Dorm Room FF&E Furniture The Industry

Accessorize Your Bunks!

Dennis Pitcock
Written by Dennis Pitcock

Cheap wall mounted led lamp

Bunkbeds and hostels have gone hand in hand for years. Both words are practically associated with one another. This is so consistent, in fact, that many hostels are accessorizing their bunks, giving their guests more value and separating themselves from the competition. Here are a few examples of what they are doing:

Power to Your Guests

universal outlet

Universal outlet on Alibaba, check with a local electrical codes if it is ok to use in your area.

It has been an ongoing trend for hostels to put a reading lamp and power supple for each bunk . The reading lamp can be simple, hardwired, and using the latest advances in LED technology.  They use only 1-3 watts and the bulbs can last longer than the actual device. As for the power outlet, we’re seeing more convenience including many hostels adding USB outlets and/or universal outlets. If you do happen to add them, make sure there is a sticker noting the voltage output so no-one explodes a device. It is still best to avoid the situation entirely even though it technically won’t be your fault. Hostels are building shelves or attaching baskets to the bunk to make sure the charging devices and other possessions don’t fall to the ground in the middle of the night too.

A simple basket like this for books and glasses goes a long way. Simply mount with zipties and you’re good to go.

A Little Wall Goes a Long Way

Privacy curtains on bunk beds are becoming a thing of the past. To find out why; you can spot check your next set of dorm room curtains. Note how often those curtains are washed compared to the sheets. You most likely will see some stains there th


USA Hostels use a custom privacy walls fabricated out of meta to attache to standard Ikea beds. This wall add more privacy. Also note the electric, light, and shelf.

at will give you nightmares. So, as an alternative, hostel designers are building bunks with privacy walls built in. These walls don’t block the whole bed, but enough to add more privacy for the guest while avoiding the housekeeping downsides. This way the guests aren’t affected by other guests as much in the dorm. These can be made out of anything, built with costumed built beds, or added later to standardized beds like those sold at Ikea. Typically a privacy wall separates one bunk from another and have been seen to be made out of brick, plexiglass, metal, and sealed wood (which we do not recommend due to bed bugs). The front and the back of the beds should be blocked  and about 20% of the length of the bed, to cast a shadow on the guests face. This helps insulate the guest from the lights, sounds, and even smells of other guests. Time has proved, that claustrophobic people do not stay in dorm rooms in the first place, and such a privacy addition is becoming more and more popular today.

The Ability to Lock it Up

Now every guest has some privacy, some power, but what about security? It is becoming an industry standard that every bed should have a locker. Some lockers use the space under the bed, or next to the bed, or even out side of the room. As long as there is a locker, the guests can lock their valuables when they sleep or exit the dorm. You can receive bonus points if the guests can charge their devices while they are locked up, and powered lockers are just as popular as the outlets in the bed too.

Generator Berlin has the rolling lockers that fit nicely under the beds

Generator Berlin has the rolling lockers that fit nicely under the beds

The Simple Things

You don’t need to make a major investment to offer more value to your bunk beds. This can be done by doing something as simple as adding an extra pillow on every bed. Some hostels place a map on to make sure every guest gets one. Others have placed a piece of candy. There has been rumors of hostels even a placing a condom on every bed, but those treats seem too dispensary before every guest got one.

If you want some cool bunk design ideas and inspiration, has curated a great list of detail orientated hostels from around the world, including many with innovative bunkbed accesories.

Wink Hostel Dorm Bed

Wink Hostel Dorm Bed

About the author

Dennis Pitcock

Dennis Pitcock

Dennis jumped into the hostel industry after a summer backpacking Europe in 2008. He went from being a guest to a manager within weeks, and currently does consulting for large and small hostels alike in 3 continents. Prior, he worked in eCommerce, so he has passion for the tech side of the industry and is now deeply entrenched in the hostel and activities industry.

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