This gallery of 21 bed alternatives for smaller spaces includes different ideas, their advantages & disadvantages, and cheap bedroom sleeping options.
Living in a small or a studio apartment has its limitations but it doesn’t mean that you will need to forgo sleeping on a comfortable bed. You can have the comfort of your bed at night without taking up all the space in your apartment. But you need to choose the right kind of bed that can maximize the space you have.
Whether you have a small bedroom to consider or it’s an all-in-one space apartment, you need to be smart on how you use and take up space. Investing in a bed that can help you maximize space is the best thing to do.
And it also needs to work well with the style and decor you have going in your home. Does it seem ambitious? It’s actually very possible if you just explore your options well. To help you find the solution to your space issue, here are 21 bed alternatives to consider for the small space you have at home.
A sofa bed is one of the most practical solutions for your limited space at home. Also known as a pullout couch, this bed alternative serves 2 functions – a sofa and bed (which is why it’s named as such).
This innovative piece of furniture, depending on how it’s designed, can either be folded or pulled out from a sofa design to a bed design. You can set up whichever configuration you need at the moment. This is why a sofa bed is almost the perfect option for a studio apartment.
Sofa Bed Advantages
• More affordable than other bed alternatives (Cost around $350 to $2,000 depending on the material and design of the sofa bed)
• Easily convertible from sofa to bed and vice versa
• A variety of options to choose from, including cover materials velvet and leather
• Easy to clean and maintain
• Highly available in the market
Sofa Bed Disadvantages
• May be fairly expensive for high-end types of sofa bed
• Possible poking springs for low-quality sofa bed
• Not as comfortable compared to other bed alternatives
• Some are heavy and moving can be quite difficult
• Generally may only accommodate one person
• Sleeping often may lead to back pain and problems
A daybed is another bed alternative that you can choose and it works the same way as a sofa bed since it converts from a piece of seating furniture to a bed. The major difference is that it’s usually designed with 2 to 3 drawers underneath, making it even more multifunctional. It is usually tucked in a wall, where the space can be maximized.
• Takes up less space compared to sofa beds and other bed alternatives
• Ergonomic and integrated with extra storage underneath the cushion
• Showcases a modern and appealing design
• A wide selection of sizes from twin beds to king-size mattresses
• May not accommodate anyone with a height of more than six feet
• Requires enough wall space where it is tucked in
See this trundle bed at Amazon [sponsored link]
A trundle bed is considered a bed within a bed. It can be set up by pulling out the trundle bed from underneath, making it slightly lower than the main bed. Also known as a drawer bed, it is a good choice for your children’s room to accommodate more bed space.
With a trundle bed, you get to add the same bed space that most types of bunk beds offer without the additional possible danger of climbing up the bed.
This alternative bed can be integrated on the floor or the loft, depending on your preference. The idea is to pull out the bed whenever additional bed space is needed.
Trundle Bed Advantages
• Hidden until necessary so it is able to save space while maximizing space at the same time
• Can accommodate more than one person
• May come with storage drawers making it more multi-functional
• Easy to roll out and set up since they usually have wheels on the bottom
• Can be as affordable as $270 which offers great value with several functionalities
Trundle Bed Disadvantages
• Not much variety can be seen in the market
• May be uncomfortable especially if you chose a cheaper trundle on the low-end side
• Takes up more space when compared to a bunk bed
Using a similar concept as bunk beds, a loft bed is elevated from the floor acting like the top bunk without the second bed below. Instead of the second bed though, floor space is freed up for other uses. The elevated bed has stairs you can use to access the sleeping area.
The freed-up space below can be turned into one of the following:
• Study area
• Home office
• Walk-in closet
• Gaming space
• Entertainment area
This setup makes the loft bed an incredible choice for a small bedroom size, studio-type apartments, and bachelor’s pads. It also works both for kids and adults alike.
Loft Bed Advantages
• Open up room for more storage and other functions for the floor space
• Aesthetically pleasing and visually modern and clean to look at
• Durable and safe to use
• Can accommodate up to a king-size mattress
Loft Bed Disadvantages
• May not be conducive to all types of homes
• Can usually only accommodate one person
• Takes more effort to build compared to other alternatives you can easily purchase
A bunk bed is one of the most popular alternatives for homes and bedrooms with limited space. Rather than installing two beds side-by-side and taking up much floor space, a bunk bed offers the same number of bed space but only takes up floor space that one bed usually takes up.
