Your Definitive Children’s Bunk Bed Buyer’s Guide

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Whether you're looking for a comfortable, space-saving sleep solution for your eldest child and their siblings or you want to kit your kid's bedroom out for epic sleepovers, bunk beds are perfect.

While they were once seen as creaky, uncomfortable eye sores, children's bunk beds now come in a variety of shapes and sizes⁠—the kind that will have your kid craving to kick off their bedtime routine and hit the pillow night after night.

But, with so many options and such little time, choosing the right bunk bed for your child (or children) can feel like a near impossible task.

Never fear because we've put together a definitive children's bunk bed buyer's guide to help you navigate your way to slumber time success.

Let’s get started.

The benefits of bunk beds

Before we delve any deeper into our buyer's guide, let's explore the unique benefits of choosing bunk beds for your children’s bedroom:

  • Storage: With built-in nooks or cupboards, pull out drawers, and spacious under bed storage options, bunk beds are excellent for stashing your children’s various clothes, toys, gadgets or gizmos away with ease.
  • Space: If your kid does have regular sleepovers or your children share a bedroom, the compact, cutting-edge designs of most bunk beds will afford you more floor space, giving your kids room to play and relax before it’s time to turn out the lights.
  • Sleep: As bunk beds come in a host of intriguing shapes, sizes, and designs, choosing the right one will inspire your children to engage in a more consistent bedtime routine, resulting in a better quality of sleep for everyone in the household.

Standard bunk bed mattress dimensions

It’s clear that children’s bunk beds have their fair share of bedtime benefits. But, to ensure you pick the very best bunk bed for your kids’ bedroom, getting your dimensions right is essential.

Here’s a guide to standard UK and European single bunk bed mattress dimensions:

Note: While double bunk bed mattress generally come in the smaller size (120cm x190cm), some double bunks can come in 135cm x 190cm ( 53” x 75”).

The essential children’s bunk bed buying checklist

Before you commit to buying a children’s bunk bed, there are a few things you should consider.

If you overlook these quick-fire kid’s bunk bed buying tips, you could find yourself in a pickle later down the line (this could make you particularly unpopular with your kids, especially if they hate the design or have no space for their toys).

Work through this checklist and you’ll end up choosing a bunk bed that you and your children will cherish:

  • Make sure your child is at least five-years-old and can adhere to safety instructions.
  • If your child is young, make sure your bunk bed of choice has robust safety features.
  • Check that the material of your potential kid’s bunk bed is strong and sturdy. Reviews and a little Google research lead you to your answer—or you can ask us for recommendations.
  • Calculate your room size and make sure that your bunk bed dimensions are suitable for your child’s (or childrens’) bedroom. Use the mattress dimension guide above for reference.
  • Base your decision on a design that is functional for your kids’ bedroom, offering the magic mix of accessibility, functionality, and amazing aesthetics (something that makes the room 110% more epic).
  • Choose colours and a theme that your child or children like and is appropriate for their age. Once you have a shortlist, ask them to help you make a final decision—they’ll be sleeping in it after all.

Different types of kid’s bunk beds

With your bunk bed buying checklist by your side, you'll be ready to start browsing. Here we look at three popular styles of children's bunk beds to help you decide on a style that will best suit your little one (or little ones).

But, first let’s talk about material (or more specifically, wood and metal).

Wooden bunk beds

Wood is, without a doubt, the most popular material when you’re talking about bunk beds. And as a result of sustainable sourcing practices, kid’s bunk beds come in a wide range of wooden options, from maple to pine, to MDF.

Timber is safe, sturdy, and built to last. Plus, the non-toxic treatment applied to most wooden bunk beds protects the frame against knocks and bumps, making it an ideal choice for kid’s bedrooms.

Wooden bunk beds are safe and sturdy but it’s worth noting that moving them once they’re assembled can prove challenging.

Metal bunk beds

On the whole, metal bunk bed frames are made from steel tubing or wrought iron. The best quality metal bunk beds are produced with steel and typically come in a tubular design.

While metal bunk beds offer fewer design choices than their wooden counterparts, they do boast an appealing contemporary look. Plus, metal frames are slightly easier to assemble and support growing bodies.

It’s worth noting that while metal bunk beds are a solid sleep choice, they can become noisy and creaky over time.

Traditional ‘double sleeper’ bunk beds

An ever-popular option, traditional double bunks consist of two standard single beds affixed together, one on top of the other. It’s possible to separate some double bunk beds to make two singles, if necessary.

Most modern double bunk beds come with safety railings and integrated (or under bed) storage solutions. Double bunks are excellent if you’re limited on space and you’re looking for a savvy way of keeping your kids’ bedroom organised.

Triple bunk beds

A taller take on the double bunk, triple bunk beds are as the name suggests: three singles or two singles and a double, stacked up towards the ceiling.

Also known as high sleepers or loft beds, triple bunks are perfect if you have three children sharing a bedroom or two kids sharing and you’re looking to give them some functional leisure space.

With triples, it’s usually possible to convert the bottom bunk into a futon-style seating area for reading, playing, and relaxing during the day. Also, some triple kid’s bunk beds come with attached space-saving storage options including shelves or miniature cubby holes.

Note: In some cases, triple bunk beds also come in the form of a double bunk with a double at the base and a single stacked on top⁠—excellent for sleepovers or if there is a wider age gap between your children:

L-shaped bunk beds

L-shaped or corner bunks are a more contemporary take on the traditional bunk bed and come in double as well as triple form.

L-shaped bunk beds come in a host of head-turning designs and their staggered layout affords more room for functional storage options such as shelving, rails, drawers or cupboards.

The slightly more open plan nature of L-shaped bunks make them more sociable spaces, inspiring play and communication—but the sheer comfort of these beds mean that after the cheer and the chat, your kids will go out like a light.

Safety first…

When it comes to your kids, safety is everything. Once you’ve made your choice and your shiny new bunk bed arrives, you’re likely to be as excited (if not more so) than your children.

But, when you’re building your bunks, take heed and follow this safety advice at all costs:

  • Follow every single assembly instruction with due care and attention to detail.
  • Always install safety rails or guards where provided.
  • The top mattress of your bunk bed should fall at least five inches below the safety rail.
  • Use the right sized mattress for every bunk.
  • Double check the minimum age and maximum weight restrictions for your bunk bed.
  • Ensure your steps or ladders are securely fixed to the bed frame.

"No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap." - Carrie Snow

Your child’s room is a place where they can explore, create, and of course, get the rest they need to thrive.

The right bunk bed will become the beating heart of your child’s room—follow our buyer’s guide and we’re certain that you’ll choose something that will be cherished for years to come.

For more inspiration, read our best five bunk bed choices for everyone in 2019.

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