Bunk Beds

Wood bunk beds

Many people find that a bunk bed is the right solution for their sleeping needs. Whether it be for kids, guests or adults, a bunk bed saves space because it combines two separate beds worth of sleeping space into one bed.

Solid wood bunk beds will make for an extra sturdy bed that has style too! Let’s talk all about bunk bed styles, material and what type of bunk bed is best for you!

Bunk beds

A bunk bed is a style of bed that has two mattresses on two different levels, one above and one below. This type of bed effectively combines two separate beds into one. The top mattress is surrounded by railings for safety, and is accessed by either a ladder or stairs, you pick!

A bunk bed can also have a trundle bed underneath, and or storage located in the bed. People have found that space saving storage bunk bed design creates a more organized and stylish bedroom while still providing a great night’s sleep.

Bunk bed with ladder high rails and trundle
Bunk bed with ladder and trundle

Bunk beds for adults

When most people think of bunk beds, they think of a kids’ bedroom or childhood memories, but bunk beds are more than just for kids, they can be for adults too.

Bunk beds are certainly capable of holding adults, as they can be big enough and have a high enough weight capacity, but are bunk beds a good idea for adults? A bunk bed can be great for adults who want to have a space saving design in their bedroom, or want to maximize room in their guest room. Bunk beds for adults are a great idea.

The best bunk beds for adults are those that have a high weight capacity and a size that will fit an adult. Heavy duty wooden bunk beds for adults may be able to support upwards of 2000lbs, which is more than enough for multiple adults.

Bunk Bed storage for adults
Bunk bed with storage for adults

What is the best age for bunk beds? While bunk beds may bring small children to mind, there is no good reason to not have an adult sleep in one either. Since high quality bunk beds are sturdy and solid, a bunk bed can easily accommodate a sleeper of any age.

Is there a maximum age for bunk beds? If an elderly person is able to climb a short ladder or flight of stairs, than a bunk bed may be a perfect fit. However, if getting in and out of bed is a known issue for a person, than a bunk bed may not be for them, and a more traditional platform bed may be more up their alley.

Bunk bed material

Which material is best for a bunk bed, metal or wood? Lets explore the answer to this question below.

Solid wood bunk beds

Solid wood bunk beds are bunk beds that are made from solid American hardwoods such as Maple, Walnut or Cherry. This type of wood is grown primarily in the northeastern United States, and is known for its stable and long-lasting qualities.

Solid wood bunk beds are great for their stability and good looks, as species of this category of wood are known to have distinct colors and grain patterns that fit well in most bedrooms. Solid hardwood can be made into any style of bunk bed: Solid wood bunk beds for adults with stairs are great for guest rooms and space conscious individuals, while solid wood bunk beds in twin over twin mattress sizes can be great for kids, siblings, or adults.

Custom bunk bed with stairs solid wood
Solid wood bunk bed

Wooden bunk beds

Wood is a very popular option for a bunk beds, and is very prevalent in any type of bed. However, not all wood is the same or equal to one another when it comes to stability, durability and looks.

Particle board vs Solid hardwood

Not all wood is made equal. The ply woods and particle boards of big box stores such as Ikea or Wayfair are sort of like the distant and estranged cousins of Appalachian grown American hardwoods. These two types of woods share minimal similarities.

While both are technically “wood”, particle board and ply wood are merely scraps of wood held together by glue and toxic chemicals, such as Urea-formaldehyde (UF). They are a far cry from the 100% all natural solid hardwood that is used in some higher quality furniture pieces.

solid wood vs plywood
Ply Wood vs Solid Hardwood

So are wooden bunk beds safe? It depends upon the type of wood used. A particle board bed may wear out over time, losing structural integrity at the joints, and the hardware used may even begin to pull out of the wood. After a bit of use, a particle board bunk bed may give you the sensation of sleeping on a bed made of toothpicks. A wood particle board bed will wear out and become hazardous over time.

A solid hardwood bunk bed will retain its stability and safety for a very long, if not an indefinite period of time. In addition to the style this type of bed gives to a room, it also contributes maximum stability and noiselessness. A bed made out of wood that supported itself for many years in the forest will be able to support you for a sound night’s sleep. A solid wood top bunk bed is very safe, if constructed well.