This is by designing the two beds on top of each other. Many types of bunk beds are great options for dormitories, children’s rooms, and even guest rooms (If you tend to have many guests over).
Bunk Bed Advantages
• Wide selection of sizes (Starts at twin size and can go up to king size) and designs (Some have trendy stairs and even slides for children and others with a trundle bed at the bottom for 3-bed spaces)
• Easily accommodates 2 people
• Affordable compared to other bed alternatives
Bunk Bed Disadvantages
• Some models can be tricky to assemble and you might need help
• Children’s bunk beds can be quickly outgrown
Murphy beds are popular for their innovative design. This wall bed uses a modern mechanism to provide the comfort of a traditional bed without actually taking up the floor space that usually comes with it.
No matter the source, Murphy beds are described pretty much exactly how you’d expect: “a bed that swings up or folds into a closet or cabinet when not in use.” – Stuff You Should Know: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things, Josh Clark, Chuck Bryant
Depending on the murphy bed size and design, it can be folded from a large cabinet (and similar storage) or just from inside the wall.
With a similar concept to a trundle bed, a murphy bed can be set up at night and then kept hidden during the day when you won’t need it. This makes the floor space multi-functional and maximizes the space. The beds are designed to be hinged down to form a right angle that you would usually see on a desk and table.
Murphy Bed Advantages
• DIY-friendly and so you can build your own if you’re crafty enough
• Features a unique and modern look
• Does not take up any floor space
• Can easily be set up and folded
Murphy Bed Disadvantages
• May be expensive and cost you more than $1,500 for the material
• Installation may be complicated and you might need an expert’s help
• Allows extra storage space in the room
If you really have limited space to consider, a regular sofa is enough to be an alternative for a bed. You just need to choose a big enough sofa that won’t be that space-consuming but will also be comfortable enough for sleeping at night.
• Multi-functional and can serve both for seating and sleeping
• Ideal for study-type apartments and small bedrooms or homes
• Small enough to save space
• Might not be as comfortable for sleeping compared to other bed alternatives
• Can be expensive (especially if you choose a high-end and very comfortable sofa)
Modular Sleeper Sectional
A modular sleeper section is another bed alternative that can help you save space in your home. This is a type of sofa set that can accommodate comfortable sleep since it looks like two sofas that are pushed together to have more coverage. When pushed together, it is converted into a sleeping space.
Modular Sleeper Advantages
• Comes in modern and stylish designs
• Spacious and offers more coverage
• Easily converts from seating furniture to a sleeping space
Modular Sleeper Disadvantages
• Takes up more floor space than other bed alternatives
• Assembling and installation may be more difficult since the layout is a bit complicated
Recliners are typically for luxurious and comfortable seating but with an oversized one, you can definitely use it for sleeping. And while recliners do not go all the way flat, they are still comfortable to sleep on.
Depending on which among the different types of recliners you choose, you can either get an incredibly comfortable sleep with modern recliners that can be adjusted in many angles or suffer from back pains and limited angles with traditional recliners.
Oversized Recliner Advantages
• Reduce the risk of specific health issues (acid reflux, clogged breathing due to allergies, heartburn, heart failure, and sleep apnea) due to an elevated sleeping position
• Easily adjustable in different angles using a remote control
• Multi-function (serves as a chair and bed at the same time)
• Doesn’t take up much space
• May come with additional features like heated seats
• Easy to find in the market
Oversized Recliner Disadvantages
• Hard to get into a comfortable position
• Not ideal for front sleepers and side sleepers
• May cause neck and back pain especially if your choose a low-end recliner
• Can only accommodate one person
Another excellent option for small spaces, futons are mattresses that you can easily lay down every night or roll up when not in use. The futon features a Japanese aesthetic and uses bed linens on top of the mattress that can also be easily put or removed.
