The open area beneath the lofted bed frame can be used for several purposes. Many people choose to stash a desk, dresser, toy organizer, or shelves in this space, leaving the rest of the bedroom floor free for other furniture and decor. This is an incredibly useful alternative for people who have a small room to work with. Loft beds are a popular choice in many dorm rooms for this very reason. People who choose loft beds for their children’s rooms might take advantage of that space to create a play area for them. Others simply enjoy sleeping high on an elevated platform. Whatever your reasoning, if you’re looking to buy a loft bed for your home, here are a few we recommend.
Buying Guide for Loft Beds
Why buy a loft bed?
Regular beds take up floor space that can’t otherwise be used for much. If the bed is tall enough, you could stash some shallow boxes underneath it but not a lot more, and nothing too big or tall. A loft bed frees up a lot more space since they raise the mattress much higher off the floor than the average bed frame does. (Similar to bunk beds but without the extra second bed beneath the raised one.) As mentioned, you can even place other items of furniture underneath a loft bed. This, in turn, can free up even more floor space and allow you to fit more furniture in the room. Alternatively, some people just like to sleep higher off the ground but don’t need two beds in the room.
If you use the space beneath the bed as a play area for your children, you may have the option to hang curtains from the bed to create a fun enclosure. It’s also a convenient place to stash toys to keep them contained in one area or out of sight altogether.
What should you look for in a loft bed?
Before jumping into a new loft bed, here are a few things to think about:
- Size: If you want to add a loft bed to your or your child’s room, bear in mind that your size options are going to be fairly restricted. The overwhelming majority of loft beds are either twin or full beds. The larger the frame and mattress, the heavier it will be, so smaller beds tend to fare better as lofts since they’re easier to assemble and transport. However, that doesn’t mean teenagers and adults can’t enjoy the convenience of a loft bed. Just be prepared to sleep on a smaller mattress as a tradeoff for the extra space below. That said, it’s not completely impossible to find a larger-sized loft bed, but you’ll have to do some digging if you want a frame that can handle a bigger mattress. Consider how tall the loft bed in question is. Not every model on the market will reach the same height, so be sure to measure your available bedroom space to ensure the bed you buy isn’t too tall or too short.
- Material: The overwhelming majority of loft bed frames will be made of either wood or metal due to their stability and strength. Wooden bed frames might be shaped and carved into various designs; many come in multiple color options to match a range of aesthetics and are easy to paint if you want some extra color or brightness. You’ll want to opt for a hardwood base, such as maple or walnut, or solid but flexible wood like pine. Metal bed frames are even stronger and more durable than wood. They’re also extremely easy to clean, though they don’t offer as many design, stylistic, or color options as wooden loft beds. Whichever material a loft bed is made from, be sure to check its weight-bearing capacity to ensure it’s strong enough for your needs.
- Extras: Many people choose to put desks or dressers underneath their loft beds as a way to take advantage of the extra space. Some loft beds actually come with the furniture included or built-in. Models with desks, dressers, drawers, bookcases, and shelving are fairly common. Others include curtain sets, which can be a fun option for kids if you plan to use the area underneath the loft bed as a play space for them. Certain kids’ models even come with a built-in slide, which could provide hours of fun. A loft bed should come with a built-in or removable ladder for climbing in and out of bed. Built-in ladders are sturdier and safer, so keep an eye out for those, especially if you’re buying the bed for your child.
Are loft beds more expensive than regular beds?
While it will vary depending on the brand, model, and bed size, loft beds will generally cost a little more money than regular bed frames. You’re paying for a more specialized style of frame as well as the extra floor space that loft beds provide, after all. Even a twin or full loft bed will probably cost as much as or more than a regular queen bed frame. The average loft bed will run somewhere between $200 and $500, while a regular bed frame will be more in the $100 to $250 range. (Though this does vary slightly by bed size in both cases.) That’s not to say you can’t find loft beds that cost less than average; just know that the odds are good that you’ll have to spend more money on one. It’s your call whether the extra floor and play space are worth the cost tradeoff.
Also note that a loft bed with built-in furniture, like a desk, shelving, or a slide for your child, will be even more expensive. These may cost as much as $1,000 to $2,000, though again, you might be able to find one that’s less expensive.
Our Picks for the Most Space-Saving Loft Beds
DHP Junior Loft Bed Frame with Ladder
A sleek, black twin loft bed frame with a built-in ladder and guardrails.
