Bunk beds are versatile, functional and utilitarian piece of furniture. They offer a unique way to maximize living space and yet achieve the primary function of offering a cozy place to sleep. Bunk beds normally come built super sturdy and are totally safe for kids to sleep. In fact, it is mandatory to test and certify bunk beds in keeping with the safety standards and specifications in order to meet Consumer Product Safety Commission in the US.
Why bunk beds?
Bunk beds provide not just a place to sleep but are fun for kids to play on. They look attractive enough and also come in handy for overnight guests to sleep in comfort. Bunk beds bring in myriad possibilities to living space. They help create more available floor space in a cramped room. This is primarily because bunk beds occupy vertical space as opposed to horizontal ones.
This frees up floor space for other usage. These days when loft apartments are becoming popular, bunk beds can help creatively use available area. Twin bunk beds that are a combination of two bunk beds and twin mattress on top and a full mattress on the bottom offer considerable storage space as well.
Bunk beds styles
Perhaps the best thing about bunk beds is that they come in a wide variety of types and styles. Bunk beds come in arched, contemporary, cottage, rustic and traditional styles. Different types of bunk beds include standard, twin combined with full, L shaped, Futon, loft, loft bunk bed with a tent and slide bunk beds that separate.
While a standard bunk bed usually indicates two mattresses, a lower and an upper one stacked one above the other, a twin combined bunk bed has the twin mattress on the upper level and the full mattress on the lower level. This means that the lower level would take a slightly larger horizontal space than if it were a twin and appear in a staggered line.
An L shaped bunk bed combines pieces of furniture resembling an L shape when viewed from above. The L creates a niche where a computer desk or a television set could be placed. This area could also double up as a study place.
A futon bunk bed has twin mattress on the top bunk and a Western style futon on the bottom bunk. Futons have their origin in Japan and the Western futon has gained recognition in the US. The Western style futon is usually designed to be used as a bed or a couch when the futon is propped up.
Bunk beds usage
The area available under the top bunk bed frame can be used to position a chest of drawers, cabinets or the extra space could be used as a desk for computers and accessories.
To make the child's bedtime experience an adventure, simply add a tent and a slide to the loft bunk bed. Another option could be to use twin mattress on top with a tent over and enclosing a play area below, although it is generally recommended that a child under the age six not be allowed to sleep on top of a bunk bed.
Wooden bunk beds
Bunk beds are constructed of wood, metal or a combination of both. Bunk beds come crafted in mostly pine or beech. Wooden bunk beds can be painted to match the color scheme of the room. Bunk beds also come with metal frames. Metal frames for bunk beds can be fashioned into many different patterns and painted too.
It could be a beautiful twin bed made of wood or a bunk bed with an optional trundle bed with drawers, or just a rugged durable hardwood bunk bed that can stand up to even the toughest and roughest of kids. The bed could have beautiful Roman style arches on the headboard and footboard or a dark walnut antique or a natural maple one adapting to any room color scheme.
Bunk beds come in blue, red and black colors as well. But high gloss finish in white brings a sense of brightness to a child's room. Classic white bunk beds made of sturdy wooden bunks from American Poplar are painted with durable white finish and pine slatted bases. This is suitable for boys and girls and can be converted into two singles if needed.
A twin bunk bed provides a perfect solution for a family with limited space. The top bed normally features a fixed and sturdy ladder and a side rail to ensure that the kid is safe. This way both the children will have their own bed without taking up the amount of floor space that two beds would. There is a possibility of children arguing over who gets on the top bunk. Depending on the age of the child it should be easier to put the older child on the top bunk.
Bunk beds for fun
Sometimes a bunk bed is chosen just for pure fun. As such bunk beds are a viable alternative to a standard bed and for children and teens they offer a sense of fun as well. Siblings can stay close together in this type of bed and yet have sufficient space to sleep on their own. Youngsters dream of so many things including pretending to be in a pirate ship or a fort and bunk beds that are climbable tend to let the kid's imagination soar - he could be a knight in a shining armor climbing the ladder to save the damsel in distress!
Building bunk beds
Bunk beds could be built. This way a significant amount of money can be saved. Good materials, easy to follow set of instructions and a possible assistant are required to build one's own bunk bed. As bunk beds come in different styles, probably the first thing would be to pick the kind of bed best suited to individual tastes and space. The next logical step would be to look for instructions that are detailed, easy to read and that make good sense.
Instructions with pictures and graphics could come in handier. Nowadays there are web sites with instructions available and most hardware stores carry books about building bunk beds. Tips on safety precautions and recommendations are also available and these include guardrails, rail spacing and adequate support slats. These should always be followed to avoid possible injury to the occupants.
Armed with instructions and safety tips, the next step is to obtain the hardware materials for building the bed. If wood is the main purchase, then go in for 2 x 6 s plywood made of spruce, fir or pine. Deck screws, nuts, bolts, washers and finishing screws are other items needed. Normally the instruction manuals detail each item and the quantity of each.
The next thing would be to lay down the pieces as per the instruction manual. Cut the wood to size, put all the needed tools including drill, circular saw, sander, hammer within easy reach.
Bunk beds pricing
Much of the price for bunk beds would depend on the style, features and materials used. There are bunk beds ranging from basic to complex arrangements with lots of accessories and one can choose a bunk bed that will fit the budget. Economy models of bunk beds are made with metal or softwood frames. The mattresses in these beds are supported by metal wire. Expensive models of bunk beds are made of hardwood and have other outfits such as drawers, shelves and accessories.
Whether one decides to purchase the bed from a reputed furniture store or an online retailer or even prefer to build one's own, bunk beds can convert a bedroom into a flexible, multi functional living environment that can grow and yet adapt to change so admirably.