Small bedrooms with BIG beds??

homestylelisaFebruary 23, 2012

Hi again, everyone!

I am pondering another dilemma I have in my "small" space tonight - our kids bedrooms. All three rooms are small, but they have large beds - youngest (6) has a full, middle (10) has a 3/4 bed, oldest (13) has a queen. All beds were family hand-me-downs, so free beat practical and we shoved them in there.

Now we wonder if the rooms would feel more spacious if we downsized the beds. All the beds are showing their age, and should be replaced soon. Since we're replacing, should we scale down the size to make more room, or do you think it would be counter-intuitive to give growing children smaller beds? I've asked my oldest what she thought - I think she would definitely be willing to at least go from queen to full. The other two, who knows... maybe my reasons are selfish. We pushed the beds up against walls to make more floor space for playing, but that makes bedmaking a nusance. But, as they get older, maybe they won't care about floor space for playing, then we can center the beds on the walls and create walking room around the perimeter.

Just my own rambling thoughts on the matter - Would love your thoughts on this. Thanks again!

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my kids all had single beds. they lived - lol!

the only thing I'd be careful about is if any of them might be super tall in the coming yrs - then you might want one of those longer beds/mattresses for them.

for sleepovers they can use sleeping bags or an air mattress.

IF you might have the need to use one of their rooms for gpa/gma coming to visit and doubling up the kids you might want one to have a double bed. don't wanna squish gpa/gma into a single - or the sleeping bag/air mattress.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 8:39PM
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I'd keep the 13 year old in a full, or maybe a nice twin daybed...and put the younger kids, each in a twin. In five or six years, you can always upgrade again, if necessary.

Are the other kids girls, too? Or maybe a boy or two? I only ask, because sometimes boys (and girls) like a bunk bed or maybe a loft bed. They're are some great sales (and don't forget Craig's List) so who knows what you might find :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 9:28PM
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Yes, we have 2 girls, 1 boy - I am tall and height runs in my family so I do worry that if I "downsize" them into twins that they will grow out of them someday. But you bring up a good point that if that day comes, I can upgrade again if needed!

LavendarLass - why a twin daybed as opposed to a regular twin? Its funny you mentioned that because we were just looking at a twin daybed for our youngest - are they more practical than a regular twin - is there some advantage?

If these large beds weren't hand-me-downs, I would have just purchased twins in the first place. Sometimes you force yourself to like something when its free. ;)

I did note today while researching bed sizes that you actually have one inch room by yourself in a twin bed than you do sharing a king with a partner. (not that my kids will be having "partners" in their beds often, but that did help me reason with the size difference a little bit)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Kids are more concerned about their play/active spaces than they are with the bed itself. If you got a twin bed with a trundle, that could satisfy the need for sleep-overs a lot.
And with your oldest child, a girl, a full size bed with storage built beneath, and maybe curtained at the ceiling line (hung securely by wood members ceiling mounted) would satisfy a desire for romantic and girly. IF you have a girly girl and not a tomboy, that is.

When we redid the two upstairs bedrooms in the cape, so our granddaughters could visit comfortably, I got three identical twin bed headboards. I think the headboards with just frames, or maybe with the trundle under a bed having a footboard as well, could work very well. If you get twin beds, be sure to look for the kind with storage drawers beneath. Always build in as much storage as possible. Do not get bedside TABLES, get small chests with drawers. I always found the small chests perfect for underwear or maybe pajamas. Or instead of small bedside tables/chests, get the low larger chests that fit the spaces with as much storage as possible.

The twin beds come in a TALL TWIN. Look for that. You can really benefit from just a headboard, and getting a TALL TWIN FRAME and TALL TWIN MATTRESS. Or, if your DH is handy, let him and your son together build a frame for only a mattress, forget the box spring.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 12:03AM
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We put our boys in the IKEA [Trumso] twin loft beds so they could have desks underneath their beds. Doing this left lots of open floor space, which made the 12'X12' room look much bigger, and there was enough floor space for sleeping bags in the event of a sleepover. The lofts, themselves, were around $300 total for both, and we just kept the twin mattresses we had for them. Even though making the beds--more specifically-- changing the sheets is an Olympic event, this has been a great solution for us. BTW, I turned the sheet duties over to the boys quite a while ago. ;^)

HOWEVER, they are growing LIKE WEEDS right now, and I am resigned to the fact that those twin beds are soon going to be too short for my football-playing sons. We will probably then go to the same X-Long Twin beds that are in college dorms OR we will move one of the boys into the basement (as we finish it) and they can each have full-sized beds, which would be good also when guests come to visit. Of course we would need to FINISH the basement rather quickly, as one of our boys is now in high school. *gasp* *shriek*

Maybe we'll keep the idea of the IKEA loft, but just make it a full size instead. It's not like we have a *whole lotta* time to make these decisions, so I am kindasorta in the same boat as the OP. GAAAH!

