9 Tent Beds for Kids Who Dream of Sleeping Under the Stars

published Oct 4, 2022
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crate and kid tent bed
Credit: Crate & Kids

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from nearly six years of parenting, it’s this: Kids live for building forts. Really, I’m pretty sure my 5-year-old asks us to help him “make a fort” at least four or five times a week. Sometimes it’s with blankets, other times it’s with bed sheets, and when we remind him that he’s got one without hard work attached to it, other times we’ll just get out his pop up spaceship tent and chill with our legs sticking out.

These little hideaways are a mainstay in kids’ lives, so much so that contemporary furniture brands have taken a stake in the pastime and started designing tent beds for adventurous littles and dreamer tweens and teens alike.  

What is a tent bed?

What’s a tent bed, you ask? Well, according to nursery and child interiors extraordinaire, Naomi Coe, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a bed with “some kind of fabric involved, and a more-or-less triangular shape at the top.” Some designs are simple bohemian riffs on the house bed look that toddlers and parents have gravitated toward in recent years, while others are much more a style all their own, with wooden platform bases, roll-back canvas flaps, and cutout side paneling to let in sunlight or provide the illusion of the ‘great outdoors.’

The beauty of these imaginative designs is what Coe calls “a fusion of bedroom and playroom” aesthetics — and it’s what makes them a great choice for younger children, because they’re whimsical without being too ‘kiddie.’ Coe notes that most clients who commission her for their kids’ rooms, with tent beds in mind, are aware that they probably won’t use them for too long (unlike a traditional canopy bed that’s more of a classic, bedroom mainstay); that being said, it’s still not out of the realm of possibility for a teen to appreciate the cool factor of an A-frame bedstead under which to rest their head (as festival music pumps through their earbuds). 

We’ve rounded up 9 of our favorite tent takes you can shop right now. As a parent, I could definitely get down with an iteration of the tent bed, especially given its kind of hideout appeal. Bring on the s’mores, spiked cider, and Hocus Pocus 2!

9 Fantastic Tent Beds for Kids

1 / 9
Pottery Barn Kids

When we brought up this PBK classic, Coe was quick to say that she actually just used it in a 6-year-old boy’s room and could see it staying for at least another 3-5 more years, if not longer. The design is “clean and modern and not too juvenile, so I think it can be pretty versatile,” Coe shares. And we agree, knowing that the bed comes in three room-vibing color varieties: natural, black, and simply white.

Another great thing about the tent bed is that it doesn’t have to be pigeon-holed into a literal nature-forward/outdoorsy overall room theme. For instance, the white construction and canvas can be incorporated into a nautical-style setup, just as the black poplar wood can pop in an edgier, steampunk-inspired bedroom vision. It’s not a one-hit wonder and doesn’t age out, that’s for sure!

2 / 9
Bed Bath & Beyond
was $329.99

Building blanket forts and camping out are the childhood memories that motivate this Delta Children’s twin tent bed. It’s low to the ground, so parents, you don’t have to worry about your littles getting up and out during the night. This bed is also one of our picks for the best kids' storage beds thanks to the built-in bookshelf at the bed’s end so your bookworms can enthusiastically read under a blanket at night, with the glow of a flashlight! We love the white, blush, grey, and charcoal color swatches it comes in, too!

3 / 9
Simply Kids Room

Not all tents need to feature that triangular shape, either. This one is a lot boxier, resembling a sort of cabana or street vendor tent — and it just feels luxe, leaning into a real ‘escapist’ POV. Think about the naps that could happen for your kids, with a breezy, gauzy canopy draped above their bed or the exciting, ludic play that would transpire if they used their imaginations to power up a bustling flower or bodega-simulated play session. The striped awning is included, but you’ll need to purchase the market box shelves separately. And with a trundle bed in tow, let’s talk epic sleepover potential…

4 / 9

Simplicity is the star in this elegant and brilliantly-raw open tent silhouette. With the natural grain of the five boards forming the classic, A-shape framework, it’s probably the truest interpretation of a tent design. Yet, since it’s so streamlined, it can really go with any room, and that’s another thing that Coe explained loving about the tent bed. “Since there are so many types of these beds available, really any type of room can be a conducive canvas for it.”

We’re big fans of the bed atop a textured area rug with geometric accents, but motifs like rainbows and sunbursts also play well with its desert-boho sense of belonging. Shibori tie dye would apply beautifully, too! Just keep in mind, the mattress doesn’t come with this one!

5 / 9
Crate & Barrel

When North West had a camp-centric 9th birthday party this summer, we ALL wanted a camp-centric birthday party. Luckily, that flannel-PJ-worthy look can be achieved on the daily with this hybrid tent and bed combination from Crate & Kids. Throw on a set of buffalo plaid, houndstooth, or minimalist bed sheets (the black and white woodland creature ones, also from Crate & Kids, check the boxes on whimsical, tent-appropriate intrigue!), and your kiddo will have an influencer-level hangout in no time. That roll-up back window has us dreaming of some stellar star or chic constellation wall decals.

6 / 9
Maxtrix Kids

When you’re researching kids’ tent beds, you’re likely to pull up some “bed tents,” too. These are cloth or nylon accessories that can be added to your child’s existing bed structure. And while they’re certainly a great grab, if you’re not looking to spend much, or just want to indulge your kid’s present tent-making (or other novelty/character) obsession, they don’t have the same polish or staying power as the tried-and-true wooden tent concept.

This bed from Matrix is a fantastic blend of both, though! The colorful top tent (available in 10 hand-sewn, 100% cotton fabric colorways) on the toddler bed will inspire imagination and encourage play during the day, and then help your little one sleep soundly at night. And just like the enclosed and protective guardrails, the top tent can be removed whenever it’s no longer needed.

7 / 9
West Elm

Zeroing in on that earlier point about tent beds being a kind of ‘riff’ on the popular house bed design is this wooden canopy storage bed from West Elm Kids. It’s a contemporary big kids’ bed look that kindergartners, middle-schoolers, and even high-schoolers would love because of its adaptable solid maple or walnut wooden frame — as in, it can fit in flawlessly with white walls or those decked out in polka dot decals. Choose from black, white, red, deep blue, or yellow pull out drawers and never have to worry about storage solutions again!

And about that chic tent styling, vis a vis North West and her trend-minded mama, Kim, how about adding a golden moon garland to the framework? Under the stars, but make it fashion.

8 / 9
was $599.00

A titan in sturdy design, this two-tone cabin tent silhouette is simple with clean lines and peek-a-boo windows at each end. It epitomizes something that any toddler would be smitten with, and not just because of the accompanying trundle bed — perfect for sleepovers with their stuffed animals and slumber parties with their siblings or cousins. We can even see this bed inspiring a bunch of DIYs like the IKEA Kura bed. Those white-finished A-frames are just poised for a paint job or Etsy-shop-made adhesives.

9 / 9

For a more ethereal effect, a canopy is the only thing that comes close. This bed is made from metal in a soft pink finish and highlights a tall, triangular headboard and footboard with a stretcher bar in between. The sheer canopy that comes with serves up tent vibes without going full tilt with canvas. Coe tells us that she’s used a simple hanging fabric canopy for a few families, and they’ve loved its affordability and how easy it is to install and remove.

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