What's the Best Bed For a Small Room? Experts Share 5 Styles With Their Pros and Cons

Experts say these bed styles will suit the tiniest, narrowest and most cramped bedrooms

A small bedroom with a bed fit under the arched walls
(Image credit: Lauren Miller Photography. Studio credit WILLIAMSCRAIG Design)

With city homes becoming smaller and more cramped, the need for specific, bespoke solutions becomes imperative. Take small bedrooms for instance — choosing the right bed is crucial so that neither comfort nor functionality is compromised.

'In a small bedroom, it's crucial to consider space efficiency,' says Richard Misso from The Stylesmiths. 'It’s best to consider a bed that fits the room dimensions so you can visually understand the clearance around all large furniture items.'

To help you pick the right design for your space, we asked experts to tell us about the most ideal styles. Take a look at these small bedroom ideas filled with space-saving bed ideas.

1. Built-in bed with storage

Small bedroom with built in bed and a curtain

(Image credit: Simon Brown photography)

Pros: 'Most people selecting furniture for a small bedroom use pieces that don't provide good storage,' says Jane Lockhart, founder of Jane Lockhart Design. 'Less furniture and more built-ins will help to keep the room feeling larger, maximizing any extra space.'

'It's a good idea to go for beds that provide storage solutions, like built-in drawers or under-bed storage,' says Richard Misso. 'This way, you maximize functionality without sacrificing space.'

Built-in beds with drawers contribute to small bedroom storage and eliminate the need for extra cabinets or consoles that take up the floor area.

Cons: While in most cases this style works perfectly, the only drawback to it is you may have to incur extra costs to specially build this style of bed. This would be impossible in rented accommodation, of course. Also, with built-ins, you tend to limit the room's flexibility of use, as the bed becomes a permanent feature.

2. Divan bed

A diwan-style bed in a small, all-white room

(Image credit: Allyson Lubow. Studio credit Joshua Smith Inc)

Pro: A good style to choose for a guest bedroom or even a kid's bedroom is a divan bed.

'One of the key advantages of a divan-style bed is its built-in storage options,' says Guillaume Coutheillas, founder of frenchCALIFORNIA. 'The presence of storage drawers or compartments is particularly beneficial in small bedrooms where optimizing space is crucial. It allows for the organized storage of bedding, clothing, or other items without requiring additional furniture. Affordability is another notable pro. Divan beds are often more budget-friendly compared to some alternative bed styles, making them an attractive option for individuals looking for practicality without compromising on quality.'

Cons: 'Some individuals may find divan beds less visually appealing due to their boxy or plain appearance,' says Guillaume. 'Divan beds might also have fewer style options compared to other bed types. These can be heavy, especially when storage drawers are filled. The weight can pose challenges when moving or rearranging furniture.'

3. Platform bed

A platform bed in a small room

(Image credit: PUNTOFILIPINO)

Pros: In a small bedroom layout, a platform bed can fit in quite well as it is a simple, low-raised bed frame with a slatted wood base and no paraphernalia under it. It has a light visual and doesn't make the bedroom feel bulky.

'The suitability of a platform bed for a small room depends on its specific design, which can vary,' says Kashi Shikunova, director Yam Studios. 'Choose one where the base is elevated from the floor, aligning precisely with the mattress size and allowing it to rest on top, effectively saving space.'

Cons: 'If the platform bed design involves the mattress sinking into the bed frame, resulting in a base wider than the mattress with large lips all along, it won't be great for space-saving,' says Kashi. Another disadvantage of this style is its height, which is not ideal for older, aged people. Its low profile may pose challenges getting in and out of it.

4. Freestanding bed

A dark, black toned bedroom with a freestanding bed placed in the centre

(Image credit: Le Atelier)

More often than not, homeowners tend to choose freestanding beds for their modern small bedrooms, as these offer choices in designs and are lighter in weight.

Pros: 'Freestanding beds often come in a wide range of styles, shapes, and materials, allowing for greater flexibility in matching various bedroom aesthetics,' says Guillaume. 'This is advantageous for individuals who prioritize a specific look or theme in their bedroom decor. Unlike built-in or storage-intensive bed designs, freestanding beds are generally lighter and more manageable when it comes to moving or rearranging furniture. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial in small spaces where the room layout may need occasional adjustments.'

Cons: 'The cons of a freestanding bed could be the limited built-in storage options,' says Guillaume. 'Unlike divan-style beds or other storage-centric designs, freestanding beds may not provide additional space-saving features. These may take up more floor space compared to some compact designs like Murphy beds or divans. This can be a concern in small bedrooms where maximizing floor space is crucial.'

5. Murphy bed

Pink panelled murphy bed

(Image credit: Trevor Tondro)

Pro: In really small studio bedrooms, where every square inch matters, and rooms are usually multipurpose, the most ideal design is Murphy beds. 'Murphy beds are a fairly tidy solution to spaces where you have a lot of wall space but not a lot of floor space to give up for a permanent bed,' says Jane. 'Murphy beds allow for a room to remain more formal and less personal, the way a bedroom feels, so they are a good option when someone has a shared living space with sleeping and living areas combined.'

In rooms that are used for sleeping and entertaining, instead of going in for a convertible couch or futon, you might find the Murphy bed a superior alternative.

Cons: The biggest disadvantage is of price. These need to be custom-made to the room's dimensions and so involve designing and installation costs. Also, Murphy beds can be dangerous if you have children or pets at home. As these need to be opened and raised properly, it's best only handled by strong adults.

What type of bed frame should you choose for a small bedroom?

While making the decision on the best bedroom furniture, you might want to also consider the smaller details of each piece. In a small bedroom, you should pay attention to the bed frame as that takes up visual space.

'I recommend opting for a slim wood frame with elegant legs, creating a sense of floating and lightness,' says Kashi. 'The bed frame should be matched to the mattress size exactly. Often these are frames where the mattress sits on top. This not only creates a light and airy feel but also maximizes the available space.'

3 bed styles to buy for small bedrooms

Design Editor

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is the Design Editor at Livingetc. She is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.