Types & Styles of Bunk Beds and Loft Beds

When you think of a bunk bed, the first thing that probably goes through your mind are two plain, old-fashioned wooden cots stacked one on top of another, or maybe that army-style metal frame that is an inevitable piece of scenery in military-themed movies. For a long time, this used to be an accurate picture. These days, however, bunk beds come in a variety of shapes and configurations, styles and types, colors, designs, materials -- and it's worth to take a few moments of your time and get acquainted with some basic arrangements that are available out there.

Twin over Twin Bunk Beds

Lea Austin Twin over Twin Bunk Bed

Also referred to as standard bunk beds, they are still the most sought-after configuration on the market. As the name says, a twin over twin bunk bed is made of two twin size (39 x 75 inches) beds stacked on top of one another. It is primarily used to accommodate two children of approximately the same age, but this, of course, is not a rule written in stone; if you have only one child, the extra bunk can be utilized to house her/his guests over night -- of course, it will also come mighty handy if your family ever gets enlarged by another member. Most bunkbeds of this type can be separated into two individual units, which adds a significant practical value to the concept. They often come equipped with storage drawers or trundle beds -- mostly as optional items.

Twin over Full Bunk Beds

Columbia Twin over Full Bunk Bed

A full-sized bed (54 x 75 inches) topped by a twin-sized one makes a twin over full bunk bed, an increasingly popular configuration. The extra space on the bottom bunk can be useful in many situations -- fully grown teenagers will certainly appreciate it, as will parents who like to snuggle in with their children for some reading before bed time. The additional width improves the stability of the structure to an extent, which is always a plus. The image to the left shows the Atlantic Furniture Columbia Twin over Full Bunk Bed, a typical representative of the class -- a simple but graceful design that would go well with pretty much any room. A much more involved configurations are available, though, if you find that preferable, both from the point of basic form and available equipment -- many of these beds come with all sorts of nooks and crannies which kids just love to use for stashing away their little treasures.

Full over Full Bunk Beds

Lea Deer Run Full over Full

This configuration is perfect when you need to fit two large -- in this case full sized (54 x 75 inches) -- beds into a smaller room. It is a fashionable and practical solution for guest rooms; a full over full bunk bed, especially if equipped with a trundle bed, can comfortably house an entire mid-sized family. Of late, many parents choose these wider beds for their children's bedrooms. The reasoning is, extra space simply provides more comfort, regardless of how small or big the children are. The risk of rolling off the bed is also smaller; safety rails should prevent that from happening on the top bunk, but even falling off the bottom bunk is not exactly pleasant. Likewise, there is more room for playing on the top bunk -- yes, we know, there shouldn't be any playing involved here, especially not on the top bunk -- but the kids are likely to do it anyway, and with a wider bed the likelihood of an accident happening is that much smaller. Last but not least, you don't have to worry your children will outgrow this bed (well, unless they turn into basketball players); a full over full bunk bed, if sturdy enough, will see them through teenage years and beyond if needed.

Futon Bunk Beds

Night and Day Cinnamon Futon Bunk Bed in Medium Oak

Leisure place combined with functional sleeping space, that's what futon bunk beds are about. A Western style futon sofa on the bottom can usually turn into a double size bed -- in a couple of seconds if needed, while the top bunk features a twin-size mattress that most of the time is used as a primary sleeping area. Parents often choose this sort of configuration if their kids have lots of sleepovers; young single people living in small apartments love them too; they are also frequently used in college dormitories. Futon bunk beds are available in many different styles and finishes, from traditional, missionary forms -- usually made of wood -- to more contemporary designs that often use metal as a primary material.

Loft Beds

Lea My Place Loft Bed

A loft bed is a bed elevated to a certain height, with free space underneath which can be used for play, storage, as a study area, or, as is often the case, for another bed. Originally intended as a practical solution for smaller rooms (dormitories are full of them), loft beds are also often chosen by many parents for their children's rooms even if space is not an issue; they are practical, they are attractive, and kids love them: many such beds have the free space below enclosed with tents or curtains with windows, which creates a fabulous play area -- their very own small "house." One of the most appreciated things about loft beds is their versatility. Beside the fact that free space they provide can be used in a multitude of ways, loft beds also come in different heights and shapes -- a great thing if you have a specific spatial situation to conform to.

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