Bunk Beds for a Girl

February 12, 2013

My daughter turned nine last week and the thing she’s asked for in her room are bunk beds. I confess they weren’t my first choice for a girl’s room but she’s entering that sleepover phase where she wants to invite friends over and a single twin won’t work anymore.

The thing that finally convinced us was when she said she’d “let her younger brother camp in there too.” When they’re not bickering one of their favorite things to do is tell each other spooky stories at night – lately it’s zombies and one-eyed rats that star in their tall tales but they always end up laughing in their attempt to outdo one another. The idea of them sleeping in the same room from time to time is charming (we eavesdrop on those spooky stories, it’s priceless) so we’ve agreed to make the investment and buy her some white bunk beds.  

The challenge for me is giving them a more feminine look but Pottery Barn Kids always makes it look easy.

lavender linens on white bunk beds pbkids

PB Kids


How gorgeous are these from Restoration Hardware?  They’re wicked expensive and way waaaaaaay too impractical for my artist daughter – she’s always got a marker in her hand and all it would take was one rogue stroke and they’d be ruined.

rh baby upholstered bunks

Restoration Hardware Baby & Child


I love the look of built ins but I’m not ready to commit to something so permanent – maybe someday in that dream vacation home when I’ve got grandkids, ha! 

coastal living bunks

Coastal Living

  white bunks pink accents coastal living

Coastal Living


Having a double bed underneath is an idea – especially since I have a habit of crashing with them after stories. Does that happen to you? I swear I fall asleep twice a week in my kid’s bed.

pink and green bunk beds for girls

House and Home


I’m crushing on the drawers below these bunks – extra storage is a must! 

bunks with drawers housebeautiful

House Beautiful


I love the use of trimmed curtains like the in the old train sleeping cars but again, not willing to commit to built ins.

built in bunks with curtains

Tomaro Design Group


Painting bunks a bold color is so fun -  these customized versions are perfection.

painted bunks with a curtain

via Pinterest


My girl wants to be able to make a tent – how sweet is this idea?

pink bunk beds

Delightful Distractions


The look that appeals to me most is this one – I love the tailored valance and the floor to ceiling panels – perfect for putting on a show or closing off the beds to tell those spooky stories with flashlights under their chins – I’m thinking this canopy is a doable DIY project. canopy bunks


So, parents, tell me your experience with bunk beds – do you love them or hate them?  Is it impossible to make the bed?  Do your kids share a room with bunk beds?  Your thoughts please.  :)




139 Responses to “Bunk Beds for a Girl”

  1. Erika says:

    Hi Kate,
    My 10 year old daughter has also been wanting bunk beds…but I’m hesitant about it.
    I feel that the top bunk would just end up being too hard to make and I’d worry about falls too. (yes, I’m a little paranoid, but I fell out of bunk beds when I was her age TWICE and it wasn’t fun to wake up falling to the floor).

    My solution when we can afford it is to get a trundle bed….plenty of room for her sister (they also love to have sleepovers).

    So, if you truly don’t want to go the bunk bed route…that might be an option????

    Best of luck and I can’t wait to see what you come up with ;0)

  2. Mel says:

    I love and hate them. I love that each child has her own bed but with a smaller footprint. I hate that my youngest is always hanging off the top bunk, and making the beds (both top and bottom, because there are slats and not a solid surface under the mattresses) is a pain.

  3. Wendie says:

    I have twin daughters and they both wanted bunk beds in their rooms for sleepovers & when they decide to sleep in each other’s rooms. However, I don’t like them because yes I’m that paranoid mother who would constantly worry about someone falling from the top bed. I also think the bed would never get made. So we found pretty white beds from Cargo Kids (which I believe was bought out by PB) for the girls that have trundels underneath. The trundle actually looks like three drawers underneath the bed so you don’t know it’s there until you pull it out. We’ve had the beds for several years & they still look great.

  4. Ami says:

    Hate might be too strong a word, but we certainly didn’t love bunk beds. Super hard to make neatly. Always had to remind visiting children not to use them as a jungle gym. Lots of arguments over who gets the top bunk and who gets the bottom. I know it sounds silly, but, that’s how kids are and it becomes an issue. My older daughter now has a day bed with a trundle and that has been wonderful. Coincidentally, I just pinned a picture this morning of a room done by Sarah Richardson. I thought it was such a unique way to set up a girl’s room for two…I’ll attach it here if I can. The little nightstands next to each bed are adorable! Oh, sorry, don’t know how to attach an image here. Let me know if you want me to e-mail it to you…it really is a cool idea. P.S. I have a brother 16 months older than me…our favorite treat was when our parents let us stay together and tell stories at night.

  5. Krystle says:

    My girls (8 and 10) have bunkbeds. They were a Craigslist find- vintage ones the the top bunk legs just nestles over the lower posts. No screws needed. I also used plywood for the top bunk mattress support and put a fitted sheet upside down over the plywood so it’s a nice view from underneath. On the ceiling I added an Ikea free standing thick wired curtain rod to circle the entire bunk and hung super long white curtains. I also have each girl an ikea spice rack turned bookshelf, a plug in ikea white ruffled lampshade sconce, and added large initial artwork above it. So easy and super cute. One thing I would say is they will ALWAYS be easy and quick to resell. Everyone looks for bunks! I moved our ladder to the foot of the beds to save space but would have liked if it was flush with the bottom bunk. Take into consideration the overhead space for the lower bunk… Some are just way too low! Good luck

  6. Kristy says:

    My son is 7 and we bought his bunk beds when he was 2 and we were expecting his sister. We didn’t put the ladder on the bed until he was much older. The bottom bunk is full and the top twin. I have never regretted the decision to purchase them one time. They often sleep together on the bottom bunk and I also like the extra room on the bottom bunk when I am reading stories. The only time the top bunk gets used is if he has a sleepover or when he and his sister drag toys and books to the top bunk and play. There is a substantial rail on the top bunk and no one has remotely come close to falling out. I also tuck a sheet around the bottom bunk to make a fort which the kids love. Hope this helps.