• Easy to set up and roll up for safekeeping
• Dedicates more floor space in the morning for other activities
• Makes the room feel a lot bigger
• Lightweight and so can easily be moved around
• More comfortable compared to a spring mattress
• Takes out the possibility of falling off the bed and getting poked with springs
• Can last for years
• Easily available in the market
• Difficult to get in and out of bed, especially for persons with mobility issues
• Not ideal for people suffering from back pain
• Easily absorbs sweat
• Requires meticulous and regular cleaning and airing out to avoid the futon getting dirty and smelly
• A quality futon can be expensive
• Not as comfortable as a permanent bed. However, a futon is often more comfortable to sleep on than a sofa bed. Read more about futon vs sofa beds here
A chaise lounge is a modernized French upholstered sofa that has the structure of a long and reclining chair. While it is often just a part of a sofa set or sectional, it can also be used as a bed alternative. It has enough length to accommodate your feet in a half lying and half sitting position.
• Makes the room appear bigger than it actually is
• More stunning than a big sofa
• Highly versatile and with an unorthodox shape and elegant style
• Wide selection of chaise sizes, styles and colors to choose from
• May serve as an accent in the room with its unique look
• Close to the ground and doesn’t interrupt sight lines
• Not visually impressive when set in the middle of the room
• Not as comfortable as a bed and other bed alternatives
Armchair With Ottoman
If you really don’t have a choice but an armchair and an ottoman, this combination can also work as a bed alternative. This option is not a common go-to for many homeowners though and almost seems like the last option and just something that works because both elements, armchair and ottoman, are available.
• Saves more floor space than typical bed covers. See standard armchair dimensions here
• Firm and multi-functional
• May help you save money instead of buying a bed
• Not comfortable compared to other bed alternatives
• Very difficult to find a comfortable position
Cheap Bed Alternatives
More than just considering space available for the bed alternative, you also need to take into account your budget or how much you’re willing to put out. If you need help on options to consider, check out the following cheap bed alternatives.
Folding Bed (Rollaway Bed)
See this folding bed at Amazon [sponsored link]
A folding bed, also known as a rollaway bed, is an innovative bed alternative that easily provides sleeping space when needed. In this way, you can convert your living room into a guest room by just setting it up and then folding it for storage once it serves its purpose.
Folding Bed Advantages
• Saves a lot of floor space when not in use
• Evolved from the old rickety type to a modern convenient one that features better and sturdier frames
• Firm and durable
• Very convenient to use since it’s lightweight and easy to fold and store
Folding Bed Disadvantages
• Not recommended for long-term usage
• Not as comfortable as a bed and other bed alternatives
Often seen in Japanese and Korean movies and shows, a tatami mat is unique flooring traditionally used in Japan that’s made with woven straws. Tatami mats are originally used for bedrooms and sitting rooms, where a Japanese futon is laid out at night for sleeping.
Tatami Mat Advantages
• Creates an illusion of bigger floor space than it really is
• Lightweight, so you can easily move it around
• Comfortable enough for sleeping
• Easily folded or rolled up in the morning for storage
Tatami Mat Disadvantages
• Not as soft and comfortable as other bed alternatives
• Requires regular and meticulous washing.
Padded Japanese Floor Mattress
Known as shikibuton, this padded Japanese floor mattress is designed to be laid down on the floor as a bed alternative. Usually, 3 to 4.5 inches thick when rolled out, the padded mattress provides enough comfort for sleeping.
This is actually the traditional way that Japanese people sleep in their homes given the limited number of rooms usually in a traditional Japanese home. And even now, hotels with hot springs make use of this bed alternative.
Padded Japanese Floor Mattress Advantages
• Easy to set up and roll up once not in use anymore
• Frees up floor space for other activities
• Features minimalist appeal
• Lightweight and so easy to move around and can also be portable
• Natural materials are used which are perfect for people with allergies
• Flexible in its firmness and thickness so you only have to choose which you are comfortable with
Padded Japanese Floor Mattress Disadvantages
• A straw-filled version of this mattress is uncomfortable to use
• Getting in and out of this bed alternative may be difficult for people with mobility issues
• Requires meticulous and regular washing and maintenance
Hammock With Stand
A hammock is one of the relaxing elements you would usually associate with the beach, camping or summer, laying down in it while under the shade of the trees. While typically a hammock is attached to the trunks of the trees, you can actually secure it on your wall.
You can also choose types of hammocks with a stand for more stability. If you will consider this as a bed alternative, here are some of the factors to consider.
