Tiny living is a choice many people make, but finding ways to maximize our space is a must for most of us. You likely have a room in your house that serves double-duty. Maybe your multi-purpose guest room also serves as a gym or a nursery. Perhaps your office space needs to be turned into a bedroom for your inlaws over the holidays. Guest rooms devoted to sleeping are becoming a thing of the past. People seek out bed alternatives to maximize living space so that bonus room doesn’t sit unused for 360 days each year.
Permanent Bed Alternatives
To maximize space, you may be in the market for a piece of furniture that does double-duty. You want furniture that can function as one thing, such as a couch or a shelf, during the day and be converted into a bed when needed. There are a lot of great choices available.
Murphy Beds have been around since the early 1900s and were especially popular in small city apartments. They are making a comeback in a big way, and many people are now building Murphy Beds into smaller, shared spaces (like a home office) where having a bed available can be beneficial but isn’t needed all the time.
Murphy beds come in a few different styles, from builtins that look like a wall or shelf to beds disguised as a piece of furniture.
The Bestar Queen Murphy bed includes two large bookcases, so it’s functional and space-saving. The bed easily hides away when not in use.
IQ Furniture’s Queen Murphy Bed includes two functioning storage drawers that would be perfect for storing guest linens. Open the cabinet and fold out the bed in under one minute. This bed is made of hardwood constructions and has a memory foam mattress, so it will last a long time and is sure to be comfortable.
You may think of Laura and Mary Wilder when you hear the words trundle bed. Cabins on the prairie were often one room where the entire family would spend their days; putting the beds away and making room for living and eating was important.
Trundle beds are perfect for getting a little extra space in already tight quarters.
Trundle beds are perfect for kids’ rooms or guest rooms if you regularly host families will small children.
The Max & Lily solid wood twin trundle bed frame is a beautiful piece of furniture. The trundle bed easily slides in and out and is hidden by the false drawer front.
This trundle bed frame on wheels allows you to transform existing under-bed space easily. Add a mattress and roll it away under a queen or king-sized bed and pull it out when needed.
Daybeds are typically smaller than a standard couch but still provide extra seating space in a living room, office or bedroom. When needed for sleeping, add some sheets and cozy up for the night.
This Solid Wood Day Bed frame is beautiful enough to serve as a focal piece in a room but can easily be converted to a sleeping space. No box spring is needed.
Like this Kodiak Furniture Daybed, some daybeds serve double duty and come with a built-in trundle bed as well. This is perfect for a room that needs to look lovely but still has maximum sleeping space.
Sofa Beds and Futons
Sofa beds have come along way. It wasn’t uncommon to compromise on the comfort of both the couch and the bed to have a combined unity. Fortunately, technology has caught up, and sofa beds are not only beautiful, but they are comfortable for lounging AND sleeping.
Futons are simplified versions of a sofa bed that offer flexibility and comfort, whether needed in a living space or as a bed.
We currently have both a sofa bed and a futon in our home for visiting guests, and both options work perfectly!
The Aadhya Revolution Sofa bed comes in a variety of pleasant neutral fabrics and can be easily converted to a sleeper in minutes with its easy open and close system. You also have the option to upgrade to a memory foam mattress.
Nirvana Futons designs classic wooden futons that can be easily adjusted to three positions and come in various colors. These space-saving multifunctional pieces are perfect for a living room, rec room, dorm room, or even a small apartment.
Temporary Bed Alternatives
If you only entertain guests a few times a year – or if you need a more budget friendly bed option – you may prefer some of these temporary bed alternatives. You will compromise a bit on comfort with these alternatives, but you won’t have to invest in an expensive piece of multi-use furniture.
In addition to the comfier sofa bed and futon I mentioned above, we also have a rollaway bed (or cot) and a large inflatable air mattress as well. While not as fancy or comfy, they work well in a pinch!
Rollaway beds fold out when needed and can easily be rolled and stored when not. These are the same types of beds often used in hotels, and you probably slept on one or two as a child. A rollaway bed isn’t going to be great for long term use but is practical for an overnight or weekend guest.
Air mattresses have come a long way, technologically speaking. They are designed better so that they can hold two adults without sagging or bouncing. Many have built-in pumps, which make setup a breeze. Cover them with standard sheets and a comforter for a nice home away from home.
To make an air mattress extra cozy, add a blanket layer under the fitted sheet.
Air mattresses aren’t intended for long term use but will be comfortable enough for a few nights. When not in use, they fold up small enough to be stored on a shelf in a small closet.
You probably shouldn’t put your in-laws on a camping pad when they visit, but this super simple bed alternative is perfect for kids. These inexpensive sleeping pads self inflate when unrolled and provide a little extra padding between a sleeping bag and the floor.
We keep four or five of these on hand, and they are perfect for my kids’ cousins or their friends when they spend the night.