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Top or Bottom Bunk?

You sort out your dorm, wander into the room and there’s one bunk left that is completely free. Moment of truth – do you choose the top or bottom bunk, reviewing beds is a tough call! This is a common dilemma for us backpackers and one that seems to divide the camp. I’m going to run through the pros and cons to see if we can come up with the answer to which is better once and for all

top bunk or bottom bunk?!

Choosing the top bunk…


1) The view. From the top bunk, you can see what’s going on in the whole room without having to move from the comfort of your bed.

2)  Isolation. When you sleep you feel less like you’re in a room with 11 other people and you can fool yourself into a good nights sleep.

3) King of the castle. Everybody knows (well, guys do at least) the coolest kids always get the top bunk. So you’re in your mid-twenties now – it stills counts!


1) Distance. Everything is further away. You left your phone in your bag? It’s an effort to jump off the bed. Want to get your book? Another clamber up and down from the bunk. That gets old fast.

2) Electricity. Every experienced traveler knows where the plug sockets are normally found in the dorm, and usually it’s by the bottom bunk. Top bunk = no plugs.

3) Gravity. Through both the sheer physical pain and the all encompassing embarrassment, falling from a top-bunk (as an adult no less) offers no escape. You’ll forever be remembered as the idiot who couldn’t stay in their bed. And rightly so.

Choosing the bottom bunk…


1) In and out. Calm down and clean your mind, it’s not what you think. I mean it’s easy to jump in and out of bed without causing too much of a scene, so late night toilet trips and early morning returns from partying are much less of a hassle.

2) Discretion. With a couple of well placed towels and a corner position, you can almost feel as if you’re totally alone. Don’t get carried away with your new friend though, towels might hide the view but they don’t hide the sound.

3) Luggage proximity. Your close to your valuables so the likelihood of some pikey nicking your gear is much less


1) Should someone choose to get busy above you, you’ll know every individual move they pull out of the bag. Try looking them straight in the face over breakfast with that knowledge locked in your brain.

2) Favours. Your mate is on the top bunk, you’re on the bottom – “Sorry mate, you couldn’t grab my laptop could ya?”. Get ready for endless requests like this if you choose the bottom.

3) Anti-social. You can often find yourself cut off from the social side of the dorm, especially if the bed’s location is bad. Peace and quiet is all and good but no-one likes to be Billy no-mates now do they.

Weigh it up guys – top or bottom, the choice is yours. Dorms are cheap, social and all part of the traveling vibe so either choice is still a good choice. Happy travels =)

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10 thoughts on “Top or Bottom Bunk?!

  1. This will help my kids decide which bunk they want. We’re looking at getting a bunk bed for them because they’re sharing a room in our new home. My younger son will want the top bunk for the isolation, like you said, and my older son will like the lower one for ease of access.

  2. Definitely top bunk!!! Hostels now days often have plugs near the light on the top bed too and I love being up there closer to the clouds!! But am so glad so many people prefer the bottom bunks so I will always find free top bunk beds freee!!! ^_^

  3. I always thought I was a bottom bunker, but after living at both a summer camp and in a hostel in London/Florida/Ireland/Denmark I found bottom bunk is the way to go!

    To solve the power socket problem I bring a powerboard + adaptor. That way there is plenty of charing sockets for everyone + if it’s only you using it, you can often extend it up to your bed!

    Downside to top bunk is lights (for me at least!) I wake up when someone opens a door and lets the light in, or if someone opens the curtains in the morning… kind of annoying but oh well!

    1. boooo – bottom bunk all the way!! powerboard+adapter is the way forward, everytime there’s no socket i think ‘damn i should have brought one’ but NEVER have :S next time, next time :S

    1. falling off the top, in a room full of strangers, when you’re trying to make friends is NOT a good look :S I can testify to that!

  4. Hehe… to true. I wonder what choosing one or the other actually says about you as a person. I always choose the bottom if possible. I really hate how difficult it is to get in and out of the top bunk. But when I was a kid I definitely had the top bunk… you’re right… it is where the cool kids go. And I was the oldest. My sister used to get me back by pulling down my blankets though 🙂

    Your blog is great! I’m going to do some more perusing when I get some time. I added you to my RSS feed and my travel links page

    1. Hey Verity,

      thanks for the comments =) The cold kids may get the top bunk but i reckon the smart kids get the bottom one (i.e us )!!


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