Bunk Beds for Kids & Children, What Types & Popularity

Sleeping on bunks and sharing a room is beneficial for a short period of time for many children, although not all. Kids like they’re own bedroom or at least a separate bed space with the ability to arrange it the way they wish. Bunk beds save space, accommodate 2-4 children sleeping in area of a room and provide different features parents could add.

What is a bunk bed for children?

Essentially a standard bunk bed is 2 separate beds secured on a frame, one stacked above the other, although modern designs could have the lower bed at an L shape 90% angle to the top. Typically bunk berths are standard single or twin size at 75 inches x 39 inches x 65 inches, although the lower bed does also come double sized.

Bunks don’t have box springs as their not required, though they have mattress thickness up to 16cm depth. Children can receive a comfortable nights sleep if parents choose the right size bed bunk for they’re child so they can lay stretch out.

Popular with parents of younger children bunk beds are used in kids bedrooms to save space, especially in small rooms. They think bunks for sleeping on for children are worth it for two boys or girls sharing a room as it allows for more floor and storage space or room to play.

When purchasing a bunk designed bed for you’re daughters are sons you should know their self assembly and don’t usually come with mattress, though some do.

History of bunk beds

  • Dating back to the 1700’s bunk beds have been used in barracks, on ships, work houses, prisons, dormitories, sleeper train/ferry and to accommodate multiple people in one bedroom. For over a hundred years bunks to sleep on have allowed young kids, children, teenagers and adults to sleep on in houses around the world.

Different types of children’s bunk design beds?

Standard size classic bunk bed with 2 single/twin berths suitable for children 6+ year old, teenagers and regular sized adults. One bed above the other attached to a wooden or metal frame there the same width x length size, with the top bunk to the floor being 5 feet 5 inches in height approximately.

Popular bed design with parents around the world for two children sleeping in one bedroom space their generally sold plain with no added features, except a fixed ladder. Some manufacture designs can be separated in 2 single/twin beds if required, but not all.

See Information on standard bunk 2 bed design

Shorty bunk beds designed for kids from 6 years old to young teenagers. The frame and beds are smaller in size; 2 feet 6 or 3 feet length and aren’t so tall overall of standard bunks. Each bunk can hold up to 100 kgs and there manufactured for stability and younger children’s use.

Young kids tend to like shorty bunks for sleeping, especially as they can have friend’s sleepovers. In addition, kids think the bunk is fun plain or with added features, such as a slide. Safety is essential in the bedroom for a kid that’s why the bed design is safe when simple rules are adopted & common sense if followed.

Added features like steps help with a child’s safety as they don’t require using the ladder getting onto & off the top bunk.

See: What are shorty bunks

See: Are shorty bunk beds sturdy and stable

L shaped bunk bed frame design with a top & lower bunk at a 90% right angel perpendicular formation. Models are also offered with 2 bunks on the top, with L bed either single/twin size or it’s single on top with the bottom bunk being double sized.

They tend to be designed and sold with storage, shelves & study desk added features, although parents can opt for a plain version.

See: What are L Shaped Bunk Beds

Triple bunk sleeping bed that has 3 separate berths, one stacked above the other designed for 6+ years old children, teenagers and adults. Single sized bed & mattress up to 200cm length x 39cm providing children a comfortable nights sleep.

Their not very popular in homes as parents don’t generally need one, and also think other bed arrangements for they’re children is more suitable.

Bunk bed with trundle areeffectively a 2 berth bunk with a trundle bed underneath the bottom bunk that can be pulled out for occasional use and stored away.

The trundle is a separate bed in its self made not to be used daily by children. Both bunk beds are on a traditional frame and can be either both single/twin size or single/twin over a small double bed.

Overall bed structure is stable and sturdy, although durability of the trundle won’t last so long as its not built to the same wear & tear strength as the bunk.

See: What are bunk beds with trundle

See: Are they sturdy and stable

Are bunk beds stable & sturdy?

Parents should have confidence in a bunk bed they purchase and place in they’re sons or daughters room to sleep on is safe, stable & sturdy when constructed correctly following the makers instructions. When checked regularly for defects and maintained the frame & beds will last at least 15 years.

Maintenance checks 2-3 times a year on any children’s bunk sleeping bed and attachments should be carried out looking for loose screws or bolts.

Common issues after a period of time and daily bunk use result in bolts loosening,  wobbly & shaky bed. To remedy these parents require making sure all bolts & screws are tight and this will stop excess shaking and any wobble or squeaking noise.

You’ll not be able to stop all bunk shaking as a child gets on and off they’re bed, although you can reduce it further by placing the frame up against a flat bedroom wall.

