You have decided that a bunk bed is just what you need for your growing family and you’ve picked the perfect one for your home and budget. It has been delivered and your children are getting excited. That beautiful new bunk bed you purchased is a pallet of cartons – shrink wrapped. The next step is to assemble the bed as most beds purchased online will need to be assembled. It’s not that hard if you follow the instructions carefully. As with all larger items, it is recommended that you have two people do the assembly. If you doubt your ability to assemble the bed, there are companies who will do just that and we can recommend one. Always follow the manufacturers instructions but here are a few other things to keep in mind.
Where is the best place to put a bunk bed in the room? Some folks have the luxury of using these beds in a huge room where placement isn’t an issue. However, most folks buy a bunk bed to optimize space so it makes sense to put the bed in a corner. Another reason for corner placement is to avoid placing the bed directly under a light fixture or worse yet, a ceiling fan. Place the bed tight against the wall so there is no room for a child to slip between the bed and the wall or become entrapped.
Hopefully, you have done some measuring before you ordered the bed. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends you have at least 2 meters from the top bunk to the ceiling. This prevents injury from heads hitting the ceiling as well as injuries from ceiling fans or light fixtures.
Mattress size is very important when it comes to bunk beds. Never use a hand me down that is about the right size. Always use the recommended size for the bunk bed as per the manufacturer. Failure to do this could cause open space between the mattress and frame posing the possibility of falling and entrapment. Extra thick, pillow topped mattresses are not recommended for most bunks unless you are using them on the bottom bed. A 5-6″ deep mattress is optimum however some manufacturers state the top bunk will accommodate an 8 or 9″ deep mattress and still conform to the safety recommendations. If you plan to use an 8 or 9″ mattresses, make sure it will still allow the maximum distance from the top of the mattress to the top of the guardrail.
Ladders need to be bolted securely to the frame. Never use a loose or removable ladder. Some folks think the removable ladders are great if they have very young children using the bottom bunk only. It’s probably more important to stick with the age limits for the bed and have a fixed ladder when your child is ready to use the top bunk. Most of the bunk beds can be separated and used as two separate beds. You can always use just the twin bottom bed and even put a guardrail around it for the younger child saving the bunk assembly for when your child is old enough. At that time, the fixed ladder is going to be safer as loose ladders can cause falls. Always use the recommended ladder for that particular bunk bed and discourage children from using other creative ways to get to the top bunk of the bed.
Once the bunk bed is set up, check it carefully for openings that could allow a child to fall through and become entrapped. These openings could be between the wall and bed or between the bed and the mattress. Always be alert to new openings or loose, wobbly parts due to normal wear and tear. Correct them promptly.
If the bed meets all safety standards, is assembled properly, is placed in a good position in the room, has the correct mattress size, and has a stable attached ladder, it should be ready for use. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and enjoy your new bunk bed!