A Tiny House Couch, Bed, and Extra Storage

Marc Bilodeau/ Building, Tiny House

In every tiny house there seems to be a couch either permanently attached to a wall or a moveable piece of furniture. Naturally, this largely depends on the layout of the tiny house. It’s like a tiny house isn’t complete without some kind of seating.

However, it would be nice to accommodate another person when the need arises. Unfortunately, there isn’t space for another bedroom. It is possible to use a sleeping bag in the storage loft. Although, that would be cramped and uncomfortable for the person trying to get some decent sleep.

[Photo Album]

More than just a Couch

The idea behind this couch isn’t unique. In fact, I’ve seen similar designs in other tiny houses. Additionally, seeing other Tiny House Dwellers’ designs and listening to their feedback helped tweak and refine this design. Regardless, there are three requirements that my tiny house couch must have. It must be in one particular area of the great room, it has to convert into an extra bed, and there must be storage inside.

Tiny House Couch and Bed
The cushion is still in its protective plastic wrap because there is more sanding to do.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned from this project, it’s that extra storage should always be part of the design. There can never be enough storage spaces.

The couch cushion is a twin size futon mattress. At first, I thought the mattress would cover some of the windows. Fortunately, the mattress fits perfectly. It stops just under the window trim. Furthermore, it’s thinner than a typical mattress. At 6″ (~15 cm) thick, it gives a couple extra inches of leg support for some quiet comfy sitting. Also, it’s just as comfortable laying down when it’s a bed. As a bonus, standard futon covers and twin size sheets fit. Thus, there is no need for custom linens.

How to Convert the Couch into A Bed

As a couch, it can easily fit 3 people comfortably side by side. It’s approximately 24 inches (~61 cm) wide and 75 inches (~191 cm) long. Although it’s narrower than a typical couch, I can lay down and sleep without feeling like I’m going to fall off. For context, I’m of average height at 5’10” (~178 cm).

However for those who want to have a bit more room, the couch extends to a twin size bed that’s 38 inches (~97 cm) wide and 75 inches (~191 cm) long.

Converting the couch to a bed is easy and straight forward.

  1. Remove the futon mattress
  2. Lift the seat cover
  3. Remove the four pegs that hold the front face to the couch
  4. Extend the front face to its full reach
  5. Put the seat cover down and fold it over until it rests on the rim of the front face
  6. Insert the four pegs to secure the seat cover to the front face
  7. Lay the futon mattress over the seat cover
Converting the Tiny House Couch to a Bed
The 7 steps to convert the Tiny House Couch into a bed. The original size images are in the Photo Album.

That’s it! Lastly, all you need for a good night sleep is to grab a pillow and a fresh set of twin size bedsheets.

Mechanics

Overall, the goal is to have as little moving parts as possible. With less moving parts, less can break. That being said, there are two areas that move for the couch to convert to a bed.

First, there are two long piano hinges that help fold the seat cover up, and then fold over. One hinge folds upward to access the storage space. The second one extends the seat cover to the full width of the futon mattress.

Tiny House Couch/Bed with Piano Hinges

Secondly, there are three tracks inside the couch. They help guide the front face outward to the proper length to fit the futon mattress. They look like large piano keys that sits between two guiding wood tracks. On top of the tracks are pieces of lament that cap each mechanism. The cap protects the mechanism from items stored inside the couch.

Tiny House Couch Sliding Mechanism
The sliding mechanism helps extend the front face to the proper width.

Conclusion

Seating is a necessity in any home. Where and how that seating functions is even more critical. That’s why it’s very important to think about the furniture and ask yourself some important questions. How much seating is necessary? Where will chairs or a couch be inside the tiny house? How will the seating be used every day?

For this tiny house, it is important to place the couch where someone could comfortably sit while doing work on a laptop or reading a book. Likewise, it’s important to sit comfortably while conversing with someone next to them, in the kitchen, or sitting across from them on the stairs.

Regardless, don’t be hasty in these decisions. Take the time to write down ideas and determine any must-haves before building your couch. In the end, you’ll thank yourself and your guests will to.