  7. CentsationalGirl says:

    Thanks Kristy, and everyone, I value your insight!

  8. CentsationalGirl says:

    Share the link to the Sarah Richardson room Ami if you can, everything she does I love!

  9. Kristy says:

    One more thing…yes it is a pain to make the top bunk but since ours does not get used on a daily basis it really is a non-issue.

  10. lynda says:

    If you have enough room for the twin over the double, and you can pull it away from the wall like the picture above, I think that would be what I would prefer. Looks like it would be much easier to make the beds. I do see that type on Craigslist quite a bit. Besides Pottery Barn, Land of Nod, etc, look for Vermont Tubbs too. I have also seen the beds with the staircases that have drawers that look interesting too. Older Ethan Allen bunk beds could be charming too with a paint job. My favorite look? I would choose bunk beds from Maine Cottage.

  11. Maggie says:

    Our 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter share a room and bunk beds have been a life saver! We have a classic solid wood set that I love. I use different size plastic bins under the beds for barbies, games, toys ect. I love the space saving and storage. One thing for my children personally was I loved the twin on top double on bottom for the extra sleeping space, but I thought about it and I know my kids. There would have been jumping off the top onto the bottom and an emergency room trip within the first week guaranteed. So twin on twin it was and I have not regretted them.

    Oh and I do hate making up the top bunk. I have not found a good method yet :(

  12. Amanda says:

    I had bunk beds as a kid and my mom diy-ed bunk bed linens to facilitate bed making. Basically, you sew the sheet and blanket together along the foot and wall side, so all the kiddo has to do is grab the top outside corner and pull it up. She may have added velcro to the blanket edge and under the mattress (or on its side?) to keep the sewn side tucked in. It made making them easy. I’m sure there are plenty of blog tutorials now!

  13. Jennifer says:

    Our boys share a room and they have bunk beds. I think they are great! It’s difficult to change sheets on the top bunk, but my husband helps and it’s not that big of a deal. They have safety rails on the top bunk which lessens my worries of them falling out. We tell our youngest to stay off the top bunk and he listens! My kids LOVE their bunk beds!! What kid wouldn’t :-)

  14. Thanh says:

    We definitely plan on some kind of built in bunk beds for our two boys in the future. Also pinned the tailored bunk image too. I grew up having bunk beds and not only were they great places to sleep, they served as great ways to jump start our imagination… One thing my parents detested the most was that we would fly off the top bunk onto another single bed in the room causing the chandelier in the foyer to shake & rattle to no end. So much fun! If you don’t mind that, you should be good. Bunk beds are novel and all my friends wished they had one. Just wished we had one with more storage & a trundle. Hope tht helps.

  15. My brother had bunkbeds and I was always sneaking into his room at night to sleep in them. Considering we fought all the time, those bunkbeds were probably heaven to our mom to hear us getting along at nights!!

    So I say go for it!!

    PS- my mom hung a sheet over the bottom bunk, making it a tent. it was awesome in there

  16. Julie says:

    My 5 yo and not quite 2 yo are going to be sharing a room once the 3rd little arrives and the 5 yo has been requesting bunk beds. I do love that they have a smaller footprint, but I don’t know that I can commit. I just feel like when they get a bit older they’re going to want a bit more of their own space.

    I have a TON of built-in bunks pinned for when I’m a grandma! I can just imagine grandbabies all piled in a room for sleep-overs – SO FUN!!!

  17. Monica says:

    Dana over at HouseTweaking just made a wraparound curtain a la the one you posted, and it’s all or mostly Ikea – check it out here: http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/02/03/bunk-bed-hideout/

  18. Bunk beds are fun! My sister and I had them when we were younger. You need to watch out for monkey business though. One time my sister and I were playing on the bottom bunk and as soon as I rolled off onto the floor CRASH the whole thing came down on top of her (not kidding) luckily no one was hurt but I’ve been a little weary of the concept ever since…

  19. I had them growing up as did my sons. Rails help in making sure that no one “wakes up on the floor”. Making them is a pain in the neck but making twin beds with one side of each of them pushed tight to the wall was too. They were fun for several years….especially for blanket “forts” and reading by flashlight. Mine out grew them by the time they were 9 or 10. Good luck with your decision and enjoy this time…they grow up far too quickly! xo

  20. April says:

    I have dealt with bunk beds for girls (twin on top, double on bottom). My neighbors son has one as well (twin on top, twin on bottom with desk area). And both situations TAKE UP A HUGE amount of space. You are also limited to have you can rearrange the room, usually the way it gets set up is it and limits play space. Plus consider do you have low ceilings or a ceiling fan (which the fan may need to be replaced if its too close).

    I opted for a trundle bed for my son and I LOVE IT!!! Twin on top, twin stored underneath which also has three pull out drawers and a bookcase as a headboard. It takes up the same space as a twin with all the extras, something to consider. He thinks it is super cool and pulls it whenever someone comes over. They have several options as far as a traditional style bed or a daybed. I choose the tradtional and if he wants to move his bed to a different side of the room I can relocate the trundle. Pottery Barn has these as well, although I didn’t purchased it from there, its identical.

    I hope that helps some on your decision.

