Even though you don't think you should spend a lot on kids beds remember that those little guys and gals can really put a bed through it's paces.

As a matter of fact, my youngest sons bed is hanging on by a thread right now because he has spent way too much time jumping on it and rattled part of the frame lose. And yes...he's not suppose to be jumping on it. But that's another article for another time.

So, that begs the question: when choosing to buy a bed for a child what should you be looking for to the get the best bang for you buck.

Well, after buying a few of these in my day let me tell you what I'd look for.

1. A STURDY Frame

Like I said most earlier, most kids know the famous mantra, "no jumping on your bed!" Now whether they always listen to it is another issue.

The issue with my sons frame is that it is adjustable. So there is a little coupler that ties the two sliding arms together. Over time that worked itself lose and was lost in the neverland that is a childs room.

Now, even though he doesn't bounce on it anymore whenever who moves rather heavily on the bed it rattles the two lose sliding bars together and clangs metal in the middle of the night. I don't know if it wakes him up - but is surely does us.

So it would almost be better if there were holes for a bolt to fit through or some kind of better set up.

2. Sturdy Wheels

Let's face it. Kids rooms get messy easy. And a lot of times things get lost back into the crevices and under their actual bed. It's a lot easier when you have quality wheels under the frame to move the bed to get back there or when you need to vacuum.

Not to mention a frame that doesn't have good, sturdy wheels can end up tearing the carpet (if the carpet isn't torn already).

3. Size of Bed

I'm not a believer in getting kids a bed bigger than a twin.

You may disagree on the surface (particularly if you are new to the game) but please hear me out.

First of all, kids (as you've read) are hard on anything they have. Of course, I could be biased as I have boys. But, even if your kid ends up being easier on beds than mine often times things will get spilt on it and so forth.

It keeps you up less at night when you know you didn't have to shell out an extra $100 or more for a queen or double bed and got the smaller model instead.

Plus, kids are small. And yes, they grow fast. But when the time comes you can upgrade. And by that time the kids will be a lot easier on their beds and it will be a better investment for you and last longer.

4. Sheets

The added benefit of a smaller bed is that the sheets and bedding materials will also be cheaper and you'll save yourself a lot in the long run.)

The exception to this is if you have (for example) all queen size beds in your house. Then, you can always get one size of bedding and not have to worry about purchasing different sizes.

5. Type of Mattress

This is where it can get a little confusing. You have all kinds of options when it comes to mattress type. Air bed, foam bed and box spring. There are others. But for this article I'll focus on these three as they tend to be the most common.

We've always opted for a box spring and for a very obvious reason - they're cheaper.

However, we do have a blow up air mattress that the boys absolutely love to sleep on. The downside - since it's big enough for them to both sleep on when one moves it moves the other and they don't seem to get the quality of sleep that they need when they have their own mattresses.

6. Used or New

I know, some people get chills up their spine when they think about sleeping on a 'used' mattress. Granted, I wouldn't opt for this except for the fact that we have always used mattresses from folks who we knew and cleaned them very well before-hand.

Plus, we probably saved about 50% of the price of a similar new model.

And considering how hard kids are on beds we though is was money well saved.

Granted, this isn't all there is to say about buying kids beds but hopefully it gives you a little food for thought and helps you avoid some of the more common mistakes we've made as well as other parents we know.