Bunk bed room dividers: The Ultimate Guide to increasing bunk bed privacy & maximizing space
What are bunk bed room dividers?
A bunk bed room divider is a multi functional piece of furniture that acts as both a wall and bunk bed. Unlike a typical bunk bed, where two beds are placed directly on top of each other, a bunk bed room divider has the beds placed in such a way that both beds are walled off from each other.
This means that bunk bed room dividers are a convenient option for those who want to save space, and split a room into two sections; allowing each bed occupant their own privacy. Those living in small spaces can subdivide one room into two. For example, families with limited room can use a bunk bed divider for their children’s room. This would allow the two children sharing one room to have their own space. One of the siblings would sleep on a loft bed, accessible by a ladder. The second sibling would sleep on the other side with the floor level bed.
Note that the recommended age for bunk bed usage doesn’t change when you have room dividers. You might be tempted to allow your second child to use the upper bunk bed because he or she wants it.
Bunk bed room dividers not only can create two sleeping spaces from one room, they can also be used to create more space for other uses. For instance the extra loft space can be used as a play or homework space. You may also find our article on bunk bed accessories useful for making the space more functional.
What are the advantages of bunk bed room dividers?
The advantages of bunk bed room dividers may include:
- maximizes the use of space
- gives private space for roommates sharing a room
- increases storage space
Some of the disadvantages of bunk bed room dividers may include:
- requires more space than a traditional bunk bed
- the loft bed may be difficult to access for those who can’t climb ladders
How do you use bunk bed room dividers?
Bed room dividers are a good space saving option, especially for roommates who don’t want to share a room, but only one room is available. This solution allows you to customize a space to fit your needs. One common reason families adopt a bunk bed room divider is when more than one family member uses the same bedroom. This provides a relatively cheaper solution to providing privacy for both roommates than moving or building a new room.
Types of bunk bed room dividers
Built in S-shaped bunk wall divider
S-shaped bunk bed wall dividers are usually built into the house which consists of two platforms on each side of the wall. The upper half is similar to a loft, and the lower half is like a sleeping nook in the wall. This type of bunk bed divider may feature stairs or wooden, in-built ladders for access. This is a type of bed that could be designed while building a house or making renovations.
T-shaped wall bunk divider
Like the S-shaped bunk, this usually is built into the house. Both beds are loft style with no privacy between the two beds. For privacy, there may be a wall in the middle with a staircase or ladder on each side. Under each bed are private spaces, generally used for desk space and/or storage.
Many bunk bed room dividers are made from wood. Usually solid wood or a combination of plywood and formply are used.
Bunk bed dividers vs. bunk bed curtains
|Bunk Bed Divider||Bunk Bed Curtains|
|Using a bunk bed room divider is a more permanent change.||Bunk bed curtains can be a temporary change|
|Provides more privacy; more sound-proof.||Less privacy; no sound barrier.|
|More expensive to purchase and install.||Quicker to install and less expensive.|
How can you make bunk bed room dividers?
To make a bunk bed room divider, follow these steps:
- Step 1. Decide where the bunk bed room divider would best fit, and visualize it. Do you want an S or T-shaped bunk bed room divider.
- Step 2. Record the measurements of the room.
- Step 3. Decide which sizes you want your beds to be. Mattresses generally come in twin, full, queen or king. Unless you want to buy a customized mattress, we’d recommend sizing your frame to match the following:
|Mattress Name||Twin||Twin XL||Full||Queen||King|
|Mattress Size||38” x 75”||38” x 80”||53” x 75”||60’’ x 80”||78’’ x 80’’|
- Step 4. Compare the size of the proposed bed to the size of the room, and determine which bunk bed room divider may best fit the room. Consider whether there is enough ceiling space, room to comfortably maneuver yourself inside the room (especially while building!), space for anything else needed in the room, and safety concerns (access to windows and unobstructed space for the door). One way of visualizing the potential structure is to place a bed in the middle of the room (the same proportions as the beds you’d like) and imagine that this will now act as a wall making a divide in the room.
- Step 5. Consider how the top bunk will be accessed. Will the ladder be built in or will a movable ladder be needed? Is there enough room for any attachments, such as a ladder? You should also think about how to make the ladders comfortable.
- Step 6. Consider the placement of the bed in relation to any windows in the room. Are both sides getting an equal amount of sunlight? Will the bed cause an obstruction to the window?
- Step 7. Choose the type of design and you want for the bunk bed room divider and how you will achieve that look. Whether it’s paint, stain or another method.
- Step 8. Commission a carpenter to make the bed. If you are renovating or building a house, hire a builder.
Tips for commissioning a carpenter to build a bunk bed room divider
Since bunk bed dividers are not a standard piece of furniture, you will need to hire a professional carpenter to build the bed. You may be charged a flat fee by the hour, or a fee + the cost for supplies. Remember that a divider will cost you more, beyond just the price of a bunk bed.
Since this is a rather unusual custom build, it may be best to pay someone by the hour. A professional carpenter earns about twice the minimum wage, so that is a reasonable starting point for negotiations. Other costs you should consider are the price of the supplies. When hiring the carpenter, get a good understanding of the project and the carpenter’s responsibilities. It may benefit you to get the deal in writing.
One method of saving some money and building a structurally sound piece of furniture is to use high quality materials for the structural parts. Then use more affordable materials for the non-structural parts. Keep in mind, however, that if you want to use this bed as a wall, you should not compromise on the quality of the parts of the bed that block out the other side of the room.
Do not use chipboard for any structures, as it will disintegrate with moisture, and may smell bad after a period of time. Ask your carpenter which materials they would recommend and form an assessment of what materials you want to be used based on aesthetic, safety and price.
The more weight added to the structure, the stronger the materials will need to be in order to hold everything up. Another thing to keep in mind is the weight that will be added to the structure through shelves, drawers or the bed. Additional add-ons to the divider structure, such as shelves and drawers, will require more time from the carpenter to build. Here's our guide to bunk bed weight limits.
You should keep in constant communication with your carpenter. It is highly recommended that you show the room to the carpenter, in order to get a better sense of the space and possible restrictions in moving materials into the room. This will reduce time and resources being wasted from unclear communication.
Do not forget to discuss what kind of design customizations you want to have for the bunk bed divider. Do you want to overlay the structural materials with natural timber facades, such as mahogany, cedar or oak? Discuss what is possible in the project timeline.
Interesting Fact: In Japan, bunk bed room dividers are more common, so it’s easier to find contractors who will build one for a flat fee.