The Ultimate Children’s Bed Guide

It’s obvious to every parent that children never stop growing, its an inevitable fact of life that your little one won’t remain so little for very long. Our beautiful little people morph into mature and responsible (!!) young adults before our very eyes… mostly when we’re sleeping! That all important growth development takes place during the night and this is why a good night’s sleep is needed for every child. So the very first consideration for any kids bed is to make sure it features the correct support to aid growth and development of bones and joints in children and that’s where the right bed comes in to play. But as we are the number one place for unique children’s beds, we also believe that a child’s bed should inspire imagination and creativity too.

1. The Cot to Bed Transition

Possibly the first consideration for most parents of small children is the transition from cot to bed. Many experts believe that this all important time of a child’s development will become apparent through bedtime cues. Mandy Gurney, a sleep expert at the Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic which specialises in babies’ and childrens’ sleep issues, explains –

“While there is no set age to move your young child into their own bed, by the age of three, most children are ready to make the change”.

According to Gurney, there are cues to watch out for that could speed up the transition – especially if it becomes a safety issue with toddlers trying to escape their beds.

“More mobile toddlers, for example, may have already shown their readiness by climbing out of their cot”, she says. “Other children, particularly those with older siblings, will have anticipated the change and begun to talk about having their own ‘big bed.’ And of course, if you feel your child is too big for their now-snug cot, you may choose to move them”.

Looking out for these all important cues will help in anticipating the perfect time to make that all important switch. By browsing the different types of beds available, you will not only find the perfect children’s bed for your little one but also have a valuable resource for choosing a bed for older children too.

how much sleep does a child need?

2. Types of Kids Bed

For most parents the usual terms of bunk and single are well known, but with more ‘standard’ types of bed appearing on the market we wanted to give parents a helping hand in selecting the perfect type of bed.

Cot Beds

Typically used as an all-in-one tradition bed, a cot bed is a cot that has removable sides and end panel which then converts the cot into a toddler-sized bed. Often seen as a popular choice by savvy parents, a cot bed can lengthen the life of a cot as well as make the transition into a big bed as smooth as possible for your child. The downside of a cot bed is that it’s often larger than a standard cot and thus requires more room. It does give your little one a bit more room to move about in but you can sometimes spend nights searching for baby in the dark as they have plenty of room to hide!

The lifespan of a cot bed is entirely dependant on the child’s height, weight, how much they use their cot bed as a trampoline. Cot bed’s are a smart choice for siblings that are closer in age as the bed can be passed down, although we would suggest going for a cot bed that has a long lasting frame and investing in a new mattress too. You can browse our range of children’s mattresses here.

Single Beds

A single bed is probably the most overused term when it comes to children’s beds. Sometimes a single is used to describe the size rather than the frame of a bed which typically stands at 75 x 190 cm / 30″ x 75″ inches / 2’6″ x 6’3” ft. Most novelty beds will use the term single bed as a quick guide to sizing. But others refer to the term single bed to describe the frame and overall design of the bed. Cuckooland have a wonderfully quirky range of single beds.

Bunk Beds

The bunk bed is a staple in pretty much every shared bedroom, but did you know there are a variety of bunk beds available? The classic term bunk bed is used to describe a single bed frame with one bed stacked on-top of the other with the use of a ladder providing access to the top bunk. Now, we wouldn’t be one of the greatest bed retails for unique beds if we didn’t have some sort of quirky take on the humble bunk bed. That’s why we also have bunk corner units, family bunk beds, triple bunk beds, three tiered bunks and bunks with unique storage solutions for all the family. Due to some safety concerns it is advised that bunks be used for older children to avoid falls. Ladders on bunk beds are securely fitted but when it comes to co-ordination, it’s best to use bunks when children are older and better equipped to deal with traversing the bed. You may also find some of our bunk bed inspiration in our post, ‘best bunk beds for creative sleepovers‘.

Loft Beds

The loft bed shares some similarities to the bunk bed in that it features an elevated frame with a handy space underneath for storage, study or simply a play area. Loft beds are a great idea for stretching space as they provide a place underneath which can be utilised. If space is an issue for you and your little one, a loft bed can be seen as the ideal solution. Loft beds can also be described as High-Sleepers, both of which can come in a range of amazing designs due to the versatile nature of the bed frame. Again, as the bed is elevated it is worth waiting until a child is older before investing in a loft bed.

Cabin Beds

A popular choice amongst younger children and teenagers alike is the cabin bed. The cabin bed is comprised of any elevated frame which is usually lower than a bunk bed. The cabin bed is another good option when space is short as storage is usually included in this style of bed. The frame height of a cabin bed can vary, which means this versatile type of bed is suitable for small children as well as older children. Cabin beds can also called mid sleepers by some manufacturers, mid sleeper simply refers to the height of this style of bed, mid way between a bunk and single.

