Turning a guest room into a second kid’s bedroom? Consider a full-size bed + bunk beds.

Sara! This is one of those Duh! hacks I wouldn't have thought of myself, either!

If you are giving up a guest room in favor of two kid's bedrooms, do like my friend did: Put a full-sized bed in one bedroom and bunk beds in the other. Then, when people visit you can double up the kids in the bunk bed room and give the full-sized bedroom to your guests. (Obvious to some, but a revelation to me!)

I'm a bit nostalgic for the practice of bunking the kids (in bunk beds, sleeping bags, whatever) to accommodate guests. To me, it's a wonderful, concrete way to teach kids about hosting guests. On the other hand, not every guest feels comfortable sleeping on Thomas the Tank Engine sheets surrounded by stuffed animals. What do you think?

Related: New baby and preschooler sharing a room? Talk amongst yourselves.


  1. Missy says

    Because we have 7 in our family and lack an extra room for a guest bedroom, they have no choice BUT to stay in one of the kids room, but I do keep a large space saver bag that contains bedding and towels just for the guest. I also use my shampoo and toothpaste samples I get thru the mail to put together a basket of goodies. Always include a new toothbrush too:)

  2. Stephanie says

    We recently added a set of twin over full bunks in our girls room with the intent that it will be used for guests when they come to visit.

    We ordered on-line from http://bunkbedking.com I’m thrilled with both the price and quality of this bed. It really is a fantastic bed and the directions were very easy to follow.

  3. mom, again says

    Sleeping being surrounded by toys is a small price to pay to save money on hotel bills!

    I do keep linens just for guests, so the kiddie bed linens arent an issue.

  4. Tracy says

    We had casually mentioned the guest room issue with my in-laws (our most frequent guest) when kid#2 came around and the guest room was to disappear. My frugal father-in-law said he had no problem sleeping on kids’ beds – why should we buy a new house just to have another room for guests that hardly gets used?

    We put guests in the twin beds in my son’s room and then either have my son sleep with us in our room or sleep with his sister in her full bed. A full bed is just too small for 2 grown-ups to sleep in, IMO. I haven’t gotten any complaints about the race car sheets or the low bed heights so far.

  5. says

    We have twin beds for the kids, but one of the beds is really a trundle to the other, unattached to the headboard and frame. When guests visit I push the two beds together, adding king sized sheets. My guests say they like this arrangement- and the kids sleep on the floor of their playroom in sleeping bags.

    When the boys want separate rooms, we will keep the trundle in one room (low and underneath by then) give the other child a new mattress with his existing headboard, and still give guests a big bed when they visit.

  6. STL Mom says

    Having had up to seven houseguests at a time, I’ve often used the guest room AND a kid’s room for guests. I agree that the twin bed with trundle that rises up is another good option. It’s wider than a double bed, and your guests can be close or they can push the beds apart if they get mad at each other. But maybe that’s just my family!

  7. STL Mom says

    Also, never make your kids sleep in their beds if they want to sleep on the floor. If they think sleeping on the floor is fun, they won’t complain about it at your house or at anyone else’s house.

  8. says

    “On the other hand, not every guest feels comfortable sleeping on Thomas the Tank Engine sheets surrounded by stuffed animals. What do you think?”

    When I am a guest in someone else’s house, it is with the full realization that I am a guest in their lives. It’s unreasonable for me to expect my host to eliminate all traces of children from a room in which the children live. When in Rome…

  9. Leigh says

    We built a “people storage room” when we built our house on the lake. It has two sets of bunk beds (one is a twin over full). My little guys sleep in there now, and the “guest” room is my stepson’s room. When we have company, my stepson sleeps in one of the top bunks and the guests get his bed, which was part of the deal when he got the “cool” room.

    Part of being a guest is NOT complaining about sleeping on Thomas sheets, isn’t it? At least that’s what I was always taught, and what I’ve taught my family. As the host, you should cater to your guests, and as the guest, you should be thankful and polite and help out whenever possible (and, as I was often told, keep my thoughts to myself when I didn’t like something).

  10. says

    It seems my bedroom was always given up for guests… sometimes with no notice, which made dressing difficult the next day.

    I remember sleeping on a camping mat in the shower once when my grandfather was visiting. We had 10 people living in the house, so I guess there weren’t many options.

    I love the memories, though. Long-term or short-term guests were always a part of our home.

  11. Katie says

    As a guest, I think any time I get to stay in a private room in a real bed, it is a luxury. No one in my family or my husband’s family has/had guest rooms, with the exception of grandparents whose children have all moved away. We certainly don’t. That said, the contents of the room is pretty much immaterial. I would think it would be quite rude as a guest to dissaprove of sleeping in a kid’s room.

  12. says

    >On the other hand, not every guest feels comfortable sleeping on Thomas the Tank Engine sheets surrounded by stuffed animals.

    Well, there’s a companion hack to this hack: make sure you have a set of 300 or 400 thread count sheets for the big bed for when guests come over. Heck, maybe you could even put them on the bed for the child once in a while as a special reward! :)

  13. Nikkel says

    “On the other hand, not every guest feels comfortable sleeping on Thomas the Tank Engine sheets”

    …um, change the bed linen when you have guests?

  14. says

    We do the same thing at our house- we have a full bed in one room and a daybed + trundle in the other. Then when we have guests we can give them their own room (plus playpen or something if they need it) and my kids share a room.

  15. says

    When we have guests coming to visit and I know my boys will be displaced from their room, I have them pack a suitcase of clothes for the duration so they don’t have to keep going into the now guest room to get dressed. It just became part of the process of moving the trundle closer and getting out the guest sheets etc.

  16. says

    Very much agree with all of you who say it’s rude for a guests to turn their noses up at a kid’s room. (Frankly, I don’t know many who would, but I’m sure there are people who’d still feel embarrassed with that arrangement.)

    I love how Amberlynn has lots of memories of houseguests. I have a feeling you’re a gracious hostess because of it, A.

    Dealing with discomfort sometimes brings us closer, you know?

  17. Victoria says

    I think my living situation is totally different from most of the other posters. My parents’ house is not big enough for my sister and I (I’m a recent college grad) to sleep in separate bedrooms, and certainly not big enough for a guest room. When close family stayed with us, they took my bed, and my sister and I slept in hers, just across the room. My Grandma certainly never complained.

    If my mom was sitting for all our cousins, two took my brother’s floor, two took my bed, one bunked with my sister, the baby slept in with my mom, and I, as the oldest, got the sofa downstairs. (Or my mom dumped us all on the living room floor.)