The idea of conserving space at home is becoming increasingly fancied. Loft beds are best adapted to such limited spaces, allowing homeowners to make the best of their square footage. Loft beds are multi-functional, situated at elevated heights, without the conventional bottoms of bunk beds. Of course, I will not forget to mention how deeply engrossed I am with the capacity to customize the area under for my workstation, shelf, sofa, or even house my beloved dog. 

Loft beds are not necessarily hot. They are not hotter than the normal bed sitting on the floor, reflecting the overall temperature in your home. You can make your loft bed much cooler – especially in summer – by leveraging fans, air conditioners, cooling down your bedsheets, or wearing lighter clothes that enhance the conduction of heat away from your body. 

There is so much to know about loft beds. What heights should they be optimally situated to maximize ventilation (making them cooler)? What options of loft beds are available? Are they even safe, especially for kids? These and many other commonly asked questions (about loft beds) I will address in this guide. 

What really is a loft bed?

Commonly, I see people mistaking loft beds for bunk beds. This error is quite forgivable given that both beds are raised substantially from the ground. But contrary to what is obtainable in bunk beds, loft beds have just one bunk at the top and none below. 

For loft beds, beneath the top bunk is space between the projected strong legs supporting the elevated bunk. If you ask me, this space can be adapted for various uses like storage space, your workstation, or even your dining table.

Generally, you can get three different types of loft beds, each distinguished by their height. First are the low loft beds. Low loft beds are usually within a height range of 4.2 feet (for the upper bunk). 

These beds are best optimized for rooms with lower ceilings (as they allow for considerable headroom) or for kids to sleep on. 

Typically, you can use the space under the bunk either as a storage cabinet or a spot for your kids to do their reading and leisure activities. 

The next type of loft bed is the mid loft bed. These are generally called low bunks. These are higher than the low loft beds, coming at a height of 5.1 feet. 

The last type of loft bed we will consider is the high loft bed. These have a height of 6 ft 2 in. The space under here is very accommodating, even going as far as fitting a small dining area.

Are loft beds hotter than other beds?

It is a popular misconception that loft beds are hotter than other ones. Your loft bed is only as hot as your room. Of course, you wouldn’t come running to me that your loft bed is hot in Florida (officially the warmest state in the US) when it is summer, and your room lacks cooling facilities.

Just any bed – bunk beds or regular ground beds – would be hot in such conditions. In the next section, we will extensively explore the best approaches you can adopt to cool your loft bed.

How to cool your loft bed

If your loft bed is hot, there is a lot you can do to cool it down and make it luxuriously comfy again. I wouldn’t need to tell you that your first option is getting a functional air conditioning unit installed in your room. 

But what if an air conditioner is out of your reach financially? Well, that is yet not a compelling excuse to sleep on fire. The following are proven means to cool your loft bed down.

Fans are excellent if you can’t get AC

If you can’t get an air conditioning unit, a fan would do. But your fan’s effectiveness in cooling your bed depends mainly on its arrangement in relation to your loft bed.

I know how much you detest a fan that blows hot around your loft bed. To get your fan’s best positioning for a maximal cooling effect on your loft bed, you should situate a fan across your window. 

This helps in transporting substantial cool air from the outside inside your house. Alternatively, you can situate your box fan out of your window. This enhances the dispersal of hot air in your room. 

Lastly, you can smartly innovate and put a shallow bowl loaded with ice just in front of your fan. Here, the air being blown around by the fans’ blades become a cool mist, getting your loft bed really cool. 

Placing your left bed next to your ceiling fan is a polite death sentence. It would be regrettable bumping into the sharp and uncaring blades as they cut through the air. 

You need appreciable clearance between the ceiling fan – if you choose to use it – and the upper bunk of your loft bed. Also, ceiling fans are best suited to homes with significant ceiling heights. 

Other than the physical risks of getting your loft bed too close to the ceiling fan, there is also the risk of claustrophobia. The latter is a psychological condition where you fear being confined in a tight space. 

How about a cold shower before you go to bed?

Sounds old school? But there is a lot of good a cold shower could do you right before bed, especially when the weather is hot. 

A cold bath excels at lowering your body temperature. This is courtesy of eradicating the sweat from your body, amplifying heat dissipation enhancing aeration. 

Sleep on something lighter

Come on, you don’t want to sleep on that your nice 3-piece suit – or anything thick – on a hot night and yet complain of a hot loft bed. If the room temperature is high (and you can’t procure a fan or AC), then you should wear clothes with lighter fabric density for improved airflow. 

It is left to you to choose between wearing nothing at all and wearing clothes made from natural cotton. Need an idea? You can simply wear cotton pajamas. 

Covering yourself with a duvet when the weather is hot or even wearing clothes from human-made fabrics like polycotton and acrylic is absolutely prohibited. 

Those types of clothes retain heat instead of enhancing the conduction of heat away from your body. Doing so would undoubtedly make your loft bed avoidably hotter.

