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The No-Bump Bunk: Make Your Bunk Beds Safer for $16

The No-Bump Bunk: Make Your Bunk Beds Safer for $16

If you've already toured the 5-bedrooms in our double-wide, then you know we've got 7 bunk beds (and 3 queen beds, too). We searched for the cheapest bunk beds we could find, focusing on those with good reviews and a weight limit high enough to accommodate teenagers and adults. Our search led us to the Mainstays Twin Over Twin Wood Bunk Bed, which are priced at $179 and come in multiple finishes at Walmart.

They're sturdy enough for our purposes, the rails on the top bunk are high enough to fit a standard twin mattress, and the whole structure is short enough that you can sit up in the top bunk without bashing your head on the ceiling.

But there's one major problem. There isn't a lot of headroom on the bottom bunk, and the slats that hold the top bunk in place are pretty raw and splintery:

 bunk bed with splintery slats

My brother-in-law, Dan (same guy who hung our chandelier and artwork in the dining room), came up with the brilliant idea to cushion the splintery slats with foam pipe insulation. It covers the splinters and cushions the blow if you sit up too fast. I didn't even know pipe insulation was a thing that existed! Check this out:

DIY no-bunk bunk bed

Cushioning the slats is cheap and easy. Let me walk you through. First you need to go to ACE Hardware and get 4 pieces of Tundra 3/4in-1/2 Pipe Insulation. They look like pool noodles, and they cost $3.99 each. Dan tells me that all hardware stores carry pipe insulation, but it's usually black. The tan tubing blends in better with the wood on the bunk beds, and he could only find it at ACE.

You can also get the insulation tubes from Amazon, but they're currently priced at $10.48 a piece. You'll need 4 noodles to cover the Walmart bunk bed's 8 slats, but you could cut costs by only getting 1 or 2 tubes, and just use them cover the slats where you're mostly likely to hit your head.

If you cut them in half, each insulation tube will fit perfectly over two slats on your bunk bed. Check it out:

insulation tubing for bunk beds

You can cut them pretty easily with a regular scissor. (Side note: Dan is my hand model, and he is also a beloved chiropractor on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He's the best and he's accepting appointments here.)

no-bunk bunk beds diy

Below, you can see that the tubes are pre-split, which makes them easy to slip over the bunk bed slats. Now I'm taking over as hand model to show how easy this is.

piping insulation for bunk beds

Just pull apart the noodle, pop them on, and...

Ta-da! The no-bumps-on-your-head bunk bed:

The tan tubes look pretty good, but you can only see them in you're lying in bed. They're not visible when you walk into the room.

bunk room

For more info on squeezing 5 bedrooms into a 1600-square-foot double-wide trailer, check out our floor plan here, and click here for more design ideas from our bunker in the Catskills.

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