Bunk beds are one of those ingenious inventions which have continually evolved through time. Not only have they been around for centuries, they can also be found in many places other than the home, such as dormitories, summer camp cabins, and hostels. In fact, any sleep environment where floor space needs maximizing, a practical and good solution is to use a bunk bed.
Whatever your need may be, if you’re looking at bunk beds for sale and are perhaps in the market for a new one, with the many different sizes, materials, shapes and colors, the choice can sometimes be overwhelming. However the best aren’t always easily separated from the worst. Therefore to help you along, our team of experts have researched, tested and reviewed some of the top rated from each popular category and documented findings below.
The Various Bunk Bed Size and Types
You may be surprised to know there are at least 10 types which can be listed below. However not all of them are so popular. Therefore to keep things simplified throughout this buying guide please see below the most common types of bunk beds for sale in 2017:
Twin over twin bunk beds are the most common and sought after type of bunk beds for kids in this day and age. As the name would suggest, this type has two twin size beds (39″ × 75″) atop of one another. These are best used in a guest room, or in a children’s room especially when two kids are sharing. Although adults can sleep in a twin size it can get a little tight, but certainly not unheard of. If you’re after no frills cheap bunk beds, this size is a good place to start.
A twin over full bunk bed is literally how it sounds. The top bunk is a narrower twin size, and the bottom bunk is a wider full size (54″ × 75″). A twin is a good size for kids, therefore a twin over full can be utilized with a child in top and adult in bottom, or, even a combination of three kids with one in top and two sharing in bottom. As you can imagine they take up more floor space than a twin over twin, and are slightly more expensive.
Full over full bunk beds consists of two full size versions on top of one another, similar to the twin over twin, but with a dual 54″ × 75″ over each other. As you’d expect being the largest type they are also the most expensive. They are extremely convenient where floor space is limited because upto four kids can comfortably lay in slumber without problem.
You’re probably thinking “Surely all must have stairs right?” Well, yes to an extent, because of course one must safely climb up and down from the top level. However that’s usually done using the included ladder. Much different are what’s specifically known as bunk beds with stairs. As you can see from the inset picture, there is literally a staircase which forms part of the furniture piece. This kind of design is widely used in kids bunk beds. Safety aside, they are also aesthetically pleasing, but expensive in comparison to others.
Storage space is greatly appreciated by most of us wherever it becomes available. So when you see bunk beds with storage it’s no wonder why they are so popular. A typical design can cleverly integrate shelves or drawers into a staircase, or more commonly will have slide-out drawers on casters underneath the lower bunk. Considering the skilled carpentry and extra materials which go into the manufacturing of such designs, they tend to be much more expensive, but well worth the price.
An ingenious design and very sought after type are known as bunk beds with trundle. The more traditionally designed and cheap units would normally have a gap underneath. However, as you can see in the inset picture there is an additional slide out bed underneath the lower bunk. What this means is, rather than gain storage area by means of a drawer or empty space, a third bed is created instead which can be hidden away.
Common Characteristics and Considerations
Metal vs Wood
The 2 most common types of material for construction is metal and wood. Both are good and have their pros and cons. In comparison to wood, metal bunk beds weigh less, they’re extremely long lasting, more compact and usually relatively cheap. They are however less aesthetically pleasing. Wooden bunk beds on the other hand are much nicer to look at with a huge variation of designs; the look, feel and finish is of a higher quality and so is the build, especially those with storage or stairs. As expected the price of a wooden counterpart can sometimes be double if not triple.
What About Colors?
We all have a certain image or preference as to what we’d like in terms of aesthetics, which normally also includes the color of finish. Although both metal and wooden versions can be painted to virtually any color after purchase, (or before going on sale) the most common colors for metal are the standard black, white, and gray. Likewise, the wooden types are also commonly found in white, but are most widely available in walnut, oak, pine, cappuccino, and espresso finishes.
Can It Split Into Two?
One characteristic which can be of interest to some is whether it is a detachable bunk bed, and can convert into two singles or not. Although the primary reason for using these as opposed to traditional beds is to maximize floor space, perhaps at a later date there may be a requirement for two separate beds to be used independently either in the same room or different rooms. This can potentially be achieved by splitting the bunk if the design permits. Some wooden frames have a joint where the top bunk can be lifted away from the bottom counterpart, however metal versions usually lack this feature.
