6 Loft Bed Ideas For Low-Ceilings (And Small Rooms)

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If you’ve ever lived in a small apartment, you know the struggle of maximizing your limited space.

I remember that feeling all too well. My husband and I had just moved to New York as newlyweds, from the other side of the world, where space was NOT an issue.

As an incoming grad student, I was expecting to live the tiny shoebox apartment life. But I think I wasn’t quite prepared for just how much creativity was required to arrange furniture, so we don’t constantly bump into things (or each other).

Our agent suggested adding a loft bed, but I didn’t listen to him because I thought it would get too complicated, and I thought our studio apartment didn’t have a high-enough ceiling.

As I learned many years later, I was over-estimating the difficulty. Also, there are many ways to arrange a loft bed in a space with low ceilings, as you will learn in this article.

Now, I will say that my non-loft-bed shoebox studio apartment did teach me a lot of personal growth lessons, buuut, had I just been willing to put up with a little bit of inconvenience and actually installed a loft bed, we could have spared ourselves from a lot of unnecessary discomforts (and probably stupid fights).

If you’re in a small space with low-ceiling, and you’re (smartly) thinking about installing a loft bed to maximize space, here are some ideas:

1. Wall-to-wall loft beds

One of the easiest ways to take advantage of low-ceiling space is to bolt your loft bed to the wall. The design possibilities are endless. You can bolt it to two opposite walls, or the corner walls if you want to take up less space. Underneath your loft bed, you can stack multiple shelves, or just build a comfy reading nook.

Check out this multi-level loft-bed , or this one with a mini tv area and couch, or this one that incorporates a comfy couch and reading area for inspiration.

2. Floating loft beds

If you’re not really keen on the wall-to-wall thing, another possibility is to bolt your loft beds into the ceiling.

I’m talking about a floating loft bed. You know, one of those things that hangs like a chandelier but is actually a bed? It wouldn’t really work in an apartment with high ceiling (I mean technically you can make it work, but it would require a lot of design effort and also the safety and height situation would not be ideal at all).

But if you have a low ceiling, the possibilities are endless! Check out this one made by custom-made. If you want to get all technical, they call this a bunk bed, but personally, I consider this a loft bed.

Here’s another example of a design in an actual loft, if you want to put an office under your loft bed.

And if you’re a DIY type of person, check out this person’s experience building a simple (but extremely versatile) floating loft bed:

3. Mounted box loft bed 

Max & Lily Low Loft Bed, Twin Bed Frame For Kids With Slide and Curtains For Bottom, White/Blue

If you don’t like the idea of bolting your loft bed to the wall or to the ceiling (and hey, I totally get it), you might want to go for a box-like design. So instead of just mounting your bed frame to the wall, you get a box that you can put a bed frame in, and then mount that to the wall. 

Unsure what I mean? Take a look at this one from Ikea, or this one from Wayfair . This one comes with a built-in closet and drawers, if storage space is what you’re after. 

4. Loft beds with retractable features

Twin Loft Bed with Desk, Low Study Loft Bed Frame with Storage Cabinet and Rolling Portable Desk for Kids and Teenagers, Twin Size, White

If you want to step-up your space-saving, consider opting for a design that is retractable. Your loft bed doesn’t have to be retractable, but perhaps the space underneath your space might be. You might have a desk or reading nook underneath that you can fold to the wall. Or an extra bed in case you have visitors and you don’t want to share your bed.

This one from Amazon has a desk and cabinet, while this one from Wayfair has a built-in desk and a foldable nook.

5. Closet loft beds

South Shore Tiara Loft Bed with Desk, Twin

One of the main things I struggled with when living in a small space was lack of closet space (if there is even any). If there is a closet, it usually also serves as the only storage space. 

A closet loft bed can go a long way in adding storage space. Unconvinced? Just take a look at this image where the bed is on top of a walk-in closet. Or if an open closet is what you would prefer, you can look to this one as an inspiration

6. Platform loft beds

Concord Junior Loft Bed, Full, Cappuccino

If you’ve made it this far in the article and you’re thinking, hell, my ceiling is still far too low for any of these options. Well, you might want to opt for a platform loft bed.

It’s essentially a normal bed on a slightly elevated platform so that you have room underneath for storage space. What you choose to do with that storage space is completely up to you. This one has a built-in dresser as well as a nightstand/coffee table. Yes, it’s technically marketed as a kid’s bed, but it’s more of a design idea.

Related: How to figure out the ideal loft bed size for your room

The struggle of living in a small space is real. But there are ways to make it comfortable (and avoid unnecessary arguments with your significant other or roommate). Consider installing a loft bed to create more space in a small, low-ceiling apartment when it isn’t plentiful. You’ll be really really glad you did.

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