Beds

Sturdy Bunk Beds for Adults: How To Pick The Right Heavy Duty Set

Looking for an adult bunk bed but not sure if you can find one that’s sturdy enough and fits your space and lifestyle? You will be surprised by the growing variety of options for heavy-duty bunk beds that are out there.

Bunk beds aren’t just for kids’ rooms and college dorm rooms. Adults too can benefit from their space-saving superpowers. A well-chosen adult bunk bed can avail more storage and enhance your interior decor. 

That said, if you’re a larger adult, finding a heavy-duty bunk bed that can support your weight isn’t a straightforward shopping task. 

The good news is that there are more and more retailers selling bunk beds specifically designed for adults. This article will help you find a durable, heavy-duty bunk bed for your apartment or guest bedroom.

What Is a Bunk Bed?

A bunk bed has two or more beds that are stacked together into one unit. Designed to sleep two or more people, bunk beds use a wooden or metal frame to separate the bottom and top beds so the bottom sleeper has room to sit up and maneuver. 

You access the top bed(s) of a bunk bed by climbing an attached ladder or set of stairs. A guardrail that runs the length of the top bunk protects the person sleeping from falling off. In some configurations, the bunks can detach into two standalone beds.

Bunk beds work well for living quarters that are short on space. Because they minimize their footprint, these beds allow more people to share a bedroom. By utilizing what would otherwise be dead space, bunk beds save space and make it easier to organize your space. 

Since you will have one bed supporting the full weight of another occupied bed, it is crucial to choose a strong, heavy-duty bunk bed that will not collapse under your weight. 

The History Of Bunk Beds

It’s hard to say who invented the bunk bed or when that was. Save to say that this space-efficient bed type has been with us a long time. The bunk bed as we know it today is a product of many modifications over the last several civilizations.

What is also clear is the idea of a bunk bed was borne out of a need to maximize sleeping space, especially since bedrooms haven’t always been as spacious as they are today. 

Before bunk beds became a popular bedroom furniture item beginning in the early 1980s and ’90s, they were a staple in military garrisons, correctional facilities, hostels, camps, and other facilities that house a lot of people.

Types of Adult Bunk Beds

As you would expect for a furniture item with such design flexibility, adult bunk beds are available in many different styles. Some modern styles even incorporate such advanced features as bookshelves, storage drawers, and workstations.

The style of bunk bed you choose will depend on your lifestyle, available space, the expected number of sleepers, and budget. All considered, you have three basic styles to choose from:

  • Twin over twin bunk beds

This is the standard, most common bunk bed design. It features two single beds sitting one on top of another. These bunk beds are typically available in a detachable configuration that allows you to separate the top and bottom bunks into two standalone beds if space allows. 

A twin over twin bunk bed sleeps two people, with one person on the bottom and another on the top bunk. It accommodates two sleepers in a space where a regular full-size bed that sleeps two wouldn’t fit.

  • Twin over full bunk beds

A twin over full bunk bed has a full-sized bed on the bottom bunk and a twin size bed on the top bunk. A three-sleeper bunk bed, it offers more sleeping space than a twin over twin bunk bed.

A twin over full bunk adult bed is a good option for parents who prefer to sleep in close proximity with their young children. Because they are larger, twin over full bunk beds cost more than twin over twin bunk beds.

  • Full over full bunk beds

With a full over full bunk bed, you have a full-sized bed affixed on top of another. The best full-size adult bunk beds for adults are made of hardwood or high gauge steel. The beds need to be super strong to support the weight of more than two adult sleepers. 

Even though they have space to sleep four sleepers, where the sleepers are of a heavier build, a full-over-full bunk bed may only be safe enough to sleep two or three adults (with only one person using the top bunk).

  • Triple bunk beds

Triple bunk beds feature three stacked twin-size beds. The bunk bed has space to sleep three sleepers, each one in their own bed. While they sleep three people, triple bunk beds use the same floor space as twin over twin bunk beds. 

With the added elevated weight, however, triple beds must have a stronger build quality to be safe for all three sleepers. To ensure it’s stable, the bed may need to be braced against the wall. 

  • Luxury bunk beds

Luxury bunk beds incorporate extra features that advance on bunk beds’ traditional features. Besides that touch of luxury and exclusivity, the extra features can help add comfort and function to your bunk bed and expand its overall usefulness. 

