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Typical College Loft Bed Specifications and Requirements 

 

We are often asked, does your loft bed meet my specific college's requirements?  While each college 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 then please contact usClick here for a list of colleges we have shiped to.

 

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 PayPal verified and a member of the Better Business Bureau with the highest available A+ rating.  Before you buy a loft from any company, you should check out their BBB report.  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

Do we ship to your college?

Must provide a safety rail that goes the full length of the bed.

Must use 4x4 corner posts.

Horizontal supports must be a minimum of 2x4 lumber.

Must have cross bracing supports.

Must have a minimum of 30" headroom above the mattress to the ceiling.

Must incorporate the existing dorm room bed into the loft bed structure.

Must be built for an extra long mattress.

My college has both regular (75") and extra long (80") mattresses, which should I order?

Must not lean up against a wall for support.

Must be painted with a Fire Retardant paint.

Must use 5/16" bolts.

Must use screws and not nails.

Must have a secured ladder to climb up and not use existing furniture for climbing.

Must use 3/4" thick bed slats.

Why do I need a Loft Bed when I can use cinder blocks instead?

What are the biggest differences between your wooden lofts and the metal lofts sold by your competitors?

What are some of the basic differences between you and other wooden loft vendors?

 

Must 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 notched and screwed 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

An important 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 ARSENIC (which is poisonous).  Click here for more information on Pressure Treated Lumber.

 

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 supports?

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.  They are notched, glued and screwed 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.

We 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 dorms.  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 year.

 

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.  Contact Us us 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 support.

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 Fire Retardant Paint 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 very secure.

 

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 High Rise Bed, 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 mattress.  From the top of the mattress there is 32" of space to the 8' ceiling above.