Per yesterday’s post regarding sleeping arrangements, here’s a small round up of bunk beds that I’ve been admiring. As I’ve begun to wrap my mind around welcoming a sky-high bed into our small apartment, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of low bunkbed options out there. While these low-profile options lack the possibility of under-bed storage, I like that the overall size offers a less imposing option for a small room. More than that, when the top bunk is low, it’s still readily accessible for storytime and bed-making and goodnight kisses.
The range of prices (and heights) here is relatively wide—and all of these options are new—but like cribs and other bits of child-centric gear, bunk beds are an item with a relatively short window of usefulness to any particular family. I imagine the sharing and secondhand economy could easily deliver on this front, so should anyone decide to go that route, consider this post for your keyword search.
+ Fort Mini Bunk Beds from Room & Board: A powder-coated steel bunk with a low-profile. This bed comes in 15 different colors for anyone who wants to get a little more wild than I have in this round up. I like that there’s ample clearance between the two bunks, but that the overall bed is still just 54-inches high. (1)
+ Babyletto TipToe Bunk Bed: This is a standard height bunk at 67+ inches, but it has the options of both additional trundle bed and converting to two twin beds should we (or you!) ever have the space. Overall, the bunk is a bit more modern in design than most of our furnishings, but I still think it’s simple enough that it might complement our style instead of compete with it. It’s made from a combination of solid poplar and CARB II TSCA-compliant engineered wood, meaning it meets EPA standards for formaldehyde emissions. (2)
+ Waverly Mini Wood Bunk Bed from Room & Board: A classic mini bunk made from solid, domestically sourced maple. The slanted ladder would take up a bit more floorspace than some of the other designs, but the overall footprint is still relatively slight. As with the other Room & Board option above, I like that the bottom bed rests on a slatted support and not directly on the floor. (3)
+ Camden Low Twin-Over-Twin Bunk Bed from Pottery Barn: This bunk has it’s integrated ladder placed on the end of the bed. I like the visual simplicity of the wide, uninterrupted side rails and the solid end panels. It’s made from a combination of poplar and engineered wood that’s Greenguard Gold Certified and made in a Fair-Trade certified facility. (4)
+ P’kolino Nesto Bunk Bed: This is another standard-height option, but I like that it’s not bulky and has a low-profile ladder with handles. It’s made of FSC-certified pine and non-toxic, zero-VOC finishes. Currently out of stock. (5)
+ Ikea Kura: This is the most affordable option on the list and the one that would probably allow for the most creativity. I’ve pinned a bunch of creative hacks of the kura bed over the past few months (one of my favorites is from my friend and former colleague, Justine Hand). I think I might opt to leave at least some of the fiberboard off completely if we went this route. The only real downside is that the lower mattress rests directly on the floor. Not a deal breaker, but not something everyone might choose. (6)
+ Oeuf Design Perch Bunk Bed: I’m not sure if this design is perfect for our space, or if this bunk would overwhelm our space at 64-inches high and with a ladder that extends two-feet into the room. Still, it’s a handsome bunk in a sea of pretty generic options. It can also convert to a loft bed and standalone twin. The bed is made of engineered wood—Baltic birch plywood and eco-MDF—and finishes are non-toxic. (7)
+ Small Space Twin Bunk Bed from Crate and Barrel: I’ve kind of surprised myself with how much I like this design, but I think it’s that the high sides of the bottom bunk looks as cozy to me as the top bunk and that the solid sides make for an overall look that’s less busy than the bunks with lots of rails. This is another low-profile option made of solid poplar and engineered wood. (8)
+ Ikra Mydal: One last standard-height bunk that would leave plenty of room for customization if we decided to paint. Like the other Ikea option, it’s exceedingly affordable (and no doubt ubiquitous on the secondhand market). It’s made of unfinished, solid pine. (9)
What do you think? A favorite here? A favorite elsewhere? If you need it, lots more bunk bed encouragement from RMTL readers.
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What’s my advice to parents wondering whether they can swing two small kids sharing one tiny bedroom?
If you think you can do it, you definitely can.
With all of the proper caveats that what works for one family might not work for another, and with none of the specifics which might give the erroneous impression that there’s only one way to do this, I believe from the bottom of heart that kids can learn to sleep just about anywhere. More than that, I think it can be lovely and comforting (and only occasionally bothersome) to have your sibling’s sweet snores lulling you to sleep. Especially if you are a toddler or an infant, and likely well beyond then.
I’m not here to offer a single bit of didactic advice about putting kids to bed in a shared bedroom, within a tiny apartment. There are a hundred ways it can work, and a hundred ways it might need to be tweaked, but if worry about your kids sharing a room is keeping you up at night, I will say: worry no more.
Human beings the world over share small sleeping spaces. And while I won’t make claims that sleeping four to a bed, a la Charlie Bucket’s grandparents would be comfortable, it’s certainly been done before and certainly will be done again.
Faye and Silas have shared their room since Silas was about three-months old and began to sleep consistently in his crib. Their sharing a room has never seemed to be the thing to cause less than perfectly blissful nights of sleep. And, if it has been, well, we’ve powered through anyway, deciding against shunting one of the them to roof, or bathtub, or any other ill-advised location. On rare occasions, an awake child has indeed roused a sleeping child, but generally they’ve slept soundly through sibling sobs and squawking. When not, we’ve cursed our luck and welcomed one or another (or both) into our bed, or we’ve played musical beds, or done any of the things that parents and young children have done since time immemorial in an effort to gain maximum sleep and inflict minimum damage. We’ve been very tired and we’ve been very well rested. I have no doubt the same is true for most folks.
So what’s next?
At nearly five and inching-toward-two-and-a-half, I’ve started to think toward the future a bit. With any luck, we’ll manage to squeeze a bit more time out of this tiny apartment and this narrow room and so we’re beginning to think about solutions for slightly older kids sharing a small space.
The slim rectangle of a room has been large enough for a twin bed and a crib to fit comfortably, but it’s not big enough for two twin beds (end-to-end or side-by-side). So, we’re considering options: bunks and trundles and other ways of getting creative while staying comfortable and generally protected from bed-making nightmares.
Opinions on bunk beds or trundles or anything in between? I’m all ears.