21 Bed Alternatives for Smaller Spaces

different bed alternatives for small spaces

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 studio apartment has its limitations, but it doesn’t mean that you will need to forgo sleeping in 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 about 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. [toc]

Sofa Bed 

Room with gray sofa bed and brick wall

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


Beige daybe, wood shelves and wooden floors

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. 

Daybed Advantages

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

Daybed Disadvantages

May not accommodate anyone with a height of more than six feet

Requires enough wall space where it is tucked in

Trundle Bed 

Trundle bed, comforter, pillow, curtain, and plantSee this trundle bed at Amazon [sponsored link]

A trundle bed is considered a bed within a sleeper. It can be set up by pulling out the trundle sleeper from underneath, making it slightly lower than the main trundle sleeper. Also known as a drawer bed, it is a good choice for your children’s room to accommodate more bed space. 

With a trundle sleeper, you get to add the same bed space that most types of bunk beds offer without the additional possible danger of climbing up the beds. 

This alternative sleeper can be integrated on the floor or the loft, depending on your preference. The idea is to pull out the underbed sleeper whenever additional 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 sleeper bunk

Loft Bed 

Modern apartment unit with loft type bed, study desk and console table

Using a concept similar to bunk beds, a lofted sleeping platform 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 lofted sleeping platform an incredible choice for small bedroom sizes, studio-type apartments, and bachelor’s pads. It also works both for kids and adults alike. 

High Sleeper 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

High Sleeper 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

Bunk Bed 

Bedroom with standard twin bunk bed and white walls

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, bunk beds offer the same number of sleeper space but only takes up floor space that one sleeper 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 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 Bed 

Murphy bed, home office area and couch

Murphy beds are popular for their innovative design. This wall foldaway 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 trundle beds, a wall foldaway 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

Wall Foldaway 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


Room with carpet, marble accent wall, chair, table, lamp, and window

If you have limited space to consider, a regular sofa is enough to be an alternative for bedding. 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.

Sofa Advantages

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

Sofa Disadvantages

Might not be as comfortable for sleeping compared to other alternatives

Can be expensive (especially if you choose a high-end and very comfortable sofa)

Modular Sleeper Sectional 

Room with accent chairs, modular sleeper sectional, fireplace, and curtain

A modular sleeper section is another 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 alternatives

Assembling and installation may be more difficult since the layout is a bit complicated

Oversized Recliner 

Lrge pink recliner chair and side table

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 sleeper 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


Room with futon and light wooden floors

Another excellent option for small spaces is futons, which 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 linens on top of the mattress that can also be easily put or removed. 

Futon Advantages

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 sleeper and getting poked with springs

Can last for years

Easily available in the market

Futon Disadvantages

Difficult to get in and out of it, 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 sleeping platform. However, a futon is often more comfortable to sleep on than a sofa. Read more about futon vs sofa beds here

Chaise Lounge 

Room with chaise lounge, table and metal bookshelf

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 an alternative. It has enough length to accommodate your feet in a half-lying and half-sitting position. 

Chaise Advantages

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

Chaise Disadvantages

Not visually impressive when set in the middle of the room

Not as comfortable as other alternatives

Armchair With Ottoman 

Room with armchair, ottoman, table, sofa and wainscoting

If you really don’t have a choice but an armchair and an ottoman, this combination can also work as an 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. 

Armchair Advantages

Saves more floor space than typical covers. See standard armchair dimensions here

Firm and multi-functional

May help you save money instead of buying a sleeping platform

Armchair Disadvantages

Not comfortable compared to other alternatives

Very difficult to find a comfortable position

Cheap Bed Alternatives 

Simple room with mattress and window shutters

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 Cot (Rollaway Bed) 

A blue folding bed with white pillow and gray rugSee this folding bed at Amazon [sponsored link]

A folding bed, also known as a rollaway cot, is an innovative sleeping platform 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 other alternatives

Tatami Mat 

Minimalist room with tatami mat, console table and wall clock

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 were originally used for bedrooms and sitting rooms, where a Japanese futon was 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 and they even make tatami mat beds

Easily folded or rolled up in the morning for storage

Tatami Mat Disadvantages

Not as soft and comfortable as other alternatives

Requires regular and meticulous washing.

Padded Japanese Floor Mattress 

Bedroom with padded Japanese floor mattress, air conditioner, and sliding door

Known as shikibuton, this padded Japanese floor mattress is designed to be laid down on the floor as a mattress 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 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 alternative may be difficult for people with mobility issues

Requires meticulous and regular washing and maintenance

Hammock With Stand 

Hammock stand, rustic decor pieces, and glass window

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 are considering this as a sleeping platform alternative, here are some of the factors to consider. 

Hammock Advantages

Free from dust mites and so ideal for people with allergies

Takes up less space compared to other sleeper alternatives

More affordable compared to a traditional bad

Easy cleaning and maintenance

Eco-friendly and natural alternative

Hammock Disadvantages

Not an ideal long-term sleeping 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

Hanging Bed 

A hanging bed suspended by ropes and chevron pattern wall decor

A hanging bed is a cot 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 cot high up in the air to free up more floor space for other activities.

Most homes have a hanging cot 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 cot. 

Hanging Cots Advantages

Unique and modern design

It frees up a lot of seamless floor space

Hanging Cots 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

Air Mattress 

Empty room with green air mattress

An air mattress is an affordable futon alternative that 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 

Massage Mat 

House interior with massage mat and floral rugSee 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 sleeping pad 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 bedding alternatives

Bed Roll 

Bed roll on a bag for camping

A bed roll is a popular tool for outdoor sleeping but it may also be used indoors. It can be an excellent outdoor bedding 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. 

Outdoor Bedding 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 roll on top of the other

Outdoor Bedding 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 

Room with floor cushion and bamboo partitions

Floor cushions can also be an alternative, but you must 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 option

Bedroom with floor mattress, gray wall, and nightstand

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 Sleeping Platform When Not In Use? 

Bedroom with folded bed, basket, and pillows

Out of sight, out of mind! Hiding a sleeping platform when not in use can be accomplished differently. 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 sleeping platform 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.

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