Traditional beds have always been the most basic thing in a bedroom, but there are plenty of situations where they are bulkier than what you might expect. For example, they may take up a lot of precious floor space when you live in a small studio apartment, or when your house doesn’t have enough space for a guest bedroom.

The most common workarounds involve redoing arrangements in your bedroom, reducing the number of furniture, or using smart storage solutions. However, finding a more compact replacement for your standard bed should also deserve consideration.

Check out the bed alternatives below to see which kind of bedding will go along well with your bedroom and your preference.

The Most Practical Bed Alternatives Available

Murphy Beds

Also known as wall beds, Murphy beds are a modern bedding innovation that has become incredibly popular lately. The main selling point of these transformable beds is that you can save plenty of bedroom space while not compromising the comfort of your traditional bed.

Use Murphy Beds instead of Traditional Beds
Night & Day Furniture Murphy Cabinet Bed

The key design feature behind Murphy beds is the ability to fold down from a cabinet or the wall of your bedroom, which also allows you to flip them back in the morning for storage.

During the day, this function makes your bed “disappear” almost completely so you can enjoy the huge floor space it leaves behind for your daytime activities.

The main downsides of Murphy beds are the high price tags and the complicated assembly and installation.

Trundle Beds

Also known as drawer beds, trundle beds are another choice that has become more popular choices in households. They are originally designed for kids’ bedrooms, but there are more and more adult versions available for those seeking a way to save space in their bedrooms.

Trundle Beds
Quality Furniture Full Bed with Trundle

You can imagine that there is a second bed within the primary bed that you can pull out when needed. It is a creative idea to host another bed for your kids or any last-minute sleepover, especially when you don’t want them to climb up a bunk bed.

The main weaknesses of these space-saving beds are that they are lower than the main bed, and not every manufacturer makes it easy to pull out.

Rollaway/Folding Beds

This is a classic choice that you are likely to have seen at least once. And the good news is folding beds are not just one of the perfect bed alternatives for overnight guests but also an excellent permanent choice if you have run out of space in your bedroom.

Folding Bed
Milliard Diplomat Folding Bed

They are quick to deploy and can even provide a comfortable surface if you own a high-quality model. Folding beds are available in a wide range of sizes, frame designs, and mattress options.

But the bad news is that most folding beds are designed as a temporary bed, and the firmness of the mattress of a low-quality rollaway bed will degrade quickly after several months.

Pull-out Couches

This kind of couch acts like any other traditional models during the daytime, but there is a mattress hiding underneath that you can flip out or slide out. They use the same concept of Murphy beds but in a smaller size, which is also why they earn the nickname “sofa cum beds.”

A pull-out couch will provide another sleeping spot in your living room
FDW Sleeper Sectional Sofa

A pull-out couch will provide another sleeping spot in your living room.

With this sofa design, you can read books, watch TV, or simply lounge on your couch during the day and roll the mattress out to get a good sleep at night. Some big pull-out models even keep the L-shape of some traditional couches, so even after pulling it out, you will have another portion to make the sleeping area larger.

But since the materials used to make pull-out couches are often too soft, they may sink under pressure and not provide sufficient support to sleepers.

Thai Massage Mattress

As you can easily guess, these mats are originally made for giving a Thai massage. But many people have discovered another function for them – an alternative to futon mats.

Thai massage mats are an unexpected yet amazing alternative for beds
Leewadee Roll-Up Thai Mattress

Thai massage mats are an unexpected yet amazing bed alternative.

They create a firm sleeping surface that you can roll out away for storage in the morning. As long as you can find a hard floor to place them on, Thai massage mats are a perfectly comfortable place to sleep, especially for those sleepers who suffer from back pain.

But as they stay directly on the floor and most of them are not thicker than 3.5 inches, you may have trouble getting up or sitting down on them – something that people with weak knees don’t fancy a bit.

