Sometimes, there is simply not enough space to accommodate all of the people in your household. Whether space itself is constrained or you simply have too many people to house, the result remains the same: space is a limited and valuable commodity. In this instance, one of the best solutions can be to use bunk beds.
The best bunk beds will offer a wide range of options and features as well as help you use the available space you have efficiently. Of course, over the course of time, bunk beds have evolved and changed to include a fair number of sizes and types each designed to suit a different group of sleepers better than others.
Best Bunk Beds of 2021
Figuring out which bunk beds are actually the best can be difficult. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best bunk beds and highlighted what each one does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the best bunk beds to suit your needs.
1. Columbia Staircase Bunk Bed – Best Trundle Bunk Bed
Though they may not be a household name, Atlantic Furniture has been manufacturing high-quality furniture for well over 30 years. While they do not actually specialize in bunk beds in particular or even beds in general, they do still understand what it takes to make a great piece of furniture and that dedication shows with the Columbia Staircase bunk bed.
Easily one of the most important factors when selecting a bunk bed is ensuring that the piece of furniture is well-made and can handle the stress of everyday life.
Aside from the fact that this bed is one of the most sturdy and durable that we reviewed, it also happens to offer a wide variety of options so you can find one that best suits your needs. While this bed is a full over full with a trundle, the Columbia Staircase lineup also features a twin over full with storage below and a twin over twin standard. Beyond the functional differences between the types and sizes, this bed also comes in numerous different aesthetic finishes including dark wood, medium wood, and white.
2. Coaster Home Furnishings – Best Loft Bunk Bed
Coaster Home Furnishings is another brand that focuses a bit more on wholesale manufacturing to be sold in other stores, though they have not been around quite as long as some of the other companies on our list. Still, they have been around for a couple decades even if they too do not specialize in beds generally or bunk beds in particular.
If you have a room that needs to sleep multiple people but is a bit short on space, then the Workstation Loft could very well offer the best solution to your conundrum.
This consideration is a bit hit or miss. In some respects, the Workstation Loft offers excellent quality. Both bunks of the bed are rated for 400 pounds as a maximum capacity. For a twin over twin, that is fairly impressive. Even better, the lower convertible bunk comes with soft, yet firm, microfiber cushions to serve as the bottom bunk’s mattress. That said, the quality control for this bunk bed is definitely a bit substandard with the desktop being the most common issue. Also, you may want to invest in some better quality hardware.
3. Dorel Living Brady Twin – Best Budget Bunk Bed
Dorel Living is actually an umbrella company that houses numerous brands half of which are some varying grade of the Dorel Living brand. Founded 3 decades ago, this brand manufactures a wide range of furniture and home furnishing products using primarily pine wood which is okay but could definitely be improved with hardwood. That said, this is by far the least expensive brand on our list.
Like a number of other bunk beds on our list, the Dorel Living distinguishes itself by offering a fair amount of versatility to its arrangement.
One of the things that will stand out about this bed compared to many of the others we reviewed is the fairly low maximum weight capacity. The maximum weight capacity of this bed is only 165 pounds which is certainly not enough for many adults and still too low for larger adolescents and college students. What makes this worse is that the weight capacity does not increase for the larger full-size bottom bunk. This low maximum weight capacity is likely due to the support slats which are thin and often irregular though this can be fixed with separate slats that will still leave you with hundreds in savings compared to other bunk beds.
4. Coaster 460078 – Best Full Over Full Bunk Bed
In this instance, the company has put forth what we consider to be the best full over full bunk bed which just so happens to make it ideal for older sleepers including college students or even adults.
Though the unique design of this bed may make it incredibly stable, it can also make it a bit awkward. First, the arc supports do provide additional benefit in that they allow this bunk bed to provide dual ladders one for each side of the bed. Unfortunately, this can actually make the bed difficult to get in and out of for the bottom bunk. Specifically, the bottom bunk’s head should not be placed against the wall or else the occupant will likely have to shimmy into and out of bed.
