Last updated: August 5, 2021

For many children it is a dream and even adults like to think back to how they were allowed to sleep in it as boys and girls at holiday camp: Loft beds are not only exciting, but they automatically offer you additional storage space under their slatted frame. They now come in many creative shapes and colours, so there are almost no limits to what parents and their children can imagine.

Our reaction has taken a close look at loft beds with a lot of fun and an eye for detail and presents our favourites here in the loft bed test at 2021. We have not only chosen the colour and design of the loft bed, but also the design of the bed itself. In addition to colour and stability, we have also taken more exciting designs into account.




Summary

  • A loft bed is a sleeping area that is more than one metre above the floor.
  • Loft beds are real space wonders, offer practical storage options and are particularly popular with children as places to sleep, play and romp.
  • Loft beds are particularly suitable for small rooms as there is extra space underneath the beds which can be used for living purposes or as storage.

The Best Loft Bed: Our Choices

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

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a loft bed?

The little ones get the most pleasure out of a loft bed. They find it tremendously exciting to have an elevated place to sleep and additional opportunities to climb and play.

Of course, the purchase of a loft bed also offers practical advantages. Space can be gained in small rooms. Various storage options can be created under the loft bed or a desk and seating area can be integrated. The advantages and disadvantages of loft beds at a glance.

Advantages
  • Additional space gained
  • Versatile model selection
  • Visually appealing
  • Integrated play and fun functions
Disadvantages
  • Quite high prices
  • Assembly often complex
  • Accident risk

Loft beds are available in many different designs and are disguised, for example, as a princess's castle or a fire engine. For the layman, assembly can often be a time-consuming and nerve-racking process.

The safety requirements for a loft bed are particularly high, so nothing must go wrong during assembly.

Before the children take possession of the loft bed, all screw connections should be checked again. The children themselves should be old enough for the bulky beds and be able to climb safely and keep their balance. It is up to the parents to decide when the time is right. However, loft beds are less suitable for toddlers.

At what age is a loft bed safe?

The danger for children is never completely eliminated. Experts believe that a loft bed is unsuitable for children under the age of six. Children need sufficient coordination and should be able to climb up and down the ladder safely.

With small children, the bones are not yet developed sturdily enough and a fall from the loft bed can result in serious injuries. You should ask yourself the following questions before buying a loft bed:

  • Is my child anxious or afraid of heights?
  • Does my child sleep restlessly or sleepwalk?
  • Can my child find its way around safely in the dark?
  • Can my child climb stairs safely?

Anyone who answers "yes" to several questions should reconsider the purchase of a loft bed. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to assess whether a loft bed is suitable for their children or whether the purchase should be postponed for a while.

Do I have the necessary space for a loft bed?

This question may surprise you, because we have already talked about the space miracle of the loft bed, which is suitable even for small rooms. When talking about space requirements, the necessary ceiling height is of primary importance.

In order for the raised sleeping level to make sense and be used accordingly, sufficient headroom is necessary. The head should not come into contact with the ceiling either when climbing over the ladder or when sitting on the sleeping level.

Children quickly hit their heads while playing. Therefore, be sure to check the ceiling height and compare it with the dimensions of the desired bed.

The total height of the bed must also take into account the height of the mattress.

In addition to the ceiling height, you must also consider the rest of the room layout. Beds with slides and various superstructures require sufficient space. The bed should be easily accessible from all sides.

There should be no windows, doors or heaters in the immediate vicinity of the loft bed. For heating systems, a safety distance of at least half a metre applies, especially if wooden beds are involved.

Tilted or open windows and the opening angle of the room door should also be taken into account when finding the location for the loft bed.

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

Basically, you can distinguish between four different types of loft beds:

  • Mini loft bed
  • Bunk bed
  • Play Loft Bed
  • Maxi Loft Bed

What is a mini loft bed and what are the advantages and disadvantages of mini loft beds?

A mini loft bed is a good compromise in many respects. If the required ceiling height is not available to set up a loft bed, you do not have to do without it completely.

Mini loft beds are higher than a conventional bed, but do not have a lying surface that exceeds one metre in height. This means that the space under the bed cannot be used as an additional sitting or lying area.

Only the storage of larger boxes or cartons is possible. Mini high beds offer an advantage to smaller children. The risk of injury is much lower. However, slides and other accessories must be dispensed with.

