The Pros & Cons Of Bunk Beds


twin beds

bunk beds









Many of my parenting decisions are based on what I wished for and never received as a child.  The big three that I prayed for every night were a swimming pool, a house with two stories, and bunk beds. Well, we live in NYC, so it’s highly unlikely that my kids are going to get a pool.  There are a few stairs that lead to our elevator, so that one is kind of covered. Ah, but the bunk beds were an itch that I could really scratch.

Soon after my oldest daughter turned 6, we were off to IKEA for the king of kid beds. After a few hours of utter torture and marital strife, my husband and I had erected the TROMSÖ bunk bed, in white. A thing of (very affordable) beauty. The little kid in me was finally satisfied, and my own two daughters were out of their minds with glee.

What I hadn’t reckoned on when we brought home the goods was the amount of policing that a parent takes on with a set of bunks. I’m still happy we went vertical, but I’ve given the beds a lot of thought.

Here’s the breakdown of pros and cons:


More space – it’s like my girls’ room just grew by another 50 percent. There’s a lot more dancing and duck, duck, gooseing going on in there these days.

Cooler looking space – along with the added space, there’s a lot more I can do with their furniture. My inner designer is titillating

Easy forts – another of my obsessions from those wonder years was making forts. No longer do we have to use brooms or chairs for structure. The bunk bed frame practically begs for a sheet to make an awesome fort.

Light options – I’ve got a 6-year-old reader and a 4-year-old that needs more sleep. With the purchase of one little clip on lamp, the war over the light being on has ended in relative peace.

Instant trundle – I had the forethought to grab another (very affordable) mattress from IKEA, which I store under the bottom bunk. Now, sleepovers are a breeze.


The worry  -- It seems like ever since we got the beds, I’ve seen about 30 million warnings about the dangers associated with them. There are more than 36,000 cases of bunk bed related injuries each year (more often with little boys).

The fights – although my 4-year-old knows that no one under 6 is allowed to sleep in the top bunk, she is just counting the days until it’s her turn. This, I know, will be a battle.

Tidying up – All of my hard work to get my first-grader to make her own bed has pretty much gone up in smoke. Top bunks are not easy to make. And even don’t talk to me about changing the sheets.

The littles -- Over the weekend we had a visit from some friends with a 2-year-old. With the regular beds, I’d let any age kid roam freely, but now with the potential to fracture bones, I can’t let really little kids play unsupervised in my girls’ room.

The Rules –  We’ve got a few rules in my house, like don’t stand on the coffee table or put objects up your nose, but for the most part I like to keep the dictatorial spirit to a minimum. However, bunk beds are no joke, so I’ve had to make some pretty clear rules with pretty harsh punishments.

Here’s a quick list of safety tips:

  • Always use the proper size of mattress in the bunk bed.
  • Do not allow children younger than 6 sleep on top bunk.
  • Have guardrails on both sides of the upper bunk, even if one side is against a wall, with gaps no larger than 3.5 inches.
  • Keep things like ceiling fans in mind when deciding where to put the bunk beds.
  • Use a night light to help illuminate ladders in the dark.
  • Make sure bunk beds and ladders are secure and strong.
  • No horsing around on the bunk beds!


Do you have bunk beds? What are your bunk bed rules?

kid health, kid sleep, safety


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Michelle Smith

Growing up we had bunk beds that had a removable ladder that my parents would take off of the beds whenever we had guests so no one could get to the top bunk unless they had skills to scale up the sides. It worked well! We also had beds that stacked, so if we needed a break from bunkbeds the same frames worked for us to both have our own stand alone bed. :) My sister slept in that bed until she left for college!


My son has bunks in his room. I SO wish we had never bought them. The main rule is no playing on them, when he has friends over no one is allowed on the top bunk at all (except for sleeping, of course), because I am afriad someone will get hurt.

Proud... ProudSingleMum friend has bunk beds for her 2 and 3 yr old the 'age six' thing yours or an actual manufacturer's number?

Freela Freela

We bought bunk beds when my son was six and my oldest daughter was four.  My son had the top bunk, my daughter had the bottom bunk.  Within three months, my son had flipped over the top rail (I saw him do it and still cant' tell you what happened!) and broke two bones in his wrist.  The poor little guy spent four weeks in a cast and two weeks in a splint!  After that he wanted nothing to do with the top bunk for a long time so it sat vacant for over a year while he slept on the sofabed.  About a year later he did go back to the top bunk and (knock on wood!) we have had no other injuries associated with the bunks, but when my son moves to his own room and my two girls get the room with the bunks I am going to break them apart into side by side twin beds.  I would recommend a bunk that can be split into twins so that if the bunk bed option doesn't work out for whatever reason, you can easily make other bed arrangements.

Addys... Addys_Mom

We've had bunk beds for my girls age 4 and 2 for about 6 months now. My 4 year old sleeps on the topp just fine with no rail. Shes not a sleep mover so i dont really worry. I do like the instant trundle option though. I had a bunk bed all growing up because i am the oldest in a family of 7 kids so bunk beds were really the only way we all fit in one house lol.

Devil... DevilInPigtails

My then 5 your old got a loft bed with a desk, bookshelf, and drawers under it.  She loves having her little cave.  I did have to make a rule that my 2yo wasn't allowed up top until she can climb down the ladder and the ladder is the only way up or down.  My 5yo loves having the shelves to decorate and organize her library on.  But being military we always have the chance of having small rooms or the girls having to share.  With my oldest having one and I am planning on my youngest getting one as well, they will at least have their own space even if they are sharing a room.  Plus it increases the useable space in the room so nicely, her 10x10 room has plenty of space.

nonmember avatar Rubin

I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article
like yours. It's pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

1-9 of 9 comments