• Free from dust mites and so ideal for people with allergies
• Takes up less space compared to other bed alternatives
• More affordable compared to a traditional bad
• Easy cleaning and maintenance
• Eco-friendly and natural bed alternative
• Not an ideal long-term bed alternative (you’ll be sleeping with your back curved and can take its toll over time)
• Limited to one-person usage
• Not a good option for people who sleep face down
• May be difficult to assemble
A hanging bed is a bed alternative that hangs from the ceiling with its entire weight (and your added weight once you use it) entirely supported by the structure. The concept is to suspend the bed high up in the air to free up more floor space for other activities.
Most homes have a hanging bed near a wall so that a staircase can be built against it. The other option is a bit difficult to use since you will only have a rope to use to climb the hanging bed.
Hanging Bed Advantages
• Unique and modern design
• It frees up a lot of seamless floor space
Hanging Bed Disadvantages
• Requires a rope ladder or staircase
• May be dangerous if the attachment is not strong or stable enough to handle the weight
• Installation may also be difficult, especially with various considerations to take into account like the stairs and the durability of the ceiling
An air mattress is an excellent bed alternative that’s affordable and can easily free floor space whenever you don’t need to use it. This product is one of the best innovations developed as an option to replace a traditional bed. It can support up to 500 pounds but can only function as a temporary sleeping area.
Air Mattress Advantages
• More affordable compared to traditional beds
• Easy set up since you can just deflate the mattress and store it in the closet when it’s not in use, freeing up floor space
• Durable and so can last for a long time and can even be used during camping
• Flexible and adjustable firmness to match your comfort level
Air Mattress Disadvantages
• Can get easily damaged by sharp objects (Claws of indoor pets like dogs and cats)
• Tendency to lose air overnight
• May cause discomfort if you suffer from back pain and neck pain
• With built-in pumps that can become faulty and break down
• Too low to sit in and can be difficult to get in and out of the mattress for people with mobility issues
• Require an air pump to set up
See this massage mat at Amazon [sponsored link]
A massage mat is a comfortable space to lie on but is it comfortable enough for sleeping? It may be considered a good bed alternative if you’ve chosen the right type that most recommend.
Thai massage mats for sleeping. But this may only be compatible with people who prefer firm sleeping but may be difficult for others who are not used to a firm surface to sleep on.
With around 3.5 to 4 inches of thickness, a massage mat comes in two sizes which are full and twin. This means that the number of people accommodated is limited to one or two children.
Massage Mat Advantages
• Relatively affordable and can cost around $200 to $250
• Comes in a wide array of designs and colors
• Easy to set up and roll up for storage when not in use
Massage Mat Disadvantages
• May be difficult to get in and out for people with mobility issues
• Thin padding
• Not as comfortable compared to other bed alternatives
A bed roll is a popular tool for outdoor sleeping but it may also be used indoors. It can be an excellent bed alternative but only has a thin layer of the mattress and would need the addition of beddings. Some may only see this as a topper for air mattresses and futons.
Bed Roll Advantages
• Easy to store since it can be rolled up without ease
• Affordable bet alternative to consider
• Comes in a variety of options, from designs to colors
• Portable and can easily come with a small pouch that fits inside a bag
• Option to stack a bed roll on top of the other
Bed Roll Disadvantages
• May generally be uncomfortable
• Difficult to find bedding in the market for bed rolls
• Too thin to be used as a long-term sleeping space
• People with mobility issues may find it difficult to get in and get out
Floor cushions can also be a bed alternative but you will need to choose an extra large one to accommodate your entire body when sleeping. Mostly though, it is only used for lounging and relaxing in front of the television.
Floor Cushions Advantages
• Portable and lightweight so easy to move around
• Comes in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs
• Inexpensive bed option
Floor Cushions Disadvantages
• Not ideal for long-term use
• Too thin and may cause back and neck pain
• May not fit your body depending on the size chosen
How Do You Hide A Bed When Not In Use?
Out of sight, out of mind! Hiding a bed when not in use can be accomplished in different ways. Here are some ways to consider:
• Rolled up inside a closet or a cabinet
• Pressed upon the side like a part of a wall
• Underneath another bed or other pieces of furniture
See more related content in our article about the types of beds and their pros and cons on this page.