14 Bed Alternatives – Unique and Creative Ideas

Mattresses have been in existence for thousands of years. Some of the first beds discovered were piles of stones.

Beds have become much more comfortable than sleeping on stones. People have been sleeping on a variety of alternatives to beds for a long time.

Whatever you sleep on, make sure to include plenty of blankets and pillows. Here are 14 alternatives to the traditional bed for you to consider:



A hammock is one alternative to a regular bed. A common type is the outdoor hammock used for reclining in the backyard.

Bring the hammock indoors to your bedroom as a bed alternative. Using a hammock as a bed is a great way to save space in your bedroom. Ensure your wall and ceiling are strong enough to hold up the hammock and you when sleeping in it.

Add pillows and blankets to make your hammock comfortable to lay on. Add other furniture in light wood with woven features for a modern-boho look to your room. You can also add large houseplants to create a natural look and feel.

Murphy Bed

Murphy BedPin

A murphy bed folds up into the wall or wall space when not in use. This allows for plenty of floor space in the rest of the room. The bed will blend in with the wall and cupboards when not in use during the day.

You can decorate the bed any way you like, even if it doesn’t match the rest of the room since it will be folded away during the daytime. You can also build your own murphy bed if you are handy.

A downside is the possibility of the bed getting stuck in the wall. You also won’t be able to show off your neat comforter and pillows to family and friends when your murphy bed is stored away.



A futon will save you space on a bed and can be used for multiple functions. A futon can be used as a couch to lounge on during the day. Fold down the back part at night, and use the cushion as a bed at night.

A futon might not be a good idea if you have a bad back. Using the futon as a couch during the day and bed at night can wear down the cushion quickly, where you might have to replace it after a short period of time.

Add decorative pillows and a blanket to decorate your futon with during the day. Have a basket filled with bedding next to the futon to sleep with at night.

Air Mattress

Air MattressPin

An air mattress is another bed alternative you can use to save space. Blow up your bed during the day to use at night, then deflate it the next morning to store away for the day.

An air mattress is less expensive than a regular mattress, so you will save money. Keep pets away from your air mattress, since they may damage the mattress with their claws by deflating it. If you have back issues, you may want to look into other alternatives, since an air mattress may hurt your back even more.

Day Bed

Day BedPin

A day bed is great for those who want to lounge on something during the day. A day bed functions like a couch during the day, but you can comfortably sleep on it like a bed at night.

Day beds are great for younger people who like to lay down or sit cross-legged on the couch. An older person may not be so comfortable using a day bed, especially if it sits high above the ground. It may be hard to get up and down from.

Some day beds have storage space underneath, which can help you save space even more by placing extra items underneath the bed.



A bedroll is like a sleeping bag where it is thick enough to sleep with, but can be easily rolled up and stored during the day. A bedroll usually does not cost a lot and is about the size of a twin bed when rolled out.

If you have back issues, then a bedroll will not be the best choice for you, unless you can place blankets and other items underneath that are thick enough to keep your back comfortable while sleeping.

Place a bedroll with extra blankets and pillows in a basket in the corner of your room as a neat storage area, which you can also access during the day for lounging on.

Trundle Bed

Trundle BedPin

A trundle bed has a hidden bed underneath. The outer part may include drawer space. A trundle bed is a great way to save space when you need to sleep two kids in one bedroom, without using up more space with another bed.

Trundle beds are also great to use when you have multiple guests over and have a small extra room. The lower bed can be pushed under the main bed adding extra space during the day so that the other side of the room can be used as a study or play area.

Floor Cushions

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A floor cushion is another alternative to a traditional bed. Some floor cushions are large enough to sleep on while others are sized smaller to sit on. You can even use a large floor cushion for an extra seating area when you have many guests over during the day.

A floor cushion will be much cheaper than a regular bed. It is also easy to store away to or move to a corner during the day when not in use. A floor cushion may not feel comfortable to everyone, especially those that are used to sleeping in a regular bed.

Get a floor cushion that will match the rest of the décor in your room. Don’t forget to add matching pillows and blankets.

Loft Bed

Loft BedPin

A loft bed is a great way to save space in a small room. Use a loft bed as an extra bed in a bedroom for multiple children when you run out of space. The space below a loft bed can also be used to place a desk and chair in a small room.

Based on the size and structure of the home, a loft bed may not work for every small-space situation.

Tatami Mat

Tatami MatPin

A tatami mat is a thin mat rolled out onto the bedroom floor, with a futon placed on top, then a thin mattress that is similar to the tatami mat is placed on both. This is a sleeping tradition popular in Japan.

A tatami mat is a great way to save space because you can roll and store the mats when not in use. People that are used to regular mattresses may have a hard time getting use to thin tatami mats.

Hanging Bed

Hanging BedPin

A hanging bed is very similar to a loft bed, except that it is suspended from the ceiling. All the space below the bed can be used for other furniture and items, since there are no walls or other structures on the floor to keep the bed in place.

You need to have a house that can handle the weight of the bed from the ceiling. This bed alternative can also be a struggle to install.

Sofa Bed

Sofa BedPin

A sofa bed is similar to a futon, where the sofa can be used to sit on during the day, and all or part of it can be used to sleep on at night. A sofa bed is great to use in a small house, since it can function as a couch and bed.

A sofa bed can be expensive to purchase, based on the materials used to make it and the quality of it.

Rollaway Bed

A rollaway bed is another bed that is great to use in a small room. This type of bed can be folded up and stored in a closet or other space when not in use.

You can customize your rollaway bed with a comfortable mattress for family and guests. Long-term use is not recommended since there is little support from underneath, compared to a traditional bed.

Sleeping Recliner

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Guests can lounge around on a recliner during the day, and recline this back to comfortably use as a bed at night. Sleeping in a slightly elevated position can help alleviate some health issues.

People with neck issues will not find sleeping on a recliner that comfortable. Individuals who are not used to sleeping on their back will not enjoy sleeping on a recliner either.

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