Bunk BedsThe classic two-person bunk bed encapsulates one of the best tricks in space saving interior design: go upwards! By using vertical space they effectively allow two people to sleep in the floor space of one. As such they are popular pieces of bedroom furniture in places where multiple people must sleep in a small space - dorms, hostels and holiday accomodation frequently use them. They are also widely used in ships and this is possibly where the practice originated.
Dorm style bunk beds tend to be spartan and functional, however for your own home you can buy them in many classy styles and variations from traditional and rustic to contemporary and modern as best suits your existing bedroom decor.
Bunk beds are also common in kids' rooms, however you should be especially sure to follow all safety precautions if children will be sleeping in them.
What Is A Bunk Bed?A bunkbed is essentially two beds on top of each other, held apart by support struts. To reach the upper bunk a ladder is used. Because of the need for support bunk beds are almost always single-person on top, however some on the market have a larger two person bed underneath: for example the twin-over-full. Both wooden (eg oak or pine) and metal frames are popular.
There are a number of variations of the normal bunk bed available, including loft and futon style. For students a bunk bed with desk is popular whilst the need for two beds of different sizes sometimes favours the l-shaped bunk bed. It's even possible to buy a triple bunk bed, however it's fairly rare to find a store with these for sale. Since the top bed is likely to be even higher in this arrangement, safety becomes even more important; it's a long way to the ground.
Safety FirstSafety is vital with bunk beds, whether it's adults or children sleeping in them. Especially with children. Kids sleeping in raised beds of any form must be taught that they are not toys. Guard rails and any other safety devices available should always be used - always read and follow manufacturer's instructions. In the US, federal guidelines recommend that only children aged over six sleep in top bunks.
As well as the possibility of falling, entrapment is a serious potential risk - see the US Consumer Product Safety Commission document 5007: bunk bed entrapment hazard.
Pay particular attention to the safety aspects should you decide to build your own bunk bed. You probably want to buy a professional plan to ensure that the design meets - or goes beyond - safety standards, provides adequate weight support, etc.