With many homeowners finding space at a premium, there are few additions to a kid’s room that make more sense than a bunk bed. And while most of us think of the basic, stacked, twin bed designs that we slept on at summer camp, these beds have gone through a renaissance as of late. Whether you need your kids to share a room, are looking to maximize the space in a room they already have, or just need an extra bed in your home for surprise guests, bunk beds are a great product to look into.
The Traditional Bunk Bed
At its heart, the basic idea behind bunk beds hasn’t changed. You can sleep two kids in the space a single bed normally takes up. If you’re short on bedrooms, can’t give up that home office, or just want to take advantage of the bonding that takes place between siblings when they share a room, any bunk style bed will do the trick. It’s a two for one option that many parents just can’t pass up.
Of course these beds do come with a few safety concerns that a single twin doesn’t, and all involve the fact that one of the beds sits about 5 feet off the ground. Make sure you buy a bed with railings on both sides of the top bunk if you can. Many beds don’t come with the wall-side rail, which is a mistake. A kid can slip between the mattress and wall and get hurt just as bad as if they go over the edge facing the open room. Also, make sure the rails are placed close enough together so your child can’t slip through or get stuck between them as they thrash around at night. Be sure your ladder ties into the frame of the bed so that your kid doesn’t take a tumble climbing up and down, and finally, don’t ever let your kids use their bunk setup as a gymnasium. It’s a recipe for disaster, and doing so makes a trip to the ER just a question of when not if.
Beyond the Standard Fare
Like I said before, these beds have undergone some changes over the years. Loft beds, or bunk bed designs without a bottom bunk, have grown increasingly popular as today’s kids seem to need office space of their own. That space under the top bunk is usually transformed into a desk and computer area for getting their homework done. Lofts also allow for a lot of extra storage space in the form of built in drawers and closets, meaning you can get rid of some of that other furniture that’s taking up valuable space. Many lofts also have a built in couch or futon underneath, making for a nice hang out spot for your youngsters to take a load off and read their favorite book during quiet time.
Bunk Beds as Guest Beds?
This suggestion might sound a little out of sorts, but if you’re short on extra bedrooms it can be a lifesaver when company shows up. Instead of setting up a guest room, purchase a bunk setup with a full size bottom mattress. It’s not the ultimate in privacy, but you’ll find that most adults actually enjoy the trip through memory lane. That and your kid will love having a sleep over with grandpa and grandma snoring away in the bunk below.
Finally, if you’re fun loving and have the means, look into more creative, custom bunk designs as well. Bunk beds are being sold that look like tree houses, doll houses and even castles, and often have a slide attached to make springing out of bed in the morning a little more fun. Kind of goes against the “no jungle gym” rule, but I guarantee you won’t hear any complaints from your kids about it. Just a high pitched scream of delight as they slide down in time for the morning cartoons.