Whether you have an expanding family or occasional overnight guests, bunk beds offer a practical solution — and they’re fun.
In expanding households, where the number of children grows to exceed the number of available bedrooms, a bunk bed can make the most of existing space. But shoehorning siblings into tight quarters isn’t the only reason to have a bunk bed.
Simply put, “they’re fun,” says Christine Markatos, an interior designer in Santa Monica, California, who frequently puts bunk beds in her projects. “Often, we find that we’re doing bunk beds in a room for one child, but it’s really about having space for a sleepover.”
They can also provide overflow sleeping space for adult guests, especially in second homes, Markatos says, adding that she has recently noticed a trend of “bunk rooms in beach houses and bunk rooms in ski houses.”
Of course, there are some rooms where bunk beds just won’t work.
“Ceiling height for the top bunk is your No. 1 consideration,” she says, because the person sleeping there needs to be able to “sit up without bumping their head.”
Q: How should the bunks be positioned?
A: Stacking beds one on top of the other isn’t the only option. With some bunk beds, the lower bunk can be positioned perpendicular to the top, Markatos says, or omitted altogether, to make room for a desk.
Q: What accessories do you need?
A: “We often end up adding some sort of sconce on each bunk level, so the kids can read,” Markatos says, noting that wall-mounted shelves can also function as bedside tables.
Q: How much head space is enough?
A: “You’re probably going to need at least 3.5 feet” between the mattress and ceiling, she says. “But it depends on the age of the child.”