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3 Most Common Bunk Bed Types

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

We all have a memory collection of Bunk Beds from our childhood; school camps, holidays with our families, and everyone’s favourite: sleepovers.

Did you know that there’s a history to Bunk Beds and a slew bunk bed types to choose from?

The History of Bunk Beds:

Soldiers make use of bunk beds quite commonly

The origin of Bunk Beds dates back much further than what most people are aware of; the practical aspect of Bunk Beds made it an irresistible concept to develop. That being said, the first prototypes were much more humble than the designs we have today.

Archaeologists have credited not only the first constructed bed but also the first “Bunk Bed”, to the Ancient Egyptians. These “Bunk Beds” resembled compact lofts and were distant relations of the Bunk Beds of today.

Modern warfare is what provoked the development of the modern Bunk Bed; there was an urgent need for more sleep space in the war zones, and Bunk Beds were the obvious solution. Subsequently, it gained momentum from twentieth-century families who wanted to optimize the space they had in their homes.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Illustration of people sharing a bunk bed


1. Space:

The first and most obvious advantage of Bunk Beds is space; stacking two beds on top of each other takes significantly less space than a double bed does.

cramped bedroom that would benefit from using a bunk bed

Modern homes are substantially less spacious than homes from the past, and it is important to utilize your space as well as you can.

2. Privacy:

Sharing a room with a sibling can get overwhelming. Furthermore, having no personal space leads to an extreme buildup of tension, which can cause constant arguing. Bunk Beds can provide a sense of privacy, by allowing each child to have an allocated space just for them.

3. Attending to Each Child Individually:

It can get difficult to give your children the individual attention they need when they are sharing a room. Bunk Beds separate them in a way that allows you to attend to each of them individually.

Girl and mom in bed

If one of your children are upset or sick, it is easy to comfort them without disturbing the other. If they need attention during the night, the other child doesn’t have to be woken up.


1. Safety:

The main concern a parent has when purchasing Bunk Beds is safety. These safety concerns range from the fear of your child falling off the top bunk in their sleep to hurting themselves while climbing up the ladder, to the top bunk collapsing and burying the child on the lower bunk.

While the last concern is unlikely if you purchased good quality Bunk Beds, the first two fears are much more legitimate.

Here are a few tips to ensure a higher level of safety for your children:

  • Place the bed in the corner of a room, where it is surrounded by two walls. This greatly decreases the chances of your child falling off.
  • Either purchase Bunk Beds with rails on the top bunk, or install them yourself.
  • Install a nightlight nearby so your child can always see when climbing up the ladder.
  • Don’t allow a child under the age of 6 to sleep in Bunk Beds. This could be hazardous due to the fact that their coordination and balance hasn’t fully developed yet.

2. Limited Access to the Top Bunk:

Removing bedding to get washed, or even just making the bed on the top bunk, has an added layer of complications. Fortunately, you can make use of a fitted sheet, then all you need to do to make the bed is lay down the duvet and place the pillows on it.

At the end of the day, your chid’s joy at getting to sleep on the top of the world will make up for this small inconvenience!

3. Feeling Claustrophobic:

While Bunk Beds open up a lot of space in a room, the space you have while sleeping in it is rather limited.

It can be an adjustment suddenly having another bed, or the ceiling, so close above your head. This feeling can cause some people to feel claustrophobic.

Bunk bed types:

steel bunk beds

Bunk Beds have evolved over time, and now you can find them in all shapes and sizes. There are different types that have been developed with different styles, and different functions, in mind.

1. The Standard Bunk Beds:

This is the most commonly used of all bunk bed types. It consists of two mattresses, usually of the same shape and size, stacked directly over each other. This standard type commonly includes a ladder for access to the top bunk, as well as a railing to avoid rolling out of bed.

There are a few alternatives within this category:

  • Tri-Bunk: A single mattress on top and a double mattress or a futon on the bottom bunk. This is convenient as the bottom bunk can be used as a couch during the day.
  • L-Shaped bunks are relatively new on the market. Usually, the beds are situated directly above each other, but in this case, they form an L-shape. Beneath the top bed and perpendicular to the bottom bed, there is sometimes an inbuilt study area or drawers.

2. The Loft Beds:

This type of Bunk Beds is quite different because it only has a top bunk. The bed of the bottom bunk is replaced by drawers or a built-in desk. This can be a very efficient use of space in a small room where you wouldn’t normally be able to fit a desk and a bed.

3. The Triple Bunk Beds:

The last of the common bunk bed types contain three beds instead of two and the conformations fall under two categories:

  • Standard Bunk Beds containing a mattress in a drawer under the bottom bunk. This third mattress can be pulled out and used as an extra sleeping space, which works very well for sleepovers.
  • Triple Stacked Bunk Beds have an additional bunk, making it three beds stacked above each other. This is a popular option in army compounds and youth hostels.

Personalising Your Bunk Bed:

painting your bunk bed

While Bunk Beds are relatively simple structures, they can easily be personalised to fit your taste:

  • Curtains, hooks and drawers can be added.
  • You can paint the base in different colours.

With a little bit of effort and imagination, it can be changed into your child’s dream bed.

Bunk Beds at The Mattress Warehouse:

There are a variety of Bunk Beds at the Mattress Warehouse, something to suit every style:

1. Standard:

Jim Double Bunk:

This frame is just a standard metal frame. It includes railings on the top bunk and two ladders for easy access from any side. If you’re looking for a smooth, unobtrusive option, this one is for you!
Browse our range of steel bunk beds.

steel frame bunk bed

Beach House Double Bunk Bed:

This frame is wooden, with a white finish. It has a very classic look that makes you think about holidays at the beach. It has a standard frame with railings and a ladder.

wooden frame bunk bed

Taryn Bunk Bed:

This frame comes in both white, and in the wood’s natural shade. If you’re just looking for Bunk Bed with a minimalistic look that you know will do its job, look no further. It also has built-in railing, as well as a ladder.

2. Tri-Bunk:

Jim Triple Bunk:

This metal frame is perfect for a modern home. It has a single bed on top, with a double bed on the bottom. It has a railing on the top bunk, and two ladders on the sides, and a very rounded look.
View our range of bunk beds at the Mattress Warehouse.

metal framed bunk bed

Denise Tri-Bunk:

This frame comes in beautiful dark cherry colour, with sophisticated-looking railings and a ladder. It has a single bed on the top bunk and a double bed on the bottom.
Check out the Denise Tri-Bunk we’ve got on offer.

3. L-Shape Bunk:

Charlene L-Shape Bunk:

This sleek, mahogany frame is the epitome of classy and will finish off a well put together room perfectly. It comes with a built-in shelf, as well as a railing and a ladder.
Have a look at one of our most popular bunk beds, the Charlene L-Shape Bunk.

Feel free to browse the Mattress Warehouse for more Bunk bed types and option.

Bunk Beds come in a variety of shapes, colours and designs. They are easy to customise and provide many years of pleasure and comfort.  In a world where space is quickly becoming a problem, it appears that Bunk Beds are here to stay!

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