Whilst bunk beds are primarily seen as a way to inject a bit of fun into the kids' bedtime, they can also be a great option if you're looking to create more space in a boxy shared bedroom. As with any pricey purchase, though, you need to make sure you do your homework first.
The most important consideration when deciding whether to plump for a bunk bed is keeping your kids safe when they're using it.
It should go without saying that this means ensuring you buy - and correctly install - all the appropriate firewall features like a guard rail, headboards, and a strong sturdy ladder. Depending on the weight of the bed, you may also want to clamp it to the floor to prevent any movement - particularly if you don't have a carpet or rug underneath.
As well as this, it's also vital you make your children understand the importance of observing bunk bed safety etiquette, particularly in terms of following the correct route down. This is a judgment for the parents to make on their own, as it will really come down to how much you trust your little ones, and whether you think they are mature enough to follow the rules.
Most people will opt for a bunk bed precisely because they want to accommodate two children in the same room, but they are also popular among those who simply need the extra storage space in a particularly cramped area.
In that case, consider choosing a bunk bed with a desk or a wardrobe underneath, which will in turn give you more leisure space on the floor below. You can also get bunk beds that feature a hidden third bed at the bottom, or a small sofa which doubles up as a temporary sleeping area when you have visitors round.
As above, safety is absolutely paramount when it comes to bunk beds and the cheaper ones can have a slightly unstable feel about them - particularly the self-assembly metal frames with a ladder loosely draped from the guard rail.
It's far more sensible to look for a quality made bunk bed from a reputable store instead of going for a second hand one. Taking that into account, a good price to pay is somewhere in the region of £250 to £400, which will include the cost of the mattresses as well (most of the time, these are included in the deal, as it's difficult to source the right sized ones otherwise).
Argos in particular have an extensive range of bunk beds, including some that are sold as part of a complete furniture set, especially made to make the most out of space in a boxy children's room.
Although having to assemble them yourself is an ordeal, the quality is good enough for safety purposes. Bear in mind that kids will outgrow their bunk beds pretty quickly, so you're not necessarily looking for a piece of furniture to last for years and years.