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Bunk Beds Buying Guide

Bunk Bed Glossary

While shopping for bunk beds for kids and students, you’ll find the following glossary of terms helpful. Read through each of the terms below to find their definitions:

Full Over Full

Larger bunk beds that work well for older children and teens. These frames accommodate full size mattress on both the bottom and top bunks.

Futon Bunk

The bottom bed is also a fold-out futon. Ideal for college rooms and starter bachelor apartments where extra seating is desirable, but space is limited.

Loft Bunk

Only the top level of the bunk bed frame has a twin or full size mattress. The bottom level may include a desk or be left open for more arrangement flexibility.

Twin Over Full

Design features two different size mattresses with a smaller twin size over a full size bed. Ideal for children who are several years apart sharing a bedroom.

Twin Over Twin

The standard bunk bed frame design with one twin mattress over one twin bed. Configurations can be parallel or perpendicular.

Triple Bunk

Triple frames generally have two levels that accommodate up to three children. Either the top or bottom level features two perpendicular mattresses.

XL Twin Over Twin

These larger variations of the standard twin over twin bunk bed frame incorporate extra storage in the form of dressers and drawers.

Built-In Ladder

Bunk beds require either a ladder or stairs to reach the top mattress. Some models have ladders built-in vertically or fixed at an angle.

Bunks with Desks

Students with limited floor space can benefit from a loft-style bunk with a desk built-in below. Designs range from simple shelf-style desks to models with drawers and hutch space.


To provide more open space for the bottom bunk, many frames are designed with one bed at a right angle to the other. These frames tend to make either an L or a T shape.


Instead of a ladder, some larger bunk frames incorporate a stairway at the head or foot of the top bunk. Often added to designs with dressers or desks built-in as well.

Storage Stairs

Bunk beds with stairs can include additional storage in the form of pull-out drawers at the front of each step. These frames are ideal for smaller spaces.

With Bookshelves

Extra shelving can be added to bunk frames vertically along the footboard area or horizontally on models that also feature desks.

With Storage Drawers

Bunk beds can include extra dresser space if the bottom frame features a platform design. Some bunks may also include a dresser added to the footboard area.

With Tent

Younger children can enjoy both the fun of a bunk bed and extra play space. Loft style frames with a tent added to the bottom serve as permanent play fort.

With Trundle Units

Bunks with a captain’s bed or platform frame on the bottom may incorporate a pull-out bed, also known as a trundle. Instead of a storage drawer, this roll-out frame includes an extra mattress.

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