  21. mary says:

    This is totally on the list of things we’re considering for my little girl’s room. She isn’t quite at sleepover stage yet, but I’m already strolling the internet in search of ideas. I just wanted to say that I think your idea of adding the curtains around the bed is fabulous. In fact, I used some easy DIY curtain rods to install curtains on my daughter’s ceiling already. I even whipped up a quick tutorial that may help you in your quest! Good luck. I’ll be watching! http://www.thetallchickblog.com/2011/08/curtains-curtains-on-theceiling.html

  22. Mariflor says:

    Thanks for the fun post!
    My daughter is an only child and she is only 3 – I know?! We recently got her a bunk bed, and I am more than happy with it. The style bunk bed we have is the twin over full, and it works out because at her young age, me putting her to bed until she is sound asleep is a must. And I do end up having sleep overs with her on many occasions on that full size bottom bunk. :)
    She doesn’t sleep on the top bed, we wouldn’t allow it but I thought that by getting her this bed, it would act as storage and sometimes a play area for her dolls and stuffed animals. Since the beds are different sizes (twin over full), the ladder is at a slant which makes it somewhat safer. We also gave her specific rules while on the bed (climb slowly up & down, stay away from the sides, etc.) and she is good about following the rules.
    The bed is white, so it’s more on the girly side or at least it can be easier to make it more feminine. The bottom bed uses a themed bedding, while the top is a solid color that matches the bottom. It’s low maintenance, since I don’t want to spend time up there. I think we will get good use out this bunk bed for many years, hopefully even into her teens. And when a 2nd child comes into our future, the beds could be separated. I should note that she has many cousins that love to come over for sleep overs and they all play well on the top bunk.
    Since I didn’t have one when I was younger, I think this was more of a purchase for my contentment. I love it and I think your kids would love it also!

  23. Debora says:

    my kids have bunks and they are great. I see a lot of people focusing on the difficulty of making the top bunk. I don’t use a flat sheet on top and there is no need to spread the comforter and tuck it in so neatly. I recommend using quilts but if you only have fluffy comforters you can do the same which is just fold the blankets in half width wise (from side to side) and then length wise (from top to bottom) (hope I described that correctly) . Two folds and it looks great and the kids love looking at their sheets anyway. Then when it’s time to sleep it’s an easy un-fold. in the beginning we only used the stairs that doubled as storage on the side of the bunks. Then, when they were more responsible we added the ladder. My two year old can go freely up and down and watching the older two take caution has taught him to be cautious too. I say go for it, it’s now or never, I mean, it’s not like you’ll see a married couple use them. Have you? ;o)


  24. megan says:

    My son LOVES his bunk beds. Just a thought – I’ll bet you can buy VERY inexpensive bunkbeds at Walmart or such and dress them up with molding/curtains, etc. We loved some of the ones we saw, bu they were crazy pricey. We were going to make them, but then found a really cheap set at walmart. Seems very sturdy, and saved us a bunch of money. Then you could spend more on making it look “built in”.

  25. Debora says:

    I meant to say leave the blankets folded at the bottom of each mattress/bed leaving the sheets exposed.

  26. Debora says:

    Oops, I meant to say leave the blanket folded at the end of each bed leaving the sheets exposed. :o)

  27. Cheri says:

    I love your blog and look forward to seeing what you decide with regard to bunk beds. My first son really, really wanted a bunk bed when he was about 8. I figured there’s a pretty small window in life when bunk beds are cool, so decided to get one for him. I thought we’d only have it for 3-5 years, before he thought it was uncool, and we have small bedrooms, so we bought a very simple, all wood, model from IKEA for just over $100. We constructed it inside the bedroom (and will have to deconstruct it to remove it!), and it has been well worth the price. He has loved it. He is now 12 1/2 and I thought by now he would have wanted it removed, but he still loves it. He sleeps on the top. Yes, it is a total pain to change the sheets. But, this age is the time. Adults don’t typically opt for bunk beds :)

  28. Mayte says:

    I bought my son a bunk bed, full size bottom-twin bed on top with the desire for him to have some sleepovers. After a year of having the bed I took it apart and just left the bottom full size bed. The reason was because 1-Paranoid that someone will get hurt 2-Difficulty making both beds . They are every kid’s dream but after a while it’s a parent’s nightmare. I will consider going with a trundle bed.

  29. Christina says:

    I always wanted bunk beds as a little girl so I can relate. (never got them). I like the idea of the ones with a full bed under, like you said, good for us moms who are constantly finding ourselves falling asleep in there. I’ve also always liked the ones with a desk or something under rather a 2nd bed. Then you could jazz up the “desk” with feminine decor. Just a thought.

  30. Sherrie says:

    Have you considered a trundle bed? My daughter is 9 and this is what we got for her after years of incidents having her brothers in bunks. What I like better about the trundle is that it takes up less visual space since it is under the bed and keeps rooms looking big and airy. Also, THEY CAN’T PUT STUFF UNDER THE BED! This makes for a happier mom ans easier room cleaning. Also when she was little we just pulled out the trundle instead of having an ugly railing which I was conviced would break and arm. Also…rather than getting a whole new bed…you could make one…we have since broken down our boys’ bunks and our youngest son took the extra bunk mattress and it goes under his bed. All is cost was a mattress. We had wood and some casters to make it roll in and out easier.

  31. Theresa says:

    When our girls were little we did bunk beds with a full mattress on the bottom. They had fun with sleepovers but making the bed was not fun for either of us!

  32. Cindy says:

    My boys have bunk beds, which they use every night. I love them and I’d use them again in a heartbeat, just for the smaller footprint. What I have found when it comes to making the beds:
    1. It is harder in winter with the addition of bulky flannel sheets, but in Texas the winter isn’t too long, so it’s fine.
    2. In summer when the boys are only using their quilts and no sheets (don’t judge!), making the beds is easy. With a few good shakes of the quilt, I can even make the top bunk without climbing up there. I sacrifice all the cute folding-over and tucking-in, but the no-climbing is a good trade-off.
    3. Changing the sheets on the beds is zero-point-zero-zero fun. I usually break a sweat.

