Can Adults Use Bunk Beds? 5 Safety Considerations To Check

I know how you miss your childhood bunk bed shared with your sibling. Nostalgia hits differently when you grow up and can’t have the childish things anymore. 


But then you wonder, can adults use bunk beds?

Yes, adults can use bunk beds. But they need to follow a few safety rules and regulations. They must consider weight capacity, sturdiness, guardrail placements, ladder safety, and mattress selection while choosing a bunk bed. However, if you fear heights, small space or you’re overweight, you can’t use adult bunk beds.

In this article, I’ve mentioned all of these safety concerns with guidelines. Read along till the end to learn more about using adult bunk beds.  

5 Safety for Adults Using Bunk Beds

As an adult, you need to make sure if the bunk bed is strong enough to hold your weight. You should also follow certain rules in case of guardrails, bunk ladder, and mattress selection. 

Here are the 5 safety rules you need to consider for using bunk beds with ease. 

1. Weight Capacity

First of all, you need to check whether your weight aligns with the weight capacity of the bunk bed. Adult bunk beds can usually hold up to 250 to 450 lbs weight. I’d suggest choosing a bunk bed that has at least 40 to 50 lbs more weight capacity than your actual weight. 

2. Sturdiness and Stability

Another crucial safety concern of bunk beds is their body and construction design. You should add a box spring or a bunkie board as the foundational base if the bed slats seem fragile. You should go for metal or wood bunk beds for more stability. 

3. Guardrails

If you have a tendency to roll out of your bed in sleep, you should be cautious about the guardrails. Optimally, the guardrail should be 13 to 15 inches high. If it’s a moving guardrail, the distance between the guardrail and the bed end should be less than 0.22 inches. But if it’s fixed, the guardrail end and the nearest bed end should be below 15 inches.   

4. Ladder Safety

Again, having a sturdy ladder is a must for an adult bunk bed. Like the bed’s weight capacity, the bunk bed ladder should also have the capability to carry an adult. Usually, it’s made with the same material the bed is constructed with. 

To ensure the bunk bed’s ladder safety, you should check if the screws and attachments are mounted properly. Also, make sure the steps have an anti-slip coating so that you don’t slip. 

5. Mattress Selection and Thickness

To avoid any unwanted accidents, you should select a thin mattress for the top bed. Ideally, the top bed mattress should be 4 to 6 inches thick. Make sure the thickness of the mattress doesn’t surpass the guardrails. Otherwise, you’ll get head bumps by the ceiling.  

And for the bottom bed, you can use your regular mattress. However, make sure the mattress isn’t too thick so that you get bumped by the top bed. 

Here’s one thing you should remember. You can’t use a mattress that has springs or wireframes as support for bunk beds. It’s prohibited as per the 1987 Entrapment Hazards Safety Regulations.  

3 Accessibility Considerations for Adults Using Bunk Beds

Now, apart from safety regulations, you should also consider the appropriate bunk bed height, mobility, and space for you. Here’s what you need to care about. 

1. Ceiling Height

First, you need to ensure that the ceiling height and the bunk bed height align with each other. As an adult bunk bed is usually 5-6 feet tall, you should keep at least 30 inches gap between the top bed mattress and the ceiling. This will help you to get in and out of the bunk bed effortlessly. 

So, the ceiling height must be at least 8-9 feet above the bunk bed to avoid any hassle. You should be aware of your room’s ceiling height before buying the bed.   

For example, you’ll need a 41.5 inches tall bunk bed if the ceiling is 8 feet tall. Similarly, for a 9-foot and 10-foot ceiling, you’ll require 48.5 inches and 53 inches tall bunk beds respectively. 

2. Mobility Concerns

To address mobility concerns, some bunk bed models offer a variety of accessibility features. For example, some bunk bed manufacturers include stairs instead of a ladder, which can make it easier for adults with mobility issues to access the top bunk. 

Additionally, some bunk beds include additional handrails or support features to help individuals maintain their balance while climbing up or down.

3. Storage Space

Finally, by choosing your preferred bunk bed shape, you’ll be able to optimize the space as you like. Sometimes people use drawers in bunk beds to keep their daily necessary items. 

What Types of Bunk Beds are Safe for Adults?

There are only 2 types of bunk beds that are safe for adults. These are metal and wood bunk beds. A metal bed can hold approximately 70kg to 115kg of adult weight making them the safest option. 

On the contrary, wood bunk beds have a slight risk of falling apart if the wood type isn’t correctly chosen. To be safe, you must choose a wooden bunk bed made from mango wood, ironwood, pine, birch, or rubber wood.  

However, you should avoid bunk beds made from particleboard or plywood. It’s because these materials aren’t safe for adults. They can only be used for children bunk beds. 

Adults Who Shouldn’t Use Bunk Beds

Now even if your bunk bed is safe, it’s certainly not for everyone. If you find yourself as one of the three types of people beow, you shouldn’t use bunk beds. 

Fears Heights

If you have acrophobia or fear of falling from a heightened distance, you shouldn’t use bunk beds. Well, you can use the bottom bed. But you should avoid staying on the top bed under any circumstances. 

Has Claustrophobic Issues 

Again, if you have claustrophobia, a bunk bed isn’t for you. Claustrophobic patients fear small and confined spaces. 

Sleeping in a bunk bed can also trigger their phobia. It’s because bunk beds have closed guardrails and ladders attached which shrinks the space. As a result, being claustrophobic, you’ll feel uncomfortable living in that confined space. 

However, the top bed can feel a bit manageable in this case as the upper part of the bed is open.  

Has Overweight Issues

An adult bunk bed can hold up to 450 lbs of weight. But if your weight crosses this limit, you shouldn’t sleep in a bunk bed; especially on the top bed. The bunks become risky for you then. If the bunk bed is made of plywood or particleboard, you should avoid sleeping on the bottom bed as well. 

5 Important Tips for Using Bunk Beds as Adults

Finally, you should keep these 6 important tips in mind to make the best use out of your bunk bed. 

  • Place the bunk bed in a safe location devoid of any dangerous objects. 
  • Don’t hang anything from the bunk bed.
  • Never jump or stand on the top bunk bed.
  • Keep your bunk bed under regular maintenance.
  • Keep a source of light near the ladder to avoid accidents at night. 

FAQs On Adult Bunk Bed Uses

What is the age limit for bunk beds?

The age limit for bunk beds is from 6 years old to 16 years old. If it’s an adult bunk bed, the age limit is 40 years old. It’s better to avoid the top bed as you age for safety reasons.  

Can a bunk bed crush you?

Yes, a bunk bed can crush you. It’s only possible if the bunk bed isn’t properly assembled according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, it’s actually a rare incident. So, there’s nothing to worry about.

Why aren’t there many bunk beds for adults?

There aren’t many bunk beds for adults because adults don’t typically use bunk beds. As there is less demand, bunk bed manufacturers don’t keep too many adult bunk beds in their stock. However, adult bunk beds are common in prisons, military barracks, and emergency shelters.   


I hope you’ve cleared your confusion about “can adults use bunk beds?” by now. Hopefully, this article helped you to gain a vision of what type of adult bunk bed you can use. Finally, if you want to use bunk beds regularly, make sure you’re using the ones that are only made for adults. 

About Smily Mom

Smilymom is an initiative by a group of four friends who simply wanted to help you make good decisions. We bring you the greatest and latest information about parenting, baby wellness, housekeeping, and home decoration along with expert advice and trusted product reviews. We don’t settle for misleading, half-baked information and we take pride in it.

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