Lofts and Bunks

student with his loft

Lofts provide a convenient way to maximize the space in your room, lifting your bed off of the floor to create useable space for other furniture and accessories. Most lofts are generally tall enough to comfortably accommodate an average adult seated in a desk chair.

Lofts are permitted in all residence halls where a loft bed is not already provided as part of the standard furnishings. Currently, the only residence halls where lofts are not provided are Friley, Helser, and Larch.

Lofts ARE NOT permitted in Legacy apartments due to the height of the ceilings.

Lofts for Rental or Purchase

There are many companies that sell or rent loft kits. Some of these companies also sell plans for you to build your own loft. A quick internet search will bring up any number of available stores / vendors. Please note: The DOR does not endorse any specific vendors. It is the responsibility of the individual to verify the quality and safety of the products offered. Some lofts may or may not fit our residence hall rooms. Room dimensions vary from hall to hall, so confirm the dimensions of your assigned residence hall on-line to ensure that the loft you purchase fits your room.

Collegiate Concepts, Inc ( is the only loft rental vendor permitted on campus. With all other vendors, you must receive your loft at your home and bring it to campus with you when you arrive to check-in. 

Building Your Own Lofts 

For liability reasons, the DOR does not provide plans for building lofts. If you are planning on building your own loft, you should know the following:

  • For building purposes, bed frames are typically 80" long x 36" inches wide.
  • In Larch Hall, hanging lofts are permitted ONLY on floors 1-7 (not floor 8).
  • In Larch Hall,  'L' shaped lofts must fit the dimensions of one long bed frame (80" x 36") and one short bed frame (76" x 36"). Otherwise, an 'L' loft will not fit in the room.
    • One long and one short bed frame are provided in each room.
    • It is strongly suggested that roommates in Larch coordinate with one another prior to the purchase, rental or building of lofts.

Please note: There are dangers and hazards in the construction, assembly, use and disassembly of a bed loft. You assume all related risks and responsibilities. Students will be required to pay the repair or replacement costs of any University property lost or damaged as a result of loft construction or use. The university assumes no liability and you are fully responsible for any injury or damages that may occur.

Lofting and Bunking Policies

The following text is excerpted from the Policy Handbook for RESIDENCE HALLS. The entire handbook is available in the Policy Handbooks.

In all residence halls, a bed is provided. It is recommended that you use only the bed provided by the university. Some rooms are provisioned with a loft bed [see above]. If you choose to provide your own bunk or lofted bed, the university assumes no liability and you are fully responsible for any injury or damages that may occur. You will be required to sign a waiver of liability agreement if you have a bunk bed or a loft bed, whether it is your own or provided by the university.

  • Bunks. Some metal frame furniture cannot be bunked.
  • Lofts. If your room is provisioned with a loft bed, you may not substitute your own loft.

If you choose to provide your own bunk or lofted bed, the structure must follow these minimum standards:

  • Be 36 inches from the bed platform to the lowest part of the ceiling;
  • Be 24 inches from any smoke detector or sprinkler head;
  • Be freestanding;
  • Not be attached to any wall, ceiling, or furniture;
  • Have an installed ladder made of metal or wood construction (other furniture may not be used as a step stool);
  • Have an installed side rail designed to prevent you from rolling out of the bed. The top of the safety rail must be 5 inches above the top of the mattress;
  • Not be wider than the size of one student mattress;
  • Be constructed of metal or wood. Fabric cannot be suspended from or around the loft;
  • Not restrict exit from any portion of the room or be a safety hazard to persons walking around the room;
  • Allow the door to open perpendicular to the door opening, and at least 22 inches must be allowed for exiting from any interior room arrangement.

Lofting and Bunking Waiver

Whether purchased, rented, home-made or provided by the Department of Residence, all residents using bunk beds or lofts in the residence halls must sign a Release and Waiver of Liability form. This form is located on the back of the Residence Hall Room Inventory & Condition Report card that you will receive at the time you check-in. The form reads as follows:

In accordance with the Residence Hall Policy Handbook, residents using bunk beds and/or lofts whether or not provided by the Department of Residence are required to sign the following liability waiver form. Failure to sign the form and/or meet the minimum construction requirements will require you to use ONLY a university-issued regular bed.

I, _____________________________________ (please print first and last name), wish to use a loft or bunk bed. Therefore, in return for permission to use such a loft or bunk, I agree to the following:

  1. That my loft or bunk will conform to the minimum requirements described in the current Residence Hall Policy Handbook.
  2. That I understand my failure to use a guard rail or ladder is dangerous and unsafe and I ASSUME THE RISK of injury or death from such failure.
  3. That I do hereby RELEASE, WAIVE, DISCHARGE, AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE Iowa State University; the Department of Residence; the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, or the State of Iowa, its officers, servants, agents, or employees, (hereinafter referred to as RELEASEES) for any liability, claim, and/or cause of action arising out of or related to any loss, damage, or injury, including death, that may be sustained by me, or to any property belonging to me arising out of use of a loft or bunk bed while living in Department of Residence housing.
  4. That this Release shall be effective whether injury is caused by my negligence, the negligence of the RELEASEES, or the negligence of any third party.