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11 Space-Saving Bed Alternatives

A collage of space-saving bed alternatives.

The bed is one of the basic things for homes and apartments, but they can also be bulky and take up a lot of space. When you come to think of it, what we need is just a comfortable space for sleeping. With that said, we can take a creative approach to our sleeping space.

Scroll down for some ideas and inspirations should you find yourself looking for some space-saving ideas or thinking of alternatives to bed for guest sleepovers.

Related: Space-Saving Bathtub Alternatives | Types of Space-Saving Stairs

1. Hammock

Hammock in a white attic bedroom.


Because you can easily stretch out your back in a hammock and turn your body in ways that are not possible in a traditional bed, you are going to experience a reduction in back pain.

Dust mites do not live on a hammock the way they can live in a mattress.

Hammocks take up much less space than a traditional bed and can be packed up if you need the extra space in your room for another activity.

If your hammock gets dirty, you can easily throw it in the washing machine.

They do not take a lot of time to set up or to break down, making them ideal if you don’t want to dedicate a whole room in your home to your bed.

In the morning, you do not have to worry about making your hammock and adjusting pillows and blankets.

They are less expensive than a bed frame and mattresses.

Hammocks can be hung from the ceiling, which is a great way to utilize space in a smaller home.


Unfortunately, if you are going to share your hammock, you will find that it’s almost impossible to get comfortable with two people in the space.

It’s very difficult to sprawl when you are in a hammock, as your body will naturally curl up into a smaller position.

It can be very difficult to get out of a hammock in the morning, especially if you have a hurt back. Additionally, because the hammock will swing while you are getting out of it, you need to make sure that you have solid footing so that you don’t fall.

If you wash your hammock regularly or use it outside in the sun from time to time, then you will find that it will wear out significantly faster than a traditional bed will. While they are less expensive than mattresses, they can get expensive to replace repeatedly.

If you decide that you are not happy with the color of your hammock, you will have to replace the entire thing, unlike with a bed where you can simply replace the quilt or coverlet.

2. Sofa Bed

Leather tufted sofa bed with red throw pillow.


This piece of furniture is ideal if you have a smaller home, as it can double as both a place to sleep at night, as well as a place to sit with friends.

It’s easy to find a sofa bed that has upholstery that will match the décor of the rest of your home.


This piece of furniture is generally fairly expensive to purchase, especially if you want to buy one that is high-quality and built to last.

If you do not buy a high-quality sofa bed, then you may have to deal with springs poking you while you are sleeping, which can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Generally speaking, sofa beds are very heavy, which means that if you want to move them to a new room in your home, you will likely need to have help.

It can be difficult to make sure that your mattress is aired out and in good condition. Because any moisture or damp fabric can be trapped in the sofa when you make the bed, this can cause mold and mildew problems if you are not careful.

If the conversion mechanism breaks down then your piece of furniture will no longer function as both a sofa and a place to sleep.

3. Recliner

Recliner with pillow


By sleeping in an elevated position, you can actually reduce the risk of certain health problems. These include sleep apnea, heart failure, heartburn, and acid reflux.

People who suffer from bad allergies find that they can often easily sleep in a recliner without their nose becoming clogged and struggling to breathe.

It’s very easy to find a position that is comfortable, especially if you opt for a recliner that also has adjustable legs so that you can lay as flat as you want.

If you don’t have a lot of space in your home for a traditional bed, then having a piece of furniture that doubles as a bed and as a chair may be ideal for you.

Many recliners come with added features, such as heated seats, that will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during the night.

When in an upright position, these chairs will take up a lot less space in your room than a traditional bed will.


It’s very difficult to get comfortable in a recliner if you are not used to sleeping on your back. Side sleepers and front sleepers will struggle to get a good night’s rest when they use a recliner.

People who have neck problems often find that these issues are exacerbated when they sleep in a recliner, as the chair will hold their neck in a constant position during the night.

Small children or pets can become lodged between the adult and the size of the recliner if they are sleeping together. This can be incredibly dangerous and result in medical problems.

