How to design sleeping space in kid’s room without breaking the bank

single bed for shcoolchild

In this post, you will find out how to plan your child’s sleeping space for years ahead.

This part is one of the few posts about designing kid’s space and if you want to know more about the playing or storage space, get your copy of the guide from Design Home Space at the end of this post.

Let’s start with the essentials – bed frames and mattress sizes.

From a newborn to a teenager – bed sizes guide

It’s easier to design the room and shop for furniture with concrete numbers. First of all, take measurements of your room. Also, take note of the below size guide so you know what you are looking for in terms of mattress size. No doubt, it’ll save you time and hassle.

agetype of bedmattress size
newborn to toddlera cot
a cot bed
(a cot with removable sides and end panel – suitable for toddler bed)

toddler to schoolchildtoddler bed (small single-bed mattress)
schoolchild to teenagersingle bed190cmx90cm (UK) 200cmx90cm (EU)
teenagersmall double bed
190cmx120cm (UK) 200cmx120cm (EU)
regular double bed190cmx135cm (UK) 200cmx140cm (EU)
bed sizes for children from newborn to teenager

Nursery time, newborn time

Your journey with your baby starts here. And your journey with planning, arranging and designing your child’s room space starts here too.

From the very first days, you need to adjust to a sleeping routine for yourself and the baby. What can work for you both? Let’s look into co-sleeping solutions for mums and babies for the first few months.

Next to me crib, travel cot

One of the solutions for a perfect sleeping space is a next-to-me crib that keeps you close but still in your own space. This crib gives you and your child independence, comfort and safety. And still, you are within reach when needed. It’s easy to move from room to room,

Next to me is a crib ideal for breastfeeding mums.

Compact and light, can make your and your baby’s life easy from the start.

PIc. Chicco

how to design kids room sleeping zone
how to design kids’ room sleeping zone

Nursery’s design essential – cots

Yes, this is the first thing that comes to mind when designing a nursery. What cot you choose depends on your planning ahead. Mainly how much space you have at home and if there are other siblings to share it with or come after.

If you go for a cot in a nursery there are two types to note: a cot and a cot bed. What is the difference you may ask?

A cot

A cot is a baby’s bed with fixed sides and is dedicated to a child from newborn up to 2 years of age. Although a cot is used for shorter than a cot bed it is smaller in size and could fit in a parent’s bedroom. It is recommended to have your baby close to mum or dad for the first few months instead of independently in a nursery straightaway.

Pros and cons of a cot in a nursery:

+ usually lighter and smaller in size

+ easier to move it from the nursery to the parent’s room

– needs to be replaced quicker – prepare your budget!

A cot bed

A cot bed seems to be more economical for your child’s room design.

Because a cot bed has removable sides and is larger in size, it can be transformed into a toddler’s bed in future. Although larger in size, it is suitable for newborns and can last for longer than a cot.

Pros and cons of a cot bed in a nursery:

+ A ‘transformer; type of bed – transition from a cot bed to a toddler bed.

+ Same mattress, no hassle and no additional cost.

+ Protective barriers for safety at the start of a toddler’s life.

– need more space in a room

-heavier than a cot

How to design a toddler’s sleeping space-time

In designing an interior space it is important to think about its function. For toddlers, the rule of thumb in their room space is smaller bed sizes and more play space on the floor.

So, when we look at what is essential in designing a toddler’s room is a more holistic approach where a play, snooze and sleeping area are one big living and experimenting zone.

More minor children are constantly exploring, and moving and won’t stay in bed during the day. Instead, they like playing on the floor or sometimes snoozing there as well during the day.

It’s more natural for toddlers to have some soft playing or yoga mats around the room, for playtime and nap time.

Or, like the example below, it is also natural to have a floor bed and move freely from one space to another.

Floor bed – most economical, ergonomic and safe design

This sleeping solution certainly ticks all the boxes for safety and ergonomics in designing a toddler’s room. But what could be equally important for parents than a room design is the Montessori view. The floor bed solution for your child encourages self-confidence and independence in the early stages of life.

tent toddler's bed pic.Forbes

Floor bed design for toddlers is fun and practical.

Toddler’s tent bed – completely on the ground for tots to feel safe and independent.