  33. Kimberly says:

    We have twin bunk beds with a trundle for our 2 girls. I am happy with them. Your daughter is old enough to put a fitted sheet on the top and if you do really simple bedding making a bed is really not an issue. We have 5 children ages 3-14 and have never had a fall from bunk beds. We are planning a remodel that includes built in bunk beds. I am already planning to have bunk rooms full of grand children in 20 years. lol

  34. Suzan says:

    Eons ago my sister and I had Ethan Allen bunk beds that converted to regular twin beds. I now have those same beds in my house for when the grandchildren visit. What a pain to make the beds! I decided to just use a bottom sheet and a comforter with duvet cover so the worst I have to do is stretch the bottom sheets into place (while hanging onto the top bunk for dear life!) and then throw the comforters up and over. There are always lots of quilts for piling on top if needed. What I really wish I had is the double bed bottom with the twin bunk over top. We have a “surprise” extra grandchild and now that he is in a regular bed it is going to get tricky!

  35. Kristel says:

    Kate, stay away from the bunk beds! My son, who is 11, has a twin over full, and yes, it was fun at first, but not only is it a pain to get done in the morning, since it sits right next to the wall, but he has gotten to the point that is always hitting his head when he gets up. These type of beds work best for kids who “have” to share rooms every day, otherwise, they are a headache. I would consider a pull out trundle, I so regret not going that route.

  36. Mary says:

    We had bunk beds when I was a kid. The only problem I had (since I had to sleep on the bottom bunk) was getting my hair stuck in the wire frame holding up the top bunk mattress. We didn’t seem to have any trouble making the beds and we never fell from the top.

  37. Jen says:

    By boys, ages 8 & 13, have a bunk bed. We live in Germany for 3 1/2 years and I learned a little secret that we in the US should try. I would HIGHLY recommend doing what they do in europe. By duvets that fit just the top of the bed, but don’t go over the edges. You tuck them in at the foot of the bed and then just fold them down to “make” the bed. They also don’t use a top sheet. You just wash the duvet cover weekly like you would your normal bed sheets. Works easy peasy at my house!

  38. michelle says:

    my 7 year old has bunk beds and has had them since she was 4 at least. she started on the bottom then moved to the top later on. they are a pain to change the sheets but, luckily, slide out from the wall on our laminate flooring without too much trouble. the biggest gripe i have is the colossal amount of junk that ends up being stored on the bottom bunk…blankets, pillows, dolls, stuffed animals, plus anything else she can think of.
    my 4 year old has the loft sort of bed from ikea. its a top bunk with no bottom bunk. it makes for a great play area but is wicked heavy to move for the sheet changing.

  39. Evie says:

    If you or your children hate making beds in the first place, then you will DETEST making up bunk beds-especially if they are up against the wall. Other sanity-saving choices are out there!

  40. We’re planning on getting bunk beds this year for our girls and for us it’s a huge issue of space as we do not have the luxury of having 2 twin sized beds in one room. I am 5’11 so the idea of making the top bed is the least of my worries. If you have a magic spell that can get the toys off of the floor, I’l take that any day of bed sheet issues.

    I don’t know if the chain The Brick is in the US but they have one called The Malibu in white that you can customize with under bed storage and stairs for an extra cost. I’d post a link but I am not sure if that would end me up in the spam box. So definitely google it. That’s the one we’re getting down the line (and it goes on sale often).

  41. Thirkellgirl says:

    Oh, I know they look like so much fun, but they are such a colossal pain in the neck to make, and they will look messy allllll the time because you can’t really tuck things in properly.

  42. veronica says:

    I had a bunk bed as a child and kinda hated it. I had three siblings so we grew up with bunk beds our whole lives. My daughter is now 4 and I knew she would be entering the sleepover phase at some point, so I opted to buy her a full size bed with a twin trundle. It has worked out perfectly and I love that it looks like a regular bed with drawers underneath. The drawers are faux, of course. They pull out and voila, twin size bed. During a cruise to the Bahamas, my daughter got the opportunity to sleep in a bunk bed and she was so excited to sleep up top. She loved it. I’m glad she liked the bunk bed experience, but I’m pretty sure if she had to crawl up and down there every night, she would have gotten over it.

  43. Waleska Carlin says:

    I prefer trundle bed; it takes less space and you can hide it when not in used.

  44. Melinda George says:

    I didn’t like when the kid on the top bunk got sick…miserable for mom to climb up and check on them. Plus I didn’t like changing the sheets up there, I made the kids do it. Making the bed is harder on both beds. If you like perfect looking beds maybe they aren’t for you. I was happy with rumpled blankets as long as the sheets were changed regularly. If it’s only going to be used sometimes it can be very good, especially if you need to combine siblings while guests come, or for sleepovers. Having an extra bed is a plus. Make sure your sleeper doesn’t thrash about during sleep, those kids need to stay off top bunks.

  45. Jen says:

    Ami and Kate – Is the Sarah Richardson room you’re thinking of, Ami, the one in which she places the twin beds footboard to footboard, and there are curvy green headboards on opposite walls? If we’re thinking of the same one, it was Sarah 101, season 1, episode 6. Kate, if you can watch it online, she goes into a lot of detail and shows how she added storage, etc. It’s at
    http://www.hgtv.ca/sarah101/episode/?epId=252632 . I get a message saying her episodes can’t play online in this country :( but there are pictures.

  46. Wow, our grandchildren would flip for some of these. I love thet purple! Hugs

  47. Jess says:

    my son (age 6) has bunk beds, but the top is against the wall and the bottom bunk is perpendicular (sticks out). We bought it on sale as a floor model a few years ago. It includs a desk, dresser drawers and bookshelves. Its like 5 pcs of furniture in one! fantabulous! we never would have fit all of that into his room otherwise. He only uses the bottom bunk daily and makes it himself. The nice part is when we have guests, my daughter (age 8) sleeps on the top bunk and we have an add’l guest room! There are other weekends she does sleep in there because it is such fun for them. I mean, c’mon, what kid doesn’t LOVE bunk beds?? :)

  48. Audrey says:

    I shared a room for a while with a brother. That seemed to work fine – we each had little caves of our own and we didn’t horse around. The beds separated to become two normal twin beds, which we used when we no longer needed to share a room. I would think that would be a good idea for your girl’s room, since she’ll probably be done with bunks by the time she’s a tween.

