Last updated: February 28, 2017
If your thoughts about bunk beds take you back to those rickety old beds with the wobbly ladder from summer camp, then think again. Today’s best bunk beds are exciting to sleep on, beautiful to look at, and they will maximize your living space.
Whether you have one child, two kids, or no kids at all, there are many good reasons to buy a bunk bed. Many people are downsizing and trying to live with less space. Having a bunk bed can be a life saver if you are short on space.
With tiny house living becoming more popular, saving space has taken on an extreme level. Many bed companies have responded by offering a wide variety of bunk beds. And, what child doesn’t love to sleep on a bunk bed even when space isn't an issue?
The fun of sleeping on a bunk bed isn’t just for kids. Even adults are getting in on the fun.In this review of the best bunk beds, we will give you some great examples of different bunk beds for different uses.
Mainstay Easy-to-Convert to Twin Bed
Mission Twin Over Twin Staircase
Bedz King Stairway Bunk Bed Twin
Broyhill Kids Breckenridge Captain's Bed
Mission Twin Over Full Staircase
DONCO Kids 760-CP Low Study Loft Bed
Coaster Loft Bed Full Size Work Station
Mission Bunkbed with Slat-Kits
House Double Bunk Beds
Table of Contents
What are the advantages of having bunk beds
Saving space is the most obvious benefit of having bunk beds. If you are in an apartment or have several children, by going for height, you can open up a lot of floor space. That space can be filled with more furniture such as dressers or wardrobes, or it can be left open for kids to play with their toys. Not having the play area in the living room can keep the house tidy and give everyone a bit of privacy in even the smallest home.
Room for Growth
As siblings grow, you have adaptability with bunk beds. Let’s say that you have three kids per bedroom, two in a bunk bed and one in a twin sized bed. The one in the twin bed may be leaving for college, for example, and their bed gets removed.
Now, you can break up the bunk bed into two twin beds without needing to buy two new ones. Or, another likely scenario is that as your kids get older, they have more need for space. As they become teenagers, they may need a desk or more furniture to hold their clothes. Having a bunk bed can keep two teens in the same room even as their storage needs expand.
All Around Fun
As any parent knows, bedtime is one of the most difficult parts of the day. When kids look forward to going to bed, it makes things so much easier. What could be more fun for a child than to climb up on a bunk bed? Kids don’t just love to sleep on a bunk bed. They love to play on them too.
They can pretend they are in a boat or spaceship. They can make a tent and pretend to camp out. There are a lot of ways for kids to have a blast with bunk beds. Anything that can occupy your kids for a while is a welcome addition to any home!
Imagine your guest bedroom with two twin sized beds. Ok, now imagine your guest bedroom with a bunk bed for adults! Your guests will love coming to stay at your house if they can sleep on a bunk bed. Even if it’s a bed over a desk that you use for your office, it will not only save space, but also create quite an impression.
What are the disadvantages of a bunk bed
Bunk bed safety is a real concern and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Of course, while the best bunk beds are extremely safe, there are some that don’t have all the safety features that many people look for. For example, ladders should either be part of the frame or easily secured so they can’t come off of the bed. They should also be easy to climb without feel slipping off of them. A good ladder will actually increase the stability of the entire bed.
Are the slats on the top bed strong enough that the mattress won’t fall on top of the person on the lower bunk? The person on the lower bunk should also have enough headroom that they don’t bang their head when sitting up. Also, rolling off of the top bunk onto the floor can easily happen if the guard rail is not high enough or cover enough of the length of the bed.
Making the Bed
If you dread making the bed, consider how much harder it is to make the bed when it’s the top bunk of a bunk bed. It isn’t the end of the world, but that extra bit of effort to make the bed might just be enough of a turn off to keep you from buying a bunk bed.
Even when you are in a regular bed, getting up at night to go to the bathroom can be a challenge when you are half asleep. Now, picture you or your child getting up from your bunk bed at night to try to get to the bathroom in time! The first few nights in a bunk bed will be especially hard to get used to if your child gets up frequently at night.
What to consider before buying a bunk bed
Can the beds be separated?
As situations and needs change, you will want your bed to adapt to those changes as well. Whatever reason you may have for needing to separate the beds, you don’t want to have to buy new beds because of it. Look ahead to what you think your needs will be before you buy the bed. Don’t get stuck with a bed that will become just a headache.
Do you need storage space?
You may have freed up some floor space for more furniture, but if you still need more storage, you should have a bunk bed that offers storage. That could come in the form of drawers under the bed or stairs. It could even have shelves attached to it.
How much space is there between the beds and to the ceiling?
You’ll want to make sure there is enough headroom between beds for when you or your child sit up. If you can’t sit on the bed without hunching, then it might be too small. If your child sits up quickly, you don’t want them to risk injury by hitting their head.
