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Awesome Camper Van Bed Ideas For Your Van Build

a camper van bed for vanlife

Ready to build out your dream campervan conversion, but looking for different camper van bed ideas? This guide will walk you through the various different bed styles a camper van can offer. Whether you are on a tight budget and need something simple, or just looking for the best design to fit your van, this will help you decide the best camper van bed for your build. So let’s dive into all the different camper van bed styles. 

Stationary Camper Van Bed: 

Emily hanging out in our fiberglass hightop van in Yosemite National Park

One of the most popular camper van bed styles is a stationary bed. It’s dead simple, affordable, and requires no extra effort to set up each day. This means, the bed stays in one place and can’t really convert to a couch or be put away. A stationary bed tends to be the easiest, because all you have to do is build a platform, plop a mattress on and that’s how it stays.

Or you can even just have a mattress on the floor, though most people choose to build an elevated platform for storage and comfort.

A stationary bed is best for people who don’t like making the bed (cough, cough, us!) or don’t want to convert a bed to a couch every single day. We really don’t understand how people choose to make the bed up every night and then tear it all down again in the morning. Jake and I literally dread laundry day, because we know we have to make the bed, just once!

Anyways, a stationary bed can be built out a few different ways in a campervan, but tends to be laid out in the back. That way there is room for the kitchen, bench, and table in the front area.

And lastly, you could have a stationary bed be behind the driver and passenger seat. This tends to be the case for small camper vans builds (Ford Transit Connect, Minivan, etc).  Often when the van is only big enough for just a bed, then you really don’t have a choice. Van build’s like this will have to find creative ways to use their space.  For example, you can have an outdoor kitchen pulled out from under the bed either out the back doors or side doors. 

Convertible Camper Van Bed:

The next most popular camper van bed style is a convertible bed. Mainly because it allows you to have extra living space in your camper van. It’s often set up as a couch during the day and a bed during the evening. Or it can convert into a dinette, where the mattress pieces become bench cushions and the middle of the platoform becomes a table. This forms what looks like a booth dinette.

But the biggest caveat to this camper van bed option is you have to make the bed every night, and tear it apart in the morning. And you have limited storage under the bed, because it tends to be a couch during the day which, then that space is needed for your feet. 

Having a convertible bed can be great if you enjoy hosting guests or are traveling with more than 2 people in the camper van. It can also allow for a nice walk-through floor plan. 

I think a convertible bed is a great choice, if you don’t mind converting it every day and don’t need tons of extra storage in your camper van.

Murphy Bed:

A murphy bed is a unique option if you want to capitalize on space, but also don’t need a ton of extra storage. Murphy beds are known as wall beds. They flip up into the wall during the day and flip down as a bed during the night.

This might not save as much space as it seems.  Because the mattress still takes up the same amount of space.  And when the bed is flipped up, that whole wall can’t really be used as storage. 

But you can also have a walk through floor plan and have extra space for hosting guests.

Lifted Bed:

a liftable bed in a camper van, so you can stow away your bed during the day

A lifted bed is a high-tech option to add into a camper van conversion. A powered bed lift is something that can raise your bed up to the ceiling during the day, and then there is usually a sitting area underneath. Which in turn, means you can’t have storage above the bed, and you will lose some headroom.

You will often find lifted beds to be remote-controlled, therefore, it requires a little extra electrical experience, is a bit more costly, and requires some extra building experience.

You will often find a lifted bed design in luxury camper van builds, mainly because they can be very expensive. But that’s not to say you can’t convert a lifted bed yourself. 

Happijac is a company that makes bed lifts for camper vans. But like mentioned above, it costs around $2,000+. The load rating holds up to 600lbs, is user-friendly and uses less than 8 amps to power.

If you are looking for a cheaper, DIY motorized lifted bed, check out this Youtube Channel.  


For a more budget-friendly camper van bed, a hammock can be a decent option. All you would need for a hammock set up is two sturdy bolts inside the van from corner to corner, and a hammock! 

You can get a feel as if you are camping, but protected by the metal walls of the camper van. This can be a great option if you are just starting out and maybe want to get out on the road ASAP. 

Or maybe you find it comfortable to sleep in a hammock, then this can be a great vanlife bed option. But overall, I think it’s best for temporary use, or maybe a leisure activity in the van. 

You can get an idea for how to add hammock hooks to your camper van from our guide. (Though, our’s are on the outside)

Hanging/Floating Bed:

Another option for a vanlife bed is a hanging or floating bed. While this option isn’t necessarily perfect for a moving vehicle, it could be a great option for plenty of under bed storage. With a hanging bed, there aren’t poles underneath which can be hard to work around. Plus it can also double as a lifted bed, if you add a pully system. 

Simple ideas of a hanging bed are rope that hangs down from the ceiling. Or you could get a more secure design that won’t hit the walls everytime you hit a bump, by having metal rods attached from the bed frame up to the ceiling. 

A hanging bed is a bit more unique and not often seen, but can be awesome for extra storage under the bed. 


Another budget-friendly bed option for a camper van is a cot. This is a super simple way to get some shut eye without breaking the bank. Not all camper van conversion need to be super complex. Maybe you just want the shield of the camper van and extra space inside without having to do an elaborate conversion.

Plus a cot can be collapsed during the day for extra space in the van. While it’s not the most comfortable camper van bed, it can still get you out on the road and provide a decent amount of comfort while you sleep!

But make sure you secure the cot, so that it wont move in the event of an accident.

Bunk Beds: 

If you are traveling with someone other than a significant other or with a family, bunk beds can be a great camper van bed style. There are a few different ways you can incorporate bunk beds into a van build. 

One option is to have 2 twin-size bunk beds against the side wall or back wall. Or you can have a murphy bunk flap down above a stationary bed. Here are a few different bunk bed options to choose from.

Takeaway | Camper Van Bed Ideas:

Overall, Jake and I personally love having a stationary bed. It is one of the most simple camper van bed options, and there is no extra hassle during the day to transform it to something else. During the colder months we often find ourselves sitting in bed because it is the warmest area in our camper van.

However, our extended van is long enough that we have space for a stationary bed plus our living room/kitchen. And we are also short enough that we can sleep sideways across the van. If you have a smaller camper van, then a convertible bed may allow more flexible use of your limited space.

But that is just our personal preference. I think many of these bed styles can be great to incorporate into a camper van build. It just depends on what bed style fits you best!

Other Useful Resources For Camper Van Beds:

can you sleep sideways in a van pin

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