Bunk Bed Dimensions and Variations: Finding the Perfect Fit

The term "bunk bed" refers to a type of bed in which two or more beds may fit into the space typically occupied by one bed. They are stacked in one bed frame on top of the other. They can commonly be seen in jails, hostels, summer camps, army bases, ships, and dorm rooms.

Bunk beds were not always as popular as they are now. The origin of the bunk bed's history is unknown. Let's examine the development of bunk beds in more detail!

The notion of a bed originated in ancient Egypt. Most people used to simply sleep on the ground before this. They made use of some hay as a cushion. The Egyptians were the first to start making what we now refer to as beds. They didn't have enclosed springs as current mattresses do but, they were the first beds with a frame.

The Egyptians usually built their bed frames out of wood. They then filled them with softer materials like cotton or feathers. In the beginning, beds were just for the wealthy. Beds then became a widespread idea and a necessary piece of furniture for households.

It's uncertain where bunk beds first appeared. Bunk beds aren't regarded to have been invented by a particular person, but rather date to the Middle Ages. The poor started seeking methods to conserve space. Bunk beds gained popularity when they were utilized in the military. There was enough room for two times as many soldiers to sleep thanks to bunk beds. After that, bunk beds were used in smaller homes where conserving space was needed. The bunk bed, which is usually made of wood, would take on a more modern aspect as more began to be provided in sleek steel.

What Are ‘Shorty' Bunk Beds?

They are identical to standard bunk beds; however, they are shorter and closer to the ground. All the advantages of a typical stacked bed are present with a shorty bunk bed, but none of the safety issues. Parents often choose these smaller ones over standard ones. That's because there will be less of an impact if a child mistakenly falls from the top of a shorty bunk bed.

Additionally, these bunks are smaller. Instead of using steel bars or wooden beams, they are often built with curved pieces of plastic. They use less material and are simpler to put up since they are more compact.

The appropriate age range for shorty bunk beds is uncertain at this time. They are perfect for a bedroom with two small children because they are safer and far more portable.

What's the Size of a Shorty Bunk Bed?

Shorty bunk beds stand at 50 to 55 inches tall, making them a low profile bunk bed when compared to the standard.

How Tall are Bunk Beds?

The average bunk is typically between 5 and 1/2 to 6 feet tall, however, bunk bed heights vary.

How Tall Are Triple Bunk Beds?

Similar to standard bunks, triple bunk beds don’t have specific criteria either. But, they often measure more than 77 inches tall when stacked. They have been known to reach up to 82 inches tall.

L-shaped triple bunk beds are a little bit shorter, standing at roughly 72 inches tall. As a general guideline, you should leave 33 to 38 inches between the top bunk and the ceiling. Naturally, this will depend on the height of the individual using the top bunk. If you're thinking about getting a triple bunk bed, your ceiling height better be greater than 9 feet. For a tall person, a good fit will generally need a ceiling height of at least 9 feet + 6 inches.

What’s the Minimum Size of a Room for a Bunk Bed?

The minimum measurements of a room that may fit a bunk bed are around 120 inches by 84 inches by 96 inches. A room must have floor space of at least 70 square feet to be classified as a bedroom.

Pay close attention to the clearance of the ceiling height. For the person sleeping on the top to sit up comfortably, allow 38 inches to be clear from the top bunk to the ceiling. The top of the mattress will be a few inches lower than the usual bunk bed’s height of 65 inches. This means a ceiling height of 96 inches will work.

It's crucial to leave at least 30 inches of space open in front of the ladder when installing. This allows anyone climbing to the top bunk to do so securely and effortlessly. This especially helps at night.

Before making any purchases, it’s crucial to pay special attention to the size. You want to make sure the bed will fit the room.

Twin Bunk Bed Mattress Size

Twin-sized mattresses may usually fit inside bunk beds. It fits both top bunk beds and bottom bunk beds, measuring 75 inches long by 38 inches wide. Twin-size bunk beds have the advantage of fitting in almost any bedroom. You basically just need vertical space to accommodate the bunk beds’ height.

