The Best Beds for Small Rooms

Posted by Lauren Jaques - Senior Buyer Frames and Furniture on 28th Jul 2022

The Best Beds for Small Rooms

According to experts, homes here in the UK have never been smaller.

Not only has the number of bedrooms in the average British home dropped to below three for the first time ever, but master bedrooms have decreased in average size, from over 15M² in the 1960s to just a little over 13M² in a modern new build house.  [1]

And with every square metre of space we lose in our homes, the harder it becomes to furnish them.

Beds for small homes

Maybe you live in a narrow, period terrace home, where larger rooms have been carved up to make more space for bathrooms or additional bedrooms?

Or perhaps your home is a newer house, built to accommodate as many beds and baths as possible into the smallest available footprint.

Thankfully, while rooms might be decreasing in size, furniture designers are getting more and more imaginative in their work, finding creative solutions to maximise space in even the most petite of homes.

Not only are wardrobe systems smarter than ever and kitchens increasingly streamlined and built-in, but now even beds are more thoughtfully designed than ever before, and even at their most compact and practical, they can look great too.

Which means that however awkwardly shaped or modestly sized a space you might find yourself snoozing in, there’s almost always a bed to suit it, and to suit you too.

Whether it is a big, long term investment double bed for that master suite, or a small single bed to make that small, hardly ever used box room into a glamorous guest room, we have all the space-saving ideas you will need to make your pocket-sized home feel just that bit grander and a whole lot more comfortable.

Beds for small master bedrooms

Staples and Co Artisan Superior Divan Bed Set On Castors

Staples and Co Artisan Superior Divan Bed Set On Castors

Did you ever dream of what your grown up bedroom might look like when you were little?

We did (well, we are just a little bit obsessed with bedrooms) and to be honest, like so many things you find out about as you get older, those adult master bedrooms were always bigger, plusher and more covered in framed pop posters in our dreams.

But here at Bensons for Beds, we’ve seen enough bedrooms to know that small can still be sumptuous, and that when faced with a bedroom that offers a smaller than longed for footprint, there are still so many ways to create just the kind of luxury sleeping experience that a younger you dreamt about.

Not only can clever decorating tricks – hanging large mirrors, using light reflecting paints and building in open storage shelving are just a few simple examples – help to make a room feel more spacious than it really is, but choosing the right furniture can make a huge difference to your available space too.

Ok, so maybe you imagined a king size sleigh bed with a plush deep green velvet frame, but in a smaller room, a bed with a more slimline solid wood or metal frame may suit the space a little better, without losing valuable sleeping room. And did you know, those finer details on a metal bed or high legs can also create the illusion of space with more light and more floor to be seen?

Alternatively, in those bedrooms which are slightly longer and narrower, leaving you without very much room to manoeuvre around the bed itself, you may want to choose a surround-free divan. By this we mean a bed with no additional frame inches extending beyond the width dimension of the mattress which can help you to gain valuable space and create a sleeker look.

Additionally, a shallower headboard can save you length in a room where every centimetre counts.

Get closer with a small double bed

In master bedrooms, where space is especially limited, we advocate for getting up close and personal with your partner in a small double bed.

With a reduced width, these 4ft bed frames are just six inches narrower than a full-size double bed, without losing anything in overall length. So those over 6ft, and their toes, can breathe a sigh of relief. You will learn to love spooning, we promise!

One of our favourite tricks for sleeping in a smaller bed in fact, is to choose a queen or even king size duvet. Not only does this look ultra-decadent dressed in satin or linen, trailing over the edges of the bed (layer up throws and blankets to really give that wanton romantic vibe), but it also helps you and your sleep partner to enjoy the feeling of personal space, while minimising the risk of any midnight duvet robbing.

Storage beds that make the most of your space

Another great way to really maximise that space in a smaller scale master bedroom is with a bed that incorporates a good amount of storage .

Grey Rialto Ortho Comfort Divan Bed with an Open Drawer

Rialto Ortho Comfort Divan Bed Set

A divan bed with drawers can make storing bulky items such as knitwear, bedding or towels easy - leaving your wardrobe and chest of drawers free for everyday items from socks, to make up, to stationery and all those other vital bits and bobs that can otherwise clutter up the place in no time.

A modern and practical alternative to the traditional two or four drawer divan is an ottoman bed, named after the perennially popular upholstered storage stool.

These smart beds lift effortlessly on hydraulic arms, opening to reveal surprisingly deep storage in the bed base.

Ottoman beds of any size offer plentiful space for all of those items that perhaps you do not use every day but that nonetheless cannot be relegated to the loft, the garage or the bin. Such as those annoying rolls of Christmas wrapping paper which somehow never find a long-term home, regular changes of bedding or even that exercise equipment that you will definitely use next week (and maybe you will when it is all easily to hand, just inside your easy-to-open bed base).

In fact, a bed that includes good, practical and, perhaps most importantly, spacious storage can not only help you cut down on visible, distracting clutter, it can also save you money as well as space. Acting as a stand in for what might have been yet another drawer unit or a stack of unsightly plastic storage boxes, both of which can be tricky to site in a room which is already pretty snug and lacking in floor space.

Guest beds to make staying over more appealing

Living in a smaller home can be particularly challenging when it comes to hosting guests.

These days, many of us live farther away from friends and family than our parents or grandparents might have done. Which means that making the most of those rare catch ups with your favourite people can often involve an overnight stay.

And while the good old air bed or chucking a duvet on the sofa might have cut the mustard back when you were in your early twenties and used to sleeping wherever you dropped, breaking out the asthmatic bike pump to blow up your guest’s bed can wear a wee bit thin as you get older and visitors begin to complain of aches and pains.

