L Shaped Beds Vs Traditional Bunk Beds

I’m assuming you’ve landed on this guide because you’re either exploring the range of kid’s beds that are recommended for siblings sharing a room or you’re on the hunt for beds that are perfect for sleepovers… or you’re just plain curious and enjoy reading my articles (surely not!).

Configuring a bedroom to accommodate more than one child can be a complicated task, you may be dealing with opposite sex siblings sharing, sisters who are years apart with contrasting tastes or the fussiest teens who just want their “own” space.

Both L shaped beds and bunk beds are a super option for room sharers, however, you may be wandering which of these two space saving beds is the best option for your household. How do they differ and what are their features and benefits? In a previous blog, room design inspiration for siblings sharing a room, I offer up many more ideas – be sure to take a peek.

I’ve pooled my knowledge of L shaped beds vs traditional bunk beds into one handy comparative guide – so sit back and get ready to play a little like game of spot the difference!

What is an L Shaped Bed?

  • An L Shaped Bed is a bed configured in the shape of an L, with one bed running vertically and the other horizontally.
  • L Shaped Beds mostly consist of two separate sleeping levels, however some L shaped beds are designed with a raised single bed and a sofa bed beneath that can be pulled out when needed.
  • Some L Shaped Beds include additional features such as desks or storage.
Oscar Triple Bunk Bed by Flair Furnishings

What is a Bunk Bed?

  • A traditional Bunk Bed is configured with two single beds stacked one above the other.
  • Bunk Beds come in many different designs, from the more traditional to amazing themed bunks.
  • Some Bunk Beds include additional features such as trundles or shelving.

There are clearly similarities between an L shaped bed and a bunk bed, they are both designed to accommodate two people in two separate sleeping areas, however they do offer differing features, let’s take a look at these next:

Pino Kids Bunk Bed in 3 Heights in White

What are the main features of an L Shaped Bed?

L shaped beds are aesthetically pleasing, nestled into a corner of a bedroom they create a focal point to the room.

Their design leans more towards being able to create independent sleep areas, which may be ideal if you’re trying to please two very different personalities!

Designed to be flexible, adaptable and comfortably sleep more than one person, here are the main features of L shaped beds.

Features & Benefits of an L Shaped Bed;

  • Thanks to their design, L Shaped Beds can incorporate clever storage solutions in the area under the top bed. For instance the Oscar Triple Bunk not only packs in 3 beds, it manages to squeeze in drawers, shelving and cupboards within the steps!
  • L Shaped Beds can be fun for any age child. I particularly like the design of the Lifetime Kids Corner Beach House Bed, which although it doesn’t include sleeping space for two, it has a cool bench offering the perfect spot for a bedtime story, or for an older child, a comfy place to chill out. As with all Lifetime beds, you also have many optional extras to compliment this bed.
  • Some L Shaped Beds are designed with built in desks, ideal for getting all that homework done. As seen here, the Urban Grey High Sleeper 1 maximises the under bed space with a desk and a sofa bed.
  • If you don’t require two beds all the time, you could opt for a high sleeper with sofa bed underneath. The sleek design of the Pino High Sleeper with Sofa Bed makes sleepovers a breeze, simply pull out the sofa bed when it’s needed (creating the all important L shape!) then pop it back to a sofa when a bed is no longer required.
  • L Shape Beds can offer so much more than just a place to sleep. Take the design of the Lifetime Hideout Corner Bunk , imagine the fun your children will have with this bed! Games of hide and seek, tales of Rapunzel, you may have to rotate the sleeping arrangements though as I know which bed I’d rather sleep in!
Lifetime The Hideout Corner Bunk Bed with Steps

What are the main features of a Bunk Bed?

Traditional bunk beds are a firm favourite and a popular choice among parents looking for a space saving set up for kids who share a bedroom. With a huge variety of designs available, it’s no surprise that these dual beds are in high demand.

Their symmetric design creates a neat, uncluttered look that maximises sleep space without eating into too much floor space.

