Pros and Cons of Bunk Beds You Shouldn’t Ignore


Pros and Cons of Bunk Beds

Bunk beds are a great idea for any home, whether it is set up for your kids or in a guest room for friends from out of town. They are a great way to fit in an extra sleeping arrangement into your home by literally stacking one bed on top of another bed. It can be a big decision, however, for a number of reasons. Depending on what you need one for, it can cost anywhere from $200 to $4,000 and vary in multiple sizes.

So what makes a bunk bed great? Functionality, privacy, space efficiency, and kids love them. Bunk beds have a few downsides though, as they can be expensive and difficult to clean. The size of bunk beds is a dual-edged sword in that they can either be great for smaller spaces or ill-advised in the same amount of space. Check out these pros and cons before purchasing your next bunk bed. 

The Pros of Bunk Beds:

1) Bunk Beds Are Versatile 

There are several reasons why owning a bunk bed can be beneficial for your home. They typically come with additional storage, they separate children or guests so they do not have to crowd the same mattress, they add a layer of privacy in case someone wants to read with a small light on while the other sleeps, and they can just be flat out fun for anyone staying in one. Some things to take note of are: 

  • Storage
  • Separation
  • Privacy
  • Great for guests
  • Fun for kids

Using these points you can check off the boxes yourself to see if any of these apply to your use for a bunk bed. By taking inventory in your own living space, you can quickly decide whether you need additional storage in a guestroom or maybe you have two kids that do not want to share a bed anymore. These are just a few reasons that make a bunk bed great for your home or even a home-away-from-home.

2) Bunk Beds Provide Extra Storage

Aside from bunk beds being a bed stacked on top of another bed, you do not have to rely on using the top bunk as a glorified shelf. Most bunk beds come with extra drawers or other forms of storage space that make them great for a child’s room when it is time to clean up. This is great in a lot of ways for obvious reasons, it has the potential to double as a bookshelf or other form of shelving unit.

  • This is great for guests as well, being that it can be difficult furnishing an entire room dedicated to the sole purpose of whenever you have friends visiting
  • Having a bunk bed eliminates a lot of the guesswork when it comes to how to go about doing so
  • Outfitting a guest room with a dresser and a bunk bed is oftentimes a great workaround when it comes to stress out about making your guest room look perfect

Everyone can use extra storage, luckily there are a lot of options when it comes to bunk beds so take a look at what is available to see what fits your needs. Also worth noting when buying a child’s bunk bed is that you can find some models that even come with an additional piece of wood to hold a third mattress to be placed on the floor. This makes a bunk bed great for kids’ sleepovers as well.

3) Bunk Beds Are Great for Separating

Sleeping in a crowded mattress is not for everyone, especially for adults who are naturally larger than children and do not have any desire to share a single mattress. Bunk beds are great for this, as they separate two mattresses without having to take up the entire width of a room. Your guests can have peace of mind knowing they do not have to worry about catching an errant arm in the face from some tossing and turning.

  • Kids will like this aspect as well, especially those in a fussier phase of their lives
  • At some point a child will not be as willing to share their belongings with others, let alone their space
  • Being able to separate two beds extinguishes all pushback from having to share a room with a sibling and makes sure that there is plenty of room for everyone

A bunk bed will always come standard with two mattresses, that is its intrinsic trait. What you may not know and find interesting is that sometimes the top bunk will be a twin sized mattress and the bottom will be a full size mattress. These are called “pyramid bunk beds” and in some cases even come with a mattress that slides out on the bottom, providing yet another mattress for you to utilize.

4) Bunk Beds Are Inherently Private

Privacy is hard to come by nowadays, but luckily bunk beds have enough privacy to last a full eight hours of sleep and then some. Children and adults alike can appreciate some alone time before they get some shuteye. Bunk beds inherently provide some privacy by keeping both occupants out of each other’s sight despite sharing the same structure. You will still be able to be heard, however, so try to keep the music down. 

  • Great for separate before-bed routines among guests
  • Reading, listening to music, streaming can all be done without bothering the other person
  • It is an opportunity for you to privately relax, despite sharing a bedroom with someone

This is great for a number of reasons. Both bottom and top bunks can deploy clip-on lamps for reading before they hit the hay or maybe put some headphones in and watch something on their smart device or a laptop computer. Whoever is using the bed-space can do a number of different activities without disturbing the other, which is more than most standard mattresses can say.

5) Bunk Beds Are Great for Guests

Your guests will appreciate walking into a spare bedroom and seeing a bunk bed instead of parking their luggage next to a couch. It can be a bit of a dealbreaker when making plans to visit knowing that your only option for sleeping is a floor, a couch, or anything other than a bed. Having a bunk bed is perfect for having more than one guest over at a time to check out your new digs or catch up for old time’s sake all the same.

  • Your guests will value your thoughtfulness by providing an actual bed for them
  • Lower-risk of anyone straining their back or something similar by sleeping on a couch
  • It is just flat-out more comfortable

Also worth noting is some bunk beds come with a third mattress that slides out from under the bottom bunk. You can potentially fit up to six people in one room depending on the situation and the size of the bunk bed, making your life much easier when it is your turn to play host to friends, family, or both.

6) Bunk Beds Are Fun for Kids

Remember when you were young, and all you wanted to do was build pillow forts out of the couch? Imagine the fort already being built for you and mom and dad had it in the cards all along. Your children will get a kick out of being able to set up their belongings in a space they can make their own individually without impeding on the other’s. This is important, as they establish their own identity at an early age.

