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Loft Beds & Bunk Beds

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > What/Where to Buy > Beds & Bedding > Loft Beds & Bunk Beds


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Stora Loft bed from IKEA

March 2012

I would like to purchase the Stora loft bed from IKEA for my 10 year old daughter. It looks great and has lot's of storage underneath plus it's also great for sleep overs. The only concern I have is, if it's sturdy enough ? I hear mixed reviews about the other loft beds from IKEA. People saying that they are shaky and not sturdy enough. I don't hear anything about the Stora Loft bed. At Ikea it's not possible to climb up there to try it out if it's shaky. I have a lot of IKEA furniture in my house and for the most part I am pretty satisfied. I am a single parent and can't really afford the most expensive loft bed out there. Am I making a mistake buying this IKEA loft bed or should I keep saving for a more expensive one ? anon


I would not buy a loft bed from Ikea, as much as I love Ikea for other things. They just don't seem sturdy enough, especially in earthquake country. I just bought 2 loft beds for my kids (10 & 12), and they are SOLID. Here's where I got them... http://www.collegebedlofts.com/order_loft_bed.html It's a family-owned company in NY state. I put it all together myself, with my kids holding up pieces at a couple points. These beds will last through their college years. They love having a dresser & desk underneath. heidileeross@yahoo.com
We bought an ugly metal Ikea loft bed off the BPN five years ago and it was the most effective $100 we've spent as parents. It's ugly and it felt kind of wobbly at first, but we bolted it to the wall studs to handle the wiggliness, and it has been a fort, a puppet theater, a jungle-gym, you name it. Our girls have to share a room, and this loft bed's been a blessing. Loft beds, Ikea and other, show up for sale pretty often in the BPN Marketplace newsletter, so if you keep your eyes peeled you might be able to pick up a snazzier one used for the price of Ikea new. Cory

Experience with loft/bunk beds for young children?

Oct 2011

We're considering getting a loft bed for my 3.5 year old so that we can put move his younger brother (1.5) from the crib onto a mattress on the floor underneath.

Has anyone had experience with their children this age and being in a loft or top bunk? Obviously we would use a bed rail for him, but he seems ready for it. The bed we're looking at isn't that tall - just 2 ladder rungs up. Have you used a taller loft or bunk bed with a child this young? Should I worry about my younger child trying to get up there?

Does anyone have experience, either positive or negative, with the Ikea ''reversible'' bed? I like that it's not too tall now, but I'm worried in a few years it will be too short for the second child to be underneath as he grows.

Thanks for your advice, Trying to reclaim space


Our children - 2 & 5 yrs old - went into the Ikea Kura bed this spring. The little one is on a mattress on the floor and the older one is above. I like how the overall height is low and my little one is on the floor.
I can share my experience. I believe my younger daughter was 2 or 2.5 when we moved her from her crib to the big girl bunk bed. My older daughter was already sleeping in the bottom bunk. We tried to move the older girl to the top bunk, but she did not want to move at all. So, we ended up with the younger girl in the top bunk, at about 2 or 2.5. We also have a guard on the side of the bed so she doesn't roll out.

She did great! Never once has she fallen out of bed, been scared of the top bunk, had trouble with the ladder. It's worked out very well for us - she is now 4 and will climb down her ladder in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I worried about her but she's been fine. I hope this helps with your situation! Heather


