Bunk beds have long been popular with families who need to fit multiple sleepers in the same bedroom. By stacking two beds on top of one another, you can maximize floor space and accommodate several people.www
Basic bunk beds—a twin bed stacked atop another twin bed—aren’t the only configuration available for getting a couple of beds into a tight space. You can also get triple-stacked bunk beds, a twin bed stacked over a full bed, and a full bed stacked over a full bed. Futons and trundle beds are more ways to pack multiple sleeping spots in a tight space.
Before choosing bunk beds, consider how many sleepers you need room for and how much floor space you have. Read on to find out the best bunk bed for you.
- BEST OVERALL: Max & Lily Bunk Bed
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: DHP Twin-Over-Twin Bunk Bed
- BEST WITH TRUNDLE: DHP Triple Metal Bunk Bed Frame
- BEST TWIN OVER FUTON: DHP Twin-Over-Futon Convertible Couch and Bed
- BEST FULL OVER FULL: Dorel Living Moon Full Over Full Bunk Bed
Popular Types of Bunk Beds
Bunk beds come in a range of styles to suit a variety of needs.
Basic Bunk Bed
The basic bunk bed has two twin beds stacked on top of one another. You can reach the upper bunk by climbing a ladder. They are a great space-saving solution, allowing two people to share a bedroom without gobbling up a lot of floor space. This style is typically the most affordable. Some bunk beds stack two full-size beds. Many basic bunk beds can also be taken apart and used as two stand-alone beds.
Futon Bunk Bed
The futon bunk bed is similar to a basic bunk bed except it has a futon instead of a bed on the lower level. The lofted bed is typically twin-sized, though it can also be a double. The futon can function as a couch, or fold out to become a bed. It’s a good choice for families with children who have frequent sleepover guests, or teens who want a seating area in their bedroom.
Trundle Bunk Bed
If you need to accommodate two sleepers in one room, and occasionally host overnight guests, a trundle bunk bed might be the best bunk bed for you. This style is a basic bunk bed with a third, trundle-style bed underneath the bottom bunk. The trundle bed typically slides out on casters that lock into place to stabilize it. Though trundle bunk beds usually feature twin-size beds, it’s also possible to find full-size ones.
Triple Bunk Bed
A triple bunk bed uses a room’s vertical space to its maximum potential. Large families can make efficient use of their space by stacking three beds on top of one another. Triple bunk beds can be good for cottages and holiday homes that regularly get lots of overnight guests. Triple bunk beds also make a good addition to an AirBnB or vacation rental to maximize the number of people who can stay on the property.
A study loft features a twin or a full-size bed elevated over an open space. This is a good solution for small bedrooms that don’t have enough square footage for several pieces of furniture. The space under the bed is typically used for a desk, but it can also be used for a seating area or additional storage. Some study lofts feature built-in desks and other storage solutions. Junior lofts are a variation on the study loft, but are lower to the ground. They’re made to accommodate younger children’s play areas.
The twin-over-full style of bunk bed is similar to the basic bunk bed with one difference: the bottom bed is full-sized. This is a good arrangement for families who want to provide a more spacious bed to an older child. This arrangement is more open visually than two full-size beds stacked on top of one another. Like basic bunk beds, twin-over-full bunks can often be unstacked and used separately.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bunk Bed
Read on to find out what to keep in mind when shopping for the best bunk beds for your home.
The size of the bedroom that needs to be furnished will determine the best bunk bed style for you. The basic bunk bed is one of the most efficient uses of space for families who need to accommodate two children in one bedroom. A study loft will make a room feel larger since it uses the vertical space of the room to create an additional living space. Bunks beds featuring built-in storage can also be useful when short on space, because they can substitute for a dresser.
Number of Sleepers
The number of sleepers you need to accommodate is one of the most important considerations when shopping for a bunk bed. Study lofts and junior lofts save space, but they can only accommodate one person. Some families need room for an occasional extra sleeper; trundle bunk beds and futon bunk beds work well for that purpose.
Both wood and metal are commonly used for bunk bed frames. Both options can be durable and safe, so the choice is mostly an aesthetic one.
- Metal bunk beds are generally less expensive. They are also more lightweight, so they can be a good choice if you move frequently. Their design is usually simple and minimalistic.