Advantages
  • Low risk of accidents
  • Stable
  • Safe
  • Also suitable for low rooms
Disadvantages
  • Little storage space
  • Lying surface not higher than one metre
  • No slide or climbing function available

What is a bunk bed and what are the advantages and disadvantages of bunk beds?

The bunk bed is a classic. No youth hostel can do without these practical beds, after all, two sleeping places can be created in a small space. The beds are inexpensive and made of metal or wood.

Families with many children and a small budget particularly appreciate these bunk beds. Bunk beds are less visually appealing and the equipment is limited to a ladder attached to the side.

Advantages
  • Practical
  • Functional
  • Inexpensive
Disadvantages
  • Visually less appealing
  • No additional equipment
  • Often less stable

What is a play loft bed and what are the advantages and disadvantages of play loft beds?

Many children dream of this: the adventure loft bed not only offers them a comfortable place to sleep, but also an imaginative and varied play area that stimulates the imagination and trains motor skills.

Play loft beds are available in many different versions. Thereby, the interests of boys and girls can be met equally. The most popular adventure loft beds come in the form of a knight's castle, a princess's castle or a Formula One car. The loft beds inspire with their colourful design and numerous features, such as slides or ropes.

At the same time, sufficient space is needed and the risk of accidents increases compared to conventional bunk beds, as the child is virtually encouraged to romp and climb.

Advantages
  • Visually appealing
  • Versatile play functions
  • Extensive accessories
Disadvantages
  • Space requirement
  • Quite high price
  • Risk of accident

What is a maxi loft bed and what are the advantages and disadvantages of maxi loft beds?

These loft beds are very suitable for young people's rooms or student flats. With a height of about two metres, there is a spacious area under the bed that can be used as a work area or sitting area.

These beds are practical and can be integrated into the room in many ways, but rooms with particularly high ceilings are required.

Advantages
  • Versatile
  • Create a lot of free space
  • Also suitable for adults
Disadvantages
  • Require particularly high ceilings
  • Complex to set up

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate loft beds

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate loft beds. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular loft bed is suitable for you or not In summary, these are:

  • Height
  • Material
  • Safety
  • Use
  • Accessories

Height

From one metre, we speak of a loft bed. While children under six should be given a mini loft bed for safety reasons, there are no limits for young adults. However, a loft bed of more than two metres in height will quickly fail because of the room height.

Before buying, it is important to know the correct ceiling height. There should be at least one metre between the end of the loft bed and the ceiling. This ensures that there is sufficient freedom of movement.

In the case of loft beds for children's rooms, parameters such as the age and the mental and motor development stage of the child are criteria that ultimately determine the height of the loft bed.

Material

Choosing the right material is not only a visual aspect, but also a question of safety. While a loft bed made of aluminium is inexpensive and easier to transport, a wooden bed is considered more solid and stable.

The material of the loft bed should be coordinated with the rest of the room concept. If wooden furniture is already present, a metal bed will look like a foreign body in the room.

A solid stand is particularly important for the loft bed. This is most likely to be achieved with a heavy material. The bed must not tip over during playing and romping and should also not slip.

When buying, make sure that the ladder is also made of a sturdy material and is firmly attached to the bed frame. It is worth paying a little more for a stable and robust loft bed. Loft beds made of light aluminium rods or chipboard are less suitable and increase the risk of accidents.

Safety

When it comes to loft beds, safety is synonymous with stability. Models made of solid wood are clearly the best. Safety also means minimising the health risk as much as possible.

Therefore, it is important to make sure that the material is free of harmful substances. The manufacturers should provide transparent information in this regard, or the loft bed should have catchy test marks. The following test seals distinguish a high-quality loft bed:

  • GS mark
  • TÜV test seal
  • DIN EN 747-1:2012-06

The CE mark, on the other hand, is not an indication of a safe loft bed, because this marking is mandatory.

Use

Before you buy a loft bed, you should decide what it will be used for. There are sometimes large product differences between the size, height and design of the loft beds.

You should know whether you want to use the storage space for additional storage or whether you want to create a playscape, a desk for you or your children or an additional seating area.

The best thing to do is to measure the space you will need and then choose the right model accordingly.

Accessories

A common accessory for every loft bed is a ladder. This should be included in the delivery. Make sure that the ladder can be firmly attached to the loft bed.

