How to Separate a Bunk Bed into Two Beds

bunk beds in a room
What You'll Need

Bunk beds are an increasingly popular choice in homes that want to conserve space. As they are basically the concept of one bed stacked on top of another, they allow two people to sleep in the same room, practical in homes with multiple children. But what happens when you want or need these beds separated? From simple metal structures, bunk beds have evolved to include curtains, dressers, sliding slots and enclosures. Not all designs can be separated, but the following steps should help those that can.

TIP: If you still have your bed's original packaging, find the instruction manual before you start working. Reading how to take it apart and put it back together again will make your job much easier.

Step 1 - Clear Out

Before you begin, drag the bed to a workable area. Remove the bedding all the way down to the mattresses. If your bunk bed comes with inclusions like drawers and curtains, take these out too.

Step 2 - Remove the Slats

stack of bed slats

Slats are strips of wood that rest on the protrusion of each side rail, running parallel to the headboard. They are mattress supports, and even though there is no standard figure as to how many they should be, their number generally depends on the length of the bed. The slats are built adjacent to each other and in turn built into a frame. You only need to lift these out of both beds and place them aside, although some beds have them screwed in to the frame.

Step 3 - Disassemble the Bunk Bed

Now turn to the side rails. These are usually joined to the headboard and footboard via a leg and rail joint—which looks similar to a leg joint—often supported by two dowel joints through each. Use the pliers to remove the dowels by grabbing the head end as you use the mallet to tap the jutting inside end, pulling the dowels as you do so.

Once the dowels are out, a simple lurch of the headboard above the leg and rail joint will release the side rail. You may choose to tap it with a rubber mallet to loosen. Remove all these and stack them aside. To remove the headboard, use the chisel to force away one leg of the headboard from the extender. Repeat the process for the footboard.

Step 4 - Reassemble the Beds

girl's bedroom with pink accessories

This is simply a reversal of step number 3. Start with the headboard and footboards and attach them to their extenders using the wrench to cater for the fastening. If your bunk bed is held together by brackets then use the screwdriver to unscrew these then once you are done piecing all the parts together, re-screw these brackets back to their allotted spots.

Note - If dowels hold the beds together, all you will need to do is borrow a few hands to help you lift the top bed and unlatch it from the bottom one. Some bunk types are held together by metal rods at the four posts of the lower bunk and four legs of the top bunk. These can also be separated by a simple lift upward. Some bunk beds are screwed together in several locations.