5 Ways to Make Bunk Bed Ladders More Comfortable
My children love their bunk beds. They go up and down all the time. However, as fun as they are, bunk beds are also not designed as well as I’d like. The cheap metal bunk beds we have at home have ladder rungs that are slippery and rounded so they hurt while climbing up and down. Ofcourse, my kids don’t really get bothered as much as I do. In this article I discuss how to make bunk bed ladders more comfortable.
If you’d just like the short version here are our methods. To get details about any of these methods, read the rest of the article.
To make bunk bed ladders more comfortable, you can:
- Place a tread cover on the bunk bed ladder
- Make your own pool noodle ladder cover
- Place padded anti-slip tape on the ladder
- Cover ladder covers with high traction ladder rung covers
- Place ladder cushions on all sides of the ladder
With the right choices, you can avert fatal injuries caused by the ladder of the bunk bed.
Use a tread to provide additional grip and padding to make your bunk bed ladder more comfortable
Treads are very handy for covering ladders on bunk beds and reducing the chances of slipping while climbing the ladder. Padded treads also make bunk bed ladders more comfortable. While rubber and leather treads are available on the market, rubber treads tend to be easier to replace and are also most durable.
Cost of rubber treads covers for bunk bed ladders
The price of the rubber tread covers varies from $18 to $35. Most tread covers for bunk beds are 120 to 150 mm wide and 25 to 38 mm long. The rubber tread covers provide a non-slip surface which is better for younger children.
How to install rubber treads and make bunk bed ladders more comfortable
To install rubber treads, open the packaging of and place them on the ladder steps closer to the front. This is where your children will most likely step while climbing the ladder. Most treads come with adhesive so they’re very easy to install.
You can likewise use the glue for sealing the rubber tread covers.
How to clean rubber treads
For cleaning the surface of rubber treads, you can use mild detergents. For deposits which are more difficult to remove, apply a bristle brush to remove them. Clean your rubber treads regularly to maintain their grip.
Use Pool Noodles to cover bunk bed ladder rungs and make them softer
Bunk bed ladder covers tend to be costly. If you want to save some money, try making your own simple pool ladder covers. While cheap, handmade pool noodle ladder covers tend to be less durable than their commercial counterparts.
How to make a pool noodle cover for your bunk bed ladder
To make your pool noodle ladder cover, you require a pair of scissors, an excellent quality pool noodle, and duct tape or glue. For starters, buy a pool noodle that will cover the ladder steps easily. Use scissors to cut the pool noodle horizontally or lengthwise. After cutting, cover each ladder rung with the cut strips of the pool noodle. Use glue or tape to close the ends of the covers.
Cost of Pool Noodle Covers for Bunk Bed Ladders
The overall cost of pool noodle covers will vary from $3 to $7. You can easily purchase a pool noodle from stationery stores for $4. The glue, formic sheet, and tape will cost you approximately $3.
How to decorate pool noodle covers
Place colorful duct tape on the pool noodles or wrap them with bright formic sheets. Ensure that the sheets provide enough grip for your children. You can also ask your children to put their favorite stickers on the pool noodle covers. Wrapping duct tape around the formic sheet, will make it less slippery and handier to use.
Place anti-slip tape on bunk bed ladder rungs to make them more comfortable
As the name implies, anti-slip tape on ladder rungs help to reduce injuries due to slippery metal surfaces of bunk bed ladders. Anti slip tape is versatile and can be used on stairs, pedals, ramp, scolding, attic ladder, and in the kitchen.
Because of unique adhesives, anti slip tape can be placed on surfaces that are prone to very high moisture and elevated temperatures. Anti-slip tapes also come with a vertical neon strip in the center and as well on the sides. These neon strips help your children visualize the edges of the ladder rung when they are climbing the bunk bed ladder or stairs in the night.
Anti-slip tape is very thick, and its thickness balances out all the unevenness of the ladder’s surface. This makes it feel like padding.
How to install anti-slip tape on bunk bed ladders
To install on a ladder of a bunk bed, first clean the bunk bed ladder using an alcohol cleaner. Wait for it to dry. If your ladder surface has lots of dust, anti-slip tape won't stick properly. The optimal temperature required for sticking the anti-slip tape properly is approximately 50 Fahrenheit.
Now, take the measurements of the steps of the ladder and cut the anti-slip tape in the desired sizes. Place the tape slowly on the steps of the ladder while removing the black liner. Remember that without peeling off the back liner, these tapes will not stick on the ladder.
After the placement, take a lightweight hammer and press the tape firmly from all sides.
Cost of Anti-Slip Tape for Bunk Bed Ladders
Anti-slip tape is great for adding grip and to make bunk bed ladders more comfortable to climb. In general, it costs between $7 and $15 on Amazon.
Cover bunk bed ladder steps with high-traction ladder rung covers
Ladder rung covers are a perfect alternative to anti-slip tape. Usually, they come in two shapes - half-round and channel-shaped. Commercial rung covers can be fitted on stainless steel, metal, fiberglass, aluminum plate, wood, and galvanized steel bunk bed ladders. Multiple varieties of colors can be purchased including primary and premium colors.
In general, the length of a ladder rung cover is 120mm, and the diameter is 50mm. If you want an extra-large size, consider buying them from a specialty manufacturer.
How to install ladder rung covers on bunk bed ladders
Ladder rung covers cannot be installed by most amateurs. You will likely require the aid of a specialist to affix them because you will need a variety of tools including different types of sikaflex adhesive, tapcon, nuts, pop rivets, and self-drilling screws. When you purchase ladder rung covers, ask the vendor for instructions on installation and determine if you’d like to pay for the added service costs of having a specialist install them for you.