- Wooden bunk beds have a more traditional appearance. They can be made from oak, pine, rubber wood, or engineered wood. They are generally more expensive and are heavier than their metal counterparts.
The weight capacity of a bunk bed is the amount of weight each bed frame can safely support. Be sure to include the weight of your mattress and bedding along with the sleeper’s weight when calculating whether a bunk bed is strong enough for your purposes. Bunk beds are commonly used in children’s rooms, but some bunk beds are built to accommodate adults and have higher weight limits.
Some bunk beds have built-in storage. This can be handy if you don’t have room for a dresser. The most basic type of storage in bunk beds is an elevated bottom bunk with drawers underneath. Some bunk beds have creative storage solutions like drawers built into the stairs that lead to the top bunk.
Upper bunks should have guardrails that extend at least five inches above the top of the mattress. It’s also important that the bunk bed’s ladder can be secured. You should also make sure your child understands how to use their bunk bed safely to minimize risk.
Some bunk beds come with additional features.
- USB ports allow users to charge their devices at their bedside, while they sleep.
- Extra-high guardrails allow you to use a mattress of any height without sacrificing safety.
- Themed designs are available for children’s rooms. Many bunk and loft-style beds are constructed to look like castles or play houses, making bedtime fun.
Our Top Picks
Check out some of the best bunk beds on the market in several categories, based on our shopping considerations.
Each bed frame in this piece can hold up to 400 pounds, so it’s solidly constructed and suitable for children, teens, or adults. The beds are supported by pine slats as well as a metal support bar. The 14-inch guardrails are higher than average, providing added security even if you use a thicker mattress (up to 9 inches) on the upper bunk.
The frame is constructed from New Zealand pine wood and finished with low-VOC paint. It includes a built-in, reversible ladder with grooved treads for safe climbing. The twin beds can be stacked or used separately.
This inexpensive option from DHP features two twin beds on a streamlined metal frame with minimalist lines that will suit most decor styles. The front-facing ladder attaches securely to the frame and is slanted for easy climbing. It has full-length guardrails on the upper bunk for optimum safety. This bunk bed isn’t as tall as some and can work in a room with a ceiling as low as seven feet. The upper bunk can hold up to 200 pounds and the lower bunk can hold up to 250 pounds.
If your two children share a room but also have guests for sleepovers, this bunk bed could be a great pick. The trundle bed features four easy-glide casters, making it simple to slide out from under the bottom bunk. Two of the casters lock in place to stabilize the bed. The frame and slats are metal and there’s a built-in ladder. The upper bunk has 11.5-inch high guardrails on all four sides.
The weight limit of the upper bunk is 200 pounds and the lower bunk and trundle bed each hold up to 250 pounds. The maximum mattress height for the upper bunk and trundle is six inches.
DHP’s twin-over-futon bunk bed makes a great choice for a teen’s room where extra seating is desired. The futon can be used as a couch during the day, and converted into a full-size bed for sleepovers. The upper bunk features metal guardrails on all four sides as well as integrated ladders on both ends. The frame is metal and has metal slats underneath the upper bunk and the futon frame. The maximum weight capacity for the upper bunk is 200 pounds, while the limit for the futon is 600 pounds. The futon mattress is not included with this bunk bed.
Dorel Living’s Full Over Full Bunk Bed, able to hold a total of 500 pounds, can easily accommodate older children or teens. The bed frame is made of rubber wood and has a traditional Mission-style design that can work with many decor styles. A ladder and full guardrail are built in.
This bunk bed also features two USB charging ports that can be plugged into the nearest wall outlet, so kids can charge their devices while they sleep.
FAQs About Bunk Beds
Still not sure which bunk beds are the best bunk beds for you? Here are the answers to common questions about them.
Q. Are bunk beds dangerous?
They can be if not used properly. Approximately 36,000 children go to the emergency room each year because of bunk bed-related injuries, making them more dangerous than standard beds. You can minimize risks by following the safety guidelines set out by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Q. What age is appropriate for a bunk bed?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of six should not use the top bunk of a bunk bed.
Q. How long do bunk beds last?
Well-made bunk beds can last for ten years or more.