By Gabrielle Nathan In a nutshell A stylish, well-designed and made to order bunk bed that can grow with your children and has some funky options - but expect to wait up to 10 weeks for it.
When it was time to move six-month-old Rocco into the same room as his three-year-old brother Tyler, we began looking to other flat-dwelling families for ideas.
The great bed at Versailles had crimson velvet curtains on which "The Triumph of Venus" was embroidered. Iron beds appear in the 18th century; the advertisements declare them as free from the insects which sometimes infested wooden bedsteads. Next to his bed is a laundry bag which encourages tidiness.
The small company, founded and run by skilled and experienced carpenter Tony Smith, has been in business since I read hundreds of overwhelmingly positive reviews, full of praise not just for the superb quality of the beds but also the fantastic customer service, and was persuaded.
Kids Funtime Beds only make beds for kids so they are experts at making children feel safe and secure but also excited about going to bed. The beds all look amazing there are cute designs with heart cut-outs, for example but come with brilliant safety features, such as cot-style fronts that can be attached to bottom bunks, plus mid-sleeper junior beds that have high sides and carpeted stairs leading up to them.
That said, we chose two adult-sized single beds and both our boys love sleeping in them.
After co-sleeping and sleeping in a Moses basket, Rocco only slept in a cot for a few weeks — we moved him into his single bed when he was eight months old and he has been very happy in there.
However, the company responsibly recommend junior beds for children aged three to six years old and the single beds, especially the top bunk, for children who are at least six years old. Is your toddler having tantrums at bedtime? Will it split into two beds as your little ones get older? This is one of the reasons why we decided to get a bunk bed that would last beyond early childhood and fit and suit them until they are teenagers. Is the bed fun? Does it save on space?
Yes, both beds have raised side panels made from the same white-painted MDF as the rest of the bed and they feel very secure. I far prefer the look and feel of them to rails and so far, they have kept both boys from rolling or falling over the edge. Is it the ideal height for your little ones to get in and out of? Tyler required minimal practise to climb up and down the ladder and within weeks we noticed that his climbing really improved — a bonus as he loves climbing trees.
Rocco is too small to get into his pod but he can climb out by reversing out of the small space between the side of the front panel and the ladder. Toddler keeps getting out of bed?
Is it strong and sturdy? The slats under the bed are 20mm thick many bed companies use 15mm or 17mm slats to ensure strength and durability. The single beds are designed to hold up to 18 stone so it can easily support a child and an adult, ideal when you want to snuggle together to read a bedtime story.
We sometimes step onto the side of the lower bed and use the raised side panel of the top bed to pull ourselves up so we can kiss Tyler goodnight without climbing up the ladder and the structure can easily withstand our weight. Each panel is connected with cam and dowel technology, which are far stronger than a screw-bolt fixing.
Plus, each slat under the mattress is individually screwed to the bed to make the frame really robust.
Since every Kids Funtime bed is held together with 74 fixings and made of super-strong 18mm-thick MDF, it would take a lot to break one. Will it last the advertised time period? How long do you have to wait for delivery? Up to ten weeks. We were given a provisional delivery date eight weeks hence within a few days of paying our per-cent deposit but the advertised waiting time for a Kids Funtime bed is eight to 10 weeks. How much did delivery cost? Is it easy to assemble; how long does it take?
We paid to have the installation team assemble our beds as this was the easiest option. But the company state that self-assembly takes an hour using written instructions that they provide. How much does installation cost? How long does installation take? It took about 90 minutes for the installation team Kids Funtime Beds staff to build our bed.
Depending on the size and complexity of your custom-built Kids Funtime bed, it can take as little as an hour or up to two hours to put together.
What did you have to do to prepare the room before the bed was built? Is it easy to find mattresses to fit the bed? All the beds are built in standard British sizes. Junior beds take regular cot mattresses while the single beds which we have take standard single mattresses and the trundle bed takes a foam standard size single mattress with a maximum depth of 15cm.
The company sells a range of competitively priced mattresses on their website although we decided to buy ours from a local supplier. Mattresses - what types are there? What are your first impressions of the bed? Once the installation team had worked their magic and cleared up, we were able to stand back and admire the bunk. Metres of gleaming white painted MDF, cut exactly to fit, sitting snugly in the space between the door and the wardrobe. It looks futuristic, classy and very, very cool.
Everyone — kids and adults — who sees it remarks on how fabulous the Pod Bunk looks and how well-made and brilliantly designed it is. How does it smell? Strongly of paint, which Tony assures me is completely harmless. You can buy an unpainted bed but it must be painted before your child sleeps in it as the dust from unsealed MDF can causing breathing problems, including triggering asthma.
The Kids Funtime Beds are finished four to five days before they are distributed to ensure curing setting is done before the beds arrives. How portable is it? Can you move the bed to another room? Given the size and weight of the bed, it would be very difficult to move. What were the safety features like? The original design of the Funtime Pod Bunk included a raised front panel along the top bunk.
Even with a thick mattress inside the frame, the panel will prevent kids rolling off the bed or falling out. We altered the rest of the bed to include a raised front panel across the bottom bunk, with a gap big enough to allow a child or adult to access the bed. How does it compare to other beds you have used? And unlike some beds, there is no squeaking so the boys can go into and out of their beds without disturbing each other. Looking for a cot bed? Check out our MFM reviews:
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