Single or double bed if space is tight?

Okay so I have a slightly awkward room, in that once you stick a double bed in you have minimal room and bed needs pushing against a wall. There’s a fireplace which means not much choice of where bed goes.
When I had lodgers, I think they preferred a double bed despite the room size. Even my lodger who never had a bf round asked to change to double because she found it awkward to sleep in a single… she was about 5’11, she said it was her height. Anyway I get that now I’m used to a big bed too…

But I wonder if people are staying a month (I do get a few staying this long)or less which would be the priority - bed size or the space?

I actually have a double bed in there now. I want to get rid of this bed for something lighter (it has a big clunky headboard attached and a very heavy base) as I think that will help … but since I’m changing beds anyway I wonder weather to go for a small double or a single… any thoughts please?


Is a Murphy bed an option for the space? That way you could have a larger bed AND also space.


I would keep the double bed and just get a lighter headboard and no foot board, as long as you have space for two small end tables. You can even do two floating shelves as end tables so visually it looks lighter. I have also seen “headboards” painted directly on the wall. They sell stencils on Amazon.

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Thank you for the suggestion. I had to look it up as wasn’t familiar with the name. I think if a double bed is preferred, I can fit it in, even though it’s a bit tight. I think putting the bed away every day could be off putting, possibly more so as I use heavy mattresses.

I think I forgot to say but I only take one person in the room at a time, regardless of the bed size…

Well, given that I would absolutely get a single bed. I’d still consider (accept/reject) the Murphy bed as it will provide a lot of space. If you go the Murphy bed route, be sure that the mattress thickness is appropriate for the Murphy bed (the mattress can be only so thick).

Some Murphy beds come with cabinets above so it provides nice storage options.

I have to say that I think Murphy beds and any kind of pullout or unfolding bed is kind of nuts. That includes sleeper sofas. Assuming the space occupied by the bed is intended to be useful during the day, what the heck do people do with the things that take up the bed’s space?

Too much work and very awkward, in my opinion. I wouldn’t stay at a place that required me to pull out or unfold the bed at night.

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I’m usually a strong proponent of tables and lamps on both sides of the bed, but I f it’s only for one, l would keep the double and push it against the wall (or with just enough space to aid in making the bed). I think people like to stretch out a bit.

Thank you for this useful feedback. I get them if you’re desperate but I don’t think we need it enough and I also wouldn’t want to have to pack the bed away so glad to hear that’s not just me

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Murphy beds are great for rooms that only get used occasionally for sleeping, Like when a person has friends or family come to visit. The rest of the time it might be a home office, a sewing room, etc. But I agree that as a permanent sleeping option in a short or long term rental, it doesn’t make much sense.

@Bosty64 I have only ever hosted solo guests in my home share private room. The room, like yours, is only really big enough for a single bed and still have ample space to move around rather than the room feeling cramped. None of my guests has ever expressed an issue with it being a single bed. But I do only take maximum two week bookings. I have said to the tall guests- "Oh, your feet will probably hang off the bottom, and the response has been "That’s okay- I’m used to that’. :rofl: Kinda like really tall people get used to ducking when they go through doorways, even though most doorways are high enough for them.

What you can do, though, is get an extra long single. That will accommodate tall people, but not take up more space widthwise. And make sure the bed is super comfy. I actually get a lot of compliments from guests on the bed- some say they haven’t slept that well in years and one guest wrote in the review that the bed was “divine”.

I like the extra long single idea. Or you could do a full size corner daybed like this:

Okay, maybe something like that but with more padding. That one looks very low to the floor.

I agree with keeping a double bed with a minimal frame. I usually hate double beds against the wall, but if you only take one guest at a time, it should be fine. You should also only need one nightstand and light with that set up. If you are in the US, people seem to be favoring larger beds. I can’t speak for the rest of the world’s preferences.

I agree there doesn’t seem to be an issue with single beds. I have a single bedroom and no one has complained about the single bed either. But then they’ve booked a room with a single bed so it would be an odd complaint!

With the double there will be just enough room to walk round three sides. There’s a desk by the window and I’m trying to make a small built in wardrobe to the right of the fireplace (the desk is in the recess on the opposite side of the fireplace).

With a single bed you’d be able to walk all round the bed and there would be about thirty percent more walking/ visual space. But I’m thinking maybe the double bed and extra sleeping space will be more appealing than the space…

I think either single or double will be fine, I’m just wondering which to go for.

As I said, I think a room feeling more spacious rather than cramped is preferable. And you could even have a single still pushed against the wall on one side (there really isn’t much need to be able to walk on both sides if it’s only a bed for one, aside from ease of making the bed). You could try it both ways, with some walking space on both sides, and pushed against the wall, leaving a larger space on the open side and see which way feels better. I’ve seen some Airbnb rooms pictured where there is barely room to open the door, or even that it can’t fully open, which looks and seems a very poor arrangement.

We host a tiny space, a 1954 25’ trailer and the sleeping cabin is tight. We also host mostly romance minded couples. In the sleeping cabin is a double bed that is a memory foam mattress. The mattress and frame are custom: rounded on opposite corners, one to fit into a rounded corner and the other for a few square inches more of access space. It is pushed against the walls on 2 sides. I’ve certainly gotten used to changing it!

NO One has ever complained about this set-up. Some tall folks came too, naturally.

There is also a second double bed outside. Kind of like a canopy daybed that they can use for whatever. I suppose if they were squished a person could be in each bed.

If I were staying alone somewhere for more than a couple of nights, I would prefer a double.

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King Single? or a double bed on a frame that has almost zero footprint around it?
We have a koala bed at home and they are awesome, no tools required to put together, and no need to have bedside tables either as there is space behind the headboard and a little ledge around the bed. Perhaps there is something like this in your country too?

I must be missing something. I don’t understand how there isn’t a need for bedside tables. I don’t see anyplace to put a lamp or things people put on their bedside table nor the ledge around you are talking about. A ledge that’s just an extension of the base isn’t suitable for that. It’s attractive, but I don’t quite get what’s so special about it. It’s just a wooden base without a big headboard or footboard. Lots of bed bases are made like that.

Do they have King Singles where you live? Because I now sleep on an electric bed I have a KS which is plenty for me and the small dog.

I have clip-on lamps on ours. I’ve also made a shelf at the back and have a row of plants on it. there’s enough space behind the headboard to store a nice pile of books, water bottle and whatever else you need. the ledge is perfectly fine to put a book, phone and whatnot on. It’s a minimalist set-up, so assuming you don’t need a side table loaded with “stuff” it’s perfectly fine.

I agree it’s doable. In fact the room has a double bed in it now. But let’s say everyone said perfectly happy with a single, then May as well have the space.
A couple of people have said they wouldn’t want to be in a single for more than a day or two, which was helpful to know and based on this I’ve decided to go with a double - a small double

It’s so hard to advise on this without knowing the use of the room, your typical guest and how long they’re staying. Are your guests just using the room to crash while they go out and spend time in the area? Or are they are staying for a month for an internship? Or working from home?

What do you imagine that your guests would do with the extra space? Is it for their bags and clothes and stuff? Is it so they can do yoga in the mornings? Is it so they don’t bang their knees on furniture when they turn around?

Your answer lies in the answer to the question of what the extra space would be used for by your guests. Maybe they don’t need more space. But maybe they do.