Beds

Everything You Need to Know Before Buying Toddler Bunk Beds

For those parents that have space constraints, or who want their children growing up in close proximity to learn to look out for each other, investing in bunk beds is a great option. Since the beds align with each other vertically, they essentially take the same amount of floor space. They also serve as a source of entertainment and amusement for your children. 

The clever utilization of space coupled with their inbuilt element of fun makes them a great option for parents and kids alike. They also serve as a tool for your children to interact with one another and form bonds that will last a lifetime.

Toddler Bunk Beds Buying Guide

Toddler Bunk Beds Types

There are a plethora of different kinds of bunk beds out there.

  • Regular – This is your run of the mill, standard bunk bed. It has two regular sized beds stacked on top of each other with a ladder allowing access to the top bed. Although this is a basic design type, it is very reliable and has stood the test of time. There are also bunk bed types that will allow for the beds to be detached and used as two separate beds on the ground. This flexibility comes in handy as your children grow up.
  • Built in – This kind of bunk bed is built into and integrated with the foundational structure of your home. It is strong and sturdy but at the cost of portability. These kinds of beds are usually found at hostels or college or military campuses where full grown adults are also able to utilise them to save space owing to their strong builds as a result of being a part of the houses’ foundational structure. They tend to have a higher maximum load capacity than conventional bunk bed types.
  • Pullout bed – A pull-out bunk bed has a secondary bed attached to the lower bed that can be pulled out if needed. This bed is usually on casters which makes it easy and convenient for it to be hidden when it isn’t in use. This kind of bed is great to sleep more than two people, usually three. The pull-out bed means an extra bedding room that doesn’t take up additional floor space which is always a plus.
  • L – Shaped – An L-shaped bunk bed is a bed where the top and bottom beds are not parallel to each other. They are shaped more like an “L” or a “T” when viewed from the top. This kind of bed is a bit fancier design-wise but can end up taking a bit more floor space. One positive when it comes to this kind of bed though is that the lower bed can be a little wider and/ or longer. This could help accommodate and sleep teenagers or even grown-up.
  • Triple – As the name suggests, a triple bunk bed has three layers to it. It can be extremely effective at saving floor space but there are a few caveats to it. First, it requires a ceiling taller than is usually found in most homes. Second, it can be slightly more dangerous than a regular bunk bed due to the added height, although this can be combated with high railings relatively easily.
  • Treehouse – This kind of bunk bed is a bit fancier and child-friendly. It has a “fun” element going for it. The beds are designed in a way to resemble a treehouse, something children can enjoy immensely. They tend to get redundant as the children grow up, so you have to keep that in mind.

Build Quality and Material

  • Metal – Metal frames for beds are usually lighter and offer more customizability and portability options than their wooden counterparts. They come in a variety of colors and patterns and are less prone to fire hazards than wood. They tend to be a tad cheaper than wood as well. Over time, however, sooner or later most metal frame beds tend to start creaking and noise can become a real problem. Metal frame bunk beds can also be prone to rust in the long term.
  • Wood – Wood frames can be a hit or miss based on the quality of wood used, and the kind of tree it’s been harvested from. If you purchase a wooden bunk bed that’s high quality it can be a great investment. They do tend to be a little pricey though and are generally a lot heavier than metal which may reduce portability. They can be recycled easily, however, which is a plus. Good quality wood tends to be very sturdy and strong and offers a unique aesthetic.
  • Hybrid – Hybrid bed frames are the kind of frames that use both wood and metal for their beds. They are very sturdy, offer great durability, and can be lighter than a pure wood frame. They are often very costly though.

Safety Tips

While bunk beds are a great way to save floor space and are an economically friendly option, they do have a low level of risk involved. There are ways to mitigate this risk to a high degree but parental supervision especially for younger children is advised.

Some Important tips to keep in mind if you do decide to purchase a bunk bed are:

  1. It is not advisable to let children below the age of 6 use/ sleep on a bunk bed.
  2. You should as a general rule of thumb assign the lower bed to the younger child.
  3. Try to ensure that there is ample space between the top bunk bed and the ceiling so that children have enough space and do not end up bumping their heads. 
  4. Try to have the room ventilated well to avoid feelings of claustrophobia.
  5. Ensure that the top bunk is at a suitable distance from the ceiling fan.
  6. Make sure the top bunk bed has sturdy, tall railings to ensure a child cannot fall off the side.
  7. You must have a sturdy, comfortable ladder to be able to access the top bunk bed.
  8. Make sure you have decent lighting conditions, especially at night for the child that must climb onto the top bunk using the ladder. If possible try to keep a night lamp handy and close to the said ladder.

Review of the 5 Top-Rated Bunk Beds for Toddlers

1. Walker Edison Alexander Jr Twin over Twin Bunk Bed

The Walker Edison Alexander Classic Solid Wood Stackable Jr Twin over Twin Bunk Bed is a solid wood bunk bed in a classic style. It is made from responsibly-sourced solid pine wood. They recommended using 5”- 9” mattress thickness. It comes with Integrated guardrails and a ladder included.

