Updated: Jan 9
Sleeping. We spend a third of our lives doing it, so the necessary equipment deserves thought and investment.
The battle between beds and campervans has been raging since the first van owner chose to sleep on four wheels. With most vans having hard limits on space, something as large as a bed and mattress can prove quite difficult to squeeze in.
But van lifers are known for their ingenuity, and have created a wealth of ways to ensure you get a good night’s sleep on the road. Here are nine creative bed ideas that not only offer night-time comfort, but ensure you retain plenty of usable space too.
1. Platform bed
Perhaps the most popular campervan bed option, a platform bed elevates a standard mattress from the floor of your van, granting room for storage, whether in the form of drawers that pull out from the rear of the van, or hydraulic arms that allow you to easily pull up the mattress and access the space beneath.
2. Fold-up/murphy bed
The studio apartment favorite can prove just as space saving in a campervan. Murphy beds – the type that fold up into a wall, can bless you with a huge amount of floor space that can be used for all sorts of activities, while also providing a stable and perfectly comfortable night’s sleep when they’re lowered.
3. Table bed
The concept is as simple as it is brilliant. By day you have a U-shaped couch that surrounds a central table, perfect for meals. When night comes, you use a central pole to lower the table to a height that matches the surrounding couches, then put a mattress on top. It’s a couch, dining table and bed all in one!
4. Futon/sofa bed
This is another apartment classic that has found new life in the campervan community. While futons and sofa beds may not have the greatest reputations, they’ve come a long way over the years, and now pair their space saving qualities with real comfort.
A sofa bed, but not as you know it. Often a custom-made item designed to fit into a specific space, flip bench beds create a flat, mattress-sized surface by flipping the top half over a pivot point positioned at the knee area, which sees the backrest of the bench become the legs of the bed on the opposite side.
6. Slider bed
Yet another couch/bed combo, slider beds have a base that features slats like crocodile teeth, that interweave when pushed together, but that provide enough strength and stability to form a comfortable bed when pulled apart. Sliders also often feature storage beneath the couch when the bed is folded away.
7. Drop down bed
To find the greatest waste of space in most campervans, just look up. While you should be careful not to install things that you’ll bump your head on, ceiling storage is so often a missed opportunity. Drop down beds aim to rectify that. These beds feature pulley systems that allow them to be lowered at night and raised in the morning, giving van lifers more floor space than any other bed option on this list.
8. Flarespace bed
In almost all campervans a standard mattress will only fit lengthways, causing it to take up a lot of room. Flarespace beds seek to solve this issue, by widening the interior of the van at the point that the mattress sits, giving it enough room to squeeze in sideways, and giving van lifers back a whole lot of floor space in the process.
9. Custom-made mattress
Does a mattress have to be a standard size, or even square? The answer to your campervan bed dilemma could be to get a mattress made to fit a very specific space. It could be thinner, shorter, L-shaped, U-shaped… the options are endless!
Ready to find your perfect night of campervan sleep? Our expert team at Drifter Vans are ready to help. Get in touch today!