There are lots of reasons why you might be considering buying a bunk bed. My kids have had one for a little over two years and when we first bought our, I wasn’t sure what I needed to know. If you are wondering whether it is a good idea or want to know what to look for, here are 8 things to consider when buying a bunk bed.
What to know when buying a bunk bed
1. Age of kids
How old are your kids? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 6 shouldn’t sleep on the top bunk. Younger kids tend to wake up more often at night. Climbing down a ladder is a learned skill and not one that most kids can do easily while mostly asleep.
2. Sleeping style
Even older kids may not be sleeping through the night 100 percent of the time. My daughter sleepwalks on occasion, although not nearly as much now as when she was younger. If you child often gets up at night, it might be a good idea for him or her to sleep on the bottom.
Let’s be honest. Kids like to jump on beds. Sometimes kids like to jump off of beds too. If you have a daredevil, consider whether he or she will behave on the top bunk, especially when you aren’t in the room.
I have a very vivid memory of my younger brother falling off of a bunk bed. He must have been about age 6 and he ended up hanging from a corner by his shorts. Bunks now have more safety features, but nothing is entirely childproof.
4. Layout of the bedroom
It is important that the bunk bed is against at least one wall, two if possible. The fewer sides a sleeper can roll out of, the better. This comes in handy for kids not sleeping on a top bunk too. All top bunks have guardrails, but extra caution is always smart.
Keep the ceiling in mind too. Bunk beds are fairly high off the ground, but the top level varies by manufacturer. The top bunk sleeper may be able to touch the ceiling fan, lights, or the ceiling.
5. Shopping budget
Of course, budget plays a role in most shopping purchases. Look around at several stores to see what features you like. A wood bed will cost more than a metal one. Additional features, like a built-in desk or bookshelf, are cool but will add to the budget. Don’t forget that you will likely need to buy two mattresses too. We recently purchased a memory foam mattress for our kids, and would highly recommend you check them out! They aren’t usually included.
6. How long you need a bunk bed
Will two kids be sharing a room for several years or is this a temporary solution? If you will be using the bunk bed for a while, make sure that your children won’t outgrow it too quickly. Check the weight limit on the top bunk. Most are around 100 pounds, but more many kids, that happens in middle school. Also check the distance between the beds. The person on the bottom needs to be able to sit up comfortably.
7. What to do when you no longer need a bunk bed
When your kids no longer share a room or as they grow, a bunk bed might not be necessary. Sleeping in a twin bed might be fine, unless your teen ends up over 6 feet tall. Will one child keep the bunk beds? Will you try to resell or give them to a relative?
Some bunk beds come apart to make two separate twin beds. This can be handy if you move or just decide that everyone needs to be closer to the floor.
8. Other options
If you are shopping for a bunk bed to save space in a small room, you might have few alternatives. When they are very young, two kids might be happy to sleep in the same bed. A trundle bed, which is a mattress on wheels that rolls out from under another bed, can also be practical. There must be room for the trundle to roll out though.
Once you’ve thought through your options and decided what you need, buying a bunk bed is fun. Ask the kids for input or let them each choose something, like the sheets.
By the way, this is the bunk bed that we purchased for our kids through Amazon.
Do your kids sleep in a bunk bed? Do you have any tips to add?