Ladders are often subject to heavy use, so check regularly to see if they have loosened. In the adventure loft bed, the equipment is more extensive. Here, a slide, a tunnel, curtains or a tent structure are usually included.

Some manufacturers supply the complete equipment necessary to turn the loft bed into an adventure landscape. Once the loft bed is set up, it is a good idea to secure the surroundings with soft carpets or mattresses.

These accessories must be purchased separately. The mattresses for the loft bed are usually not included in the delivery. Finally, we will discuss which mattress is the right one.

Interesting facts about loft beds

Loft beds are practical furnishings that not only the children will enjoy. The loft bed shows its strengths where there is little space and maximum use of space is desired.

The following facts are intended to round off your knowledge of loft beds and help you make your purchase decision.

Which mattress should I use for the loft bed?

In general, mattresses for children are designed differently than mattresses for adults. Children bring little weight with them. Special lying zones and spine relief are not a primary issue with children's mattresses.

In addition, loft beds are designed differently than normal beds. Loft beds often do not have a slatted frame, but consist of a continuous wooden board. To allow air to circulate, the board should have holes.

Otherwise, heat would build up under the mattress and moisture could not escape. Mould growth could be the result. The different mattress designs are now described in more detail.

Cold foam mattress

Cold foam mattresses are also made of polyurethane, but are more elaborately manufactured and offer more lying comfort. Several layers of Visco foam ensure a good sleeping climate and adjust to the ambient temperature.

Foam mattress

Simple foam mattresses are made of polyurethane., It is a very light material, but it does not distribute the body weight optimally., One advantage is the low purchase price.

Latex mattress

These are quite hard mattresses, which nevertheless offer sufficient air permeability. Even weight distribution increases sleeping comfort. Firmer mattresses are best suited for the loft bed.

Children love to jump around on the mattresses. Mattresses that are too soft could create a trampoline effect and thus become a source of accidents. Cold foam or latex mattresses are considered safe and beneficial in this respect.

How flexible are loft beds?

In recent years, the trend of "growing with the child" has prevailed in the furniture industry. This makes children's furniture in particular flexible and usable for as long a period as possible. If this is the aim of the purchase, it is important to look for suitable conversion sets.

These are not offered by all manufacturers. Although conversion sets initially represent an additional financial burden, they pay off at the latest when the bed has to be replaced because it no longer fits the new living situation.

Flexible loft beds can be adjusted in height. Bunk beds can be converted into two single beds in a few easy steps.

What can I do to ensure the safety of the loft bed?

To ensure that a loft bed does not become a source of accidents, a few things should be observed:

  • When buying, pay attention to the quality of the stairs. It should not only be stable and firmly attached to the bed frame, but also have a width of at least 30 centimetres. To prevent the children's feet from slipping, a board depth of about ten centimetres is ideal.
  • Children love to use the loft bed as a playground. Therefore, it is important to ensure that it is stable. In order to survive pyjama parties and children's birthday parties unscathed, it is advantageous to additionally fix the loft bed to the wall.
  • Even if the screws are tightened during assembly, they can loosen over time. Therefore, do not forget to check the screw connections regularly and tighten them if necessary.

If the loft bed complies with the safety standards DIN EN 747-1 or 747-2, you have already done something for safety. These standards stand for stability and tilt resistance, rounded edges and a sufficiently high fall protection.

If possible, no spring mattresses should be used for loft beds. It yields too much and quickly turns the mattress into a trampoline when loaded. The minimum height of the fall protection is 16 centimetres.

If the children are particularly active, there is nothing to be said against a higher fall protection. Attention should also be paid to the distances between the individual boards of the fall protection. The child's head must not be able to fit through.

How can the space under the loft bed be used?

After the loft bed has been set up, you may be surprised at the additional space that has been created. Plans for its use should be made in advance. Not every loft bed is automatically suitable for use as a mini-office or cosy corner. Practical solutions are also conceivable. For example, shoe boxes can be stored here as well as toys.

The installation of bookshelves is just as possible as using the open space as a walk-in wardrobe. In most cases, however, the ceilings do not allow this use. Creating a cosy cuddle and play corner under the adventure loft bed is generally feasible with any normal ceiling height.

Image source: pexels.com / Milly Eaton

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