Bunk Beds vs Loft Beds: What’s the Difference?

Posted on 14/06/2022 by Room to Grow
Children's Beds

Nordic High sleeper 2 with long desk & shelving (slatted panels)

With the array of different children’s beds on the market it is a common misconception that any bed with a ladder is deemed a bunk bed. 

Bunk beds in the traditional sense are two beds, one above the other to minimise the footprint of the bed by having one bed at height. They are ideal for:

The main feature of a bunk bed is two beds, but they have diversified over time with offset bunk beds where the lower bunk juts out from the top, and L-shaped bunks where the bottom bunk sits at a right angle. Both types of bunk beds offer more space to the child and allow them to sit up in bed without the restrictions of a typical bunk bed.

Bloc White Bunkbed

The idea of a raised bunk bed, allowing the use of the underbed space, has become increasingly popular and is often referred to as a ‘bunk bed with space underneath’. Other styles include ‘bunk bed with desk’ or ‘bunk bed with storage’ where the underbed space becomes a sanctuary for study space, gaming areas, storage space or just a place to play while maximising floor space.

High sleepers and loft beds are a similar concept, only with one bed. While the bed itself has a larger footprint, by utilising the height in the room for the sleep area, you can make the most of the underbed space without encroaching on the rest of the bedroom.

Bunk Bed Safety

As with the top bunk of bunk beds, the recommended minimum age for a loft bed or high bed is six years old. Children need to be old enough to navigate the ladder confidently and understand certain rules when on the top bed. These include:

When it comes to loft beds, there are different types.

Loft Bed with Desk

You can have a high loft bed with desk underneath, making the most of the space under the bed to fit a desk and create a study area under the bed without having to have a separate desk elsewhere in the room. An ingenious use of space and children love their having their own personal space.

Loft Bed with Desk

High bed with gaming station

Over recent years the trend for gaming is now huge and another great use for a high bed is to create a gaming area under the bed where kids can play and interact with friends. All the gaming equipment and screens can be kept neatly under the bed, keeping their bedroom tidy and creating a special gaming area.

Loft Pod 2 Gaming Bed

Loft bed with sofa

A modern twist on the traditional bunk bed is a loft bed with sofa bed underneath. A favourite among tweens and teens with the bed at height and underneath a desk and sofa chair that easily converts to a bed for occasional use for sleepovers or just a great place to chill out, read, hang out with friends. This creates a cosy space under the bed.

Loft bed with sofa

High bed with storage

Another great feature of loft beds is that they are often taller than bunk beds which allows even more space under the bed. This space can even have enough height for a wardrobe, shelving and extra storage. Often there are storage compartments in the bed stairs or shelving behind the steps. The whole area of the bed can be used making the most of the space available. 

High bed with storage

Loft bed with play area

It may be that the under bed space is just a great space for play, creating a den area or a reading corner. The high bed is great for climbing into when it’s time to go to sleep but the under bed space offers extra space in the bedroom which can be used in the daytime.

Loft bed with play area

So, when we consider the differences between a Bunk bed and a Loft bed they can be characterised by the fact that a bunk bed with space underneath is essentially a loft bed. There are certain considerations for choosing a loft bed over a bunk bed;


  • Sleeps 2
  • Great for children sharing a room
  • Top bunk recommended for age 6+
  • Good for small bedrooms
  • Top bunk usually around 160cm high underneath
  • One bed above the other


  • Sleeps 1
  • Great for children sharing a room              
  • Great use of under bed space for a desk, wardrobe, chair bed
  • Age 6+ popular with older children and teens
  • Small footprint of bed
  • Height of bed up to 180cm high giving more space
  • More versatility of underbed space

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