There’s a scene in the movie Stepbrothers where the grown-up main characters ask their parents to renovate their beds into bunk beds. The scene doesn’t end well; the makeshift DIY-stacked beds collapse with one brother underneath. While this comedy might offer a laughable DIY fail, building or designing DIY bunk beds might not be a project for the novice DIYer.
For those homeowners who are experienced with DIY projects, including how to create beds that stack safely, here are a few ideas for designing DIY bunk beds.
Corner Loft-Like Bunk Beds
Cue up YouTube! This is a tutorial on how to create bunk beds that are actually more like a loft space in a child’s bedroom. This bunk bed project is set in the corner of the room and features all-wood surrounding structures (it’s actually shiplap!) that reach the ceiling. While the beds shown in the video are painted white, this project could look really cool painted in pastel or primary hues. Or get creative and paint a mural or design on the structure.
Not feeling like you can tackle this project solo? You could show the video to a professional and have a similar structure designed in a child’s bedroom.
Triplet Bunk Beds!
Need space for three kids? Opt for a trio of bunk beds! Tasha with Kaleidoscope Living featured 16 DIY bunk bed ideas, including a triplet bunk bed design! Yes, this bunk bed setup is actually three beds stacked on top of each other. For parents who have three kids sharing a room, this idea could free up a lot of floor space.
A Bunk Bed Fort
Get really creative and design bunk beds that feature an office/workspace below and a loft or playhouse bed space on top. Jen Woodhouse features a design that includes a top bunk with actual doors and windows!
A Quadruple Bunk
Don’t worry, a quadruple bunk bed design isn’t four beds stacked on top of each other! Instead, this design featured by Cluttter looks more like shelves. There are two top bunks and top bottom bunks stacked within shelf-like structures. In between both sets of bunks is a staircase that joins them, and that enables the top bunkmates to reach their beds.
Abstract Bunk Beds
Bunk beds don’t have to feature a classic stacked design. Instead, a trio of beds can be designed to look a bit abstract. A design featured by Morning Chores includes three beds; two beds are positioned horizontally, while the middle bunk is positioned vertically between the two. The look is topped with funky and abstract bedding for a retro appeal.
Morning Chores also featured a bunk bed design referred to as floating bunk beds. Each bed appears to be attached to the wall and held off the ground with what looks like a metal bar. The top bunk is higher on the wall and the two beds are joined by a rope ladder. The top bunk doesn’t have a rail, so this idea would not be a good idea for younger kids…or anyone who fears falling out. Although, parents could probably create a design that did include a rail.
What to Consider When Designing & Building
Not all bunk bed designs may work for a homeowner’s space or design needs. Some of these designs may require more wall space, so homeowners will have to decide what designs work best. Safety also is a huge consideration. Bunk beds must be able to support the weight of children/adults. If a homeowner doesn’t feel qualified to safely build these beds or bed structures, hire a pro!
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a list of safety tips for parents related to bunk beds. The AAP recommends putting bunk beds in the corner of a room (more walls…more protection!), guardrails need to be on both sides of the top bunk. For these rails, the AAP states that parents/guardians should “…make sure the guardrails rise at least 5 inches above the mattress.”
Space between the rail and the mattress also shouldn’t pose a safety hazard; the AAP states: “If there is more than 3.5 inches between the bottom of the mattress and guardrail, add another guardrail board to fill the gap.” Ladders also should be properly affixed! Check out the AAP’s full list of safety tips before installing bunk beds!
The budget also may play a role in designing a bunk bed for kids. Some designs could be an investment; research options before committing to a design plan. While there are many more ideas for DIY bunk beds for the coolest kids room, parents should choose the design that fits the budget and provides a safe sleeping environment for kids. If homeowners don’t feel up to tackling this DIY endeavor, enlist a pro!