We all remember those rickety bunk beds from summer camp. Today, bunk beds are more durable and stylish than the utilitarian ones from your childhood, and they come in numerous designs from basic to whimsical. If you have two children who have to share a room, bunk beds are amazing space savers, and they are great to have in a guest bedroom if you tend to host overnight visitors on a regular basis.

bunk beds for kids

What Is a Convertible Bunk Bed?

A convertible bunk bed is one that transforms from a stacked bed into another configuration. Some bunk beds come apart to make two separate beds, which is great for when children get older and want to sleep in separate rooms. Others may have a futon on the bottom that pulls out into a full-size bed or seating benches that unfold into a sleeping area.

Recommended Bunk Beds for Kids

Mainstay Merax Coaster
Mainstay-Bunk-Bed Merax-Bunk-Bed-Espresso Coaster-Bunk-Bed-Metal-Black
Black Espresso Black
Wood Wood Metal
Twin Twin Full
44 x 79 x 65 in 41 x 77 x 62 in 57 x 78 x 59 in

Want to buy a loft bed for your kids instead? Check out our Best Loft Beds for Kids Buying Guide

How Much Space Should Surround a Bunk Bed?

When you measure a room for a bunk bed, you need to make sure there is enough space around the bed to accommodate the ladder and any drawers it may have. Therefore, it’s best to leave a few feet around the sides and the non-wall side of the bunk bed assembly.

If there is a trundle, take that into account when you measure. In regard to height, there should be at least 2 feet in between the top mattress and the ceiling to prevent whoever is sleeping on it from bumping his head.

bunk beds for kids 2018

Should I Get a Bunk Bed With a Trundle?

Do your children have a lot of sleepovers? If so, a bunk bed with a pull-out trundle is a simple solution to increasing the sleeping capacity of a bedroom. A trundle bunk bed also means that guests don’t have to bring bulky sleeping bags, and you don’t have to set up that uncomfortable cot you keep stored in the basement. When not in use, the trundle stays hidden, blending in with the overall build of the bunk bed.

Are There Bunk Beds With Drawers?

Like ones with a trundle, many bunk beds come with storage areas such as drawers, shelves, cubbies and even desks. If the room where you want to put the bunk bed is tight on space, a bunk bed with storage is a lifesaver. These beds give you a place to keep books, clothes, toys and extra linens, cutting down on unsightly clutter.

best bunk beds for kids

What Size Mattress Should I Use?

Although the size of each frame will determine whether you need two fulls, two twins or one of each, there is more to consider when buying mattresses for a bunk bed. You can choose mattresses with memory foam or spring coils, but that choice comes down to personal comfort.

The mattresses you put on the bottom bunk won’t matter much in terms of height as long as its thickness doesn’t cause the sleeper to hit his head on the top bunk when he sits up in bed. However, the top bunk should not be thicker than the guardrail’s height. As a rough guideline, the top mattress’ thickness shouldn’t surpass 8 inches.

best bunk beds for kids 2018

How Do I Make Sure a Bunk Bed Is Safe?

To keep sleepers safe, refrain from putting the bunk bed directly below a ceiling fan or light fixture. Also, look at any slats around the top bunk to make sure there are no openings wide enough for a child to fit his head or body through. When it comes to the guardrails, they should be at least 5 inches tall to prevent sleepers from falling off the bed in the middle of the night.

5) Bedz King Twin-Over-Twin Mission-Style Bunk Beds in Honey Pine

If you like country decor, you’ll love this bunk bed by Bedz King. Made of solid Brazilian pine in a honey finish, the bunk bed exudes inviting warmth. The clean lines of this mission-style frame are simplicity at its finest, and all the tools you need to put this bunk bed together are included in the packaging.

Bedz King Tall Bunk Beds Twin over Twin Mission Style

The twin-over-twin bunk bed is designed to be taken apart if you want to turn it into two separate twin-size beds. For extra support, each bunk consists of 14 slats with the top bunk able to hold 175 pounds and the bottom bunk able to hold 200 pounds. Feel free to use a thick mattress on the top because the guardrails are 15.25 inches tall.

A straight ladder with four wide steps can be positioned at the foot or the head of the 69-inch-high bed. With a 10.5-inch clearance, you can easily store boxes underneath the bottom bunk. Due to the space between the bottom and top slats measuring at 38 inches, there is little risk of anyone bumping their head on the top bunk.

4) Storkcraft Caribou Solid Hardwood Twin Bunk Bed in Espresso

Sturdy and stylish – That’s the Caribou bunk bed by Storkcraft. You won’t find any flimsy particleboard or fiberboard on this bunk bed. Instead, it’s constructed from strong solid rubberwood. To give it an upscale look, Storkcraft chose a dark espresso finish.

Storkcraft Caribou Solid Hardwood Twin Bunk Bed

This bunk bed has a twin frame on the top and the bottom, making it great for rooms that lack floor space. If you choose, you can separate the bunk beds, turning them into two twins. Whether together or apart, each bunk has a maximum weight capacity of 165 pounds, so the bunks are able to accommodate younger and older children.

Measuring 58.3 inches from bottom to top, this bunk bed works great in rooms with a ceiling of an average height. To help younger children climb to the top bunk, the ladder sits at an angle. With four steps that are wide, slips are much less likely to occur.

3) Coaster Fine Furniture Full-Over-Full Metal Bunk Bed in Black (460056k)

This bunk bed by Coaster Fine Furniture takes a modern, minimalist approach. It is made from metal tubing that’s 2 inches in diameter. With its black powder-coated finish, the final look of this 59-inch-tall bunk bed is one that is sleek and goes with anything.

