9 best kid’s beds to ensure that everyone gets a great night’s sleep

We tested for ease of assembly, storage, space saving and, with help from our mini testers, comfort  (iStock/The Independent)
We tested for ease of assembly, storage, space saving and, with help from our mini testers, comfort (iStock/The Independent)

Buying a child’s bed can be a bit of a minefield, but a bit of forward-planning will really pay off. It starts as soon as you buy that first cot – choose wisely and the right one will see your baby through until they’re starting school. And if they’re older, you might want something with extra functionality – whether that’s for storage, study, or sleepovers.

When you’re looking at beds for younger kids, consider the height of the bed from the floor and how easy it is for little legs to climb in and out. If they’re moving into a proper bed for the first time, you might want to think about investing in a bed guard or finding a bed that comes with an integrated one. And if you’re considering a cabin bed or bunk bed, always stick to recommended ages, which are there for safety reasons.

For high sleepers and top bunks the recommended minimum age is usually six and over, although it will come down to your individual child. Be sure to check the safety guidelines and always buy the right mattress – those designed for higher beds and bunks are shallower in depth than a standard mattress to ensure the side bars provide enough safety coverage.

While we’re on the subject, check if the bed takes a standard mattress or what’s known as a continental size or Euro single, which – at 90cm x 200cm – is slightly longer than a UK single. Lastly, pay close attention to ladder rungs – we tested some bunks where these were too shallow or too sharp to allow for easy climbing, which is particularly important for younger kids. It’s also important for grown-ups if you’ll be the one changing the sheets.

How we tested

Our parent testers assembled frames, unrolled mattresses, and climbed ladders to whittle down this list of the very best beds – and our little testers happily tried each one out. We looked at ease of assembly, quality, comfort, and value for money – especially in terms of how long each bed would last. We also looked for extra features like built-in storage, space-saving dimensions, and flexibility.

The best kids’ beds for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Little Folks Furniture classic beech bunk bed with storage and sleepover trundle: £700, Littlefolksfurniture.co.uk

  • Best for customising – Ikea kura reversible bed: £179, Ikea.com

  • Best for industrial chic – Cuckooland New York metal kids’ bed: £275, Cuckooland.com

  • Best for loft living – Stompa uno 5 white high-sleeper with desk and pullout chairbed: £839, Stompa.com

  • Best for impromptu sleepovers – Loaf sleepover cushion: £195, Loaf.com

  • Best for baby’s first bed – Mamas & Papas melfi cotbed with cot top changer: £509, Mamasandpapas.com

  • Best for compact rooms – Nox fort mid sleeper bed: £549, Roomtogrow.co.uk

  • Best for toddlers – Habitat bloom extendable toddler bed & kids mattress: £340, Habitat.co.uk

  • Best for style on a shoestring – Olsen bed frame with mattress: £299, Homeessentials.co.uk

Little Folks Furniture classic beech bunk bed with storage and sleepover trundle

We love the fact these bunk beds give you lots of sleeping options and will see kids through from primary schoolers all the way into adulthood. Made primarily from solid beech hardwood with slatted mattress bases, the bunks are incredibly sturdy when built and a great option for siblings. Our bottom-bunk tester, who shares with a very wriggly top-bunk dweller, was particularly happy that the beds didn’t move about every time she rolled over above him – a complaint with some of the other bunks we tested.

The bunks come with a very solid rollaway storage drawer underneath, which you can either fill with bedding or toys, or use as a sleepover bed if you buy the trundle mattress separately (£150, Littlefolksfurniture.co.uk). The whole thing took us about an hour and a half to assemble and we had a lot of fun testing it with all three beds in use for a sleepover.

The bunks, which each take a standard single mattress (you’ll need a high bed safety mattress for the top bunk, which is suitable for age 6+) break down into two adult-size singles, and the simple Nordic-inspired design blends in beautifully to all sorts of interiors. We tested the pure white option, but we were very tempted by the dove grey. It’s a solid, versatile bed that’s built to last – plus, it’s a great price for such a high-quality item that can sleep up to three kids.

