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!

Clarissa (not verified)

Sun, 09/25/2011 - 13:01

as a mom of 4 kids.. sorry no expert only in parenting I would say. LOL I love this idea, you did great, low to the ground and I love the way you blocked the whole side up so no way of him falling off. My almost 3 year old would love it. And It is great for small places, as for freak accidents like the one with the preteen who died there is a reason they call them freak accidents, And the only reason they don't want you putting kids on the top bunk if the fear of falling. Which you have taken care of. GREAT IDEA!

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 09/29/2011 - 11:33

I only have a tiny room for our two kids and have been trying to figure out how to pull off a toddler bunk without paying $1000 for one. My son is pre-school age, no longer a toddler and his sister needs a toddler bed. I'd love to do this for them and it's a shame that people can't judge the safety of their children anymore and need "professionals" and "experts" to dictate their every move.


Thu, 11/03/2011 - 02:33

I love this bed as I can see how to make the bottom into a play house type of fort. It is perfect for my 5 almost 6 year old son, he is special needs and doesn't want a bigger bed yet as he doesn't feel safe in them. Making the bottom into a fort for him and giving the top a tent top so that it is even less open is perfect for him. I am planing on making this for him for Christmas if I can come up with the wood. This is awesome. Thank you for the idea, we had been trying to figure out how to talk him into a twin bed and now we don't have too.


Sat, 11/05/2011 - 19:40

I like that the bottom bed is on the floor which brings the height of the top bed down. I worry about the kids falling out or jumping off, but with the height of the rails and the lower one on the floor it seems there is little to worry about.
Thank You for sharing, Kristen

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 12/01/2011 - 08:19

This is lovely! My twins at 2 could not be trusted in this. I already have trouble with them climbing their brothers bunk bed, but it would be a great way to reuse their mattress for a reading nook/fort! So fun! I will have to add this to my LONG list of things to make.

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 22:34

Love It!! Kudos! I have been searching for this and I have been weighing the pros and cons on safety but fact is I let my kids play at playgrounds and my children also will jump off the couch every chance they get, but as their parent it is my job to teach them not to. So, will my kids end up in the Emergency room with a sprained or broken wrist? Probably. At some point, one of my kids will get hurt. It could be a bike, a slide, the kitchen table or a bed that causes an injury. If I do my job maybe we can avoid a serious injury, but I need to save space right now and I have a small three year old that I plan on sticking on the top bunk who will most likely fit in a toddler bed until she is seven. I am going to do my job, watch my kids, teach them life lessons and get one of these

Lilmrsmchenry (not verified)

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 08:34

Would you mind emailing me the plan for this? I would love to make this for my boy so I can use my youngest's crib for our newest addition when he/she arrives.

Lilmrsmchenry (not verified)

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 11:45

I just assumed you would have it since I had to use it to submit my comment. :) It is my user name at yahoo. I'd rather not spell it out. Thanks!

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 03/15/2012 - 20:32

I have two children and they share a room, that will hardly accommodate a twin bed. Thank you so much for sharing these plans I plan on constructing this bed with some alterations this weekend. Thank you again great idea. Also for those saying not to do it for safety reasons if you know your children and know they are not the type to try and use it for a launching pad then it should be fine the height is not that much higher than a crib. My oldest learned how to climb out of a crib at 1 therefore it could happen in a crib as well. Thanks again.

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 09:21

...and my 2 1/2 yr old LOVED the thomas picture. he is asking for that now!

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 09:20

i have two toddler mattresses and wondering what to do with them when the kids outgrow their big boy beds ( one is still in a crib) but this idea that i could use the mattresses and make a loft type bed for a reading nook or a place to watch tv for the older kids is a super. i needed dimmensions. thanks again!

Christine (not verified)

Thu, 04/05/2012 - 15:03


I'd like to build my 3yr old a loftish size bed using his crib mattress.
Would you be able to send me the plans for this bunk bed. I think it would be perfect. I want to put his dresser under the bed as well as a little chair.