Not a bad idea to cool your sheets

If you were a smart head like me, you could resort to cooling your sheets before sleeping on them on your loft bed. Trust me, you are in for a super-comfy loft bed (on a hot day) if you place your linens in your freezer before you sleep on them. 

Just a few minutes in the freezer would do. You don’t want them too wet or soaked. I agree putting your linens in the freezer could get them absorbing odors from the freezer, especially if you have got other items in.

In that case, it makes sense to first seal your linens in a plastic bag before putting them in your freezer. This will keep them odorless and also prevent them from absorbing substantial moisture. 

If you don’t have a freezer, I have yet got you covered. How about moistening bed sheets or towels in a bucket of cool water and adapting them as blankets?

Keep as much lighting off your room

You don’t need an Einstein IQ of 400 to know that light bulbs – especially incandescent light bulbs – generate a lot of heat. Therefore, it is advised to keep as many bulbs off if your loft bed is hot. 

This is especially considering that your loft bed is elevated and closer to the light bulb. I always prefer natural lighting in rooms that have loft beds. Undoubtedly, if the sunlight is intense, your loft bed would be hotter. 

In such a situation, it is more optimal to go with blackout blinds to reduce the sunlight’s penetration. Compact fluorescent light bulbs could then provide illumination in your room as they produce significantly less heat.

Eat and drink cooler stuff 

If your room is hot and your loft bed is consequently hot, you shouldn’t make things worse by eating hot foods (or drinking hot liquids) before you sleep. In such temperatures, your best bets are cool and light foods. 

Their lightness comes with the particular advantage of taking lesser work to metabolize (compared to heavier dishes). Being that your body expends lesser energies on such lighter foods, the chances are well-reduced for your body to heat up later at night.

Some nice foods – as in the said category – you can eat include watermelon fruit, cucumber, mint chocolate, fresh fruits like pineapple and bananas, and a smoothie diced with fresh peppermint.

It is also nice to drink cold water before sleeping. This has the advantage of hydrating you, lowering your body temperature, and making up for the water your body loses through sweat. Ultimately, this means much cooler loft beds when you sleep.

How far should your loft bed be from your ceiling?

Often, I am bombarded by loft bed enthusiasts asking me the recommended vertical distance between their loft bed’s upper bunk and the ceiling. Truth be said, there is no definitive clearance recommendation in this regard. 

Nonetheless, the Consumer Products Safety Commission recommends that your sleeping height (which here is the loft’s bed upper bunk) should be at least 30 inches from your ceiling. The bulk of college dormitory regulations also supports this position.

The regular American home has its ceiling about 9-10 feet from the floor. You can only expect much more than this ground-ceiling clearance if you are willing to part with some jolly millions of dollars for a Hollywood-standard home.

In the case where the said clearance is sufficient, you can even sit up in your loft bed to either meditate (as I would) or just read that nice book you just got off Amazon.

For me, your loft bed should be about 40 inches from the ceiling (minus the thickness of your mattress). If your mattress’s thickness is around 6 inches, this could mean you are getting your loft bed some 46 inches away from your ceiling. 

Do you get it now?

Are loft beds and bunk beds safe?

Yes, we think about it every time: our kids or teens falling off their loft beds. It is natural to have such worries about elevated beds. 

But loft beds are safe if your teen or kid is sufficiently educated on how to use them and if the bed ladder and legs are sturdy enough.

One of the prevalent causes of injuries from loft beds I have seen is exuberance or neglect of caution when using them. Rarely do I get complaints about loft beds that were abysmally designed.

Therefore, if you can do your part in teaching your children how to safely go up their loft beds and how to come down, you wouldn’t have much to worry about their safety. 

But your kid’s capacity to comprehend your instructions is tied to their maturity or intelligence levels. It would be a terrible choice to get a kid lesser than six years sleeping on a loft bed. 

As is typical of such exuberant and curious toddlers, they will surely attempt to step down directly from the upper bed (disregarding the stairs), leading to an unfortunate fall. Oops.  

In truth, you can do much more than just educating your kids on how to use bunk beds. This is given the inevitability of human error. Therefore, it is advisable to pursue safety mechanisms like girding the bunk bed with rails. 

These rails should completely surround the upper bunk. Precisely, these rails shouldn’t exceed 3 inches of the space separating the mattress from the rail. This provision is to ensure that your kid doesn’t accidentally slip through the rails.

The guard rails protecting the bunk bed should be safely extended by at least 5 inches, measuring from your mattress. This is beneficial in preventing your kid from rolling off the bunk’s top. Such is not a thoroughly unlikely event.

Overall, ensure you choose the best quality loft beds. Never make the infamous mistake of compromising quality to reduce cost. Exposing your children (that would sleep on the loft bed) to more risk via buying cheaper low-quality loft beds means you would be paying more in the long run. 

If you want to know more about preventing loft beds from wobbling, please see this article: Are Loft Beds Supposed To Wobble? {These 5 Ways Can Fix}