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Converting a campervan is a thrilling challenge. Taking on such a massive DIY takes guts especially if you’ve never done it before. 

One of the most important parts of the campervan is the bed. After a hard day of adventuring, the thing you’ll look forward to the most is a good night’s sleep. But knowing which bed is right for your campervan can be challenging.

There are different types of beds designed for different purposes. Will you need a fixed bed or a convertible bed? Have you thought about how your bed will fit in with the rest of your campervan layout? Narrowing down which suits you and your lifestyle is the tricky part. 

But don’t panic! We know how difficult it is to decide on choosing a bed so we’ve done the hard work and put together a guide of the best campervan bed ideas to give you a little bit of inspiration. Some of the beds featured are DIY beds if you’re feeling brave and ready to take on the challenge. Others are pre-built van beds if you don’t want the hassle of making your bed. 

Campervan comparisons 

The first thing you need to narrow down is whether you’d prefer to have a fixed platform bed or a convertible bed. Most campervan bed designs will fall into one of these two categories. There are great benefits to both types, it all depends on which features suit you. Let’s take a look at the comparison between the two to give you a better idea of the two. 

Fixed Bed 

Fixed beds are considered permanent beds, they don’t move and are a permanent fixture in your van. A fixed bed is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to be putting a bed together every day. This type of bed is always in a fixed state making it highly convenient. Most fixed bed design ideas are simple as they require no alternation.

Having a fixed bed is also a great opportunity to maximize your storage space. Having a fixed bed will provide you with extra space under the bed. If your bed is positioned at the back of your campervan this can be accessed from the rear of the van which most people consider their garage space. This is a great place to keep things such as outdoor equipment, clothing, shoes, etc. 

The downside to a fixed campervan bed is that it is often a full-sized bed and so a large amount of your campervan space will need to be allocated to it. This takes up a considerable amount of space and you may find that you have to sacrifice other areas of your campervan such as having a seating area.

This is something that should be considered especially if you are working whilst on the road as other bed design ideas could be more productive and suitable for you in this case.

Another point to consider is how much space you actually have in your van. If you have a smaller van, it may be more difficult to incorporate a permanent full bed as it will take up most of the space. 

Pros:

  • Permanent fixture makes for less hassle 
  • Convenience
  • Maximizes storage space
  • Simple design 

Cons:

  • Not suitable for a small space

Convertible Bed 

Unlike a fixed campervan bed, a convertible bed is a bed that will need to be set up daily and converted into a bed. There are numerous design layouts of convertible beds but each usually involves taking the bed down in the morning and storing it away to maximize space and then setting it up again in the evening.

If you’re into DIY, you can get really creative with how you incorporate your bed into your campervan space. Common convertible bed designs include converting benches or couches into a bed.

The biggest benefit of a convertible bed is the amount of space you’ll have. With the bed out of the way, you’re left with plenty of room for sitting, eating, and working until it’s time to go to bed. Being able to store our bed away is really convenient especially if you spend most of your time in your van. Ideally, you want to be able to move around and make the most of your space.

There are a couple of things to consider before choosing a convertible campervan bed. Building a convertible bed is more complex than building a fixed bed, it requires taking up extra space to enable the bed to slot away. Whilst they increase the space to move around in the van, they take away potential storage space such as the space under the bed of a fixed bed.

However, if you only use your campervan now and then and don’t plan on taking a lot of equipment with you, then the lack of storage shouldn’t be a problem. 

This other that should be taken into consideration is how often you’ll want to be making your bed. A convertible bed commonly requires packing away in the morning and setting up again in the evening. You’ll need to think about whether realistically you’ll want to be making your bed twice a day or whether you’d prefer to jump straight into a ready-made bed.  

Pros:

  • Increased floor space
  • More functional space to eat, sit and work

Cons:

  • Requires packing away twice a day 

The 10 Best Campervan Bed Ideas 

Now that we’ve taken a look at the pros and cons of the two types of campervan beds available, let’s go through the best types of designs out there for you.