Twin XL Bunk Bed Mattress Size

Mattresses for twin XL bunk beds are 80in long and 38in wide, which is a little longer. A twin XL is longer than a twin by 5 inches, making it more suited for growing adults and teenagers. Mattresses of the twin XL size are suitable for:

  • Tiny Bedrooms
  • Studio Apartments
  • Dorm Rooms 

Full Bunk Bed Mattress Size

Mattresses for full or double bunk beds are 75 long by 54 inches wide. Although individuals often use complete mattresses on the lower bunk. They can also use them on the top bunk. Single sleepers work best on a full-size mattress. They may theoretically accommodate two people. However, they are not cozy enough for two people to consistently sleep in.

Full XL Bunk Bed Mattress Size

The mattresses for full XL bunk beds measure 80 inches long by 54 inches wide. This makes them ideal for tall single-sleepers. A full XL mattress may be placed on both the top and bottom bunks. However, it’s doubtful that you will locate a mattress bigger than a full XL there.

Queen Bunk Bed Mattress Size

It is possible to get a Queen-sized bunk at the bottom and a twin-size or a twin XL-sized top bunk. However, they are uncommon. Most master bedrooms can accommodate queen bunk beds. Queen bunk beds measure 80 by 60 inches in dimension. The top bunk usually accommodates one person. Whereas Queen mattresses can accommodate two, for a total of three people.

King Bunk Bed Mattress Size

King-sized bunk beds are another uncommon size for bunk beds. They require a huge master bedroom. That is extremely uncommon because most families don’t desire bunk beds. King mattresses are only available on the bottom bunk. They measure 80 inches long by 76 inches wide; a twin mattress or even a twin XL will probably be placed on the top bunk. Two people can fit comfortably on the bottom bed while one sleeps on the top bunk when using it for three people.

Consider Mattress Thickness

When selecting a bunk bed mattress, consider the thickness to make sure the top bunk is secure.

Guard rails are installed on top bunks to prevent night-time falls and injuries. So, if the mattress on your top bunk is excessively thick, it may wind up being higher than the safety rails. Which risks putting the sleeper in danger of falling and hurting themselves.

If the mattress on the top bunk is thicker, there won’t be as much space between the sleeper and the ceiling.

The ideal mattress thickness for your top bunk is 4 to 6 inches. A smaller mattress will not only fit between the safety barriers, but it will also be simpler to make the bed. Removing and replacing the bedding for washing day and getting into and out of the top bunk will also be easier.

There aren’t many safety precautions or worries for bottom bunk beds. Regular mattress guidelines apply to bottom bunks as well. For your bottom bunk, any mattress thickness is okay.

Bunk Bed Variations

Bunk beds are available in a variety of sizes in addition to mattress sizes. These various forms and shapes may fit various requirements and living areas. These variations include:

  • Standard
  • Triple
  • Triple Loft
  • L-Shape
  • Futon
  • Trundle
  • Shorty


The regular bunk bed, which has two beds stacked on top of one another, is the most popular type of bunk bed. Standard bunk beds typically feature two twin mattresses.


In a triple bunk bed, three bunks are piled on top of one another. Due to the fact that twin beds are normally only 75 inches to 82 inches tall. They are typically only compatible with twin beds and must be used with a high ceiling.

Triple Loft

A triple loft consists of a bottom bunk that is positioned beneath one of the two top bunks. The top two bunks joined at a 90-degree angle. A desk or a couch can fit in the free area under the second top bunk. Triple loft bunk beds fit well in the corner of a bedroom due to its form.


The two bunks of an L-shaped bunk bed are perpendicular to one another rather than neatly stacked. The top bed is horizontal, while the bottom bunk is vertical. L-shaped bunk beds do take up more room due to their perpendicular design. However, L-shaped bunk beds often have more storage capacity than a normal bunk bed.