We use the Ikea reversible bed: our five-year-old sleeps on top, and our three-year-old sleeps on the bottom. We didn't get it until they were already these ages, but I think it would be okay with younger kids--I could imagine my three-year-old sleeping on top just fine. My kids will soon be four and six, and we have several friends using this bunk bed style (with ages six/four and seven/three). I think it'll serve my two for as long as they both care to sleep in the same room. (I imagine someday my son will want to move out of his sister's room and back to his own, at which time my daughter can move to the upper bunk, and the space underneath can become a play area.) If you are worried about the younger one trying to climb to the upper bunk before he is ready, you can find a way to block the ladder during the day. Our rules for the upper bunk: no standing, jumping, or wrestling. --
I would not put a high bunk or loft bed into your home with kids as young as yours. When my two older kids were about 5 and 7 we got them bunk beds, and within a month, our youngest, age 2+, went into their room (early morning--dad was in kitchen with older kids, mom was still asleep), climbed up to explore, leaned over the railing, and fell. He sat on the couch for several hours, crying, and not wanting to move at all. It was the most terrifying day of my life. We immediately dismantled the bunk beds and put them side by side. Little kids just don't have the self restraint; bunk beds are very exciting and enticing. A lower bunk bed may be an option; I haven't seen the Ikea one... Berkeley mom of 3
Our boys use the Ikea Kura reversible bed. Our boys started sleeping in it at almost 2 and 4. They share a small room and it works perfect. The kids love it and we haven't had any problems with safety. Just one rule of no standing on the top. Having a bunk also cuts down on the talking since they can't see each other. Be sure to put slats under the bottom mattress so you avoid moisture/mold build up. It also requires a thinner mattress on the top (all available at Ikea). Boys with small room
we moved both of our kids to loft beds at 3-3.5 years old. One bed was 3' off the ground, with other was 5'. no issues with either - no problems with the yonger climbing the ladder. For us it was great. lofted family
We put our kids into a loft bunkbed at about 2.5 and 5.5 years old. The older one on top, the younger on a mattress on the floor beneath. We got our setup at the Berkeley Kids Room on College Avenue and it's been great. (we also got the slide attachment, which has been a big hit..) They have been very happy there and it's saved a lot of space in their room-- alas, now they are 6 and 9, and we are negotiating a new arrangement! It might have lasted longer except the older one doesn't want to take a turn on the bottom-- and the younger one wants a regular bed off the floor (though till now she's loved her cozy little cave-- made cozier by getting hanging curtains from the top bunk). We did not have any safety issues, altho our kids are pretty risk-averse and we did have the safety rail on the top. another space saving mom
We bought the IKEA loft bed you mentioned for our son when he was almost 5. He likes it, but in hindsight there are a few things that I did not consider:

1. I found I was nervous about him getting up and down the bed on his own late at night. Sure, he was capable when he was awake, but for a kid who stumbles out of bed in the middle of the night barely awake, I really worried about him. It took until he was about 5 1/2 before I felt okay about it. My daughter is 3, and she is unstable going down the stairs even when she is awake. They don't recommend the beds until kids are 6, and I now understand why.

2. In our case, I assumed that the under area would be a play area. I tried rugs, little couches, everything! My kids NEVER played under there, so I turned it into storage. Now my son is almost 6, and he is too tall to be under there comfortably. While it could be a sleeping area for a small child, I think my 3 year old is already too tall to stand up underneath it, and I don't think she would sleep there.

3. Because the loft is mid-height, there is enough room that the kids can stand up on it! They want to jump on it, stand on it, climb around it. It becomes a play structure in the bedroom, for good or ill. I feel especially uncomfortable during play dates. If you do buy it, I recommend the nylon ''tunnel'' that goes over the top. It discourages standing and jumping on the loft during the day. not entirely regretting it, but close...


Loft beds for 10 & 12 year olds?

Oct 2011

We are leaning towards loft beds for our two girls (nearly 10 & nearly 12), who will probably share a small room until they go to college. We'd have to add on, or move, to get more space, and that's unlikely. There is room for 2 twin beds & 2 desks, but not much else. One girl is messy and one is not. We plan to get sturdy, wooden loft beds made for dorm rooms. Do or did your teens have loft beds? Do/did they like them? Do/did they really create more usable space? Any feedback greatly appreciated!


My 13 year old twin boys share an average size bedroom and have loft beds. The beds definitely free up floor space. We have a couch under one loft and two dressers under the other. Only 2 downsides: the beds are very close to the ceiling, so they can't really sit up completely on their beds (they don't seem to mind), and the sheets are a real bear to put on and take off. Overall I think they are the best plan and I don't know how we would fit everything in their room if we didn't have the lofts or a bunk bed. anon
Loft beds have a fairly short life span. My kids both tired of having to get up and in and down and out of bed by the time they were 17. They didn't really use the space underneath as work space; it was more storage (bookshelves, etc.) I think it would be better to carve out work space in another room (dining room table? desk in the living room? and open up space in their room by not having desks. No perfect solution

Low loft bed for 2 and 5 year olds

Jan 2008

We are seriously considering buying our daughters (age 5 and almost 2) a loft bed of some sort. It will have to be a ''low'' or ''middlehigh'' loft bed as we live in an A-framed farm cottage. Besides - I don't want the kids up so high! I'm interested if anyone has experience with specific brands - Matrix beds, in particular - or others. I read archives & learned to go to Berkeley Kids Room on College. Does anyone know of other bed ''systems'' (meant to grow with the child) such as Matrix - they are costly, but worth it?? If others have chosen loft beds, have you been pleased overall? Thanks - any suggestions much appreciated! Nina


We like the Flexa (www.flexa.dk) system -- they have them at Berkeley Kids Room. It's modular, so you can convert from loft to bunk to twin, etc. They have a low loft and a mid-height loft. Pricey, but well-made. Mom of Two, Too

Student family in 1BR - should we get a loft bed?

