Which Bed for Kids?

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Twin or Double bed for 3-year-old?

Sept 2007

My son is about to outgrow his toddler bed and I am thinking about what size of bed to get for him. The size isn't necessarily the issue as much as I am wondering if there are cute ''little boy styled'' sheets out there that come in full/double size? I am assuming that there will be plenty of styles that will be cute for a twin bed, however, will the appropriate styles be limited for a full sized bed (we would rather get him the bigger size bed)? Is there anyone out there that has/had a little boy (ages 3-6 years old)in a double bed and was able to find cute bedding (sheets and comforter)for him? mom2dom

My son is in a double bed and we've gotten great sheets for him at The Company Store on line. All their kids bedding comes in twin to king size. anon

Sheets can last for years and years, so rather than buy sheets in kiddie patterns that you'll discard in a few years, why not have your child choose a color s/he likes and buy good quality plain sheets? My son chose (to my surprise) a vivid peach color, which, when he decides as a teenager he doesn't like, I can use in the spare room. Then, when he gets his own apartment and is happy to have anything he doesn't have to pay for, he can use them again.

We ended up buying a junior size bed at Ikea, it has worked out great! It was cheaper than a twin size and perfect for the transition out of pull ups at night. He will probably outgrow it by 6yrs old and by then he'd be ready for a twin size which is a bit higher than the jr size bed. good luck toddler mama

I think it's better to buy full size beds instead of twin since the twins look kind of narrow and think that my boys will need bigger beds when they hits their teens. Also I can use them as guest beds when we have guests. However the size of the room is 138 and two full size beds are 108 which means there is 30'' between them for their night stands. Any advice? Is it better to just buy the twins or stick with the full? Thanks Daisy

Captain's bed with storage drawers

March 2006

I am looking to buy a twin size bed with storage drawers. A captain's bed style would be great (it often has 4 to 6 drawers rather than the usual two or three), but I would love one with modern, simple line styling (rather than nautical, which so many are, which I guess is why it is named such). Does anyone have any recommendations for brands/lines and ideally a place with substantial kids furniture inventory so I could view some beds? Thanks in advance. kpc

Scandinavian Designs has a couple of captain's beds with many drawers and modern lines, if you don't mind the melamine. Look under Bedrooms | Youth on their website (http://www.scandinaviandesigns.com) or check out their store in Berkeley on Shattuck (or in Concord if you're over that way). Oysterbed in SF (http://www.oysterbed.com) also has some storage bed styles. I also like Ikea's ''Bangsund'' bed with shelves/sliding doors under it instead of drawers. Also shopping

I was searching for a bed like this for my son when he transitioned to a big boy bed. I wanted a twin bed with storage that could grow with him for many years. I wanted quality but also simple style -- turned out to be a tough thing to find!

I ended up getting a bed custom made and I cannot recommend the shop highly enough. The shop is called Stumasa (http://www.stumasa.com/) and it's in San Francisco on the corner of Frederick and Stanyan. The husband-and-wife team makes their own furniture and they made a bed to my specifications (I drew my idea on a piece of paper). It has three big drawers on wheels underneath, a simple slat headboard and footboard and removable railings on each side. You can get it unfinished for even cheaper, but we had them paint it with a milk-based, non-toxic barn red paint.

The cost? Around $350! compared to the $1300 beds they sell at Pottery Barn, I was shocked that something so lovingly crafted would be so inexpensive. Everyone loves the bed, and now a few friends of mine have had the same exact bed made. I think they could also do a bed to your specifications (more of a captain style with six drawers). We also got an adorable matching toy shelf. So feel free to email me for more info. Kristi kristi.essick [at] gmail.com

We've had good luck two places: We got a nice, inexpensive trundle bed for our son at Scandanavian Designs in Berkeley. We used the trundle for storage, since we have a small house. We also had great luck (and better quality furniture) at Berkeley Kids room, which is located on College avenue in Rockridge. They have a great variety of furniture, and they can order furniture that is not in the showroom. Both places had helpful staff and the prices were fair. Kim

I bought a BANGSUND bed from IKEA for a housemate. TONS of storage underneath, in partitioned shelves with sliding doors. It's a twin bed that's 3 feet off the ground, and all of the space underneath is storage. However, it could be too high off the ground for a child... Elizabeth

It was years ago, but we bought two great non-nautical captains beds at Jonathan Kayes in SF. One is now 12 years old, the other about 9, and both still look and work like new. My daughter has a 5-drawer bed (a deeper one in the center, flanked by two on each side) which is a bit higher than the usual twin bed, but holds a lot. For our son, we got a three-drawer model that is standard height. Both are oak, with clean simple lines. http://jonathankaye.com R.K.