    Before that tho, I shared a room w my stepsisters. I got the top bunk, and they shared a queen-size mattress on floor below. I liked to jump off the bed in the morning (I literally sprang into action!), and that led to some issues when I’d forget that it was their weekend with us. For the obvious jumping reason, I suggest going twin-on-twin rather than having a larger mattress on bottom.

  49. CentsationalGirl says:

    Thanks for the tips Audrey, and everyone, lots to consider!

  50. CentsationalGirl says:

    Thanks for that link Jen, I love that bedroom setup, don’t you?

  51. Muriel Nielson says:

    I’ve always heard that bunk beds and earthquake country do not mix. Be sure to secure the beds to wall studs.

  52. Ami says:

    Jen and Kate, yes, that’s the room! While it doesn’t suit every situation, it certainly is an original and unique way to provide for two…that can also easily be switched out for a different look. Jen, I imagine she made amazing use of storage under that beautiful pleated bed skirt????

  53. Michele Owens says:

    Kate, I’m the only child and I too, begged my Mom for bunk beds when I was younger! No, making up the top bunk wasn’t that easy, but the experiance of having the bunk beds made it all worth it!

  54. Stacy says:

    My dad made my sister and I bunk beds when my grandpa moved in with us. I was in junior high and my sister was in elementary school (we’re 5 years apart). We didn’t get along too well. I had the top bunk and I had NO problem making the bed. It was made every morning when I got up. My dad put rails up so I never had to worry about falling out of bed. I think it just depends on the kid.

  55. Jacquie says:

    I bought bunk beds two years ago for my girls as they share a room right now. Whatever you do don’t buy beds made out of soft wood. Ours were made out of pine and they cracked at the joints and I had to take them apart I was so scared they would collapse. Make sure the joins on the bottom bed are really solid and use good quality nuts and bolts. The beds cost me $600 and that was half price so cost is not always an indication of quality.

  56. Marti says:

    We had bunk beds for our girls for a short time. I thought it would be great, but in reality, it wasn’t. We put the youngest on the bottom, and being the younger, bratty sister, she spent a lot of time with her feet against the top bunk bouncing her sister. Then, we switched them, and all was well. Younger dd was a bit of an acrobat so I did worry, not so much about falling, but about just doing something stupid. She never did anything, but older dd missed a step one time and fell off. No stitches. And yes, they were a pain to make, especially the top bunk.

    What I wish we had done was the type where the two beds fit into a corner, with one bed being regular height and the other being a couple of feet taller, with the foot end over the foot end of the regular height bed. That probably doesn’t make any sense, but it combined some of the space saving features of bunk beds without most of the problems.

  57. Dear Lillie says:

    I’ve been pondering bunk beds for the girls (not yet, but when they are a little older) but am kind of scared too! Haha! LOVE the Restoration Hardware one – wish it weren’t so impractical. And really love the canpoy idea! I cannot wait to see what you do!

  58. Ang says:

    My son has bunk beds [and I am heading up to check them for splitting after reading Jacquies comment!]… and honestly I HATE them. Making that bottom bunk, where my son routinely sleeps, is a real pain.

    I wish I had gone for a bed with trundle, and even one that pops up to a queen so down the road he could still use the bed…

  59. Limezinnias says:

    My daughter had them and loved them. Think simple with bedding, it is a pain to make. The look of duvet or covers tucked in looks great, but never happens! When she got older we opted for a trundle, liked that even better!

  60. Lisa says:

    I too have twin daughters and we had to get bunk beds last year because they share a room and it is too small for two singles beds. They had been in IKEA toddler beds until then. I did a lot of research on them because I wanted to make sure I was buying something safe and sound quality that would last for years to come. I also wanted beds that could be separated in the future if we moved house. I ended up buying a bed from Maxtrix Kids (http://www.maxtrixkids.com/) via my local baby shop. It is a fantastic bed system that can be configured a number of ways with additional parts. Effectively it can turn into a loft bed or single bed etc. US company, cedar timber, made in Vietnam. It is extremely solid- better than Pottery Barn and it exceeds the safety standards on the height of the rails etc. You can choose the type of ladder you want, drawers to go under it, desk to go under it etc. The website has all the info. It was more far expensive than say an IKEA bunk bed but like so many things, you get what you pay for.

  61. Nikki says:

    We had an IKEA Kura bed for a very brief time. Although it’s not techincally a bunk bed and not nearly as tall, it was still a pain to change bed linens and make up every day. Luckily my little guy wasn’t fond of the bed and I sold it rather quickly on Craigslist. I would go with a trundle. Not as large and offers the extra bed you’re looking for.

  62. Mary V. says:

    We bought two sets of twin over full bunk beds for our lake house last summer. After researching everywhere under the sun, I found awesome white-wood ones just like PBK at… (get ready)… walmart dot com! They were only $300 each and were really simple to put together (like Ikea simple). I’d check it out. You can easily paint them any color you want, still stay within budget, and probably sell them for the same amount in a few years when she changes her mind again.

  63. I had bunk beds for awhile when I was a kid, and I loved them!

    I definitely didn’t love them in the dorms in college though ;)

  64. jenny says:

    My girls (9 and 7) share bunk beds and they are really hard to make. I feel like their room is always a mess. Maybe I could simplify the bedding we use, but they just can’t get it neat enough to look nice. But it is a great option for a small bedroom. We found ours at a garage sale which was a huge find. My son has a trundle in his room and that is perfect for guests. I would go in that direction.

  65. Kim says:

    My son has bunk beds and he and his friends like them. I had a comforter on there for a while but took it off because it was too difficult to make the bed. Best to use just a blanket for top and bottom, which is not very cute but if you’re putting curtain panels all around it you won’t see too much of the beds anyway. Also make sure to put lights in there because the bottom bunk gets dark. My beds are against the wall so I mounted plug-in sconces on the wall next to the bed.