FWIW, when I went to college, and lived in the dorms, we lofted our beds to make for more floor space, and it was rather nice. We, of course, had to build our own lofts, so it is nice to see that IKEA has really affordable options.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:55AM
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I like a daybed, because you can stack lots of pillows on the ends...and they're more girlie. I have a white one in my sitting room (long story) but the kitties and I enjoy it everyday! LOL

I'm tall and the advantage to a full bed is that you can lie down on the diagonal...rather than straight up and down, so your feet are less likely to hit the footboard. Of course if you don't have a footboard, that's less of a problem :)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:09AM
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I have raised a son and a daughter, so here is my take and their bedrooms were small to average size. Not at home to measure, but I think they are something like 11 X 12 or 10 X 11. Not sure.

First of all, when my kids were little they did not play that much in their rooms, so I was more focused on their beds, dressers, closets, etc. We didn't allow TV's in their bedrooms until they were around 10-12 years old. We always watched TV as a family.

I would get a full-size bed for your 13 year old daughter. My DD had a lot of sleep-overs and she and her friends did not mind sharing a bed. Heck, sometimes there would be 3 girls in a regular size bed! I'm talking all through high school. What she wanted was plenty of storage room for clothes and her STUFF.

If you have access to cheap twin size beds (Craigslist is full of them) I would put twin size in the boys rooms. They are still at the age that floor play space is more important to them. If you don't have a lot of money invested, you can always upgrade to full size as they grow. Again, just look on Craigslist.

The best thing I did for my kids' rooms to cut down on clutter was a tall bookshelf that had doors on the bottom half - cheap from Walmart - had to assemble - can't remember but I think they were around $70. Still have one. They held a lot of stuff - books, games, puzzles, trophys, bulky stereos with speakers, BFF pictures, the old bulky electronics games like the Nintendos - the list goes on and on. The section with doors hid the really messy stuff that kids seems to accumulate.

When DD was a toddler, we put her in a twin bed in the front part of our BR (kind of like a dressing area) and I decorated it like a day bed by putting two big fluffy pillows across the back and one at the head. Nothing at the end.

There is a poster on here, valinsv, who redid her son't room on a budget and it turned out really nice. Maybe someone has a link to that to share for inspiration - I couldn't find it with this crazy search.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I'd go with a full bed for the 13 year old and twins for the younger kids.

If you have your kids make/change their own beds, both daybeds and bunk beds are harder to do than regular beds, even for adults. Bunk beds are really hard for smaller kids and shorter adults. It's a matter of what you want their rooms to look like on a daily basis and how much work you want to do to achieve that.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Not to rain on anyone's parade but PLEASE be careful about buying a used mattress. Remember, bedbugs are with us again!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 4:18PM
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I wouldn't get a used mattress from anyone but my sister or a very close friend! you can get the frames on CL and the mattresses at a mattress store on one of their MANY sales. should be one at least around Memorial day!

might as well look for the long ones now and you might not have to switch again later. if the space isn't needed for their feet now, maybe the dog can use that space - lol!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Get a used bed, not a used mattress! I thought that went without saying...but I'm glad Happy girl mentioned it :)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Sophie Wheeler

XL twins aren't that much more than regular twins, and that is what they'll be dealing with when they go away to college, so they might as well get used to it now! You can also find a XL twin trundle bed that can pull out and lock with the bed to make a king sized mattress if you have any guests. (All you need is a king sized mattress pad and sheets in reserve.) That would be what I'd look for instead of a full sized bed for your girl's room.

Also, look at the vertical dimension. If you have 8' ceilings, then a higher than normal storage bed/loft bed will help to take advantage of that. You can also look at the pull down storage units designed to be installed above garage doors and put that above a standard storage drawer bed.

Look at organizing the closets better. Not many people need a lot of double height hanging space, but that is the way all closets come to you from the builder. Make sure you have mostly double hung space shelving with dividers that help to keep things tidy.

Look at how easy it is to access the attic space and how much you use it. Look at ways to make that easier and more accessible. That may mean installing a better quality attic stair, or an additional attic stair in the home's main hallway as well as installing additional height to the rafters so as to not squash the insulation and then decking additional space. Out of season clothes can be squirreled away there rather than in the closets, as well as one single medium sized "memory box" that the child is allowed to place memorabilia into. There is no sense in storing every single trophy and academic paper for years on end only to throw them out when the kid is 40 and you realize they're never coming back to get this stuff.