Since the lower bunk bed sits on the ground and is not elevated, it is a tad bit safer for toddlers and young kids.

It comes in 3 styles – Bunk, Low loft, and a triple bunk. It also has 4 color options – White, Espresso, Grey, and Walnut.

It has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon out of 968 global ratings. It has overwhelmingly positive reviews for the most part, with a rare few customers complaining about the fact that the lack of assembly instructions or a manual to follow makes it a challenge to assemble the bed properly.

SUMMARY

Walker Edison Alexander Classic Stackable Jr Twin over Twin Bunk Bed

Pros

  • Low bunk, Safe for Toddlers
  • Multiple styles and colors
  • Solid wood build

Cons

  • Lack of assembly instructions
  • Some reviewers complained about defective pieces
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Downloads:

2. DHP Miles Metal Bunk Bed

Second, on our list is the DHP Miles metal Bunk bed. It is an all-time favorite when it comes to a space-saving sleeping solution! Crafted with strong, sturdy metal, the Miles bunk bed introduces forms and functions to the bedroom with its streamlined silhouette. Like the Walker Edison, this bunk bed has a lower height than the average bunk bed, making it ideal for smaller spaces and safer for young children. It includes 12.5” full-length guardrails to ensure the utmost safety for the child sleeping on the top bunk. 

They recommend a max mattress thickness of 9”.

Dorel Industries Inc specializes in a wide variety of ready to assemble furniture for home and office use. Owing to their fusion of innovation and design, this bunk bed is very easy to assemble.

They come in 4 types – Twin/ Twin, Twin/ Full, Twin/ Futon and Full/ Full. It comes in 4 colors, – Silver, Black, Blue and white.
The DHP Miles Metal Bunk Bed has an overall rating of 4.5/ 5 out of 2853 reviewers on Amazon. Some reviewers complained about cases of missing parts when the product was delivered.

SUMMARY

DHP Miles Metal Bunk Bed

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Multiple types
  • Lower risk for children and toddlers
  • Tall Guardrails

Cons

  • Missing parts on delivery in certain cases
  • Susceptible to rusting owing to the metal build
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3. Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed

Third on this list is the Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed. Made from best-in-class New Zealand pine wood, it is very sturdy and durable. It has a high, 400-pound resting weight capacity per sleeping surface owing to its strong plywood slats with a metal support bar. It has a modern, clean aesthetic with its Slatted headboard with flush, color matching hardware for a clean finish.

It is also completely environmentally friendly with its non-toxic, low VOC finish. It offers some flexibility as the ladder can be installed on the left or the right-hand side during assembly. It can also be changed over time. Only being around 50 inches high, this space-saving low bunk bed design is great for confined spaces and safe for younger children. The bottom bed sits only approximately two inches off the floor, which makes it a perfect sleeping option for little kids. 

They come in 3 types – Low bunk, Low bunk + slide, and Triple Low bunk. It comes in 5 colors, – Natural, Grey, Clay, Blue, and white.

It has an outstanding rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon from 3237 buyers. It’s rated very highly for the most part, with a handful of users complaining about a chemical smell that takes a bit to dissipate upon initial assembly and use during the first few weeks.

SUMMARY

Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed

Pros

  • Low bed design safe for kids
  • Environmentally-friendly finish
  • High maximum weight capacity
  • Strong build quality

Cons

  • Chemical smell during first few weeks
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4. Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed with Slide

Number four on our list is the Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed with Slide and Blue Curtains. This product has a lot of similarities to the Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed. They have the same sturdy wood finish, a high total weight allowance of around 400 pounds, a child-friendly low bunk, and so on. 

It is designed to accommodate a standard twin-size mattress. They recommend a 5-inch mattress and not to exceed an 8-inch-thick mattress. The ladder can be installed on either side and it is reversible, with anti-slip steps. Its low height is perfect for little ones. Their top bunk has generous 14-inch safety guard rails.

What makes this product different from the Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed is the fact that it is enclosed with colorful curtains along the sides that give it more of a child-friendly “fortress” feel. 

They come in 2 types – Low bunk and low bunk + slide. It comes in 5 colors, – Natural, Grey, Clay, Blue, and white.


The Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed with Slide and Blue Curtains has 4.6 stars out of a total of 5 from 296 ratings on amazon. There are some complaints about customer service, faulty pieces, and the same chemical smell as their other designs.

SUMMARY

Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed with Slide

Pros

  • Low bed design safe for kids
  • Environmentally-friendly finish
  • High maximum weight capacity
  • Strong build quality

Cons

  • Customer service could be better
  • Faulty pieces make assembly difficult in some cases
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5. Dorel Living Phoenix Twin Bunk Bed

The last entry on our list is the Dorel Living Phoenix Twin Bunk Bed. It’s made of solid wood with a sleek black finish. It is very easy to assemble and all the required tools to convert come in the package.

