Growing up I shared a bedroom with my sister and dreamed of someday having my own. With five kids in the family, however, I had to be patient.
I thought my two sons would love having their own bedrooms. But what they loved was the bunk bed in my oldest son’s room – they loved sleeping stacked on one another – they loved hanging a blanket around the bottom and playing in a cave – they loved climbing the ladder to the top of the mountain. So one bedroom sat empty each night.
At one point my husband and I talked about separating the bunk bed into two twin beds because I was having trouble changing the top bed mattress. The kids were crushed. I caved. The kids were happy again and I found a way to more easily change the top mattress. The photo above is not my kids’ bed (it’s from Bedstar) - the boys are out of the house and so is the bunk bed, but they loved it for years .
Bunk Bed Options
Bunk bed styles include a variety of options: two stacked beds that can be separated as twins; a twin over a double; a twin over a desk/workspace; and a twin over a futon. They provide living flexibility for children to young adults.
But if you’re thinking about purchasing a bunk you should carefully weigh both the pros and the cons before making a decision in order to make sure the furniture suits the circumstances.
Pros of Bunk Beds
Kids love the adventure of bunk beds – they seem to spark a child’s imagination. Plus, bunk beds can be a wonderful space-saving option in a small room, especially if two kids are sharing the room. Placing the beds in a vertical space frees up the rest of the room for other activities.
If a child enjoys sleepovers, the guest simply uses one part of the bunk bed. Some bunk beds even feature a trundle bed (a pull-out bed stored under the bottom bunk) or futons that change to double beds as above. So with a bunk and a trundle or a full mattress even a tiny bedroom can sleep at least three kids.
Not just for the youngest kids – even college students choose bunk beds for their notoriously small dorm rooms as they use space very efficiently.
Cons of Bunk Beds
Bunk beds include risk. Kids under the age of six should not sleep on the top bunk as children have been known roll off the top. If a child sleep walks or has other sleep disturbances they should not sleep on top either. Instead of using single beds mattresses on both the top and bottom bunks, you might consider using a larger bed as the bottom bunk so that if anyone slips off the top bunk they will land on the mattress instead of the floor.
Bunk beds include safety rails on each side of the top mattress – use them no matter what the sleeper’s age and make sure they are high enough to prevent an accidental fall. Check the railing and the ladder often to make sure they remain securely attached.
When you replace the original top single mattress make sure to buy one the same thickness as the original. If you use a thicker or wider mattress it can interfere with or negate the safety of the railing and the ladder.
It is critical to follow bunk bed assembly instructions carefully! Then periodically inspect the bed to make sure all screws are tight and the bed is sturdy and the ladder properly attached. Do not allow your children to jump or rough-house on the top bunk. If the bed collapses it can cause serious injury or even death.
Despite their practicality and inherent fun, bunk beds include risk. Think about your kids’ age and behavior, make sure the bed is stable, weigh the options…then make your decision. Pay attention to the safety precautions and you (and your kids!) will enjoy the bunk bed for years.
Thanks to our advertising affiliate Bedstar for the generous use of their photos. Send us photos of your bunk beds if you’ve got ‘em (email to email@example.com) or tell us your point of view on bunk beds – pro or con?