Crib size mattress toddler bunk beds

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I've been asked to post the plans or email them out. I will but with a strict warning:

BUNKBEDS ARE NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 10. (by some government agencies, I am not sure which one)

WHY: BECAUSE THEY FALL OUT. A good reason to pause.

I'd never advocate doing anything that might harm your child. But I know my kids better than "Mr.Smith" does. Before you think about building it, think about your kids. Are they crazy hyper maniacs who like to pretend they are super man and jump off the rails of your porch? If so, bunk beds are a bad idea, no matter how old they are.

I tried to think about all the possibilities when I made this bed.

What if he tries and jump out? With the mattress depth it is maybe 3 feet off the ground. I've seen them dive off the back of the couch, so 3 feet does not scare me. You can have it go lower. There is a good 1.5 clearance between the bottom of my youngest head and the upper bunk.

What if he rolls out? My child isn't a big "toss and turner", just in case, he is completely boxed in except at the foot. I guess if I wanted to, I could make some kinda door thingy so It would be like a crib of sorts. However, I think that would be worse than the bunk beds; the oldest might try and climb out.



The design was inspired by:

5 ft long, 30 inches wide and 5 feet tall (you can go about 18 inches lower, but thier head will JUST clear the bottom bunk"


Common Materials
1 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
Cut List

(4) 2x4x60
(4) 1x6x60
(4) 1x6x30
(2) 3/8x3x51
(7) or (8) 3/8x3x60
(10) 3/8x3x30
(12) 3/8x3x28

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Circular Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Add-on I had in mind

Step 2

Another add-on I was contemplating

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

I am unhappy because there ended up being a gap between the mattress support and the outside railing. My little one likes it because it is his cubby hole and my big one likes to throw things down it at his brother.

I haven't fixed it yet. However, I think. a 1x4.5x28 board would cover the gap. It would make it "prettier", it would upset my little one. I am thinking about adding it to the bottom of the top bed to create a cubby for the top bed.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Tue, 09/06/2011 - 18:04

I don't mean to be rude or intrusive or discourage you, because you have a real talent for building. However, there is a reason you couldn't find plans. The CPSC recommends that only children over the age of 6 sleep in the top bunk of a bunk bed. Here is a link if you choose to view it:
Again, you have real talent, but as a healthcare provider, I see many injuries in children that are unnecessary and would not want to encourage anyone to build a "toddler bunkbed" using crib mattress dimensions.

TsuDhoNimh (not verified)

Wed, 09/07/2011 - 13:11

I too, am a health care provider, and one who is trained in emergency on-scene care.

From this link:…

"In the United States during 2008, 968 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 168,000 were injured."

So when are you going to stop using your car to drive your children places?

From your link: "Every year, over 30,000 children are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms and approximately 10 children die from bunk bed injuries."

Let's put it in perspective: more toddlers die in swimming pools in just my county (Maricopa in AZ)every year than die nationally in bunk beds ... and they spend much more time in the beds than in the pools.

Bunk bed-related injuries among children and adolescents treated in emergency departments in the United States, 1990-2005.

Note: lacerations (from the hardware?), bumps and bruises are the most common ER-seen injuries. Fractures (wrists as the child hits the floor) are also common.
Bunk bed-related injuries sustained by young children treated in emergency departments in the United States, 2001-2004 says, "These data suggest injuries could be prevented if side rails were mandatory for all top beds, young children were not permitted to sleep in bunk beds, and all children were encouraged not to use the beds for play."

One easy design modification is to have a ladder with a high first rung so that a short toddler can't climb it.


Wed, 09/07/2011 - 07:39

Healthcare provider and health inspector, 2 different fields, but I digress.

Yes, I am sure there is an expert to tell me that bunkbeds are bad. Same group also told me not to give him matchbox cars, little toy men and lego's because he'd eat them and die. Know your child. If they are a hyper maniac, bunkbeds at 15 probably aren't a good idea.

Safety, the only discussion I read was on bunk beds, regualar bunk beds. I wouldn't feel safe putting them in one because they are so high up. I kept mine low to the ground and in truth can go 18 inches lower.