These chairs are not ideal for a guest room.

It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to share a recliner with another adult and still be comfortable, so if you like sleeping with your partner, then a recliner may not be the best option for you.

4. Air Mattress

Air mattress on the floor with pillow and sleeping bag.


Air mattresses are generally a lot less expensive than traditional beds are.

Your air mattress can easily be deflated and stored in the closet when it is not in use, which will free up a lot of floor space if you need your room for other activities.

If you buy an air mattress that is very durable and rugged, then you will be able to take it with you when you are camping, which is a great way to save money on having to buy a cot or a sleeping bag.

It’s very easy to adjust how firm the air mattress is, giving you a lot of control over the comfort level of your mattress.


Indoor pets, such as cats and dogs, can easily damage and deflate your air mattress with their claws if you are not careful. If your pet likes to sleep on the bed with you, then you need to make sure that your air mattress is protected against punctures.

It is normal for an air mattress to tend to lose air overnight. If you have joint pain, then this can cause you a lot of discomforts. Additionally, this means that you have to spend time each night pumping up your air mattress before you can use it.

Air mattresses with built-in pumps can break down and need to be replaced if the pump becomes faulty.

Unlike beds, which will provide you additional seating space when you are not sleeping in them, air mattresses are too low to the ground for most people to sit on them comfortably.

Less expensive or lower quality air mattresses are often very uncomfortable. If you have a bad back, then you will want to really consider whether or not an air mattress is right for you, as you don’t want to exacerbate your back problems.

5. Futon Mat

Interior of a Japanese bedroom with futons and tatami on the floor.


These mats can easily be rolled up and moved out of the way, decreasing the amount of space that you need to dedicate to your sleeping area.

Your small room will feel a lot larger when you use a futon mat for sleeping.

While they are not as firm as a spring mattress, because you won’t be poked with springs while sleeping on a futon mat, they are generally very comfortable.

Perfect for people who roll off of their bed in the night, as you do not have very far to fall.

They are great for use during the day as well if you want a place to sit and watch TV or read a book and don’t want to be on a larger piece of furniture.

Kids love the fun of sleeping on the floor.


Some people do not like having to roll out their bed each day and then put it away at night.

It can be hard for some people to get on and off of the floor each day, especially if they suffer from back pain.

If you choose a cotton mat, which is great for making sure that you are nice and cool during a hot night, the fabric will absorb your sweat. This means that it’s terribly important to make sure that you air out your futon mat during the day, or it will begin to smell.

If you do not get your futon mat washed on a regular basis, then it can get quite dirty and smelly. It can be frustrating for some people to find the time needed to either wash their mat at home or take it to a cleaner to have them clean it.

A quality futon mat tends to be quite expensive.

6. Murphy Bed

Murphy bed

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The Murphy bed is a brilliant space-saving idea. It folds down from a wall or large cabinet so you can have extra space for the living area or dining during the daytime. It’s also affordable and if you’re crafty, you can even build one yourself.

7. Loft Bed

Donco Kids Twin Circles Low Loft Bed in White

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Loft beds are bunk beds without the bottom bunk. It’s a great space-saving idea because it frees up the ground space for storage, play area, or workstation.

8. Drawer/Trundle Bed


Trundle bed

A trundle bed is a type of pull out bed that pulls out from a platform or the bottom of a large dresser. This is great when you have multiple kids or for unexpected sleepovers.

9. Bed Roll

Bed roll

This is similar to a sleeping bag since it’s cushy, thin, and can easily be rolled up. It’s also cheap and typically no larger than a twin size bed.

10. Moroccan-Inspired Floor Cushions

Moroccan Floor Cushions

Moroccan-inspired floor cushions are available in different shapes and sizes. Some are large enough to make for daybeds while the small ones make for a low profile seating.

11. Thai Massage Mat

Leewadee Roll Up Thai Mattress, 79x30x2 inches, Kapok Fabric, Blue, Premium Double Stitched

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Thai massage mats can double as a bed alternative. They’re compact at around 3.5 inches thick and are easy to roll for storage.