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Bunk Beds and Loft Beds for Kids: How to Pick the Perfect Setup

Find a classic bunk bed, a loft bed with storage or a twin loft system with a lower bed set that adds style, functionality and fun to your kids' room. These double-duty beds can help conserve space - some even offer shelving, drawers and other storage options - and they're available in a huge range of styles, finishes and configurations. You can choose a bunk or loft as part of complete bedroom furniture collections or as standalone pieces.

Twin-Over-Twin Bunk Beds for Kids

Standard twin-over-twin bunk beds are perfect for kids' rooms that are a little tight on space, but they're also fabulous choices for more spacious rooms. You can choose beds with standard or leaning ladders, metal or wood guard rails on the top and storage space or a trundle (which is great for sleepovers) beneath.

Twin-Over-Full Bunk Beds for Kids

When one of your kids needs a bigger bed than the other, a twin-over-full bunk bed may be the right choice. Choose one with a leaning ladder or a miniature staircase so the one who gets the top bunk can climb up easily.

Loft Beds With Lower Beds

Loft beds with lower beds aren't connected to each other, so they're a great choice if your kids won't always share a room. Pick a standard or leaning ladder, or choose a loft bed with a staircase to make climbing up a breeze. These types of bunks are also available with built-in shelves and drawers, which provide extra storage space and help keep the floors clear. Usually, the shelves and drawers are all on one side; sometimes they're built into the stairs.

Loft Systems

A complete loft system is a fantastic choice when you want to save floor space and add even more functionality in your child's room. These high loft beds have plenty of space beneath to access the built-in desks, drawers and shelves they feature and many are roomy enough to add kids' lounge furniture, toy storage and more.

What to Look for in Bunk Beds and Loft Beds for Kids

The first thing to look for in a bunk or loft bed is height - if your ceiling clearance isn't high enough for your child to sit up comfortably in a standard bunk bed, you'll have to opt for a low bunk. Usually, low bunks are fine in rooms with ceiling heights of less than 7 feet.

Pottery Barn Kids Pro Tip: When you find a bed you're interested in, check its minimum recommended ceiling height. Most standard bunk beds and loft beds are made for ceilings that are at least 8 feet high.

Once you have the height nailed down, look for features like these:

  • Solid wood, engineered wood or medium-density fiberboard construction for durability
  • Tongue-and-groove or mortise-and-tenon joinery that make the bed's structure sturdy
  • Veneers that provide beautiful surfaces and are easy to clean
  • Child-safe, water-based paint
  • Finish on all sides
  • A ladder you can install on either side of the beds
  • Drawers that feature waxed wooden glides so they're easy to open and close
  • Guardrails that help your child sleep safely on the top bunk
  • Desk units and bookcases that are accessible from both sides
  • GREENGUARD Gold Certification, which means the materials used don't emit high levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs

When is Your Child Ready for a Top Bunk or Loft Bed?

Most bunk beds and lofts for kids are designed for little ones who are age 6 or older - younger kids might not be safe that high off the ground while sleeping. Kids who are able to stick to safety rules and can confidently climb up and down from bed are usually ready for top-bunk bedtimes.

Knowing what to look for in a bunk bed or kids' loft bed makes choosing the right style and configuration a lot easier. These beds give kids a little extra breathing room, too, by providing extra room for play and toy storage.

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