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Home / Best Bed Frames of 2021 / Best Bunk Beds

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Lauren Fountain

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Bunk beds are a simple solution for saving space in a small apartment or bedroom. They stack beds on top of one another to increase the number of sleep surfaces without enlarging the footprint. Whether you have multiple children sharing a bedroom or regular house guests, a bunk bed can be a convenient way to accommodate more people in less space.

The best bunk beds are usually constructed with high-quality materials, like metal or solid wood. They need to be durable enough to support the weight of multiple sleepers and mattresses, and they should include safety features, such as sturdy ladders or stairs and strong guardrails.

There are many different types of bunk beds on the market. Each type has a unique construction that affects its price, ease of assembly, and durability. We’ll explain what to look for in a bunk bed and break down the types of compatible mattresses, critical safety features, and other key considerations.

The Best Bunk Beds

Product Details

DHP Twin-over-Full Bunk Frame

Best Overall

DHP Twin-over-Full Bunk Frame

DHP Twin-over-Full Bunk Frame
 
Who it's best for:
  • Parents who have children of different ages sharing a bedroom
  • Value seekers
  • Those looking for a bunk bed with a simple design
Highlights:
  • Full-length safety rails on the top bunk
  • Solid metal construction
  • Accommodates a twin and a full mattress
DHP Twin-over-Full Bunk Frame

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on DHP mattresses

The DHP Twin Over Full is a metal bunk bed. Available in several colors, the bed can suit a variety of bedroom decor styles.

Both bunks have platforms constructed with metal slats, which can promote airflow and support the mattress without the need for a box spring.

A sturdy ladder allows for easy access to the top bunk, which is twin size with full-length safety rails. It can hold up to 200 pounds and is suitable for a low-profile mattress. Meanwhile, the full size bottom bunk sits low to the ground and can support up to 450 pounds.

For easy assembly, the DHP Twin Over Full arrives in one box, and detailed assembly instructions are included. The bed also comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

Weston Home Chelsea Lane Convertible Twin-over-Twin Bunk Bed

Best Value

Weston Home Chelsea Lane Convertible Twin-over-Twin Bunk Bed

Weston Home Chelsea Lane Convertible Twin-over-Twin Bunk Bed
Price (Queen): $349
 
Who it's best for:
  • Parents with two children of similar ages
  • Those who want a bunk bed that can be separated into two beds
  • Shoppers on a budget
Highlights:
  • Can be separated into two twin beds
  • Built-in headboards and footboards
  • Wide array of color options
Weston Home Chelsea Lane Convertible Twin-over-Twin Bunk Bed

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Weston Home mattresses

Its sturdy and versatile wood construction makes the Chelsea Lane Elise Convertible an appealing bunk bed for parents looking for quality on a budget. Made with pine, veneer, wood, and medium-density fibreboard (MDF), the bed is available in many different colors. In addition to traditional shades, like espresso, mahogany, and pine, the bed comes in vibrant yellow, red, and white options.

Each twin bunk can hold up to 200 pounds. The solid wood construction adds strength and durability to the bed. A ladder leading from the bottom to the top bunk connects to a guard rail that wraps around the perimeter of the bed. Both bunks have a headboard and a footboard. The bottom bunk sits about 10 inches above the ground, leaving room for storage underneath the bed.

One of the Chelsea Lane Elise Convertible’s most notable features is that it can be split into two separate twin size beds. This allows you to adjust the configuration rather than purchasing new beds.

The Chelsea Lane Elise Convertible comes with a 90-day limited warranty.

DHP Full-over-Full Bunk Frame

Best Full Over Full

DHP Full-over-Full Bunk Frame

DHP Full-over-Full Bunk Frame
 
Who it's best for:
  • Older children sharing a bedroom
  • Families with frequent guests
  • Those who prefer a larger sleep surface
Highlights:
  • Higher-than-average weight capacities
  • Two ladders
  • Several color options
DHP Full-over-Full Bunk Frame

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on DHP mattresses

A full over full bunk bed should be supportive and durable enough to hold two full mattresses and their occupants. The DHP Full Over Full bunk bed is designed to meet these requirements at an affordable price.