Convertible Campervan Bed Ideas

Flip-out bench bed

A flip-out campervan bed is a great way to maximize your space. During the day, this bed is used as a bed for casual seating. Having this layout maximizes the floor space in the van allowing you to move around freely during the day. In the evening, you can flip the bench over to reveal an added platform with the backrest of your bench acting as legs. This will give you the basic frame of a bed. 

If you’re thinking of making a campervan bed, this is a great bed to start with. This bed is an ideal choice for a smaller campervan as it gives the space you need in the day to eat and work as well as a comfortable sleeping space in the evening. 

For an easier setup, you can store your mattress and bedding on the stationary side of the bench, making setting up quicker and easier.

Pros:

  • Maximizing space
  • Quick and easy to set up 

Cons:

  • Requires assembly twice a day 

Table bed

A table bed is another popular choice of campervan bed. This bed is practical and easy to assemble. The table bed has a dual purpose, it provides comfortable seating space for leisure time, eating, and working. In the evening, it doubles up as a bed. Maximizing the space of the campervan for comfortable sleeping. 

The common structure is a mounted table with a seating arrangement around it. The table often has an adjustable leg that slides down to the same height as the seating area. If measurements are correct, the table should comfortably slot in forming a single platform which is used as the base of the bed. The cushions from the seating area can be used to create a mattress. 

This bed is ideal for a small space as it really makes the most of every inch. This is a great option if you enjoy spending time in your van but you also want a comfortable night’s sleep. 

Pros:

  • Dual function
  • Quick and easy to set up 
  • Saves space

Cons:

  • Gaps between the seating cushions can be uncomfortable

Tip *if you’re finding the gaps between the seating cushions uncomfortable why not try applying velcro to make a unified mattress.

Rock and roll bed

The BEST Campervan Bed Ideas for Van Life

A rock and roll bed is a great way of making the most of the space you already have in your campervan. These are great if you want to keep as much functional space as possible. 

The rock and roll bed offers multipurpose. In the day, it functions as car seats and at night the seats fold out or pull out to make a comfortable bed. This bed design is super easy to use as all you need to do is pull a lever to assemble the bed.

This bed offers versatility as it can be moved forward or back to create more space in the van.

Pros:

  • Makes the most of the existing space
  • Multifunctional 
  • Easy to assemble 

Cons:

  • Space behind the seats need to be clear of obstacles

Couch bed

A couch bed does what is said in the name. It offers two functions, in the day it can be used as two comfortable couches/ benches facing each other. This layout is great for leisure time as it maximizes the floor space of the campervan. In the evening the couch bed can be quickly assembled into a bed.

The design of these beds vary. The couches can either be used as two single beds or they can be turned into a larger bed. Making this bed yourself is relatively easy. It involves either making a lifting table that rises to complete the formation of a bed or slotting a wooden panel to fill the space between the two benches. This bed design is ideal for small to medium vans and for those who enjoy spending lots of time in the van. 

The process of assembling is really quick and easy and is made even easier if you have your bedding ready-made in storage compartments of the benches.

Pros:

  • Dual function for increased versatility 
  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Maximizes space

Cons:

  • Removes under bed storage

Slider bed 

A slider bed is another great design for a campervan bed. This bed provides a multi-purpose solution for maximizing space in a van. It does it with ease as it glides into position. This is a great choice of bed if you like to make the most of your living space in the day. 

This bed acts as a sofa bed. You have a permanent fixture of a couch or bench which has sliding slats attached to it. This will allow you to slide out of your bed in the evening and push it back onto the couch in the morning. 

This campervan bed design is effortless and slick. It can be done in a matter of minutes especially if you store your ready-made bedding beneath the bench. 

This bed is a bit of a trickier DIY challenge as you will need to get the design of the slats right so that they slide fluidly. However, it’s definitely doable, and plywood is a popular choice of material for this bed. 