Features & Benefits of a Bunk Bed;

  • The vertical design of a Bunk Bed makes for a great space saving bed. Perfect for smaller bedrooms where space may be a premium. The Pino Kids Bunk Bed even has three height settings, brilliant for bedrooms that have low ceilings as well.
  • Thanks to the split level beds, Bunk Beds are suitable for broad age range. Younger kids can sleep on the lower bed whilst older kids take ownership of the top level. The modern design of the Lara Kids Bunk Bed will appeal to kids both young and old.
  • Alongside their space saving benefits, Bunk Beds can also offer up additional features such as shelving, as seen with the Juilan Bowen Orion Bed. The identical shelf space for both top and bottom bunk will hopefully stop squabbles of who gets the best bed!
  • If two beds simply aren’t enough, some bunks have the option to add a trundle bed (or for a more permanent set up, you could check out these unique triple bunk beds). The Parisot Bibliobed Kids Bunk Bed neatly stores the trundle under the bottom bed, which can be easily pulled out when a spare bed is needed.
  • Bunk Beds not only offer a simple one up one down sleeping solution, some come in a whole array of designs; from a Treehouse Bunk Bed to a London Bus Bunk Bed, excellent for themed kids bedrooms.

L Shape Beds and Bunk Beds share many features, primarily that they are both a super option for kids who share a bedroom.

L Shaped bBeds and Bunk Beds offer up something a little more unique than two single beds and they save on space, leaving more room for the rest of the essential kids bedroom furniture. Due to the configuration, L shaped beds will take up more floor space than a traditional bunk bed, so be sure to check all your measurements before you hit the “Buy Now” button.

Mathy By Bols Treehouse Bunk Bed
Mathy By Bols Treehouse Bunk Bed with Slide

What is the appropriate age for an L Shaped Bed & Bunk Bed?

UK guidelines recommend that the upper bunk of an L shaped bed or bunk bed should only be used by children aged six years and above. This is due to safety regulations and the design of both being accessed by either a ladder or steps. It is always worth checking the individual product detail pages for specific safely guidelines.

The lower bed of an L shaped bed or bunk however, can be occupied by younger children.

Guidelines are there to protect your child’s safety. Each child is different and if you feel your child is responsible you may wish to introduce either an L shape bed or bunk bed earlier.

If you are considering either of these beds for same age siblings who are room sharing, it may be best to wait until the recommended age of 6 years as they will hopefully be more understanding of the safety measures that they need to adhere to – especially no jumping on the bed!

The beauty of both L shaped beds and bunk beds for siblings who are perhaps a few years apart, is that older child can sleep up on the top bed, while the younger child can snuggle safely in the bottom bed.

Julian Bowen Orion Bunk Bed

Are L Shaped Beds & Bunk Beds safe?

Yes! Both L shaped beds and bunk beds have been designed with your child’s safety firmly in mind, and when properly constructed both are structurally safe.

Manufacturers offer clear guidelines for proper use and to ensure that your child remains free from accident or harm.

Due to the extra height, the top bunk does propose greater risk of accident if it is not used properly, so it’s important to run through the guidelines with your child (no jumping is top of the list!).

Take a moment to read a few safely tips for L Shaped Beds and Bunk Beds;

  • Top bunks are recommended for children 6 years and over (please refer to individual product pages for specific guidelines).
  • To avoid accidents, children should not jump on the bed.
  • Never hang anything from the frame of the top bunk. Scarves, belts and any other similar material can cause serious harm if your child were to become caught up in it.
  • Ensure the ladder is secure and cannot slip when being climbed.
  • Do not place high sleeper beds directly under a light fixing.
  • Ensure that the safety rails are securely attached.
  • Periodically check all fixtures and fittings remain secure and are free from damage.
  • If your child is still getting up during the night, place a night light in their room for using the ladder at night.
  • Only use the recommended mattress size for the specific bed, some L shaped beds and bunk beds have a maximum mattress depth for safety reasons. This will be detailed on the product detail page.
  • Ensure that there is enough head room for your child to sit up in the top bed and climb up and down the ladder safely.

There we have it, our game of spot the difference is over – and no test afterwards either!

As you can see there are both similarities and differences between these fabulous space saving beds. Ultimately your decision will be guided by personal preference and your mini designers may also have a say! But I can guarantee that whatever bed you decide upon, when you buy a bed from cuckooland.com it’ll have a sprinkling of WOW that will give your kids many years of happy sleep.

Interested but still unsure? The extremely helpful customer service team at Cuckooland are on hand to answer any further questions you may have about L Shaped Beds and Bunk Beds, give them a call on +44 (0) 1305 231231 or email us here.


With more than 10 years’ experience in providing advice and support to parents looking for their perfect kids bed, mother of 2, Nathalie Davis is passionate about helping children develop. In her role as Director of Product Procurement at Cuckooland, Nathalie has helped thousands of parents improve their children’s sleep and sleeping habits through the beds and mattresses she sources and the articles she writes. In her spare time she teaches her Golden Retriever to be a responsible vegetarian and is often spotted sifting through clothes at her local Charity Shops.

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