Available in several different colors, the bunk bed is constructed with a sturdy metal frame. Each bunk’s platform includes durable metal slats, eliminating the need for a box spring or a bunkie board. Integrated metal ladders on each end of the structure allow more versatility when placing the bunk bed.

Another notable feature of the DHP Full Over Full is the amount of space between the bottom and top bed. This extra room allows for more headroom for the sleeper in the lower bunk and a greater sense of privacy.

The top bunk includes a guardrail around its perimeter. The mattress in the top bunk should measure no more than 6 inches in height since thicker models may be higher than guardrails and present a safety issue. In addition, the top bunk can hold no more than 200 to 300 pounds. Meanwhile, the bottom bunk accommodates up to 450 pounds.

The DHP Full Over Full comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

Better Homes & Gardens Tristan Triple Bunk Bed

Best Triple Bunk Bed

Better Homes & Gardens Tristan Triple Bunk Bed

Better Homes & Gardens Tristan Triple Bunk Bed
Price (Queen): $430
 
Who it's best for:
  • Families with three children sharing a bedroom
  • Shoppers looking for a convertible option
  • People who live in small homes
Highlights:
  • Space-saving design
  • Convertible into three separate twin beds or a bunk and a daybed
  • Durable safety rails surround the middle and top bunks
Better Homes & Gardens Tristan Triple Bunk Bed

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Better Homes & Gardens mattresses

The Better Homes & Gardens Tristan is a convertible triple bunk bed that can hold three twin mattresses. Once fully assembled, the three bunks stack directly on top of one another. However, they can also detach into three twin beds or a bunk bed and a daybed. This feature makes the bunk bed especially beneficial for families with two or three children who may eventually sleep in separate bedrooms.

The wood construction of the Better Homes & Gardens Tristan is sturdy and less noisy than some models. Durable wooden slats support each sleep surface, accommodating up to 165 pounds per bunk. Ladders allow easy access to the middle and top bunks. Both of these bunks also have safety rails around the perimeter.

Color options include white, black, gray, and mocha. The Better Homes & Gardens Tristan includes a 1-year limited warranty.

What Is a Bunk Bed?

A bunk bed consists of two bed frames designed to affix on top of one another. Access to the top bunk usually requires a ladder or stairs. The main advantage of bunk beds is that they save floor space.

These stackable beds are especially popular among parents whose children share a bedroom. However, many adults also use bunk beds. Those who like to entertain can accommodate more friends and family by investing in a bunk bed. Likewise, people who rent out their homes can use bunk beds to allow for extra guests.

While standard twin over twin bunk beds are common, shoppers have plenty of other options to choose from that may better suit their needs. Different configurations may include combinations of twin, full, queen, and even king sizes. Some also include storage underneath the bottom bunk to help save closet space.

Mattress type is a critical factor to consider before purchasing a bunk bed. Most bunk beds require low-profile mattresses. Heavy mattresses can pose serious risks for sleepers on both the top and bottom bunks. Buyers should pay attention to their bunk bed’s weight limits to ensure safety. While bunk beds are typically made of durable metal and/or wood, they may not hold up under excessive weight.

Choosing the right bunk bed for your family comes down to lifestyle, personal preference, and budget.

How to Choose a Bunk Bed

Understanding what you need in a bunk bed is the first step in narrowing down your options. A bunk bed designed for two small children is different in construction, price, and style than one for adult sleepers.

Once you decide on the main reasons you want a bunk bed, establishing a budget is your next step. In addition to the structure itself, you’ll need mattresses, which can increase the expense. We recommend comparing bunk bed models to find the option that best suits your needs.

What to Look For in a Bunk Bed

Bunk beds are available in various constructions, styles, and price-points. You should consider key factors before purchasing a new bed.