Of course, in a small space, purging unused toys and clothes on a semi annual basis is a MUST!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 11:13AM
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Glad the above posters mentioned bedbugs...having heard of the horror stories of a number of people in my area suffering through bedbug hell, I would never recommend buying a used wooden bed frame at all. However, some other areas may not yet be as careful!!!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 11:55AM
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Yes, indeed, the used BEDS and not the mattress - that is a given! Our current handmedowns all came from within our close family and were "like new".

DesertSteph - you read my mind. I was wondering how I could make this new bed purchase last until the kids were out! Maybe within XL twins lies the answer.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 1:33PM
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What do your kids think? It is their rooms. My DM saved adn finally bought me a new bedroom set when I was about 12. It had a twin bed (my previous one was a full). I never forgave her, as much as I loved her. I promised myself I would NEVER own a twin again. I kept my promise until last year when I got a daybed with a trundle for my seldom used guest bedroom.
Ask them.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Cute story, jaysmom - so what did you hate about the twin bed?

I have asked my oldest DD about her bed - I think she likes the queen she has in there. It probably could limp along a few more years, actually - its just so darn BIG in her tiny room. BUT, she spreads out on it a lot and draws, or her and her BFF will perch on it and discuss life. So, even though it takes up a lot of room, she uses the surface of her bed as she would probably be using the floor. She is not in the "toy stage" like my youngest still is.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Growing up I always angled my bed a bit. Kept it mostly in the corner, but made changing the sheets so much easier and was handy if I had a friend stay the night - we could each get out on our own side instead of having to crawl over the other person.

A queen bed is longer than a twin or a full. A lot of people only think about the width. A full bed is 54 x 75 inches, and a queen is 60 x 80 inches. A regular twin is 39" wide x 75" long and a XL twin is 39" wide x 80" long. If you have tall kids, a queen or XL twin would be better than a full or a regular twin.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 12:40PM
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AA, your information is so appropriate. I was thinking that getting a full size bed was a waste of money, if the person is going to be TALL. I have to put up with my DH liking to sleep on the DIAGONAL, and it drives me crazy. Not that I'm neurotic, but I worry about getting injuries on my feet and legs, since I am diabetic. And so I have to curl up with limited space. We did get a queen size bed instead of a full size, and it makes a bit of a difference. I do not like a king bed because it takes up so much "air" space, and I like a room to feel spacious.

Yeah, the XL Twin is the best solution to rooms with one sleeper--or even to rooms with two in separate beds. Even if you do not have a storage bed, they have bed elevators so you can put boxes on wheels beneath the bed, and hide what is there with a good home-sewn bed skirt.

Once I put a twin bed on the diagonal in a bedroom, the long way, and then I took the triangular space created and added two pair of bifold closet doors (almost free because folks were removing them wholesale for a while) behind the bed, so I could store seldom-used items back there. I also hung one of those mosquito net Mombasa thingies over the bed to make it look really sexy, and it was gorgeous. Somewhere I have a picture of the setup, which was my guest room at MoccasinLanding.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 2:56PM
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I don't like twin beds for anyone and your kids are just going to get bigger. We are tiny people and I don't know how anyone sleeps on a twin. I would go with a full XL, if they are going to be tall. Really think about this in the long term. How old are your kids and how long do you expect the mattress to last?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 2:03PM
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You might be very surprised just how many adults are sleeping on pricey xl twins. My parents just bought a set. Why? To create a split king. They have the memory foam bed on the adjustable base. Two xl twins are used so that each side can move independently.

If the kids are going to go to college and live in the dorm, they will probably be xl twins. When my husband and I first got married, we used two twin mattresses pushed togethed with a foam piece in the middle all under king sized bedding. Never bothered us.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 2:59PM
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I'm 5'11" tall and I grew up sleeping on a twin bunk bed. I never had a problem with it. Then............ as an adult I graduated to a queen bed and I thought it was heaven! What a difference it made to have that extra room.
Twins are fine, but I think bigger kids will appreciate the extra space in a queen.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 4:53PM
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My kids both had trundle beds in their rooms and had no complaints. Their rooms were 10x10 and when the trundles are pulled out, there's barely room to walk between the beds.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 6:01PM
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My girls shared a 9'x11' room for many years. We tried quite a few bed arrangements. We started with two full beds but that didn't leave much floor space. We changed to a twin over full bunkbed and that worked better space wise. When they were 12 we changed to two fullsized futons. That worked pretty well, gave them floor space and a nice sitting area when the futons were in the sofa position and a little more sleeping space too. In the end we went with twin sized beds and that's what they are still using.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:29AM
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Slightly OT. What do you think a 12 x11 is? Small, medium, or large? It easily fits a queen size bed, king size is cramped. I am 62, so I remember when it would be considered large. Other people call them tiny. These are kids rooms.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 4:37PM
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When I worked on a boat in the offshore oil field, the bunks were 29" wide. They made mattresses that wide to fit them.

