HOW TO CHOOSE A CHILD’S BED?
Children’s beds aren’t always chosen as carefully as adult beds. Consider how comfortable a bed will be, now and in the future, and also how the bed can help you make good use of space in what is often a smaller room. Think, too, about its longevity and how soon your child might outgrow it.
1. CHOOSE A BASIC TYPE
Each type of child’s bed has its own benefits, whether it be storage, accessibility, or additional floor space beneath. If you want the bed to last, opt for a wood or painted finish that will work with different decorating schemes.
Slightly shorter than a regular bed, this is an ideal first bed, especially if the room is small. It usually features two short side rails to prevent your child from falling out, and is often adjustable, so you can lengthen it as your child grows.
Single beds that will see a child through from toddler to teens are available in a wide choice of finishes, styles, and with or without headboards and footboards. If you are happy to buy for the short term, you can also opt for themed bed frames, such as race cars or fairy-tale castles.
If a bedroom is short on floor space, a loft bed is a practical option for children of five years and over. The bed is raised much higher than a standard bunk bed (often high enough for an adult to stand beneath), allowing space below that can be used for other furniture or simply as a play space.
Where children share a room, or a spare bed is needed for guests, bunk beds are an ideal solution. In addition to the classic single-over-single bunk beds, there are other options available, such as a larger bed on the bottom, with storage drawers, or a pull-out trundle that provides even more sleeping space.
2. CONSIDER ADDITIONAL FEATURES
There are many ways in which a child’s bed can offer extra functionality. In a small bedroom, this can help compensate for limited storage space, play space, or workspace elsewhere in the room.
BEDS THAT CONVERT
If you’re buying a crib, consider one that converts into a toddler bed to extend its life by another three years. The sides usually detach and the mattress can be lowered.
EXTRA SLEEPING CAPACITY
Whether you have houseguests regularly, your children have sleepovers, or you want to sleep near them when they are sick, an underbed trundle—a slimline beds on wheels—is an invaluable buy. Simply pull it out when you need it.
Drawers—whether built-in or separate—that occupy the space under a single bed are always useful. If the drawers are separate units, look for ones that roll out on wheels and have a lid, since dust tends to gather beneath a bed.
A raised bed with a wardrobe is the ideal buy if you need to store the maximum number of items within the minimum amount of floor space. Shop for a wardrobe with both hanging and concealed drawer/shelving options, since flexibility is key.
If choosing a bed for a small child, you could opt for one with fun elements such as a slide or a playhouse or “fort” area. If possible, choose one where the extra features can be stripped away when the child gets older.
BED WITH WORKSPACE
If your child needs a quiet place to study, a desk incorporated into the space under a raised bed will prove very useful. A model that also offers some storage, such as a chest of drawers, will ensure that you make the best use of the space.