A futon bunk bed is a style of bed that stacks one-bed frame on top of another. It helps maximize the amount of floor area that may be used for sleeping.

In contrast to traditional bunk beds, futon bunk beds include a top bunk and a futon at the bottom. The futon doubles as a sofa during the day and a comfortable mattress at night.


Trundle attachments on bunk beds are very similar in size to standard beds. The bottom bed, however, has a mattress that slides out. Trundle beds come in handy for when you need to sleep three people but have limited space.

Futon mattresses are often available in full-size measurements. They are also frequently thinner than regular mattresses.

This “couch bed” is suitable for:

• Compact Flats 

• Dorm Rooms 


Shorty bunk beds measure 50 to 55 inches tall. They are a low-profile variation of a normal bunk bed. Shorty bunk beds don’t completely remove the risk of injury. However, a shorty bunk bed lessens the possibility of harm in the event that you fall out of the top bunk. It also works great if you want a bunk bed, but have a small amount of ceiling space.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Difference Between Loft Beds and Bunk Beds?

Since both include an elevated bed, loft beds, and bunk beds are similar; however, loft beds do not have a bottom bunk. Standard loft beds feature room for offices, lounges, or toys instead of a bed. Loft beds are ideal for singles who live in an apartment, studio, or hostel because of their tiny size.

The good news is that if you have bunk beds but no longer need the bottom bunk, you can easily turn it into a loft bed.

Follow these steps to do so safely:

Step 1 – You will need to take out the mattresses and ladder

Step 2 – Take out the bunking pins and bolts

Step 3 – Install diagonal bracing

Step 4 – Replace the mattress on the top bunk

And as easy as that, you have a loft bed

Do Bunk Beds Need Box Springs?

Box springs aren’t necessary for bunk beds as they add on too much height, which can be problematic.

A box spring only offers support for mattresses with inner springs. Whereas most people these days like hybrid, latex, or memory foam mattresses.

The majority of bunk beds support the mattress using slats or a Bunkie board rather than a base.

Can Adults Sleep in Bunk Beds?

There is no maximum age restriction for bunk beds. But individuals who plan to use them frequently should search for heavy-duty models. Children’s bunk beds only have a weight capability of 150 to 230 pounds. Heavy-duty bunk beds have a top bunk weight limit of 250 to 800 pounds.

Remember that the mattresses on top bunks are typically rather thin when sleeping on. They are between 4 to 6 inches thick. Thin mattresses are usually made of thin foam layers. Those layers won’t effectively relieve pressure points on an adult’s body. Nor will it cushion their hips and spine. A thin mattress may be less resilient under an adult’s weight.

Adults will need bigger bunk bed sizes. It will give them more space to spread out and have more legroom. A bunk bed should also have enough space above it so that an adult can sit on the top bunk without strain.

Are Bunk Beds With Stairs Safer?

Yes, they are. To make it simple to climb into and out of the top bunk, most bunk beds come with a tiny ladder. But steps are being used in place of ladders in several bunk beds nowadays. For small children, bunk beds with steps and railings make climbing to the top bunk simpler and safer.

Besides taking up more room, bunk beds with steps are often more expensive. Even though they take up more room and are more expensive, the staircases can be used for storage.

How Wide is a Full Size Bunk Bed?

A full-size bunk bed is 53 inches wide. This is wide enough to comfortably sleep two adults side by side.

Can Adults use Bunk Beds?

Yes, adults can use bunk beds given that they select the appropriate one. Search for bunk beds that can support 500 pounds. Typically, these are metal bunk beds with industrial strength. Additionally, some designs try to support both the tall and the heavy. For your tall visitors or workers to get a restful night's sleep, consider buying these types of bunk beds.

How Long are Adult Bunk Beds?

Adult bed lengths start off at 83 inches long. For an adult or a guest room, a full or a double bunk bed works wonderfully. Full-size beds are 15 inches wider than twin beds. The length and width of a full bed are 83 inches long and 55 inches wide.

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