GUIDE: How to Buy Bunk Beds?

Want to know how to buy bunk beds? But not sure how to do it in a way that you won’t regret it later on? Which place to check out and what qualities to look for?

Don’t worry, I’ve been exactly at the same place you are, back when my kids were yet to be born. I searched frantically for something that my kids would enjoy. I even considered building my own bunk bed. I did such extensive research on the topic that after all these years of reviewing and making them, I can more or less consider myself an expert in bunk beds. Luckily, there aren’t many things to look out for, but each and every one of them plays a big role:

  1. How sturdy it is.
  2. How well it’s designed.
  3. Customization options.
  4. Purchasing.

Let’s start with the build material.

Look Out For Good Material

It may seem like a small thing, but trust me, the amount of trash there is in the furniture department is equivalent to 80’s door-to-door salesmen who try to sell you a revolutionary toilet brush. With the level of quality I’ve seen, I’d rather sleep on the hard floor, never mind letting kids sleep on it. However, if perfectly chosen, some specific issues are avoided that usually come with bad bunk beds. What issues, you might ask?

Noise, unnecessary movement, uncomfortable ladders, poor choice of colors, horrible assembly instructions, easily damaged material…

All of that will be a bad experience not only for youngsters but for you as parents as well. Investing in solid material is, I would say, the most important thing when buying bunk beds. Do that, and you won’t regret it. Here, now I sound like an 80’s door-to-door salesman myself…

What do I consider a solid material to be?

I am strongly FOR wooden bunk beds, for many different reasons – wooden bunk beds are not as squeaky, there is less maintenance with wooden bunk beds, the material is a lot more kid-friendly not just in terms of safety, but in psychological aspects as well.

What kind of wood is best?

The choice is between soft-wood bunk beds and hard-wood bunk beds.

Softwood is usually pine. Pine is a very popular wood material for many bunk beds. The manufacturers who make cheap bunk beds LOVE to use pine for that. Unfortunately, it is soft, which means it’s easy to leave marks and scratches on it, and it’s usually not as sturdy as hardwood.

Hard-wood bunk beds, on the other hand, as usually made out of Maple, Birch, Aspen, and Oak. They have qualities that are the exact opposite of soft-wood, as you probably guessed: Hard-wood bunk beds cannot be scratched and dented, they are extremely durable, they practically don’t sway a lot, and their weight capacity is times bigger.

They are, however, considerably heavier. If you purchased a high-quality hardwood bed, assemble it with at least 2 people just to be on the safe side.

Onto another point:

Choose a Good Design

Oftentimes, a design is associated with looks. Looks do play a role when choosing bunk beds, but what some skip is how design can help a bunk bed to be sturdy for years. A good example of it is the first bunk bed on this list. I strongly dislike metal-made bunk beds, but that Coaster Home bunk bed restored my faith in alternative materials. I mostly recommend wooden bunk beds, but if you would buy a metal bunk bed, that one is definitely the best one out there. Do you know why it’s so?

It’s because it is so perfectly designed. You won’t hear any squeaky noises that are associated with metal beds, neither it will move. It’s heavy for sure, but the design is what plays the biggest part in making this bed a top choice.

What kind of design is horrible?

The ones where assembly instructions are like a maze. Usually, if that’s the case, you’ll find yourself searching for missing bolts or trying to fit a screw through a hole that isn’t located in the correct location. If it sounds like a handful it’s because it is. Assembling a bunk bed is one of the most difficult things if we compare it to other furniture assemblies. It usually requires two people, otherwise, it can become a tad complicated in moments where one end needs to be held high, and another one screwed in tight.

These kinds of problems are usually addressed in well-designed bunk beds.

The More Options, The Better

I have absolutely no idea why wouldn’t every single bunk bed manufacturer give you more options. I mean in terms of color. I understand that it may be a bit problematic to paint bunk beds in different colors as it limits the storage, but it can be easily fixed by looking at the statistics and calculating the demand for each color. I’ve been in the selling business myself, and that is solvable. So seeing a single-colored bed in stores, especially when they cost upwards of 700 dollars, kinda disappoints me. Color plays a big role in what customers purchase. So if you see a bunk bed that you like, check if they have other colors available if that doesn’t satisfy you. You could also e-mail them and ask them directly. If that’s not possible, you could always paint it yourself once the bunk bed arrives.

Apart from colors, there aren’t many customization options available. The ones that pop into my mind, for example, are the ability to separate the bunk bed into two beds. That is usually possible with low-end bunk beds. Not a very important ability, but pleasant nonetheless.

Some, I’ve seen, mess with the position of the ladder. You could put it on one side, or another. That depends entirely on how your room is structured. But the ones I hate the most are when they sell stairs separately from bunk bed while at the same time putting up pictures with stairs included. If there ever was a good example of false advertisement, that is it. Beware of those, they oftentimes give you more problems once it has arrived.

Where to Buy Bunk Beds

There are a variety of places you can purchase bunk beds – Amazon, Best Buy, eBay… Those are the retail sites.

Although not as customizable as from purchasing directly from manufacturers, you do get a bigger variety not only in terms of looks but in price also. Buying directly from manufacturers can give you better communication with the makers of the bunk bed, should something go wrong or if there is a need for something different. Talking through Amazon oftentimes lacks in such communication transparency and speed. The most popular bunk bed sellers are these – Maxtrix Kids, Max and Lily, Happy Beds, Bed Star… these ones are not the only ones, but they are one of the leading bunk bed makers that have the biggest variety for sale.

If you do purchase a bunk bed from them, do make sure that they are not from overseas. If you are from England for example, there are sites directly dedicated to the UK crowd, otherwise, you’ll have to pay a lot of money for transport. And considering how big and heavy bunk beds are, it’s definitely wise to keep the mileage low.


If you have any questions regarding how to buy bunk beds, feel free to comment below or message me directly. I or any other commentator would be more than happy to answer anything you have to ask.

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