Buying a bed for a child is a big step for them and big purchase for you. Not an easy decision for either of you, they want what they want (to sleep like batman or Barbie), and you want what you want (to get it at a steal). Finding the perfect compromise can take some time and hard work but can be done if determined.
Quality - Investing for the Future
One very important detail to address before buying a bed for a child is how long you would like your child to be in the same bed. Are you going to update the bed as they grow? Are you going to update it with changing styles and preferences? Or, would you like this bed to last them until teenage or adulthood? This is an important question to ask yourself as the answer will dictate many things when you begin to shop.
Buying a bed that will last can open doors to spending more money on a much higher quality bed. You may spend two to three times more; however you will break even or maybe save a buck in the end. Just having a quality bed for ten or more years is worth the extra cost if you plan to keep it.
Living for the Here and Now
If planning to update the room often and include furniture in each update then perhaps lower cost items that look nice but are not top of the line quality would be ideal. Knowing that you will be changing the bed in less than five years will make it easier to scratch quality off of your list, thus lowering the cost of the bed.
Choosing in advance to update the bed various times as they grow can be a risky choice. Will you have the money to replace the furniture in five years? If not, will the bed be usable or will it be far beyond repair at that time? These things must be thought about.
Shopping for the Bed - Start Shopping Early
Buying a piece of furniture of any sort is generally a big decision and a child’s bed is no exception. Weeks before it is time to make the purchase it is important that you get out there and start shopping early. By hitting the stores well before you are prepared to buy you provide yourself with a few extra perks:
- You get to shop prices early and will know what you are prepared to spend plus recognize a deal when you see one.
- You gain lots of insight into what is out there and what you need for your home.
- You have time to pick a bed and then think on it for a while to ensure that you are making a smart and lasting purchase.
- You have time to do your research online and become fully knowledgeable about what you like and dislike about children’s beds and mattresses.
Features to Consider
Buying a bed for a child can be much more than just a place for them to rest their head. Options include great storage solutions, built in shelving, and even built in toy boxes.
Under-bed Storage: A common bed feature which involves drawers located under the bed. This can substitute for a chest or dresser to free up floor space in a cramped room. Or, it may serve as additional toy storage which is always needed.
Headboard Storage: Headboards with shelving in it is a great way to store books that can be easily accessed at night, décor items, nightlights, plus bedtime drinks and snacks.
Guardrails: A child younger than 5 should always have guardrails installed on both sides of the bed, even beds pushed up against walls. This prevents them from rolling off the bed or becoming entrapped between the beds.
Sharp Edges: If purchasing the bed for a young child then sharp edges should be shielded with a bumper guard or avoided all together. Head injuries are a risk with any sort of sharp edges or exposed corners.
Headboards: Headboards are fun, stylish, and functional but for a young child can be hazardous. Bumps, cuts, and bruises are all possible when climbing into bed, jumping on the bed (and yes, they will), or playing around on the bed. Very young children can also become entrapped in some designs where bars are located too far apart.
Waterbeds: While waterbeds have been way out of style for many years, there are still those that like them as an option for a modern bed. However, a child should never be placed in a waterbed, and especially not purchased one. The danger of them drowning is real and absolutely not worth the risk.
Tips for Buying a Bed for a Child
- Be realistic when purchasing the bed and know that you are putting it in a child’s room and children do bad things to furniture. While you will work to teach your child to take care of their things they must learn some time what not to do, and they will do it. Just be aware that children are children and you would never want to purchase a bed that would cause tears (from you) if it were crayoned on.
- Let the child get involved in the shopping to include them as well as start teaching them how and what to consider. Perhaps a small lesson in home design could help them out also.
- Don’t forget to measure the room which the bed will go in. A bed should never be placed under a window in a child’s room and this must be worked around so could affect the size of bed you will need.
- Before purchasing a bed online be sure to check the furniture quality in person first. This is crucial to ensure you really are getting what you think you are getting.
- If affordable consider a real wood option which can be refinished later if the finish becomes dull or color choices for the room change. This can save you hundreds in the future by preventing you from ever buying a bed for a child, especially the same child, again.