Published on November 30th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Ladder into steps

Trofast as bunk bed steps

Materials: Kura, Trofast, bits of wood railings

Description: I needed to figure a way to save space in my girls bedroom but the problem with the Kura bed we had was that my daughters could not climb up or down the ladder to get into or out of the bed.

Trofast as bunk bed steps

We bought a Trofast storage unit as a replacement for the stairs. It worked great! They could both climb up and down into the bed but to make it safer we added some railing to the Trofast unit.

Trofast as bunk bed steps

We bought 3 posts from the hardware store and cut them down to size, screwed them onto the sides of the unit. Cut the railing to size and attached it to the posts and the bed. We also screwed the Trofast to the Kura bed to make it more sturdy and stable.

We love it and hope you do too.

~ Grace S, Victoria, Australia

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

52 Responses to Ladder into steps

  1. Aubrey says:

    What is the landing made of? At the top of the stairs before getting onto the bunk bed?

  2. mrudden says:

    Nice idea!

    If I decide to use this hack, I’ll cut boards the size of the top of each step, place the board on top of the step and then screw it in from underneath. That way it will be solid and ok for me to step on. I saw on another hack, that steps hacked this way needed extra support if adults were going to use them and didn’t want to think about where they were stepping.

  3. jamie says:

    awesome job! i have a special needs child who fears ladders but wants a low loft. steps for most bunks are steep and narrow. your idea is fantastic and it’s a perfect alternative to what is currently available. thanks for posting your creative idea.

  4. Lost Car Key says:

    Love this! Great hack and so very glad you shared this! But I very much agree with others above who have pointed out the negligent, pardon my use of that term here, construction method. For this age of child development, I would assume the use of two rails with the upper rail higher than what is shown. I understand the desire to align with the top rail of the standard bunk, but another solution keeping with the proportion of the original bed can easily be found. All this while the upper bed has the same problem with respect to allowing one to fall into head injuries and similar to what is possible on the staircase itself! Taking the rail supports to the ceiling is, by far, ludicrous and absurd, unless you’re Carlo Scarpa and this is Castle Vecchio. Pah-leez. If we are to make this totally safe then we, as another suggested before me, should just get out the bubble wrap and call it a day.

  5. Pingback: Las posibilidades de la cama Kura de Ikea | Kidsmopolitan

  6. Fin says:

    I am going to modify this, I am a young adult with some mobility issues, I also have space issues and a full bed. A loft bed is something I have been wanting but none of the fulls have stairs attached.

  7. cassi says:

    This is a great hack – i just got the bed & am off to ikea for the Trofast system. deff love the carpet squares idea. i liked the railing because it was cute, forget for safety – it’ll end up a monkeybar in my house anyway. the whole reason i wanted the kura bed is because it is lower & there for less distance for the INEVITABLE falls. kids are kids and will climb and fall off anything. put the posts to the ceiling??? u’ll end up w/ a pole dancer & an eye sore in ur room. GREAT IDEA & GREAT JOB!

  8. Eoin says:

    As usual, the Paranoia League of Everything Baby have spewed their fearmongering all over a great hack!

    I only have this to say: I will be buying a Trofast system from IKEA and then hacking it like you have! If my kids fall off it, they’ll be a bit sad about it, but they’ll get over it, because that’s how life works.

    Love the hack, you’ve done a wicked good job!

  9. I have been searching for this exact”make-up” and toying with the KURA bed and now, I can’t even wait for Spring so I can make it over the mountain and get this going. My twin boys will be so freaking excited.
    As for safety, my twin crushed his thumb in a public bathroom stall and then jumps from the counters. I love this site and this is a GREAT hack. Thank you

  10. Anonymous says:

    Great hack! I’m interested in using the TROFAST as stairs for myself. Any adults have any experience on the TROFAST stairs? I’m wondering how much weight it supports, and how well they will hold up to regular use…

    • Chantal says:

      Did you ever get an answer to your question? I might use this Trofast hack to make steps for my 5 year old son but want to make sure it will support his weight as he grows into teenagehood.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Rule of thumbs, if your child cant use the stock ladder provided by the manufacturer with the bed, it’s because he’s too young to sleep into this bed safely.

