Found on one end of a top bunk, a loft bed slide allows children an alternative to using stairs or a ladder to reach the ground. The slide can be made of different materials and is normally large enough for only small children to use. To access the slide, children must climb to the top of the loft bed by using a ladder or set of stairs. It is often part of a loft bed that includes a recreational play area.
A loft bed slide is normally located at the head of the bed. This equipment is typically level with the bottom edge of the bed frame and attached with screws. It can be a straight slide that slants downward at approximately a 45-degree angle to the floor below. The slide might also be a twisted or curved one and can even include a tunnel. Unlike other slides, the bottom edge of this piece usually sits directly on the floor rather than being slightly elevated.
Access to the top bunk is usually provided at the foot of the bed. Once the child reaches the top, he or she must then crawl across the length of the bed to reach the slide. Some models include a canopy over the top bunk to give the illusion of crawling through a tunnel; there may also be a railing across one end to keep the child from falling off. Several children are normally able to crawl across the bed at one time; however, only one child at a time should use the slide for safety reasons.
Wooden loft beds typically have slides with a wooden frame and metal interior. A loft bed slide on a vinyl bed is usually made of vinyl or heavy plastic. Most slides are between 3 and 4 feet (0.92 to 1.2 m) long and 12 to 18 inches (30.48 to 45.72 cm) wide. Even though the loft bed itself might support up to 180 pounds (81.82 kg), the slide section usually holds much less weight, so teenagers and adults should refrain from using it.
Loft beds with slides sometimes look and feel much like a play area in addition to providing sleeping space. Some models have a tent just below the top bunk, while others can have a tunnel, sliding beads, or a rotating tic-tac-toe game. A loft bed slide is normally the focal point of this type of bed, making it a fun alternative to visiting a playground.