Make the most of the space in your child’s bedroom by carefully considering the bed you put in there. Follow our guide to buying children’s beds and discover your options.
A bed for a child is so much more than just a sleeping space; it can be a den, a place to do homework, and somewhere to store toys as well. With a wide variety of modern beds designed to save space, and be fun and functional too, make sure you know what you’re looking for before you dive in.
1. What are the different types of children’s beds?
For a larger family, with space restrictions, a bunk bed is a great way for siblings to share a bedroom. They can often be split into separate single beds when the kids get a bit older, to make use of them over a longer period of time.
High sleepers aren’t recommended for children under the age of 6, so a single bed will be more appropriate for younger children. They are great for larger rooms where you don’t need to worry about extra space saving, and are usually the cheapest option.
A cabin bed makes use of the space underneath with either room for storage or another pullout guest bed conveniently stored. This is a great space saving solution for smaller rooms, without opting for a larger sleepstation.
Larger than a cabin bed, a sleepstation is a modern way to combine multiple purposes into one piece of furniture. The bed is reached via a ladder, while the larger space left underneath is filled with shelves, drawers and desk space.
2. How do you choose the right bed for your child?
The size of their room and the age of your child will be your main considerations when choosing the best bed for their room. Safety must be a priority, so read below for the important facts:
At what age should you move your child from a cot to a bed?
All children grow and develop at different rates, so there is no set time that you should make the transition from a cot to a bed. And no one knows your children as well as you do, so this is a decision you can make when you feel they’re ready.
Some parents do this from around 18 months, but others wait until they are 2-3 years old.
Which is the best bed for a small bedroom?
Combining storage and sleeping is one of the best ways to make a good use of space. Go for a cabin bed, with drawers underneath to store bed linen, clothes and toys or for two children sharing why not choose a bunk bed rather than two singles?
For older children you can upgrade to a sleepstation, providing extra room to play as well.
What size mattress will I need for a child’s bed?
Choosing a comfortable mattress will help your children get their all-important sleep. Firstly, make sure you buy the correct width; children’s beds are either single (3’0”) or small single (2’6”). Secondly, consider the length and depth of the mattress; different beds are different sizes, so check the dimensions of the bed before buying the mattress.
Are bunk beds safe for children?
Bunk beds are designed for children, and are perfect when you have multiple children and limited space. But with their ladders and height comes safety issues so it is recommended that children under the age of 6 years do not use the top bunk. All bunk beds come with guardrails to comply with safety standards, but make sure you don’t put too thick a mattress on the bed as this will make the guardrail too low.
What are children’s cabin beds?
Cabin beds turn the sleep space into a functional part of the bedroom too. If the bedroom is small, and to save you buying multiple pieces of furniture, a cabin bed can double up as a chest of drawers or provide a spare bed for a guest to sleep on.
3. What size bed does my child need?
The bed size you opt for will depend on the size, age and weight of your child. You will know they are too big for a cot when the guard railings are below chest height on them standing in it. When you upgrade to a proper bed, remember that they will all be single or a small single, so also consider the overall size of the bed. A cabin bed is usually smaller than others, so will be best for a small room.
4. How do you put together bunk beds?
One of the problems with a bunk bed is that it is too big to move easily. So when constructing it, put all the boxes in the room it’s going to stay in, and build it in place. Check that none of the pieces are damaged or missing, as this could make it dangerous when it’s complete. Follow the manufacturers instructions carefully and double check that all screws are tight. Check its stability again, including the ladder, and hand it over to the kids.
How do you assemble sleepstation beds?
As with a bunk bed, the sleepstation beds will come flat packed and are best assembled in the bedroom as they will be too big to fit through most doors once they’re up. There will be more parts and work involved with this due to the extra storage underneath. Some have a slide out desk which will require extra tools.
5. How do you clean a bed?
Little accidents happen, but there are easy ways to clean them off your new children’s bed safely. For light cleaning use a soft and clean damp cloth and wipe the surfaces. Make sure you dry it off afterwards with a paper towel or cloth to prevent streaking.
For heavier soiling, such as felt tip pen marks, use domestic cleaning products without any abrasive ingredients and then wipe off with fresh water and a clean cloth. Never use abrasive scorers or cleaning agents, furniture polish or cleaner, washing powder, bleach or detergents with strong acids and acidic salts.
How do you make a bed?
Once you’ve picked the right bed, make sure you cover it with the right bedding. Sheets with 200-thread-count-percale are good because they are hardwearing, wash well, and are comfortable. Remember that babies under 12months should never sleep with pillows, quilts and duvets.
Many mattresses come with washable covers, however you can also put a plastic sheet on underneath the bedsheets to protect the mattress further against bedwetting; go for fitted vinyl mattress protectors and bed sheets to stop the layers from slipping about uncomfortably.
A cabin bed with drawers underneath is perfect to keep spare bedding and duvets for a quick change in the night.
Useful products and accessories
6. Children’s Beds Safety Advice
Whatever bed you go for remember that safety should be on top of your list of priorities.
When choosing the mattress ensure that you get one to fit snugly within the frame; if the mattress is too small for the frame your child may slip as the mattress moves about. Make sure the slats are well secured so that they won’t move about when they play on the bed.
The position of the bed is important too: make sure it is snugly against the wall so that whilst playing or sleeping they won’t get wedged between the bed and the wall.
With bunk beds or other high sleepers, check that the ladder is securely fastened to the bed and teach your children how to use it safely.
Check the bed regularly for wear and tear; cracks or sharp bits can cause injury so it is important to spot these early.
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