  66. michele double you says:

    Like and dislike the bunk beds for so many reasons–hah!
    Don’t invest in them expecting they will last 5 years. She will grow out of them as a teenager, and will, if like my daughter, covet every cool bed with a trundle so as to keep her extra bed. I agree with keeping the bedding simple. It’s difficult for a kid to make the top bunk, not much easier for an adult, and teenagers don’t like to make beds, period. The spare bed can easily become a dumping ground, too, when she’s balancing school and chores and sports and all the things that kids do. Having said all that, we got one at Ikea years ago (they don’t make it anymore, but it could be configured as a 4-poster, loft, or bunk style, and we’ve set it up as all three) and the money was worth it. I don’t regret it, but I wouldn’t do it again.

    …unless I was building a really cool mountain or beach vacation home, and then I’d have built-in bunk rooms–one for the lassies and one for the laddies.

  67. Karen says:

    My son wanted them a few yrs ago and I liked the idea that my other son could bunk in with him sometimes for sleepovers. They ARE nasty to put sheets on. Ours could be two twins if we ever want to take apart.

  68. Beautiful inspiration photos! My girls have a white bunkbed set in their room, and except for changing the sheets (tough!) I love it. We need all the space we can get and the bunks let us have that. :)

  69. Sara says:

    My boys have a bunkbed (ages 3 & 5) I love it for them!!! Their room is on the small side, so bunks were pretty much a necessity. I make the beds once per week and tuck the blanket and sheet along the wall and under the mattress. The boys smooth them out before they get up. It’s taking some training, but totally worth it to me :)

  70. CentsationalGirl says:

    If we go the bunk bed route, I’m going to keep bedding simple, I don’t like flat sheets, just the fitted ones, and then perhaps a quilt or duvet, but that’s it! Thanks so much for sharing your opinions!

  71. Melissa says:

    My son and daughter finally were getting their own bedrooms, at ages 5 and 6. My little guy’s only request was a bunk bed. Love the extra sleeping space!! Everyone in the family has taken turns sleeping in them and they make an awesome play fort. If space allowed, I would have purchased a twin over full. Downside…making the bed is torture. I love the visual appeal of a well dressed bed; bunk bed do not easily allow for this, even after exerting strange feats of acrobatics in an attempt to align and tuck bedding.

  72. Vel says:

    My sons used to share bunk beds and I had no problems with their bedding. Your right in not putting flat sheets Kate, too tedious, the comforter alone is a bit tricky, but once you tuck-in the side of the comforter leaning on a wall, it’s no hassle to fix up. For the top bunk, I just tuck in the comforter on both ends really well, good on the eye, and better on safety to have the kids “locked-in” :-)

  73. Michelle says:

    My ONE BIG TIP is to ensure that you are able to sit in an upright position on the bottom bunk. So many of my clients have pruchased beds you can’t sit up in making it hard to read a book, play a game to just talk in bed. Storage is great under the bed but it makes it akward if you use a side table.

    Have fun!

  74. Mindy says:

    Living in a three bedroom house, when we found out I was pregnant with #3, I immediately started stressing out over where Baby would go. After months of back and forth in my head, I committed to putting our oldest two in a shared room. Which, normally isn’t a big deal, but the oldest is a boy and the middle is a girl. A shared unisex room. On a budget. The room isn’t tiny, but it isn’t big by any means, so unless all we wanted in there was beds, we were gonna have to go up. So up we went.

    I coveted those PB bunks you had in your first picture. But the price wasn’t right. So we searched Ana White’s plans for something similar. In the end, my super fantastic amazingly talented hubby, drew up plans and started building.

    Yes, it totally sucks to change the sheets. And if I’m being honest, my son’s top bunk is NEVER made unless I’m on a rampage and freaking out over the messiness of it. BUT, the space saving is priceless. And we made sure there was enough clearance under the bottom bunk for rolling bins. Four of the big rolling “wrapping paper” bins fit under there.

    Anyway, here’s a post I did with pictures I took the day before Baby #3 came. She just turned one the first of this month. Holy crap, time flies.


  75. Deana says:

    Hi Kate! My husband and I have four children and we thought it would be super cool to use two sets of bunk beds in their bedroom at our small beach cottage. It made sense at the time because they had to share one large size bedroom. I found the perfect, or so I thought, bedding and they looked so picture perfect the first time I made all four beds. The kids had a really difficult time making the beds, so I found my perfectionist self slipping into the bedroom to make the beds. It had its challenges as it took me quite some time and effort even after I mastered a system. Changing the sheets was also difficult, and so I sold the beds on Craigslist. Don’t worry, I actually made money on the transaction as I scored the beds at the Pottery Barn Outlet in my town for an insanely cheap deal. I kind of miss the idea of the bunk beds and perhaps I should not have given up so easily. My Type A personality works well in an organized environment (thus, that is why I read your blog! and those messy bunk beds were driving me crazy. Perhaps I should have spent more time investigating different comforter options. After I sold them, I even thought I should have had a custom fitted comforter made, and the kids could have just slippped them on in the morning and fluff the pillows. I suggest you visit a PB Kids and check out floor sample in a little more detail. If anyone can get those beds looking perfect each and every day, I know you can! I look forward to seeing the finished product. Good luck.

  76. loly says:

    Our boy wanted and got a loft bed which is perfect in his super small room. We have had to trim down the legs a bit as he has gotten taller but it still suits us well. For bedding I sewed together to flat sheets and a light blanket, sheet – sheet – blanket – sewn shut on two sides, 3/4 of the way on the third long side to along for crawling in and out. We refer to it as his bed bag – not a great name but…. in the winter we just add an extra comforter. works well and washes great. better sewing skills than mine could make the bed bag look real cute! good luck

  77. Laura says:

    My youngest son has a full over full bunk bed in his room and there are some pros and cons. They are a pain to make, but having all of that available room that my 3 boys can camp-out together in really makes it worth it. Can’t wait to see what you choose!