We have seen bunk beds that cleverly incorporate extra storage under the stairs and bed, some that include a workstation, a bookshelf, or a chest of drawers. Other features, though, like slides, only add a play element and aren’t particularly useful.

In an apartment where space is limited and you need both extra sleeping and sitting space, a futon may be a more practical bunk bed. A futon is a bunk bed where the bottom bunk is a couch that converts to a bed. 

So, you and another person can both use the bottom bunk as a couch while you lounge about and when it’s time to sleep, one of you uses it as a bed while the other sleeps on the upper bunk.

A trundle bunk bed is another example of a luxury bunk bed. It contrasts with a triple bunk bed in that it has two standard bunks with a third bed that pulls out of the bottom bunk like a drawer. In most cases, the trundle bed has casters and detaches completely from the main bunk bed. 

To more functionally utilize a corner space, you can also choose an L-shaped bunk bed that has the top bunk stacked perpendicular to the bottom bunk. The design leaves some space underneath the top bunk that you can use for a variety of purposes. A small dressing table or workstation can tuck in nicely under there.

Bunk Bed Buying Guide

Things to Consider When Choosing a Bunk Bed for Adults

While safety is a top priority, there are other factors to consider when choosing an adult bunk bed – from the bed’s dimensions, its configuration, to the implements for safely accessing the top bunk. Let’s discuss a bit about that:

Bunk Bed Design

We have already touched on the different types of adult bunk beds. Each of them will suit different tastes, lifestyles, and budgets. Whatever your reasons for choosing a specific bunk bed style, make sure it’s safe and practical.

However keen you may be to save space, a triple bunk bed isn’t practical for a room with a low ceiling. Because of the general arrangement of the room, you may find that an L-shaped bunk bed fits it better. 

For people who live in small apartments and who happen to also work from home, an L-shaped bunk bed with a workstation and a chest of drawers will be a clever and fabulously multi-functional solution.

Bunk Bed Materials

The material your heavy-duty bunk bed is made from affects its looks, durability, and level of safety. You have the three basic options of steel, wood, and solid plastic. Plastic is the least commonly used of the materials. 

Wood and steel are the most common materials for bunk beds. While steel is a practical, strong material for heavy-duty bunk beds for adults, wood is widely desired for its natural feel. 

Most steel bunk beds use tubular steel that tends to be cheaper. They have a minimalist look that some people love. Choose a powder-coated option for ease of cleaning and visual appeal.

Wood bunk beds tend to have a more luxurious look and are usually quite sturdy. Hardwood bunk beds are the sturdiest, though they can be quite expensive. Wood also lends itself better to the more organic designs that style-conscious adult users may prefer.

Important Features for Adult Bunk Beds

Bunk beds are designed in a stacked configuration, with four posts or pillars that serve as the legs for both the bottom and top bunks. For safety, these posts have to be strong and securely joined. If made from flimsy materials, the posts will not be able to support the weight from the top bunk bed.

Bunk beds typically don’t use springs on the sleeping platform. They use wooden slats known as bunkie boards. These are what support and hold the weight of the sleeper. If the bunkie boards aren’t strong or securely fixed, the bed will break under your weight as you sleep.

Ladders and Stairs

Bunk beds need a means of safely accessing the top bunk. The two most common solutions for this are ladders and stairs. The best bunk beds for heavier adults use stairs as they are easier and safer to use than ladders. 

Ladders are typically attached towards the base of the bed, affixed to both the top and bottom bunks for extra strength. Stairs, on the other hand, are positioned at the foot or head of the bunk bed and can be designed to incorporate drawers or shelves for extra storage.

Storage

As we have seen, some bunk bed styles make it easy to incorporate extra features that optimize space in small apartments. The same floor space can be occupied by the two beds, a workstation, and a chest of drawers. 

The space under the bottom bunk can be utilized for extra storage. Underbed storage is especially ideal for storing bedding and clothes you don’t wear often. 

As you shop, consider the setup of your apartment and see if a specific type of bunkbed, for example, a trundle or futon, can help you make better use of the space that you have.

Guardrails

Guardrails are an essential safety feature on bunk beds. Without one, the person using the top bunk can roll off in their sleep and fall to the ground. The top bunk must have a wraparound guardrail of at least two parallel thick slats to prevent such an accident. 

