfortably on the wooden bench. If you need a fourth bed, there is room under the loft for a small futon or toddler bed. You can fit a table and chairs, a chest of drawers, some bookshelves, or other furniture under the loft if you don’t need a fourth bed.
Dorel Living’s triple bunk beds are a potential lifesaver if you’re trying to fit three kids into a single bedroom.
- There is more vertical space than on bunk beds with three tiers.
- Room for activities or stuff.
- Furniture used to keep a mattress in place on a bed.
- No configuration involving the bunk beds on the right and the loft on the left will work.
- Children who are particularly tall or heavy may outgrow the bed, as it has a weight limit of 165 pounds per bed.
3. Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed
The Max & Lily low bunk bed is an option to consider if you have young children who are at the lower end of the safe bunk bed age range.
If a child rolls out of the bottom bunk, they will only fall the distance between the mattress and the floor (about two inches with the slats in place). The upper bunk, meanwhile, has the standard precautions such as guard rails on all four sides installed.
The bunks can hold up to 400 pounds per bunk, which is a huge plus. You won’t have to worry about falling off the top bunk if you tuck your child in or sit on the floor of the bottom bunk to read a bedtime story.
- This table is only 50 inches tall, making it ideal for rooms with low ceilings.
- Its railings are 14 inches high.
- A slide can be removed for easier cleaning.
- It has a weight capacity that is higher than most bunk beds.
- Since it is so close to the floor, the bottom bunk isn’t appropriate for kids who are getting up there in years.
4. Dorel Living Brady Wood Bunk Beds
When square footage is at a premium, but you still need a place to sleep, the Brady solid wood bunk beds can accommodate two adults and a child, or three adults. The Brady’s flexibility as a bunk bed, a freestanding twin bed, or a full bed makes it an excellent choice for tight quarters.
The upper guardrail can be moved to either end of the bunk beds to reveal an easy-to-climb, four-step ladder. The slats on both levels of a bunk bed make a box spring unnecessary.
However, the manufacturer suggests using no more than a 6-inch mattress. It’s possible that not everyone who needs to sleep in the bottom full-size bunk will find this thick enough.
- There is enough room for both of you to share the bottom bunk on occasion, if you have a young child.
- Instead of being a bunk bed, it can be separated into two single beds.
- It’s possible that not everyone would be comfortable sleeping on a lower bunk with a mattress no thicker than six inches.
5. Meritline Convertible Dorm Loft Bunk Beds
The Meritline convertible loft bunk beds have a seating area that can be converted into a second bunk, a table, and bench seating. When floor space is at a premium, like in a dorm, studio apartment, or kid’s bedroom, a bunk bed like this is a great solution.
The soft bench cushions that come with the bunk bed can double as a makeshift bed if needed. A standard twin size mattress would be preferable for the bottom bunk if a child is going to be sleeping there for an extended period of time.
Each set of bunk beds has two mobile drawers that can be stowed away under the bench seating. Even after the bed has been transformed, these drawers will still fit under the lower bunk.
- Gives you a bed, a couch, a table, and a second bed, all in one convenient location.
- Easy to transform from table to bed.
- It’s perfect as a study nook or play space.
- Serves more as a spare bed for guests occasionally than a permanent sleeping arrangement.
6. DHP Miles Twin Metal Bunk Bed
Since most manufacturers of low-to-the-ground bunk beds intend them for younger children, the actual sleeping quarters in each bunk may be quite cramped. The DHP Miles bunk beds, however, feature two separate twin beds to accommodate two adults while taking up minimal floor space.
These bunk beds take up much less room on the ground and on the walls than conventional bunk beds, and they have a more understated aesthetic as a result. This makes them a suitable option for smaller or darker rooms, where bulkier pieces of furniture would feel out of place.
Another space- and cost-saver is that the 3.5-inch-apart slats mean you won’t need a board or box spring under your mattress.
- Discreet and unobtrusive in appearance.
- The railings are a generous 12.50 inches in height.
- It allows up to 200 pounds per bunk, which is more than enough for most people.
- Using a thicker mattress at the base of the bed can cause issues with head clearance.
7. Discovery World Furniture Mission Bunk Beds
Quality bunk beds with built-in storage are rare, and finding one with as much space as the Mission’s might be impossible.
A four-drawer dresser is integrated into the stairs leading to the upper bunk. Unlike the “mini” drawers found on some bunk beds, the four drawers in this dresser are a good size and will easily accommodate your children’s clothing.