Coaster Fine Furniture 460056k Full Over Full Bunk Bed

You can easily accommodate children or adults with this bunk bed. It consists of two full-size beds, each of which can support a maximum weight of 400 pounds. No matter the height of the sleeper and the bunk he chooses, he will have enough headroom. The space between the top and bottom bunk is 32 inches, and the clearance from the top bunk to the ceiling is approximately 3 feet.

With two ladders on either end of the bed, you get a lot of versatility when it comes to placing the bed. These straight ladders have three rungs, and they are built into the bunk bed assembly, saving valuable floor space. The bunk bed also has 13-inch-tall guardrails, so it’s best to stick to 6-inch or 8-inch mattresses.

2) Merax Twin-Over-Twin Bunk Bed in Espresso

There is nothing that screams contemporary quite like a piece of furniture with a rich espresso finish like this bunk bed by Merax. Its twin-over-twin design is sturdy enough to hold adults and children since the frame is made of solid pine wood.

Merax Solid Wood Twin over Twin Bunk Bed

If you don’t think your children are quite ready to sleep on a 61.6-inch-tall bunk bed or you want to reconfigure the bedroom, the bunk bed converts into two separate twins. Unlike low-quality bunk beds, this one has 26 slats on each bunk to give you superior support. With a weight limit of 400 pounds per bed, anyone can sleep on it.

When you measure the room for this bunk bed, makes sure to take into account the angle of the ladder. This ladder’s four steps remain stable up to a weight of 330 pounds, so you can easily climb the ladder to change the bed linens. The top bunk also has a fully surrounding guardrail for safety.

1) Mainstays Twin over Twin Wood Bunk Bed

Give any bedroom a sophisticated air with this bunk bed by Mainstays. The slated camelback headboards are classic in design, and the black glossy finish is simply gorgeous. Since it’s made of solid wood, you don’t have to worry about the bunk bed wobbling when someone tosses and turns or climbs the ladder.

Mainstays Twin over Twin Wood Bunk Bed

This bed is 64.8 inches tall, and each bunk has a weight capacity of 200 pounds. This means it’s safe for older children to sleep on them. Both bunks can hold a coil spring mattress, so you don’t have to buy bunkie board mattresses, and you can even turn them into two free-standing twin beds.

To get from the floor to the top bunk, there is a straight ladder. This ladder has four flat steps, offering a stable foothold. Since the bottom bunk sits 12.5 inches off the ground, you can use the empty space under the lower bunk for storage. On the top bunk, the guardrails stand tall, keeping little ones from accidentally falling.

Like any other furniture purchase, finding the right bunk bed is hard. There are many styles and finishes from which to choose, so where do you start? First, you have to figure out what size bunk bed can fit in the room. Then, choose a style that fits the decor scheme you want. Finally, look at the bunk bed’s material and the characteristics of its ladder.

cheap bunk beds for kids

Bunk Beds Sizes

Bunk beds come in several sizes. The most common size is twin-over-twin, which is the best size to get for young children or small bedrooms. However, if you have a younger child and an older child sharing a room, consider getting a twin-over-full to give the older child room for lounging and reading if the room is large enough to accommodate a full-size bed.

There are also full-over-full bunk beds. Full-size bunk beds are great for teens, especially if they tend to invite friends over a lot. Then, there are twin-over-futon bunk beds – another popular choice among teenagers and college students since the lower bunk acts as a couch for entertaining when they aren’t sleeping.

bunk beds for kids with stairs

Bunk Beds Configurations

A standard bunk bed consists of two bunks that are stacked regardless of each bunk’s size. They are great space savers, and many standard bunk beds can be converted into two separate beds. Those that are convertible are ideal for young children who will eventually sleep in different bedrooms when they get older.

There are also T-shaped and L-shaped bunk beds. These beds are configured just like their names describe. They may have either an empty space underneath to fit a desk or have a desk or dresser integrated into the frame. Buying one of these bunk beds is often like getting a fully furnished room in a box.

bunk bed for kids

Bunk Beds Styles

Decorating styles are subjective, so what works for is a personal choice. If you’re having difficulty deciding on a style, transitional is a viable option because it is a perfect blend of the ornate traditional style and the sharp-lined contemporary style. However, if none of these styles speaks to you, there are others such as country cottage, Asian-inspired, and island-infusion.

Bunk Beds Materials

When it comes the materials used to make bunk beds, you have two choices – metal or wood. Metal bunk beds are typically made of tubular steel, come in many colors and tend to run on the low-end of the cost spectrum. These beds are also lighter than their wood counterparts, and often have a minimalist look about them.

On the other hand, wood bunk beds are more varied in terms of the type of wood used, the finish and the style. Those constructed from solid wood are more durable than particleboard ones. As long as you take care of them, solid wood bunk beds can last a child from their elementary years to their college days.

low bunk beds for kids

Bunk Beds Ladders

You even have several choices when it comes to a bunk bed’s ladder. Some ladders are straight, which free up floor space. If young children will use the bunk bed, go for a ladder with flat steps instead of rungs for ease of use. Other ladders are angled, which are easier for little children to climb. Depending on the bunk bed, the ladder may be movable, offering flexibility in the way you to arrange the room.

An alternative to a ladder is a staircase. Compared to ladders, staircases are safer to climb. You can even find stair-equipped bunk beds that have storage drawers built into the steps. Of course, bunk beds with a staircase usually cost more than those with a ladder.

Recommended Bunk Beds for Kids

Mainstay Merax Coaster
Mainstay-Bunk-Bed Merax-Bunk-Bed-Espresso Coaster-Bunk-Bed-Metal-Black
Black Espresso Black
Wood Wood Metal
Twin Twin Full
44 x 79 x 65 in 41 x 77 x 62 in 57 x 78 x 59 in

Want to buy a loft bed for your kids instead? Check out our Best Loft Beds for Kids Buying Guide

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