  78. Bunk Bed says:

    My girls have a Bunk Bed set in their room. and except for changing the sheets. i loved Bunk Bed

  79. I had a bad experience from bunk beds from my childhood, when my sister fell from the higher level of the bed and her breath was cutted for seconds, so when I decided to host both my daughters in one room I choose the solution of a sliding bed. I put a mechanish that raise the sliding bed in the same level of the other bed and that’s it. Now when the bed is open I have a super double bed where I can be also hosted! If I wasn’t scared I could choose a bunk bed as well because I like them!

  80. Nicole says:

    We live in an apartment and when our girls were finally old enough for bunkbeds, I jumped at the chance to save some floorspace! We immediately did a bit of upgrading and put a piece of (painted) plywood under the upper mattress to hide the mess of tucked in blankets and to keep the ‘downstairs’ sleeper from kicking the ‘upstairs’ sleeper. Then, I realized the difficulty of making the beds and decided to do some improving on our bedding. I took the comforters and sewed a zigzag about one foot in from the edge, so that the comforter was exactly the width of the mattress. then I cut off the extra portion. Next, I took the duvet covers and sewed a sort of pocket, the exact width of the mattress as well. When the comforter is in the duvet pocket, there is a flap of fabric on each side, perfect for tucking in around the mattress. The children have no trouble making their beds as I do not use flat sheets and the duvet falls into place perfectly; afterwards, I often go in and tuck in the fabric flaps a bit but its hardly necessary.

  81. Nike Onile says:

    Bunk Beds are such a great idea especially when space is limited! Better to go up and use the vertical space so there is more floor space for fun and play :) Great post!

    Nike O.

  82. Heidi says:

    I have twin girls who are now 12. They’ve had bunk beds for quite a while and we never had any safety issues. When we bought the bunk beds we made sure to buy beds that could separate into twin beds. That was a great idea for us because they now have their own rooms. The beds are white and sort of have a Pottery Barn look to them. I think your idea of a canopy would be gorgeous. The one thing I didn’t like so much about them is making the beds everyday was a bit of a pain when they were set up as bunks. Eventually it was their job and it was pretty tricky for them and didn’t look very neat.

  83. Fátima Morais says:

    Hi, Kate
    Greetings from Lisbon, Portugal.
    My house is a tipical european city flat, wich means it is quite small. After we moved in, we had a surprise… A new baby boy. When he turned 2 1/2, we decided it was time to get rid of the crib and the only option was to get the boys a bunk bed. Their room is about 12m2, and have to have room for a desk, for the older boy, an Ikea 1,50m closet, the bunk bed and shelves for toys and tons of books for both boys, and a small play area for the younger boy.
    I found a bunk bed in a local store, with 50% off, for about 400€, and I love it. But it sure is a nightmare to make the bed… We try to have 2 people around when sheets need to be changed. I have zara home covers, grey with white stars, that i also got for half the price. When i manage to make the beds, they sure look lovely…
    When i was little, growing up in a huge familly house, I used to dream of a bunk bed, but never got one. They sure love it, and it provides a certain privacy to each of the boys.
    Knowing there are pros and cons, my advice is… Indulge your child!
    Thanks for your blog, i come here most every day and love it!
    Big hug

    Fátima Morais

  84. Tammy says:

    Trundle bed! My son wanted bunk beds also but a trundle bed is inexpensive and practical.

  85. My boys had bunkbeds and they are a pain to make! They ended up not liking them either even though they asked for them and I took them apart. My friends and I had trundles growing up and loved them. Clean up is a lot easier too!

  86. Donna says:

    I have 2 teenage girls and highly recommend a day bed with trundle. My girls wanted bunk bed for so long but we went on a week’s vacation and the rental had bunk beds. After a few night’s the novelty wore off. Love the trundle because you pop it up whenever needed.

  87. Lezlee says:

    Fabulous comments! Thanks, all! Been pondering bunkbeds for 10 & 9 y.o girls – hadn’t gotten to the making the bed part r.e pain factor. And at 10 – I fully expect they’ll want their own rooms soon enough anyhow. Trundle may be a better option I see – but not sure how that improves r.e smooshing bedding in when rolling it under. Currently, they fill the room, but have 2 twins smacked together to the size of a king bed. They actually REALLY like the closeness factor – not sure bunks would cut it for them. Thanks again!

  88. Tricia says:

    I don’t usually comment, but love your blog!

    Here’s my two cents: I am the mom of five children under 8 and after hours and hours of measuring and research we decided to make the bunk beds we wanted. We did buy plans and hardware online to help us get started, but my husband modified the plans to fit the thicker mattresses that we had. We have a twin over full with a twin trundle.

    The deciding factors were 1. Safety, even though we don’t want them horsing around on the top, I didn’t want to be in fear of something collapsing, etc. many, many bunk beds are rated for 175 lbs and that didn’t sit well with us. 2. Fixed ladder so no one was trapped. 3. Fit the thickness of the mattresses that we already had, so adjusting the plans was the easiest way to accomplish this.

    We ended up with SUPER sturdy bunk beds. The kids LOVE them and move around all the time of who is sleeping with who. Right now 3girls and 1boy are in tho beds. It will change soon to another twin over twin in another room, but for now they always want to be together and switch every night. We love listening them talk and play. And yes, they do argue, which would be the case if they were separate.

  89. Jessie says:

    My son had a trundle bed from Ikea to accommodate those sleep over days.

