Comprehensive Bunk Bed Guide

Welcome to Our Bunk Bed Buying Guide

How to Buy Bunk Beds Online

Everything You Need to Know to Make an Informed Decision

The convenience of a bunk bed cannot be overstated. It gives siblings their own private area for sleeping while conserving overall space in the room. The space a bunk bed frees up can then be used in fun, creative ways. Bunk beds can also make it easier and more enjoyable to get children ready for bedtime, as kids love the novelty of the unconventional sleeping arrangement. However, there are also potential drawbacks that parents must consider. While making the bed on a daily basis is a common chore that helps instill responsibility in youngsters, making the top bed in a bunk bed setup can be exceedingly difficult. Safety issues, such as the risk of falling out of the bed or getting caught between the bed and the wall, may be a deterrent as well. To allay these concerns and take advantage of all the conveniences that bunk beds offer, parents must thoroughly research their options before making a purchase.


One of the most important factors to consider is the dimensions of the space into which the bed must fit. The height of the space, as well as the length and width, must be measured prior to making a selection. Bunk beds typically fluctuate between five and six feet tall. For the sake of safety, about two to three feet of space should be left between the surface of the top bunk and the ceiling. The length and width of the bedroom will help determine the size of the top and bottom mattresses. Available bunk bed sizes include twin over twin, twin over full, and full over full. Parents must also consider the height and weight of the children for which the bed is intended.

Some of the more unique options on the market, such as loft beds and L-shaped models, may be suitable for certain families but often take up an increased amount of floor space. Knowing the dimensions of the room where the bed will reside will prevent the costly mistake of purchasing a model that's too big or too close to the ceiling.

Read more about choosing bunk bed sizes.

Types / Materials

Most bunk beds on sale today are either made from metal or wood. Both materials come with advantages and drawbacks that make them appropriate for different situations. Safety features, child preference, and longevity are all things to consider when deliberating about bunk bed composition. Metal bunk bed frames frequently become squeaky over time. While lubricating the joints of the bed may lessen or eliminate the noise, metal frames are not recommended for restless children. Additionally, metal bunk beds may experience alignment issues after extended use and prove relatively difficult to use. On the other hand, metal beds are much lighter than their wooden counterparts, which makes them ideal for families who frequently move or for older children who will no longer need bunks in the near future. Metal bunk bed models are also typically less expensive due to the lower production costs. Furthermore, metal materials deter bed bugs and feature a modern look that kids appreciate.

Wooden bunk bed models saturate the market. As a result, there are many more finishes, colors, and features to choose from. Parents may favor wooden frames when they want to choose a finish that matches the furniture already in the bedroom. The sturdiness and durability of these beds can be a drawback as well as an asset: the beds may be too heavy to move, but they maintain a like-new condition for years after the initial purchase. Over time, however, the wood may start to deteriorate, and parents will have to worry about splinters and cracks forming in the support beams. Wooden bunk beds can usually be separated into individual ones, which conveniently eliminates the need for new beds when siblings become old enough to get their own rooms.

Read more about choosing a bunk bed type or material.

Design Features

Bunk beds increasingly come with space-saving features and other fun attributes. The main choice parents will have to make is deciding between a bunk bed with stairs and one with a ladder. While ladders vary in thickness and stability, stairs tend to come with built-in drawers and texturized slips to prevent skidding. Bunk beds with stairs, however, are typically more expensive. To take further advantage of the space-saving qualities of bunk beds, parents and children can choose models with built-in chests of drawers or bedside tables. Older children in school may appreciate bunk beds with integrated work desks, while younger children may be enamored with models that feature themed tents and slides. Similarly, loft bed designs often come with storage shelves or futons.

Styles & Designs

Read more about bunk bed styles and designs.

Choosing a Bunk Bed Mattress

While some bunk bed models make shopping more convenient by including the mattresses with the set, beds that are sold separately give parents the opportunity to pick a mattress that caters to the unique sleeping habits of their child. When shopping for children's mattresses, parents should bring their kids along to test the potential purchases for ideal comfort and support.

Primary Mattress Sizes

Since the size of the mattress is determined by the bed frame, the main choice to make centers on the mattress composition. Durable and generally firmer than other mattress types, innerspring mattresses are capable of supporting back, stomach, and side sleepers alike. The other available mattress design is foam. As foam causes users to sink into the mattress, this type is best for restless sleepers who are less likely to be disturbed by their own movement. However, the plushness of foam makes it a poor choice for children who like to sleep on their stomach. Other important considerations include mattress thickness and weight. The thickness of the mattress should not exceed the height of the guardrails that bunk beds provide to prevent children from falling out. Typically, mattresses less than six inches thick are best. Parents should select a relatively lightweight mattress that can be hoisted into the bed frame and that prevents the future occurrence of any problems related to support.

Read more about choosing a bunk bed mattress.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best bunk bed largely depends on the family and the situation. It is better to thoroughly research all available options before making a decision than to choose a bed that may become useless in just a short period of time, or one that proves unsafe for children. The opinions and preferences of both the parents and children should help inform the final decision. For an ideal mix of quality and affordability, browse the bunk beds on sale at Rooms To Go.