Consider that kids grow quickly and you need to get the bed that they will grow into. It may seem cute for them to have the size bed they need when they are 2.5 years old, but it won’t be cute when they are six. The same goes for the clearance from the top bunk to the ceiling. If your ceiling is low, then you may want to consider a trundle bed instead of a bunk. You get all the same space saving features but with a much lower profile.
Where is the ladder or stairs located?
When your room is very small and there is little room to work with, it is especially important to understand how the top bunk will be accessed. If the ladder or stairs is on the end of the bed and can’t be moved, that might not allow for much room to access in tight quarters. Some beds also have ladders that come right down the middle of the lower bunk making it difficult for the person to get in and out of bed. If they have to squeeze past a ladder to get in, then getting to bed might end up seeming like a chore.
How stable is the bed?
A very high bed that is also narrow can tip over in the right circumstances. If your kids are big, then it is especially important to make sure the bunk bed won’t tip over when they are getting in and out. Some ladders are actually built into the bunk bed and will add to the stability of the bed.
Factors that can determine if the bed is stable include the thickness of the frame, how wide the bed is, the ladder position and how high the bed is.
How high do the rails need to be?
High rails are especially important when your child frequently moves around in bed. If the rails are low and your child is big, he or she can potentially roll right over the guardrail and risk serious injury. Even smaller kids like toddlers need high rails. Toddlers tend to move around quite a bit and sometimes try to get up during the night. If the rail is high enough, it can prevent them from falling out.
Does it look good to you?
Aesthetics play an important role when buying a bunk bed. Of course, that goes for any type of furniture. There are many varieties of bunk beds on the market today ranging from the austere that look like they belong in an army barracks to others that are modernist to the point that they would fit on a sci-fi movie set.
You don’t have to settle for a bunk bed that doesn’t fit into the design scheme of your room or with your sense of style in general. Keep looking around if you don’t find a bunk bed that you like. Eventually, you will find one that fits your decor.
Will it be easy to set up?
You may be very handy and love to build things. Or, you may not have the time or the inclination to go for a major building project when it comes to your bunk bed. Before you buy, look into how much set up needs to be done. Some bunk bed frames can be very intricate, particularly those with lots of shelves and storage bins.
Last, but not least, is the cost of the bed. Figure out your budget and what you are willing to spend. You can spend a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Bunk beds can get very pricey, but they don’t have to cost too much if you don’t want to spend a lot.
You can’t be too frugal when it comes to price, though. You don’t want to sacrifice any safety features in the name of getting a good deal.
Best Bunk Beds
The Best Convertible Bunk Bed
Mainstay Easy-to-Convert to Twin Bed Practical Space Saver Wood Bunk Bed
- Easily converts to two twin beds
- Designed to be used with standard twin-sized coil spring mattresses
- Features guard rails on the top bunk and an integrated 4-step ladder for safety
- Solid wood construction
- Thick wooden frame is very stable
- Light assembly is required
- Available in multiple finishes
- 165 pound weight limit on each bed
This bunk bed converts into two twin beds that look great even on their own. When converted, you can hardly tell that they were once part of a bunk bed.
As a bunk bed, you will find it to be very sturdy thanks to the wood construction. Not only is it solid wood, but also the wood is thick, making the bed very stable. The legs are wide and, since the mattresses are a standard width of a twin bed, it isn’t at risk of tipping over if the kids get rowdy on it.
Having standard sized mattresses is a wonderful feature. It not only means that it is easy to get mattresses and sheets as needed, but also your kids can grow into the bed. This is a bunk bed that will last for many years. The rails are on the low side, so you may not want this bed for toddlers or small preschoolers.
The ladder is flush to the side of the bed. That can be great if you are short on space on the side of the bed; however, an angled ladder is safer to climb up on. Assembly is not difficult even if you are not the most handy person around. If you are good at putting things together, then you will find this to be a quick assembly.
Best Bunk Bed with Storage
Mission Twin Over Twin Staircase Bunk Bed with 3 Drawers in Honey Finish
- Solid wood construction
- Seven drawers for storage
- Built in stairs
- Very sturdy and stable
- Honey lacquer finish
- Easy assembly-only requires a screwdriver
- Standard twin mattress size
This type of bunk bed is one of the sturdiest and most stable you can get. There is little risk of this tipping over since there is so much frame touching the floor.
Instead of a ladder, your kids will love climbing up the built in stairs. It’s great for the little ones who would have trouble with narrow rungs on a ladder. It’s also great for parents to climb up and tuck the little one in at night without having to balance on the top of a ladder. The stairs can be mounted on either side of the bed for easy customization.
