Whatever your reasons for getting a bunk bed, it’s always important to follow practical guidelines to ensure safety—especially if your kids are the ones sleeping in the bunk bed. It goes without saying that it’s possible to injure yourself with almost any kind of furniture if you’re reckless, but it’s also important to note that today’s metal bunk beds and wood bunk beds are the safest they have ever been, due to enhanced government regulation. Bunk beds for kids are held to even stricter standards, which should be a relief for many parents with rambunctious children.
Bunk beds and loft beds are built with an elevated design to maximize space, which means that there are structural vulnerabilities and safety considerations you should watch out for. Design for certain functions or advantages can mean trade-offs in other areas, but as long as you are mindful of this, having a bunk bed can be almost as safe as having a regular bed. The general rule of thumb is that taller, stacked furniture means better space optimization, but is much worse for stability (especially if you live in earthquake-prone areas). What’s important is that you carefully assess your needs and minimize your risks, so you can enjoy your bunk bed for as long as your family needs it.
Following these simple tips can go a long way in ensuring your family’s safety and satisfaction:
- Shop only from a dealer or furniture store that sells quality products and offer some type of quality guarantee or warranty
- Follow the written instructions carefully when putting together your new bunk bed
- Choose beds with guard rails that are higher than the mattresses, to prevent anybody from falling out of bed
- Only allow only kids six years and above to take the upper bunk
- If economically feasible, choose a bed bunk with stairs over a bed bunk with ladder to minimize tripping and increase surefootedness.
- Do not try to squeeze in the wrong size mattress into your bunk bed
- If you choose a bed bunk with a ladder, make sure the spaces are too small for a child’s head or torso to fit through
- Don’t allow more than one person to sleep on the top bunk, no matter how small or light they are
- Don’t allow roughhousing on or under the bunk bed
There are other, less obvious considerations to think about when it comes to owning a bunk bed. While the biggest safety concerns are with young kids, adults need to be mindful as well, since anyone can sustain an injury if they are not careful. For example, one of the things people tend to overlook is the fact that some screws can become loose over time. Even if you follow all instructions carefully during assembly, it pays to check them again from time to time, at least to prevent nasty surprises. No one is perfect, and no accident is planned. Sleepless nights of countless tossing and turning can loosen even the tightest screws, so don’t neglect to check them occasionally.
Among bunk beds, the ones with the best stability are usually the twin over full bunk beds and the full over full bunk beds. It’s just simple physics: the wider something is at the bottom, the harder it will be to shake it or tip it—which is an important consideration if you live in earthquake-prone regions or if you share your home with active people. Of course, you shouldn’t get a twin over full or full over full bunk bed if space is limited and your kids are too small, but you can at least limit the chances for injury or tipping over by making sure that the calmer sleeper stays in the bottom bunk or by getting a twin over twin bunk bed with a staircase.
In the end, there’s no substitute for communication, consideration, and knowledge. Just educate your kids about the proper precautions and consequences, so safety and injury should never be a problem.