5. Oeuf Perch Modern Bunk Bed Birch – Safest Bunk Bed
Oeuf is the most recent company to make our list, but they have quickly been building a solid reputation. While they may not specialize in beds generally or bunk beds, in particular, they do place a focus on children’s furniture and products. That being the case, it should come as little surprise that the Oeuf is rated as the safest bunk bed on our list. Still, this bunk bed does offer a few features which can give it some versatility as well.
When it comes to bunk beds, quite often they are purchased with one set of circumstances in mind. However, as time moves forward, the circumstances may change. That is why the fact that this bed is separable comes in handy. That said, unlike other separable bunk beds, this model separates into a low-set bottom bunk while the top bunk remains a loft. This allows you some freedom in determining the initial arrangement of the bunks themselves as well as a potential loft bed when the occupant leaves home.
Best Bunk Beds – Buyer’s Guide
While other factors will play an important role in determining the best bunk beds, size is arguably more relevant due to the fact that it will dictate who can comfortably sleep in the bed. Granted, a twin bed is technically large enough for a teenager or college student, but it will still be a tight fit. As such, the size of the bunk beds will, more than anything else, define who should sleep in the beds.
Twin over Twin – This is the smallest size of a bunk bed and will generally not be seen as the best size for larger sleepers. If the sleeper is a teenager or older, you might want to reconsider before buying this size of bunk bed as it may not be large enough for truly comfortable sleeping and could even struggle a bit with the maximum weight capacity depending on the other factors concerning its construction and the actual size of the sleeper in question.
That said, a twin over twin is arguably the ideal size for a child under the age of adolescence. A twin is enough room for a younger child without being too large. On top of that, twin over twin sized bunk beds will readily have various bars and safety measures to ensure that the sleeper does not fall off especially considering the intended sleeper is also likely a younger child. These beds also have a tendency to be made out of wood since they do not need the additional support from a metal frame for a larger sleeper.
Twin over Full – This is a bit of an odd size for bunk beds considering it almost dictates that either the sleepers are separated in age by a handful of years or other extraneous circumstances. This is actually a popular choice for people who may not have a great deal of space but still want a set of bunk beds that are serviceable for a wide variety of potential sleepers. That said, the size differential is a bit of an illusion as that smaller top bunk will make the set seem more compact than the footprint it actually occupies.
Still, twin over full bunk beds are often occupied by siblings that are separated by half a decade or more. Since this pretty much guarantees that the siblings are the same gender, this size of bed also happens to come with fewer aesthetic quirks to make them more palatable to any gender. Also, while this size of bunk bed can be metal, it is far more likely to be wood since the top bunk is liable to be occupied by a younger sleeper who will not put undue strain on the bed’s maximum weight capacity.
Full over Full – If ever it were appropriate for 2 adults to share a bunk bed, then this is the only size that should be considered. The two full-size beds will provide ample room for 2 adults to stretch and get a comfortable night’s sleep. Of course, since this type of bunk bed is intended to hold larger occupants, the bed itself needs to be stronger and possess a greater maximum weight capacity than either of the other two sizes of bed.
In order to accommodate this need for a greater weight capacity, a full over full bunk bed will often be made of metal since the sturdier material will generally allow for a greater support of more weight than will wood. This size bunk bed is also a great fit for college students who are too large for a twin over twin but still require the smaller profile presented by a set of bunk beds as opposed to two individual full-size beds.
The materials of the bunk bed could easily be seen as the top consideration, though the size is likely just as important. In this case, you could treat the size and the materials as a “1A” and “1B” consideration since both will be just as relevant determining who the bed is best designed for. Specifically, the materials will generally indicate how easy it is to put the bed together as well as how much maximum weight the different beds can support which is extremely important for the top bunk in particular.
Wood – This is the classic bunk bed material and can be just as stable and durable as metal though this will depend heavily on what type of wood the bunk beds are made of. Unfortunately, there is a wide range of quality between the different types of wood used for bunk beds. A soft wood will not provide nearly the stability or durability that a hardwood will offer. Of course, a soft wood will generally be significantly easier to put together and is worlds easier to take apart and move if need be. However, a hardwood bunk bed that is well cared for can last generations.