Bunk bed with storage

A wooden bunk beds with storage is a configuration that opens up new possibilities for your room. That storage can take the form of a shelf, storage drawers or bookcase. The added functionality of a bunk bed with storage drawers is beneficial to many people, whether you have a full, twin or queen bunk bed.

The storage is usually located underneath or in the headboard or footboard regions of the bed. Bunk beds with storage underneath allow the user to possibly eliminate the need for a dresser, making this space saving solution ideal for small spaces such as apartments.

Wood bunk beds with stairs

Wood bunk beds with stairs are ideal for those who prefer to walk, rather than climb to bed. A wood bunk bed with stairs provides extra ease for the in and out of bed experience, making bunk beds more accessible to more people who do not prefer a ladder.

Bunk beds with drawers and stairs have the added functionality of storage space and maximum comfort. If you are looking for an all in one bedroom furniture unit, a bunk bed with drawers and stairs may be for you.

bunk bed with stairs and storage
Bunk bed with stairs and storage

Metal bunk beds

Metal bunk beds are the alternative to wood bunk beds. Which are better, metal or wood bunk beds? Wood bunk beds are usually as strong and much quieter than metal bunk beds, so wood is usually the better choice. However, it depends upon the construction quality.

You will probably have a better experience on metal bunk bed if the alternative is a wimpy plywood bunk bed which is made out of the same stuff used in coffee sticks. But you will have a much better experience in a solid hardwood bunk bed that is both sturdy and noiseless.

You may be wondering how long metal bunk beds last. While metal will not decompose and fall apart like wood, it may not remain usable for as long as wood will either. Once used, a metal bunk bed will begin to make noises at its connection points, and its finish may even begin to chip away. Such a bed will become unusable, and will have to be discarded. So how how long do metal bunk beds last? A long time… in the dump!

But are metal bunk beds safe? Yes they are, because they are sturdy and unlikely to fall apart if well constructed. A metal bunk bed is just as safe to sleep in as a metal casket, and it may feel similar to one as well! If safety is all you are after, a metal bunk bed may be the answer. But if you are going for maximum comfort, safety, and style, this bed material may not be for you!

The disadvantages of metal bunk beds

A metal bunk bed will make noise and begin to squeak over time. A noisy bunk bed is no fun, especially when the only remedy is lubrication.

Metal bunk beds can rust, chip and peel, leaving scraps of metal and paint on all over the bedroom. This process cannot really be stopped.

Metal bunk beds are not as strong as you may think. An average metal bunk bed may still have stripped hardware and bend under pressure and use. Can a metal bunk bed break? Yes they can, but not often.

Best bunk bed material

What is the best material for bunk beds? You may be wondering about a metal vs wood bunk bed. Here at Solid Custom Heirlooms, we think that wood is the superior material for a bunk bed because wood is both sturdy and noiseless. A standard well constructed solid American hardwood full bunk bed will be able to support upwards of 500lbs, while not making a peep as you enter or exit the bed.

However, a metal bunk bed will always begin to make creaking or squeaking noises after a period of use, at which point you will have to lubricate the joints of your bed. If lubricating your bed does not appeal to you, consider a wood bed.

So which material is best for bunk beds, metal or wood? Wood is best, because it is super strong and noiseless. Metal falls short, because it makes squeaking and creaking noises while in use.

Is a metal or wood bunk bed safer?

While a metal bed may seem stronger than a wooden bed, they are actually both able to support a sleeper safely, if constructed well. The real consideration comes down to noise. A metal bunk bed or poorly constructed particle board bunk bed will eventually make squeaking and creaking noises at the joints of the bed. But a well built solid hardwood bed will not do this. In the end, the material of your bunk bed is up to you, but we at Solid Custom Heirlooms think that solid wood is best!

twin bunk bed with ladder
Twin bunk bed with ladder

Twin bunk beds

Twin bunk beds are great for sleepers who want a more standard sized bed but still want the added functionality two separate beds in one space saving design. A twin mattress can also go great on top of a full mattress, allowing for more room below the bunk. A twin over full bunk bed with stairs and a trundle bed can be the ultimate sleeping solution, as it combines the uses of a trundle bed and storage drawers or bookcase in one space saving configuration.