Pros: If you’re on a budget, you’ll likely love this loft bed. It’s priced well below the average cost of a loft bed frame, making it an ideal choice for younger kids (ages 6 and up recommended). You can buy them this bed once they’re old enough for an upgrade, and you won’t spend so much money on it that it’ll feel like a waste once they’re fully grown and need a larger one. Despite the low price, this model doesn’t skimp on useful safety features; it has a built-in ladder and integrated guardrails to keep you or your child safely in place at night. The frame is ready to assemble on arrival and comes with step-by-step instructions for you to follow with ease. And it comes in five possible colors, which makes it easier to match to the bedroom it’ll be used in.
Cons: This loft bed only works with memory foam or coil mattresses. This shouldn’t be too big of a problem for most consumers, but it’s worth considering. Quite a few users reported that the ladder was a bit hard on the feet. And while the guardrails are sturdy, some parents might feel more comfortable if their little one sleeps in a loft bed with taller rails.
Bottom Line: This functional twin loft bed is a great option for those who need more floor space for their child’s room. Younger children will love feeling upgraded to a “big kid” bed and climbing up and down the ladder. The frame is strong enough to support up to 200 pounds of weight, plenty for children and most teenagers. It can theoretically sleep most adults, too, but the twin size will probably be too small for most full-grown adults to sleep comfortably.
Walker Edison Orion Urban Full Double Loft Bed
A contemporary full-sized loft bed that can fit an entire home office or entertainment center underneath.
Pros: With overall dimensions of 71 by 55.25 by 79 inches, this loft bed provides plenty of space for multiple pieces of furniture. You can fit a dresser and bookshelves, a desk and home office, or even an entertainment area. The lofted bed frame is made of steel and painted black for a stylish, contemporary look that supports up to 200 pounds of weight. If you don’t like the black or it doesn’t match your space, there are four other color options. Safety guardrails and two built-in ladders come as part of the frame, so you can climb into bed on either side, and it will fit most full-sized mattresses. And there’s plenty of versatility with the design and purchasing options; you can buy this model with a shelf attachment, workstation, a lower loft, and more. It’s also available in a twin size if you’re shopping for your little one instead of yourself.
Cons: You’ll need to ensure your current or future full mattress is the appropriate thickness for this loft bed. It works best with mattresses between 5 and 9 inches thick; thicker or thinner ones might not fit right. If you already own a full mattress, be sure to measure its thickness before you buy this loft bed. It also tends to squeak when you’re getting in and out of bed or turn over while sleeping, which some consumers can find irritating or disruptive. Quite a few users reported that the ladder rungs hurt their feet while climbing up and down. You’ll probably end up having to put pool noodles or some other sort of padding on the rungs to cushion your feet, which you might not like the look of aesthetically.
Bottom Line: A twin bed might not be quite large enough to be comfortable for some teenagers and adults, so a full bed frame might be a better choice. This full model will allow you to maximize your bedroom space and enjoy an elevated bed while also providing some extra length and width to stretch out while you sleep. It’s ideal for smaller apartments with limited floor space since it’s larger than a twin bed but provides the same space-saving benefits. However, If your mattress is extra thin or extra thick, if you’re noise-sensitive, or if you don’t want to go to the effort of padding the ladder, you might prefer another loft bed.
DONCO Kids Low Study Loft Bed
A twin-sized loft bed with built-in drawers and shelving for maximum storage optimization.
Pros: Even though this loft bed has a pretty high price tag, it’s a good value for what you get. This model includes the bed and a built-in chest of drawers, two shelves, and a desk. As a bonus, the desk is retractable; your child can pull it out when they’re doing their homework and then tuck it back under the bed when they’re finished for further space efficiency. The frame is made almost entirely of real pinewood, more solid than particleboard or MDF, and the high safety rails will give you better peace of mind as a parent.
Cons: This loft bed is sized for twin mattresses only, so while it’s great for kids and preteens, it’ll probably be too small for most full-grown adults and bigger teenagers. It’s also not quite as tall as some other loft beds and is only available in the dark cappuccino brown shade. If that color doesn’t fit your child’s room or your home decor, you’re out of luck. And as handy and multifunctional as this loft bed is, there isn’t open space beneath it; the built-in furniture takes up the under-bed space. This isn’t the loft bed to opt for if you want to use the below-the-bed space as a play area, so it’s probably better suited for slightly older kids or preteens than younger children.
