How to Find Cheap Bunk Beds. Is The Mattress Usually Included

No matter how big your home or apartment is, the kids’ room is always jam-packed with excess toys, books, and general kiddie clutter. As a result, we parents are always looking for efficient, space-saving solutions for our children’s bedrooms. 

One effective way to utilize floor space in a better way is to use bunk beds. Bunk beds are not only great for saving space, but they are also ideal for sleepovers and hosting unexpected guests.

Bunk Beds – A Synopsis

What is a Bunk Bed?

A bunk bed is the type of bed that accommodates two or more beds in one bed’s space. This is done by stacking one bed on top of the other. Then, a ladder is installed to access the 2nd bed and so on. 

Most of the standard bunk beds available to purchase have two beds, however, a few incorporate a third bed in their design. The standard bunk bed usually has two beds and is typically used in children’s bedrooms, dorm rooms, hostels, ships, military barracks, summer camps, and prisons. The basic design is the same, but the outlook and features vary according to the usage.   

A Brief History of Bunk Beds

  • There is no concrete invention date for bunk beds. However, it is believed that bunk beds have been around for thousands of years. They date back to medieval times when the poor tried to utilize room space to accommodate more family members.
  • Bunk beds became famous when they were first used in military barracks and ships. The concept then transferred to hostels and dormitories, summer camps, and prisons. Bunk beds then finally reached our homes and revolutionized the way our children slept.
  • Initially, bunk beds were made of wood. However, with the passage of time and technological innovations, metal frames were also introduced. The metal bunk beds became an instant hit owing to their sturdiness and durability.
  • Moreover, technological innovations also helped us change the ladder design and make it safe for kids. The latest trends in bedding designs enabled us to utilize more space in bunk beds by incorporating drawers, bookshelves, racks, and rails.
  • The present-day bunk bed is far different from the centuries-old design. It has all the modern-day amenities your kids need and comes with many safety features to keep your children safe.

Purpose of Using a Bunk Bed

The primary purpose of using a bunk bed is space-saving. You will want to accommodate your kids in one room if you have a two-bedroom room or a small apartment. One bunk bed can provide sleeping space for 2-3 kids depending on the type of bed you are buying.

Moreover, bunk beds are excellent for providing a safe play area (only the bottom bed) for your kids. In addition, some beds have drawers and racks that can be used as storage space.

Bunk Bed Buying Guide

Your kids will probably use bunk beds until the time they outgrow them. Moreover, a bunk bed can last for 8-10 years, provided you buy a good one and check all the features before buying. One major factor that will decide the usability of your bunk bed is its type.

In this section of our article, we will discuss types of bunk beds, how to find a cheap bunk bed, and what features to look for before buying one, along with bunk bed safety and shopping tips.

Types of Bunk Beds

There are 6 types of bunk beds commonly available. The following are the most popular designs. 

Standard Bunk Bed: It is the most common type of bunk bed. The design features two same-size bed frames stacked directly over each other.

Twin over Full: Another common variation is a twin over full bunk bed. It is arranged like a standard bunk bed but comes with a full-size mattress at the bottom and twin size at the top.

Full over Full: A full over full bunk bed has two full-size mattresses over each other. 

L-shaped Bunk Bed: L-shaped beds are a recent addition in the world of bunk beds. These beds feature two twin-sized beds, but the beds are not mounted directly over each other. Instead, the top bed is horizontal to the bottom bed. This allows maximum space utilization by including drawers, racks, or even cupboards on the side of the beds.   

Futon Bunk Beds: If you want a versatile bunk bed, a futon bunk bed is a great option. You can convert the bottom bed to a couch during the daytime and then back to the bed when your kids want to sleep on it.

Triple Bunk Bed: Also known as a triple loft bed, or triple stacked bunk bed, is an arrangement that has three beds stacked over each other. These bunk beds are commonly used in military barracks. The upper beds have higher rails that prevent the occupants from falling.

How to Find a Cheap Bunk Bed

Finding a cheap bunk bed can be an uphill task if you don’t know what you are looking for and what features you want in the bed. Our buying guide focuses on all the features you ought to look for in a bunk bed. Let’s check out these features.

