Bedtime stories, pyjama parties, midnight feasts, arguing over who gets the top spot: these are just a few of the childhood moments associated with bunk beds.
But the fun factor aside, bunk beds are a practical option in smaller rooms – not to mention that they're often aesthetically pleasing, too.
According to children's interior designer Talya Nicolay of Kinderoo Children's Interiors (an interior design company that creates personalised bedrooms and playrooms for kids), there are three key things to consider when it comes to styling bunk beds: bedding, accessories and storage.
"Bunk beds can be tricky to make up, especially the top bunk, so I always advise the parents I work with not to over complicate the bedding," she says. "Fairy lights are always a wonderful addition to make the beds more magical, especially in a little girls room. You can either wrap them around the headboard, or drape them on the wall. My favourites are Micro Fairy LED Lights, as they are easy to wrap around and aren’t unsightly when switched off.
"One issue with bunk beds, especially on the top bunk, is there is no place to store books, drinks or treasures at night. In my makeovers I add a Perspex shelf alongside each bed on the wall so that these can easily be stored without your child having to climb out of bed."
For more ideas on styling, check out bunk beds on Pinterest, where you can create a mood board of your own to plan the overall scheme. Bunk beds can also be a nifty way of making room for a study area, which is something to consider as children get back into the swing of their schoolwork or prepare for exams.
How to choose a bunk bed
Measure the room
The very first thing you need to do is measure the room as this will help you decide on the type of bunk bed that will work best in the space. Keep in mind that the beds will also have accessories such as ladders or stairs.
Pick a type
There are many types of bunk beds available but most fall under two broad categories, basic and lofted. A basic bunk bed is a bed above a bed whereas a lofted version could be a bed over a futon or study area.
Consider special features
Study areas, storage, or play features (ie slides or tents) are available, depending on the age and needs of your child. You can either pick out bunk beds that come with the features you desire or buy them as add-ons at a later stage.
Make sure its sturdy
Bunk bed safety is important. Make sure that your bunk bed has all the safety features such as guardrails and headboards and footboards. If the store you're looking to buy a bunk bed from has a physical shop nearby, give it a good shake to test its stability, as well.
Whether you've got a number of grandchildren to host in spare rooms or you want to treat your little one to something special, these are the best bunk beds for kids available now:
1. Parisot 'Bibop' 2 Bunk Bed
This 'bunky' design is considered the very best in contemporary bunk bed furniture for kids. Designed by Marc Newson as part of the ‘Me Too’ collection, it consists of four pieces which fit together with ease to create a secure and child-friendly sleep and play environment.
The elegant Perch bunk bed is a great centrepiece. The Scandi-style bunk bed is compact, leaving plenty of room for play and additional furnishings, but the beds can also be separated as and when the occasion demands. The CPSC recommends the top bunk for children aged six and up.
4. White and Oak Wood Loft Bed by Oliver
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, then you can't go wrong with this crisp and classic bunk bed. It's designed to last and can easily be changed up with the use of accessories and bedding as your child or children's style develops.
8. Julian Bowen London Bus Kids Bunk Bed
If you’re looking for something a little different in search of the wow factor, then this is the bed for you. I love the playfulness of it, and you can even personalise the bunk bed with a front name plate sticker (up to 8 characters) for £30.
With its versatile central staircase, this beautiful bunk bed will suit just about any layout – and it’s as sturdy as a tree. Team it up with one or two of under bed storage drawers to take advantage of its space-savvy proportions.