Why You Need A One Story Tiny House Without a Loft

one story tiny houseMany people who want to go tiny love the idea of a one story or a tiny house with no loft because they’re not interested in climbing up a set of stairs or a ladder each night. You might consider a tiny house with a ground floor bedroom if you’re thinking of retiring in your tiny home, have mobility concerns, or just would rather not have to climb down in the middle of the night if you have to go to the bathroom.

ryan tiny house and the tools he used to build it

Hi, I’m Ryan
It’s nice having everything on a single floor in your tiny house if you can make it work. If I had to do it again, I think I’d try to come up with a tiny house design with a downstairs bedroom. I’m a pro at climbing down my ladder at this point and age is on my side, but the convenience of a single floor tiny house with a bedroom not in the loft is appealing. And you can still use the loft for storage.
ryan mitchell

Explore these options to find the bedroom floorplan that’s best for you:

two bedroom tiny houses
three bedroom tiny houses
four bedroom tiny houses
ground floor bedroom in tiny house
tiny house with first floor bedroom

One Story Tiny Houses Have A Lot Of Advantages

One Story Tiny Houses Have A Lot Of Advantages

Having stayed in single floor tiny homes over the years, I’ve been won over. Not having a loft to climb into each night is convenient when you’ve had a full day, not to mention those late-night bathroom runs.

one story tiny house with bedroomIt’s also easier to get around when you’re not climbing up and down into a loft bedroom. Many people looking to retire into a tiny house or age in place have considered that they might not be as nimble as they once were. Many also want to make considerations for ease of mobility if they need to use a wheel chair in the future, when a ground floor bedroom in your tiny house would be a must.

Remember, just because your bedroom isn’t in the loft of your tiny home, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have one. Lofts are great for storage, guest bedrooms, or other purposes.

Alternatively, if you build a one floor tiny home, you can skip the loft altogether and have very tall ceilings to make the space feel open and airy. Combined with a shed roof and some transom windows, you can make a single floor tiny house feel huge. This will of course come with some downsides.

Disadvantages To Building A Tiny House With A Bedroom On The Ground Floor

Disadvantages To Building A Tiny House With A Bedroom On The Ground Floor

The reason so many tiny houses have been built with bedroom lofts — including my own — is that while a traditional bedroom can take up a lot of space, a loft bedroom doesn’t have to be a full height space since you’re just laying down in it.

Meanwhile, your ground floor bedroom will take up at least as much space as the mattress, which is a fair bit of square footage when you consider how little you have in a tiny home. You could build your bed into a small nook where it touches three walls to minimize the bedroom space like the below tiny homes do.

tiny house no loft bedroom
tiny house no loft
tiny house bedroom nook
one story tiny house floor plan
bedroom nook in tiny house
tiny home with bedroom nook on first floor

common bedframe and mattress dimensions

The disadvantage to this approach is that you have to crawl into bed and don’t have access from the other sides. If you’d like to be able to walk on either side, you’ll need even more room. If you want enough space for a wheelchair, you’ll have to consider additional space for access there too.

Why You Still May Want A Loft

Why You Still May Want A Loft in your tiny house

Even if you build a tiny house without a sleeping loft, you may still want to build a loft in your one story tiny house for a few reasons. The first is that they’re great for storage, particularly for things that aren’t used a whole lot but still make sense to have.

I’ve downsized a lot and my wardrobe is pretty minimal, but there are some things I still keep in my house even if I don’t use them on a daily or weekly basis. While that usually signals to me that something’s a good candidate to declutter, some things just make sense to keep and are ideal for storing in your loft. For me, it’s boardgames and luggage, which I keep in the loft over my front door. I have to get the ladder out to reach them, but it’s a nice place out of the way to keep them.

tiny house with loft space
one story tiny house with loft for storage
loft in tiny house for storage
ground floor bedroom in tiny house
storage loft in tiny house
one story tiny house with lofts

Many people also like to store seasonal items like decorations and out of season clothing items, or hobby items like skis, snowboards, or a sewing machine. Books, tiny house books or otherwise, are also great for storing in a loft.

tiny house storage

Great Ways To Have A Ground Floor Bed In A Tiny House

If you are going to build a single-story tiny home, there are several options for beds to maximize the space. Remember that every square inch is important and beds will take up a large percentage of your overall square footage.

Murphy Bed On The Ground Floor Of A Tiny House

Murphy Bed On The Ground Floor Of A Tiny House

Murphy beds are one obvious way to balance the space of a bed without giving up too much when not in use. I’m not a huge fan of them for reasons I get into in my Tiny House Furniture post, but if I were to put my bedroom on the ground floor, this would be a solution I’d seriously consider.

murphy bed in tiny house
first floor murphy bed in tiny house
murphy bed in tiny home
tiny home with murphy bed
murphy bed in tiny house first floor
hidden murphy bed in tiny house

tiny house closets

Tiny House Elevator Beds

Tiny House Elevator Beds

Another popular option is to have an elevator bed that lowers down from the ceiling in your tiny house. This makes a lot of sense because it’s there when you need it but can rise up and tuck away out of sight when you don’t.