More About Sizes
You may have already read about twin over twin, full over full etc, and provided you know the standard US bed sizes, this knowledge should be suffice. However, although the standard sizes are normally adopted in width and length, the added variable of height is an important one. Be sure to check the full dimensions to ensure your room can accommodate. Not only height, but when it comes to added extras like stairs or storage, these too can add length which can take up more space than one might expect.
Bunk Bed Reviews
This is what you call a masterpiece of furniture. Not only is this solid wood bunk bed with stairs bold and beautiful, it is extremely functional and offers great value for money. This particular model is available in three different setups: the first, being the cheapest and most basic version is a traditional wooden bunk bed, but with a sturdy staircase to one side with 3 drawers built within the stairs, and a cleverly integrated shelf. The second version is the same as the aforementioned but with additional slide out drawers under the bottom bunk for extra storage. The third option (pictured) also has the stairway with integrated drawers and shelf, but this time comes as a bunk bed with trundle underneath the bottom bunk as opposed to roll-out drawers. For those concerned about sizes, there is also a twin over full version if you wish. In terms of finishes, the solid Brazilian pine comes in white, honey and cappuccino. Suitable both for kids and adults, whichever finish or option you opt for, this is one of the best bunk beds and is clearly in a league of its own.
The Donco is a standard traditionally designed full over full wooden bunk bed with ladder attached as opposed to stairs, but still well built, sturdy and strong enough for adults and kids to make the climb. The full size bottom bunk means the pull out trundle bed is a generous width too. If required, the top and bottom can be detached and split into 2 separate full size beds. When pieced together as one, the overall measurements are 62″ high x 78.5″ long x 59″ wide. The solid pine has been finished to the highest standard in a choice of either cappuccino and espresso (pictured), and for added peace of mind these designs have been thoroughly tested to meet or exceed both ASTM and CSPC safety standards. Overall this is a good choice for all the right reasons; given the price and features, it offers great value for money and compares to some of the best bunk beds on the market in 2017.
There is nothing too fancy about this wooden bunk bed, but it still seems to ooze quality and sophistication with ease. Relatively small and compact in comparison to any other twin over twin, it can easily detach and convert into two separate twins if required. When fully assembled it measures 61.3″ high x 78.3″ long x 42.5″ wide. The solid wood construction features a unique fastening system, a sturdy fastened ladder and full length guardrails for safety. Additionally it meets current US and Canada safety standards for added piece of mind. Pink bunk beds aren’t exactly easy to come across, but if you’re after one this could be for you. If pink isn’t your color, there are three other choices of finish being cherry, espresso, and white. With the cheap price tag, good safety features and premium overall build quality, this could easily be one of the best bunk beds for kids, and gets a two thumbs up from us.
If you’re after a simple, no frills cheap bunk bed this particular model is certainly worth considering. Offering a twin over full setup, the fully assembled dimensions are 61.5″ high x 78″ long x 56.5″ wide. The slim and compact metal frame elegantly blends into any room without seeming too intrusive. A generous gap underneath the bottom bunk allows for an additional pull out trundle or plenty space for storage. All three finishes (black, white and sliver) look good and though the price tag is low the quality and build appears fine. Unfortunately like most metal bunk beds this one is not detachable so cannot be split into two separate beds. Either way, this is a good choice for both kids and adults, which is perfect for either a guest room or everyday use. Whichever your requirement, straight out of the box there is much to like about this which will keep you satisfied for years to come.
Another perfectly made metal bunk bed is this established addition from DHP. Measuring at 62″ high x 78″ long x 42″ wide it’s ideal for any kids rooms, and with a maximum weight limit of 200lbs for top, and 225lbs for bottom, it can accommodate most adults when required. The sturdy frame looks built to last and no doubt can take years of light and heavy usage whether used as an irregular guest bed, or nightly slumber. Coming in the sleek powder coated metal finishes of silver, black and white, each one looks as good as the other. Not only has this been on the market for some time, it has continually made a good name for itself since launch due to the solid and safe build offered at such a low price.