The Dorel Living Phoenix Twin Bunk Bed has multiple configurations. It can be set up as a traditional bunk bed or simply as two separate twin beds. The unique floor bunk bed design will allow you to maximize your space while the sturdy, solid construction adds both durability and functionality. 

They come in 3 types – Twin/ Twin, Twin/ Full, and Full/ Full. It comes in 4 colors, – Black, Mocha, Grey, and White.

The Dorel Living Phoenix Twin Bunk Bed has an overall rating of 4.5/ 5 out of 1679 reviewers on Amazon. Some reviewers complained about cases of missing pieces when the product was delivered. Others complained about the paint chipping off relatively soon after assembly.

SUMMARY

Dorel Living Phoenix Twin Bunk Bed

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Can be set up as bunk or two separate beds
  • Solid wood construction

Cons

  • Missing pieces in certain cases
  • Paint might chip off with slightly rough use
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FAQs

What are the best bunk beds for toddlers?

Toddler’ bunk beds should have certain safety norms in place. The beds must have relatively high guard rails to prevent them from falling off. The ladder needs to be sturdy and made of good quality material. Bunk beds with the lower bunk closer to the ground are some of the most ideal kinds of beds for children and young toddlers. They can help mitigate safety risks by a lot.

Are bunk beds safe for toddlers?

As long as all the safety norms are followed, and parents check-in with the toddlers every once in a while, bunk beds can be a very safe way to save floor space, utilize innovative ways to use space more efficiently, and they also function as a source of “fun” for your young ones. Children under the age of 5 or 6 should try and avoid using the top bunk of these beds. The ladder that leads to the top bunk should also be strong and wide. There should be a light source like a lamp near the ladder so as to illuminate it if a child has to climb the bed at night. You must also consider the height between the top bunk and the ceiling and especially make sure the top bunk is at a safe distance from a ceiling fan.

At what age do kids use bunk beds?

How long a child uses a bunk bed will usually depend on a couple of different factors. They can use it till they get to a certain age, but more important than their age how fast they grow relative to the bunk beds maximum weight allowance is the primary determining factor of how long they can continue to use said bunk beds. For example, the Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed and the Max & Lily Low Bunk Bed with Slide and Blue Curtains, Twin, Clay claim to have a maximum weight allowance of around 400 pounds! This would mean that a child can use this bed from a young age well into their teenage years owing to the bed’s solid construction. There are also options for beds like the Dorel Living Phoenix Twin Bunk Bed which allow for users to separate the two bunk beds and use them individually. This might be a great option for kids that outgrow the fun element of sleeping on a bunk bed and perhaps want their own beds to be separate after a few years.

How much do toddler bunk beds usually cost?

Toddler bunk beds can cost anywhere from 250 dollars for an entry-level bunk bed, all the way up to around 1000 dollars for a high-end toddler bunk bed. The prices can vary based on a plethora of different factors. For example, the material used for construction, Type of bunk bed, Double vs triple level bunk beds, and so on.

What Material is best for bunk beds?

Metal bunk beds are usually a tad cheaper than wood bunk beds. Metal frames for toddler bunk beds are usually lighter and offer more customizability. They are also less prone to fire hazards than their wooden counterparts. They may be prone to creaking sounds over a long period of time based on their build quality. They may be prone to rust as well depending on the kind of metal or alloy that’s been used for the construction of said bunk bed as well as the kind of paint job/ polish that’s been used for them.
Wood frame beds tend to be pricier than metal. They can be of great value. One caveat to wood beds is quality control while manufacturing. Unlike metal frame beds, wood-framed toddler bunk beds are only as good as the wood on the particular harvested tree. Not every bed is going to be as strong or sturdy as the other. They do offer a great aesthetic though and are also easily recyclable.

What type of Bunk beds is the best?

Solid wood bunk beds with metal used for reinforcement tend to be the best kinds of bunk beds. They look aesthetically pleasing, usually have a good maximum weight allowance, they’re sturdy, and are overall a great package.

How hard are toddler bunk beds to assemble?

Bunk beds are usually shipped either partially assembled or with their individual parts separately. Assembling them for the most part is not very difficult. Brands usually will either send a detailed document that will guide you through the process of assembly or in some cases have a video to guide you through it on their website or on YouTube. 

Here is an example of an Installation Manual for the Walker Edison Alexander Classic Solid Wood Stackable Jr Twin over Twin Bunk Bed. Such manuals are either available online, or a copy of them is usually shipped with the bunk bed itself.

Final Verdict

Bunk beds are an amazing and cost-effective way to save floor space, add provide fun to your children’s lives. As long as safety protocols are followed, they will help enrich your children’s lives and act as a tool to build some amazing childhood memories. At the end of the day, buying your child a bunk bed could vastly improve their experience growing up.