New to the wonderful world of space-sparing bunk beds? If you've never bought a bunk bed before, it’s important to know a few things before you start shopping. Consider the following features and factors as you evaluate different models and designs.
Bunk Beds vs. Loft Beds: While bunk beds are essentially two beds stacked on top of one another or perpendicular to each other, loft beds feature just one bed that's built much higher than a normal bed. The idea of a loft bed is that you'll enjoy a great deal of room beneath it, which you can use for anything from storage to a play space for your kids. Both options present great ways to free up extra space, especially in smaller bedrooms, but bunk beds are ideal if you have several children sharing a room or your child often has sleepover guests.
Safety Features: Bunk beds are elevated and usually require kids to climb ladders to access the top bunk. This means you’ll want to pay some extra attention to safety so your kids can use them comfortably. As you’re looking into different bunk beds, always make sure to keep safety features in the forefront of your mind. Any bed you buy should be made from a sturdy, solid material. The top bunk should incorporate a guardrail to keep kids from accidentally rolling off, and this should be at least 5 inches tall. Kids under age 6 should never sleep in the top bunk.
Weight Limits: While bunk beds and loft beds alike are popular choices for kids, they can be great for saving space in combination guest rooms/offices and varied-use basements. With this in mind, you might choose to provide these types of bed as sleeping options for adult guests. Just make sure that you check the weight capacity for both the top and bottom bunks; this helps you ensure the frame can comfortably hold an adult guest's weight without compromising the bed’s structural integrity or breaking the ladder.
Storage Considerations: Bunk and loft beds both free up space due to their compact, stacked designs, but some offer extra storage space as well. For example, the solid bases of some bottom bunks may feature dresser-style drawers, and other beds may incorporate stairs with a drawer in each step. Finding a bed that offers added shelving or drawers can be a great way to supplement the storage in the room.