What is a loft bed? First, let us clarify what makes a bunk bed a bunk bed. This type of cot has two layers on top of each other. Both layers can accommodate a mattress, which doubles the number of people that can sleep on it without doubling the space it takes up in the room. This makes bunk beds a common fixture in facilities that accommodate multiple individuals at once, such as evacuation centers, military bases, etc.
On the other side of the spectrum, the loft bed also has a two-tiered design. The main difference here is that loft beds only utilize one mattress. The bottom part of the loft bed is open, and we can use it as a study area. This is the key difference between the two-bed types.
Benefits of Having a Loft Bed
Now that you know there is a major difference between a bunk bed and a loft bed, you might be wondering what the actual benefits that the latter can provide are? The biggest advantage of the loft bed is versatility. We can transform the bottom layer of the loft bed according to the individual’s needs. For example, if a child uses this type of bed, you can easily fit a desk and chair underneath and act as their study area.
This design also gives the loft bed a unique flair that will undoubtedly be an interesting and fun experience for children. In most cases, the loft bed’s lower level can also be used as a sort of storage space and a study area. Standard loft bed sizes can accommodate a desk, chair, and cabinet underneath. Thus, further providing even more space-saving qualities.
As a storage area, the bottom level can easily store clothes, school supplies, and even toys. This opens up the room and provides kids with a safer and larger environment to play around in, free from clutter. So, a loft bed is vastly different from the standard bunk bed, where we can use it for more than just a place one can rest and sleep in.
Loft Bed Features
Loft beds are incredibly versatile, and they can shift their role depending on the needs of the individual who will be using them. Here are the main features that you can expect from a quality-made product.
- Removable Guardrails
Safety first! Since the upper layer is where we place the mattress, it is best to have a guardrail installed. Actually, this is a prerequisite in both bunk and loft bed designs. The height between the upper mattress to the floor can be quite significant, with the average being around 6-feet. So, it is best to ensure the safety of the person sleeping in the upper layer.
- Built-in Ladder
The upper loft is at a considerable height. Basically, it is virtually impossible to get up there without a ladder safely. Built-in ladders are far more convenient than detachable ones – it tends to be more secure. Go for loft beds with ladders implemented into their design rather than ones separated from the model.
- Built-in Bookcase
This is a nifty feature that gives people the ability to have their own little library underneath their bed. If you plan on turning the loft bed’s bottom layer into a study area, this feature is a must-have.
Loft Bed Buying Guide – Things to Consider When Choosing a Loft Bed
If you have made up your mind and plan on installing a loft bed in your home, then here are some key factors that you need to consider before making the purchase.
- The Material
There are three commonly used materials in creating a loft bed. These are wood, metal, upholstered, and plastic. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses that you should be aware of before making your decision.
Wood-based loft beds are typically known for their durability, yes, even more so than loft beds with metal frames. However, wood-based loft beds are typically heavier and can be quite difficult to move. As for metallic loft beds, you can find models that can be assembled and even use lightweight metals. However, durability may be suspect with this type of loft beds. Of course, there are also heavy-duty metallic loft beds that provide equal or superior durability to wooden models.
Upholstered loft beds are definitely the most stylish of the bunch. However, durability will vary depending on the model. These types are also more expensive in general. Finally, we have plastic-based loft beds that are for kids and are extremely lightweight. However, its durability and weight capacity limit will not be that high.
- Is it Age Appropriate?
We advise everyone to give this kind of bed to children under 6 years of age. You have to gauge whether the child is mature enough to use one responsibly. It would be best to guide children on the proper safety guidelines of using this type of bed, such as using the top bunk as a place to sleep and rest (maybe even read) only.
- Factor in the Ceiling Height
Check to see if your ceiling can properly accommodate the loft bed’s height. As a rule of thumb, you should have at least 33-inches of space in between the top bunk from the ceiling. Typically, your ceiling should be at least 8.3-feet high to house this type of bed properly. If your ceiling is lower than 8.3-feet, you will need to choose the right size. Just remember to apply the 33-inches rule.
- Weight Limit Capacity
One of the often-overlooked factors when choosing a loft bed is its weight capacity limit. Keep in mind that not all loft beds are created equal. There are products designed for kids, and then there are models designed for adults. It would help if you considered this when picking one. We advise you to go for the one with the highest possible weight-bearing capacity as much as possible, even if the individual who will be using this kind of bed is a child.
- Child’s Interest in Using a Loft Bed
If you are buying a loft bed for your child, this is the last factor that you should take into consideration. Consider your child’s input on whether they like one or not. If they don’t feel like climbing in and out of bed, literally, then you should never force them to do so. The final determining factor here will always be the safety and happiness of your child.
Typically, if you have one child – a loft bed is a good choice. For those who have siblings, a bunk bed might be a more practical approach. Consider all the factors that we pointed out in our guideline before investing in a particular model. You can also check some space-saving and stylish loft bed ideas with this handy guide! Hopefully, this has shed light on all your loft bed questions.