To be of any practical use, the guardrail needs to be a few inches taller than the thickness of the mattress you are using. Mattress selection is, thus, a key factor in your choice of an adult bunk bed. Check the US Consumer Safety Commission’s guidelines for bunk beds for more information on guardrail height and length, the size of gaps on the headboard and footboard, and other safety recommendations.

Before you hit the buy button on your chosen adult bunk bed, it’s advisable to make sure you’ve enough space for the bunk bed. Measure the floor space where the bed will live and check how high the room’s ceiling is. Then check the dimensions of the bunk bed to make sure it has the right height and that it doesn’t take up more floor space than you have available.

Bunk Bed Assembly

Bunk beds are usually sold as kits that you have to assemble at home. Before you start the assembly, though, make sure there are no missing parts or hardware. If there are, contact the manufacturer and make sure you have all the parts you need for the assembly.

It is crucial that you follow the manufacturer’s assembly instructions, otherwise the bunk bed will be rickety and wobbly. If you don’t trust your DIY skills to do this job well, hire an experienced handyman to do it for you. Even if you have good DIY skills, you will need at least one extra pair of hands to help you.

After the assembly is done, test the bunk bed to make sure it is sturdy. Feel how the bunk holds up under your weight. Do this before you actually sleep in the bed overnight. If the bed looks rickety and wobbles under your weight, review the assembly instructions or check for loose screws that may need tightening.

Adult Bunk Bed Safety

Many adults considering buying and using a bunk bed worry about their safety. Bunk beds are indeed safe for adults, but that safety depends on the particular bunk bed and the adult using it. 

Your main concern should be whether the bunk bed can safely hold your weight. That calls into question the materials used for the bunk bed as well as the quality of the construction. 

To guarantee the safety of users, adult bunk beds have weight limits. Top bunks have lower weight limits than bottom bunks. If you are tall, be careful to look for a bunk bed that will fit your height. Here are a few more tips on bunk bed safety:

  1. Make sure that the ladder is strong and securely affixed. If you are a heavier person, stairs will be the safest means of accessing the top bunk,
  2. Ensure your bunk bed does not have large gaps on the headboard that can fit an adult head to avoid entrapment risks. 
  3. Choose a bunk bed that carries a structural warranty. Twelve-month warranties are the standard for adult bunk beds,
  4. Use the right mattress with your bunk bed, particularly the upper-level bunks. The mattress should sit lower than the height of the guardrail,
  5. If possible, place the bunk bed in the corner of your room so as to benefit from the protection of two walls,
  6. Take extra care when assembling your bunk bed. Don’t rush the job and hire the right help if you lack the skills to do it yourself.

Review of the 7 Top-Rated Bunk Beds For Adults

1. Danxee Full-Over-Full Classic Metal Bunk Bed

While they are practical and can last a lifetime, metal bunk beds can look a tad too minimalist. For an adult bunk bed that you don’t expect to dress up with colorful bedding, the room decor can look dull and austere as a result. 

The designers of this Danxee full-over-full bunk bed cleverly used the warm tones of the engineered wood boards on the guardrails and base to soften the bed’s appearance. The black frame, for its part, adapts the bunk bed well to adult users.

This full-size adult bunk bed comfortably sleeps three people. We like the generous space between the bottom and top bunks as, without it, it can feel a bit claustrophobic for the person using the lower bunk. The ladder to the top bunk is nice and sturdy. 

The bed’s construction is solid, which is complemented by the rust-proof finish. On the negative side, a few reviewers on Amazon complained about the assembly instructions not being clear. But the majority found the bunk bed fairly easy to put together. 

SUMMARY

Danxee Full-Over-Full Classic Metal Bunk Bed

Pros

  • Solid, durable construction
  • Rust-proof finish improves durability
  • The design that makes it easy to change sheets on the upper bunk
  • Engineered wood boards warm the stark appearance of the black steel frame
  • Has a large size that fits bigger adults
  • Fairly easy to assemble

Cons

  • Assembly instructions aren’t as clear
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2. Novogratz 4146619N Maxwell Twin Bunk Bed

Short on a budget but have to buy a bed for the guest room? This Maxwell twin-over-twin bunk bed sells at just the right price. It sleeps two adults and uses a durable metal frame.

The design of the bunk bed – industrial and functional, won’t catch the eye but works OK for an adult guest room. That the frame uses metal tubes gives the bed a minimalist, space-efficient quality. The bed is available in three colors – pink, grey, and navy blue.