April 2004

My husband, 4 month old and I live in a small one bedroom appartment and I am worried about what we will do for space when my son starts crawling. We are students, and can't afford anything much bigger unless we move far away from campus, which is also undesirable. (We have applied for UC housing, but that's not so cheap either) Recently I had the thought of replacing our bed with a loft bed. We have pretty high ceilings (8'8'') in our appartment so it seems like a good way to create more space... but I worry that it's not safe, esp. given the earthquake issue. Does anyone out there have experience with loft beds? How safe are they? Are they sturdy enough that I could safely make the area under the loft baby's play area? Does anyone have a reccommendation of a good place to get a sturdy loft? Feel free to respond here or email me in person. Thanks for any advice you might have, Agnes


Our family had the same problem when my husband was at school at Berkeley. We lived in the tiniest little one bedroom apartment (everything was mini -- mini fridge, mini stove, mini shower) but it was walking distance to campus. The apartment was only two rooms (living room/kitchen and bedroom) and an itsy-bitsy bathroom..

When our daughter was about 1 1/2, we knew we needed to get her into her own bed so we looked at lofts and bunk beds. Not being from around here, we were especially scared of earthquakes so we wanted a really sturdy bed. We wanted something where we could have a double bed on top for my husband and I to sleep in, and a twin or a toddler bed underneath. Most of the lofts we looked at seemed *really* flimsy (especially the ones at Ikea) ..

We finally found what we were looking for at the Berkeley Kids room. They had a lot of beds on display, and it turned out that they would also custom build lofts to meet the height and mattress size that we needed (you could even get a kingsize bed lofted... crazy!).

We bought the lowest loft (I think its 6 ft, but i'm not sure), and its low enough that we can fit a box spring and full mattress and still have room to (almost) sit up without hitting the ceiling :) . The loft is VERY sturdy. We thought about putting a toddler bed under it but instead, my husband built a twin bed frame into the bottom so our little girl would be able to sleep in it for many years... and even with the twin bed built in we still had room to put our dresser under there. I know its probably hard to visualize but email me and I can send you a photo.. :)

The lofts at berkeley kids room are a little expensive, but we figured that we were actually saving a lot of money by not moving into a place that had two bedrooms or to a place where we couldn't walk to campus anymore.

Anyways, now we've graduated and moved into a two bedroom, but the bunkbeds are up in our daughters room. Whenever we have visitors, we always have a bed for them to sleep on! And people are always amused when we tell them about the ''dorm room'' set up we had in Berkeley -- my husband and I on the top bunk and our kid on the bottom bunk :)

Well, thats our story.


Loft beds for 2 kids in one room?

March 2003

We have a small house & one shared bedroom for our 4 & 6 year old daughters. We have been trying to come up with a way to give them some floor play space and some private space (in an 8 X 10 room with 8'' ceilings). Loft beds seem like they would work but they all seem too high or too low - ie the kids hitting the ceiling or the underside of the beds. We have looked at Ikea, the Kids Room, and other miscellaneous stores including on the web. We have also read past recommmendations on this website. So here are our questions - a) I'd love to hear how others have handled this shortage of space and privacy b) Are there other stores or solutions you would suggest? Thanks for your help, Lynn


I know just what you are talking about...so this is what we have just recently come up with, and it seems to be working out ok, tho it may not work for you depending on placement of doors, windows, closets. We put twin beds on directly opposite walls. Down the middle of the room we put the row of dressers, to create a low wall to divide the room in half. They are each very happy to have their own defined space. eve
We have the same situation, except sons. We have Lo beds from Ikea, and have their desks underneath. Dressers at the foot of the beds. With so much in the room you need to keep on top of the clutter
I have two loft beds from Ikea in a bedroom for my kids ages 12, 10 and 6. I've found that the loft beds are great for space saving. The kids usually really like being up there because they have some privacy. Although my youngest decided he prefered the floor. The down side is that the space beneath the loft beds is only really useful as long as the kids can stand under the loft bed without hitting their heads on the underside. We've also used the loft beds to delineate privacy for the kids. The loft bed is considered off limits to siblings. The space under a child's loft bed is that child's space used for a dresser and small desk. But the rest of the floorspace is c Wilma

Where to Buy Bunkbeds for 7 and 3 year olds

June 2003

My seven year old and her three year old sister want bunkbeds. Are the ones from Ikea reasonably safe? Are there other good ones in the 300-500 $ range. The Pottery Barn Kids ones are gorgeous but way, way, out of our price range. Thanks.