Most people have utilized garage door hardware for this, along with cable winches to raise and lower the bed. You’re going to want to make sure that the bed doesn’t have any play in it when lowered as you toss and turn. Here is a good video showing how you can accomplish this.

tiny house elevator bed
tiny house with elevator bed
elevator bed in a tiny house
tiny home with elevator bed
tiny house with loft space and elevator bed
elevator bed fits space in a tiny house
tiny house elevator bed over sofa
use an elevator bed to open space in a tiny house

The one major downside to these that I’ve noticed is the noise. When I’m waking up in the morning or settling down for the evening, the last thing I want to hear is the loud noise that most of these make. I think that can most likely be overcome with some quality hardware and motor, but as of yet, every single one I’ve seen has been very loud.

Pull Out Drawer Bed In A Tiny Home

Pull Out Drawer Bed In A Tiny Home

Another really good option that is a happy medium is a pull-out bed that slides out like a giant drawer. This usually means you have some of your space slightly elevated by two to three steps, but I think it’s a great trade off.

I also really like this concept because I wouldn’t have to always make my bed, as it tucks away nice and neat. I’ve even seen a few of these that only roll in part way to make up the seat of a couch. This is a fascinating idea for multi-purpose furniture.

pull out drawer bed in a tiny home
pull out drawer bed with storage in a tiny home
hidden pull out drawer bed in a tiny house
open pull out bed in a tiny house
pull out drawer bed behind sofa in a tiny house
pull out bed on tiny house first floor
drawer bed under raised floor in tiny house
drawer bed under steps and floor of tiny house
pull out drawer bed
one story tiny house with pull out drawer bed

tiny house kitchens

Day Beds & Futons For A Single Floor Tiny Home

Day Beds and Futons For A Single Floor Tiny Home

Day beds are another way to combine your bed and couch, but I find these either do one thing well or the other, not usually both. The same goes for futons — they sound great in theory, but I’ve sat on some pretty expensive futons and they never feel that comfortable.

Your mileage may vary on these two, but they’re certainly options.

day bed in tiny home
corner day bed in tiny home
built in day bed in tiny home
tiny house with built in day bed
wrap around day bed and sofa in tiny house
futon bed in tiny house
tiny home with day bed
day bed and pull out drawer bed in tiny house
tiny house on wheels day bed
tiny house with futon for bedroom

desiging your tiny house

Tatami Mats For A Tiny Home With No Bedroom

Tatami Mats For A Tiny Home With No Bedroom

I’ve only seen a handful of tiny houses with Tatami mats, but the owners swore by them. Most of them had spent time in Asia so they had to adopt that way of sleeping and had carried it over when they moved back home. Most folks do have a small padded mat they put on top, similar to a thick comforter.

I don’t know if I could swing it being a side sleeper, but it’s yet another option if you don’t want to have a bed in your tiny house loft.

tiny house with tatami mat for sleeping
tatami mats in tiny house

Tiny House Hammocks

Tiny House Hammocks

Hammocks are another good option because you can stretch out at night, then in the morning you can unhook one side and fold it away easily. This is also a good option for guests, though you might want to offer them the real bed because not everyone can swing it (ha!) in a hammock, but it’s a great on-demand place to sleep.

hammock in tiny house
sleeping hammock in tiny house
tiny house hammock for sleeping
tiny house hammock for bedroom
tiny house hammock loft
tiny house hammock in loft
cozy hammock in tiny home
modern tiny house with hammock

designing your tiny home

Single Floor Tiny House Ideas

Single Floor Tiny House Ideas

one story tiny house floor plans
tiny house no loft
tiny house without sleeping loft
tiny house with bedroom downstairs
tiny house without sleeping loft
one floor tiny house with bedroom on ground floor

Your Turn!

  • Why do you want a single floor tiny house?
  1. You must not have a dog! #1 reason to forego a loft bed. Nice pics. I’d probably opt for a regular bed downstairs and just have a day coverlet/throw pillows and store the duvet in a drawer.

  2. As more of seniors opt for tiny house living, we need to consider designing everything on one level, furniture that doesn’t need to be pulled out or down/unfolded/etc so we can age in place without struggling or creating safety issues.

