Standard Bunk Bed Dimensions & Guidelines (with Photos)
When it comes to bedrooms, the main goal is typically to have a comfortable and relaxed place to sleep. Bedrooms range from tiny to massive, and if it’s on the smaller side, fitting all the furniture can be tricky. On top of that, if you need to share a room with someone else, it can be almost impossible.
Bunk beds offer a great solution for a small bedroom that needs to sleep more than one person. These stacking beds give you two sleep spots in the footprint of one. Typically, bunks are twin size and average roughly 75” L x 39” W x 65” H.
Of course, like many furniture pieces, you can find a range of sizes, including full and queen bunks. You can also opt for combo options, like a twin bed over a full bed. To create a functional bedroom is to know your options so you can pick what works best for your situation.
The Classic Bunk Bed
The classic, most recognizable bunk is the single-over-single style. Normally, this bunk features two twin beds that stack on top of each other. However, sometimes the bottom bunk can run perpendicular to the top bunk.
A standard twin bunk is about 40 inches wide and 77 inches long. These dimensions account for a typical twin mattress plus the bunk frame. The height of the bunk is generally 63 inches from the floor to the top of the frame.
There are also twin bunks that accommodate extra-long twin mattresses (Twin XL). These bunks are similar in width and height but run closer to 82 inches in length.
Although bunk beds stack, many are designed in such a way that they can come apart. This allows you to break down the unit into two separate beds.
This is a good feature for things like kids that share a room and then move into their own spaces. You don’t have to buy new beds when you can split an existing bunk. Therefore, it’s always worth thinking about future bedroom plans when buying bunk beds.
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Bunk Bed Variations
While twin bunks might be a great solution for kids, they aren’t always ideal for adults. Luckily, bunk beds have come a long way over the years, and you can find them in various sizes and combinations.
Whether it’s teens sharing a room, adult roommates, or a bedroom in a tiny house, larger bunks offer more comfort. A full bunk bed features two full beds stacked on top of each other. This size bunk is about 58 inches wide, 77.5 inches long, and 65 inches tall.
A queen bunk, though not very common, provides room to spread out in a shared space. The size of a queen bunk is roughly 63 inches wide, 82.5 inches long, and 65 inches tall.
Depending on your situation, a combo-bunk might be your best bet.
Combo Bunk Beds
Combination bunk beds are exactly what they sound like, a combination of different beds. For example, you can have a twin bed over a queen bunk. Alternatively, the most common combo unit is a twin over a full bed.
Combo units typically share the same dimensions as bunks the size of the lower bed. The only difference is the top bed is narrower since it is smaller.
Basically, a bunk’s size is dictated by the size of the mattress. Plus, you need to add a couple of extra inches of width and length for the framing.
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A Smaller Bunk Bed
In some cases, even a standard bunk bed might be too large for a bedroom. If small children share the room, then a small bunk can do the trick. These smaller units are perfect for small bedrooms or as a temporary solution.
Roughly 60 inches tall, a smaller bunk is closer to 28 inches wide and 52 to 60 inches long. These dimensions definitely wouldn’t work for most adults but are great for small children. Some smaller units can even sit slightly lower, making them a better option for toddlers.
Depending on the exact size of the small bunk, you could potentially use a crib mattress. Standard crib mattresses are 27.25” wide by just over 51” long. Also, by law, a crib mattress cannot be more than 6 inches thick.
The Triple Bunk Bed
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the small bunk bed is the triple bunk. This setup is great for camps and rooms shared by multiple people, like a dorm or triplets!
A triple bunk’s width and length are fairly similar to a standard bunk, typically a twin or twin XL. However, the height of a triple bunk is generally about 82 inches tall. Therefore, if you have a room with 8-foot ceilings, a triple bunk isn’t going to work.
Keeping this in mind, a triple bunk might work best in a room with at least 9-foot ceilings. This extra height allows the person sleeping on top to move and roll over comfortably.
Of course, you can always customize any bunk to your own unique specifications. However, keep in mind, the more custom you make it, the less likely your bunk will fit a standard mattress.
What do you do if you don’t share a room, but you’re still short on space? You consider a loft bed. A loft is similar to a bunk bed, except instead of another bed beneath, there’s empty space or built-in furniture.
For example, a loft can feature a built-in desk below, instead of taking up extra floor space in the room. You can also have a loft with a futon below for guests. Or it can simply provide extra play space in a kid’s room or a cozy reading nook.
Extra Considerations When Using Bunk Beds
If you decide to use bunk beds in a bedroom, there are a few things to keep in mind. Generally, bunk beds go against a wall, so you only need to consider clearance on one side of the bed.
Typically, there should be at least 30 inches of space alongside the bunk to get in and out of it comfortably. Also, don’t forget about the headspace. Ideally, there should be between 33 and 36 inches between the ceiling and the top of the mattress.
This space allows the person in the top bunk to sit up somewhat comfortably. However, if you have lower ceilings, make sure to at least have 2 feet of open space up top. At least this way, the top sleeper doesn’t risk bumping his head on the ceiling every time he repositions himself.
Typically the top bunk has a raised edge around it to prevent people from falling out of bed. This rise can be about 8 inches total, with about 2 to 4 inches sticking up past the mattress. When measuring for your headspace, make sure to measure from the top of the mattress, not the safety rail.
Bunk Bed Ladder
In addition to clearance around the bed, it’s also important to consider the bunk ladder placement. Bunk ladders can go on the side of the bunk or at the foot of the bed. Depending on your bunk style, the ladder can be moved, or it might be in a permanent position.
Some ladders are completely perpendicular to the floor, while others lean out slightly. Pay attention to all of these little features when choosing your bunks. You don’t want to get a ladder at the foot if the bed is squeezed between two walls.
Widths and lengths of mattresses might be standard, but not so much the height. Before you go buy your mattresses, grab a tape measure.
You probably shouldn’t buy that cushy pillow top mattress if it adds an extra 6 inches of height. These extra inches could mean a squished sleeping space. Typically a mattress is about 9 to 12 inches thick.
However, some extra plush models can be over 15 inches high. For bunk beds, you might need to consider a slim mattress, which is closer to 6 to 8 inches. Some extra-slim mattresses can even be under 6 inches, although likely not very comfortable.
Do you use the same mattress in a bunk bed that you use in a standard bed?
Yes, you can use a regular mattress in a bunk bed. However, you have to pay extra close attention to the mattress thickness. Any extra height in your mattress can sacrifice the overall roominess of your sleep space. Also, if you end up with a uniquely-sized bunk, you will need to get a custom mattress to fit.
What is the typical size of bunk bed stairs?
While most bunk beds feature a ladder, some models come with stairs. These mini-staircases are usually placed at the foot of the bed and go up toward the side closest to the wall. Bunk stairs can give a set of bunk beds an elevated look. They can also be easier for some people to navigate, especially small children. However, stairs add about another 15 to 20 inches to the length of your bunk beds. Therefore, make sure you have the necessary space for this extra square footage.
Can I stack regular twin beds?
No. Stacking beds that are not designed to work as bunks is very dangerous. Bunk beds are specifically made to fit into each other or secure to each other in some fashion.To avoid potential collapse, always use actual bunk beds as bunks. If you think you might want separate beds one day, many bunks can be split.Overall, bunk beds can be a great solution for small shared sleeping areas. Just always make sure to measure your space first, including floor to ceiling. With the right dimensions and pointers, you can create a functional and cozy bedroom.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
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