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Twin Beds: A Buying Guide

Twin beds are a popular choice for decorating children's rooms. But don't limit their potential. Decorating with twin beds is a convenient, economical way of furnishing second bedrooms and guest rooms. They are also a versatile means of adding functionality to dual-purpose rooms. They take up the least amount of space and they define the personal sleeping area for each person in a shared room (by kids or adults alike). The bed, no matter the size, tends to be the focal point of the room, and twin beds can be a dressed up or as laid back as you want them to be.

Atlantic Furniture Captain's Bookcase Bed with Underbed 4 Drawer Chest in Natural Maple Sonax Willow Captain's Storage Bed in Ravenwood Black Homelegance Pottery Panel Bed in Black Finish
Atlantic Furniture Captain's Bookcase Bed with Underbed 4 Drawer Chest in Natural Maple
Sonax Willow Captain's Storage Bed in Ravenwood Black
Homelegance Pottery Panel Bed in Black Finish

Start with a Plan

Twin beds are available in every price range, so you don't have to spend a lot of money just to find a good quality twin bed. Make a budget; it will keep your decorating project on track.

Twin beds come in a wide range of colors, styles and materials, including wood, metal and a combination of wood and metal. Decide what kind of bed you want, what it will be made of and the style that best suits your décor.

Are you making room for one or two? If you are decorating the room for two people, you will probably want to select matching beds. If space is an issue, when decorating a child's or teen's room, consider purchasing twin bunk beds to make things less crowded.

Take measurements. Knowing how much space you have to work with will prevent you from purchasing a twin bed that might not fit.

Consider what features you want your twin bed to have. If the room will be shared, you might want to select a twin bed that includes under bed storage. Or maybe you prefer a bookcase headboard to create a ton of storage for books.

Types of Twin Beds

A bookcase bed typically has a headboard that accommodates a shelf or shelves for books, knickknacks, an alarm clock and other necessary treasures. Some manufacturers offer bookcase beds with both headboards and footboards that have been designed with extra storage. While many of them are designed specifically for children, there are some adult versions available as well.

A canopy bed is essentially a four poster bed with a covering. Canopies are made from a variety of fabrics and can include a frill or tailored border. Many manufacturers will include the frame but not the actual canopy, allowing you to match the fabric to your décor.

A variation of the platform bed, a captain’s bed combines a place to sleep with handy storage options. The mattress is typically placed on top of a set of drawers, cubbies or a trundle unit. It's a great way to convert the unused area beneath the bed into a much-needed storage solution. This type of bed generally doesn’t require a box spring, making it an economical choice.

Twin panel beds have headboards and footboards that are usually solid with one or more panels. They typically stand flat against the wall. As a variation on the standard panel bed, some types do include horizontal panels or decorative slats that allow you to partially see through the headboard.

Platform twin beds consist of a raised platform or frame that directly supports the mattress without a box spring, making them both economical and versatile. Because it sits closer to the ground, a twin platform bed is ideal for decorating average or smaller sized rooms, since bed makes the room appear larger and more spacious. Many types of platform beds include under bed storage solutions.

The classic bunk bed is designed as one unit with two twin beds stacked one above the other. They are an economical and convenient way to decorate a small room or a room that will be shared by two children or teens. Trends in bunk beds are constantly changing, offering the consumer both fashionable and functional up-to-the-minute choices. Because twin bunk beds use the floor space in a room vertically rather than horizontally, it leaves more room for a desk, dresser or bookcase.

The twin poster bed is a popular choice, especially when decorating a girl’s room or a guest room with a more traditional theme. They have a dramatic appearance, depending on how high the posts are. A twin poster bed can also have a contemporary look and feel. No matter what the décor style, a twin poster bed draws the eye into the center of the room.

Mostly associated with the Victorian era, sleigh beds possess a timeless elegance. Soft, flowing lines create a romantic feel. They come in a range of styles, including traditional. For a more contemporary look, select one with cleaner lines, in a solid bold color or made of metal. If you want to create a casual look, choose a twin sleigh bed with a shorter footboard.

Lea Emma's Treasures Kids Poster Bed in Vintage White Finish Nexera Nocce Modern Platform Bed in Truffle Finish Atlantic Furniture Windsor Platform Bed with Raised Panel Footboard in Natural Maple Finish
Lea Emma's Treasures Kids Poster Bed in Vintage White Finish
Nexera Nocce Modern Platform Bed in Truffle Finish
Atlantic Furniture Windsor Platform Bed with Raised Panel Footboard in Natural Maple Finish

Twin Bed Style

The style you choose for your twin bed will set the tone for the room while expressing your taste and personality. For a relaxed, casual look, select something contemporary. If a formal feel is more to your liking, then traditional will be the style for you. To help you decide which one might best reflect your personal taste, the following is a brief description of each of the major styles to choose from.

Traditional style twin beds are immediately recognizable by their intricate decorative flourishes, such as crown molding, scalloped edges and classical motifs. They tend to have rich real wood finishes. Based on historical periods and social customs, traditional twin beds can have a stately, formal or simplified profile. Other characteristics of traditional furnishings include elaborate carvings, barley twist posts and cabriole legs.

Contemporary style reflects current trends, using color and construction materials for effect. Lines are more relaxed, but still have a clean and linear appearance. A contemporary twin bed can also have a dramatic look. Geometric and minimalist, contemporary frequently mixes textured elements such as chrome accents with wood tones. Decorative detail is used with restraint for a more simple and refined effect.

A transitional twin bed merges contemporary and traditional design principles together, resulting in a look that resembles traditional style, but without as much intricate, decorative detail. The result is furniture that is simple yet sophisticated. A transitional twin bed typically contrasts straight lines with curved profiles in an espresso finish.

Modern style emerged in the second half of the 20th century, a direct protest to conventional forms, decorative detail and composition. A modern twin bed might be made of a stark, bleached wood and have an asymmetrical design. Modern can also be sleek and angular, with spare lines and an austere profile.

Country style furniture has a relaxed and casual feel, with a touch of rustic charm. Because it has its roots in traditional design, a country twin bed might display many traditional elements, such as scalloped aprons, bun feet and crown molding. However, country furniture really reflects how furnishings were adapted in regional or provincial environments, with craftsmen using local materials and motifs instead of following the conventions found in major European centers. A country twin bed could have a distressed finish, embossed inserts, stenciling or a distressed antique white finish.

Other Things to Consider

  • Twin beds are also known as single beds.

  • When decorating a guest room, two twin beds pushed together will give you the same sleeping area (width wise) as a king size bed, but will allow you to move the furniture around more easily, particularly if the room is smaller.

  • If furnishing a room for teen boys, consider extra long twin beds. The length of a standard twin is 75 inches and an extra long twin is eighty inches. Keep in mind that sometimes finding bedding for the extra long twin is not as easy as standard sized twin beds.

  • If you plan to add under bed storage or a trundle unit to your twin bed at a later date, make sure that there will be enough room. To accommodate under bed additions, the mattress should stand 10 to 18 inches off the ground. Couples who experience health issues or sleeping problems may opt for twin beds as a viable solution.