21 Jun

Murphy Beds: Efficient Use of Bedroom Space

Sometimes you have a bedroom without a lot of space and it’s usually the bed that takes up most of it. Especially for rooms that are designed to be more than just sleeping areas (kids’ rooms, for example), this can mean that there’s not a lot of room for the rest of the things – desk, chair and other paraphernalia – that the room needs to contain. Here are some ideas on beds that maximize your space and allow the room’s space to be used to its full potential.murphybeds┬áis an excellent resource for this.

The Shelf Headboard:

Possibly the simplest thing you can do to combine sleeping arrangements with space-saving, the headboard that doubles as a shelf can hold books, tissues, lights and anything else imperative for bedtime. Most beds can handle an appropriately sized shelf-headboard, making it an economical option for people who already have a good bed.

Bunk beds:

The original space-saving solution, the bunk bed! These beds are generally geared towards children who have to share a room or a child who has a lot of sleepovers. Bunk beds are also an option for guest bedrooms and for storage of toys and equipment on the top bunk. For children, they can also function as an economical canopy bed with the addition of curtain rods. Take note that it is strongly recommended that children under the age of 6 not be given the top bunk.

Mezzanine/Loft beds:

At first, these appear to be bunk beds, but they generally lack a second sleeping arrangement on the bottom, leaving space for a chair, desk, or anything else that a person might desire underneath. Some come with elaborate setups that include shelves, steps and matching furniture. Others are just the bed and a ladder. These are ideal for college dorm rooms and smaller rooms that need to house an active child. The same caveat that applies to the top of bunk beds applies to lofts – no kids under 6.

Murphy beds:

A Murphy bed will flip up against a wall when it is not in use. This enables the floorspace that it would otherwise occupy to serve for other purposes. Murphy beds have come a long way from the cartoon cliches that folded up on hapless characters. Many of them today have exceptionally comfortable mattresses and are easy to take down and put away. Modifications to the Murphy style allow for a desk or other useful feature to “pop out” when the bed is put away.

Hanging beds:

Some of these beds just hang from the ceiling and don’t offer any more storage space than a regular bed with room underneath the frame. However, a few enterprising businesses and individuals have created hanging beds on a pulley system, allowing the bed to be swung to the ceiling and out of the way. This requires a fairly high ceiling relative to the room’s occupant to be truly useful and care must be taken that the pulley bed, equipment and structure it is affixed to are able to take the weight of both bed and occupant(s).


This French concoction puts the bed on tracks and gives it some fold-down legs so that you can raise and lower it like a hanging bed on pulleys, only it’s anchored to the wall. This makes the bed less movable and gives it some solid support from the legs as well as the tracks it runs on


What we think of as a futon and what the Japanese, the creators of this style of bed, think of as a futon are two completely different animals. The Japanese futon refers only to a mattress that is often folded up and put away during the day, allowing for use of the bedspace. The Western “futon” tends to refer to the mattress and the frame it is placed upon, which can be laid out like a bed or folded up like a couch. Either way, these are very good beds to use for a small space. However, one should take care in the type of futon they choose; many futon mattresses are cheap copies of traditional mattresses and are not supportive of the back.

Sofa beds:

The first cousin of the futon, the sofa bed mimics an ordinary sofa, but turns into a different creature entirely when night falls. A mattress appears out of hiding and folds out to create an ample bed, the width of the original sofa seating space. If it’s space saving you’re after, this is definitely one to consider.

Trundle beds:

Another time honored tradition, the trundle bed is a bed-within-a-bed. One bed is put together the normal way, but its frame is just a giant drawer, holding another bed. Perfect for small spaces and frequent sleepovers. Most trundle beds have the mattresses at different heights, but some have pop-out mechanisms that put the trundle mattress at the same height as the main bed.