With seven drawers, there is plenty of storage. There are three wide trundle drawers under the bed and four bureau drawers under the stairs. This frees up a lot of space that would be needed for a large dresser or two for the kids. The construction is solid wood. There is no weak particle board anywhere, so this is built to last. Since it is made for standard sized twin mattresses, you will get years out of this bunk bed as your children grow into it.
Assembly is really easy. Deceptively so. It looks like it would require a lot of time and some real elbow grease. The fact that the only tool required is a Philips head screwdriver says it all. Anybody can put this together. A couple hours should be enough time to get it done.
The natural wood finish will work in just about any room design you have. It’s neutral but still looks great. The honey lacquer finish is warm and inviting.
Best Bunk Bed for Different Ages
Bedz King Stairway Bunk Bed Twin over Full with 4 Drawers in the Steps and 2 Under Bed Drawers
- Tall twin over full stairway bunk bed with two under-bed drawers
- Built-in stairway
- Four drawers built into stairway
- Solid Brazilian Pine-no particle board or mdf
- Fits standard twin sized mattress
- Fits standard full size mattress
- Assembly required-tools included
When there is a gap between your kids ages and you don’t have much space, there are bunk beds like this one that offer two different sized mattresses. The bottom bunk is made for the older kids with a full sized mattress. The top one has a standard twin size.
You will love how safe this bunk bed is for your little one as there is no risk of this tipping over. The bottom bunk being wider takes care of that issue. The construction is solid wood and very sturdy. In addition, the built in stairs make it easy for even a toddler to climb up to the top bunk. The railing is also nice and high to make sure nobody falls out.
As a bonus, you get some great storage. There are four under-stair drawers, two wide trundle drawers under the bottom bunk, and shelves on the side of the stairs. There is also a space under the shelves that could accommodate another bin.
The stairs can be built onto either side, and the beds can be separated and used side by side. The assembly is not the easiest and should be done with two people. All the necessary tools are included. You should definitely give yourself a few hours to complete the set up.
The Best Trundle Bunk Bed
Broyhill Kids Breckenridge Captain's Bed with Trundle Bed and Drawers
- Made of high-quality solid wood and composites
- Twin-size trundle bed and three storage drawers on wheels
- Available in multiple non-toxic finishes: white, espresso, and blue
- Very easy assembly
Trundle bunk beds are really great for toddlers. It is easy for them to get onto the top mattress without needing to climb up a ladder or stairs. They’re not just for toddlers, though. Your toddler can grow into this bed and sleep on it well into adolescence assuming it lasts that long.
A rail can be set up on the top bed to keep your child from rolling out. If they do manage to roll out, at least it will be on a soft mattress rather than a high fall onto a hard floor. The bed accommodates two twin sized mattresses. Make sure that they are not too high, however. The bottom one will need to slide underneath and a mattress that is too high will block it.
The frame is made mostly of solid wood; however, there are some sections that are made out of particle board that don’t need to support any weight. The bed can probably take the normal abuse that a child can inflict. Assembly is really easy and can be done in less than an hour if you have someone to help you.
Best Bunk Bed for Three People
Mission Twin Over Full Staircase Bunk Bed with Trundle
- Sleeps three
- One twin and two full size beds are mattress ready
- Solid wood construction
- Four drawer chest and magazine rack
- Staircase instead of a ladder
- Easy assembly
Whether you have three kids that need to all sleep in the same room or you just want to be ready for a sleepover, your best best is this bunk bed for three people. If you have guests staying over who have children, this is the perfect addition to your guest room.
It’s amazing how much less space you need to be able to accommodate three people. The bottom bunk and the trundle are both full size mattresses good for adults as well as kids. The three beds can fit a standard size mattress. The trundle bed mattress shouldn’t be more than eight inches high as it won’t slide into the bed.
You’ll get some extra storage from the drawers on the side of the stairway. In addition, the stairway makes it safe for even a toddler to climb up to the top bunk. An extra high rail will keep your child from rolling off onto whoever is sleeping below. There is also a good deal of space between the bottom bunk and the top. An adult of average height can sit comfortably underneath without having to slouch.
Assembly is also easy. If you have some help, it can be done in about an hour. If you don't have anyone to help, you should figure on a couple of hours for assembly. The color is a rich merlot lacquer finish that has a classic, yet elegant, look to it. It has such a warm inviting look that it just begs for somebody to jump in and get cozy!
Best Loft Bunk Bed for Kids
DONCO Kids 760-CP Low Study Loft Bed
- Twin size bed
- Three full size drawers
- Rolling desk unit
- High railing
- Solid wood construction
- Very sturdy
- Easy to assemble
When you only need one bed, but space is at a premium, then you need a loft bunk bed. This loft bunk bed is ideal for kids as it gives them a lot of room for storage. Most of their clothes will fit in the full size drawers. There is a sizable bookshelf and a rolling desk. The desk tucks neatly under the bed when not in use to make full use of any available space.
