Beds for small rooms – how to find the perfect bed for a compact space

Top tips on finding the perfect fit for a bedroom that's short on space...

bedroom with pink walls and patterned headboard in Edinburgh Georgian townhouse designed by Jessica Buckley
(Image credit: Paul Massey)

It's not often that every room in the house is blessed with seemingly endless space. But, there's no need to worry, as beds for small rooms can really optimize the area that you do have, helping to make it work harder for you.

When reconfiguring a small bedroom, forward planning is essential to ensure your furniture and decor really maximizes every inch of available space.

Beds for small rooms

From under-bed storage to bunk beds and built-in bespoke options, we've asked the experts to shed light on the best bedroom ideas – and beds for small rooms below.

1. Forget the footboard

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

A footboard is a nice addition for larger, grander bedrooms, but can feel bulky when it comes to small bedroom ideas, taking up all-important space.

Lucy St George, Co-founder of Rockett St George, says: 'When choosing a bed for a small room, do not get a bed with a footboard, it will overpower the space and make it harder to move around the room.'

2. Do embrace a statement headboard

Bed with headboard, mirror behind lighting

(Image credit: Elicyon)

'Just because you should eschew the footboard doesn't mean you can't embrace statement headboard ideas,' says Lucy St George.

'Think of a stylish hotel you’ve stayed in and how they’ve worked the bed to be a stunning feature but also space-efficient within the room (Kit Kemp's Firmdale Hotels offer marvellous inspiration).

'Small bed ideas with a striking headboard can be a great replacement for above the bed decor, especially if you are in a rented property. Don’t be afraid to be playful with shape. A headboard  can be used to become the centerpiece of your space.'

Note the mirror behind the table lamp in this bedroom, too – it's a great way to enhance space and reflect light.

3. Choose a low headboard for awkward spaces

country style small bedroom by Sims Hilditch

(Image credit: Sims Hilditch)

There are a couple of situations when a statement headboard may not work. If your bed is going under a window or is in an attic room with a unique configuration, it's best to opt for a lower headboard.

Louise Wicksteed, design director at Sims Hilditch, says: 'Opting for a bed with a low headboard in an attic room, or a room with a low ceiling, can stop the bed taking over the room. 

'This is a particularly good idea if placing a bed below a window as it avoids blocking the much-needed natural light.'

4. Consider bunk beds for a guest room

stylish bunk beds in a guest room by Sims Hilditch

(Image credit: Sims Hilditch)

Bunk beds are an obvious choice for kids' room ideas, but they can be a practical – and stylish – option for a small guest room, too.

If you're a regular host and want to be able to offer accommodation to friends, it's an easy way to fit more people in.

Louise Wicksteed says:  'Bunk beds can be a great option. Storage can be in-built underneath the base of the lower bunk, or even hidden beneath the steps.'

5. Say yes to a sofa bed

chesterfield style sofa bed by Darlings of Chelsea

(Image credit: Darlings of Chelsea)

If you have a space-starved room that needs to be multifunctional, a sofa bed or sleeper sofa is a practical solution.

Interior designer Susie Atkinson says: 'A sofa bed is the perfect choice for a small space. Consider investing in a bespoke design to elevate the look and tailor it perfectly to the room.' A Chesterfield-style choice is always an elegant and stylish option.

6. Keep clutter at bay with an ottoman bed

ottoman bed for small room by sofa.com

(Image credit: sofa.com)

Space is at a premium in small rooms, so investing in an ottoman bed – where the mattress lifts up to reveal a large storage space underneath – is a worthwhile investment and a good small bedroom storage idea.

A cluttered room – think burgeoning mounds of laundry – is not conducive to a good night's sleep, and an ottoman bed offers the perfect spot for storing spare bed linen, books or bulky clothing.

Wayfair’s Resident Style Advisor, Nadia McCowan Hill, says: 'A hidden storage ottoman bed is ideal for storing clutter or items that aren’t used on a daily basis, but can still be on trend with varied upholstered options with luxe patterned or textured headboards.'

7. Put a platform bed in place

rustic wooden platform bed in bedroom with wood wall cladding by Rust Collections

(Image credit: Rust Collections)

'If natural and simple interiors are more your thing, incorporate a simple wooden platform bed into your scheme,' suggests Nadia. 'Its modest frame and understated design won’t overpower your space and is the perfect backdrop for more expressive decor options, such as bold bedding, colorful cushions and smart bedside lighting for the darker months.'

Alternatively, you can work an earthy look and accessorize with sustainable, natural linens for a tranquil space. If the room is really small and doesn't have space for a bedside table, a platform bed also offers a ledge to pop your morning coffee or night-time reading materials.

8. Invest in a bed with integrated drawers

rustic bedroom with beams

(Image credit: Mel Yates)

When space is at a premium, the area under your bed should be highly prized. Instead of creating a mess underneath your sleeping station by carelessly hiding items there, ensure it looks clean and tidy by investing in a bed with integrated drawers. 

Many double beds come with two drawers on each side, providing the perfect place for extra bedroom storage. And, if you don't like the look of the drawers, you can always add a valance for extra chic.

9. Opt for a bespoke built-in bed

Box room ideas with single bed and storage

(Image credit: Future / Carolyn Barber)

Make the most of every inch of space by employing a professional to create a bespoke bed that fits like a glove.

Ensure the bed is as functional and practical as possible, and consider adding under-bed storage to declutter and keep all your bedroom belongings organised. A little wall-mounted reading light is a great finishing touch that means you can stay engrossed in your latest novel without needing to take up all-important room with a bedside table and lamp.

What is the best bed for a small room? 

The best bed is one that will easily fit into your bedroom – and won't encroach on comfort. 

If your bedroom is on the small side, a single bed may be the only option when considering bed ideas. But if possible, a double bed will provide much needed comfort and coziness, especially in a guest bedroom.

Ruth Doherty

Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.