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Bunk Beds Guide

Bunk beds are a great, space-saving option when you're looking for beds for multiple children. However, shopping for bunk beds often comes with a lot of questions – like "what age can a child go in a bunk bed?" or "how can I ensure safety?". After all, when it comes to children, safety should always be a priority - and that's just as important when they sleep! In this guide, we're answering all your common questions about bunk beds and bunk bed safety. From the types available to tips for maximum safety, here is everything you need to know.

Are Bunk Beds Safe?

In a word, yes - if you've bought a high-quality bunk bed and followed the assembly instructions correctly. There are also certain safety rules and guidelines you should follow once the bed is built, such as ensuring your child is old enough for a bunk bed and that the height of the bed is right for the room you're placing it in. We cover more tips on improving bunk bed safety further on in this piece.

What Type Of Bunk Beds Are Best For Kids?

If you're wondering how to choose the right bunk beds for your kids, it all depends on your home and the functions you need the most. You can choose:

  • Standard bunk beds. These are the ‘classic' bunk bed design that feature one bed on top of another, with a ladder providing access to the top bunk.
  • Storage bunk beds. If you're struggling for storage space, many bunk beds also come with built-in storage options, such as shelving, wardrobes or drawers.
  • L-shaped bunk beds. These vary from the classic design and are great if you have a little more floor space. Instead of one bed directly on top of the other, an L-shape bunk features the lower bed facing at a 90-degree angle. This type of bed works especially well in the corner of a bedroom.
  • Triple or quadruple bunk beds. If you're looking to accommodate more children (or have kids who love sleepovers!), triple and quadruple beds offer the ultimate space-saving option. Triple beds are either available in a classic single style, with three beds on top of each other, or laid out with a double bed below and a single above. Quadruple beds sleep up to four, with two doubles in a classic bunk style.
  • Combination bunk beds. We also offer combination beds that can be adapted into a range of styles. From toddler bed to bunk bed to single or guest bed, these beds can grow as your child does.

Think about what you need the bunk bed for. Do you need to accommodate more than two children? Is storage a priority? How long do you need the bed for? These will all come into play when choosing the right bunk bed for you.

What Age Can A Child Go In A Bunk Bed?

We often get asked, "can toddlers go in bunk beds?". And, while bunk beds are designed for children, there are age restrictions in place to ensure they're safe to use. Children under the age of six shouldn't be sleeping on a top bunk, and children under the age of three shouldn't be on bunk beds at all. If you're looking for a bed for a toddler, a combination bed is safe for use and can be adapted into a bunk when they're a little older.

Can Adults Use Bunk Beds?

So, toddlers are a no, but can adults sleep in bunk beds? The answer is, it depends. Bunk beds are conventionally designed to support a child's weight, though some of the more secure bunk beds can support an adult's weight. It is advised to check the assembly instructions for further details on bunk bed usage for your specific bed.

Can Bunk Beds Collapse?

It's a scary thought for any parent but, yes, bunk beds can collapse - but only if they're not assembled correctly! You should follow your assembly instructions carefully and make sure no pieces are missing when you're done. Check all the screws are tightened. Does the bed feel sturdy? You should push the bed from all sides once it's assembled to double-check sturdiness.

Once your bunk bed is assembled, you should make sure you're always following the safety guidelines (which are detailed below), and regularly check the bed to make sure it's secure. With correct assembly, a high-quality bed, and safety guidelines followed, your new bunk bed poses no risk.

What Is The Height Of A Bunk Bed?

It varies from bed to bed, but the standard height of a classic bunk bed is between 5 and 6 feet tall. If you're choosing a bunk bed with additional features such as storage, it may be taller, so always double-check the dimensions of your chosen model.

When considering the height of a bunk bed and whether it will fit into a room, you should take into account how much additional space you'll need for when your child sits up in bed. To avoid any safety issues, there should always be enough space for them to sit up comfortably, with room between them and the ceiling.

Can You Take Bunk Beds Apart?