Kids love when they can have a unique item like a bunk bed that stores all of their things. It’s like a Swiss Army Knife of beds. They have everything they need in one spot, and they can feel like they have their own little space that is just for them.
Even if you have two kids sharing a room, you can have two of these in there. Instead of a bunk bed with two beds and then filling the rest of the room with their furniture, each child could have their own bunk and still have enough space, depending on the room.
The construction is very solid and sturdy. It does not pose a high risk of tipping over since so much of the frame is on the floor. The ladder is built into the bed and will support the weight of any child.
The assembly is easy if you have a friend to help. You can do it on your own as well without any issues. One word of advice, though, is it will be easier to assemble with a power drill. It isn’t absolutely necessary, but having a power drill will help speed things up.
Best Full Size Loft Bunk Bed with Desk
Coaster Loft Bed Full Size Work Station
- Full size mattress
- Room for extra deep mattress
- Very sturdy metal frame
- Sleek, modern design
- Desk runs entire length of bed
If you need a home office and don’t have an extra room, a loft bunk bed with desk is the ideal solution. The bed can fit any kind of full size mattress. Just make it as comfortable as you want. This makes it perfect for an adult who still wants the creature comforts they expect while still being practical.
The desk itself can be used professionally as it offers tons of space for your computer and whatever else you need to get your work done. If you love modern design, then this is the look for you. It has a gravity defying metal frame with lots of lines and open space. Even with its contemporary look, it won’t look out of place even in a traditionally designed space.
It may look like it’s ready to tip over, but rest assured, it is very sturdy and will not fall. The metal used is very strong, and the design is stable. Assembly is slightly challenging, so it is best to have somebody help you. Some people report that the instructions are not very clear.
Best Bunk Bed for Adults
Mission Bunkbed with Slat-Kits - Full over Full
- Full mattress over full mattress
- Classic mission style design
- Durable eco friendly hardwood
- Very stable design
- Built in ladder
- Easy assembly
- Great price
Kids aren’t the only ones who love sleeping on a bunk bed. Having a full size mattress to sleep on makes this bunk bed a great choice for adults. Whether it’s for guests or for yourself, you can use the full mattress that you like. It will accommodate any standard size full mattress and any thickness. There is enough room between the beds that an average height adult can sit without slouching over.
The solid wood with a deep, rich finish is simple in its design, yet elegant. The construction is also very solid and sturdy. It is perfect for two adults to sleep without any worry of the frame giving out. It is made for adults in its size, design and construction. Of course, if kids are around, they will also want to sleep on it!
The only issue is with the ladder. It’s a bit small and narrow. It will definitely hold your weight, but it feels a little flimsy. Assembly is easy, yet you should use a power screwdriver as the screws are long. It will be a lot of work if you think you can manually screw them all in.
Most Unique Bunk Bed for Kids
House Double Bunk Beds with Camouflage Tents
- Made with solid pine
- Unique design looks like a house
- Fits standard twin mattresses
- Sturdy design won’t tip
- Built in ladder
- Easy to assemble
What kid wouldn’t want to sleep and play in one of these bunk beds that look like a house? I know many adults that would want to! If you are looking for a unique kids bunk bed, then look no further. Your kids will have a lot of fun playing pretend games in their little house. Best of all, it won’t be much trouble convincing your kids to go to bed.
The frame is solid and sturdy, and there is no risk of it tipping. The ladder is built into the frame, flush to the side. The only possible issue is that the rungs are round instead of flat which could cause little feet to slip off. There is plenty of headroom both for the bottom bunk and the top one with the house roof. The roof might not be convenient to those kids who want to jump on the bed, however.
The “walls” of the bottom of the house are canvas tent flaps that can be rolled up or dropped down depending on the mood of the child and the game they are playing.
The twin mattresses are standard so your child can grow with this bed. They may grow out of the design before they physically grow too big for the mattresses. Assembly is easy and takes very little time. The design is not very complex, and the holes are pre-drilled for the screws.
Final Thoughts on Bunk Beds
You may not have realized that there were so many different types of bunk beds for different people.
If you are an adult who has been longing for the joy of being a kid again, then a bunk bed may be just the thing to take you back in time. If you have guests who have kids that frequently come visit, then a lack of space will no longer limit their visits. Sleepovers become so much easier when you have a bunk bed for three.
I could keep going on and on with the possibilities. If this review of the best bunk beds has done anything, I hope it has inspired you to look into the possibilities that you have when buying a bunk bed. The possibilities are endless!
You may find yourself buying several even if you don’t need to free up any space. After all, why should the kids have all the fun?