The structure needs to be sturdy enough to support the sleep surfaces. Bunk beds constructed with low-quality materials are vulnerable to damage and may even pose a safety risk.

Additionally, certain mattresses are not compatible with bunk beds. Due to the height of the guardrails, most bunk beds require thinner mattresses. This will also allow sleepers more headroom.

Personal style, ease of assembly, noise levels, and other factors may also influence which bunk bed you’d prefer. We’ll detail some of the most critical criteria.

Bed Sizes
Most modern bunk beds are designed for twin, twin XL, or full mattresses, though some can accommodate larger sizes. Since some bunk beds hold different mattress sizes in the top and bottom, shoppers should review the specifications of the bed before buying new mattresses.

Quality Materials
High-quality materials are essential for a sturdy bunk bed. Metal and wood are the two most popular materials used in their construction. Both are generally strong and durable, but wood tends to last longer and produce less noise. Meanwhile, metal typically takes up less space and allows for higher weight limits.

Safety
Safety is the most important factor to consider when choosing a bunk bed. Poorly constructed models are safety hazards for sleepers on both surfaces. A durable frame is crucial for the bunk bed to withstand the weight of the mattresses and their occupants, and owners should abide by the weight limits provided by the manufacturer. The thickness of the mattress can also make a difference. Most bunk beds require low-profile models to ensure the guardrail is higher than the sleep surface.

Style
Shoppers can choose from a broad range of bunk bed styles and colors. Some are constructed with a minimalist metal design, while others have a more traditional wooden construction. They may include ladders, stairs, underbed storage, and/or more unique features, like slides.

Price
Bunk bed prices can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, but most fall between $300 and $900. Quality and type of materials, bed size, and special features affect the cost of a bunk bed. When deciding on a budget, shoppers should keep in mind that they’ll also need appropriately sized mattresses.

Ease of Assembly
Overly complex assembly is not only time-consuming, but it can also result in a poorly put-together bed. Most manufacturers include detailed assembly instructions to simplify the process. If you’re concerned about putting the bed together, you may prefer to pay for in-home assembly or select a model designed for easy construction.

Weight Capacity
Check the weight capacity of both the top and bottom bunks before buying a bed. Each should have a specified weight limit. Too much weight on the bunks is a safety hazard since it could cause structural collapse. Keep in mind that both the weight of the mattress and the weight of the sleeper contribute to the total capacity.

Noise
Since bunk beds are designed for more than one person, a component creaking under pressure can disrupt multiple sleepers simultaneously. Noise is often the result of low-quality materials or subpar construction. In many cases, looking over the frame carefully to assure you’ve assembled it properly can help. Because wood bunk beds are generally heavier than metal, they tend to be slightly quieter.

Types of Bunk Beds

With many different types to choose from, bunk beds can suit nearly any lifestyle. They’re available in a wide variety of designs and styles for individuals of all ages. While most bunk beds can accommodate at least two sleepers, some can comfortably support more. Whether you have a small studio apartment or children sharing a bedroom, many types of bunk beds can fit your needs and your space.

Standard Bunk Bed

A standard bunk bed supports two twin size mattresses. Most include a ladder that connects the two bunks, but select models have stairs. Standard bunk beds are typically the most affordable variety with options starting at around $200.

Some standard bunk beds are designed to separate, which may make them ideal for families with changing needs.

Twin Over Full Bunk Bed

A twin over full is a bunk bed that can accommodate up to three people without occupying a large footprint. The twin in the top bunk sits over a full size bottom bunk.

This design may appeal to families with children of different ages, parents who like to lie in bed with their children to comfort them or read bedtime stories, and anyone who frequently hosts guests.

Prices vary for twin over full bunk beds, but most quality choices start at around $300. Keep in mind that purchasing a twin and a full mattress costs more than buying two twins, and the setup will require more space than a standard bunk bed.