  90. Kristin says:

    My boys had bunk beds – but we ended up taking them down and making them 2 single beds. Love how they look, but my older son had to sleep up top. My younger son is too active to sleep on the top. My older son kept hitting his head on the ceiling! He did it 3 times, really whacked himself good. Finally we said, “enough!” and took them apart :)

  91. Melissa M. says:

    Our boys share a small bedroom, so bunk beds were a must. I paid around $150 for a metal low-loft style at Wal-Mart. I have two phobias regarding bunk beds: 1) I worry about the top bunk crashing down on the lower one, so the bottom bed is set perpendicular to the top bunk; and 2) I also worry about them being “too high” in case of fire, so the low-loft style is perfect. After a year of a 10-year old climbing up and down and a 4-year old getting up there when he’s not supposed to, it’s held up just fine. :) Our daughter is now wanting to go from a double to a twin, and I’m considering buying one for her room as well.

  92. Maureen says:

    Sorry, I don’t have time to read through all the responses, but have you considered a trundle bed? It seems that most kids these days end up in full or queen size beds in their teens and a trundle can still be used with that. Just a suggestion…

  93. Renea says:

    We bought bunk beds for my son about three years ago off of Wal-Marts website (didn’t want to spend a ton, but it had great reviews). It has always been a pain to make but this past fall I redecorated his room. We had wall-to-wall carpeting installed (there had been an area rug over hard wood) and then put furniture glides on the bottom of the legs. I have to say this has made such a difference in changing the bedding. Before when i would try to move it away from the wall it would always get hung up on the edge of the rug. Now it slides away from the wall with such ease! Also, I have a quilt on the top bunk and a comforter on the bottom. They are both the same color but my son sleeps on the bottom bunk and the quilt is easier to tuck in on the top. Flannel sheets and extra blanket help keep it cozy for sleepovers. (we live in the northeast, cold!) BTW the bunkbed has held up very well over the years, just have to tighten up the screws every now and then.

  94. Jennifer says:

    My son really wanted bunk beds, too. I considered building him one with a batten board finish and built-in sconce lighting, but after measuring it out I realized our ceilings are too low and his room is too small. It would have been a cute idea and building it yourself saves a lot of money in case they grow out of it. For a girl, I would definitely use that Restoration Hardware bed for inspiration!

  95. Treva says:

    When my son was young, he had a loft bed with a slide. He had a fitted sheet, no flat sheet, and a comforter with a duvet cover. In the morning I would fold the duvet cover in fourths and lay it at the foot of the bed. Easy to make and neat looking. When they needed to be cleaned, I would just take off the the sheet and duvet cover. It may not be as fancy as regular bedding, but it worked for us.

  96. Linda says:

    My 9 year old son has had his twin over full bunk bed since he was about 4. I chose to purchase it at Pottery Barn kids for several reasons. 1. When he outgrows the bunk idea we’ve got the full bed which will look great on its own and it will be adequate space for him. 2. It is the only bunk bed I’ve ever sat on where I don’t have to worry about being able to sit up straight on the bottom bunk without hitting my head. The bottom mattress is also intended to a bunk so it is lower profile but doesn’t sacrifice comfort. 3. My boy has always enjoyed having us read to him in bed and the full size bed makes it much easier to snuggle up when he insists we stay. 4. The extra sleeping space comes in handy when family visits.
    We are very happy with the sturdiness of the beds and the finish and structure are wearing extremely well. My only regret is that we didn’t use the Pottery Barn credit card when we bought it. It has a nice cash back program and a purchase that big probably would have went a long way toward some free bedding. No, making the beds is not fun but for all the mileage we’re getting from it, the bunk has been completely worth the investment. I recommend you go for it!

  97. Nancy says:

    Bunk beds have come a long way from what I’m seeing here….my boys (now 32 and 27) shared a room a very long time ago for a few years…the youngest was a little scared of being up on the top since he thought he was “too high”, which he overcame as he got older. They worked perfectly for the room though, which is why I bought them.

    As far as the parent is concerned, they are an absolute “bear” to make up. I had to climb up on the top bunk and had to be careful to turn off the ceiling fan…got my head banged several times, which was one concern having the kids up there too (not every room would have this issue though). Just changing the sheets every week made me glad to be rid of them once they outgrew them.

    As far as the bunk with the double-bed on the first level, my friend had one of those…with 2 boys, that became a sort of trampoline…they would jump off the top bunk onto the bed below…another concern but not that everyone would have that issue…depends on the temperment of your kids, etc.

  98. Courtney says:

    I’ve had bunk beds first for my two girls and then moved them into my boy’s room. They’re the ones that make into twins. While they were bunk beds, I just used jersey knit fitted sheets and a duvet, with no top sheet. All three kids could never sleep with a top sheet anyway because they always ended up knotted up at the bottom of the bed for some reason. When they got up, they just flipped up the duvet and smoothed it out. Not the best solution, but comfy and it looked fine.

  99. celeste meehan says:

    while i didn’t have bunk beds as a child, i did have a trundle bed. it was a formica-clad platform bed with another mattress in a drawer below, which was my preferred mattress. as for bedding, my mom bought me a pretty sleeping bag (not for outdoor use). it was cotton flannel, and was easily washed & dried. we put only a fitted sheet on the bed, and each morning i would toss my pillow and sleeping bag onto a closet shelf, then push the trundle under the bed frame. with bunk beds being a pain to make up with sheets and blankets, this could work for you. as long as the fitted sheet is pretty, it can make a great statement in the room. also, the unused flat sheet can be used to make decorative items such as throw pillows, valances, tents, etc.

  100. Cathy says:

    My daughters had wonderful low bunk beds that were my brothers at one time. You must have a good rail. My daughter went off to camp where there were no rails on the bed and convinced me to take the rail off when she came home. I put a dozen pillows on the floor the first no-rail night and sure enough we were in the emergency room at 3am. Bunk beds were great until 4th grade then we moved into the pop-up trundle under a beautiful wrought iron antique bed. Finally, by junior high school it was time for a queen size bed because girls that age like to stay up talking all night. Hope that helps.

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