Pic. Forbes

Toddler bed – essential facts you must know when arranging your child’s sleeping space:

  • bear in mind – safety over a fancy design. Some kid’s bed design looks impressive but you should focus on safe solutions for your child – no elements that can hit their head or eye.
  • the bed frame is relatively low in comparison to a single bed and usually has some protective barriers for the early transition from a cot to a bed to prevent falls at night
  • some toddler beds are floor beds for two reasons -1. safety 2. Encourage child independence and his/her ability to move from bed to play
  • toddler’s bed mattress size is 140cmx70cm which is the size of a cot bed

What is important when designing school children’s rooms and their sleeping spaces?

The next stage of your child’s life is the early education stage. Older kids especially when they enter the school routine and after-school activities sleep more and tend to lounge in their beds.

The room design must follow their important development steps and more importantly, should support their new ‘big boys and girls’ routine. And with these lifestyle transitions school kids need more organised space.

More space for storage, arts/crafts and schoolbooks. The spacious bed is undoubtedly important for all other activities like reading.

Single bed – the perfect size for schoolchildren

Endless options in style and look

The good news is that for older kids bed frames could look more stylish and fun. The choice is endless for bed frames and mattress size 190cmx90cm. Because safety is not a priority at this stage you can prioritise style and practical aspects like additional storage that may come with the single bed.

So, you can choose for your child’s room: either a princess bed, tipi bed, house bed, a car bed – you name it. The choice is really open to your budget and more importantly the child’s room size.

Look at the long-term solutions in room design: extendable beds

One of the most iconic models of this type of bed is the Busunge bed from Ikea bed. This bed frame extends from 139cm in length to 209cm. This a great example of long-lasting furniture you can adjust to your child’s development.

You need to replace and adjust the mattress.

Bunk beds in kid’s rooms – solutions for siblings and space-saving ideas.

The economy in design – save your money and hassle

Some smartly designed bunk beds for older children come with different combinations of multifunctional space. They could have separate reading/gaming/homework spaces, storage, and additional pull-out beds.

– study desks

– storage and

– sleeping space

It’s a great space saver and a great combination to keep all bits and pieces organised. When you look at the bunk bed solutions it is definitely an investment for longer that may save your budget. You buy one product instead of s separate bed, desk and some storage cabinets.

Most bunk beds require a single bed size mattress – size 190cmx90m.

The mid-rise bunk bed is suitable for younger children as the sleeping space is relatively lower than the high-rise bunk bed.

The sleeping space on top is best for children from 6 years of age. See it also has tiny storage for books and light.

Pic. Julian Bowen

Bunk beds – a few important facts to remember when designing a kid’s room:

  • great solutions for siblings sleeping in one room
  • smaller kids up to 6 years of age should sleep at the bottom bed for safety
  • mid-rise or high-rise bunk beds use the space for playing, study or storage space
  • bunk bed mattress size is the single bed size

High-rise bunk bed – 3 in 1 combo:

  • sleeping space
  • study desk
  • storage

This versatile furniture is a long-term and space-saving solution.

Pic. Julian Bowen

Designing a room for teenagers – bed size and right solutions

Changes, changes, changes. Teenagers grow quickly and maybe this could come as a surprise to you but your child soon will require a regular adult-size space hence you need to magic up some extra room. Some adjustments in a room layout, and room design is a must!

Double bed – good idea but requires more floor space

A good thing to know is that double beds come in two sizes: a small double-size bed and a regular double-size bed.

Obviously, it is a big change in furniture size if your child slept in a single bed until then. And if their room is not big enough this could be a big no-no.

So, if not a luxury of a double bed, then think about other solutions like a day bed or trundle bed.

Day bed or trundle bed for smaller spaces

in some cases, these types of beds are really cleverly designed. Most popular (yes Ikea) I could give an example is the Hemnes series. With this popular bed, you have more than you could ask for – a single bed mattress plus extra sleeping space and storage. For years!

A day bed is a smart design and a smart idea for a small room. This could save your budget and your child’s dignity in having a serious sleeping space.

Space-saver, storage winner, sleep giver. This is what a trundle bed is for.

pic. Ikea

Loft bed

Loft beds are best for higher interiors. The sleeping space at the top is to optimise the space underneath to allow comfortable sitting on the chair or a lower seat without bumping your head.

Loft beds come with single or double mattresses and are designed with endless options with different functions underneath like the workspace, lounging, gaming etc.

And that’s the wrap. If you have questions or feedback about your experience with organising the sleeping space for your child, do share it here under the post. Some solutions work for some people and are useless for others. It’s always great to hear from you.

Thank you for reading this post and please share it with whoever may benefit from it.


Get your free copy of the ‘How to design kid’s room’ guide with all tips on designing children’s spaces.

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.