Children's Bunk Beds Buying Guide

Bunk Beds are brilliant and kids just can’t get enough of them! Have a read of our handy guide to help find the right one for your child.

bunk bed buying guide

Anne Davies

Mum of a tweenager and owner of Room to Grow. Anne works with the world’s leading manufacturers to source the best bunk beds, high beds, mid sleepers and low beds in all varieties. She knows as a parent how tricky it can be choosing the right bed that gives the optimum storage, study and sleep space without compromising on style. An expert in helping parents find the right bed for their child and creating a dream bedroom.

Anne Davies owner of Room to Grow

Bunk beds for kids are brilliant! With 2 beds in 1, they are a very popular solution with families with more than one child, if room size is limited, or simply because it has a great spare bed which is essential for those all-important sleepovers or when guests come to stay!

How To Pick The Right Bunk Bed

Fundamentally, bunk beds are multi-talented because they provide essential personal space in a shared room – this is an important consideration when siblings share or if your child loves sleepovers. Each child will delight in having their own private space, which they can personalize and call their own. They can choose their own bed linen, add fairy lights, tents and curtains….the options are endless and they will have so much fun creating their very own haven.


Many bunk bed designs vary in height and it is important to consider the overall height of the bunk bed in your room and whether there is enough space for your child from the top bunk to the ceiling. Also, it’s always a good idea to check the distance between bunks. If your child loves to read and sleeps on the bottom bunk, then maybe they will want to sit up in bed with a book, or you may want to snuggle down with your child and read a bedtime story. It’s always worth thinking about…


There are so many different styles, shapes, colours and sizes to consider, so your options really are extensive, but here are the different styles which we hope will help you find your perfect bunk bed and guide you through the choices available.


Which bunk beds are right for your child?

Kids bunk beds are great space saver and offers excellent use of space within a bedroom. With different designs, finishes and formations available for you to choose from:

Standard Bunk Bed

A standard bunk bed usually features the classic design of one bed on top of another with a connecting traditional step ladder providing access to the top bunk.


Many standard bunk beds can be separated to create two low single twin beds – you may see these described as ‘convertible’ or ‘detachable’ bunk beds. These can be a fantastic option if you move home, your children no longer need to share a room, or as they grow and they simply want a change and no longer want to climb the ladder to bed! 


Depending on your style and décor, there is also an array of finishes to choose from such as wood, metal, fabric and painted bunk beds.


L-Shaped Bunk Bed

An L-shaped bunk bed is where the freestanding lower bed faces at a 90-degree angle from the top bunk to create an attractive L-shape formation. Great if you have more floor space to play with and will look fantastic in the corner of a bedroom.


Because of the flexible arrangement, there is space around the bottom bed so many families use this space to create a fantastic ‘kick-back’ zone, as there is usually space for a bookcase and desk, and once you’ve added cushions and throws to the bottom bed, it’s a great zone for relaxing.


Triple & Double Bunk Beds

For kids that love sleepovers, this is the ultimate option! A Triple Bunk will commonly feature a double/small double bed below with a single bed above. A Double Bunk will provide two double beds fixed one on top of the other.


A triple or double bunk bed is a great solution for convincing an older sibling to share with a younger one, because the larger lower bunk provides plenty of space for an older child as well as extra opportunities for under-bed storage.


A double bunk bed or triple bunk bed will quickly increase sleeping space in your home and will comfortably allow sleeping space for up to 3 – 4 children and or adults.


Trundle Bunk Bed

Yet another great option for sleepovers! Bunk beds with trundles have an optional pull-out drawer that sits underneath the lower bunk bed. All you need to do is simply pop a mattress into the drawer and you will have the perfect sleepover bed in an instant!


And, if you don’t want to use it for a sleepover bed then you can always use this enormous space for additional storage. A trundle drawer is extremely flexible so you will be onto a winner, however, you decide to use it.


Storage Bunk Bed

An upgrade on the standard design, many bunk beds with storage has great integrated storage too. This can include shelving, under-bed drawers which offer valuable extra storage, or even a wardrobe with an offset bunk.


Here are some frequently asked questions by our customers that you may find helpful in selecting your perfect bunk bed.

How old does a child need to be for a bunk bed?

