What to Think about When Buying a Loft Bed
Similar to bunk beds, loft beds create more bedroom space in a way that traditional beds cannot. However, instead of providing two distinct bunks, a lofted bed offers a single, elevated sleep area that leaves a highly customizable open space beneath. Given their versatility, loft beds oblige shoppers to take several factors into consideration to ensure the selected model best serves the sleeper and the bedroom space.
Some of the most important factors to consider include who will be using the bed, which composition fits best with the room and the intended user, and how the space below should be utilized. Keep in mind that, for safety reasons, loft beds are not recommended for children under the age of six.
With distinctly different options available for young children, teenagers, and adults, the most important consideration to keep in mind when shopping for a loft bed is the age of the primary user. Knowing the age of the person intending to use the bed the most will affect many purchase decisions, particularly the size of the bed frame.
Traditional options are limited to full- or twin-size beds, though certain loft beds for adults may feature a queen- or king-sized sleeping space. In general, twin loft beds tend to be ideal for young children, while full loft beds accommodate older children and teenagers better. The intended longevity of the bed should also factor into size choice. Parents wishing to make use of a lofted bed for several years should account for the future growth of their kids and select the best size accordingly.
The composition of a loft bed affects the longevity, safety, and general durability of the product. Wood and metal loft beds comprise the majority of options currently on the market, but plastic models are also available. Each material offers different strengths and weaknesses, so the choice will depend heavily on the context of the situation and the unique needs of the intended user.
A traditional choice that tends to dominate available options, wooden loft beds provide shoppers with more selections regarding designs and finishes. More durable than metal, hardwood and rubberwood compositions are ideal for parents looking to get many years of use out of the loft bed. Since the material resists dents and scratches and appears like new for an extended period of time, wooden loft beds tend to be best for playful young kids prone to roughhousing or accidents. While the most notable drawback to wood is the cost, the higher prices are balanced by the longevity of the material.
Lighter and less expensive than wooden options, metal loft beds are best suited for temporary living spaces, like apartments and dorm rooms, or older children poised to outgrow the bed in a short amount of time. The material is prone to noisy creaking as it ages, which makes metal loft beds a poor choice for restless children. Most metal selections feature a powder coating that makes the bed frame resistant to scratches, chips, UV damage, and rust. Thus, while metal loft beds are not necessarily known for their longevity, they can withstand the rowdy playtime of children. Furthermore, metal is not hospitable to bed bugs and other pests, which makes it a favorable choice for worried parents and institutional use.
Unlike the other more popular options, plastic loft beds are uncommon, and the material is typically used in conjunction with metal or wood. Plastic appeals to parents of young children, as bumping into guardrails or corners made from the softer material is less injurious to the body. Primarily designed for kids within a narrow range of ages, plastic loft beds are not ideal for older children or situations that call for sustained use of the bed over a prolonged period of time.
Designs & Styles
The most appealing feature of loft beds is arguably the customizable space below the sleeping area. Many loft beds come with built-in amenities, though the simplest models allow users to customize the space according to personal preference. Loft beds for children often incorporate a play area into the space underneath, while those geared toward teenagers and adults typically use the extra room for storage or work areas.
Tents and work desks are the most popular add-ons to children's loft beds. Best suited for younger children, tented loft beds frequently boast an open sleep area with themed tents that extend down from the base of the bed or above the mattress to create the look and feel of a castle. Some models feature built-in slides as well as ladders and stairs to add an extra element of fun.
Parents should use their own discretion, in addition to considering the amount of space available in the bedroom, to determine whether a loft bed with a slide is appropriate. Conversely, parents who wish to utilize the space below the bed as a work area instead of a playground can take advantage of loft beds with desks and storage shelves. The age and personal preferences of the child, as well as the intended years of use, should all influence the process of deciding which style loft bed to buy.
Loft beds for adults and teenagers in particular often feature work stations and storage options. Models with built-in desks are best for high school and college students but also offer space saving benefits for adults living in apartments or similarly small residences. Likewise, loft beds with chests of drawers, shelving, and bookcases underneath can also help users maximize available space. Some loft bed selections even come with a futon underneath, which creates a versatile space ideal for working, relaxing, or sleeping.
Mattresses and Safety
The safety of a loft bed depends heavily on the mattress selection. To prevent children from falling out of the bed or getting trapped in gaps or openings around the bed frame, parents must select a mattress that fits snugly into the provided sleeping space and does not exceed the height of the guardrails. While loft bed retailers usually also provide appropriately sized mattresses, shoppers should have specific measurements in mind to ensure the safety of any options offered in-store.
In addition to affecting the safety of the loft bed, different mattress compositions suit different sleep styles and preferences. Selecting a mattress that best meets the needs and preferences of the intended user is integral to ensuring a restful night of sleep. Foam, innerspring coils, or a combination of the two are the most common options. The primary user of the loft bed should test out the various mattress options in-store before settling on a selection.
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Loft beds are convenient, highly customizable, and space-saving. Carefully considering all the major factors before making a purchase should leave shoppers with a quality bed that will provide years of comfort and use. For additional information and insights, check out the wide variety of loft beds on sale right here at Furniture.com.