We looked around at a number of places including IKEA and ended up getting bunk beds at a place called Berkeley Kids Room, on Shattuck Ave. They have a huge range, some quite expensive, but some at the lower end (look upstairs). The ones we bought were pretty inexpensive but we've been happy with them -- they seem very sturdy. We saved some money by buying the mattresses elsewhere. Hannah
We don't have a bunkbed from Ikea, but a contractor friend of mine made a very good point that I'm passing on. Be careful of the amount of particle board in the bed (Ikea's furniture has a lot of it) as particle board contains a lot of chemicals that you wouldn't want your children exposed to for 8+ hours at a time while they are sleeping. Good point I thought. A friend of mine got a great bunk bed in excellent shape on Craigslist. Good luck. Amy
We just bought a really cute bunk bed from Berkeley Kid's Room on Shattuck. They are more expensive than Ikea, but the one we wanted from Ikea was out of stock and they said they didn't know when they'd have it. The one we bought at Berkeley Kid's Room was about $500. katrina
I saw some reasonably priced bunkbeds at Gorman and Sun, 2599 Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, that seemed more solid than the Ikea bunk beds. Give them a call 510-848-6094 to see what the price range is, as I can't recall. Sima
We bought the cheapest bunkbeds IKEA had -- in 1994 while living in Europe We were very happy with them. I preferred solid construction (not the ones that come apart into twin beds) due to my own earthquake fears. We also bought the cheap foam mattresses, which held up well. I liked knowing I could just replace them if something really disgusting happened to them. The IKEA twin fitted sheets we got fitted the bunkbeds perfectly -- but seem a little small for regular twin beds. We will be putting the beds back up for the next kid in another year or so, and expect them to last until he doesn't fit anymore. The only thing I would have done differently would be to have oiled or painted them before assembly -- we couldn't wait, and there are some grubby spots to get rid of ... BTW -- we have always used duvets with covers for the kids. They are super comfy and much easier to keep made up than regular bedclothes. I don't know how quickly tucking covers in every day on a bunkbed would become odious. Heather
Our neighbor bought their bunkbeds at Costco. They have pictures of them online on their website. They are actually using them seperately as two twin beds, but will use them as bunkbeds when the kids are a little older. They are very please with them. Ali

Do you like your kid's loft bed?

1999

Has anyone tried out the loft bed advertised by Scandanavian Design? It's not as high as a true bunk bed, has a barrier except where the ladder comes up, and is usually shown with a slide (which will not fit in our small room). Any comments would be appreciated; but if anyone loved it and has now "outgrown" it & is prepared to sell, I may be interested. Or -- if you've seen this type of thing from another vendor... I don't want bunk beds, though, or anything that is high enough and/or without bars such that age 6 is the minimum age for safety. Letitia


About the Scandinavian Designs loft bed: We purchased one 2 years ago for our 2 daughters who were 2 and 3 at the time. They have loved it. The younger one sleeps on a mattress underneath the loft bed. Our girls are fairly cautious, so we haven't had any bumps or falls. We recommend getting one if you have limited bedroom space. However, be sure to set aside an afternoon to assemble it. John & Panda
I bought 2 of the beds two years ago, when my twin boys had just turned four. They have worked out very well. I've found them to be sturdy (my kids jump on them sometimes) and safe (my kids have fallen once or twice when they have been fooling around, not in the course of getting in and out of bed. The result has been a bruise or scrape but nothing serious.) The only drawback is that the sides make it difficult to make the bed. However, given my kids young age when we bought the beds, the safety advantages outweighed the inconvenience. We didn't get the slides either, just the stairs.

By the way, we didn't buy the mattresses that come with the bed. Instead, we bought high grade foam mattresses at one of the foam shops in Berkeley, which have also held up well. Kim


The Kids' Room, Berkeley, has a loft-type bed without the tent and slide. The side barrier is extra but well worth it. Their model does not require a ladder, although it is available. The salesperson, in fact, advised against the ladder because kids are more careful climbing up the end of the bed. My son loves having the space under the bed for make-believe forts, spaceships, etc. Nori
We got a loft bed at Gorman & Sons on Telegraph (just past Dwight). They have all kids of bunk and loft beds, and are really helpful. We paid around $240 for ours, I think - it was a couple of years ago. Molly
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