The twin bed size is 36" wide, and so are day beds. Regular twins are 75" long. The longer XL Twin is the same length as the Queen bed, which is also six inches WIDER than the FULL mattress. It does make a big difference having that little bit of space for TWO SLEEPERS. For one sleeper, I think the twin width is fine, just add the greater length when dealing with tallness.

Meanwhile, someone mentioned the Murphy beds, and they have sent me off on a tangent thinking about one for our living room which might become our guest room. But, we shall see.
My family generally stays in a beach cottage when they visit, and my DH's family like doing a bed and breakfast in the historic part of Mobile. So no problem with sleep-overs.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 7:04PM
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If the beds have regular frames with legs, you could get risers like college kids use. They're inexpensive and would give them some space to keep toys or clothes underneath and free up floor space for playing.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 11:32AM
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JamesNana, that sounds like a medium sized room to me. Our first house had 12x12 bedrooms and I thought they were plenty big. But 10x10 seems so small to me with the same furniture.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Once my kids were in their teens, they voted for full or queen size beds with storage/shelves underneath. Did homework/reading/TV watching there, too. Even in college, they got rid of their XL twin beds asap.

Here is a link that might be useful: storage bed with Expedit bookcases

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 3:30PM
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My kids are now 23 and 20 YO, both still living at home while attending college (which is free and literally 3 blocks away thus explaining their extended residency :). Both are relatively tall, at 6'1" and 5'10".

My son is the 23 YO, and he has a full in his room. My daughter has a queen. We put those in several years ago and it seems to have worked out. My thoughts:

-For a girl, a queen is really a nice size if the room can fit it. As my daughter grew into her teens, she increasingly wanted to be in her room, nested in the bed from which she controls her empire. Teens don't really need any floor space as they aren't 'playing' anymore. But they do love to noodle on the computer, talk or text on the phone, watch tv...all of which is more pleasant in a bigger bed.

-In general, girls will share a bed with someone staying overnight but boys will not. So for a girl, a queen makes having a guest much more comfortable. Boys or at least my guy will sleep on the floor rather than bunk in the bed together. Thus, the double for my son has worked. Occasionally when someone stays over we'll haul out the air mattress and that works.

-Having larger beds gives you more flexibility about guest accomodations in general. If you have someone visiting and need bed space it's nice to be able to offer a guest couple a queen size bed.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 12:56PM
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LOL at "nested in the bed from which she controls her empire".

So true. My 28yo moved back home in Sept (and yes we are counting the days until she can move out), and she spends a lot of time in her room on her bed.

My in-laws traded in their queen bed for two twins when they were having sleeping problems. Mil says they both sleep better now. I sleep on a twin when we visit dd#2, but like others said, they aren't really for tall people. Dh is 6'4" and it's either a queen or he takes up the whole full bed sleeping diagonally.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 1:11PM
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I had a twin all the way through high school (I'm a 5'7" girl). No complaints here - a full would be generous.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 3:27PM
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Ahhh, the days of Ozzie and Harriett when couples slept in twin beds. I think Darren and Samantha slept in twins too?
That was when the Motion Picture Code kept the movies and TV on the up and up. Things sure have changed in the movies.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 10:44AM
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I'd like to rework my spare bedroom. It's small, about 10x10 and currently dominated by a queen sized bed. There's really not much room for anything else besides a small tv stand, bookcase and nightstand. I love having a bed made up and available, but the reality is, my grown daughter maybe stays over 6 times a year, for one night. I'd like to better utilize the space, maybe for crafts/projects, while still being able to press it into service for overnight guests.

A day bed with trundle would be an improvement. It would still take up a lot of space, but some room would be freed up. My other thought is get an air bed, not to leave up permanently, but to bring out if someone stays over. The only problem I see with that is I'd probably have to move stuff around that would occupy the room.

Thoughts, ideas?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 12:48PM
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I have posted this some where here before and have forgotten where so will do it again.

