We all know that Bunk Beds are a great space-saving solution for children’s bedrooms and they’re ideal if your little ones share a room. Plus, kids love bunk beds. However, as with anything, safety is the number one priority. That's why we've created this blog to put your mind at ease and answer every question you might have on the safety of your child's bunk bed.
Check out our safety FAQs and bunk bed rules below.
Bunk Bed Safety FAQs
So, are bunk beds safe? Here our sleep specialist, Joy, answers some frequently asked bunk bed safety questions and provides some helpful tips on buying the best bunk for your child's bedroom.
For added information on our safety checks and guidelines, take a look at our Bunk Bed Safety Guide.
At What Age is a Bunk Bed Safe to Use?
Current guidelines recommend that the upper bunk is not suitable for children under the age of six. This is due to the increased risk of falls, made worse with the low level of visibility at night that can be dangerous for children of any age. If this is a concern, it might be worth considering the use of a lamp or clip light to illuminate the ladder at night. This way your youngsters can climb down the ladder safely without falling.
Remember that while the bottom bunk is safe for younger children, babies and toddlers should sleep in their own separate cot to keep them safe.
What Should the Height Be for Bunk Bed Rails?
As well as the ladder and rail spacing, it is also important to look at rail heights to ensure your child is not able to roll out of bed. All bunk bed safety rails should be at least 16 cm taller than the mattress to prevent falls.
Do Bunk Beds Have to Follow any Regulations?
Bunk beds that are sold in the UK must conform to the following British Standard: BS/EN 747:2012+A1. These current safety regulations require bunk beds to be manufactured with a solid structure and have no sharp edges or corners that may cause harm.
It’s important that the mattress fits the bed securely, and that the slats underneath are no less than 7.5 cm apart. The bunk bed safety rails should be on both sides, with a gap of 300 mm to allow access. Although some do come with a bunk bed rail extension, these guidelines are what is generally accepted for optimum safety.
The regulations on bunk bed rail height are strict about gaps in the construction, to ensure that a child can’t get stuck or slip between the rail and the mattress. The access ladder should be firmly fixed to the bed and the treads should be at least 3 cm wide and 20 cm apart.
Do Bunk Beds Require Special Mattresses?
As stated in our Mattress Buying Guide, most of our small mattresses will fit a bunk bed. However, top bunks require a special, thinner mattress to maintain a safe height in relation to the guard rails. These top bunk mattresses should be no thicker than 17 cm as a general rule. We recommend looking at the instruction manual for the specific bed frame as some can be as low as 15cm.
7 Rules for Optimum Bunk Bed Safety
It’s a good idea to set some rules with your children about bunk bed safety. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), most accidents involving bunk beds occur when children are playing on them. So, it’s fundamental that you teach your child to follow some basic steps to ensure that he or she stays safe at all times.
1. Don’t let your child treat a bunk bed like a climbing frame
Although a bunk bed is a fun alternative to a regular bed, children should be discouraged from playing on the ladder and from leaning from the top bunk. A bunk bed ladder guard can provide additional security to maximise bunk bed safety. Children should also use the ladder every time they want to come down from the top bunk.
2. Allow only one child on the top bunk
While a bunk bed is a novelty for children, they must learn that only one person can be on the top bunk at any time. Getting children to stick to this rule might be hard, but it’s for their own safety. Solve this problem by allowing children to take turns on the top bunk each night so they each get their own turn.
3. Follow the instructions for assembly
When your bunk bed arrives, you must assemble the frame correctly. Carefully follow the instructions step-by-step to ensure that you build a safe and secure bunk bed. Once complete, you should not have any spare parts.
4. Consider where you place the bunk bed
You should never place your bunk bed in a position that could pose a risk to your children. It’s especially important that you don’t place a bunk bed near a window or within two metres of a light fitting.
5. Always install the guard rail
Regardless of whether you’ll be positioning a bunk bed up against a wall or not, you should always install the guard rail. When against a wall, there will still be a gap between the wall and the bed, therefore a rail is 100% necessary.
6. Never use a bunk bed as a clothes horse
Never hang clothing off the bed or tie anything to the frame. Children can get tangled up in these, making them serious strangulation hazards.
7. Place carpet under a bunk bed
If your child’s room is carpeted – perfect. If it’s not, you should either consider carpeting your child’s bedroom or buying a rug to place underneath the bunk bed. Research shows that carpet can reduce the risk of head injury should a child fall from a bunk. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Discover Our Range of Bunk Beds Today
We hope we've put your mind at rest about bunk beds. Just one question remains: are bunk beds a good idea? Well, we certainly think so!
However, if you have a question about a specific bed, please don't hesitate to get in touch, tweet @HappyBeds and we'll get back to you ASAP.