Best Loft Beds

Updated December 2020
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

40 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
92 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best loft beds

When you have a small bedroom, you have to be creative about how you use the space. With a loft bed, an elevated bed that’s similar in design to a bunk bed, you can maximize the available square footage and create a more comfortable bedroom.

A loft bed is raised on four posts, but instead of a second bed below, as in a bunk bed, there is open space, which allows you to put other furniture beneath the bed or use the area for storage. Some loft beds come with built-in furniture, but others have just the elevated bed platform, so you can place whatever items you like beneath it. 

There are plenty of loft beds to choose from, too. Our buying guide includes all the tips you need to find the best loft bed for your needs. If you’re still unsure which one is right for you, our specific product recommendations can help focus your shopping even further. 

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For younger children who may not yet have fully developed motor skills, a loft bed with steps rather than a ladder is a better option.

Key considerations

Type

Loft beds are available in a few main types. The most common include the following:

Traditional or classic loft beds have a platform for the mattress on top and empty space below. This allows you to place beneath it any furniture or other items you desire.

Built-in desk loft beds have the standard mattress platform on top and an attached desk beneath it. The desk may also include other home office furniture, such as shelving and/or filing cabinets.

Built-in storage loft beds have a mattress platform on top and attached storage underneath. The storage may include shelves, cabinets, and/or drawers. 

Children’s loft beds usually have an elevated mattress platform at a lower height with design elements underneath or to the side that appeal to children. These can include a playhouse, reading nook, or even a slide. 

Size

Most loft beds have space for a twin-size mattress. That makes them ideal for children, teens, and even college students. You can also find some options with a platform that fits a full-size mattress, which can work well for adults. A few loft bed manufacturers make queen- and king-size models. However, you’ll have many fewer options if you’re looking for one of these larger beds.

Some loft beds include built-in bookshelves, making the space beneath the bed the perfect spot for a reading nook.

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Features

Materials

You can find loft beds made from a variety of materials that vary in appearance and durability. The most common materials include the following:

Wood, one of the most common materials used for loft beds, offers a classic, traditional appearance. Solid wood is also highly durable and sturdy, which makes for a safe, long-lasting bed. These beds usually have a higher weight limit, too. Some common woods used in loft bed frames include pine, oak, maple, cherry, and walnut. You can also choose from a variety of stain options.

Metal is another common material option for loft bed frames. These beds are easy to assemble, but because metal is usually lightweight, these beds aren’t as stable as wooden models, nor do they have as high a weight limit. Common metals for loft bed frames include steel and wrought iron. 

Plastic offers an affordable, lightweight option for a loft bed frame. It is fairly sturdy, too, and usually has smooth, rounded edges, which makes it safe for kids. However, it doesn’t have a particularly high weight limit. 

Composite wood offers the look of wood but at a more affordable price. It’s made by combining wood fiber, plastic, and a binding agent. It isn’t as sturdy or durable as natural wood, so these beds can’t hold as much weight and may not last as long as those made with other materials. 

Combination loft beds are made of some combination of two or more of the materials mentioned above. Metal and plastic are often used together to increase the bed frame’s stability and durability, but you can also find loft beds with wood and plastic frames. 

Access type

Because a loft bed has an elevated mattress platform, you need a way to access the bed from the floor. Most loft beds have a ladder to make it relatively easy to get onto the bed. Some models for children have a short staircase to the bed platform, which can make it easier for kids to get on and off the bed. A few loft beds with a full-size mattress also offer stair access rather than a ladder. 

Guardrail

Because a loft bed is elevated, you want to be sure that it’s safe. The guardrail prevents the sleeper from accidentally rolling off the bed, but you can choose from a few different styles. Some loft beds have a guardrail on just one side, while others have rails on both sides. You can also find some loft beds intended for adults that don’t have any guardrails.

Consider the length of the guardrails, too. Some extend the entire length of the bed, while others only reach half or three-quarters the length. Loft beds for children may have double guardrails for added safety.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Always be mindful of a loft bed’s weight limit. Don’t forget to include the weight of the mattress, pillows, blankets, and other accessories in the load that the bed has to hold.
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Accessories

Sheets: Unique Beddings Italian Sheet Set
For the coziest night’s sleep, you need a set of quality bed sheets for your loft bed. We love this set of 1,500-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets from Unique Beddings because the fabric resists fading and the set includes two pillowcases. 

Comforter: Royal Hotel Down Comforter
On cold nights, you need a good comforter to keep you warm in your loft bed. This one from Royal Hotel is a favorite because it has an Egyptian cotton shell filled with natural goose down. 

Pillow: Casper Original Pillow
You also need a high-quality pillow to support your head on your loft bed. We really like this one from Casper because it’s hypoallergenic and helps minimize neck pain with prolonged use. 

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FOR YOUR SAFETY
For safety reasons, it’s a good idea to add a night light to the ladder of your child’s loft bed in case they need to get up during the night.
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Loft bed prices

Loft beds vary in price based on the type, material, and size, but most models cost between $120 and $3,000

Inexpensive: The most affordable loft beds are generally traditional styles made of metal or plastic. You can find some lower-quality wood beds in this price range, too. They don’t have any built-in features and usually have a twin-size platform, but there are also some full-size options. You’ll typically spend between $120 and $525 for these loft beds.

Mid-range: These loft beds have some built-in features beneath the bed platform, such as a desk, storage unit, or play area. They are made of plastic, metal, or wood and are typically twin size. You have more full-size options in this price range. Expect to pay between $375 and $1,245 for these loft beds.

Expensive: The most expensive loft beds include multiple built-in features beneath the bed, such as a desk and cabinets or a slide and playhouse. Some are made of metal or plastic, but you’ll find many models made of solid wood in this price range. There are also more full-size bed options, though you’ll still have more twin-size beds to choose from. You’ll typically spend between $1,225 and $3,000 for these beds.

Tips

  • Turn the space beneath the bed into a “room.” Hang a curtain from the bottom of the frame to enclose the space and you can create a reading nook or playhouse for a child.
  • Maximize space in a small apartment. A loft bed is an excellent option if you live in a studio apartment. You can set up a reading or TV area beneath the bed.
  • Use a loft bed as a guest bed. If you have limited space for a guest bedroom in your home, a loft bed is an excellent option. Set it up in your home office with your desk and filing cabinets beneath it to make the most of your available space. 
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If your child isn’t as confident climbing down a ladder as they are going up, consider a loft bed with an attached slide to make it easy for them to get down.

FAQ

Q. What are the benefits of a loft bed?

A. The main benefit of a loft bed is that it allows you to use a room for multiple purposes. In a small house, you can combine a bedroom and a home office or your child’s bedroom and playroom. It also allows you to increase your storage space in a small bedroom. Some beds have built-in storage options, such as drawers, shelves, or cubbies, but you can also place a separate chest of drawers or dresser beneath it.

Q. How high does the ceiling need to be for a loft bed?

A. You need approximately 33 to 36 inches between the top of the mattress and the ceiling. Most ceilings are 8 feet high, which means you need an extra 4 or 5 inches. You can fit a loft bed in a room with an 8-foot ceiling if you use a thinner mattress.  You can also opt for a half loft bed, which isn’t as tall as a standard loft bed. It doesn’t provide enough space beneath it for other furniture, but it can usually accommodate extra storage room. 

Q. Are loft beds safe for children?

A. Children under six years of age shouldn’t sleep in a loft bed, but most older kids can use the bed without issues. Make sure you choose a model with a double guardrail for added safety, and teach your children that the bed is for sleeping, not playing on or jumping off of.

 

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