Teenagers sleeping on a bunk

After speaking to teenagers & parents the view is that sleeping on a bunk is not popular with teenagers aged 13-19 years old. Length 200cm x 39cm width single beds allows girl & boy a teens up to 6 feet 1’ to stretch out, and provides a comfortable nights sleep.

Teenagers view bunk berths as childish and prefer a bed that’s separate from another.

Bunk beds are a good idea for teenagers for family visits or sleepovers. Teens don’t seem to mind when on holiday or they share a room with friends at a hostel using a bunk, although not frequently.

See: Are Bunk Beds a Good Idea for Teenage Girl

See: Can a Teenager Use a Bunk Bed

See: Are Bunk Beds Childish

Do children like bunk beds?

Conducting a survey of 300 parents & teenagers I came to realise that children like bunk beds at a younger age and for different reasons. Overall, teenagers don’t want to use bunks to sleep on as they said there for young kids, look naff and wanted a normal single bed.

Teenagers didn’t mind sleeping on a bunk berth on holiday in a chalet or youth hostel; although they don’t want one in they’re bedroom.

Many of the younger children liked the idea of sleeping on bunks, and the height as their different and fun. Parents stated they’re kids can play games, hangout with friends and have sleepovers with any empty berth space.

The additional feature of a fun slide was popular as with the steps to get up & down from the top bunk, as it’s easier & safer.

See: Survey on if children like bunk beds or not

What bunk bed and frame materials are available?

Majority of modern bunk beds are made of wood or metal, although compacted fabric construction materials is also an option also providing more colour.

Wooden material bunks are beds made around the world from oak, pine, cedar and other lighter woods. More expensive that metal a wood option can be made with a rustic look or plain modern for a child that is strong.

Equally strong are metal frame bunks that are sturdier that fabric or wooden beds, because of hard metal use.

Bedroom size and height for bed bunks

Deciding to purchase bunks for your sons or daughters to sleep on means checking the bedroom height and floor area measurements to allow adequate space and head height.

You should allow at least 33-40 inches head clearance from the top of the bunk to the roof for your boys or girls to comfortably move around on the upper bunk.

With a 7 foot high ceiling the bunk should be no more than 60 inches high, like a shorty for young children allowing for enough head room. 8 feet high or more bedroom roof provides enough height for standard bunks with kids or for teenagers, as bunks are around 5 feet 5’ to 6 foot tall.

Floor space for the frame and other bedroom furniture requires being factored, and allowing for use of a pull out trundle bed if required, adequate space for play & moving around comfortably.

Children’s bunk bed safety

Bunk beds are safe for children from 13-19 year old teenagers down to 6-12 year old children, if constructed to the manufactures guidelines. Children and young kids require having the cognitive ability and common sense to use bunks appropriately for safety reasons.

The UK has regulations on the safety of bunk beds covering type of materials, strength, constructed, stability & durability under British Safety Standard number BS EN 747:2012 + A1 2015. Equally, The Bunk Beds (Entrapment Hazards) (Safety) Regulations 1987 govern the advertising and sale of bunk sleeper beds in the UK for health & safety reasons to protect consumers & children.

In the USA product safety regulation on bunk beds is strictly governed by standards and with additional requirements, including of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission top bunk sleeping and access should only be for children 6 years old & above for safety reasons.

Nationwide Children’s provides some basic safety guidelines for your children using bunk beds helping to reduce half of the 36,000 injuries each year in the USA, around half of which kids are under 6 years old.

  • Construct the bunks & frame according the instructions provided by the manufacturer using all parts supplied.
  • Don’t make any modification/adjustments to the frame structure or the beds for safety related issues.
  • Stay within the weight capacity for the frame and each bunk berth.
  • No more than 2 children on the top bunk, and 4 in total on both beds at once.
  • Guard rails supplied must be fitted correctly and securely.
  • Entire bunk frame, attachments and beds should be check regularly for damage, and tighten any bolts & screws that loosen.
  • Place the bunk frame against a wall for added stability, ideally in a corner so it has walls on 2 sides.
  • Parents should have strict instructions for they’re kids & teenagers to follow on how to correctly & safely use they’re bunks.
  • Children 6 + only on the top bunk or on the ladder, according to The US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • No standing on the upper bunk or swinging or games on any part of the frame.
  • Use the ladder, steps or slide to get on and off the top bunk.
  • Add night lamps to each bunk so children see when it’s dark at night.
  • Use only a mattress that suitable and the right size for the design and model of each bunk.
  • No obstructions on the frame or ladder, such as hanging clothes.
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