high loft bed with desk and shelves

Loft Beds with Stairs vs. Ladders: How to Choose

Are you on the hunt for the perfect loft bed for your child? Loft beds for kids are a great way to maximize space in a room, creating a cool and functional sleeping area that leaves plenty of room for play, study, and storage underneath the lofted bed frame. But with so many options available, one of the biggest decisions you'll face is whether to choose a loft bed with stairs or a ladder. While this decision may be daunting, we have all the tips you’ll need to make sure you choose the best kids’ loft bed. Here’s a few general rules for choosing the right loft bed for your kid:

Choose a loft bed with stairs if:

  • - You have a younger child who needs a safe and easy way to climb up to the loft.
  • - You want extra storage space built right into the bed.
  • - You have a larger room that can accommodate the additional space required by the stairs.

Choose a loft bed with a ladder if:

  • - You have an older child or teen who is comfortable and confident climbing a ladder.
  • - You have a smaller room and need to maximize floor space.
  • - You want a loft bed that incorporates features like a desk or bookcase.

Read on to learn more about everything you should consider when making this decision.


Benefits of Loft Beds with Stairs

Built-in Storage

Children’s loft beds already offer lots of room for storage underneath the bed, but the more the merrier! One of the coolest things about loft beds with stairs is that they come with storage built right into the side of the bed.

These beds’ three handy cubbies are the perfect size for your kid to stash their favorite books, toys, games, or even clothes. A loft bed with storage makes cleanup time fun and easy for kids, speeding up the process to leave more time for play.


storage loft bed with stairs


Easy Climbing for Younger Kids

If you have a younger child who's getting their very first loft bed, a low loft bed with stairs is a great option. The stairs provide a wider, sturdier climbing surface than a ladder, making it safe and easy for younger ones to climb up and down. They are also strong enough to support the weight of adults, making it easy for parents to climb up for bedtime stories or making the bed.

Look out for staircase loft bed options with handrails to add an extra layer of security and make your little one feel extra confident as they navigate their new sleeping quarters. Having something to hold onto makes the climb up to the top extra secure for kiddos.


max and lily low loft bed with staircase


Considerations with Loft Beds with Stairs

Extra Weight

Because stairs add extra weight to the loft bed frame, moving a loft bed with stairs from one room to another or moving it between homes might require a little extra muscle. It's always a good idea to enlist the help of a friend or family member when moving furniture, especially heavier pieces like loft beds with steps.


Space Considerations

Stairs add an extra unit to the bed frame that takes up some extra floor space, so loft beds with stairs are usually better suited for larger rooms.

However, if you have a slightly smaller space, don't worry! The best loft beds with stairs are designed so that the stairs can be placed on either the right or left side of the bed, allowing you to configure it to best fit the layout of your room. When in doubt, just measure out the dimensions of the bed in your space beforehand to ensure the perfect fit.


Benefits of Loft Beds with Ladders

Space Savers

Loft beds with ladders are the ultimate space-saving kids’ beds. They have a smaller footprint than their stair-equipped counterparts, freeing up even more floor space for playtime, toy storage, or even a cool desk or reading nook. Loft beds with ladders are the best loft beds for small spaces as you can fit most everything you need in your kids’ room underneath the bed. 


lofted kids bed for small spaces


Functional Features

For school-aged kids, having a dedicated workspace in their room is essential. Loft beds with ladders offer built-in features like desks and bookcases, cleverly utilizing the space beneath the loft to create a multifunctional bedroom space. A kids’ loft bed with desk or bookcase makes the most efficient use of your kid’s space, using every inch of square footage to its fullest.

Loft beds with desks also make the perfect loft beds for teens. A teenager loft bed with a built-in desk promotes good study habits so they can score the best grade on their next test.


kids loft bed with desk and shelves


Considerations with Loft Beds with Ladders

Making the Bed

Making the bed can be a bit of a challenge with a loft bed with ladder because of the limited standing space on the ladder. But don't worry, it's definitely not impossible! With a little practice and maybe a step stool for the finishing touches, you'll be a loft bed-making pro in no time.

Remember, low loft beds are shorter than high loft beds, so making the bed is a breeze compared to their taller counterparts.


Better for Older Kids

Ladders are generally better suited for older children who have developed good balance and coordination. They'll be able to navigate the ladder with ease and confidence. There is no specific age requirement for a loft bed with ladder and you know your child best, so you can determine whether they are ready for a ladder based on your own observations.

When choosing a ladder for any age group, look for features like grooved, anti-slip steps and handholds for added safety.


The Verdict

Ultimately, there is no true answer to whether a loft bed with stairs or a ladder is “better.” The best choice comes down to what’s best for your child based on their age, needs, preferences, and room layout.

No matter which option you choose, remember that loft beds are a fun and functional way to create a cool and personalized space for your child. They'll love having their own little elevated hangout with space underneath for all their favorite activities, and you'll love the extra floor space it frees up to keep the room from getting too crowded. 


children's low loft bed with play area underneath


If you’re looking to sleep more while keeping the same benefits as loft beds, check out how to choose between bunk beds with stairs and ladders.


natural wood bunk bed for kids


Max & Lily offers a variety of loft beds for all ages that fit with any room layout. Our twin loft beds are great for rooms a little shorter on space, while our full size loft beds allow kids to stretch out and have a cozy night’s sleep. With features like desks, bookcases, slides, and more, Max & Lily loft beds have something for everyone. Whether you choose a staircase or a ladder, Max & Lily has a loft bed that both you and your kiddo will love.


Decided on the right loft bed design for your child? Shop Max & Lily loft beds with stairs or ladders today and get free shipping when you spend over $200.