Loft Bed vs. Bunk Bed: Which is Right for You?

bed for kids

Curious about loft beds vs. bunk beds? If you look at pictures of them, then you might notice that they look quite similar. Both are double-level beds, but loft beds are meant for one person while bunk beds are meant for two.

As you can expect, there are pros and cons to each along with other advantages you may not have thought of. This article will explore these two beds, show you which is best for your needs, and it will answer some of your top questions.

Difference Between Loft Beds and Bunk Beds

loft beds vs. bunks beds

The first thing we need to cover is the major differences between these beds. Both of these are double-level beds with a top bunk for sleeping. They also both excel at helping you save space.

While the top level is basically the same for both, it’s the bottom level that’s different. If you bought a bunk bed, then the bottom level will be another bed.

This allows two people (children, teens or adults) to sleep in the same area. If you want to save space, then this works much better than placing two beds next to each other.

Loft beds also help you save space, but the bottom level doesn’t have a bed. This section usually has a desk and seating so that you can study, watch TV, or work on your computer. A loft bed is meant for one person. It can be used by two people, but only one will have a bed while the other can use the study area.

Are Loft Beds and Bunk Beds Safe?

There are safety concerns with both. As with any other bed or piece of furniture in your house, this should be safe if the bed is used properly. However, there are some precautions you should take, especially if you have younger children. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, children younger than 6 years old should never sleep in the top bunk.

This applies to both bunk beds and loft beds (remember, the top bunk is identical between these beds). Young children can sleep or use the bottom bunk, but only older children should use the top bunk. This might seem strange initially, but let us explain.

Younger children have a tendency to play around and there is the chance that they might fall off the bed. Falling from the top bunk wouldn’t be great for a teenager or adult, but it likely wouldn’t be a major problem. If a very young child falls from this height, it could be a serious issue.

pillow fight

If you are getting a bunk bed for two children, then it’s best if the younger one takes the bottom bunk. However, if they are both 7 years old or older, then it should be fine to let them decide who gets the top and bottom bunk.

If your child wants a loft bed, then wait until they are 7 years old or older. There are other safety concerns. There is always the chance the top bunk will fall and slam into the bottom bunk or study area. Ensure the top bunk is reinforced.

This shouldn’t be a concern if you purchased from a reliable brand, but check anyway just to make sure. You want to ensure that quality wood or metal is preventing the bed from falling. You also have to consider the ladder. There is a chance that someone will slip and fall while heading to the top bunk.

Instruct children not to play around the ladder and to be careful when climbing. Test the ladder yourself and see if it’s slippery. Try it under different conditions, such as your hands being wet and dry, and wearing shoes, socks, and your bare feet. Consider placing pads on the ladder for extra grip if there are any problems.

In general, there is no difference in loft beds vs. bunk beds when it comes to safety, and both are quite safe if used properly.

Which Bed Saves More Space?

saving space bed

Both beds save a considerable amount of space, so it depends on your perspective. If you have two children and a smaller room for both of them, then a bunk bed makes the most sense.

This gives them room to play around without the beds getting in the way. This also saves you from having to use an entire other room for one of the children.

Just make sure both kids are alright with this arrangement. If you are getting the bed for one person and you’re having a hard time fitting both a bed and desk in the same room, then a loft bed makes the most sense.

This allows the person to study, work, and relax in the bottom bunk while sleeping in the top bunk. The rest of the room can be used for storage and other needs. It largely depends on how many people are willing to sleep in the same room and how you’re trying to save space. Both are fairly equal in this regard and there is no clear winner.

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Which Bed is Best for a Teen or Adult?

bed for teens

This all depends on which model you buy. Technically, both bunk beds and loft beds can be made to accommodate teens and adults. However, one is already made for people of this size while the other isn’t. Let’s consider the design philosophy for both.

Bunk beds are made for two people who likely won’t have a difficult time sleeping in the same room. Most teens and adults want their own room, so bunk beds are more commonly made for children. As such, it’s easier to find smaller sizes.

Bunk beds are made in twin sizes and larger. There are even some models where both parents can sleep on the bottom bunk while the child sleeps on the top bunk. However, the most common sizes are geared towards smaller children.

Now let’s consider the loft bed. The bottom bunk is meant for studying and relaxing. There’s usually a desk to help the person work on a computer or read books. This sounds more like what a studious teenager or adult would do, not a child. As such, loft beds are more commonly made in twin sizes and should easily accommodate a teen or adult.

Which Bed Has More Storage Space?

twin bed

This is interesting because you might automatically think loft beds offer more storage space, but this comparison might be closer than you think.

It’s true that loft beds are usually made with some storage space in mind. The bottom bunk commonly comes with a small shelf or two, and the attached desk allows you to place items on the desk and in the cabinets if there are any.

While loft beds are made with some storage in mind, let’s consider the bunk bed to see what it offers. Some bunk beds offer little cubbies at one end of the bed. This allows you to store books, toys, and other small objects. There is also typically space under the bottom bunk. While shoving items under a bed might not sound neat, you can use under-bed storage cabinets to organize the items.

There is also the chance that the other person moves into another room. This leaves a whole level (either top or bottom depending on the sleeper’s choice) to be used as storage. For example, the mattress can be removed and replaced with solid material. Now you have a large storage shelf. A loft bed is made with storage in mind, but won’t necessarily have more space.

Which Bed is More Expensive?

expensive bed

You might be surprised by this one. Both are similar in price, but you’ll often find that loft beds are somewhat more expensive even when buying similarly-sized beds (for example, a twin bunk bed vs. twin loft bed).

Many people think that bunk beds would be more expensive since you’re getting two beds while loft beds give you one bed and a study area underneath, but it makes sense when you understand why.

First of all, loft beds are typically a little higher. This requires more material. Secondly, they don’t have a bed on the bottom to support the top bunk. This means that the posts must be thicker to accommodate the weight of the bed. It’s not a massive increase in price, but you’ll often notice that these beds cost a little more than bunk beds.

Final Thoughts

So, which bed is best for you? When it comes to loft beds vs. bunk beds, both offer similar advantages. They both save space, both have a top bunk bed, and both are reliable and safe when used appropriately. The major difference is the bottom bunk. If you have two people who want to sleep in the same room but in different beds, then bunk beds make more sense.

If you have one person and they want a study area while space is at a premium, then a loft bed is the smartest choice. In general, both are very useful. Consider what you need and the choice will be obvious.

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