10 of the Most Common Beds for Creating Your Dream Sleep Space

published Aug 2, 2023
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With so many types of beds on the market, it can be challenging to know which style is best for you. That’s why we went straight to the source for decorating advice: pro designers. Taking a variety of room sizes, sleep preferences, and aesthetics into account, a panel of design pros rounded up 10 common types of beds that are worth exploring as you furnish your space and search for a functional — and beautiful — focal point in your sleep space.

Keep reading to learn more about the positives and negatives of each style so you can hone in on your dream bed.

Credit: Kristin Karch

1. Bunk Bed

Bunk beds typically refer to two twin beds stacked on top of one another vertically, although it’s possible to find double bed bunks out there, too. This compact bed setup is particularly ideal for those looking to maximize their square footage or accommodate many guests in a home that’s short on space. Sets of bunk beds can even be placed side by side to sleep four or even six individuals in one room. 

Bunks aren’t solely for kids’ spaces anymore either, explains designer Allison Garrison of Allito Spaces. “Now, tricked-out adult bunk rooms are becoming popular in vacation homes, and I’m not mad about it,” she says. Of course, anyone with mobility issues will want to avoid bunk beds — or at least the top bunk — as crawling into bed involves climbing up a ladder, which requires a degree of agility and balance. 

2. Platform Bed

If your bedroom has low ceilings or you’re looking for a more streamlined sleeping setup, a platform bed, which sits low to the ground, is an excellent choice. Many platform beds are mid-century modern and/or minimalist in style, which makes them shine in a more contemporary setting. Low-slung furniture has its practical benefits, too. “Using a platform bed gives you the illusion that the room is taller,” notes Jade Joyner, principal designer and co-founder of Metal + Petal

Platform beds do not require a box spring, which may be a dealbreaker for some, and is a welcome change for others who’d like to forgo that extra expense in the first place. “If you have a traditional mattress and desire the extra airflow and motion transfer reduction that a boxspring offers, a platform bed is not the best choice,” Garrison explains, adding that this silhouette’s low height may make it difficult for some adults to get in and out of bed. 

3. Trundle Bed

If you like the idea of being able to accommodate guests on a whim but aren’t inclined to purchase a bunk bed, a trundle bed may be the right pick for you. Trundle beds feature two twin mattresses — one of which is tucked away in a drawer and can be pulled out as needed. Trundle beds are commonly used in guest rooms, kids’ rooms, and nurseries. They’re ideal for sleepovers, Garrison says. Adults, however, might not find sleeping on a trundle as comfortable, she adds, noting that these mattresses are generally thinner and offer less support than traditional beds.

Credit: Anna Spaller

4. Sofa Bed

Sofa beds refer to sofas that feature hidden mattresses inside that can be converted into beds. Sofa beds are excellent for small-space dwellers, who might not have space for a dedicated guest room but wish to be able to host visitors outside of their main sleeping quarters. 

Sofa beds can be placed in the living room, home office, or basement — really anywhere that can accommodate these pieces’ dimensions. “Sofa beds have come so far, and there are incredibly comfortable options on the market,” Garrison says. She encourages those considering a sofa bed to be mindful of how much room it will take up when fully assembled, noting, “You want to make sure there is space to walk around all sides.” 

Credit: Curated Nest

5. Divan Bed

Divan beds are winners for people with tiny bedrooms, Garrison says. These fabric-covered beds are designed to be the same size as their accompanying mattress. “They sometimes even include storage beneath, which is a nice added benefit in a small space, Garrison notes. However, she adds, keep in mind that divan beds typically do not feature substantial legs, which can sometimes make a room look cut off in size or slightly cramped.

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6. Frame-Only Bed

A frame-only bed does not feature a headboard or footboard and is a visually simple, more affordable option for sleeping. Keep in mind that these beds often look best with a skirt or bedding that obscures their utilitarian legs. “This isn’t a bad thing, but in a small space, it can feel blocky,” says designer Elizabeth Drake.

7. Sleigh Bed

Sleigh beds refer to designs that are — you guessed it! — shaped a bit like a sleigh, with headboards and footboards that curve upward and outward. These beds certainly have character and flair, and Drake finds that they automatically make a room feel cozier. If you want to go in this more traditional direction with your bed frame, just be sure your bedroom has the floor space for one. “It’s a bulky piece, so it’s a bit more cumbersome and heavy for a space,” Joyner shares. 

Credit: Mauricio Graiki / Shutterstock

8. Adjustable Bed

Adjustable beds can be positioned upward and lowered when needed, similar to a pool lounge chair. Not sure how to style an adjustable bed during the day? “Select bedding and decorative pillows to look like a chaise, keeping the back tilted up in ‘reading position,’” Drake says. If you’re the type of person who likes to read in bed, this style might be for you.

Credit: Emma Fiala

9. Loft Bed

Often used in small studio apartments and kids’ rooms, loft beds refer to instances where a mattress is positioned on a tall wooden structure that is open on the bottom — imagine a bunk bed without the bottom bunk. Most commonly, the area beneath a loft bed instead houses a desk, dresser, or floor pillows, depending on whether its owner craves a study space, additional storage, or a place to lounge. 

10. Poster/Canopy Bed

Four-poster beds feature posts on each corner that add height and a sense of grandeur to a sleep space. Canopy beds are similar; specifically, they feature fabric draped across the top of the posts, which softens the look and can introduce an additional pop of color and pattern. 

While these bed styles will certainly add a touch of glamor to any space, they are best avoided in smaller bedrooms, Drake cautions, as the size of the bed can be too overpowering in tighter quarters. “If you must, opt for a four-poster, but keep it in the middle of a wall — not wedged in a corner,” she advises.