Loft Beds

If you are already familiar with bunk beds from your childhood or college days, you will quickly get the idea of loft beds, which are similar except that they don’t have a bottom bunk.

A loft bed looks and works like a bunk bed without a bottom bunk
DHP Abode Full-Size Loft Bed

Like bunk beds, this type of bed is also elevated from the ground and free up plenty of space for storage or other purposes. You can take advantage of this and create a small desk with a PC to work from home. This space is even great for studying, researching, playing games, or simply chilling while watching Netflix.

It’s not a surprise that loft beds carry the same risk of falling or tipper over like bunk beds. Therefore, you should go for a reputable brand with a sturdy frame and firmly fixed rails or rims.

Hammock Beds

When people hear of hammocks, they usually think of something they use to hang between trees to relax outdoors. But as long as you can find a place to secure it, you can totally enjoy this experience right in your bedroom.

You can also sleep on a hammock instead
Vivere Double Cotton Hammock

You can also sleep on a hammock instead.

There are plenty of hammocks made to replace an indoor bed, most of which come with their own frames or suspends from the ceiling. In the morning, you can take the hammock down, then fold it before throwing it into your closet.

But just like regular hammocks, they are not everyone’s cup of tea as you are forced to sleep in a curved position and may become tired over time.

Hanging Beds

You like the hanging hammocks but prefer the surface of a traditional mattress, check out hanging beds. They can be hanged entirely from your bedroom’s ceiling and don’t take up any footing space.

A hanging bed always looks good in any bedroom
A hanging bed always looks good in any bedroom.

Don’t worry about safety as long as you purchase your hanging bed from a reputable company and install it properly. They are also one of the best looking options to replace your traditional bed and open a huge variety of bedroom decor ideas.

The biggest setback of these floating beds is that you need to find a space for the rope ladder or a permanent staircase. Additionally, many people also find the idea of sleeping on a hanging surface uneasy and unappealing.

Air Mattresses

An air mattress is a go-to choice if you want to save some precious space in your small bedroom or apartment while retaining the comfort of a traditional bed.

Air mattresses are a cheap alternative to traditional beds
King Koil Air Mattress

Air mattresses are cheap alternatives to traditional beds.

You can deflate it completely and store away with ease when you don’t need it anymore, or even deflate it only halfway to put it in your closet during the day.

In addition to being a cheap non traditional bed, air mattresses are so portable that you can bring them to your camping trips or your parent’s house on the holidays. On top of that, they are also cheaper than most options in this list.

However, pet owners may need to think twice before committing to this kind of mattress since your pets may damage them. A common workaround is to cover your air mattress with comforters and sheets as extra layers of protection.

Futon Mattresses

Japanese futon mattresses are not a bad choice if you are stuck with small sleeping space and need something that can be rolled up and stored away quickly in the morning.

Futons are a popular bedding option that comes from Japan
Japanese Traditional Shiki Futon

Futons are a popular bedding option in Japanese traditional bedrooms.

People usually lay these sleeping mats on any hard floor, but a thick layer of carpet is totally fine too. And it can even get more comfortable than spring mattresses if you prefer medium-firm and firm mattresses.

As the floor plays the role of a heat sink, you won’t feel that the heat is kept underneath you – the thing that most hot sleepers hate when they sleep on some box spring mattresses.

But keep in mind that when you suffer from knee pain, it may be hard and painful to get in and get out of futon mattresses.

Recliner Chairs

Although they look almost like a regular chair, sleeping recliners are designed to tilt back to make a comfortable bed. It will be a great buy if you need modern furniture that can be transformed quickly into a sleeping spot for your guests.

Recliners act as both a chair and a compact bed
Ravenna Home Oakesdale Contemporary Recliner

Recliners act as both a chair and a compact bed.

The surface of sleeping recliners is not completely flat but has a slightly angled resting place for heads, just like a bed that allows you to tilt your back upwards with remote control.

However, while they are an amazing dual-purpose item, the sleeping surface is not the most comfortable you can have.

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