Buy now £700.00, Littlefolksfurniture.co.uk

Ikea kura reversible bed

Ikea’s reversible kura bed has built up quite a following, to the point that there was a bit of an online panic when it was rumoured that it had been discontinued (it hasn’t). It’s largely down to how easy it is to customise this basic wooden frame with a few power tools and a bit of imagination. Google “Ikea kura bed hacks” and you’ll see what kind of creative things are possible.

Even fresh out of the box without any creative input, this is an all-round excellent bed. It’s reversible in the sense that you can build it low – with the mattress at the bottom for younger children – or flip it round with the mattress in the top position for ages 6+, which creates a den area underneath. We customised ours with some handmade curtains, and our little tester was thrilled with the play area underneath. It also doubles up as storage once your child gets too big to use it as a den. And, crucially, the bed in the top position isn’t annoyingly high when it comes to changing the sheets.

The frame is easy enough to assemble, particularly if you’re familiar with IKEA instructions, and the cube-shaped frame means it’s really sturdy in either position. You can combine it with a kura bed tent (£35, Ikea.com) to create a canopy over the top, or a kura bed curtain (£25, Ikea.com) to make a very cute den underneath. Even with a continental sized mattress factored in, the price is incredibly budget-friendly and the versatility means this will last your child a long time.

Buy now £179.00, Ikea.com

Cuckooland New York metal kids’ bed

We love the look of Cuckooland’s New York bed, and it went down a treat with our tester. Metal with a powder coated finish, it’s available in six bold colours: a tomato red, mint, blue, classic white, an industrial black, and our personal favourite, a bright sunshine yellow with a retro vibe.

The frame was easy to assemble and nice and sturdy. We had wondered if a metal bed might be creaky but we needn’t have worried, as it didn’t make a sound once built. There’s a decent amount of space underneath for storage, and the headboard is great for hanging fairy lights or bunting from if you fancy giving it a decorative twist. The bed takes a continental-sized mattress, and the frame is also available in a small double size if your little one isn’t so little any more.

Buy now £275.00, Cuckooland.com

Stompa uno 5 white high-sleeper with desk and pullout chairbed

Our favourite high-sleeper of the bunch has to be the Stompa uno 5. This clever loft bed has a built-in desk and shelves underneath, plus a chair that pulls out into a handy sleepover bed. We found it easy to build in around an hour and a half, although you can also pay an extra £99 to have it assembled. We liked the fact the desk and shelf unit can go on either side of the bed, which meant we could get the right configuration for our room.

It’s quite a climb to the top, so this bed is best for older children – the minimum recommended age on the website is six. Our nine-year-old tester found the flat ladder rungs made getting up and down nice and easy, which is also helpful when changing the sheets. Speaking of which, the bed takes a continental-sized mattress which you’ll need to buy separately – Stompa offers a discounted mattress when you buy it as a package with the bed. Our tester found the Stompa S flex air flow mattresses really comfy.

We tested the bed in white, and liked the fact there are lots of options when it comes to cushion colours. We went for blue but there’s also pink, black, red, grey and aqua, plus a new grey version of the bed with a grey cushion set. Stompa’s range of children’s beds is huge – the uno range alone also includes a mid-sleeper, bunk bed and cabin bed with lots of extra functionality.

Buy now £839.00, Stompa.com

Loaf sleepover cushion

If you’re looking for an option for sleepovers but don’t have the space for a trundle bed, this foldaway cushion is a great solution. Our tester found it far more comfortable than the overly squishy blow-up beds we tried, and it functioned as a very pretty pouffe when not in use.

Unfolded, it’s long enough to accommodate an older child or smallish grown-up – perfect if you’re in need of an occasional place to crash next to a poorly child, or a toddler who refuses to nod off unless you’re in the room (we’ve all been there). The mattress itself is foam and wadding, finished in natural linen with a very pretty blanket stitch detail around the edge and buttons that keep it “closed” when it’s folded up.

Bear in mind it’s not particularly easy to clean, so a waterproof sheet might be wise for younger sleepover guests. And if you need something more substantial for older guests, Loaf’s flip-flop floor mattress (Loaf.com, £375) is another great option.

