The best bunk beds

  • Bunk beds provide a fun, functional sleep option for multiple people — kids and grown-ups — all while saving space.
  • The Storkcraft Caribou Solid Hardwood Twin Bunk Bed has everything you want in a bunk bed including sturdiness, safety, and style.

When my kids outgrew the crib, I investigated bunk beds and discovered an incredible variety of models. There's wood, metal, classic, modern, twin and full-size (or a mix), with storage and/or an extra trundle bed, convertible into two freestanding beds, and more.

Bunk beds are also great for roommates, conserving space in small bedrooms and homes (e.g., apartments, townhouses), camping, and providing a place for guests to crash, especially in vacation home rentals.

We researched many different bunk beds with differing styles, price points, and features to select these top picks.

Here are the best bunk beds:

  • Best overall: Storkcraft Caribou Solid Hardwood Twin Bunk Bed
  • Best with trundle: Discovery World Furniture Twin Over Full Bunk Bed with Twin Trundle
  • Best for small spaces and camping: Disc-O-Bed Large

Updated on 7/24/2020 to edit the prices, titles, and remove out of stock and discontinued items. We also removed references and ratings from third-party sites because we've found them to be unreliable in the past.

The best overall

Sturdy, safe, and stylish, the Storkcraft Caribou Solid Hardwood Twin Bunk Bed is well-made and a great value.

The Storkcraft Caribou Solid Hardwood Twin Bunk Bed was designed with children's safety in mind. Made from environment-friendly, high-quality, and solid rubber wood and composites, this model is sturdy and strong; rubberwood is denser and more durable than pine wood, which is often used in bunk beds. Metal (not wood) rods align and hold the top and bottom levels together.

Compliant with CPSC and ASTM safety standards, the Storkcraft Caribou Solid Hardwood Twin Bunk Bed also accommodates adults with a maximum weight allowance of 225 pounds for each berth (mattress included). Big kids and adults can fit on the bottom bunk, although people taller than 5'4" who sit up on the lower bunk might hit their heads. The slanted, four-step ladder has a maximum weight allowance of 165 pounds, making the top bunk a bit inaccessible for people weighing more than that.

But that limitation doesn't matter when the Storkcraft Caribou Solid Hardwood Twin Bunk Bed is separated into two twin beds. So, don't worry if the kids get tired of sharing the bunk bed (or even the same room), as you'll have the option of splitting it into individual, freestanding pieces.

Fully assembled, the Storkcraft Caribou Solid Hardwood Twin Bunk Bed is 79 inches long, 42 inches wide, and 65 inches tall. Many users found the assembly to be fairly easy with patience, time (one to three hours), and more than one person helping. This model has a limited one-year warranty.

Pros: Good value, sturdy, safe for young kids, can be separated into two twin beds

Cons: A bit tight for bigger kids and adults, limited headroom in lower bunk

The best with trundle

The Discovery World Furniture Twin Over Full Bunk Bed with Twin Trundle features two different mattress sizes, an extra berth, and a gorgeous Mission-style frame.

The Discovery World Furniture Twin Over Full Bunk Bed with Twin Trundle is popular among families because it's useful for all different ages with a twin-sized upper berth, a full-sized lower berth, and a twin-sized hidden trundle bed. It can accommodate a group of grandkids, a small family, and/or a mini slumber party.

With all those people, you're probably wondering about maximum weight. The top berth can support up to 180 pounds, while the bottom can handle up to 250 pounds. Beds by this manufacturer meet ASTM safety regulations.

With solid wood construction, it's sturdy and strong. But this piece of furniture is also notable for its beautiful appearance. The Mission-style A-frame design (available in merlot, espresso, and honey finishes) looks simple but elegant.

Additional features make this bunk bed especially versatile, such as its ability to be separated into two different-sized beds — one with a trundle bed. If you need more storage space, remove the mattress from the trundle bed and you'll have an extra-wide drawer under the lower bunk.

Fully assembled, the Discovery World Furniture Twin Over Full Bunk Bed with Twin Trundle is 78-inches long, 57-inches wide, and 66-inches tall. Assembly is fairly easy and takes one to three hours (depending on the number of people working). It comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros: Good value, ample sleeping room for multiple occupants, easy assembly, converts into separate beds

Cons: Heavy, expensive

The best for small spaces and camping

Perfect for camping or when you need extra beds in a pinch, the Disc-O-Bed Large is extremely sturdy and heavy-duty yet comfortable and multifunctional.

When I first saw the name "Disc-O-Bed," I thought of disco dancing … but then realized that the name refers to the bed's nifty patented lock-in modular disc system: eight discs that join the frame pieces, hold the two levels together, and separate and rotate to convert the bunk beds into a couch.

Tested by the Red Cross and the US Army, the Disc-O-Bed Large is rugged and strong, yet soft and comfortable. You can use it to create extra sleeping space while camping, in the house, or anywhere with limited space. Fully assembled, it is 82-inches long, 32.5-inches wide, and 36-inches tall.

