Typical College Loft Bed Specifications and Requirements
We are often asked, does your loft bed meet my specific college's requirements?
While each has their own unique set of
specifications and requirements, we have listed many
of the most common ones below. If you don't see your question answered here
Keep in mind, most college's requirements are designed with the student's safety
in mind. They don't want students just bringing in a pile of scrap 2x4's,
throw them together with nails, lean them up against a wall and call it a loft
bed. Many colleges will automatically accept a loft bed purchased from a
reputable manufacturer. We have been in business selling loft beds
nationwide since 2002 and have an excellent reputation. We are
verified and a member
with the highest available A+ rating.
You will be
surprised at what you will find.
As a general safety precaution do not place the loft
near any window, door, closet, fire/smoke alarm or ceiling fan. All
college residence halls have specific requirements regarding the use and
placement of lofts and students are required to follow all college rules.
The safety rail must be in use at all times!
Typical College Requirements FAQ's
Must use 4x4 corner posts.
have a minimum of 30" headroom above the mattress to the ceiling.
do I need a Loft Bed when I can use cinder blocks instead?
provide a safety rail that goes the full length of the bed.
Surprisingly, having a safety
rail is not a requirement for many colleges. If you look at their diagram
of a loft, you will not see a safety rail. We designed our loft beds with
safety in mind. We extended the legs above the top of the mattress and provide a
safety rail that goes the full length of the bed.
College requires 4x4 corner posts.
Our corner posts are 2x6's which are 50% wider (5-1/2" wide) than a 4x4 (3-1/2" wide) and with our
ladder rung design, provides better support, stability and safety. Most colleges will
accept 2x6 posts as equivalent or better than 4x4 posts and we have not yet been rejected by
any college for using 2x6 posts. Once someone sees how sturdy our
lofts are, along with the built in safety rail above the mattress, they
typically get approved. If your
college still absolutely insists on using 4x4 posts, you can always screw a 2x4
to the inside of the 2x6 legs to meet the 4x4 requirement.
PLEASE READ - SAFETY WARNING
note to students who plan to build their own loft bed. Most colleges
recommend the corner posts be made from 4x4 lumber. However, 4x4 lumber is
very difficult to find as it is primarily used for outdoor decks with a pressure
treated additive. PLEASE NOTE, YOU MUST NEVER USE PRESSURE
TREATED LUMBER INDOORS. Pressure treated lumber contains
for more information on
Mattress must be secured so it can't slide off.
mattress foundation (bed slats)
Surprisingly, this also is not
a requirement for many colleges. Our mattress area is enclosed and
recessed between the front and back rails, so the mattress can't slide out.
Click on the picture on the right to see more detail. You will find that
most of the metal loft companies just basically place the mattress on top with
nothing holding it in place to prevent it from sliding off of the smooth metal
Horizontal supports must be a minimum of 2x4 lumber.
Our front rail (horizontal support)
is a 2x6, rungs are 2x4 and slats are 1-1/2" thick.
Must have cross bracing supports. Why don't we use diagonal cross
Our unique design gives our loft
superior strength and stability, so we don't need large diagonal cross bracing.
For example, our ladder rungs act as both a ladder and a support for the legs.
into the legs, utilizing a
tongue & groove construction technique similar to fine household furniture, this
makes for a very sturdy loft. The back rail is 9-1/2" wide and goes the
full length of the bed, additional cross bracing isn't needed.
Must have a minimum of 30" headroom above the
mattress to the ceiling.
customize each loft (at no charge) to your exact headroom requirements. During
order entry you will enter the ceiling height, mattress thickness and headroom
requirements into the
order form, or you can enter custom specifications during checkout. You
can see exactly what you are going to get by using our
Loft Height Calculator. There, you may
enter your specifications and see the results instantly.
Must incorporate the existing dorm room
bed into the loft bed structure.
sample of existing dorm bed
Our loft beds were specifically designed to
be used in college
Most college dorm beds
may be disassembled and
the metal spring frame and mattress used on our loft bed. For example, with the dorm bed pictured here you can remove the headboard and
footboard and place the metal frame and mattress on top of our bed slats.
You can store the headboard and footboard behind the loft against the wall and
out of the way. Remember to save all hardware and bolts when disassembling
the dorm bed as you will need it to reassemble the bed at the end of the school
Must be built for an extra long mattress.
Our loft beds come in three lengths:
Regular (for mattresses and frames up to 75"), Extra Long (up to 80") and XXL
(up to 84"), so we can fit any size.
If you have an odd size mattress or are confined to
a tight space, we can custom build a loft to your specifications.
with your requirements.
My college has both regular (75")
and extra long (80") mattresses, which should I order?
We recommend you order the extra long (80") length. A
75" mattress can be used on an 80" loft, but you can't use a 80" mattress on a
75" loft. Remember, if the frame is 81" or greater, then
you need to order the XXL 84" length loft.
Must not lean up against a wall for
Our loft beds are freestanding and
very sturdy, they do not need to lean up against a wall for support. With
our 2x6 posts and ladder rungs spaced every 11" that go the full height of the bed, it
makes for an extremely strong and sturdy loft. Some of our competitors use
a separate front ladder with no side supports for the legs, we feel we have a
much superior design.
Must be painted with a Fire Retardant paint.
We recommend the use of Fire
Retardant Paint. See for details. Some colleges will allow an ABC Fire
Extinguisher mounted onto the loft instead of using Fire Retardant Paint.
Must use 5/16" bolts.
We use 3/8" carriage bolts which are
thicker and stronger.
Must use screws and not nails.
We use both glue and
screws. The pre-assembled front and back rails are glued and screwed together.
We also provide a bottle of glue to be used when assembling the ladder rungs
into the notched legs. This makes for an exceptionally
sturdy loft which will not loosen over time.
Must have a
secured ladder to climb up
and not use existing furniture for climbing.
Our ladders are built into the lofts
at each end. An optional front ladder is available if needed. It is screwed into the loft and is
Must use 3/4" thick bed slats.
Our bed slats are 1-1/2" thick.
Why do I need a Loft Bed
when I can use cinder blocks instead?
While using cinder blocks my seem to
be the typical low cost solution, there are two problems. 1) There is a
chance that over time your bed will slide off the cinder block and fall to the
ground and 2) the damage that is caused may result in a "dorm room damage bill"
at the end of the semester. While personal injuries are typically minor
from a 12" fall, the damage it causes could be costly. Typically cinder
blocks over time will gouge the floor, tearing the carpet or flooring.
A dorm bed that falls off a cinder block will not only damage the
floor but the bed itself. This typically results in the student receiving
a "dorm room damage" bill when they move out. So, while a cinder block may
seem the cheaper solution, in the end it may be more costly. We feel the
less expensive alternative is to use a Loft Bed or if you just need a few feet
underneath for storage, a
, both available from us of course.
The loft shown below has a 6" mattress and there is 55" of headroom underneath
the front rail. The student in the picture is 5' 9" tall and when sitting
down, has about 6" of headroom from the top of his head to the bottom of the
From the top of the mattress there is 32" of space to the 8'