See an IKEA KURA Bed Transform into a Fun Ball Pit & 9 More Clever Hacks

published Mar 8, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Child sitting on the floor reading under a bunk bed.
Credit: Audrey

IKEA’s massive range of products means that you can outfit a whole home by shopping nowhere else but IKEA. It also means that you can find something for everyone in the family, from sophisticated decor for grown-ups to whimsical kid-friendly picks. If you’ve ever shopped for a kid, you might be familiar with IKEA’s KURA bed, the Swedish retailer’s customizable box-shaped bunk bed that’s beloved for its adaptability and undeniably fun, fort-like shape. 

As the IKEA website explains, you can keep the mattress low for younger children, but you can also arrange it to create a high bed with a tiny little nook underneath that can serve as a play space or storage area as kids get older. IKEA offers accessories like outer-space tents and tiny cottage curtains made for make-believe, but you don’t have to stop there. Some clever DIYing can help you convert the KURA into a total kid wonderland. Below, find 10 inspiring hacks from DIYers for the IKEA KURA bed.

Credit: Iris

1. A painted scalloped border creates a more interesting silhouette.

A light pink scalloped border softens up the edges of the IKEA KURA in Iris’ (@my.sweet.lil.three) daughter’s room. The scalloped detail actually extends all the way down the wall and wraps around the corner, so it can create a cute accent wall even if the bed goes away, but it’s at the perfect height for the KURA at just about 4 feet high.

2. A canopy and curtains up the cozy vibes.

Adding a few extra textures can also soften the look of the IKEA KURA and make it a cozy hangout. For example, Greet van der Veen (@StyleandSugar) hung a canopy above her daughter’s KURA bed for an extra-whimsical feel (if beige isn’t your color of choice, you can find a plethora of color options on Amazon in different sizes), and she installed cute Etsy curtains beneath the bed for “a place to play, draw, and be able to dress up,” as she says on Instagram. Van der Veen also added dark brown stained wood slats to the side of the bed. 

Credit: Jules Yap

3. A climbing wall makes a bedroom and playroom in one.

Jules Yap, the founder of IKEA Hackers, designed this IKEA KURA-turned-climbing-gym for her son. It has evenly spaced holes and T-nuts for stability, plus fun colorful climbing holds from Custom Holds. This hack offers a fun way to climb into bed at night or keep a child occupied on a rainy day.

4. A net adds a nautical vibe.

Adventurous kiddos will also appreciate this IKEA KURA bed that feels more like a pirate ship with a nautical net on the side. Not only will the net help quell worries about rolling off in the middle of the night, but it’s also a nice decor touch for those beach- or boat-themed rooms where the details really matter. This does take a bit of effort to safely install; DIYer Gizem Erbirer did it with the right tools, including heavy-duty hooks on the ceiling. 

5. A peel-and-stick liner adds a terrazzo look.

If you’re looking to make the white slats of the IKEA KURA a little more stylish, add some decorative peel- and-stick liner to the bunk bed. TikTok user Brittany (@BriWatson19) used an under-$7 terrazzo liner from Walmart to line her son’s bed. The upgrade added some retro flair that matches the green bedding. “It was so easy to do,” Brittany says on TikTok. Just make sure to smooth out the air bubbles if you go for this approach.

Credit: Tegan Jean

6. A lower level maximizes space. 

Instagrammer and mom Tegan Jean used the bottom area of the bed to add another mattress for more sleep space. This is great for families with lots of kids or who take on lots of hosting or sleepover duties! Tegan used the MALFORS mattress for both bunks, and she added twin-sized IKEA LURÖY slats to the bottom of the bed to lift the lower one slightly off the ground. “They just help hold the mattress off the floor a little bit and just ventilate it under there because obviously, it would just be sitting straight on carpet otherwise,” she explains on Instagram. Tegan also added rattan panels to the sides of the bed for a boho look.

Credit: Maria

7. Block letters bring a personal touch.

Whether it’s on a backpack, lunch box, piece of clothing, or, yes, even a bed, kids love seeing their names printed in big bold letters. In a heroic mom move, Instagram user Maria @Lifeby.Maria, personalized her son’s bed with Spider Man-inspired lettering and bedding to match, of course. Take inspiration from Maria and think of the white surfaces on the KURA as a canvas for artwork or big block letters — either by you, your kid, or an Etsy artisan. You’ve got about 9 inches of height to work with and about 79 inches of width.

Credit: Dave Evans

8. Extra additions can create a treehouse vibe. 

Instagram user, DIYer, and dad Dave Evans created a bona fide cabin out of an IKEA KURA. Starting with the bunk bed base, he added a “roof” to the top and green and brown striped lumber on the sides to match. Think of it like a tree house minus the tree — perfect for an “adventure bedroom,” as Dave calls it on Instagram

Credit: Audrey

9. Cozy pillows create a reading nook underneath.

Carve out a cozy zone underneath the IKEA KURA á la Audrey of @audreyetcharlie. Audrey’s got the perfect ingredients for a reading zone for her kiddo: cushions, an area rug, a lamp, a low-profile bookshelf, and plenty of reading materials. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, anyone?

Credit: Chinasa-Cooper

10. A DIY ball pit brings the party.

Harlem-based interior designer Chinasa Cooper came up with the most fun use for the top bunk of an IKEA KURA bed maybe ever. (And, as you can see, there are some pretty fun hacks out there!) She created a ball bit on top using balls from Amazon. It’s plenty of fun but keeps the toy clutter concealed up top, while the bottom zone has an egg chair, cozy rug, and plush seating.