Pros:

  • Space saver
  • Maximizes the functionality of the space
  • Quick and easy to assemble 

Cons:

  • Assembly required daily

Fixed campervan bed ideas 

Platform bed 

Platform beds are considered the most stable bed design ideas around. They are a popular campervan bed choice. They stand as a common permanent fixture in your campervan. These beds are often slightly elevated to allow for added storage beneath the bed. 

If you’re planning on making a DIY bed, a platform bed is an ideal choice as it is relatively easy to make as all you need is a wooden frame. The higher to elevate the bed, the more storage you’ll have at the rear of the campervan. Just remember to take into consideration your height and the size of the bed in comparison to its surroundings such as doors and shelves, to avoid hitting your head in the night. 

Alternatively, you can position the platform bed lower down which then gives you extra headroom as well as ample storage space below.

This bed design is ideal for a wide campervan that will enable you to sleep comfortably across the van. 

Pros:

  • Permanent fixture for less hassle 
  • Increased storage solution
  • Laying out on a full-sized bed increases comfort
  • Relatively easy to make

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space

Dropdown/ Murphy bed

A drop-down is a type of fixed bed that is stored upright against the wall during the day. This enables you to put up your bed and forget about it. This bed offers a solution that opens up the floor space of your campervan allowing you to make it more functional during the day. 

The drop-down bed is considered the ultimate space saver as it completely folds away when it isn’t in use. If you’re making your own drop-down bed, it’s important that you leave extra space between the platform and the side of the wall. This added space will give you the room to store away your mattress and bedding to save you time on making your bed every day.

The drop-down bed is ideal for a wider campervan as extra width will mean that the bed isn’t eating into too much space when it’s folded away.

Pros:

  • Huge space saver
  • Permanent fixture for less hassle

Cons:

  • No space for shelving 

Outdoor drawbridge bed

Outdoor drawbridge beds are ideal for those who love to be surrounded by nature. In some ways this bed design is similar to the drop-down bed, however rather than folding out inside the campervan, it folds outwards to the back of the van. 

This is a great bed design idea as it does encroach on the space within the van, allowing you to completely maximize that space to do things you enjoy. 

This bed is ideal for short weekend trips away. 

Pros:

  • Immersed in the outdoors
  • Quick to assemble 
  • Maximizes space inside the campervan 

Cons:

  • Ideal for short-term trips only as weather conditions may ruin plans.

Bunk bed

The classic bunk bed is a great design idea for a campervan bed. This is an ideal choice if you travel regularly as a family as it provides multiple sleeping areas to accommodate everyone. 

If you’re making your own bunk bed you can get really creative. You can either make single bunk beds, two singles stacked on top of each other, or two singles and a single platform above. The potential to jazz things up here is endless. 

Pros:

  • Maximizes the use of the space
  • Ideal for families 
  • Could be made foldable to maximize floor space

Cons:

  • Not as much space.

Hammock

A hammock is the ultimate classic campervan bed design. A hammock is a great solution if you have minimal living space and can’t fit a bed in your van. This comfortable and simple solution to sleeping is efficient, easy to set up, and takes up barely any space. 

There are plenty of hammocks available online that offer different benefits such as the Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammock. This hammock is ultra-lightweight yet constructed with strong parachute nylon with triple interlocking stitching for extra security. This is an easy and comfortable solution if you are low on space. 

Pros:

  • Easy to store
  • Easy to assemble 
  • Saves space

Cons:

  • Suitable for one.

Things to consider

Whether you’re thinking of doing a little DIY to make your campervan bed or you’re going to purchase a pre-built bed, here are a couple of factors to consider when you are choosing your campervan bed design:

-Where will you be eating?

-Where will you work?

-Where will you relax?

-How will you make your bed?

-What will you do on a rainy day?

Takeaway

Now that we’ve given you a breakdown of the best campervan bed ideas, you should now be able to narrow down which you would like to go for. And if you’re feeling brave and wanting to DIY your bed, take note of the beds that offer easy assembly. 

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