Available Space

Before you begin your hunt for the best cheap bunk beds, make sure you know the dimensions of the available space, especially the roof height. The upper bed must have ample space for your toddler to get up and down on the bed, sit and stretch arms/legs. The best way to do this is to measure the ceiling height and compare it with the bed height. Most manufacturers mention the space required between the ceiling and the top bunker. Take that into account before you buy the bed. Moreover, the bed must fit nicely in your room, and it must not become a tripping hazard. 

Bunk Bed Style

When you are buying a bunk bed for your kids, keep in mind the design and durability. You would need to buy a bed that reflects who your kids are and what they like. Style is important, but you must also keep in mind the durability and sturdiness.

Moreover, select the type of bed that will accommodate your kids and look lovely in their room. 

Construction Material

Bunk beds are usually made of wood, metal, or a combination of both. Wooden beds are made from engineered wood or wood produced from maple, cherry, pine, or oak. These woods are durable, sturdy, and have a high grain density. Metallic beds are usually made of steel, aluminum, or other alloys for maximum durability and support.  

Bunk Bed Mattresses

You can choose any mattress you like for your bunk bed. However, there are some things that you should take into consideration when selecting a mattress for your bunk bed. Use a standard size mattress or the one recommended by the manufacturer. Moreover, your mattress should fit snuggly into the frame, and there should be no gaps between the frame and the mattress. Make sure you check before buying the mattress that the weight capacity of the upper bed includes the mattress weight or not.  

Need help choosing the right mattress for your bunk bed? Check out our ultimate bunk bed mattress buying guide, plus our 5 best picks.

Support System

Most bunk beds use wooden sheets as a support system. These sheets fix on the mattress and are designed to hold the mattress in its place. Some beds come with these sheets included in the purchase package, and for some, you’ll have to purchase these boards separately. Make sure you check the details before finalizing your purchase.

Additional Features

Look for extra features like drawers, book racks, cupboards, or convertible bottom beds. These features make your bunk bed versatile and add value to your purchase.

Some bunk beds come with a roll-able bed under the bottom bed. It works like a drawer and can be pulled out when needed. Such beds are more costly than standard beds but give you the freedom of accommodating additional guests quite easily.

Bunk Bed Shopping and Safety Tips

  • Make sure that the guardrails on the top bed are on all four sides.
  • There must be at least 5-6 inches of space between the top of the mattress and guardrails on the upper bed. If the mattress is too close to the guardrails, it will not prevent your kids from falling.
  • Before buying the mattress, don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s given weight capacity, particularly for the top bed.
  • Check the warranty, return policy, and certifications before making the final purchase; don’t forget to go through user reviews.
  • The corners of the legs must be rounded for safety and padded if they can get in the way of your child.
  • The top bunk bed should not be given to any child below the age of 6, and make sure that the ladder is fastened correctly and cannot be removed by little fingers! 
  • Limit the number of children on the upper bunker to one and ensure that its weight capacity is never crossed.
  • Educate your kids about bunk beds and tell them not to jump, play, or pillow fight on the top bunker.

Bunk Bed with Mattress Included Vs. Without Mattress

Many buyers ask the question, is the mattress included in the bunk bed, and which way is it cheaper, bunk bed with a mattress or without a mattress? Well, the answer to the first question is NO. This is because mattresses are not included in the bunk beds.

Is it a good thing? Yes, for some buyers, it is a positive thing. It gives you the freedom to buy a mattress according to your preferences. It enables the users to define what mattress and bed combination they want to have. Some buyers prefer spring mattresses. Others like to go with a memory foam mattress or a hybrid mattress, while many prefer simple foam mattresses. If the manufacturers start to include mattresses with bunk beds, you will have limited options. The only drawback of buying a separate mattress is that some people are not aware of the must-have features of a bunk bed mattress. They would be better off with an included mattress.

Review of the 5 Top-Rated Bunk Beds

Now that we know everything about a bunk bed and how to select the best cheap bunk beds, it is time we present you with our 5 top picks. We did hours of research on budget models and then chose the 5 top beds. Our research focused on product descriptions, user reviews, and testing the below-reviewed cheap bunk beds.

