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Credit: Chantal Lamers / The Bunk Bed Book

14 Clever Ways to Take Your Kid’s Bunk Bed to the Next Level

updated May 11, 2022
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Two years ago, my son William (then four) told me in no uncertain terms that he and I were going to write a book about bunk beds. I’d just published my first book, The Little Book of Living Small, and a particularly cool L-shaped bunk bed in my book had ignited his passion. I created a Pinterest board and started a saved collection on Instagram to gather bunk bed inspo for him, and a funny thing happened. In humoring my son, I realized what a wide world of bunk beds there was… and I actually did end up writing a book about bunk beds, aptly titled The Bunk Bed Book.

In researching and gathering the 115 bedrooms that appear in my book, I learned A LOT about bunk beds – and sadly, not every amazing bed and nugget of bunk wisdom could fit in the book. Because books need to remain evergreen for years, I couldn’t share all of my favorite bunk beds to buy. Nor could I include the many amazing accessories that are available to outfit your bunk beds. From easy-to-make bedding to battery powered lamps, there are a ton of great finds that can make the bunk bed experience even better for both kids and their parents. Here are 14 products I love to trick out your bunks:

Credit: Weston Wells / The Bunk Bed Book


There is no denying that making a bunk bed is hard – so hard, that I joked that my book should come with a warning sticker that told prospective bunk owners that bunk beds are rarely as beautifully made as they are in photos. My best advice is to keep things simple, but specialized bedding can help.

Zippered Bedding: Beddy's All-in-One Cotton Bedding Set

If you struggle with bed making, consider bedding designed specifically for bunks. Beddy’s makes bedding that zips up somewhat like a sleeping bag, making it easy to get the linens into place; I recommend the all-cotton options.

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Whether you opt for a clip lamp, a wall-mounted sconce, or a battery-powered option, your kid will need something to light their bunk. Here are some affordable options that don’t require the help of an electrician:

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PB Teen

PB Teen’s take on the classic clip lamp has a flexible gooseneck and cushioned clip pads that won't scratch the paint on your kid’s bunk bed.

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Schoolhouse has multiple good-looking, high-quality, and relatively affordable plug-in sconces, including this midcentury-inspired one and its long-arm version.

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MoMA Design Store

Battery-powered lamps have also come a long way from the camping lanterns you may remember from childhood. Case in point: This kid-friendly silicone lamp with Memphis Design cred.

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If you’re not ready to commit to a lamp, a headlamp will do the job in the short term. But do spend a little extra for one that has an auto turnoff feature like this one from Black Diamond to avoid constantly replacing batteries.

Pockets & Caddies

In addition to light, kids need a place to stash their stuff. Soft, fabric pockets and caddies are a great option because they are affordable and don’t require any tools to install.

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The Container Store

Made to slide under the mattress or draped over a footboard or side rail, these cute caddies are available in unicorn, monster, shark, and llama designs.

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For a kid who has outgrown characters, this minimalist felt caddy stays in place courtesy of a flap that goes under the mattress.

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These clever fabric pouches are designed to hold a water bottle from your child’s bunk rail. Available in six colors and has snaps to adjust the size to your railing.

Shelves & Storage

A wall-mounted book ledge is another way to add bedside storage quickly and easily. 

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The Container Store

Available in four colors, this simple shelf from Marie Kondo’s Container Store collection adds a pop of color along with your book storage.

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Pottery Barn Kids

Consider a scaled-down book ledge since you don’t need to store a whole library up in the bunk. At 6-inches deep, this one can store a slim water bottle too.

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This minimalist nightstand attaches to bed frames up to 2.25 inches thick using a clamping system–an ingenious solution for bunks!

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Room & Board

Add storage beneath a bunk with an under-the-bed drawer. This steel one from Room & Board won’t disintegrate with use like many particle board drawers.


Curtains can go a long way towards making a kid’s bunk feel like a private space in a shared bedroom. Some bunk manufacturers will sell a bed with a curtain included, but if not, you can commission simple drapes and hang them up with Command hooks or a tension rod.