Due to safety standards, manufacturers recommend that only children over the age of 6 are suitable for the top bunk. Most importantly, children should never play on a bunk bed, especially the top bunk to avoid any nasty accidents.


How much weight can a bunk bed hold?

All of our bunk beds are tested up to 80 – 100kg and are designed for children. It is not to say that grown-ups cannot sleep in either of the beds, but as they are intended for children, they are only tested to this weight.


What type of mattress for a bunk bed?

Use the mattress size that is advised by the manufacturer to ensure that it fits within the bed frame.


This information will be clearly detailed within the product information on the product page.


A standard UK single bed takes a mattress size 90cm wide  x 190cm long compared to a European / Continental single bed which requires a mattress of 90cm wide x 200cm long so just an extra 10cm longer. 


There are so many bed sizes out there for you to choose from, so here’s a useful list of mattress sizes to help you work out which bed size is best suited to your space:


Standard UK Single – mattress 90cm x 190cm
European Single – mattress 90cm x 200cm
Small UK Double – mattress 120cm x 190cm
Standard UK Double – mattress 135cm x 190cm
Small European Double – mattress 120cm x 200cm
Standard European Double – mattress 140cm x 200cm


What bedding do I need to buy for my bunk bed?

If you opt for a UK single bunk bed then you will simply need standard UK fitted sheets and a normal single duvet.


If you opt for the European single bunk bed then you will need to buy a larger fitted sheet. These are readily available but you need to select a ‘large’ single fitted sheet. You can still use a UK normal single duvet.


For a UK double bunk, use a standard UK double bed fitted sheet and duvet.


For a European small double or double you will be able to find a larger fitted sheet to take the extra length of the mattress (see mattress sizes above). A standard UK duvet and pillows will fit on both of these bed frames.


How do I make the top bunk?

Making up the top bunk has to be the most difficult part of owning a bunk bed! When you first assemble the bunk bed, it’s a really good idea to put the fitted sheet on the mattress before putting the mattress on the bed frame. Once the mattress is in place and it’s time to change the sheets, you can either climb up (make sure you have plenty of room between the bed and the ceiling so you don’t hit your head) or even better, teach your children to change their own sheet. Or, it’s always a good idea to do this by teamwork – they can do the two corners that are furthest away and you can do the corners that you can reach from the floor.


Bunk bed safety

Bunk beds, when properly constructed and assembled, are structurally safe. Safety issues come not assembling the bed frame correctly or from playing accidents on the top bunk. These mistakes can easily be avoided. There are some simple things to keep in mind to make sure no one gets hurt.


* Ensure the safety rail is fitted on both sides of the bunk bed. Don’t forgot the safety rail on the wall-side of the bed as small children can slip down between the mattress and the wall.

* Don’t place the bed directly under a light fixing or ceiling fan, unless of course there’s plenty of clearance and the child will not hit their head on it.

* Make sure that the ladder is secure so it doesn’t slip out from under someone climbing to the top bunk.

* Ensure that only one person sleeps in the top bunk (unless it is a double bunk).

* It’s always a good idea to use a night light if a child is sleeping on the top bunk so that they can see if they need to use the ladder during the night.

* We recommend that you only use the correct size mattress for the bunk as specified for length and height. A top bunk will have a maximum mattress height recommendation to ensure that the child is safe and doesn’t roll out over the safety rails. All bunk beds have a safety sticker on the bed frame that will highlight the maximum mattress level so look out for this. Children under 6 should not use the top bunk.

* We recommend that you do not attach or hang items to any part of the bunk bed that are not designed for use with the bed. For example, but not limited to, hooks, belts and skipping ropes.

* Periodically check and ensure that the guardrails, ladder and other parts are in their proper position, free from damage, and that all fixings are secure.

* Do not use substitute parts that are not designed for use with the bed. Always contact us for replacement parts.


As you can see there are bunk beds of all shapes and sizes, colours and finishes. Some with a traditional ladder and others with deep steps, many have straight ladders and some have slanting ladders. Some styles also have hand rails to assist with safer climbing.


Kids simply love to sleep up high and climb up to bed because it makes bedtime much more fun and exciting! 

All Buying Guides for Kids Beds:

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