I said I couldn't find the plans, not the product. Toddler size bunk beds are not a off the wall idea I had. There are commercial companies that make them. Example of what I see as an unsafe beds: "Bunkie Cribs" ~ ",.........and not over 18 months of age",...... a year old in a "bunk bed" But that is not what it is labeled as.


Sat, 10/22/2011 - 10:29

It's labeled for under 18 mos because they don't want active toddlers in this--it's intended for a daycare where they would need cribs for several infants--and the babies are generally supervised.

From the site, it appears to be only slightly higher than a regular crib, and it's completely enclosed. They basically took a standard crib and raised it up a tad--no doubt using some pretty custom hardware for the top rail in order to get it approved by the CPSC. The upper mattress appears to be about the same height as the bed above.

The manufacturers instructions include fastening it to the wall too. With a crib mattress (narrow @ 28"), tipping the whole unit over can be a bigger concern than falling off. Screwing it to the wall would be a very good idea (I can't tell if you did or not.).


Thu, 09/08/2011 - 06:36

I do apologize for being offensive. Of course everyone knows their family and home better than some governing agency. I agree wholeheartedly with that. My child's friend was killed in a bunk bed accident. I just thought some people might get the idea for a "Bunk bed crib" due to the title. So again, I'm sorry if I offended you with my comment.


Thu, 09/08/2011 - 09:56

I'm going to admit I was already in a foul mood when I replied. Me in a foul mood equals less diplomacy on my part.

I would never advocate putting babies in a bunk bed crib, which is exactly what that bunkie crib is. Astonished they sell it and cut the age off at 18 months. My 9 month old would probably take a nose dive in that thing. Which goes back to knowing your children. I know my little monster and am for a list of reasons don't believe it to be unsafe. And if he proves me a liar. It is 3 feet, he could prove me the same liar jumping off the back of the couch. If anyone questions if theirs would be safe. DON'T DO IT. I can't stress that enough, any question to their safety, don't do it.

I am sorry that he/she died. I just heard of a freak bunk bed accident with a pre-teen, where the sheet got tangled in the rails and strangled them in thier sleep. I still can't fathom how that would happen and I feel bad for the parents. How could they see that one coming and protect them? Either way, I agree. It is sad when a child passes.


Thu, 09/08/2011 - 06:37

I do apologize for being offensive. Of course everyone knows their family and home better than some governing agency. I agree wholeheartedly with that. My child's friend was killed in a bunk bed accident. I just thought some people might get the idea for a "Bunk bed crib" due to the title. So again, I'm sorry if I offended you with my comment.

Faye (not verified)

Sat, 09/10/2011 - 15:31

thanks a lot you trolls! i hate when people cant help but say negative things. im sure you would really put your kids at risk. you dont seem like a dumb hick that rubber banded some wood together for them to sleep in ugh. i think its a great idea (btw i think the crib bunk bed is ridiculous! my SIL had one a quad one and it looked like she had her kids in cages lol) -not for me. but i love the toddler size idea for a bunk bed. we just might do that. im having twins in feb and after they are ready for bed i just might! thanks for the idea


Thu, 09/15/2011 - 07:02

bunkie cribs look like baby jail, but when you have a lot of babies it does make a little sense.

Bunkie toddler beds, just a smaller version of that IKEA low bunk bed. My five year old has been in the top bunk of that sucker for 2 years. He's only bonked once...and that was when he decided he was a monkey or spiderman or something and thought he could jump off the bunk and swing from the ceiling fan light pull! Thank goodness he didn't pull the fan down and thankful he actually landed on his feet. Adjustments made, instructions given, behavior modified, all is well.

So thanks for posting some DIY plans for a product that already exists on the market.

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 15:01

i LOVE this idea. I have twin toddlers and would love to build this but alas one twin in particular, i know for a fact would dive off the top EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. he wanted to get down and just laugh and the other would just scream.
but i am on a board for other twin mommies and i will send them your way. I KNOW they will love it!

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