Parts of a Bunk Bed Explained (with a 3D Diagram)

A bunk bed is a piece of furniture that essentially holds one bed frame on top of another. This creates two sleeping spots in half the amount of floor space that they would usually occupy.

Bunk beds are common in areas where space needs to be maximized, such as in hotels and hostels, prisons, and children’s bedrooms.

Bunk beds come in a range of designs, from basic through to luxury types, but there are certain components that all bunk beds will include.

Here we look at the various parts that make up a standard bunk bed, as well as the extra parts you can buy to make your bunk bed more personalized to your needs.

Standard Parts of a Bunk Bed

Parts of a Bunk Bed


The frame of a bunk bed is usually made from solid wood or metal. In a standard bunk bed, the frame will consist of four tall vertical posts at each corner of the bed, which support the rest of the frame. The remaining parts of the frame will be horizontal and are used to join each of the tall posts together.

Underneath each mattress, there will be mattress supports which are also considered to be part of the frame. These are made from wooden or metal slats and are spaced out equally across the base sections of the frame.


The guardrail is a vertical rail that goes across the length of the frame on the upper bunk. It can be made from one thick rail or several thinner rails so that the person sleeping on the top bunk still has good visibility.

The rail should be several inches above the height of the mattress on the top bunk, and it is there to prevent the person sleeping in the top bunk from accidentally rolling off the mattress. Since the upper bunk is raised quite high, the guardrail is essential to prevent injury. The guardrail can be made from wood or metal.


In a standard bunk bed, there will be two mattresses. These are typically both twin sizes, with one at the bottom, and one at the top directly over it, with the capacity to sleep two people.

In other types of bunk beds, there is the possibility of having a full or queen mattress on the bottom, with a twin mattress on the top, which will sleep a total of three people.

A less common type of bunk bed is one that sleeps four people, and this will have a full-size mattress at the bottom and another full-size mattress at the top.


The ladder is the part of the bunk bed that is used to gain access to the top bunk. This is commonly fixed to the front of the bunk bed frame or the foot of the bed. A ladder is sometimes replaced by steps, which create a safer and easier way to access the upper bunk but require more floor space.

Extra Bunk Bed Parts

Some bunk beds come with extra parts to make this kind of furniture more enjoyable or functional for the people using them. Typically, this will be for children’s bunk beds.


A bunk bed that has a slide fixed to it is a dream come true for most young children. The slide will be fixed to the top bunk, and it is used to get back down to ground level instead of descending on the stairs.

Slides will be typically made from plastic, though wooden varieties are available too. A slide makes for a really fun feature on a bunk bed, and it can be a great way to make your child more excited about bedtime if they struggle to sleep or don’t like to stay in their own bed.

However, if you were looking for a bunk bed as a way to create more floor space in a bedroom, then a slide isn’t going to help as it requires quite a bit of room.

Privacy curtain

A privacy curtain is something that is sometimes included as part of a child’s bunk bed, but you can also buy it as an extra later on if your child decides they’d like some privacy. A privacy curtain is usually fitted to the upper bunk frame, draping down to provide privacy for the person using the lower bunk.

This can be a good way to limit daylight coming into the bottom bunk, helping to keep them in the dark and hopefully encouraging them to sleep for longer. A privacy curtain can also make the lower bunk feel like a den or a tent, so it is popular with children to play with during the day as well.


If your child sleeping in the top bunk is envious of the privacy curtain that the child in the lower bunk has, then a bunk bed tent is the answer. This is a type of structure that can be fitted to the frame of the top bunk, and it creates a dome or tent shape to provide privacy and make the mattress area feel more enclosed, like a secret haven.

You can find tents for the top bunk, which just cover the head end of the bed or tents that cover the entire top bunk with a doorway curtain at the point where the ladder is.

Storage pocket

Storage pockets are fabric folders that can be hooked or tied to the upper frame on the bunk bed. Generally, the person sleeping on the lower bunk will have access to a nightstand, or even the floor, where they can keep a book or a drink.

However, there is no surface area for the person on the top bunk to keep small items they might like to have close by at night time.

A storage pocket is a great solution that gives the person sleeping in the top bunk somewhere to put their belongings without having to continually travel up and down the ladder every time they want something.