Bunks are versatile, available in a range of sizes and styles and work in all sorts of bedroom environments.The age for children to move to a bunk bed starts at around six – and generally extends into the early teens. Deciding on when and how to move a child out of their bunk bed may be dependent on a range of factors but the change is necessary to ensure your children continue to receive a good nights’ sleep as they grow.
When will your child need to change beds?
Just as it can be dangerous to put very young children in a bunk bed, keeping a child in a bunk once they’re too old poses equivalent problems. Both levels of a bunk present safety concerns as children grow: on the bottom, clearance is an issue – children jumping out of bed quickly might easily hit their heads on the bed above. On top, children can easily fall if the bed which has become too small for them – or may simply get too heavy for the frame to support them. The ladder is also a major safety concern, each time a child climbs up to the top bunk, the rungs are put under stress – children clambering up and down the ladder may cause it to eventually give way.
Safety issues aside, it could actually be your child who asks to move into a different bed. Once a child reaches their teens or moves up to high school, a bunk bed may simply seem too childish. Siblings entering their teens will almost certainly want a bed or a room of their own, meaning the bunk becomes unnecessary and, ironically, a waste of bedroom space.
Alternatives to a bunk …
Making the move from a bunk may be tricky – especially in situations where children have grown very fond of their beds! Fortunately, the process doesn’t have to be difficult and there are a number of ways to make it easier for kids who aren’t keen on making the change. While buying a new bed and mattress is the obvious option, there are alternatives which bring the same advantages as a bunk bed. For children who want their own bed, bunks can be bought in models which separate when necessary, forming two separate beds which can be moved into different rooms.
If safety is an issue, an options for dealing with the stress a growing child puts on a bed-frame, is to purchase a metal-framed bunk. While metal bunks may cost more, they won’t suffer the same weaknesses as a wooden model and offer a longer lifespan. As long as your child is happy in a bunk, a metal frame should last well into their teens.
If you’re concerned about space, but have a child who simply no longer wants a bunk-bed, it might be worth considering a loft-bed. Loft-beds offer the same space-saving advantage as a normal bunk but are built to be stronger and more durable than traditional children’s models. Like a bunk bed, a loft-bed’s lower level can be converted relatively easily and used as a work-space for schoolwork – or an entertainment centre when a child has friends over.
Thinking ahead makes things easier …
Talk to your child before making the change from a bunk bed. Chances are they’ll be interested inmaking the decision with you – and will offer suggestions which make the whole process easier. The bed your child has after their bunk should last them for a long time: taking the time to find the right one now, means avoiding more problems – and more expense – as your child grows up!