Metal – From a general standpoint, metal is generally the more durable and stable material. That said, this depends on what kind of wood a metal bunk bed is compared. A hardwood like oak or maple will generally offer just as much durability and stability as a metal bunk bed. On top of that, the metal can vary a bit in terms of durability and stability as well depending on what kind of metal is used and what gauge the metal is rated. Another consideration regarding metal bunk beds is the fact that the material is almost made for modern and contemporary designs. As such, there is less variation in the types and designs of a metal bunk bed.
Bunk Bed Types
This is generally a less important consideration than either the size of the bunk beds or their materials since it neither determines what size occupant the bed is designed for nor the general durability, stability, and maximum weight capacity. That said, the type can play a crucial role in particular circumstances or niche scenarios. In this regard, the type of the bunk bed may actually be the determining factor when choosing a model specifically because it satisfies a specific need that perhaps a larger or more durable bunk bed could not.
There is nothing special or unique about the standard bunk bed, but then again, there does not really need to be. The standard bunk bed has withstood the test of time specifically because its design does not really need to be tweaked to increase its performance. Granted, there are a few tweaks that could almost always add a degree of versatility to bunk beds, but you will not likely be missing anything that could otherwise be obtained through the common bedroom furniture arrangement.
Out of all the different types of bunk beds, this is likely the best and most common type for the largest majority of the population that are looking for something a little bit more than the standard bunk bed. In this instance, the bunk bed has either a set of drawers or shelves built into the frame of the bed. On occasion, both types of storage will be built into the bed, though this can make the bunk beds larger than they otherwise would and reduce its ability to save space in a room that already lacks it. Still, this type of bunk bed can potentially take the place of a set of chester drawers and bookshelf, so that can help offset some of the additional space it may occupy.
Though it may not be the most popular type of bunk bed, the trundle style is incredibly versatile and is especially good for larger families or those who regularly host numerous guests. Basically, the trundle bunk bed seems like a storage bunk bed with a sliding drawer underneath the bottom bunk. However, instead of a set of drawers to store clothes or other items, this drawer pulls out into a third bed. This is perfect for those nights when the kids have a sleepover and can offer anyone an additional bed in a pinch. It is worth noting that a trundle bed is usually a twin in size and has the lowest maximum weight capacity for the trundle bunk.
This is not inherently a revolutionary change of the bunk bed design, but it offers one specific advantage over the other types: growth. Obviously, the bed itself does not grow, but it provides the option of the bunk beds to remain a viable sleeping place once the occupants grow beyond the need or desire for bunk beds. Once one or more of the occupants are ready for their own bed, the separable bunk beds will disconnect and serve as fully functional beds apart. It is a bit odd though that many of these beds are twin in size when the likely target market for separable bunk beds would be those sleepers who are large enough to be more comfortable in a full-size bed.
The loft bunk bed is not a true and proper bunk bed as we commonly think of it. Instead, a loft bunk bed is simply a single bed raised to a height that its lower section can provide a workable or otherwise usable space for other tasks. The most common arrangement for loft beds are to house a desk underneath the top bunk and only proper bed portion. This makes loft beds a great option for college students who might otherwise be pressed for space depending on the size of their dorm room. That said, the name itself should indicate some versatility as a loft bed will also work well in a loft apartment where space is similarly reduced.
As we can see, the best bunk beds are actually more numerous than initially thought and will hinge far more on the size of the space you have available and the size of the occupants to use the bed. That said, there are still a few notable bunk beds that can appeal to wide range of people rather than specific, niche markets.
If you are extremely short on space, we recommend the Atlantic Furniture’s Columbia bunk bed. Though it may be a full over full bunk bed, it also comes with a trundle bed as well as shelving units built into the staircase. All combined, this bunk bed can sleep 5 and take the place of a smaller set of chester drawers.
Of course, if you need a bed that is a bit more adult, then the Coaster Home Furnishings loft bed may be exactly what you are looking for. The bottom offers a great nook area that can be used as either an office or a breakfast corner. Even better, the lower section of this bunk bed can be converted into an actual bed as well though neither of the beds sports a great weight capacity.