A key reason cabin beds appeal to children is that some are designed to be an enclosed resting place, like our Kid’s Cupboard Style Cabin Bed. This unique bed creates a calming cocoon for children and can help to provide a safe enclosed space, perfect for children with autism.

kids cabin bed by lifetime

3. Size

When it comes to a child’s bed bigger is always better. This is because you will typically get more life out of a bigger bed. However, if space is an issue then consider the size of the bed you require. We recommend that you use the measurements of your child’s room as a starter, but bare in mind your little one will require additional furniture too. For rooms that are lacking in space it is worth considering bunks and cabins to save on space and double that much needed space up with storage solutions which will come in handy.

Standard UK Bed Sizes

One of the most common questions customers have is what are the standard sizes of beds. The following guide forms the standard UK bed sizes available.

Small Single bed

75 x 190 cm / 30″ x 75″ / 2’6″ x 6’3″

For a small single bed the bed is the same length as a standard single mattress, but is 6 inches narrower, measuring 2 ft 6” wide. A small single therefore requires a custom ‘small single’ mattress.

Standard Single bed

90 x 190 cm / 36″ x 75″ / 3′ x 6’3”

Mattress requirements – The standard single bed is the typical measurement for common kids beds and bunk beds. This standard single will require a standard single mattress which are readily available.

Small Double bed

120 x 190 cm / 48″ x 75″ / 4′ x 6’3″

Mattress requirements – A small double bed requires a mattress which measures 4 ft wide and 6 ft 3 inches long or 122 x 190 cm. A small double mattress is on average 6 inches narrower than the standard double mattress. A small double is a popular choice amongst older children and teens.

childrens caravan bed frame

4. Frames

Bed frames are made from a wide variety of materials these days. From knotted pine to beautiful oak, state-of-the-art metal and a mixture of woods and plastics. Each material offers something different, from longer durability to unique design capability. Below is some of the most popular materials used for children’s bed frames and we example the benefits of each.


Metal bed frames have been around for a long time and have grown in popularity due to the ornate look they can achieve. Metals used in bed frames can be anything from aluminium to brushed nickel and even antique brass. Metal frames are known for being long lasting and durable due to their well supported frames. Metal is often considered a good choice for day beds and bunk beds.


  • Metal is sturdy
  • Has good durability
  • Will outlast cheap beds
  • Is available in a range of neutral shades


Wooden bed frames come in a huge range of variations, from solid wood, to combined wood and even wood effect. Solid wood beds are quite possibly the most durable beds you can invest in. These hard-waring beds are built to last throughout childhood and can take some serious monkey play. It’s worth noting that different types of solid wood produce different shades and wonderful grain detail. Oak and Pine are amongst the most popular of solid wood bed frames.


  • Extremely Durable
  • Build to last
  • Come in a range of finishes
  • Can be painted and customised
  • Often hand crafted


Plastic is a popular choice of frame for novelty children’s beds. Although plastic frames are not as durable as metal and wood they do have a greater level of versatility. The sort of colours available on a plastic frame can create an amazing effect and set a bedroom theme off perfectly.


  • Easy to assemble
  • Cheaper then wood or metal
  • Versatile
  • Easy to keep clean

Treehouse bunk bed

5. Other Considerations


With some beds assembly can be a draw back especially if it takes a few people to assemble. Instructions should always be followed and if unsure it’s always best to contact the manufacturer. We like to take care of the little details and that’s why we have children’s bed assembly instructions available on our website.

Of course here at Cuckooland we know how frustrating the assembly part of any bed can be. So our patented ‘marriage saver installation service’ is a real must when it comes to avoiding those flatpack arguments. For the small fee of £150 you can have our beds fully installed by a professional two man delivery team. We know our customers are busy bees and that’s why our team will arrive on time, discuss your requirements, unpack and fully install your bed and take away all the packing materials so all the hassle is taken care of. Our professional assembly team is always on standby to answer any questions you may have – simply call us on +44 (0) 1305 231231 Mon-Fri 9-6pm or email or and our super friendly team will reply immediately.

installation team

Meet the Cuckooland installation team.


They say there are two things you should invest in, your shoes and your bed. Price matters to many when it comes to purchasing a bed and its important to understand that some beds will naturally cost more than others. Beds made of solid wood will be more expensive but you will get longer life out of them. That said, if you’re looking for a short term toddler bed then a high priced bed really isn’t the smartest investment – here at Cuckooland we have an extensive range of kids beds covering all price points, why not call us and we’ll talk you through a few options that fit your circumstances and budget.


When it comes to selecting the best bed for your child its worth considering your child’s long term needs. It goes without saying that parents will always look for the best option when it comes to a child’s health, so we recommend investing in a well made bed that will outlast cheaper rivals.

For further information on purchasing a good quality child’s bed contact our team of kids bed and bedroom experts right here at Cuckooland. You can call on +44 (0) 1305 231231 Mon-Fri 9-6pm or simply send us an email at or

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