8 tips to make loft beds and bunk beds more sturdy
As parents, we always worry about our kids. Even something that has been manufactured to a safety standard such as a loft bed or bunk bed can potentially be hazardous because it requires our kids to climb ladders and stay high off the ground. In this article we discuss how to make loft beds and bunk beds more sturdy. The following list is a synopsis of our article.
To make a wooden or metal loft bed / bunk bed more sturdy, follow these tips:
- Tip 1: Install a bed rail to brace the loft bed or bunk bed frame
- Tip 2: Reduce humidity in the room to prevent wood expansion
- Tip 3: Disassemble your bed before moving it
- Tip 4: Buy a bunk bed or loft bed with thick bed posts & a lower height
- Tip 5: Teach your children how to use the bed properly
- Tip 6: Schedule a monthly check up to tighten screws and bolts
- Tip 7: Add feed to your bed posts to increase contact surface area with the floor
- Tip 8: Buy solid metal posts instead of hollow tubes for metal bunk beds
- What is a loft bed? What are the pros and cons?
- Our favorite loft beds for kids
- Bunk Bed Safety Tips for Kids
Tip 1: To make a wooden loft bed sturdier first install a rail to brace the frame
Whether you own a loft bed or a bunk bed, it is always a good idea to brace the poles of the bed. To do this, install a solid wooden or metal rail around the bed on top. This will not only brace the poles and make the structure sturdier but also protect your kids from falling down while they are asleep. Make sure that the edges of the frame are rounded because sharp edges can cause injury. This tip will work well for both bunk beds and loft beds.
For loft beds, install bracing near the bottom or middle of the vertical poles because unlike bunk beds there is no bed frame to brace the poles near the bottom. Of course, it isn’t practical to have a loft bad braced from all four sides because it will block the entry way. Instead install the bracing on 3 poles and leave the entryway open.
Tip 2: Keep a Check on Humidity. Use a Dehumidifier to ensure the loft bed doesn’t become squeaky
When it comes to wooden furniture, humidity can be a problem. Humidity is more concerning when it comes to furniture like bunk beds and loft beds because they have multiple levels. Wood tends to shrink when the weather is dry and expand when the humidity levels are elevated.
This shrinking and expanding of wood can affect the joints and cause the structure to become squeaky and unstable. Use a dehumidifier in case the humidity levels are expected to rise and a humidifier when the weather is expected to become dry. Maintaining humidity levels will help you to maintain the original shape and size of the wood parts used to build your bunk bed or your loft bed.
Use a moisture meter can help you guage the humidity in your room.
Tip 3: Disassemble your bunk bed and loft bed before moving them to prevent loose bolts and wood cracks
Bunk beds and loft beds aren’t designed to be moved as a whole. Moving a normal single storied bed as a whole is easy. However, if you move your bunk beds and loft beds as a whole, you’ll cause the nuts and bolts to loosen and make the wood crack.
Therefore, to maintain the sturdiness of your wooden bunk bed or loft bed we advise you not to move it as a whole. Everytime you move your bed, simply disassemble the bed into parts. Once disassembled, you can easily move the parts and reassemble them wherever you want. While reassembling, make sure that everything is fixed properly and the structure is not wobbly. It is always a good idea to keep the manual with assembly instructions safe so that you can be sure that you have done everything the right way.
Tip 4: Buy a Bunk Bed or Loft Bed with thick bed posts, storage units built into the posts, or consider a shorter loft bed
The thicker the poles of your bunk bed and loft bed, the sturdier the structure will be. If the overall height of your bunk bed or loft bed is low, you do not need to have very thick poles to ensure the stability and the sturdiness of the bed.
However, if you want a tall bunk bed or loft bed, buy a bed with thicker poles so that they can support the weight of the bed on top more easily. A loft bed is typically less stable than a bunk bed, so this tip is more applicable to loft beds. This is so because the frame of the lower bed in a bunk bed usually braces the poles but there is no such frame in a loft bed. The poles of most loft beds are usually unconnected at the bottom and that makes the structure more prone to being unstable.
However, this problem can be managed if the bed posts are thick enough to stand firmly in their place. You can also buy loft beds that come with storage shelves under the top bed. In such beds you will not have to worry about the thickness of the poles.
Tip 5: To maintain the sturdiness of Metal and Wood Loft Beds, teach your children how to use the bed properly and prevent wear and tear
When it comes to metal or woord loft / bunk beds, its important to set clear rules about the use of the bed. Make sure to tell your children that the beds are not to be used for jumping (as children tend to do) but only for sleeping and resting.
Jumping on a metal bunk bed or loft bed can cause the nuts and bolts to loosen. It can also cause the metal to bend which can ultimately cause the whole structure to collapse and cause serious injuries.
Ensure that the weight limit of your metal loft bed / bunk bed is high enough to support the weight of your child.
To make sure that children remember to follow these rules you can write them down on a decorative piece of paper and display it near the bed. You can also use creative warning signs to act as a reminder for children.
Tip 6: Schedule a monthly checkup so you can tighten any loose bolts and screws in your wooden or metal loft / bunk bed
Multi story furniture like loft beds and bunk beds are more susceptible to wear and tear than regular furniture. Therefore, they require a more regular checkup. Even if your children are not jumping on the bed, nuts and bolts can loosen with regular use.
Schedule a monthly check up for your bed to see if everything is in place. When checking the bed make sure that all the nuts and bolts are tightly screwed in their place and that the bed is not wobbly. You should also look for creases in metal that indicate bending of the frame.
Bunk beds and loft beds made of metal are more likely to bend in the middle of the top bed because it is the most used. If you find such a bend in your bed, you should consider having your bed repaired or replaced to avoid any accidents.
Tip 7: Install feet on your bunk bed or loft bed that increase the contact surface area to the floor
A strong structure stands on a firm foundation. In order to make sure that your metal loft bed or wooden bed is sturdy, you need to make sure that it stands firm. To do this, maximize the contact surface area of the bed poles with the floor.
To do this, install feet on the bed poles that have a wider surface area than the poles themselves. This can be especially useful if the width of the poles is small. The larger surface area of the feet will compensate for the smaller width of the poles and provide the necessary support to the structure. You can also install L braces to the feet and bolt it into the floor.
Tip 8: For metal bunk beds and loft beds, buy solid metal bed posts and tubes instead of hollow metal tubes
Most metal bunk beds and loft beds are made of metal tubes. However, it is important to note that the hollow tubes of metal are less likely to bear heavy weight and pressure compared to solid metal tubes. However, beds made with hollow metal tubes and solid metal bars both have pros and cons.
Tubular beds are lighter in weight than the beds made from solid metal bars but are less sturdy. If you prefer safety over convenience, we advise you to buy beds made of solid metal bars. You can also use a mix of both type of materials. This will help you maintain a comparatively light weight while also providing sturdiness to the bed as a whole.
Buy a bed with solid metal bars for the parts which are responsible to bear weight e.g. ladder steps and bed posts, and allow the bed to use metal tubes for areas which are not responsible for bearing weight e.g. bed rail. Curious about how to make a bunk bed ladder safer? We've also explored how to turn a bunk bed into a loft bed in this article - how to separate bunk beds.
Tip 9: Brace metal loft beds and bunk beds with bed rails similar to Tip 1
Just like it is important to brace and support the poles of a wooden bunk bed and loft bed, it is also important to do the same for metal beds. You can use bed rails on the top bed to support the poles near the top in both a bunk bed and a loft bed. Read Tip 1 for more information.
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