When choosing a kid's bed there are plenty of options, and with the bed sticking with you for years, it's best to enter the buying process with a solid plan. This guide will walk you through our best tips to make buying a kid's bed a smooth and successful experience.
If you want your kids bed to take up the least amount of room, the smallest standard bed size is Twin. At 39 x 75 inches (99cm x 190cm) a twin bed will fit most rooms and sheets; however, for best results be careful not to buy a Twin XL, which will not fit Twin sheets. While similar in size to a twin, the Twin XL is 39 x 80 inches (99cm x 203cm), and rarely used for kids. Instead, a Twin XL is most popular in college from rooms and college bunk beds.
Does your child like to sleep with a stuffed friend? => Full
While the same length as a twin bed, a kids bed that fits a Full mattress is 54 x 75 inches (137cm x 190cm). As such, this size kids bed works best for children that need more width in their beds. Perhaps they like to roll during bedtime, or maybe they like to sleep with their favorite stuffed pal; either way, the added width will make rest more comfortable.
Do you only plan to buy one kids bed until your kid is all grown-up? => Queen
The largest bed that is used for kids is a Queen sized bed. These beds have a greater length and width than a twin with dimensions of 60 x 80 inches (152cm x 203cm). While much of its size may not be utilized by your little one, the benefit is that your child will eventually grow into the bed, so there won't be a need for an additional purchase.
What type of kids bed will meet your form and function requirements?
Do you need a bed with lots of storage? => Loft Beds
Loft Beds are great for storage and fun. The mattress and bed frame are elevated four to five feet in the air, and below them is empty space. That empty space can be utilized for the storage of toy chests, desks, or even a dresser. If your child is already at the age where homework is assigned, choosing a loft bed coupled with a desk provides the perfect workstation for your kid's room.
Are your storage needs shelves and drawers? => Bookcase Beds
Bookcase beds boast rows of drawers and shelving, which are traditionally used for books and small toys. The drawers are integrated into the bed's frame, while the bookcase shelves are built into the headboard. One of the unique benefits of choosing a bookcase bed, as a kids bed, is that any kid that is an avid reader can easily reach up towards the headboard and comfortably grab their favorite book before drifting off to sleep.
Does your child love forts? => Cabin Beds
Cabin beds are similar to a loft bed with the mattress elevated four to five feet in the air, but the designers take the extra space in a fun new direction. Instead of storage or a desk, the space below the mattress is decorated to look like the entry to a cabin, fort, or castle. Cabin beds are also known for their fun and functional attachments, which can include slides, lights, and top tunnels. The top tunnel is a great attachment that resembles a canopy. The child can enclose themself in the canopy on overly bright mornings, and steal a few extra zzz's.
Have a taller child that needs a kids bed with private storage? => Captain's Beds
Captain's beds are all about under bed storage. In most Captain's beds, the mattress sits above two to three layers of drawers and cabinets. These enclosed drawers and cabinets are perfect for a kid whose shelves always end up messy, and for parents that want a clean floor that isn't speckled with toy chests and boxes. That said, the multiple levels of drawers do add height; so, the child will need to be capable of climbing into a bed that's two to three feet off the ground.
Is your child unwilling to go to bed? => Novelty Beds
If your child hates bedtime, maybe a novelty kids bed can entice them to go to sleep. Novelty beds are themed bed frames. They can resemble popular cartoon characters or colorful themes like race cars or horses. The association of sleep and the famous character can make even younger kids excited about their bed.
Does your child like to have lots of sleepovers? => Trundle Bed
A Trundle bed is a standard bed with a hidden secondary bed below it. The hidden bed is disguised as decorative drawers and is installed on casters for an easy roll out when needed. Unlike an air mattress or cot, the hidden bed has a fully supported frame and mattress that make for a comfortable sleep for any guests.
What type of bunk bed is the right choice for your home?
One of the best ways to save space when purchasing multiple kids beds is to opt for a bunk bed configuration. This configuration usually consists of one bed stacked above another, but there are actually several bunk bed variations that work for kids.
Do you have two children of similar ages? => Twin Over Twin
The most common bunk bed, a twin over twin, is designed for two children of similar sizes or ages, and consists of one twin bed on the top bunk and another twin bed on the bottom bunk. This configuration works for many families and as an added bonus, when the time comes to upgrade, you can use the two twin mattresses to form a king.
