Tiny house living is great, it is a complete dream… until you realize that you will bang your head on the roof of your low loft most nights, and you start getting cramp due to climbing up and down a ladder several times a day (to access your loft bedroom)! Okay, maybe we are exaggerating slightly: but the reality of tiny house living is that a loft bedroom will be frustrating at times. Plus if you have any disabilities, you might not be able to access a bedroom in your loft space. Thankfully this does not mean that you are precluded from living in a tiny home.
Having a downstairs bedroom can solve a lot of problems. They are easy to access, they free up your loft for storage, they use up space downstairs which may otherwise be unused, and they give you much more headroom.
How To Have A Downstairs Bedroom
In its simplest form, a downstairs bedroom can simply mean having a pull out couch. This is often what we recommend if you want multiple bedrooms in your tiny house as this is an easy way to offer a sleeping area to multiple people. This approach can work out well even for couples, as you can get double pull out couches. However not everyone will want to use a pull out couch as their primary ‘master bedroom’, and this is completely understandable.
In this case, the two other ways that you could have a downstairs bedroom – and crucially a bed with a good quality mattress which fully supports your body – are:
- Install a proper pull-down bed. Buying and installing a proper wall-mounted pull down bed can be a really great solution, one which can be easy to overlook. Modern pull down beds are very safe and will not ‘accidentally’ fall down: they will only come down when you specifically pull it down. They can also sit over the top of other furniture in some cases, which means that they can be a great space saving measure. In other words, you can have a living room during the day but convert this into a bedroom area with a proper bed at night (i.e. with the bed sitting above some of your living room furniture).
- Build a dedicated downstairs bedroom. When planning out your tiny house, you could allocate space for a specific bedroom. This does not have to mean that your tiny house will be too big to easily move on the highway, either: a standard double bed is just 54×75” (137x191cm). You do not have to have tons of room either side of it, and you can have wall shelves for storage (instead of also trying to find room for a wardrobe in your bedroom), meaning that you can find the extra space by just making the living room and kitchen a little smaller than you otherwise would have.
Photo And Video Examples
The gallery below shows examples of tiny houses with a downstairs bedroom/sleeping area to help give you some ideas of ways you can achieve this:
Advantages Of Tiny Houses with Bedrooms Downstairs
We think that tiny houses with a bedroom downstairs brings quite a few benefits, for example:
- Much more headroom. The headroom is very limited in a loft bedroom, sometimes as low as a couple of feet (61cm). A downstairs bedroom means that you have a full head height, meaning there is no risk of you banging your head in the middle of the night!
- Can fully stand up. Following on, having a full headroom naturally means that you can fully stand up and walk around in the bedroom. This compares to a loft bedroom where you will have to walk around hunch-back at best, whilst crawl around on the floor at worst! So downstairs bedrooms are a lot more convenient and will offer a better level of comfort in your tiny home.
- No need to constantly use a ladder to access your bedroom. Most loft bedrooms in a tiny house are accessed via a ladder (which is either fixed or attached to a runner). Some people love this, however it is not always practical. Ladders can be unsafe to use if you are rushing or do not follow basic safety principles, plus if you pick up an injury (or are disabled) you might be unable to access your loft bedroom at all!
- Much easier to move heavy or bulky items into your bedroom. Have a new mattress? Good luck moving that to your loft bedroom! Or you have bought a bunch of new clothes? Enjoy hauling them up your ladder. This compares to a downstairs bedroom which will easily allow you to move heavy or bulky items into it. This will also be a lot safer: trying to move heavy items up to a loft can cause sprains and other injuries.
- Frees up your lofts for what they do best: storage. Lofts are great for storage, and having quite a big empty loft space (which would have housed your bedroom) will give you lots of room to instead store items. Since storage is always at a premium in a tiny house, this will offer you really useful storage potential. You do not have to just have it as a dumping ground for your items either: you can build cabinets, shelves and rails to store items in a really organized way.
- Can potentially get a proper bed with proper mattress. As we explored earlier, a downstairs bedroom can give you the room to have a really good quality bed and mattress. This compares to a loft bedroom which often involves having a simple mattress on the floor (due to the limited headroom), which will never be as comfortable as a proper bed. 92% of Americans feel that a good quality mattress is the most important factor in getting a good night’s sleep, so we feel that this benefit is really worth stressing.
Of course, nothing is perfect: a downstairs bedroom will bring some disadvantages:
- Space downstairs is valuable. The downstairs contains key rooms: your living/hosting space, your kitchen and bathroom. You want these to be as spacious as possible, otherwise you could really start to regret skimping on their size. Imagine trying to cook a meal but constantly hitting into things, and never really having enough space for all your cooking utensils: and then realizing that you have tons of free space above your head, which are currently just used for storing a few random items.
- Two big storage lofts might be overkill. Having both of your lofts in use for storage could lead to you having 100 square foot (10 square metres) of storage space. This is great, but also maybe a bit too much. Will you really have enough items to store here? You might do if you are a hoarder, but if you are then a tiny house might not be suitable for you anyway!
- Making your tiny house a bit too big to transport. A downstairs bedroom – along with a good size living room, kitchen and bedroom – could make your tiny house a bit too big. This can cause you some headaches when trying to move your tiny home to a new location: if your home is too wide, you might need special permits to transport it. So be cautious and try not to break this limit.
- Usually costs more to buy. If you are looking to buy a ready made tiny house, ones with a downstairs bedroom can sometimes cost more than similar models with a loft bedroom. This is because there is more to ‘fit in’ to the downstairs, requiring a bit more design and build complexity than ones with an ‘out of the way’ loft bedroom. This is not always the case (Tumbleweed Tiny House models are the same price – for the same model and length trailer – whether they have a downstairs or loft bedroom), but can often be.
- You do not need a ladder for a loft bedroom. If the main thing putting you off a loft bedroom is the use of a ladder, you will be pleased to know that you can always use a proper staircase or even Tansu stairs to access the loft. Plus with Tansu stairs, you will end up with lots of extra storage: a win-win! Hence if space allows, moving to a proper staircase will be safer than using a ladder to access your loft bedroom.
Companies Who Offer Downstairs Bedroom Tiny Homes
Quite a few tiny house companies offer downstairs bedrooms, so we would firstly suggest that you check out our tiny house builder directory for builders in your area and get in touch with them.
However a few bigger tiny house companies who offer the option of downstairs bedrooms are:
- ESCAPE whose Traveler 26’ model allows you to choose between a downstairs or loft bedroom. This retails at $66,000 with financing available from $419 per month.
- Tumbleweed Tiny Houses who offer a few models with downstairs bedrooms. For example their Cypress 26’ model has downstairs twin bedrooms from $65,959 (which also come with a loft bedroom space, meaning 2+ bedrooms if you choose to use the loft for sleeping not storage).
- BB Tiny Homes allow you to customize your tiny home on their website, with various options for “first floor” (i.e. downstairs) bedrooms. Their Hudson 20’ model offers a downstairs bedroom space (albeit via more of a pull out couch approach) from just $39,000.