The bunk bed remains popular with children of all ages across the western world and the basic design consists of one bed suspended over another and supported by, typically, four posts or struts. The unit makes maximum use of available space and provides a fun environment on which children can play. Many examples are themed into various interests such as cars, airplanes or other forms of transport and they can also be turned into makeshift houses with some simple draping of blankets and sheets.
The basic bunk bed can also be obtained in triple form and is sometimes referred to as a triple sleeper or triple bunk bed. This design comprises a double bed underneath with a single bed over so that three people can be accommodated. They often have under-bed drawers included for extra storage and provide the optimum sleeping arrangement for three children. When used correctly they can minimize the sleeping area and maximize the storage space available, and this is invaluable in the smaller rooms characterized by today’s modern house builders.
Despite their popularity, bunk beds are also areas where children can get hurt with a significant number of accidents involving falling from the top bunk, resulting in serious injuries to arms legs and heads. Any bunk bed, single, double or triple should have a guard rail all the way around the top bunk for maximum safety and the ladder should be securely attached and preferably non removable. Children consider it a great joke to take away the ladder when the top bunk is occupied and this is a recipe for disaster.
Triple bunk beds are made from all types of material and the only real proviso is that the material should be non-poisonous and sturdy enough to support the weight of three children without complaining too much or even collapsing. Some triple bunk beds are configured as a couch under a single bed for daytime use and this couch can be transformed into a double bed for sleeping arrangements. Look carefully at the mechanisms which control this transformation, the best should do it silently and easily and contain no opportunity for little hands and fingers to get trapped. The mechanism should also allow the transformation to take place without disturbing the upper bunk so that its occupant can remain sleeping if required.
The lower mattress on a triple bunk bed should be well fitting and deep enough for comfort without being too thick to be folded. The mattress on the upper bunk should be of sufficient depth but it should not be so much that it invalidates the use of the guard rail. It is therefore better to view a bed that you intend to purchase with the mattress in position. In this way, the depth, comfort and safety of the mattress and guard rail can be checked before parting with hard earned cash.
Finally check carefully the positioning of the bed and make sure that it is far enough away from sources of combustion such as lamps and other electrical items in both configurations. It is likely to spend half its time in each, so it needs to be safe in either mode.