Bottom Line: Many people like to keep some type of shelving underneath a loft bed. If you don’t want to spend extra money on a desk or you’d like an extra set of shelves for your kid’s bedroom, this loft bed is a great choice. You essentially get four pieces of furniture in one space-saving bundle for under $1,000, which is a sweet find. Its shorter height doesn’t provide as much of an elevated feeling, but this also makes it a good choice for children’s bedrooms with low ceilings. Some parents may feel more secure for their child climbing up and down a shorter loft bed, too. But if you prefer completely open under-the-bed storage, you’ll want a more standard loft bed.
DHP Junior Twin Metal Loft Bed with Slide
A loft bed proportioned and designed especially for your children and their enjoyment.
Pros: Toddlers and young kids will have a blast playing on this bed. They’ll likely love the novelty of having a slide attached to their bed. The frame itself is available in several color choices and is made of metal with a guardrail that runs along the length of the bed for your child’s safety and security. It’s designed for sturdiness to hold up under playing and roughhousing. This loft bed can fit a twin mattress and has a weight capacity of up to 200 pounds. The slats along the frame ensure you don’t need a box spring for the bed. And if you plan to utilize the under-bed space as a playspace, there is an option to buy this loft bed with two different sets of curtains that make the space into a tent or den-like area. While within the average price for a loft bed frame, this model and its novelty slide don’t cost as much as you’d think, either.
Cons: You are limited to twin mattresses only for this bed. With its design and size, it’s really ideal for toddlers and young kids; the novelty of the slide will wear off quickly for older elementary school-age children, while preteens might find it juvenile. And you’ll need a more shallow mattress for a proper fit, as bulky ones (more than 6 inches thick) can have trouble squeezing in properly. Some parents might be concerned about the sharper edges of the bed and pad it with pool noodles or tennis balls to prevent accidental bumps and cuts. (Especially given that this loft bed design will likely encourage jumping, running, and roughhousing). And the frame isn’t as tall as many other models. There is some under-the-bed space that can serve as a play area, but not as much as taller models. Taller kids risk hitting their heads as a result as well.
Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for a loft bed for your little one’s bedroom, this model is the ideal choice. The 43-inch tall frame is the ideal height for small children, and they’ll adore the built-in slide as a fun alternative way to get out of bed in the morning. Though not as tall as some other lofted models, which means less room for play space, there is space to fit a small dresser or child-sized bookshelves underneath the bed if you so desire. But if you have an older child or a thicker mattress, this might not be the right fit for your needs.
Novogratz Maxwell Loft Desk & Shelves
A loft bed with a large built-in workspace that gives you 58 inches of room to move.
Pros: If you’re looking for a two-in-one loft bed that provides ample desk and workspace, look no further. This model comes with a built-in desk and two corner shelves. The desk matches the full length of the bed frame, providing plenty of room for a laptop or computer monitor, mousepad, lamp, and desktop decorations. You can also fit a chair or stool in the space. And thanks to the metal slats along the bottom of the mattress frame, you won’t need a box spring to go along with the mattress. It’s available in six possible colors and with a twin or full frame, depending on your needs. If you do opt for the full bed, it has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, a full 100 pounds more than the average loft bed offers.
Cons: While it does fall in the average range for loft beds, this model does cost more than many comparable models. It’s not a great option for those on a tighter budget. And while it does come with built-in shelving, the shelves are pretty small. They’re corner shelves, so they offer limited display space; they can’t hold much more than a picture frame or two each, for instance. They’re not a great choice as bookshelves, for instance.
Bottom Line: With this loft bed, you don’t need to provide your own desk or shelves, as they come built-in underneath the bed itself, saving you money as well as floor space. It’s a great choice for couples living in a small apartment since it’s a full bed and has a higher weight capacity than many other loft beds. A twin size is also available if you want to buy this loft bed for a younger child. However, it’s not the most budget-friendly option available and doesn’t offer much shelf space. If you want a loft bed with built-in shelves for books, notebooks, and papers, look for a model with more substantial shelving.
Loft beds are great for kids, teens, and adults alike. Kids will enjoy the small touch of fun they bring to bedtime, while adults will appreciate their functionality. Whether you want to make the most of a bedroom’s space or simply prefer to sleep elevated, a loft bed can suit you and your home well.