There is really no need to feel like anything less than the hostess with the mostest though. Because we think that even the titchiest of box rooms can be turned into a welcoming guest suite with some clever furniture, a lick of paint and a nice bedside lamp or two.

Turning a modestly sized spare room into a guest bedroom your friends will actually want to stay in begins with choosing a bed that is not only comfortable but that looks good and feels permanent too (step away from that fold out camp bed).

A small double bed with mattress chosen for comfort can give guests a good night’s sleep and help them to feel at home in your home.

If you‘re on a tight budget, a decent, affordable mattress topper can make even a slightly sagging mattress feel welcoming.

Along with fresh and clean bright white sheets, this can more than make up for a slightly narrower width bed (those 4ft guest double beds, also known as three quarter beds, are an ideal choice for spare rooms with no room to spare), giving your guests a great night’s sleep, even if they have a little less elbow room than they are used to back home.

Again, if storage is important – and when isn’t it? - opt for a small double ottoman bed or small double bed with storage in the form of a divan base with built-in drawers.

This allows you to quickly and easily pack away all those guest room accoutrements when your visitors finally leave you in peace, keeping them clean, fresh and dust-free for your next guests.

Shop Guest Beds

Sofa beds and other occasional sleep solutions

Duet 2-in-1 Sofa Bed

Duet 2-in-1 Sofa Bed

In some rooms, a permanent bed is simply out of the question. Perhaps your only box room doubles up as a home office or a nursery, a home gym or a play room.

In some cases, your living room or dining room might even have to act as a stand in bedroom for your guests.

A small sofa bed can be an excellent choice for those rooms that do double duty, giving you seating for your office or playroom as well as an easy to pull out bed for those occasions when you need it.

These smaller sized sofa beds are often built without arms, making them ideal for minimal spaces, and they simply fold down into a small double bed.

They do away with the hefty and awkward mechanisms that you will often wrestle with when making up and putting away a full size traditional sofa bed too.

Some of these reduced size sofa beds can even be split into two small single beds, giving you an array of options to suit your room and your lifestyle.

Shop Sofa Beds

Space saving beds for children’s rooms

Children’s bedrooms can be especially challenging to furnish, with requirements that change as they grow older.

Generally very small, most second and third bedrooms are perfectly adequate for a brand new baby – after all, a cot and a changing table takes up very little space – but before you can say peekaboo, your not so little baby needs a full-size bed and they have thoughts about how it should look as well.

Luckily, with their love of climbing, kids have more options than most when it comes to space-saving bed choices.

Normally recommended for kids aged from six and up, high sleeper beds (sometimes called loft beds) have an elevated sleeping platform accessed by a ladder, leaving loads of lovely space beneath for dens, desks and dancing.

Some high sleeper beds are even built to include sets of drawers or a desk, leaving space elsewhere in the room for other furniture.

Kids’ cabin beds and mid-sleeper beds also raise the height of the mattress, for maximised underbed toy and clothing storage, while also giving great hide and seek potential.

Beds for low ceilings: living with low head height

One solution to homes with limited space is to build upwards with a new loft extension, making the most of the wasted metres hidden away in your loft.

However, attic bedrooms often come with their own set of challenges, not least of which is head height.

While raising the roof is probably out of the question, there are bed choices that can help you to make the most of space in rooms, where even a hobbit might find it hard to stand up straight.

The first and most obvious bed solution for a room in the eaves is a bed with a slightly lower base.

We’re not suggesting clambering down into a futon every night, but opting for a bed which stands a little under the average of 63.5cm (or 25”) in height from floor to mattress top can help give you the height you need to sit up comfortably in your bed, while you read that unputdownable bestseller.

Additional choices for rooms with sloping ceilings or reduced head height might include opting for a sleek, slimline headboard over a tall or wraparound version (or even choosing a bed design that is completely free of a headboard, which, as an added bonus, can help to make the overall length of your bed slightly shorter too). There are different mattress depths too – ask us for advice if you would benefit from one that’s a lower!

Finally, you might additionally opt for a divan bed on lockable castors or gliders rather than legs, which tend to be slightly taller, raising the bed a few precious centimetres. Bed frames are generally lower to the ground than divan beds, but if you love divans, you can always opt for a divan bed base without the headboard if you’re restricted with height.

Choosing a bed for a home where access is limited

Particularly problematic in period homes and in apartment buildings, challenging access can really limit your options when it comes to choosing those bulky items of furniture such as sofas, wardrobes and, of course, beds.

In some Victorian homes, doors can be extremely narrow, and even taking them off the hinges does not always help. Some tall, narrow buildings have staircases with awkward turns that can make carrying furniture to the first or second floor a real drama (pivot!) as well.

If this sounds like your home – full of character but an absolute nightmare on moving day – be sure to measure carefully (and don’t forget to measure again) before you commit to your chosen bed.

To minimise potential issues, choose a bed which can be taken apart in a pinch. Bedframe components come in individual boxes to make delivery and moving them around your home easier. Feet or legs that can also be temporarily removed can give you those few centimetres that just might make moving a new bed in a breeze.

If your access space is really tight then consider a slightly smaller bed – perhaps going for a king size bed rather than super king.

These considerations should help you get the component parts of the bed into a new home easier. All of this also gives you the opportunity to custom build the bed of your dreams, from frame colour to headboard shape and mattress firmness. And speaking of headboards, we even have some that split in the middle so you don’t have to go without, if access is an issue.

And as an added bonus, for a very small charge, our delivery team will assemble your divan and headboard on arrival, so all you need to do is throw on the sheets and settle in.


[1] What is the average house size in the UK? | LABC

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authors profile
Lauren Jaques
Senior Buyer
Lauren has worked at Bensons for Beds for 1 12 years. Lauren is a real industry expert in the area of home furnishing and has buying skills in abundance combined with a keen eye for product detail and flair for design.
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