Most kids' bunk beds are designed not to be taken apart. Dismantling them and then rebuilding may leave your beds less secure and with safety issues - definitely not ideal! If you're considering a bunk bed but think you may want to separate them at some point, our combination bed is designed for just that. You can easily take it from bunk bed to single bed, and even to guest bed! So, you're not just getting a great, kid-friendly option, but you're also sorted when guests stay over for years to come.

What Size Mattress And Bedding Do You Need For Bunk Beds?

Bunk beds don't require special mattresses and a regular single mattress fits most. However, for safety, there is a limit to the height of the mattress on the top bunk, so double check specifications of your mattress and bed to ensure it fits safely. Always check specifications rather than just adding the mattress height to the bed height, as mattresses will sit at different heights within different bed frames, with some more ‘sunken' than others.

At Happy Beds, we'd always advise that the top bunk doesn't have a mattress thicker than 16cm to ensure there is enough height given for the safety rails to do their job. There will usually be a line along the inside of the top bunk's frame to indicate where the mattress should go up to. You can find the best bunk bed for your mattress in our mattress collection.

When it comes to sheets and bedding, a standard twin size will fit most bunk beds perfectly.

How Do I Make A Bunk Bed Safe?

When it comes to your children, we know safety is paramount. While following the assembly instructions carefully and correctly will ensure your bed is secure, there are some extra steps you can take to make your bunk beds completely safe.

1. Install bunk bed safety rails

Installing all guard rails is the best way to prevent any falls. As discussed, you should ensure the top bunk mattress isn't too high, to allow the safety rails to be fully effective.

2. Carpet the floor

Children's bedrooms should be carpeted or, ideally, have rugs beneath the beds. This will help prevent serious injury from accidental slips or falls.

3. Regularly check fittings

You should make sure your bunk beds remain sturdy and that nothing loosens over time. Regularly check the fittings of your bunk beds to ensure that everything is safe and secure.

4. Use bunk beds only for their purpose

Once the bed is safely assembled, discourage children from climbing or playing on the bed or ladder and prevent more than one child from using the top bunk at a time. You should also make sure belts, bags and other items aren't hung from the bunk bed, to prevent the risk of strangulation, trips or falls.

Bunk Bed Safety Regulations

If you still have any concerns over the safety of bunk beds, you can rest assured, as they're covered by British Standards of Safety. Here are the regulations bunk beds must follow:

Bunk beds that are sold in the UK must conform to the current safety regulations (British Safety Standard number BS EN 747:2012 + A1 2015). They should be solid in construction 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 upper bunk should have guard rails 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 are 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.

Happy Beds Bunk Beds Assembly Guidelines

We conduct all of the necessary measures to ensure that the bunk bed is safe to use, however it is down to you to encourage safety when the bunk bed is assembled. We have compiled a series of rules which are recommended to follow to ensure maximum safety when your bunk bed is fully assembled and in use of children.

How to put bunk beds together safely

  • Do not use the bunk bed if any part is damaged or missing
  • Take care when assembling the bunk bed and follow every instruction thoroughly
  • Perform a stability check on all safety guards, rails and ladders to check they are installed correctly
  • Address the relevant instruction manual for age restrictions prior to use
  • Assess the structure and size of your room prior to purchase to ensure a safe access
  • Conduct regular checks of the fittings and safety barriers when in use
  • Plan to place your bunk bed away from doors, light fixtures and fittings

Where's The Best Place To Buy Bunk Beds?

Call us biased, but at Happy Beds, we think we have some of the best bunk beds around. During the manufacturing of Happy Beds' bunk beds, safety is a priority, and we take caution to ensure our bunk beds are comfortable, supportive and secure. Before they're shipped, each bed is also checked in relation to the British Standards of Safety, so you can relax safe in the knowledge your new bunk beds will be safe for use.

Explore the full collection at Happy Beds today to find an option both you and the kids will love.

Find Your Perfect Bunk Bed Now