How To Choose A Loft Bed

Loft beds are a great way to maximize the size of your child's bedroom. Whether you want to simply free up some floor space for games, create a study area, or provide additional storage, there's a loft bed out there for your every need.

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Loft beds are a hugely popular furniture item and can even double-up as a play area and design feature in their own right. However, with so many different styles of loft bed available, choosing the right one can be a little daunting.

So, we're going to share some of our top insider tips to help you pick the perfect model to suit your child's needs and bedroom decor. Your child's age, height and maturity all play a deciding role in your choice of loft bed. Here's what you need to know.

What is the Best Type of Loft Beds for Younger Children?

For safety reasons, standard loft beds are not recommended for children under the age of five or six years old. 

Consider a junior loft bed for younger children. They are lower than standard loft beds making it safer for your little one. It also makes it easier to put them into bed and tuck them in, as well as share a bedtime story together.

Lastly, it's important to choose loft beds that are fun and match your child's interests and personality! Here's our top tips:

  • Active child - If your child is active pick a loft bed with unrestricted space underneath so they can move around more with more floor space.
  • Small bedroom - Opt for a model with storage space and lose that bulky chest for more room to play.
  • Book lover - Choose a model with integrated shelves.
  • Too many toys/clutter - Tent models can make even a messy room look tidy in minutes, for those quick clear ups, and they are also great for imaginative play.
  • Study space - Help your child to learn effectively from home with a desk and chair that is appropriate for their height with a combination loft bed complete with a desk. Even little ones will enjoy drawing at their very own "big kid" desk, it's a great way to inspire home learning from a young age.
Loft bed With Storage
Junior Twin Loft Bed With Tent
Simple Stylish Loft Bed
Platform Loft Bed With Desk And Storage
Simple White Twin Loft Bed With Staircase
Twin Loft Bed With With Ladder and Slide

How to Select a Loft Bed for Older Children & Teenagers?

While older children will have their own ideas and should be encouraged and consulted, there are also some practicalities to bear in mind when choosing the best loft bed for older kids.

Children over 12 are unlikely to need a lower loft bed for safety reasons, but you will need to consider your ceiling height, as well as your child's height when sitting up. Don't forget to take the mattress height into account too. Allow at the very least 33 inches between your mattress top and your ceiling.

Just as with young children, it's important to match the loft bed style to an older child's pastimes, interests and available space:

  • Socializing - If your teenager likes to invite friends over, consider opting for a loft bed with an open space underneath that you can customize with bean bags, cushions or chairs. This creates a cool hang out area that is truly of their choosing and makes the choice of loft bed a lot easier in itself.
  • Studying - If your child studies in their room and doesn't have much space for a desk and their books, you should definitely look at purchasing a combination loft bed complete with a desk, shelves and drawers. This will allow them to keep their projects organized and help them to focus their time more effectively on getting their homework and revision done.
  • Room Size - Maximize space with a loft bed that has some storage for their overflowing wardrobe. Freeing up floor space will give the room a less cluttered feel and lend more focus to the decor.
Twin Loft Bed With Desk
Solid Wood Twin Loft Bed With Desk And Stairs
Twin Loft Bed With Drawers and Shelves
Twin Loft bed With Desk And Seating
Loft bed With Shelves

What Features to Look For in a Loft Bed?

Loft beds are much more than just structure to sleep on, check out the following features and find the right model for your child:

  • Ladder. The vast majority of loft beds come complete with a ladder. Always check that the ladder is appropriate for your child's age. Younger children will benefit from ladders with wide, flat rungs, decreasing the likelihood of slipping.  
  • Staircase. Growing in popularity, opting for a loft bed with a staircase instead of a ladder will provide your child with a more stable way to get into bed, as well as often providing additional storage. The steps can also double as drawers, or you may also be interested in models that feature shelves, cupboards or even a small desk in the area under the staircase.
  • Slide. Slides are especially popular with younger children and provide a fun way to get out of bed in the morning. Just be sure that you have plenty of space and check that the slide can be used on either side of the bed as appropriate with your requirements.
  • Tent. Some junior loft beds have a fabric tent area underneath. This is a great option for playing, as well as making the room look nice and tidy. Choose a tent that matches your child's interests or room theme, there are plenty to choose from, such as castles or cottages, camouflage or underwater, as well as ones available in block colors.
  • Desk. A desk is not only useful for school work, it can bring your child's creativity to life. Drawing, jigsaw puzzles, even a place to use their laptop or tablet, a desk makes a great addition for any age child or teenager. For younger children a small desk that takes up one end of the frame should suffice, whereas older children will benefit from a larger deskto accommodate extra papers and a laptop.
  • Storage. Drawers, shelves, cupboards -- loft beds are a great way to boost your child's bedroom storage space. Whether you want to replace your kid's dresser so they finally have enough space to play, or need extra space to accommodate their ever-expanding toy collection, you cannot have too much storage. A loft bed with drawers and cupboards is also a great way to a more harmonious, unified room with enhanced organization.
Twin L Shaped Loft Bed With Drawers And Shelves
Twin Loft Bed With Drawers And Shelves
Solid Twin Loft Bed With Shelves And Drawers
Loft Bed With Desk Drawers and Shelves
Metal Frame Loft Bed With Desk
Twin Bed With Slide And Tent

What Should a Loft Bed Be Made Of?

Most loft beds are made from wood or metal. Here are the main advantages of each type to help you to decide:

Wooden Loft Beds

  • Available in a range of colors or can be painted to match your decor.
  • Wood gives an appealing, homely feel.
  • Varnished or painted white works well for a traditional look.
  • Choose a unisex color such as grey, white or a plain wooden varnish if you have several children and the bed will likely be passed down.
  • Brighter colors work well with neutral or plain white backgrounds, helping to make your loft bed stand out as a statement piece of furniture. 
  • Wooden loft beds tend to work better for younger children as they often feature wider ladder rungs or staircases, generally appear more rustic and are more likely to feature fun elements such as tents and slides.
Wooden Loft Bed With Shelves And Drawers
Simple Wooden Loft Bed With Desk
Rustic Style Wooden Low Loft Bed
Simple Minimal Wooden Loft Bed
Wooden Low Loft Bed With Slide
Wooden Loft Bed With Desk

Metal Loft Beds

  • Better suited to older children and teens as metal ladders can be slightly tricker to climb up.
  • Provide a clean, modern look that is appreciated by most teenagers.
  • Better suited to very small rooms as they have thinner supports than wooden versions so give the illusion of taking up less space.
  • Available in a limited array of colors, mostly gray and black. 
  • Check for powder-coated finishes to ensure that your loft bed will be resistant to rust, chipping and scratches. 
Metal Loft Bed With Bookcase And Small Desk
Simple Twin Metal Loft Bed
Junior Metal Twin Loft Bed
Twin Metal Loft Bed With Shelf
Stylish Metal Loft Bed With Desk And Shelves
Twin Metal Loft Bed With Slide

Additional Materials

  • Canvas - used for under-bed tents, canvas is soft, suitable for young ones and available in a variety of themes and colors. You can also adapt your own fabric to create a fun play area of your choosing. 
  • Plastic - some loft beds have plastic accents or storage areas. Good quality plastic is hard wearing and easy to wipe clean, making it a good choice for little ones with sticky fingers.
Twin Loft Bed With Canvas Tent
Princess Castle Twin Loft Bed
Twin Loft Bed With Tent
Modern Style Twin Loft Bed
Low Twin Loft Bed
Twin Loft Bed With Tent

Loft Bed Safety Considerations

When choosing a loft bed, you must check that it meets the children's furniture standards, developed by ASTM International (ASTM).

  • Loft beds must have at least two guardrails on the upper bunk (on each side) to prevent falls.
  • On the side opposite the ladder, guardrails must run continuously from one end of bed to the other, or have a gap of less than 0.22 inches.
  • The guardrail gap for ladder access must not be greater than 15 inches in width.
  • Guardrails must have secure fastenings.
  • The top of each set of guardrails must be at least 5 inches above the mattress top.
  • There must not be sufficient space for a child to get trapped between rails either at the edge, head or foot of the bed once the mattress is in place.
  • Loft beds must not have any sharp edges.
  • Loft beds must not be painted with a paint that has a lead content exceeding 0.009%.
  • There must be no other accessible components that contain greater than 0.01% lead.
  • Loft beds must be free from harmful plasticized phthalate components which may be harmful to health.
  • All loft beds must be certified and accredited for sale by a CPSC accepted third party body which confirms compliance with required regulations.