Looking for good selection of kids' beds

July 2004

I've checked the archives, but it seems most of the stores recommended are pretty far out of town. Aside from Pottery Barn Kids and Berkeley Kids' Furniture (or whatever it's called, downtown on Shattuck), can anyone recommend a store reasonably close to Berkeley that carries a good selection of good-quality beds for children? We're looking for something made of wood, twin-size, preferably with an optional rail that can be detached, and possibly with drawers underneath. Any ideas? (Goodnight Room seems to be out of business.) Anonymous

I just bought twin beds this week, at Mancini Sleepworld in Pinole. There's also one in Berkeley, near OSH. I bought nice, solid wood bunkbeds, 2 good quality mattresses, and 2 dust-mite-proof, waterproof, breathable mattress covers, all for just over $800. It would have cost almost that JUST for the bed frames at the Shattuck children's bed place, not including the mattresses or delivery. Mancini delivered it and assembled it free, 2 days after purchase (we had them assemble the bed as 2 separate twins). They are having a huge sale now (the bunkbed frame set was $399) on beds & mattresses, no tax, and free delivery & set up. Big selection; easy, fast purchase--I had my 2 and 4 year olds with me when I made the deal! I highly recommend Mancini. Mom of happy sleepers

I also am looking for twin beds. In addition to what you mentioned I have been to Scandanvian Designs in downtown Berkeley and Ikea.

Scandanvian Designs has a melamine veneer twin bed that is low price and reasonable looking. They also have a few more beds. Ikea also has some beds. The good thing about these places are that the beds are in stock and you can get them in a week or less. Personally, these were not what I was looking for either. Berkeley Sleepworks have very expensive fancy beds and the few I looked at did not come in twins. Also, the sales people didn't even want to talk to me.

I would be interested to find out what leads you get and what you decide. Thanks, Michelle

Try Gorman and Sons Furniture located on Broadway in Oakland. The have a nice selection of all wood beds, some w/rails on the side. Plus they are just a really nice store, all the people who work there are very friendly and helpful. And they are a local store, been around a long time (they used to be located on College near Parker). Jen

We just bought an adorable bedroom set (full size bed, dresser and night stand) on sale at Bombay Kids. We found it out of town, but ordered it and it arrived at the Walnut Creek store. If you can find something on sale, I think it's a great value. The furniture is solid wood and very stylish -- and they had a good selection. We were thinking to get a toddler bed for our 2 year old and then just decided to save the money and get a full- size bed that will last. We paid $700 for all three pieces (the twin size bed would have been $249). Good luck with your search. anon

Check out IKEA...they have some nice all-wood twin beds very cheap.

Twin bed, good quality but not expensive

Nov 2003

Can anyone recommend somewhere to buy a bed (twin, not toddler) for our daughter? We want good quality but not terribly expensive. Ikea stuff seems like it won't last long-term, and Pottery Barn Kids seems too expensive. Besides Berkeley Kids Room (which was actually pretty close to PBK in price), is there anything in between? I have consulted the archives. Thank you! Sarah

We bought our son's bed at Oysterbed in San Francisco. Their prices are not exactly a bargain but I believe they are good value. Oysterbed is a fantastic place to look if you are interested in a captain's style bed (with storage drawers under the mattress) as they have the widest selection of this style (in child and adult-oriented styles and sizes) of anywhere I know. They also have trundle beds and bunk beds as well as plain platform styles.