The space under the lower bunk also features three storage drawers. These take up the entire length and width of the space under the bed, giving you a massive amount of extra room to store whatever you need.
Your little late-night reader will appreciate the magazine/book rack attached to the back of the lower bunk’s dresser.
- Extremely large amounts of space available.
- The stairwell can go on either end if desired.
- Supports mattresses up to 8 inches in thickness.
- It can’t be split up into two beds.
8. WE Furniture Wooden Twin Bunk Beds
When shopping for bunk beds, many of us try to find ones that can be disassembled into two separate beds. However, using your bunk beds as individual beds is a viable alternative that is often disregarded. We did just that with some twin-sized bunk beds we purchased from WE Furniture.
We used both of these beds as twins until our youngest children were old enough for bunk beds. Once we were confident in their maturity and reliability, we converted their separate beds into bunks. When they retired to their respective quarters, we once again put space between the beds.
These bunk beds are not only versatile in terms of layout, but also sturdy enough to withstand being assembled, disassembled, and transported multiple times.
- Constructed to last and built to a high standard.
- Useful for guests or extra guests is a trundle bed.
- Aesthetically pleasing, uncluttered conclusion.
- It takes a few weeks for the wood’s finish to lose its lingering odor.
9. DHP Junior Twin Low Bunk Beds
These DHP low bunk beds are a rare find because they combine high quality with an affordable price.
These bunk beds are unlike any others because they sit low to the ground (but are not on the floor) and feature high-quality, securely fastened metal slats along the length of both bunks. You can skip spending extra money on a box spring or a bunk board by using just the mattress directly on the floor.
This set of bunk beds is also offered in black and white, but for some reason the black and white versions cost more than the silver ones. However, if you aren’t careful, a silver finish can make a space feel clinical and clinical.
- The upper bunk has a weight limit of 200 pounds, while the lower bunk can hold up to 250 pounds.
- Mattresses up to 8 inches in thickness will fit comfortably on the bottom bunk.
- Children of a more mature and stature may feel uncomfortable in such a low-standing environment.
10. Harper & Bright Trundle Bunk Bed with Drawers
Consider the Harper & Bright trundle bed if you need a simple bunk bed but value the added security provided by a ladder leading to the upper bunk.
The bunk bed’s four-step staircase can be positioned at either end. The top three steps of the staircase feature drawers for storage and a safety rail on both sides. The lowest step does not have a drawer for obvious reasons.
For extra guests or sleepover space, this bunk bed includes a trundle. To prevent the trundle from rocking back and forth, simply take off the castors. There is no mattress for the trundle bed or the two main bunks.
- Stable stairwell, suitable for installation on either end.
- Included trundle bed.
- A rail surrounds the lofted bed.
- Three separate shipments, arrival dates for which cannot be guaranteed.
- It’s a time-consuming project.
What kind of mattress goes with bunk beds?
Mattresses no taller than eight inches are recommended by most bunk bed makers to prevent the top bunk occupant from being too high off the ground. By adhering to this safety tip, you can prevent the top sleeper from accidentally rolling out of bed.
You should choose a mattress that has a depth that is at least 8 inches if you plan on using a bunkie board below it or a mattress topper on top. (For information specific to your bunk bed, please refer to the user manual included with your purchase.)
How tall are bunk beds?
There are shorter units (about 4 feet) and taller, triple bed units (about 7 feet) available, but on average, a bunk bed rises to a height of 5.5 to 6 feet. Always make sure there is at least two feet of space between the top bunk and the ceiling for your child’s safety.
Are bunk beds safe?
While most bunk beds offer a secure sleeping environment, mishaps are possible. A staggering 36,000 injuries per year can be attributed to sleeping in bunk beds. It is important to note that more than half of these injuries occur to children under the age of 5, so using bunk beds for children aged 6 and up is a great way to reduce the risk of injury.
Safety features, such as side rails with openings no larger than 15 inches at either end and no larger than 3.5 inches between gaps (to prevent strangulation), should be top priorities during shopping. When shopping for a bunk bed, it’s best to avoid using a ladder and instead find one that has built-in stairs and a handrail, as this will provide a much safer sleeping environment, especially for younger children. Last but not least, always use the product in accordance with the manual’s instructions, including the suggested mattress height.
What age is recommended for bunk beds?
Children of a certain age should be comfortable sleeping in a bunk bed. Bunk beds pose a significant safety risk for kids under the age of 6, both because of the obvious risk of falling out and the fact that they can’t get down from the top bunk without putting themselves at risk.
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