    That said, without considering the original problem (kids cant use the ladder yet) as the starting point for this idea, this is a great hack. A good idea to incorporate some storage into a small bedroom. I like.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sure all of the safety comments are voted as over reacting. Ladders are not safe either. The kiddos pictured seem too young to be up that high. But to each his own you will learn the same way the older gen did trial and error.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Love it! I want to do this, but wanted to ask how it was holding up to the kids so far? I was at Ikea today (picked up the Kura and some other necessities) and the guy helping us was concerned about the weight and stress that the tops of the shelf would take on. I can’t wait to go back to Ikea and get a better step system for this bed. : )

  14. Anonymous says:

    Awesome. I’ll be doing that!

  15. Lindsey S. says:

    So, I commented earlier about how we did this for my daughter and didn’t use rails. Six months later and we haven’t had one accident and it’s been rail-free. I did however find carpet squares, cut them to size and put them on top of the bookshelf so that they weren’t slippery which I believe made all the difference.

  16. remmus says:

    I was just thinking about doing something like this today for my daughter! I will read the safety suggestions mor carefully before I do. I was thinking something solid instead of rails.

  17. Anonymous says:

    My husband weighs about 250lbs and my son that sleeps in the bed weighs about 50 and they’ve slept in it together a few times so I would say you’ll be fine!

    • Chantal says:

      Your comment was about the bed but I just want to confirm…your husband uses the storage stairs to get up? We are thinking about doing this for our son I just want to make sure the Trofast can support the added weight as my 6 year old grows into a teen.

  18. Anonymous says:

    i love this hack well done, we just bought a new bed for our daughter but if i’d seen this beforehand i would’ve done it. i think its fab, and i have no safety concerns at all with it, safer than just leaving as the ladders after all :) great idea and when we have the next one i will definatly bear this in mind.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Awesome! I have two boys and always wanted to buy this bed! I already have the storage unit you used as stairs. Thank you so much for sharing and I will definitely keep the safety issues in mind if and when I attempt my hack. Lol!

  20. karen says:

    Great!! My son is 4 so he can climb anything without me worrying. I will leave the railing off.

    But it adds a perfect space saving climbing rack to the bed, great idea!

  21. Christine says:

    I am wondering how much weight you think this particular unit could handle walking up and down it. I would like to do this for my tween daughter but she is a lot heavier than the children shown here.

    • Anonymous says:

      I weigh 240 lbs and I walk on the unit as steps. It is pretty strong.

    • Unknown says:

      Have you also sat or laid on this bed? I need to know the weight limit, but they don’t have that online.. Getting for my son, but on those nights he crawls into our bed, I need a place to sleep .. Lol.. Wondering if the top will hold 150 lbs…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Ikea site has info on the weight limits for Kura and the pine Trofast… think its abt 250 LBS on the Kura :-)

  22. Anonymous says:

    amazing how many safety comments – today i caught my three year old jumping off a foot stool in the lounge which is about the height of the second step on the storage set… i think when we flip her bed we shall use this idea without any handrails … she will be jumping from the top soon enough

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hey! I did this hack. But… I’ll be honest. I used the storage as stairs and didn’t use a railing at all. I put carpet squares on the steps. My daughter fell from the regular ladder that was there three times. The stairs she can get up and down just fine and it’s less dangerous for her. I’m going to put a bar on the wall side for her to hold on as she goes up and down. I feel like the rail on the other side though just screams, “Slide down me! Flip on me! Do something potentially more dangerous on me!” And the wood is thin in some areas. If she uses the railing and the nails come out or something, then she’s going down anyway.

  24. Anonymous says:

    What about those sandpaper stickers? Or make your own! They’d stop sock feet from slipping! I also had this idea and I’m so glad someone else did and I’ve got some good feedback to go on now – thanks! Great minds think alike!

  25. The Debt Princess says:

    This is a great hack. The one thing I can think of (aside from fixing the railing a bit) is to put something to grip on for their feet. Maybe the stuff you put under rugs or as shelf liner? Those suckers are very slick!

