No part of tiny house living is exactly like regular-house living, and one huge way it’s different is your sleeping arrangements. Whether you choose to have a raised sleeping loft and a DIY loft bed or something else, every tiny house can build its own unique sleeping solution.
Below we’ve compiled some of our favorite tiny house bed solutions, and the best ways to find sleep in a tiny house:
How Do You Sleep in a Small Space?
Sleeping in a small space can take some getting used to. Firstly, it goes against everything the modern world tells you is right, as many doctors and specialty doctors recommend having more space while you snooze than what you would get in an average tiny house.
According to doctors, your sleeping area should be at least seventy square feet, which is a floor size that you won’t find in a tiny house sleeping loft. Some experts also recommend that your bed should rest against a wall that doesn’t reach the ceiling, so that the sleeping area is divided from any storage space in your loft.
For best sleeping, experts recommend a king-size mattress, especially for couples, as the queen size mattress tends to be too small for two people to spread out comfortably. And finally, for perfect “feng shui”, your bed should be as far away from the door as possible, so that you can have your own space while keeping an eye on the entrance. Both of these are points against tiny house lofts.
So how exactly can you adapt to sleeping in a small space? Aside from getting used to it, it’s important that you have the bed that makes you feel most at home. While some tiny house homeowners tend to stick a mattress up in their loft and call it a day, other tiny house homeowners try to get a little more innovative and clever with their bed answers.
What is the Best Bed for a Small Room?
There is no exact “best bed” for a small room and a small space. Like every other part of a tiny house, the best bed for your tiny house will depend on a number of things, primarily your style, taste, and designs. There are a few questions you have to ask yourself while thinking of your bed design for your tiny house, such as:
- Is my tiny house already built? If your tiny house is already built, then you have much less creativity and flexibility available for your bed needs, unless you are willing to re-build a piece of furniture, a wall, or move around other objects for your bed.
- Do I want to rest in a loft? While most tiny houses showcase a nice raised sleeping loft, there are some people who would prefer to snooze on the main floor of the tiny house (maybe you are an older homeowner who doesn’t want to climb up stairs or a ladder to bed every night, or maybe you just prefer sleeping below).
- How much set-up am I okay with for my bed? There are tons of creative sleeping solutions out there that follow the tiny house lifestyle of folding, bending, disassembling, and disappearing into the walls. But creative solutions also mean setting up your bed and moving things around every night before you nap. Is that something you want to deal with every night, or would you rather keep it simple?
- Do I sleep alone or with a partner? And of course, the most important question: how many people will be sleeping in your bed? Is it just you, or will there be a partner beside you every night? Sleeping alone will allow you to be more flexible with whatever bed solution you choose, as you will need less space.
10 Creative Bed Solution Ideas for Tiny Houses
If you are really looking to push the envelope for creativity and maximizing your furniture space and ingenuity, then you can’t beat the convertible bed-desk-couch combo. It can be hard to find these on the market, but you can build one on your own if you’ve got a good hand for DIY woodworking.
Check out the convertible bed/desk/couch combo from Woodworkers Journal:
This set-up would work great in a tiny house for a single person, or if you need sleeping space for a second or third person apart from your main sleeping loft. What makes them different from the pull-out couch is that they offer a raised sleeping platform, and they can be converted into a desk (rather than just a couch) for working when necessary.
And here’s another awesome example of a couch that flips into a bed, if you don’t really need the desk set-up:
Zoom-Room Bed / Roll-Out Bed
One popular bed style gaining attention lately is the Zoom-Room style bed, also known as the roll-out bed. This bed basically retractable murphy beds – instead of having it folded it up into your wall or ceiling, the zoom-room / roll-out bed folds up into itself horizontally, meaning you can push it back into the wall, the bookshelf, the cabinet, the ceiling, or whatever furniture it was built into.
While the official Zoom-Room bed might be a bit bulky for most tiny houses, you can build your own roll-out bed following this awesome guy from Tiny Revolution, which offers much more DIY compact designs that is perfect for tiny houses with limited floor space:
A water bed might not be your first choice for tiny house living, but there are a few reasons why you might want to consider testing it out. If you are looking for the comfort and adjustability of a normal bed without using up the space that a traditional bed frame would take up, then a water bed might be the perfect answer for you.
- Adjustable Firmness: Water beds can have their firmness adjusted just by filling up or draining the mattress to your liking. With a dual water chamber bed, both you and your sleeping partner can adjust it to your own preferences.