  • Promotes a child’s sense of self by expressing through their own space
  • It can just be fun as a kid being able to sleep in what seems like a castle every night
  • For younger children, this can be good in case one has an accident or you have to tend to one in general without waking up the other in the middle of the night

There are only a few downsides when it comes to having a bunk bed for your children to share. More often than not it is a great addition to any home and your children will have a lot of fun being able to have their own spaces without having to worry about finding a home with an entirely separate room. This can also help in the event that something happens and one child needs to be tended to at night, as it will not disturb the other.

The Cons of Bunk Beds:

1) Do Bunk Beds Collapse? 

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to owning a bunk bed. They have the potential to collapse, despite it being something you can avoid. On average, 36,000 bunk beds collapse a year in the U.S.A. alone. While the chance of this happening is rare it is not unheard of. 

Luckily, this problem is more of an assembly issue and can be prevented with professional guidance or being more careful. These are some things to look for that make bunk beds undesirable:

  • Assembling a bunk bed
  • Bunk beds can be unsafe
  • Cleaning and maintenance
  • Getting out of the top bunk
  • The sheer size of a bunk bed

These are some daunting things that may not be for you if you are the type of person who wants to simply set it and forget it when it comes to sleeping arrangements. It can be a lot of work between assembly, upkeep, cleaning, maneuvering, or making the space available in general. 

2) Assembling a Bunk Bed

Arguably the biggest drawback when it comes to purchasing a bunk bed is the assembly of it. The cost of a bunk bed could be steep to begin with and bringing in additional help will only add to that cost. Building it yourself could lead to a rush-job if you are not paying enough attention and could lead to it falling apart. 

  • Outsourcing for assembly can be expensive
  • Building it yourself without experience can lead to it collapsing, potentially with someone in it
  • It can be time-consuming depending on the bunk bed

The last thing anyone who owns a bunk bed would ever want is for the bed to collapse while someone is lying on it. Aside from the obvious injuries, it could lead to death before you even make it into the room. If you are not sure about building a bunk bed yourself or hiring someone to do it is not in your budget, then buying a bunk bed is probably not for you.

3) Bunk Beds Can Be Safety Hazards

Having a bunk bed is great for a lot of reasons, but unsafe for a few reasons as well. They can just be a bad idea for your home in general. Between falling off the top, slipping off the ladder, or feelings of claustrophobia, it can be an unpleasant experience for just about anyone. You have to really take into account who is staying in a bunk bed before you purchase one otherwise it will just go unused and be a waste. 

  • Personal injury
  • Unpleasant feelings of claustrophobia
  • They have the potential to fall apart

The best thing you can do for yourself when considering the purchase of a bunk bed is taking an inventory of the people who may or may not use it. If you find that most of your guests are older or you have very young children who may not be able to control themselves in their sleep then you should probably skip out on buying one. The reality is that bunk beds can be dangerous for just about anyone, so think before you commit.

4) Cleaning and Maintaining a Bunk Bed

You might think to yourself, “how difficult can it be changing the sheets on a bunk bed? How different can it really be?” Well, you would be surprised. The bottom bunk is enclosed with a low ceiling on account of the top bunk and the top bunk is a pain because the main access point is from a small ladder used to traverse your way up there to begin with. 

  • Changing sheets is dangerous for some due to difficult to reach areas
  • The mattresses can be of different sizes, making it more expensive to buy a totally separate set of sheets
  • Using the ladder to change the sheets on the top bunk can lead to serious injury

It is important to consider that some bunk beds do not have the same size mattresses on the top and bottom. This means more sheets, sometimes larger sheets for the bottom bunk, which leads to spending more money. It is a lot of upkeep when it comes to making sure the weight is being distributed properly as well. Make sure you are ready to keep an eye on your bunk bed on a daily basis if you decide to buy one.

5) It Can Be Dangerous Getting Out of the Top Bunk

The top bunk is a great place to sleep unless you have mobility issues or are a small child. Just about every single bunk bed comes with a railing to keep you from rolling off, but not all of them do the job. They may not be a solid piece to keep you safe or they might have some separation that a toddler may slip through. This all goes without even mentioning the ladder you need to navigate to get up and down out of the top bunk.

  • A child can slip under the railing meant to keep you in the top bunk
  • If you have mobility issues, it can be very painful being up top
  • Using the ladder can be dangerous, you can slip and fall off of it

It is very important to make a note of who is using your bunk bed. Every manufacturer should have a list of weight and size requirements or limits that you should go over a few times before you make a decision. This is not something you should throw caution to the wind with, misjudging any one of these factors can lead to very serious injury or even loss of life.

6) The Sheer Size of a Bunk Bed

The size of a bunk bed is its best and worst enemy. While it was discussed earlier that the size can be beneficial on account of it being tall as opposed to wide, this can be a detriment in some living spaces. You have to measure accordingly, taking into account the size of someone sitting up on the top bunk. 

  • Low ceilings can lead to a concussion if someone gets up too quickly
  • Bunk beds are large, this can ruin the look of the room if it takes up too much space
  • Bunk beds are extremely heavy, make sure you know how much weight capacity your floors can hold before building one

It takes a lot of planning to make sure a bunk bed will work in your home. Make sure you know the dimensions of the room you want to put it in and definitely make sure the floors can support it. Bunk beds on a second floor can be extremely dangerous, potentially falling through and crushing someone to death or seriously injuring someone in general. 

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