1. Novogratz 4146429N Maxwell Metal Bunk Bed

With a modern-day industrial and space-saving design, the bunk bed is ideal for small rooms and provides more space for your kids to play, relax, study and sleep. The mattress is made with a sleek and sturdy metal frame, giving maximum support and stability to the bed.

The metal frame includes metal slats and side rails that provide stability and safety to the top bed. The included ladder sits above the floor and at the base of the bottom bed to eliminate tripping hazards and keep your kids safe.  

The bed accommodates one twin and one full-size mattress. Please note that mattresses are not included in the purchase.


Novogratz 4146429N Maxwell Metal Bunk Bed


  • Overall sturdy
  • Powder-coated for durability


  • Complex instructions


2. DHP Twin-Over-Twin Bunk Bed

The bed includes a ladder and one twin over the twin bed frame. The mattresses are not included in the purchase. This bed is ideal for a room with a minimum ceiling height of 7 feet. The metal frame bed is easy to assemble, sleek and sturdy.

The bunk bed ensures maximum safety with full-length guardrails and a slanting ladder that attaches to the frame. The slanting design makes it ideal for your kids to get on and off. A straight ladder design is easy to climb compared to a slanting ladder, but it can become a tripping hazard.

It is a simple and sturdy frame with powder-coated metal that comes in different colors and 1-year limited warranty. The bed is perfectly suitable for many years of use and can accommodate two kids or additional guests when hosting friends and family.


DHP Twin-Over-Twin Bunk Bed


  • Solid construction
  • Good value of money
  • Accommodates any kind of mattress


  • The top bunk is a little wobbly
  • Slim bars in ladder


3. Walker Edison Della Classic Twin Bunk Bed

Walker Edison offers one of the largest bunk bed collections. This model, twin over a twin bunk bed, is a versatile piece of furniture for your children’s room. It comes with a unique design that can be converted to individual beds when needed. In addition, each bed can support a maximum of 200 pounds.

The bed is made from solid pine wood that guarantees durability and sturdiness. The bed features full-length guard rails and an integrated ladder for easy access to the upper deck. The mattress doesn’t need a box spring mattress. You can use a mattress between 5-9 inches on this bed. The support slats are included in the purchase.


Walker Edison Della Classic Twin over Twin Bunk Bed


  • Easy to assemble (with an additional pair of hands)
  • Helpful and responsive customer service
  • Sturdy and stable
  • Heavyweight construction


  • The paint starts to peel off after some months


4. Bellemave Twin Over Full Wood Bunk Bed

Sometimes you need a bunk bed that can provide more beds in one bed’s space. This is when a triple bunk bed or twin over twin bunk bed with a trundle comes to your rescue. This model from Bellemave holds the key to efficient space-saving and bedding in your home.

The wood (pine wood & MDF) frame bed comes with three beds, with each one having enough space and weight-bearing capacity to accommodate an adult. Moreover, you can convert the bunk bed into three separate beds or arrange them over each other according to your preferences and space availability.

The bed comes with full-length guardrails on the upper bunk to avoid any mishaps. Moreover, it comes with a 4-step inclined ladder for easy accessing the upper deck. The bed also features two drawers on the bottom bed as a storage space, making it versatile than other beds.  

The bed offers the maximum value of money. Just by spending an extra $100-200, you get a trundle. Overall, the bed is an excellent buy for budget buyers.


Bellemave Twin Over Full Wood Bunk Bed


  • Good value for money
  • Trundle makes it versatile
  • Stable construction


  • Not a frequently sold item
  • Trundle wobbles frequently

5. Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed, Twin/Twin

Staircase-styled bunk beds are best for little kids. They are safer than ladder-style as they offer secure and easy access to the top bunker. Moreover, the space below the ladder can be utilized for various purposes, such as keeping books, toys, and other essentials.

Max & Lily is a famous name when it comes to kids’ bunker beds. Its twin over twin low bunk bed is best for small children aged 3 (lower deck) and 6 (upper deck). The top deck has been specially designed at a lower height to make it safe and easily accessible. Moreover, the guardrails along the length and width of the bed make the bed safe for your kids.

