Is it OK for Kids to Sleep in the Closet?

When my wife and I built our house, we added two small bedrooms upstairs with kids in mind somewhere down the road. As I was framing the closets in each room they took on a weird shape, due to the fact that the house is a cape with a short knee wall and the upstairs rooms have steeply sloped ceilings. As a result, the closets are long, angular affairs, with one end 30 inches high and the other about eight feet. At the time I wasn't sure how efficient they would be as closets (glad to report they work pretty well), but after they were enclosed I could definitely see my eight-year old self happily sleeping inside, nestled in my secret cave, invisible to the rest of the world.

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While this flight of fancy was a nice respite from the laborious task at hand, now that I have a child, I am wondering how realistic the idea is? The closets are roughly 3'x9'. Finding a mattress to fit the space proved easy enough, and if the child sleeps feet towards the short end there will still be plenty of room left over for clothes rods and shelving on the tall side. Of course, with no bed in the room, there will be ample space for a dresser or wardrobe, so storage is not my main concern. It is the propriety and practicality of it, I guess.

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Is it OK to have your kid sleeping on a mattress on the floor of their closet? Will changing the sheets be a nightmare? What about sleepovers, will they be ruined? And I understand that proper airflow is a concern as well, which I imagine can be easily addressed by adding a vent or even widening the doorway a bit.

Has anyone out there done this, and if so, how did it work out? This inquiring mind wants to know.

(Images: Richard Popovic)

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