At this price point, you shouldn’t expect wonders. Still, being a bunk bed, you will expect that it has a solid build quality to be safe sleeping in it. Speaking of that, the reviews are rather mixed:

Some people who bought this bunk bed from Amazon felt the bed is well built, even though it sways a bit underweight. Because of this, the bed may fit an adult with a slender build.

SUMMARY

Novogratz 4146619N Maxwell Twin Bunk Bed

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • Simple, yet functional design
  • Fairly easy to assemble
  • Practical, easy-to-clean finish
  • Guardrail bars that run the full length of the bed enhance safety
  • Minimalist, thus, great for small spaces

Cons

  • Isn’t as stable and moves a bit when you turn
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3. SOFTSEA Full Over Full Bunk Bed

A trundle bunk bed that can save plenty of space in the room and oozes character, this Softsea full-over-full is a stunner. It will look just as perfect in your guest bedroom, apartment, or your vacation home. Even though it isn’t the cheapest bunk bed you will find, it is still great value.

Made from solid wood, with plywood panels at the foot of the two bunks, you can be sure this bed will be sturdy and will not wobble as you sleep. This bunk bed screams ‘versatile’. For one, it is a trundle, with an extra bed that tucks under the bottom bunk, which is more sleeping space for when the whole family gathers at your place.

Our pick for the best full-over-full bunk bed for adults, this bed also converts into two full-size, standalone beds that you can place in separate rooms. Those who bought the bed attest to its strong build quality. They also report that assembly is painless, though you will definitely need some help as it’s quite heavy.

SUMMARY

SOFTSEA Full Over Full Bunk Bed

Pros

  • A gorgeous design that will suit style-conscious shoppers
  • Solid wood construction gives it a sturdy feel
  • Trundle bed opens an extra sleeping space for guests
  • Converts to two separate beds
  • Strong enough to support the weight of heavier adults

Cons

  • The extra quality doesn’t come cheap
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4. Olela Twin Over Full Metal Bunk Bed with Trundle Bed

For an unpretentious bunk bed that sleeps as many as five adults, look no further than this Olela twin-over-full metal trundle bunk bed. It isn’t the most eye-catching bed we came across. But for its combination of build quality, extra sleeping space, and its fair price, we – as many that bought it on Amazon – feel it makes an excellent choice.

That the two bunks and trundle each support as much as 400 pounds of weight suggests that this is a heavy-duty bunk bed that is built to perform for many years. Even though the design is unremarkable and the trundle (which is not attached) slides under the bed, it is functional. We also like that the bed has two ladders at the head and foot.

The white metal frame is clean and no doubt brightens the room, but it can feel overpowering. This is why the MDF boards with the wood grain accent are a nice decorative detail. The boards give the bed extra sturdiness and stability. 

Even though it takes a considerable amount of time, we wouldn’t say the assembly is hard. One complaint that came up a few times is with the trundle wheels. One reviewer says the wheels broke the first night while another says they didn’t last a month.

SUMMARY

Olela Twin Over Full Bunk Bed with Trundle Bed

Pros

  • Has strong build quality and feels sturdy
  • Trundle bed offers extra sleeping space
  • Full-length guardrails enhance safety
  • Fairly affordable price for all the sleeping space it offers

Cons

  • Assembly is time-consuming
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5. Dorel Twin-Over-Full Metal Bunk Bed

This is a twin-over-full bunk bed that should comfortably sleep three adults. We Like the look of the round metal tubes used on the frame. The design that has the top bunk leaning to the wall gives the bottom bunk a more open feel and more space to maneuver for the person sleeping there.

To comply with safety regulations, the top bunk has a guardrail that runs right around the top bunk. We also like that the bed has two ladders – one at the head and another at the foot. This means you aren’t limited as to the side of the room you can position the bunk bed.

For a twin-over-full bunk bed, the low price of this Dorel metal adult bunk bed immediately catches the eye. But should you be worried about the quality? Judging from some of the reviews on Amazon, you should take the maximum weight allowance with a pinch of salt. 

One reviewer posted a picture where the bottom bunk buckled right in the middle, which suggests the sleeper was too heavy for the bed. Otherwise, the construction itself is solid.