- No Motion Transfer: Sleeping on the small beds of a tiny house can cause a lot of problems for your partner, especially if you tend to move around a lot while you sleep. But with dual water chamber water beds, you don’t have to worry about disturbing your partner with movements, as there is zero motion transfer between chambers.
- Flexible: Need more space for a party in your tiny house today? No problem – just drain your water bed and fold it up into storage.
We all know the famous murphy beds – beds that fold up vertically into the wall, with many a skit with unwitting sleepers finding themselves folded up into the wall with the bed. Since the vertical set-up demands too much room that a tiny house doesn’t have, murphy beds in tiny homes are built from the side, leading to a lot of innovative new horizontal murphy bed styles and designs, like this awesome murphy bed:
The benefits of building a tiny house with murphy beds in mind is that you can do away with the loft completely, letting you save tons of vertical room that can be used for storage instead. This also means that your main floor turns into your converted sleeping area, allowing for a much bigger (potentially king size) mattress than you could squeeze into a loft.
Interestingly enough, there are actually some murphy bed designs that are built with a couch in front of it, allowing the murphy bed to sit behind the couch and fold over it when needed.
Hammock Loft Bed
Looking for more living space without increasing the main floor area of your tiny house? Why not take the loft idea and expand on it?
While it might not be feasible to build an entire second floor loft in your tiny house (and terrible for the spacing of your main floor), there’s nothing stopping you from suspending a hammock that extends from one side of your home to the other, like so:
With just a few metal wires bolted to the ceiling and the sides holding the hammock or net up, you can give yourself a steady homemade “second floor” that you can set up or put away whenever you need or don’t need more space.
Use the extra space to read, sleep, spread out, or do whatever else you want – it’s your home, after all.
Bunk beds are a great bed solution for kids for regular houses, so it’s no surprise that many tiny house families are utilizing bunk beds to their fullest. What makes bunk beds work so well in tiny houses is that they naturally take up so little space, while also using vertical height to their advantage.
In one tiny house showcase by Tiny House Listings, you can see what seems to be a wall opposite the walkway to the bathroom, next to a ladder that goes up to a loft opposite the main sleeping loft.
But the wall actually slides side-to-side, and when pushed towards the bathroom, it reveals a set of bunk beds neatly tucked away beside the bathroom, underneath the secondary loft, giving privacy and sleeping room for several kids in a single corner.
If you’re ready to put in some elbow grease for your bed, then why not try the lift elevator bed? The DIY lift elevator bed solution gives you the benefit of raising your bed above the rest of the house – thus keeping it out of the way when you’re not asleep – and lowering it down when you want to use it, allowing you to avoid the pesky need to climb up into a loft.
With a few gears and other equipment you can buy at a hardware store, this tiny house enthusiast from Tiny Home Tours built his own elevator bed in his home, creating an entirely separate living space which he can lift up. You still get the raised loft, with no need for stairs. Check it out below:
If you are looking for a less rustic solution, here’s an elevator bed that comes down automatically at the press of a button, folded down out of the ceiling above the dining room table:
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Tiny House Sleep
Learning to rest in a house that is much smaller than what you might be used to will take some adjusting, so if you can’t rest easy in your new tiny house, then the bed might not be the problem. Here are some sleeping tips to help you get that extra shut eye you’re looking for:
1. Stick to a Consistent Schedule
Just because you live in a tiny house doesn’t mean you should stop following the normal hours of the day. Stick to a consistent schedule, where you prepare for bed, fall asleep, and wake up at the same time every day. Sleeping properly is about finding ways to develop a good habit, store it, and keep it.
2. Prioritize Your Room
One huge difference with living in tiny homes and tiny house living in general is that we don’t prioritize the bedroom so much, simply because there isn’t one. But clearing up your bedroom or sleeping space – and making sure that it feels like a proper sleeping space – is essential towards getting good sleep. Convince your brain that this tiny loft is your new sleeping area; add a night light, make sure you have enough pillows, and stay comfortable.
3. Limit Your Napping
It can be tempting to pop up into your loft at any time of the day and take a short nap, but this could be exactly what is ruining your sleep. Keep yourself up, and save the bed for the night.
Whatever kind of bed you choose, it’s important to remember that you have all the flexibility you can think of, as long as your tiny house can accommodate your imagination. Dream up the ideal solution for you, and find the best bed that gets you sleeping right in no time.
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.