Buy now £195.00, Loaf.com

Mamas & Papas melfi cotbed with cot top changer

The new melfi collection from Mamas & Papas will be right up your street if you’re looking for on-trend nursery furniture. We tested the melfi cotbed in midnight blue – the gorgeous deep blue hue of the moment – and absolutely loved the change from the usual white or natural wood nursery furniture. It’s also just been released in melfi green, and both options are equally striking.

The bed starts life as a cot with three mattress heights, so you can lower it as your baby begins to get more mobile, but spare your back while they’re not. It comes with a compact cot top changer that’s ideal if you’re short on space. But you will need to buy a cotbed mattress separately for this one (£109, Mamasandpapas.com).

As your baby gets older it converts into a very cute toddler bed, and we found the instructions easy to follow when switching between the two – it took our tester around 50 minutes. It’ll see kids through to age four, and still fits our four-year-old tester comfortably. Plus, if you fancy decking out the rest of your nursery to match, there’s a gorgeous wardrobe (£489, Mamasandpapas.com) and dresser (£469, Mamasandpapas.com) in the same striking blue, with sleek, brushed metallic handles.

Buy now £509.00, Mamasandpapas.com

Nox fort mid sleeper bed

Our seven-year-old tester really liked this playful mid-sleeper bed, which has a little house-style den underneath. It’s the only bed we tested that has the ladder on the end panel, rather than the front, which could come in handy in a long, narrow room. You can position it at either end of the bed depending on the layout of your space.

The MDF bed frame comes with two panels for the ends, and another with a window cut-out for the front. Again, this can be positioned on either side depending on where it works best in your room. You can also build it without the front panel and use the space underneath for storage – another handy feature if you’re tight on space.

It’s recommended for kids aged six and over due to the height and takes a reduced-depth continental mattress on a slatted base. We found it quick and easy to assemble, but you can pay an extra £179 for home assembly by Room To Grow’s partner, Screwdriver, if you don’t fancy tackling it yourself.

Buy now £549.00, Roomtogrow.co.uk

Habitat bloom extendable toddler bed and kids mattress

If you’re in the market for a toddler bed, Habitat’s bloom bed is a clever solution. It starts off at just the right size for a toddler moving up from a cot – it’s low to the floor and comes with a small safety rail to stop them rolling out. Then, as your little one grows, you can slide the lower section out to extend the bed by around half a metre, and add in the extra section of mattress provided.

The frame is made from a mixture of sustainably sourced FSC wood and MDF, with a wooden slatted base. Our tester assembled the bed in an hour and a half and found the instructions nice and easy to follow. We tested the bed in white, and it’s available in pine as well. There’s also an option to buy the frame on its own without the extendable mattress, although it’s not clear from the website what you’d use to fill in the gap once the bed was extended, so we plumped for the bed and mattress all in one.

Buy now £340.00, Habitat.co.uk

Olsen bed frame with mattress

If you’re looking for a simple single bed that looks great but doesn’t blow the budget, the Olsen is worth adding to your shortlist. The MDF frame is lightweight but sturdy, and you can choose it in muted dove grey or white. The curved end panels and tapered wooden legs give it a simplistic Scandi vibe, and our testers found it easy enough to assemble in just under two hours.

We tested the dove grey and the colour would work equally well in a girl’s or boy’s room. Plus, there’s a whole range of matching Olsen products, including a compact desk (£99, Homeessentials.co.uk) and a cute bookcase (£89, Homeessentials.co.uk) – all at equally wallet-friendly prices.

The bed frame we tested comes with an airsprung quilted mattress, which fits onto a sprung slatted base. The mattress arrived rolled and even once it’s puffed up it is relatively thin, but comfortable according to our tester. If you’ve already got a mattress sorted, you can buy the frame on its own (from £149, Homeessentials.co.uk). A great option for style on a shoestring.

Buy now £299.00, Homeessentials.co.uk

The verdict: Kids’ beds

From a round-up of brilliant beds, the Little Folks furniture classic beech bunk bed with storage and sleepover trundle came out tops for quality and flexibility. That said, Stompa’s uno 5 offers a great deal of functionality if you’re looking for a high-sleeper, and Ikea’s kura bed is an absolute steal if you want a bed you can really put your own stamp on.

Elevate your little one’s bedroom with our round-up of the best kids’ bunk beds that are functional and fun