SUMMARY

Dorel Twin-Over-Full Metal Bunk Bed

Pros

  • Sells at a low price
  • Easy to assemble
  • Has two ladders for accessing the top bunk
  • Has a sleek metal finish

Cons

  • Not sturdy enough for heavier adults
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6. DHP Silver Screen Metal Bunk Bed with Ladder, Twin

Some apartments are so small that you barely have enough space to fit a full-size bed, as well as a couch. So a bunk bed where the bottom bunk converts to a couch is an excellent way to maximize space.

We like the feel and look of this twin-size futon bunk bed from DHP. It uses a metal frame with a smart black finish. The top bunk can sleep a child or adult weighing up to 200 lbs, while the bottom bunk can handle weights up to 600 lbs. That means the futon can comfortably sit two heavy adults. 

Safety features include the standard ladder for safely climbing to the top bunk and guardrails that run the full length of the top bunk. The guardrail and ladder are finished in a lighter color than the black frame, which gives them a nice contrast.

Those who have used this bunk say the build quality is solid. They also report that the assembly is straightforward and shouldn’t take more than an hour. A few did say that the bed wobbles a bit when you are climbing to the top bunk but that it isn’t so bad to be of major concern. Another said the futon (sold separately) is a bit of a challenge folding and unfolding.

SUMMARY

DHP Silver Screen Metal Bunk Bed with Ladder

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Affordable price
  • The bottom futon bunk can handle more weight than a regular twin-size bunk
  • The upper bunk guardrail is childproofed for extra security
  • The futon will nicely complement any room’s decor

Cons

  • The bed squeaks quite a bit
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7. Walker Edison Orion Urban Double over Loft Bunk Bed

If you have space to fit a regular double bed but not much else, a full-size loft bed can be your best solution for maximizing the use of your space. Technically not a bunk bed, loft beds allow you to do so much more with the same space than you would even with a regular bunk bed. This Walker Edison Orion double loft bed will make a small room look much bigger than it is.

The double bed sleeps two people and, since it’s lofted, leaves space underneath to fit a desk, chair, and even a chest of drawers. That’s just a little more space than a twin-over-twin bunk bed that sleeps the same number of people but has no space for anything else, occupies.

Though a double size, with space for a double mattress, the bed can only support up to 200 pounds of weight. That is only safe for two adults of a slender build. But for what you can do with the space underneath, this loft bed is still a very tempting proposition.

The loft bed has two ladders on opposite sides which makes placement easy. A few people however complained about the ladder being a little rough on the feet. One reviewer on Amazon found the clever solution of wrapping pipe insulation around the stairs to cushion the feet when climbing.

SUMMARY

Walker Edison Orion Double over Loft Bunk Bed

Pros

  • Saves a lot of space
  • Fairly easy to set up
  • Good quality for the price
  • Has two ladders on opposite sides
  • Not too heavy to move about when changing bed linen

Cons

  • Ladder feels painful under feet when climbing
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FAQs

Are bunk beds strong enough for adults?

Yes, they are. But it is important to choose a bunk bed designed and rated for adults, not children. So take care to check the maximum weight limit and make sure the bunk bed you choose is strong enough to support your weight.

Are bunk beds a functional sleeping option for adults?

Bunk beds provide enough support and comfort for the body to ensure a restful night’s sleep for adults. To be safe, make sure your bunk bed is correctly assembled, with securely affixed guardrails, and does not wobble under your weight.

Where do you buy bunk beds for adults?

There are many boutique furniture shops in addition to the major online retailers, like Amazon and The Home Depot, where you can buy bunk beds for adults. If you can’t find one that fits your space and lifestyle, you can always have it custom-made.

How much do bunk beds cost?

Adult bunk beds cost anywhere from $200 to over $1000. The price depends on the style, size, materials, and additional features the bunk bed has. Expect to pay more for futon and trundle bunk beds, especially those made from solid wood.

Are bunk beds dangerous?

Bunk beds are safe to use as long as you assemble them according to the manufacturer’s instructions and don’t force them to support weights they aren’t designed to carry. Discourage children from playing on the bunk bed as any fall from the top bunk can cause serious injury.

Final Word

Bunk beds are one of the best ways to save space and accommodate extra house guests. They are a safe and functional sleeping option for adults. 

The best bunk beds for adults will have a sturdy, heavy-duty build that can sustain years of repeated use. Here’s hoping we have helped you choose the right one for your needs and space.