Full bunk beds

Full bunk beds are the next step up in size from a twin bunk bed, as a bunk bed setup that is full over full can easily accommodate adults or children, and storage drawers. Full over full bunk beds with stairs makes it even easier to own a bunk bed, as stairs can be great for those who do not prefer a ladder. This bed configuration is a space saving solution that may be just the thing for many people.

Are Bunk Beds safe for Toddlers?

If designed properly, Bunk Beds are a great choice for toddlers. But please note that experts recommend all children start out on the lower bunk prior to learning to safely sleep on the top bunk. The recommended minimum age for top bunk bed use is 6 years old.

Bunk bed safety considerations for children

The most significant Bunk Bed design safety consideration is to make sure that there are appropriate guard rails to ensure the sleeper does not fall out of the bed. For secure sleeping the upper bunk should have a strong guard rail on all 4 sides that should be at least 5 inches taller than the top of the mattress. Please keep in mind there is no industry standard mattress thickness and different types of mattress toppers and bedding can add to the overall height of a mattress. Carefully measure and test the finished upper bunk. High quality beds will have a removable side guard rail that makes changing the sheets and making the bed easier.

Ladder or stairs?

Parents should consider how a toddler (or any sleeper) will access the top bunk.  Many Bunk Beds come with a simple vertical ladder that can be moved to a different side of the bunk depending on bedroom configuration. If you choose a ladder make sure that the ladder treads are made from a material that is not slippery and that the railing can be gripped by small hands.

We hear from many customers that they prefer stairs to a ladder for safety and convenience.  Our Bunk Bed with Stairs addresses this request by adding stairs and a handrail to the end of a bunk bed. This configuration also provides convenient storage under the stairs. 

Upper and Lower bunk size

While twin over twin bunk beds are by far the most popular size, many parents with smaller children choose a Twin over full or twin over queen so that the bottom bed is larger than the top bed. This gives the child a larger bed below to start with before they are ready to move up to the top bunk. 

Families that are in the process of transitioning their child to sleep in a “big kid bed” report that a twin over full gives mom or dad some extra space to lay down while they help their child fall asleep.

Bunk Construction

Lower cost bunk beds are typically made from metal which is notorious for being squeaky and sometimes unstable over time. No matter how much you tighten the hardware, a cheap metal bed can make noise, wobble and deliver an overall poor night sleep.

Some people believe that metal bunk bed frames can increase the sleeper’s exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). This can impact sleep and possibly create health problems such as headaches, insomnia, and muscle cramps.

Solid wood bunk beds can provide years of healthy sleep. Customers tell us that putting their mattress on top of a solid wood platform gives them a grounded feeling while sleeping, and as a result they wake up refreshed and ready for their day. A solid, squeak free platform ensures quiet and restful sleep.

Can bunk beds hold adults?

Yes! A standard solid hardwood bunk bed may have an upper bunk capacity of over 600lbs, and is more than strong enough to accommodate adults. A bunk bed can be used for adults, as a bunk bed can be build for standard mattress sizes and a high weight capacity.

sturdy white bunk bed with drawers and ladder
Sturdy bunk bed with storage

How much weight can bunk beds hold?

Do bunk beds have a weight limit? A well constructed solid hardwood bunk bed in a full size mattress can hold over 500lbs. If weight is your main concern when it comes to bunk beds, you can get a custom bunk bed with a weight capacity that can exceed 2000lbs! The full size bunk bed weight limit can be more than enough to accommodate adults.

The twin over full bunk bed weight limit is similar, although it varies from brand to brand. Twin bunk beds tend to have a lower weight limit, as they are usually designed with children in mind, who are naturally not as heavy as adults. However, if you want a high capacity twin bunk bed, you can easily get a custom model that will meet your needs.

Bunk beds from Solid Custom Heirlooms

What is the best material for a bunk bed for you? We think that whatever bunk bed meets your size, space, weight capacity and style needs is the best bunk bed for you! Solid Custom Heirlooms is a 3-generation family business based in the small town of Vinton, Ohio and is dedicated to crafting custom furniture from locally sourced hardwoods. The hardwoods that are used in our furniture are sourced exclusively from the Appalachian region of the United States.

We gladly take custom orders and discuss each piece of furniture with our customers, so if you see furniture on our website and have an idea of how to customize it to make it best for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can talk about your ideas!