There are a several options from which people can choose when they are in need of occasional bed space. Overnight guests are not expected most of the time so other rooms in the house often double as guest bedrooms. It can be a den, a home office, the finished basement, a craft room, or even a small alcove. The possibility of utilizing the space differently on a full time basis is due to space saving beds. Futons, sleeper sofas, wall bed systems, roll-a-way beds, and wall beds are all feasible, but some save more space than others.
A roll-a-way bed is convenient because it can be removed from the room when not in use. That leaves the entire room free for other uses. The downfall to this option is that the bed has to be stored somewhere in the house. It will end up consuming a closet, being taken back and forth from the attic when needed, or placed in a corner of a room. Whether in a corner of a back room or in a closet, it will still take up valuable floor space.
Futons and sleeper sofas also take up floor space, but they have a dual purpose. Both can be folded to provide sitting areas when not needed as beds. The living room, for example, can become the guest room when company arrives on vacation, or for the holidays. The den, the entertainment or game room, and even a closed in porch can be transformed into sleeping quarters. There are a few limitations to these options to consider. They have thin mattresses so folding can take place, which may compromise comfort. The framing, wooden for most futons and metal for sofas, can also be uncomfortable.
Investing in murphy beds or wall beds save the most space because they both fold up out of the way, and take up no floor space when not in use. A murphy bed is a bit smaller and arrives in pieces that have to be assembled. The advantages to that include fitting into small apartments and being utilized in alcoves. It requires a bit more framing than a wall bed because it lifts up and down via tension springs. A wall bed arrives in one piece, which make it difficult to fit through some doorways. It utilizes gas pistons for movement, and the bed takes up six inches less space than a murphy bed. Either of these options have thick mattresses so they are the most comfortable of space saving bed options.