Can a Bunk Bed with Stairs be Separated?

Having multiple children sharing the same room may result in the need for a bunk bed. Bunk beds provide the best option for multiple beds without taking the floor space. However, as your children age, you may want to move them to separate rooms. But what about that bunk bed? Can it be separated to two beds as well? What if it has stairs instead of a ladder? 

Can a bunk bed with stairs be separated? Some bunks are built to split into two beds, regardless of having stairs or a ladder. Some are built as one piece, though. This is something you can research before buying a new bed. If you already have a bunk, look for a seam between the beds that might indicate they come apart.

On that note, if you are concerned about floor space, note that bunk beds with stairs tend to have a larger footprint than bunks with a ladder. If you are trying to save space, and you have not yet purchased a bunkbed, look one with a ladder. Most ladder bunk beds are also able to be separated, but again, pay attention to the bed’s specifications while you’re shopping. 

There are many options, and provided that you have done your research, you will find the perfect bunk bed (with stairs or a ladder) that fits perfectly for your family in no time. If you already have a bunk bed with stairs and are looking to separate the unit, there are somethings you’ll need to look for. 

Introduction to Bunk Beds

Bunk beds are two or more beds stacked to provide beds for multiple people on a minimal footprint. They are made from different materials and can be pretty durable if assembled correctly and taken care of. 

However, it’s important to note that you should follow all directions for anchoring the bed to a wall, using safety rails and having a safe way to get down: either stairs or a ladder. It’s no good to have a long-lasting bed if it’s not put together safely. 

And on that note, if your bunk has stairs, it’s important to bolt them to the bed frame securely. Stairs are very heavy and very dangerous if they become separated on accident. You don’t want them to cause a child to fall off of them, or worse, for them to fall on a child. 

Stairs or Ladders

Every bunk bed has some way to climb onto the top bunks. Think about what would be more comfortable and suitable for your home. For example, stairs may take up more room than a ladder. And since your children are typically barefooted crawling into bed, stairs and wider rails on ladders hurt their feet less. These are two things to keep in mind.


Wood Bunkbed with Stairs

Since stairs take up more space, they might come with space saving solutions. While most are made with just regular stairs with no other use, there are others who are built with drawers in the steps or a bookshelf built into the side. This provides optimization to fit your room better. 


Ladder Bunk bed

The ladders come in different forms depending on the type of bed you must put the ladder on. Some ladders stick out a little further and lean up against the bed. There are also ladders that are built to the side of bed that lay basically flat against the bed. There are also beds where the ladder is built up and over the slightly larger bottom bed. 

While you might be able to separate stairs from a bunk bed and add a ladder, it’s a lot harder to separate the ladder and add stairs. Of course, there’s also the chance you plan to split the bunk bed part into two beds. In this case, stairs that doubled as drawers or a bookcase might still be usable, but a ladder will need to be stored away somewhere.  

How to Separate the Stairs from the Bunks

If you are starting with a securely fastened and totally assembled bunk bed with stairs, you’ll first want to separate the bunks from the stairs. Stairs are bolted to either end of the bunkbeds, but they also have a number of other fasteners you’ll have to contend with. 

This can include the bolts that hold the rails, a couple of bolts at the bottom and a couple of bolts on the side in the front, providing a secure hold between stairs and bed. On most beds there are brackets or bolts that hold the legs into place on top of one another. 

Make sure to have removed all removable objects prior to taking this on. Some stairs double as bookshelves, so it’s important that there is no extra weight on the shelves before removing them.

From This Point, Are You Changing to a Ladder or Splitting the Beds?

Pay attention to the type of bed that you have. In most case, you can remove the stairs and switch to a ladder to add in foot space. In other cases, you cannot. Check the assembly instructions that came with it, but also check that a ladder can be safely swapped in. Remember to bolt it on appropriately for safety.

Splitting a Bunk Bed into Two Beds

Now that you’ve removed your stairs, if you’re choosing to continue the separation into two beds, consult the manufacturer’s packet that came with it. You’ll be looking for a seam in the bed posts to confirm they can be separated at all. 

First things first, get a couple people to help you. Two other sets of hands will make the process of lifting the top bunk off the bottom a lot easier and safer; plus, you’ll have someone else looking out for you while you unbolt all the connections. Remember that the bed was anchored to the wall, so those fasteners need to be undone too.

Remove the mattresses to reduce the weight. Then undo all the fasteners attaching the top to the bottom with care not to unscrew something holding one particular bed together. Once the top is loose from the bottom, carefully lift as a team and place the top bunk on the floor. 

If there are finials to cover the newly raw bottom bunk posts, attach those now. Similarly, if there are floor protecting feet for the newly raw top bunk post bases, attach those. You may find that these things are not required. Just in case, pay attention to any safety hazards left by sharp corners on the separated bed frames.

Clean up all the bolts, screws, and fasteners so no one steps on them, and touch up the holes in the walls where the anchors were. There you go! You’ve separated a bunk bed with stairs into two beds and a stair-shaped bookcase or set of drawers. 

Shopping for a Bunk Bed with Stairs that Separates

If you are in the market for a bunk bed with stairs, and you have the intention of breaking it down in the future, make sure to measure everything. Measure your space at home, including the height of the ceiling. This will form the guidelines for what you need. 

Make note of the space-saving features you need. There are many types of bunk beds that cover multiple uses (like a futon or desk space instead of a bottom bunk), so be sure to get something you would want for long-term use and spend your money wisely. That might not end up being a bunk bed with stairs. 

Related Article: Metal vs. Wood Bunk Bed

And if you intend to separate your bunk bed in the future, make sure to keep the assembly instructions somewhere safe so you can access them when the time comes. 


Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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