Finding The Best Bunk Beds
Loft beds and bunk beds have become an increasingly popular way to solve issues of small bedrooms and having enough sleeping places. And while they are most popular with children there has also been an improvement in the best bunk beds to create appropriate furniture for older children and students too. But with all the choices available now, stairs or ladder, metal or wood, storage options, desk area, twins, singles, doubles and more, how do you know what to look for in the best bunk beds so you get something appropriate? Here are some questions and tips to help you narrow your search and get the best bunk bed.
The Best Bunk Bed – What To Look For
How big do you need it?
First of all you need to decide if this bunk bed is for children only or if it needs to be suitable as they grow into young adults, and if additional adults may be using it as a place for guests to sleep. Some bunk beds can take up to 250lbs weight per bunk, and some are designed only with smaller bodies and weights in mind. If your child is going to keep this as their bed for years to come it needs to have space in its length too and it needs to stay comfortable as they grow. You also need to factor in the height between the lower bunk and the upper bunk. Make sure they will be able to sit up without hitting their head.
How old are the users?
Of course the age of the user is going to have a large influence on the style and type of bunk bed you are going to want to buy. For younger children there are smaller bunk beds that are not as highly elevated off the ground, which can take the worry of falling when getting up in the night for the bathroom away. There is always a chance of a fall especially amongst younger children who see a bunk bed as something to play in so perhaps start with a bunk bed at a reduced height, in a few years when they are older, if space is still an issue get something more age appropriate and higher then.
How safe is it?
Perhaps the top concern when getting a bunk bed is safety. Keep in mind all top manufacturers adhere to strict safety standards so just check that your choices meet those too. Other factor that can affect the safety of your bed is how well it has been assembled. Make sure you follow the directions carefully and that the guard rails are properly installed. Also ensure you use the right sized mattress, as the wrong thickness can also put your children at more risk. Other things to check include rough edges on wooden frames and points that could be smoother. Look at other consumer reviews as a guide to how sturdy it is if you are unable to test this yourself. Finally make sure you do not have the stairs or ladder positioned close to a window and that blind strings do not hang down into the bed where a child could get tangled up and have a serious accident.
How many occupants?
Traditionally we think of bunk beds as for two people, one up one down. But nowadays you can get twin and even double sized bunk beds. If you just have two children you are shopping for then a single up and down is enough. If the bed will be separated into two regular beds at some point you might want twins so they are big enough for bodies larger than children! You may also need more room if you intend to let them have regular sleepovers. If it is a bunk bed where both beds are too be used every night you need to get good mattresses for them. If one or both are just for occasional guests then less expensive ones would be acceptable.
Finally the age difference between the siblings should guide you as well. If one is close to late teens/early adulthood they will need a larger bed than the younger sibling. So you might find the best bunk beds in that scenario would be a twin over a double. If there are going to be more than 1 or 2 occupants you may want to lean towards a wooden frame, which tend to be sturdier over the metal frames. Aluminum frames in some beds can start to bend under too much weight.
What look or style are you going for?
There are several fun styles for younger children that you might opt for, princess style and so on. But while that might suit the room’s theme right now, will it in a few years and are you willing to replace the bed so soon? Make sure you choose something that suits the room it is going in. Wooden bunk beds in some cases can be modified later on, metal usually cannot.
What additional features do you want or need?
The best bunk beds are not just providing a place to sleep, they also offer other features such as additional storage in the stairs or drawers under the lower bunk, and let’s face it storage with children is always an issue, there is never enough space to put all their things! Other features can include a desk and chair rather than a lower bed, a trundle for a third sleeping option for sleepovers that slides back under the lower bunk when not needed and so on. Have a shop around to see what features there are.
How much room do you have?
The traditional style of bunk beds is perfect when you do not have much space. But you still need to think about the other furniture in the room, where the ladder is positioned, where the window is. The stair styled bunk beds need even more thought. They take up more room, and the stairs are not interchangeable, you need to measure out the space you have and check carefully against the specs. If you get a loft style bed and are not using the space beneath for a desk area, you could make more room if you positioned some of smaller furniture below it. Do check out our review of the best bunk bed.