Studio Apartment Bed Solutions
Bed Ideas for Studio Apartments
This is a list of bed styles that maximize space. Some are conventional, some are a little more uncommon. This is meant to help you brainstorm ideas for decorating your small studio apartment.
Space efficient design is a subject I find particularly interesting. It could be due to my living in a high rent area. Over the years I've seen some interesting solutions, and spent some time thinking of ways to get more out of my own space. Hopefully one of these bed styles will work in your small studio apartment.
Dinette Booth Bed
This is something you see in boats and sometimes RVs or trailers. It's ideal for really small spaces and to use as an occasional guest bed. When in table configuration it resembles a restaurant booth table. To convert it to a bed, the table is lowered to the same height as the seats and a custom cushion, usually a seat back, is placed on top of the table to form a double bed. Storage can be built into the seats and seat backs. If you want to see examples check out this google image search
Here's a link to a company that makes dinette/bed furniture :Bradd & Hall
In many countries this may seem very unconventional, but hammocks are a popular bed choice in Central and South America. You can't get much more space efficient than this. The whole thing can be stuffed into a sack, or hung on one wall when not in use. The trouble is it's not going to work everywhere. You need to live in a building where you can install heavy duty mounts to hang your hammock from, and they work best in a warmer climate or room. If you choose to go this route, avoid spreader bars, and sleep at an angle so your back and legs are in a straight line. Your back will thank you.
Bed Lift Up to to the Ceiling
Some RVs have beds that stow flush to the ceiling, but can be lowered for use. This seems to be mainly a specialty product for RVs. You may need to get creative and build your own. If your space is tiny and you have money or technical know how, it might be worth the trouble. A bed that raises up flush to the ceiling is super space efficient.
The canopies and curtains on most beds I see for sale now are just for show, but historically this was a practical design. If you hang heavy curtains all around your bed, you create a bedroom the exact size of your bed. If you are sharing your studio, one person can sleep while the other stays up with the light on. If you can't find a four poster or canopy frame in your budget, try hanging curtain rods next to the ceiling around the bed, or installing curtain tracks on the ceiling. As a bonus, the curtains will keep you warm if you sleep with the heat off in the wintertime. If you've ever read, "A Christmas Carol", by Dickens, Scrooge had curtains on his bed. I guarantee you they weren't there to fulfill his princess fantasies.
If you are good at building things, you might want to consider the canopy bed's more substantial cousin, the Cupboard Bed
Since the invention of the futon frame in the early 80s, the futon has become very popular as a studio apartment bed. A decent frame one looks like a couch when folded up, and they are fairly easy to fold and unfold. Unfortunately they have a few drawbacks. One is that the mattress is generally a lot firmer than a spring mattress, so you need to keep that in mind if you are a side sleeper. You can get futon mattresses with extra padding if needed. If you like a firm mattress you might want to use the original Japanese method of thin cotton sleeping pads that can be rolled up and stashed in a cabinet when not in use. Not only do they save space, they save money.
The Bunk Bedroom Divider
This bed configuration is ideal for two roommates sharing a small studio or room. It gives each some private space on either side, while maximizing the floor space.
You can do some creative things with trundle beds. You could use only the lower bed ,mechanism to make a bed in a drawer, and put storage or a TV stand above. The upper bed can be used as a daybed with the addition of some large pillows. If you are in a really small space you can stuff your pillows with laundry or out of season clothes for more storage. Some trundle beds have a lower bed that raises up to the height of the upper bed. You can push them together to make a larger bed if needed.
The idea of folding your bed up vertical during the day probably hit it's peak in the 20s judging by the studio apartments I've seen for rent that had a Murphy bed mechanism in them. The mechanism can be quite expensive, which probably explains why it's not more common. There are situations where it is ideal however. If you have a big budget, and a small space, it might be the best option. If you have a tiny budget, keep in mind that you can prop a twin mattress against a wall or behind a desk or couch without any fancy hardware. It won't get you in any decorating magazines, but you will get some more floor space when you need it. Don't forget that murphy bunk beds are a possibility.
Going vertical is a great way to clear up floor space in a small room or studio, especially if the ceilings are higher than average. You can build your own built in platform, or use a freestanding loft bed.
If you go with a conventional bed, make sure you can store a lot under it. You can go with drawers, or the less expensive method would be storage bins under a high bed frame.
These have the advantage of looking like a conventional couch when folded up. Some styles may make your studio apartment look a little more prosperous, but the ones that look like a proper couch tend to have a bar that hits just the wrong place under your back. Almost very time I've had to sleep on one, I took the mattress out and put it on the floor to avoid that problem. That's a bit of a pain. The all foam ones avoid that problem, but they lack support and sophistication as a sofa.
Box beds, press beds
There was a tradition in Scotland and Holland of building boxes to place the beds in through the 19th century. This could be an effective way to hide the bed, and effectively build another room into a space either free standing, or built in. More information can be found here: http://www.oldandinteresting.com/box-beds.aspx
Cupboard beds, or boxes did have a reputation for being hard to rid of bed bug infestations, but they were warm in the winter.