Full Over Full Bunk Bed

The construction of a full over full bunk bed is nearly identical to that of a standard twin over twin bed. However, these slightly larger bunk beds can accommodate two full size mattresses. Depending on the weight capacity, this style may be able to support up to four sleepers, but most are designed to accommodate one average-sized adult per sleep surface.

Full over full bunk beds are usually best suited for older children sharing a bedroom and families that need extra sleep surfaces for guests. While full over full bunks provide extra room to move around, they also take up more floor space and are usually more expensive, starting at around $400.

Triple Bunk Bed

As the name suggests, a triple bunk bed is constructed with three bunks. Traditionally, each bunk stacks on top of one another to save floor space. However, other configurations reduce the overall height by occupying a wider footprint. Most triple bunks accommodate three twin mattresses.

Triple bunks stacked vertically usually include guardrails around the middle and top bunks along with two ladders. However, this style usually has more limited headspace. Many triple bunk beds are also detachable, making them a popular choice for families with changing needs. A high-quality triple bunk bed typically costs at least $400.

Futon Bunk Bed

Constructed with a bed on top and a futon-style sofa on the bottom, futon bunk beds are the ultimate space-savers for families who want to maximize their floor space. The top bunk typically holds a twin or a full mattress. Meanwhile, the futon is a sofa that pulls out into a bed.

The main benefit of this design is that it offers the flexibility to transition between a living and a sleeping space. However, their dimensions may vary, so it’s important to check the measurements before purchasing. These bunk beds typically cost $450 or more.

Desk Bunk Bed

Desk bunk beds are popular for students, adults in studio apartments, and individuals with a combined office and bedroom because they include a bed lofted over a desk. They vary widely in price depending on the size of the lofted bed and the quality of materials, but most cost at least $500.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bunk Beds

  • How much do bunk beds cost?

    Most bunk beds cost from $300 to $900, but options range from as little as $100 to more than $2,000. How much a bunk bed costs depends on many different factors, including the quality of the materials, the number of beds it holds, the bed sizes, and the safety features.

  • Where is the best place to buy bunk beds?

    Bunk beds are available through most major retailers that sell furniture. Shipping and assembly methods vary by vendor. Online orders typically ship packaged in a box, and the owner assembles the bunk bed themselves following manufacturer-provided instructions. Brick-and-mortar stores also frequently sell packaged bunk beds for the owner to assemble. However, some sellers offer professional in-home setup for an additional charge.

  • What size is a bunk bed mattress?

    Most bunk beds accommodate twin mattresses, though some can support a full, queen, or a king. Since bunk beds are generally designed to hold low-profile mattresses, you should check the dimensions and requirements of any model before making a purchase.

  • Are bunk beds safe?

    When designed, constructed, and used correctly, bunk beds can be safe and convenient. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires that bunk beds sold in the United States meet certain requirements, including setting standards for guardrails, materials, and more.

    These standards may give parents peace of mind, but proper assembly and usage can be just as critical to safety. Anyone considering a bunk bed should refer to the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics, including ensuring proper guardrail height and placement, securing the ladder, installing a nightlight, removing dangerous objects, and establishing rules.

    Owners should also follow the manufacturer’s assembly instructions, avoid going over the weight limit, and select the appropriate mattress thickness.

  • Who makes a split queen What kind of mattress should I use for a bunk bed?

    Lighter-than-average, low-profile mattresses are usually best for bunk beds. All-foam models often work well, but some innerspring, hybrid, and latex models are also suitable.

    Selecting a mattress that’s compatible with your bunk bed is essential for safety, but the mattress type will also affect other aspects of the sleep experience. All-foam models are known for their conforming, innerspring mattresses have greater bounce, hybrid options combine cradling and responsiveness, and natural latex models are popular with eco-conscious shoppers.

  • Do bunk beds need box springs?

    Bunk beds do not require box springs because they include a platform foundation. Using a box spring would add height and weight, which could pose a safety hazard for sleepers.