A tough anti-rust steel frame is covered with water-resistant, eco-friendly PVC-coated polyester fabric in multiple colors. With a maximum weight allowance of 500 pounds, each cot is a strong and soft sling that supports and cradles its occupant; there's no uncomfortable center bar to poke you in the back.

There's about 22 inches of clearance between the lower berth (11-inches high) and upper berth (32-inches high), which doesn't leave a lot of head clearance, but you probably won't be spending much time sitting up on the Disc-O-Bed Large while camping. To add more headroom between levels, you can purchase a leg extension set to raise the upper berth.

The versatile Disc-O-Bed Large also converts from bunk beds to two individual twin cots or a bench. Simply detach one side of the top bunk and swing it down to create the bench, which is convenient and helpful in terms of comfort. 

The bottom berth is high enough from the ground that your body won't sink to the floor or ground, and the bunk bed comes with convenient, deep organizers (pockets and cup holders) that hang on each side of both levels, as well as a carrying case (however, when the beds are folded up and tucked into the case, it's very heavy to transport). 

If you're looking for different-sized versions, try the smaller Disc-O-Bed Youth Kid-O-Bunk with Organizers (designed for children ages 7 to 12), the larger Disc-O-Bed XL, and largest Disc-O-Bed 2XL.

Pros: Incredibly sturdy yet comfortable, versatile, easy to assemble/disassemble

Cons: Expensive, heavy

How to pick the right bunk bed

Whether your kid (or you) want to claim the upper berth or make a fort on the lower level, when thinking about bunk bed models you should ask yourself:

  • Who will sleep in the bunks? Kids (and what ages) and/or adults? House guests?
  • Where do I plan to use the bunk beds? In a young child or teenager's room? A guest room? In a studio apartment? In the family room for last-minute or emergency bedding? Outdoors?
  • How much space do I have? Measure where you plan to put the bunk beds so you have an idea of which models will fit. Also, don't forget about head clearance and obstructions, like sloped ceilings and ceiling fans. The ideal distance between the top of the top mattress and the ceiling is 36 inches.
  • What style do I want? One for kids or tweens, or one that would appeal to teens and/or adults? Bunk beds come in all different styles, ranging from utilitarian to elaborate to elegant.

When researching different models, think about:

  • Size: Do you want twin on twin (i.e., one twin-sized bed above a twin-sized bed), twin on full, or full on full? If older kids and adults will sleep here, pay attention to the beds' (especially the upper berth) maximum weight capacity.
  • Wood or metal: Wood and tubular metal frames both offer strength and durability. Wood frames tend to be more stylish and less slippery and cold than metal frames. Metal beds tend to be more economical than wood beds.
  • Sturdiness: For safety and comfort, the frame shouldn't shake when occupants climb into bunk (especially up to the upper berth) or roll around (within reason).
  • Accessibility to the top bunk: Some models have detachable ladders while others feature built-in ladders. High-end models can have steps or actual staircases.
  • Storage Spaces: You can save even more room by choosing a model that multitasks with drawers and shelves and/or a trundle bed to fit another person if needed.

Important safety considerations

Although fun, bunk beds can be dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that children under the age of six should not occupy the top bunk. At any age, the person in the upper bunk could fall, either from the top bunk itself or while climbing up to or down from it. The person on the bottom bunk could be hurt if the upper level collapses.

Bunk-bed manufacturers must comply with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations. Makers and importers of children's bunk beds must adhere to children's product safety rules in order to earn Children's Product Certificate (CPC).

Likewise, manufacturers and importers of adult bunk beds must comply with consumer product safety rules in order to earn a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC). Finally, ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) has its own voluntary Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bunk Beds. Look for models with these certifications.

Check out our other bedding guides

The best mattresses

A high-quality mattress will last for more than a decade, provide the right balance of comfort and support for your body type and sleeping style, and offer superb motion transfer isolation. Our guide features beds that performed best in our tests, have long trial periods, and are designed to suit a broad range of sleepers. These are the best mattresses.

The best duvet covers 

Cozy and comfortable, stylish and versatile, and available in a huge range of fashionable colors, designs, and fabrics, there's a duvet cover for every taste. Sometimes, however, too much choice makes it nearly impossible to make a decision. That's where we step in. Here are the best duvet covers.

The best pillows

There's a nearly dizzying array of pillows on display in any bed-and-bath shop, or on the virtual shelves of your favorite online home store. While ultimately, there is no "best for everyone" pillow — personal preference plays a huge role — we tested several pillows to bring you our top picks.

The best sheets 

Few would deny that at the end of a long, hard day, sliding into a comfortable bed outfitted with soft, smooth sheets that pamper your skin is one of life's greatest pleasures. After reviewing dozens of contenders, these are our top picks for the best bed sheets.

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