Cost of ladder rung covers for bunk beds
Ladder rung covers tend to be more expensive -- costing between $20 and $31.
Cleaning ladder rung covers to maintain bunk bed ladder comfort
To clean ladder rung covers, you will need detergents and bristle brushes. In general, manufacturers recommended cleaning them daily to prevent debris from building up underneath. However, we know that parents are busy and this will likely be a weekly or monthly activity.
Do not use mops on rung covers while cleaning them because the fibers of the mop will stick on the ring covers and make them less effective for grip. Furthermore, most manufacturers recommended to use mild detergents rather than solvents on them.
Place bunk bed ladder cushions on all sides of your ladders
Not only are bunk bed ladder steps slippery, but so are the corners and handles which you use for hand grips while climbing the ladder. Ladder cushions make bunk bed handrails, handles, and rungs more comfortable. Good quality ladder cushions work fine at every temperature and this method resembles the pool noodle tube method we wrote about earlier in the article.
How to install ladder cushions on bunk bed ladders
To place bunk bed ladder cushions on ladder handles and steps, first measure the steps and then cut the cushions according to the length required. Next, cut the ladder cushion lengthwise and cover the ladder. For sealing the openings, use high quality tape or glue.
To install ladder cushions on bunk bed ladder handles, you will need larger ladder cushions. First, measure the size of the handles and cut the ladder cushion. Nex, remove the ladder from the bunk bed and slide the cushions onto the handles. Next, repeat the same procedure for sealing the openings of the cushions shut (using tape and/or glue). If done correctly, your ladder should no longer be slippery or uncomfortable.
Cost of Bunk Bed Ladder Cushions
DIY ladder cushions like the image below cost $1. Commercially available ladder cushions like this one cost approximately $18.
Safety Tips for Using Bunk Beds
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
- Never clutter the bunk bed ladder. Avoid hanging clothes and toys on the ladder because it will make it difficult for the child to climb the ladder.
- Always buy a suitable size mattress for a bunk bed. A mattress that is too large or too small can trap a child between the mattress and the wall or guardrail.
- Correct placement of the guardrail is very important. Inappropriate placement of the ladder and guardrail can lead to head injuries. Loosely fitting guardrails can dislodge at any time and fall on the lower bunk bed or allow a child to fall.
- Even if you are placing a bunk bed against a wall, place the guardrail on all sides of the bunk bed.
- The ideal spacing between the guardrail posts should be 89 to 90 mm approx so a child cannot squeeze through.
- Make sure the ladder is bolted to the bed frame and properly screwed from all the sides.
- If you are planning to place a lower bunk bed, make sure the size of the mattress and ventilation is appropriate.
- Always keep the night light turned on in the room so that the child who wants to come down from the upper bunk bed can see the ladder steps clearly.
- For safety purposes, do not allow children younger than 6 years old to climb or sleep on the upper bunk bed.
- Many children change their position while sleeping. Side guardrails on the upper bunk bed will prevent your children from rolling down from the upper bunk bed accidentally while sleeping.
- Don't allow young children to use any other kind of furniture other than the ladder of the bunk bed to climb on the upper bunk bed.
Read our complete article on bunk bed ladder safety
Bunkbeds are very versatile. Every year many cases of accidental injuries caused by bunk bed ladders are reported. By following the tips above, we hope you now know how to include bunk bed ladder safety and how to make a bunk bed ladder more comfortable. Now that your bunk beds are comfortable, it’s time to make them look cute!
Appendix- What are bunk beds? What are their advantages?
Bunk beds are beds that can be stacked on each other. Normally, a bunk bed contains two beds. Triple bunk beds are also available off-the-shelf but are rarer. Bunk beds have several advantages, as listed below.
Bunk beds serve multiple purposes
One advantage of the ladder bunk beds is that they are frequently built with additional drawers and storage areas. Different options are available in the market. Some bunk beds provide storage under the ladder, others provide storage underneath the lower bunk bed, and it’s also possible to get a bed with an additional trundle underneath. A trundle bed allows you to have one additional bed hidden underneath the bunk bed so that you can have space for sleepovers and guests. Learn more about trundle beds.
Bunk beds save a lot of space
Every growing family needs space. Having furniture that uses less space and provides benefits (listed above) is valuable. Bunk beds can easily sleep two children and only take up the space of one bed. Bunk bed accessories can be utilized to add more functionality to a bunk bed and make your space more efficient.
Bunk beds are perfect for sleepovers
You’ll end up spending a lot of time hosting sleepovers. If you have two children, bunk beds with trundles make it simple to host sleepovers because you have sleeping space for 3 children in the area that one bed takes up. If you have one child, then you can use the trundle space for storage and your guest can sleep in the bunk bed. Here are some other bed ideas for guest rooms.
Some bunk beds can easily be separated
When your children turn into teenagers, they may not want to share the same room anymore. Some bunk beds can easily be separated and used as two separate beds. In others, it’s possible to make one bed into a daybed and the other can continue being used as a normal bed.
Sharing a bedroom promotes sharing in general, among children
As they say, you have to incorporate the good habits in children from childhood so they can sustain and use them generously in adulthood. The first step to inculcate the habit of sharing in your child is by helping them to share their things with their siblings. When your children share their bunk bed, they strengthen their bonds. Moreover, a bunk bed will help you to manage your kids’ bedtime routine since they will share the same space and room.
Bunk beds are relatively inexpensive compared to two standard beds
Compared to buying two beds, along with mattress foundations, and mattresses, a single bunk bed costs less overall.