  3. My thoughts: In my opinion, a loft offers storage and roof access even if a bed, couch, or recliner is on the lower level. I’d love to see some pics of couch’s and recliners because I really dislike hard edges to everything and am geared for comfort. In addition, I am really disappointed to see A-frame roofs. What a waste of space! Do rain and sleet really need a severe pitch to run off? No. I suggest a flat roof BUT one that is pitched toward the hitch of the Tiny House (to keep the rear doorway drier and for travel windage). Use a gutter as needed. A flat roof can accommodate SOLAR PANELS. (a nice add-on for roughing-it situations, running fans, or as a handy alternative). Just park your front tongue facing south… the pitch of the roof slant can be calculated to accommodate the general striking angle of the sun, for whatever part of the country you frequent. Also, the roof should be accessed from the storage loft. Just build a square hole and cover it like the overlapping TOP OF A BEE HIVE, covered with a sheet of aluminium. Lock it from the inside (for wind and security) with some sturdy eye hooks. Leave enough space for two folding chairs and enjoy the view and the stars). Feel free to use these ideas and popularize logical design. As I age, this design may become my grandpa suite, if needed). Love to All.

  4. Great article. I really appreciate the thought and research that you put into your work.

    I am a senior and designed a tiny house that would work for an elderly retired professional. Having ladders to deal with was out of the question. I did manage to put a staircase, with a regular gate, up to the loft.

    Another challenge was making the bed on your hands and knees. Not gonna happen, so I created a 6’4″ clearance throughout the build.

    Here is a video for those that want ideas: https://youtu.be/yKtjfxWXaDM. I DO NOT build them anymore. The designer in me just needed to show that it could be done, and the build could remain under 13’6″ tall.

  5. Hi, Ryan… Decided to se the options without a loft… I’m too old to plan a future with ladder climbing, and stairs are becoming a problem. I saw a few designs I thought were worth checking into… or trying to remember.

    In the process of looking, I saw the section about seasonal storage and wondered if it would be an option to raise the floor level to put “outdoor” storage option under the house instead of loft space on top… what do you think? I vaguely recall the height would allow it, but might make the living space cramped with a lower ceiling. Do you think all the hard core mechanicals would fit under the floor space with individual doors to access from the outside? Would it help with the living space storage and design?

    Just a thought.

    Also, I have never heard of tatami mats… more info would have helped. They looked interesting. Do they have to be on the ground?

    Hope all is well with you. Deb

  6. I’m too old to climb a ladder or stairs to crawl into a loft.

  7. Why do I want a single floor Tiny home? I’m getting older and the idea of crawling into bed in a loft where I can’t stand up isn’t very appealing, plus my dog can’t get up a ladder and I would have to listen to her whine all night. She came with more than enough abandonment issues.

  8. Just want to add that I have been looking at designs and thinking about what would work for me. I don’t like the lofts as sleeping spaces, like the lowered floors for the kitchens, and wonder if a storage space would work for those of us who like extra space somewhere for the things we just don’t want to let go of right away. 🙂 Maybe something the size of most storage boxes, etc.

  9. We would need 2 open sides to the bathroom at night.

  10. While living in a tiny home is unlikely for me, I like to think about it anyway and try to plan out one in my imagination for myself. Since I have mobility issues, stairs and lofts do not appeal to me. Storage space does. I’d like to figure out a plan that would work for me that would give me a safe and pleasing home environment. You never know, it may appeal to others who have similar issues.

    • I wonder if storage could be solved by using the bed lift not for a bed, but for storage! You could access it easily, but have it out of the way most of the time.

  11. I love the way you used the space and found ways to use never thought of things to make it work

  12. I would like to communicate and explore the idea of a tiny home on my son and daughter-in=laws property. The live in Chandler AZ. I would want everything on 1 floor as it will be for retirement.

    How do I find out all the regulations for the Chandler area? I would want to do this as cost efficient as possible but also want it nice and comfortable.

    Can you help me think this through? I am in North Carolina now.

  13. I really like the idea of a bed that comes down over the living room. I also like the idea of a storage loft that could do the same thing. I am in my mid-50s, have arthritis and fibro and stairs to a loft bedroom is not something that would work for me. I also like yarn. A lot. I need storage. While a tiny house is an unrealistic dream for me currently, I still continue to dream and educate myself. What I don’t like is seeing how expensive tiny houses are getting to build because they are becoming more accepted and popular. It puts people like me into just dreaming mode, rather than actually being able to access it.

  14. you dont actually HAVE any floorplans shown here despite the title of the page. very disappointing

  15. I would never want a loft. It would be very difficult to change the sheets on the bed when you have to do it on your knees. I have had both knees replaced so there’s no way I could crawl around on my new knees.

  16. Very nice! Thank you.

  17. i am researching tiny home designs and am VERY drawn to a murphy bed concept. I work from home and would hope I could incorporate both in the same area.

  18. Storage

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