Unfortunately due to unforseen circumstances he is sharing out bedrooma nd I need all the floor space I can get.



p.s. This is my new favorite website! You truely are inspiring.

Guest (not verified)

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:36

Thank you so much for this! It is EXACTLY what I was looking for :) We are about to down size our home for economic reasons and don't have the space for regular beds (even toddler beds). Out of 6 children, our youngest two are almost 2 and almost 4. I have full confidence in this mini bunk bed. My youngest has been hoisting herself in and out of her crib for months (she's quite talented!) and this bed would be in my opinion much safer than what she is used to, lol! Like the previous comment said, if they can take a nose dive off the back of the couch and pop right back up like nothing happened, I have no fear whatsoever that this is the perfect creation for MY family. Again, THANK YOU! :)

Misty Bowen (not verified)

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 04:53

I am so excited about these plans. I have a 6 y/o and a 2 y/o who are quickly running out of room in their bedroom with a crib and a toddler bed in there. My 6 y/o is very small for his age, but a great climber. I don't really have to extra money right now to go buy mattresses for a full size bunk bed, so this is perfect. We can get a couple more years out of their crib mattresses.

And I can't believe the reccomended age is 10 for a bunk bed! Do kids even still want bunk beds at 10?

Amy Evans (not verified)

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 23:23

Could you please email me the plans for these? They are EXACTLY what I have been looking for =) [email protected]
Also..... is there a way we could make these into "normal" bunkbeds..... like the ones u could turn into 2"normal" beds, yet still be the toddler beds?

Amy Evans (not verified)

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 23:31

Could you please email me the plans for these? They are EXACTLY what I have been looking for =) [email protected]
Also..... is there a way we could make these into "normal" bunkbeds..... like the ones u could turn into 2"normal" beds, yet still be the toddler beds?


Sun, 01/12/2014 - 03:16

This is exactly what I'm looking for. I live in a tiny 2 bedroom townhouse. I turned the 2nd bedroom into 2 tiny rooms. I have 2 boys and a girl. The 2 1/2 year old needs out of the travel crib in my bedroom and I had no way of fitting a normal size bunk into the tiny rooms. I live pay to pay, and so no money for custom toddler bunks. Please email me these plans. Thanks for the cautions, but if one is careful and God is willing, then we will be very happy thanks to you! [email protected]


Sat, 02/22/2014 - 17:17

We saw this a few months ago, and all our daughter could talk about for the last few months was her new bunk bed. Finally, today, we built it. It is stinking awesome, thank you so much for posting this!


Thu, 08/07/2014 - 22:57

I made this cute bunk bed for my grandsons ages 2 and 4. I have a little niche in my room that its fits in perfectly. The 2 yo outgrew the porta crib and I needed a solution so they both could sleep in my room. They spend the night every Friday. Here are a few additional things I did. I bought pipe insulation foam to cover the rungs. Makes it easy on their little feet when they climb up and down. Also put them on the side rungs to protect from bumps. The foam strips are 6 ft and I bought the ones that have a strip of adhesive on each side so they stick to the wood. They are about $1.60 @ Home Depot or Lowes. I bought plastic nut covers for the bolt nuts. Last I put the bunk bed on foam squares to help cushion any falls (none so far). I do not allow them to play on them - they are for sleeping only. My grandsons love these bunk beds and it solved my limited space issue.


Thu, 09/25/2014 - 12:32

I absolutely LOVE this idea but can't seem to find the plans. Can someone PLEASE email them to me. I am really eager to get this project underway. Thank you!!!


migdaliamart at gmail dot com


Thu, 12/10/2015 - 22:11

Hello, I am wondering what others thoughts are to secure these to a wall in a rental? I haven't made them yet, but was thinking maybe I could just turn the bottom bunk so they're at 90° to each other. Not sure if that would be too hard or not. Thanks. 


Thu, 02/18/2016 - 18:59

Hello, can you please email these plans to [email protected]?  We have all the wood cut for it, and then realized we didn't actually have the plans for this.  Thank you!