We have a guest room 9 by 13. No closet. Anyway I use a futon. I am not in love with it and if I had it to do over I would have bought some thing nicer but it works and we have been using it for about 7 years as a guest bed and guests are fine with it. Do not want to make them too comfortable you know.............

I use the room for my sewing and the sewing table I use is also a desk so if I need quiet time on my computer I go in there. I can also use the futon as couch for reading if my DH is watching some thing annoying on TV. And I also some times use the futon as a napping space with out opening it up.

I think a day bed would be so much prettier and maybe some day. But the one guest we have most often is tall so the full size futon is better for him so he can do a corner to corner thing.

I used to have the always made up bed in the guest room for the company that rarely comes and had a very hard time in my brain changing to the futon and as soon as I did it I was soooooooooo happy about it. I only have to move the desk chair to open out the futon.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 2:03PM
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We have done the futon thing in the past too, and I liked that arrangement, especially for a 10x10 sized room

For a longer room, for someone reading for ideas, also consider a murphy bed. We have a long, skinny guest room, and I keep thinking about turning that Q bed into a murphy bed for storage most of the time, so I can use the rest of the space (which would end up being about 10x9, in my case). I think Murphy beds take up about 2 feet of space when they are closed, so not sure if in a 10x10 room it would be the best use of space.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Idaho and Kirkhall, thanks for your replies. I really have to get over the idea that I need a fully made up bed in my spare room; it's not getting used enough to warrant not being able to use the room for anything else. I do need to be able to create a bed in there. I'm afraid that a futon or a day bed is still going to take up a lot of room and how comfortable are they for lounging? I should also mention that I live alone so it's not like I have to carve out a space to separate concurrent activities. I'd like to be able to sew somewhere other than my dining table.

What about an air bed? It would give me a queen size sleeping arrangement only when I need it. If not, it doesn't have to be in the room. I'm also thinking about a loveseat that opens into a twin sleeper. I've had futons in the past, and I'm just not crazy about the form factor.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Totally agree with you on the form factor of the futon. I am not loving it either. But we have it and until I find some thing better in my price range.

It is very comfortable to nap on left in the couch position. Also to sit on and read. I pull the desk /sewing table chair over for feet up position. It is a small cheerful room that makes me happy to be in. Our company said the futon is great for a few days. He usually spends 4 or 5 nights with us at a time. I added a foam topper on it.

Drawbacks on other sleeping options. Twin love seat sleeper will not be long enough for our friend. He sleeps cross wise on the full sized futon.

The click clack couches are darling but also too short. We have cats that will claw so air bed is out of the question. LOL

The nicer looking couch futons are so uncomfortable. Fold out beds usually have the bars in them in the center of your back unless you can get the ones with springs all around the edges and a mat to hold the mattress.

AND the fold out beds take up more floor space when open if that is an issue for you. You should be fine in a 10 by 10 room though.

I would think my best option should I ditch the futon would be a murphy. But then I do go in there and nap on the futon some times so that would be over with. Also when I am sewing I find myself sitting down on the futon to do little bits of hand work when needed. We did buy the upgraded mattress.

I am not trying to talk you into a futon at all because I totally think they are ugly as sin. I did doll mine up with pretty comforter and pillows and a friends granddaughter said the guest room is very girly. LOL

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 9:13PM
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I love all these responses--I never knew so many folks thought of twin beds as being too small for a person. I had a twin until I was mid 20's and never thought anything of it. My DDs are teens and all have twins, with no complaints.

While they don't use their floor space for playing, they DO use it for yoga/pilates/hula hooping or whatever their latest exercise phase is.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 9:36AM
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I want to use my 10x10 room as a sewing room again when dd leaves. I had to take everything out when she moved in and I can't find anywhere to spread out and sew. Dh hates it when I have stuff on the table and have to move it to eat.

I've decided that I will build a Murphy bed. I had thought our nice air mattress would be fine, but I just spent 4 nights on it and while it is fine for one person, I will not do that to a couple. We splurged for the nicer one with a base, two people tend to roll to the middle.

I love one of the twin mattress we bought for our trundle, and think I am going to try to raise my full bed so it can roll under it.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 11:35AM
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I'd highly suggest a bunk bed or loft bed setup. Make sure to measure and layout your potential design of the room before purchasing all of your furniture. We bought our bunks at and it's amazing how much floor space it opened up. Our kids also enjoy the trundle bed we bought for when they have sleep overs.

Here is a link that might be useful: bunk beds

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 9:40PM
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Ah, the spammers are covering bases, using more recent threads, too. You'd think they'd realize they're less credible when they post a bunch all at once.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 9:56PM
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