Is one child a bit older than the other? => Twin Over Full
Another option when purchasing bunk beds in the twin over full. In this configuration, the top bunk is a twin mattress, while the bottom bunk is a slightly larger full mattress. This design works best when there is an older or larger child sharing the room with a smaller sibling. An important note for this option is that the top bunk will be the smaller bed, so it is important that the younger or smaller child be comfortable safely climbing a ladder to their bed.
Are you looking for a bunk bed that fits a couple of teenagers? => Full Over Full
The largest option for bunk beds is the full over full, which consists of a full mattress on the top bunk, and an equally sized full mattress on the bottom bunk. These are best for older children that need the added space, but it's important to note that with added sleeping space, there is also added used space in the room, as the full over full configuration uses 40% more space than the twin over twin.
Is the room used for entertainment as well as sleep? => Futon Bunk Bed
Futon bunk beds have a twin mattress on the top bunk and a convertible futon mattress on the bottom bunk. The futon mattress on the bottom bunk can be set to a 90-degree angle and used as a couch for watching television or playing games. Later, the futon mattress can be laid down to be a secondary bed in the room. If two kids are sharing a room, and spend a lot of time in their room in front of a TV, a futon bunk bed may be the best kids bed to choose.
What materials should you look for in a kids bed?
When purchasing a kids bed, matching the design and feel of the room is important, but the durability and maintenance requirements of the bed are equally key factors when choosing the best bed frame materials.
Are you looking for traditional design in a kids bed? => Wood Bed Frame
Wood is a traditional material for a bed frame and can have a great look. That said, there are several variations for the meaning of "wood" that you may want to consider when making your purchase. The best type of wood will be called real wood or name the tree the wood originated from, such as cedar or birch. Lower quality wood will be phrased as multi-wood or plywood, and are composites of multiple wood varieties that are compressed together. These composites are cheaper but much less durable.
Are you looking for impressive durability? => Metal Bed Frame
A metal frame provides strength and durability in a bed frame. Common metal frame materials are powder-coated steel, carbon steel, and aluminum tubing. When purchasing a metal frame it is important to consider weight and review the weight specifications listed for the frame. The above-average durability of metal frames often comes with extra weight that will make rearranging the room a bit more difficult, and potentially cause some permanent indentations on weaker flooring.
Want an upscale look, and don't mind performing maintenance? => Leather Bed Frame
A leather bed frame has an upscale look and a soft luxurious feel. For longevity, you should always look for leather that is described as top-grained or bonded leather. Also note that leather can come with maintenance requirements as the shine and maintenance of the leather will fade over time, and may require some expensive re-upholstery.
Looking for a soft frame that can match the colors of your kid's room? => Fabric Frame
A fabric frame is upholstered with cloth and can have an array of color options. These beds often are very soft but can have issues with stains. For best results, when purchasing a fabric frame consider also purchasing a scotch coating or stain defender spray that will prevent small stains from turning into permanent eyesores.
What should you consider in regards to the assembly of a kids bed?
Are you interested in avoiding assembly? => Assembly On-Site
Most beds will come as "Knocked down" or with assembly required; however, you may also consider purchasing a kids bed that offers assembly on-site. With assembly on-site, the store will send a person or team to put the parts of the kids bed together. This will likely be an additional fee, and you will need to set sufficient time to be present for both the delivery of the bed, and the time the team needs to complete assembly.
How can you make the bed stronger? => Reinforcement Screws
While most kids beds will be strong, your child will inevitably put the bed through its paces. From jumping to climbing, kids put a lot of stress on bed frames, but you can reinforce the pieces that bear the most weight, and keep your child just a bit safer.
To do so, add additional metal screws to slats and wooden dowel connections. When adding screws, always measure the receiving wood to make sure the point of the screw will not be exposed. The beds that need the most reinforcement are bunk beds and lofts.
What should you do after assembly? => Product Registration
The most important but annoying step, after assembly, is to fill out the registration card for the bed. While it may seem superfluous in most products, it is extremely important for kids beds and children's furniture. When you register the bed, and other kid products, the manufacturer is legally obligated to notify you of any product recalls. These recalls prevent your child from being in danger and give you the right to demand refunds or replacement parts.
Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.