Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big junior bed test 2021. Here we present all the junior beds that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best junior bed for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a junior bed.




Summary

  • A junior bed is the transitional solution between a cot and a youth bed. The dimensions of a junior bed are between 70 x 140 cm and 90 x 160 cm.
  • The equipment of a junior bed usually includes a fixed or sliding fall-out protection that protects the child from rolling out at night in the initial phase. After some time, this fall-out protection can be completely or partially removed.
  • Junior beds are available in various designs and with different additional functions. Many such beds have a drawer under the slatted frame, a pull-out second bed.

The best Junior Bed: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a junior bed

What is a junior bed?

A junior bed is a type of bed for children that is between the size of a cot and a large single bed. This includes all beds with a lying surface between 70 x 140 cm and 90 x 160 cm.

At a certain age, the crib rails become an obstacle for the child - at the latest then you should think about buying a junior bed. (Image source: pixabay.com / Erika Wittlieb)

When the child gets out of the age for cots, many parents switch to a junior bed. There, the child has the possibility to get in and out all by itself. Nevertheless, there is still a guardrail on the edge that protects the child from falling out during the night. This fall-out protection can be mounted and dismounted as desired on most models. This means that the junior bed can still be used for older children.

Nowadays, many parents also buy a "bed that grows with the child". This variant can be transformed from the cot stage into a junior bed in just a few steps by lowering the height-adjustable slatted frame and removing the crib rails.

What age is a junior bed suitable for?

Moving a child into a junior bed makes sense from the age of 2, but can also be done later. However, you should pay attention to certain signs that are much more telling than age. As soon as the child tries to climb over the bars of the cot, you should consider a change. Otherwise, the child could fall out and be seriously injured when trying to climb over.
Did you know that you can simply remove a few bars from the cot during the transition phase? If it takes a while for the junior bed to be delivered or the child does not want to change beds yet, it is sufficient to remove 2 to 3 bars from the baby bed. Then the child can climb out on its own and there is less risk of injury.

Small junior beds are suitable up to the age of five. If the junior bed is already around 90 x 200 cm and the guard rail can be removed, the child can sleep in the junior bed for a few years longer.

Does a junior bed make sense?

A junior bed is useful in that it makes it easier for the child to move from the cot to a normal-sized bed.

Many parents ask themselves whether a junior bed is necessary at all or whether it is not possible to switch straight to a youth bed. Whether a purchase is worthwhile depends above all on the child's characteristics. (Image source: unsplash.com / Humphrey Muleba)

Toddlers often feel uncomfortable if they have to make too big a jump between the lying surfaces. A junior bed can therefore provide more security because the size is in the middle area.

The possibility of attaching a fall guard also creates more safety for the child and prevents him or her from falling out.

What are the alternatives to a junior bed?

For the do-it-yourselfers among you, there is of course also the option of building a cot or junior bed yourself. In the video, we show you how to build a pallet bed for children yourself and what you have to bear in mind. Alternatively, after the cot phase, the child can move directly into a large bed with a lying surface of 90 x 200 cm. There is also a fall-out protection for these models that can be removed again. With this variant, the child often has to get used to the bed a little longer because the lying surface is much larger than with the cot. However, you save a few euros by buying a 90 x 200 cm bed, because the junior bed size can be skipped and the larger bed can still be used into adolescence.

Decision: What types of junior beds are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a junior bed, there are four alternatives to choose from:

  • Single junior bed
  • Junior bunk bed
  • Junior play bed
  • Junior bed with pull-out bed

The different types of junior beds have specific advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your budget or your individual needs, a different product may be suitable for your child. In the following section we would like to make your decision easier.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a single junior bed?

Normal single junior beds are available in a wide variety of versions and price ranges. The selection ranges from simple beds with wooden boards to themed nests for princesses or racing drivers.

Advantages
  • Large selection
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to convert
Disadvantages
  • Only for one child
  • Simple

In this version, the sleeping space is only enough for one child, but a single junior bed can still be used effectively. Many models have integrated drawers under the slatted frame, for example. Toys can be stored there, for example. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxwr2YyIvnY/

What are the features of a bunk junior bed and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A bunk junior bed, or a loft bed, is particularly popular with children from the age of five to six. This variant is ideal for twins or siblings of the same age who sleep in the same room. By staggering the bed upwards, you save space in the room, leaving more room for playing.

Advantages
  • Space for two children
  • Popular
  • Effective use of space
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Potential danger
  • High quality requirements

Junior loft beds are popular mainly because of the ladder, which invites many children to romp around. However, the constant climbing up and down of the ladder can also be dangerous. Parents should therefore always make sure that your child is mature enough to master climbing.

Jörg SchrieverBeauftragter für Kinderunfälle des BBKJ
Loft beds are generally not suitable for small children. Whether you set the limit at five, six or seven years depends not least on the type of child. Children who fall a lot should not be allowed on a loft bed. Children who are not aware of the dangers or who are not yet able to assess their own risk should also be kept away from loft beds and bunk beds. (Source: ntv.de)

A loft bed for your child should also always comply with the DIN EN 747 safety standard for bunk beds and loft beds and be marked with a GS mark or a TÜV seal.

What distinguishes a junior play bed and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Many children dream of having their own pirate ship or a fairytale princess castle in their own room. A junior play bed is available in many different designs and makes such children's dreams come true.

Advantages
  • Play fun
  • Functionally applicable
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Needs a lot of space
  • Age-dependent

A junior play bed usually offers a place for a child to sleep. This is often at the height of a loft bed or a semi-loft bed. This includes, for example, a slide, printed curtains or small caves. It should be noted, however, that children's wishes and preferences change quickly. Therefore, after some time, the child may lose its liking for the junior play bed and its many accessories.