  26. Anonymous says:

    i love this idea!!! i have a question i want to get that same bedding for my boys but will it fit a twin size bed?? i haven’t sen it in person just online

  27. zoice says:

    I saw this wonderful hack and the first thing i thought of was: “Sure there will be a bunch of people deeming this hack being dangerous for children.”

    And boy, was i right…

    You know what? A kid might fall over this, sure, but then again this is a completely normal thing for kids to do. I’ve come to the conclusion that this over-caring is a new trend in childcare, and i suspect that the problems this causes are way more severe than falling from a few feet height down to a carpet.

  28. Step Ladders says:

    My little boy would love this. The only problem I can see is that the wood might be a little hard on young ones knees. But a bit of soft carpet on top of each step will sort that right out.

    But fair play to you it is a really good build.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for showing us this. It is something I have had in my head for a while but now you have done it we can all see how to do it a little better! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Also I have toyed with putting a toddler bed under KURA myself toso it is goo to see it in action.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I saw this hack and thinking: I want this for my daughter too!!! I will amend the rail as the second anonymus explain, but the hack is really really cool!!!! Like it!! Thank you for this nice idea.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s a great hack, but I can totally see a kid trying to jump from that first part to the actual first step, coming down on it and biting their tongue badly. Or coming down, not hitting the step right, it falls down, and the kid falls and hits their head. The first part should be a secured step, too.

  32. Ulli says:

    I also had safety concerns when I first saw the pics on my RSS Feed. At that time, I didn’t see the rail height issue. What conerns me are that the posts are “sticking” out over the hand rail. A childs clothing (or whatever the may be playing with) could catch on a pole and strangle the child in the event of a fall.
    I like your concept, and therefore I’d suggest that you replace the poles with longer ones that run all the way to the ceiling, and then anchor them there as well. Then you could also do several multiple height rails.

    • Amanda says:

      I agree with the whole center of gravity thing and moving the rail inside, but what caught my attention, too, was the posts sticking up over the handrail. Serious choking hazard if one of the kids fall and shirt or anything like that catches on it. Even moving the handrail up to the top, flush with the top of the posts, on the inside would solve most of these issues.

  33. Anonymous says:

    They’re not ever-reacting. That railing is not high enough for the smaller of the two kids, let alone the taller one. Commenter # 2 gave an exact description of what needs to be fixed. All that (existing) handrail is going to do is ensure a head first fall.

    Oh, BTW – Great hack! Really.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Common folks! No kid who use the regular Kura bed ladder doesn’t fall from. The ladder and the bed are higher than this one. So instead of screaming “danger, poor child”, say “wow, what a great hack”. You are just overreacting.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Glad I’m not the only one that cringed when looking at that railing, don’t let the kids near it until you fix it!

  36. Anonymous says:

    I think its a cool hack! maybe you could just add another rail above the existing one to fix the problem the people before me mentioned but i dont understand physics so yeah :P
    I love the idea and im sure as a child I would have loved to have my own stairs in my room, which would have prevented the many falls when I wasnt taking care when going up or down the ladder to my bed.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I agree with anonymous. Looking at the top step, the ‘handrail’ is more likely to knock her legs out from under her if she were to trip, rather than stop her from going over the edge if she were to stumble, as intended.

    It’s a potentially great hack, with just a little modification.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Just a small note: The railings appear to be below your daughter’s center of gravity (approximately the navel).

    In the event of a slip or trip, your daughter can easily fall over the railing and the lower railing will actually increase the chances of a head-first fall. In order for the railing to be effective, it needs to be more than 1/2 the height of the person climbing the stairs, and 2.5 – 3 times the height of the next stair.

    Additionally, the handrail should be mounted on the inside of the bannister rails, so that any pulling or pushing force towards the outside of the stairwell is against the supports instead of relying only on the screws.

    My suggestion is to move the handrail inside the vertical supports, and place a second rail across the top of the supports.

    This provides a more secure railing for when someone tries to climb up outside the railing (kids will be kids, after all) and greatly decreases the chances of falling over.

  39. Anonymous says:

    love it :)

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