With many standard bunk beds, you have the advantage of using the bunk bed as a twin bunk (that is, using both beds) while kids are little and are sharing a room, but later as a loft bed for one child. When kids get older and move to separate rooms, the bunk bed can be converted to a loft bed for one! All you do is remove the base of the lower bunk, turn the back rail toward the wall, re-attach it to the sides, and voila! -- A loft bed!
Parents often choose this configuration if their kids have lots of sleepovers; futon bunk beds are also quite popular among young single people living in small apartments, and are used quite frequently in college dormitories.
If you are unable to find a bed with a satisfactory rail, purchase one separately and securely install it. When you bring the beds home, spend some time speaking to all of the children in your home about safety.
If you do decide to purchase a bunk bed for your child`s room, be sure you purchase one with safety features. At the minimum the bed should have a secure rail on the upper bunk and a stabilized ladder. Avoid beds with no rail or with a ladder that is simply propped up against the bed.
The main benefit of a bunk bed is the amount of space it saves. If you have two children sharing a relatively small room, a bunk can almost double the living space of the room. Even if you only have one child, a bunk can provide an extra place for a guest to sleep. Most bunk beds come with built in drawers for additional storage.
Choosing the bunk bed type with a perpendicular lower bed allows space for a desk to be placed under the upper bed as well. As an added benefit, as your child ages and grows out of the bunk bed phase, many can be separated into two separate twin beds.
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