What distinguishes a junior bed with pull-out bed and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Regardless of whether the child has an overnight guest or a sibling drops by for a night - a pull-out junior bed is the perfect solution. The second bed can be stored under the slatted frame during the day and therefore does not take up any space in the children's room. A junior bed as a pull-out bed is also available with a fall-out protection, but only for the upper lying surface.

Advantages
  • Functional
  • Offers space for two children
  • Relatively inexpensive
Disadvantages
  • No fall-out protection for the 2nd bed
  • Little choice

The additional bed base can also be used without the mattress as storage space for toys or the child's bedding.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate junior beds

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible junior beds. The criteria you can use to compare the beds with each other include:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in the individual criteria.

Size

The choice of the size of the junior bed depends, among other things, on how tall your child is, how long the bed will be used and, of course, which lying surface your child feels comfortable with. There are many sizes of junior beds to choose from, ranging from 70 x 140 cm to 90 x 160 cm. In the table below, we have listed the generally recommended bed sizes for all ages of children.

Age size bed variations
0 - 1 year (baby) 55 x 90 cm side bed
1 - 3 years (toddlers) 60 x 120cm or 70 x 140 cm cot (if possible convertible to junior bed)
4 - 6 years (toddlers and children) 70 x 140 cm or 70 x 160 cm junior bed
6 - 12 years (toddlers and schoolchildren) 70 x 200 cm or 80 x 200 cm or 90 x 200 cm extended junior bed, loft bed, youth bed
from 12 years (youths) 80 x 200 cm and up adult bed

Fall-out protection

A good junior bed should be equipped with a fall-out protection. Because even after the cot phase, there is a risk that children will fall out of bed at night. For some children, this is even possible after the age of six. To start with, a fall-out protection should be on all four sides and have rounded edges so that the child cannot bump itself. Most guards can either be permanently mounted to the bed or loosely inserted into the side panel and moved individually. You should also pay attention to the length of the fall-out protection on the side of the entrance. If your child is a particularly restless sleeper and turns during the night, he or she could fall out of the entrance despite the fall protection. This is rarely the case, but the fall-out protection should be at least 100 cm long.

Material

Wood is one of the most popular materials for junior beds because it is a natural building material and very stable. Solid wood is particularly robust, but also costs considerably more than fibreboard.

Good sleep depends on many factors - a stable and comfortable bed made of high-quality materials can be one of them. (Image source: pixabay.com /fujikama)

You can choose from wood types such as beech, maple, oak, pine, Sonoma oak or Swiss stone pine. When buying, make sure that the wood, paint and glue are free of harmful substances. You can usually tell by a label that the junior bed complies with EU directives or has been made with a certified paint.

Design

Plain colours like white and grey, as well as simple designs are timeless, but they do not always correspond to the child's ideas. Especially on the internet, there is a large number of different designs and colours for the junior bed. For example, there are also models in the shape of a house, a car, a teepee or a fire engine. Many beds are also printed and have, for example, a princess, a fairy or a superhero as a motif. You can also spice up the bed with the right bed linen. However, avoid too fancy models unless the child explicitly expresses a wish for them. Otherwise, there is a risk that the child will quickly lose interest in the bed, because children's tastes change rapidly.

Extras

Not all junior beds are the same - many an adult would be surprised at what can be taken out of a bed for children. In addition to practical drawers for storage, loft or semi-loft beds, for example, also have attached desks or shelves.

Before buying, check whether the slatted frame and mattress are included in the price or whether you have to order them separately. Otherwise, this can lead to long delays.

Facts worth knowing about the junior bed

How do I get my child used to the junior bed?

Moving into a new bed is not always easy for children. But there doesn't have to be any tears. It's best to present your child with the new bed as a great present or even have a small moving party. If the child still doesn't want to make friends with the new bed, you should first involve him or her in play during the day. Until your child is enthusiastic about the new bed, you can still sleep in the old bed. If the child has to move to the junior bed because of a new pregnancy, it can quickly feel disadvantaged or become jealous. The move should therefore take place at least six months before the delivery date of the new sibling. Some parents also have the problem that their child does not want to sleep in its own bed at all. There are some tips for this in the following video: How can I convert a cot or baby cot into a junior bed? Basically, after buying a convertible baby or cot bed, you should always keep the description. It explains exactly how the conversion works. If you can no longer find the instructions for the conversion and it is a brand-name bed, you can also search for it on the Internet. Suppliers such as Ikea often offer such descriptions online. Otherwise, contact the manufacturer and ask them to send you new instructions by post or email. Generally, there are no standard instructions for converting a cot into a junior bed. However, sometimes it is enough to remove three bars from the frame so that the child can get out of there.

Which mattress, fitted sheet or bedding is suitable for a junior bed?

You can derive the dimensions for the appropriate mattress, fitted sheet or bed linen from the dimensions of the lying surface of the junior bed. For example, if the bed measures 70 x 140 cm, you can also look for a mattress measuring 70 x 140 cm on the Internet or in a furniture store. The same applies to the size of the bed sheet. The duvet, on the other hand, has different dimensions than the junior bed itself. For a small lying surface, a size of 100 x 135 cm is sufficient. For a larger lying surface, the duvet should be 135 x 200 cm.

Did you know that babies and toddlers up to the age of two should always sleep in a sleeping bag? An exposed blanket could slip over the head and prevent the child from breathing or cause heat build-up. In addition, the child keeps bumping into the sleeping bag when kicking, which is similar to the security and safety of mummy's tummy.

Image source: pixabay.com / White77

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