The bed is made from solid and durable pinewood from New Zealand that delivers a 400-pound weight capacity for each bed. The weight capacity is more than all the other beds reviewed above. Moreover, the guardrails are 14-inch tall, making the bed ideal for 5-7 inch thick mattresses. The design of the mattress provides you the freedom to install the staircase on the left or right side, depending on the available space. The included instructions are clear, easy to understand, and the bed can be assembled by two people in 1-2 hours. 


Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed, Twin/Twin


  • Included staircase
  • Lightweight but solid
  • Low height makes it perfect for rooms with low ceilings
  • Attractive design for kids


  • Difficult to assemble
  • Flimsy slats
  • Expensive


The Top-3 Mattresses for Bunk Beds

1. Linenspa Hybrid Twin Mattress

All the bunk beds have a twin base, and the majority of them have a twin bunker. Therefore, this mattress is an ideal fit for the bottom bed in your bunk beds. The hybrid mattress features innerspring and memory foam for maximum comfort and peaceful sleep.  

It offers a medium-firm feel that is best for all three types of sleepers. Moreover, the mattress provides a three-layer design with a memory foam layer, a comfort foam layer, and an innerspring layer. The contouring memory foam adapts to your body position and relieves pressure from your body’s pain points.


Linenspa 8 Inch Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Twin Mattress


  • Best value for money
  • Superior quality memory foam
  • Keeps your spine supported


  • No effective evaporation method
  • No side support


2. Zinus 6 Inch Ultima Memory Foam Mattress

A full-size mattress fits snugly on the upper bed, and there is no mattress better than Zinus 6-inch Ultima. The green tea-infused mattress comes with a soft poly jacquard cover to give you maximum comfort and relaxation.

The mattress features moisture-absorbing charcoal and green tea leaves that help control odors and moisture and maintain freshness. In addition, it provides a hugging feeling to your body so that you wake up fresh and relaxed. The three layers, green tea memory foam, comfort foam, and base foam, give maximum structure and support.


Zinus 6 Inch Ultima Memory Foam Mattress


  • Comfortable
  • Firm yet contours to your body
  • Not too hot in the summers


  • It gets cold in winters
  • Little too firm for side sleepers


3. LUCID Memory Foam Cooling Gel Infusion Bed Mattress

This mattress is ideal for sleepers who want maximum odor control features. It comes with bamboo-charcoal base foam that helps minimize odors and keep your mattress fresh. Over the 4-inch bamboo-charcoal foam, solid foam is a 1-inch ventilated gel memory foam that delivers a firm feel and keeps your body cool by dispersing the moisture as you sleep on it.

This mattress is specifically designed for kids. It gives them the perfect comfort they want at the age of 6-10 years. The mattress comes in a low-profile design ideal for trundle beds, bunk beds, and other limited space setups. In addition, the mattress is best for stomach and back sleepers.


LUCID 5 Inch Memory Foam Bed Mattress


  • Come with a letter opener for quick and safe unwrapping
  • No smells out of the box
  • Firm and comfortable


  • The mattress doesn’t expand to 5-inches



How much should a bunk bed cost?

A bunk bed costs from $300 to $600. The price varies according to the construction material, design, number of beds, and additional features.

Is it cheaper to buy a bunk bed with a mattress included or not?

Buying a bunk bed without a mattress is a cheaper and pragmatic approach. It also gives you the freedom to buy a mattress according to your preferences and pocket.

What tools do I need to assemble a bunk bed?

You will need your tool kit, power drill, hammer, and some help in the shape of an extra pair of hands.

How tall are bunk beds?

An average bunk bed is about 6 feet high. You can find taller units (triple bunk beds) and shorter units with 4 feet of height. From a safety point of view, you must keep a 2-feet clearance between the top bunk and ceiling.

Are bunk beds safe for kids?

Bunk beds are mostly safe for kids, but accidents can and do happen. Therefore, you must educate your children about bunk beds’ safety and how to use them. Moreover, it is critical to check safety features like guardrails and ladder design before buying a bunk bed.