This IKEA Toddler Bed Is Totally Worth the Hype

published Sep 28, 2022
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IKEA kura bed in colorful kids room
Credit: IKEA

I remember reading ALL the registry guides when I was pregnant with my first, many of which said to buy a crib that would last years for our baby. So, we went for a crib that could be converted from an infant iteration to a toddler bed, and then transformed from a toddler bed into a daybed for the ‘little kid’ years (and a promised full-size bed after that).

Don’t get me wrong, our Delta Children convertible was a fantastic choice for our firstborn, but once he graduated from the crib to the toddler bed, we already wanted something new. That’s exactly where the whole “get a bed that will grow with them” argument broke down (well, it did for us anyway), because as soon as our little boy saw his cousin’s “big girl” bed, he wanted one of his own. Preferably one that didn’t just have the railing removed.  

The IKEA Toddler Bed That Saved the Day

Enter: the twin KURA reversible bed from IKEA, the perfect bunk/lofted look for toddler, preschooler, and little kids, alike. One of my best friends who lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters let me know that she was [anxiously] awaiting a “back in stock” notification from IKEA for this super-cool kids KURA bed. So, when I checked the website and it said we could pick it up from the IKEA store just a couple towns over from us (in New Jersey) that day, I added to my cart ASAP. You could say that it was a total impulse buy, but given how much we’ve loved it, I’m totally OK with that.

Here’s my honest review of the IKEA KURA, which is oh-so-loved by parents on Pinterest.

What Makes the KURA Toddler Bed So Great

I’ll get into all the nitty-gritty design details later, but the real beauty of the KURA reversible bed is its flippable format. According to IKEA, “It’s a low bed perfect for younger children, but also grows with them. You can turn it upside down when your child gets older – creating a play corner in no time with space for play and cozy times.” And that’s a pretty great explanation, because that’s precisely what we did. My husband assembled it with the bed frame and mattress on the floor first, and then once we were confident that our little dude wouldn’t be rolling out of bed on the reg (full transparency, he did a few times right after we sent his converted crib to his grandparents’ house), he turned it over. 

As for the hardware itself, the bed frame and bed base slats (which are included) are constructed from solid pine with a clear acrylic lacquer on the frame. The white paneling is made of fiberboard with acrylic paint and paper foil. The aesthetic epitomizes very simple, quintessential Scandi-style if you ‘let it lie,’ but if you want to hack the look, you can go a lot further with contemporary concepting. There are seriously so many ways you can elevate or even scale back the semblance of the bed; but for our son, who already had a lot of personality in his room already (courtesy of whimsy dinosaur wall decals and a colorful, playful area rug), we kept the bed basic. It just worked. 

Keep in mind that the mattress and the bed linens are sold separately, so if you do decide to buy the $250 bed, you’ll need to add those accessories (I’d estimate another $100-$150 or so) to the cart to complete the purchase.  

Credit: Danielle Halibey

What I Love About IKEA’s KURA Toddler Bed

For my bestie in Brooklyn, the KURA was clutch because the lofted configuration helped maximize space and give each of her girls a fun place to sleep in their New York City home. We didn’t necessarily need to stretch our space, but it did give my son more room for activities. His Paw Patrol towers (both the OG pup headquarters and the one from the movie), his trampoline, and all of his Hot Wheels tracks take up residence without looking completely cluttered on his floor. 

And now, for the lofted hideaway hype – which, let’s be honest, is my favorite feature of this bed: once we flipped it, a job that my husband enlisted his father for — generational bonding experiences for the win! — our son had his own oasis to steal away, either for rest or for play. We dressed the empty bed frame/floor with an old and exceptionally fluffy IKEA duvet and throw pillows that we used in our first apartment, and added a strand of string lights to amp up the ‘chill’ vibes. Needless to say, whenever my kids go to hang out or relax, they’ve got a soft and cozy nook to retire to. 

Like I said earlier, the KURA bed has become a huge “hack” muse for interior designers and creative, DIY-determined parents, so if you count yourself among them, you can undoubtedly find a way to personalize the design for your own kids. The simple wooden framework lends itself to infinite accessorizing, from lantern stringing to curtain hanging, and the stark white panels offer a brilliant blank canvas for a paint or stencil job, wallpaper, decals, washi tape, bunting banners, etc. You can pop out the paneling if you want to lean into what’s appealing about stripped-down Scandinavian design or you can add more accoutrements, texture, or coverage options via tents or canopies or added layers of wood to devise an entirely-new and impossibly-unique look.

Credit: Danielle Halibey

Other things I love about the KURA:

  • The railing is really confidence-instilling. I still always worry that my now 5-year-old son will roll over in his sleep and topple out of bed, but the sturdy parallel railing prevents that from happening. Phew.
  • The bed height. In its highest position — is perfect for pre-snooze, face-to-face chats with my guy.   
  • The ladder isn’t unattached, it’s built into the bed, with 3-4 evenly-placed wooden rungs: This makes for an easy climb for my son, even when it’s dark. Those pee trips in the middle of the night are no joke! 
  • It works for parents when we need to bunk with our kids. My son was sick this past summer with adenovirus (it was horrific), so my husband bunked in his room, under the bed, for a few nights. It was nice and spacious, plus with the addition of a camping mattress beneath the duvet, it was super comfy. IKEA actually sells these colorful gym mats and they fit perfectly underneath the bed. Not only are they cute for adding a bright splash of color to the neutral white and pine scheme on a daily basis, they’re also great for sleepovers. 

What I’m Not Such a Fan Of 

We’ve purchased plenty of IKEA furniture over the years, from sectional sofas and bedroom sets for ourselves to drop-leaf designs for the kitchen and arts and craft tables for the kids’ playroom. My husband has always assembled things himself, using the retailer’s pictured instructions, but he confessed that putting this one together was “a BEAST and took much longer than most IKEA pieces have in the past.” I can corroborate his story, too, because I recall having to push my son’s bedtime back another hour past his original completion estimations. We were also missing one shorter piece of white paneling, which wasn’t too much of a problem (given it comprised the footboard and was flush against the wall/not visible anyway), but still a defect in its delivery and what we were promised.  

The reversibility is the pièce de résistance of this IKEA kids’ piece, but I will say that when it’s positioned as a lower bed, you need to be conscious of the ladder and have the bed as flush up against the wall as possible. Ours was a bit too far away from the wall, so my son figured out a way to climb the ladder, sit, and try to ‘balance’ on the wooden framework. He almost fell off, too, which would have postponed my green light to loft it even further than the milestone was already!

Credit: Danielle Halibey

Should You Jump On the KURA Toddler Bed Bandwagon?  

Survey says: yes! Despite the longer-than-average assembly time and task at hand (which you can easily outsource to an IKEA-aligned TaskRabbit to install if it’s in your budget) the bed went above and beyond our expectations. And not just because the coordinating dinosaur duvet matched amazingly with our prehistoric appliques from The Lovely Wall

We moved in early August after welcoming our third and final babe, and my son will soon be “leveling up” to an actual bunk bed — leaving his KURA to his little sis. But the bed was a fantastic step-up from toddler living for him and a great “can we deal with our baby sleeping high up” try-out for us. 

Pass-down potential? Thumbs up. A solution for siblings sharing rooms? You bet. Genius thing to hack from IKEA? Absolutely!

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