The Best Bunk Beds for Kids

Learn what to look for when shopping for a bunk bed and see our top picks for the best bunk beds of 2019.

By Jayna Nickert

Bunk beds are wonderful space saving options for kids who share a room, or for those who like to have friends over for sleepovers often. They’re also wonderful options for dorm rooms, guest bedrooms, hostels, vacation rentals, small spaces, and other shared sleeping spaces. Depending on the style of bunk bed, they can typically sleep 2-3 people comfortably. Not all bunk beds are created equally, and so it’s best to keep an eye out for some specific details when shopping for the best bunk beds for kids (although anyone in the market for a bunk bed can benefit from this guide).

The Best Bunk Beds for Kids

Now that we've covered the various aspects of what to look for when searching for the best bunk bed, it's time to dive into our list of favorites in terms of safety, luxury, value, and more.

The Caribou Hardwood bunk bed set by Storkcraft is a twin bunk bed that’s made of a long-lasting, solid rubberwood. Rubberwood is denser than pine wood, which is the most common type of used to construct bunk beds. This bed easily converts into two separate twin beds and comes with a sturdy ladder and guardrails for safety. In fact, this bunk bed is compliant with ASTM and CPSC safety standards. It is available in several non-toxic finishes and can be found on Amazon for $280.97, or directly on the Storkcraft website.

The Viv + Rae full-size bunk bed is a great option for older children as it has two full-size beds, a trundle bed, and stairs going up to the top bunk with built-in storage. You really cannot get more practical than this bed. Constructed from solid rubberwood, this bed is sturdy and durable. It has additional safety built in with the inclusion of guardrails alongside the stairs and top bunk. This bed can be used with any type of full-size mattress be it innerspring, memory foam, etc.

This bunk bed has a weight capacity of 400 lb, so it can certainly support a few friends having a sleepover. If you ever want to take the bed apart is also converts into two separate beds, one which includes the trundle underneath. This bed is available at Wayfair for of $1,914.00.

You really cannot get more practical and luxurious than with this gorgeous bunk bed set from Pottery Barn. This bed is made of solid spruce wood, plywood, and MDF for strength. This bed has been GREENGUARD Gold Certified for safety. It features a lofted twin size bed with ladder that rests atop a set of shelves and a desk with a full-size bed in the middle. The desk and shelves are easily accessible from both sides of the bed. This is a great space-saving piece that is ideal for tweens and teens, as well as college students. This bed does not split into two separate beds. It’s recommended for ceilings with a minimum height of 8.5 feet. Offered in a variety of finishes and colors to fit your décor, the Kids Camp Twin Loft System can be purchased from Pottery Barn for $2,745.

The Saracina Kids Workstation bunk bed is an excellent option for a single child or teenager who wants to save space in their bedroom. It features a sleek, metal frame that lofts a single twin bed with a built-in desk underneath. The desk area includes built-in shelving, making this an ideal bunk bed for school aged children. This bed can be purchased from Target for $302.

This twin-size bunk bed by Zinus offers the most bang for your buck. It’s constructed of metal and designed for two twin mattresses. The design includes two safety rails on the top bunk and ladders on either side. This bed takes minimal effort to assemble and requires no box spring. In fact, it should take less than an hour to put together. All in all, the Zinus bunk bed is hassle free and gets the job done. It bed can be found on Zinus for $199.


What to Consider When Shopping for Bunk Beds

Age

There’s a great deal to consider when looking for the best bunk beds. But first, you’ll want to factor in the age of your children. Age will determine which size and type of bunk bed frame is ideal, such as a frame to support two twin-size mattresses or a full-size mattress on the bottom bunk and a twin on the top.

Safety

Age will directly impact the safety features you need in bunk beds. Safety features include the type of ladder and railing built into the bunk bed. Small children, for example, would be better suited for twin beds with stairs. Older kids, on the other hand, may prefer ladders and full size beds.

Material

The next factor to consider when shopping for a bunk bed is the material used for the bunk bed’s frame (i.e. wood, metal, etc.). Regardless of the materials used, they should be of high quality and the frame should pass all safety standards.

Many modern bunk beds today are made with metal frames, which tend to be offered at a lower price point. However, solid wood is another popular choice for its durability over a long period of time. Nevertheless, metal bunk beds are still pretty sturdy and easier to keep clean.

Additionally, laminates, also known as veneers, may also be used to construct bunk bed frames. Veneers are made from a variety of wood bits that are compressed together and laminated to look like stained hardwood. These types of bunk beds are not as long-lasting and are more difficult to maintain, although, the price is much lower than solid wood. It’s important for bunk beds to be safe and supportive with sturdy support slats or bunkie boards to keep the mattress from falling through the frame.

Size

Another important factor to consider is the size of your room and height of your ceilings. It wouldn’t be a good idea to place a tall bunk bed in a room with low ceilings. For safety, it’s important your children have ample space to sit up and move around without the threat of bumping into the ceiling. Should your children be older, you will want to account for any growth spurts as well. Most standard bunk beds are 39 inches wide and 75 inches long in size to fit a twin size bed. Bunk beds with full size mattresses, however, are 54×75 inches in size.

Bunk Bed Safety

For safety reasons, children under the age of 6 should not sleep on the top bunk of a bed. It’s also best to ensure you are using guardrails on the top bunk, no matter how old the child is that is sleeping there. There should guardrails that raise at least five inches in height above the top of the mattress in order to prevent a child from rolling off, and the gaps in the guardrails should be no more than 3.5 inches wide to prevent strangling incidents. Kids should not be allowed to play on the top bunk or ladder as this is a common hazard for breaking bones. Any potentially dangerous or sharp items should be removed from the bed, and it is also important to ensure that the mattresses have a good foundation, and are the correct size.

Once you have selected the best bunk bed for your kids, it’s time to start thinking about the ideal mattress for them. Check out our guide to the best mattresses for kids here. The ideal mattress will rely heavily on each child’s unique sleep preferences. You can learn more about this by taking our mattress quiz or referencing the above guide.


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