Other places that come to mind are Mancini Sleepworld and Scandinavian Designs. Holly

Shortly after purchasing an IKEA bed for our daughter, we had a visit from a friend whose area of expertise is quality control for furniture for a large retail store. She looked it over and said that it looked good, and that IKEA is actually known in the industry for making well-built furniture, for the price. janet

Try Gorman & Sons - used to be on Telegraph in Berkeley - now on Broadway near Piedmont Ave where the Sawmill used to be. They have unfinished wood furniture and offer a finishing service as well. Shopper

We got our children's oak chest beds at Jonathan Kaye in S.F. (just north of Golden Gate Park) It was a bit of a schlep, but they had just the right thing, at a not-too-outrageous price (for solid wood and good construction). Delivery was very reasonable, too (over 5 years ago). R.K.

Hi.Here are 3 in-betweens: 1. Mancini's sleepworld in Pinole (Richmond Pkwy exit, next to Toys r Us) has a range from decent more affordable solid wood to really nice, expensive lines; their prices seem reasonable and we ordered a bookcase from them to match our daughter's bed and were quite pleased. 2.Tradeway furniture on San Pablo, E.C. has slightly blemished rejected furniture that can be unnoticeable damage in many cases, we got a gorgeous maple sleigh bed for nearly half retail price there and the blemish was that the stain was a bit darker than the company's standard finish (just check things very carefully in store I think they're not returnable.) 3. Costco sometimes gets good kids furniture, and if you can wait for delivery costco.com has some solid birch and solid ash kids beds, some seem like a really good price, some pricey, and I have seen shipping included in some cases but not all. ***But I'd also recommend scouring Craig's list and post a wanted ad on this newsletter Marketplace and wanted on Craig'slist; I'd bet you could get something pottery barn quality at Ikea prices, especially if you're willing to pick up somewhere like Walnut Creek, etc. Good Luck!

p.s. I totally agree with your instincts about IKEA. Plus most of their wood contains a combination that includes particleboard and/ or pressed lumbar which each has outgassing, and could be inhaled all night long by your little one. Chris

Gorman & Sons. Now in the Sawmill Bldg on Broadway in Oakland. Best o' luck.

We bought two twin beds at the Scandanavian Design store on Shattuck. Each twin bed also came with a ''trundle'' bed (which is very useful) - pull out with smaller mattress inserted in the drawer. I believe that the beds only cost about $150 each, or less. It looks nice, and we bought the corresponding dressers, nightstands, desks, etc...all for under $600. So far, they've held up nicely (been 5 years), and the kids love them. Plus, they look nice, and I'm not embarrassed to have guests sleep on the beds. I got some advice from another parent about the Pottery Barn furniture - for my daughter, and she said, ''Your daughter will only like the white furniture for a short time period...soon she'll reach an age, where she'll want to paint it black, or cover it with stickers, and you'll wonder why you spent so much...'' I kept that in mind, and changed my focus. Good luck! Melissa

The Futon Emporium on University and 6th Streets in Berkeley has wonderful, beautiful beds that are relatively inexpensive. They also have bunkbeds. Toby

Bed with drawers for 3 year old

Aug 2003

I am looking to buy a bed for my 3 year old daughter and was wondering if anyone has recommendations on where to buy one. I would like to find a wooden twin bed that has drawers underneath it. Any recommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks! Madeleine

We bought such beds for each of our children at Jonathan Kaye in S.F. (don't recall exact location; not far from Golden Gate Park. They advertise in Parents' Press) It was a bit of a shlepp, but they had just what we wanted - a nice-looking, well- made twin bed, made of clear-finished oak, with drawers. My daughter's bed has 5 drawers - one deep one in the center, and two smaller ones on each side. We bought it when she was three, and used some of the drawer space for toys. Now, over ten years later, it is filled with clothes, but still looks and works as good as new. For my son, we got a slightly lower one that just has three medium-size drawers (plenty for his wardrobe, with room to spare). They weren't cheap, but I thought they were reasonable for the high quality. R.K.

