Most tiny homes feature a loft bedroom to save space on the ground floor. However, sleeping in a loft can be frustrating because it’s so easy to bang your head on the roof or cramp while climbing up the ladder. While a loft bedroom would be ideal, a bedroom downstairs might be more practical in reality.
So why should you consider having your tiny house bedroom on the ground floor? You would have more headroom and easy access to your sleeping space. You can also free up the loft to serve as an additional room or extra storage. And with the right layout, you can even occupy downstairs space which might be unused otherwise.
Reasons Why You May Not Want a Loft Bedroom For Your Tiny Home
Traditionally, lofts have been considered as little more than an upper room in a building. Unlike an attic which can take up an entire floor, a loft can cover only 1 - 3 rooms with one or more sides open to the lower floor.
Because of this limited space, lofts are usually used for extra storage like in barns where they keep supplies. Sometimes, a loft would also be used as a separate area for a specific function like a church organ loft.
Tiny home builders began to incorporate loft bedrooms into their designs when they noticed all that ceiling space going to waste, especially since ceilings are expensive to heat, cool, and keep clean. And since you don’t really need to stand up while you’re asleep in bed, the natural idea was that a loft could be a suitable bedroom.
The problem with loft bedrooms is that they are not meant for everyone. Here are three reasons you might not want to sleep in a loft:
Tiny houses with loft bedrooms are fine for couples or people who are living solo. On the other hand, you would want as much privacy as possible if you’re a family with growing children. Many tiny homeowners choose to screen off their loft bedrooms from the downstairs floor for added privacy but this solution can make a tiny house feel even more cramped.
In order to get to a loft bedroom, you will need to climb up a ladder or a steep set of stairs. This might be easy (if inconvenient) during the day but much more dangerous at night. Senior citizens and handicapped people will also find it difficult to move between floors just to reach their bedroom
As most people grew up in traditional homes with their bedrooms on a full floor, a tiny house with a loft bedroom might put them off. Since the loft is directly situated under the roof, you might also prefer more headroom to prevent bumping your head every time you sit up from bed.
With all these in mind, a downstairs bedroom would be a logical choice to have instead of a loft.
The Pros and Cons of a Downstairs Bedroom
A downstairs bedroom is often excluded from a tiny house plan because many builders believe that it would consume too much space compared to a loft bedroom. However, several tiny houses have managed to fit their bedrooms on the ground floor anyway with intelligent design and planning.
Before deciding on whether to have a downstairs bedroom, consider the following pros and cons:
|The Pros and Cons of A Downstairs Bedroom for A Tiny House|
|You can get out of bed easily. |
Having a downstairs bedroom will allow you to have a proper bed with a proper mattress, rather than sleeping on a mattress on the loft floor. Aside from having a good night’s sleep, you also won’t have to risk traveling down a loft ladder in the middle of the night.
|You may lose downstairs space. |
The downstairs living area holds some key rooms, including the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. In a tiny house, you want this space to be as large and roomy as possible -- which might not work if you’re adding a bedroom as well.
|You will have more headroom. |
With a full height available for the headroom, you can fully stand up and walk around your bed instead of crawling, crouching, or moving hunchbacked around the loft. Not only will you be more comfortable, but you can also lower the overall height clearance of your tiny house.
|You could have difficulty moving your tiny house on wheels (THOW) around. |
If you’re building a ground floor bedroom, you may need to lengthen the rest of your home. This could pose a problem for traveling with your THOW because it would be too wide to tow to another location. You might also need special transport permits to drive around with the tiny home.
|You won’t have to worry about using a ladder.|
Going up and down a ladder to reach your bedroom can pose so many difficulties, like when you’re in a rush or you have to haul up your mattress to the loft. A ground floor bedroom will be easier and safer to move around in.
|You might not be comfortable with the layout.|
You might feel uncomfortable if your bedroom seems to be intruding on the kitchen or main living space. However, a well-designed layout can prevent the floor from feeling too cramped and non-functional.
|You can free up extra storage space. |
Space and storage are premium in a tiny house and a loft can be effective for both. You can build shelves, rails, or cabinets here to keep all your stuff organized. You can also opt to convert the loft into another room like an office workspace, a playroom, a guest room, or an attic.
|You would have to spend more of your budget. |
Buying a ready-made tiny house model with a downstairs bedroom is not quite affordable. The build is made complicated by having to fit everything in one floor. If you’re planning to modify or renovate an existing house to add a new room, it will also cost you thousands of dollars. This is because you have to tear down walls, rebuild them, and rearrange all electric cables and pipes.
3 Great Ideas to Make a Downstairs Bedroom Work
Once you’ve decided all the downsides to a downstairs bedroom are worth sleeping in a normal bed and high-quality mattress, you have to figure out ways to make it work in a limited space. Some ideas to inspire you are:
- Put up partitions like bookshelves or curtains to keep your ‘bedroom’ separated from the rest of the ground floor instead of building an additional door or a separate wall entirely. Cubby hole shelves can also work as a partition and added storage.
- Look for multipurpose beds that double as furniture like an affordable Murphy bed which can serve as a desk in the daytime and a bed when pulled down at night.
- Install a proper, wall-mounted pull down bed instead of getting an ordinary bed. Contrary to expectations, modern pull-down beds can be very safe and won’t fall down randomly.
Sleep Tight In Your Tiny Home
Your bedroom might only see use for eight hours at night but it’s still a place for rest and comfort. Make the most out of the tiny house experience by ensuring your bedroom is perfectly suited to your needs.
Hey, there! We're Ivan and Manuela from Croatia, and we're crazy about tiny houses. We don't own one (yet).
This website is a result of our passion to share all the knowledge, photos, tips and tricks that we were able to learn while studying everything possible about the tiny house movement.