We got one exactly like you describe at Ikea, about a year ago. It's been great for our son. Heather

We found a great bed for our three year old boy at IKEA. It is a wooden twin size bed with three large drawers under the bed. It has been really great for toy storage! I think that it cost in the neighborhood of $250 with the mattress. Hope you find what you are looking for. Debora Morrison

We bought a captain's bed (pine twin bed with three drawers underneath and a small bookshelf at the headboard) from Lullaby Lane in San Bruno. Very good quality and great price (about $300?). JV

Oysterbed in San Francisco has a large number of choices (type of wood; finish colors; headboard styles; number, size and arrangement of drawers) for captain's beds and their prices are very reasonable. Holly

In the market for a big girl bed


We are in the market to get our daughter a big girl bed. We are going to go straight from crib to twin bed (my daughter will be three in August and has been perfectly happy in her crib, but I want to do some research so I can narrow down our choices so she can help pick relatively soon). We want something wood and something that can potentially last through high school (is that wishful thinking?). A friend recommended checking out the Berkeley Kids' Room, which we will do. I wanted to find out other places that folks would recommend we check as well. I have checked the UCB Parents website and noted what is there, but would welcome other suggestions as well, particularly in Contra Costa County. We are in Walnut Creek but are willing to travel anywhere in the Bay Area to find a high-quality, low to the ground, wooden bed (probably a trundle bed with matching nighttable and other pieces). Thanks. Lori

Cartan's in San Ramon has a really nice selection of beds for kids that are nice enough to last long term. Also, there is a bed store for kids and teens on Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill (by Tap Plastics) - I can't remember the name, but it's probably worth a look too. Good luck! Dylan

Although not inexpensive, (approx $750 regular twin, trundle beds more) Pottery Barn Kids has wonderful children's beds. Much of their stuff it catalog only, but they do have a store in Corte Madera. I have seen a number of their beds and the quality is very good. Another source is Goodnight Room on College, although their beds are even more expensive than Pottery Barn Kristi

If you want to look close-to-home, I would check out Cartans in San Ramon. They have a fair selection of big kid's furniture and catalogs for you to look through. I actually went to Kids Furniture/Lullaby Lane in San Bruno (I live in Lafayette!) because they have so much on the floor for you to see; it really helps me to see the pieces in person vs. on paper. Kids Furniture carries all the same furniture as Cartans, plus some. I also find the sales people at Kids Furniture to be more knowledgeable about the furniture they sell--at Cartans the manager knows his stuff, but staff don't seem to, at least the ones I talked to.

I struggled, too, with wanting to get my just-3-year-old daughter something that would last her many years. I thought the furniture made by EG was well made (solid wood throughout, including the backs of case pieces and all drawer sides) and attractive--not too little-girlish. You can check out their furniture at egfurniture.com (we ordered some pieces from their Whimsy line). Good luck, and keep in mind it seems to take 8-12 weeks to order most furniture. Christina

FYI. Berkeley Design Center over on Adeline and Ashby have a good selection of children's furniture. We got bunk beds there for our boys. I have no experience with loft beds. It seems like it would be hard to be under when they get too tall. June

Unfortunately, I have a negative experience to post. We recently purchased a bed for my daughter from Famous Foam Factory on San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. We brought it home and built it and then realized they had given us the wrong style of head and footboards. We were told it would be our responsibility to take the bed apart again and bring it back to the store and they ordered the correct bed. This weekend, my daughter was sitting on the bed and it suddenly collapsed. A portion of the side rail was constructed poorly with the screws too low and the wood just split and it fell apart. I called the store and they suggested I again take the bed apart and bring the broken pieces to them for replacement. I did this and they did have a replacement part. When I got home and compared it to the other side of the bed, I could clearly see the replacement part was built better and the original parts were built poorly. I called the store again and they are ordering the other side replacement which means I will have to build the bed a fourth time when it arrives. I asked them to come and take the bed apart and make the replacement and they flatly refused. They did not inquire if my daughter or anyone had been injured and they only said they were sorry about that shoddy quality and that happens sometimes. I believe, if they know their product halfway, and they know that happens sometimes, they could prevent it happening by not selling the defective side rails. That's a no brainer. So while the store did agree to replace the defective parts, I think they are unethical in selling junk in the first place and people need to be aware of the total lack of service if they shop there. Barbara