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10 Camper Van Bed Designs For Your Next Van Build

Want to create a unique van build but don’t know where to begin? First and foremost your van is where you sleep, so it makes sense to start with the bed! These campervan bed designs show creative and practical ideas for your van build. Whether you’re looking for a permanent fixture, or something with more flexible storage we’ve got you covered with inspiration from the simple and practical to the unique.

When we first started out van build, storage was our main concern, so we built the bed high to fit bicycles underneath. Over time we’ve learned headspace was a greater concern for us and we ended up lowering the bed at least 9 inches.

While looking through these builds by other vanlifers, be sure to keep in mind the layout and surface area of your van build. But don’t be too worried about making the perfect layout; If you find your needs change you can change your layout too!

Like what you see? Read our post on which mattress to get and how to cut it!

1. The Platform Bed

diy platform camper van bed designbuilding a diy platform bed design into a camper van conversion for van life @vanlife904

The platform bed is probably one of the most standard bed designs around, and the design we chose for our van build. A platform bed like this one provides ample amount of space underneath for storage. A platform bed has the advantage of being fixed in place so no work is required to set up or take down the bed each night.

Keep in mind how much overhead space you’re willing to live with. We were able to purchase pre-made slats from Ikea for some extra spring cushion below our mattress. We also chose to purchase a short, 5″ memory foam mattress (queen size) to place on top. This bed was build into a 1996 Dodge Ram Van.

@vanlife904 also built his campervan to include a platform bed. This allows for large storage drawers and space underneath.

2. The Drop-Down Table Bed

telescoping table top and bed design ideas in a diy camper van conversion buildtelescoping table base design for a table and bed in a diy camper van conversion build

We’ve seen this design a lot, and it’s certainly a good way to get the most out of what little space there is in a van. This type of bed design allows for the dual purpose of both a bench cushion and a sleeping spot. @saraandalexjames use this design in their 2008 Dodge Sprinter. It allows them ample room to work on the road as well as stay comfortable at night.

Wanna make this? Read our post on which mattress to get and how to cut it!

3. The Flip Bench Bed Design

flip bed design for camper van conversion design

This is the first time we’ve come across this design. @jakeheard and @dannyogrds built a bench that flips open into this cool single bed design. All it needs are some cushions and it’s good to go! This bench would make a great space saver for someone who also needs an area to sit straight up on the road.

4. Slide Platform Bed

diy platform bed design that swings out in a campervan conversion builddiy platform bed design in a camper conversion for living in a van

One of the more unique designs we’ve seen is this slide out platform bed by @surftripping. During travel, the bed can be pushed flush against the back wall. Once you find a cool place to park, the whole platform can be slid out so you can hang out in the sunlight and sleep under the stars.

5. Bunk Bed

Van interior bed design that fits three people

@fitetravels is a family of three that needs space for everyone to sleep as they adventure in their Ford Transit. They’ve come up with an interesting way to fit all three beds in a van without it feeling too overcrowded. The bunk bed system hangs from the ceiling and has a little ladder to climb up at night.

6. Murphy Bed

custom murphy bed design in a diy campervan conversion buildcustom built murphy bed design in a camper van conversion for van life

If you are into construction, this murphy bed by @rydawell might be perfect for you! This is one of the cleanest and most organized builds we’ve come across. It leaves an insane amount of space to fit bikes, surf boards or anything else you could ever want to travel with!

7. Couch Bed

custom diy camper van conversion bed designcamper van conversion bed design that folds from a table to a bed

The couch bed is a common solution for van lifers. There are a number of different ways a couch bed can be built. @dont_know_road used benches that fold down to hold cushions in place whether you feel like sitting up or laying down.

8. Slider Bed

building a slider bed design into a custom diy campervan conversion build

Another common technique is the slider bed. This one by @heytess_ shows how you can push in the slats, and lift up the back to create seating. Slider beds make for a good multi-purpose solution when it comes to building out a van.

9. The Hammock

sleeping in a hammock in a custom diy campervan conversion instead of a bed design

With a minimal living situation, one option is to string a hammock across the inside of the vehicle like @thevoyagerproject has done to relax or even sleep at night. This hammock has been placed inside a bus, but it’s a perfectly reasonable solution if you enjoy the sleeping style of a hammock at night.

10. Custom Shaped Bed

Custom fit bed design in a camper van conversioncustom shaped bed design in a diy camper van

Not everyone needs a perfect square bed, sometimes a different shape will give you the biggest bang for your buck. @a_hiace_called_home built an L-shaped bed to serve as both a permanent fixture, and a sleeping spot for two people.

Skip The Bed

If construction is not your thing, don’t be discouraged! Simply throwing a mattress or ground pad on the floor along with a sleeping bag will work nicely. Not all vans need to be fully constructed, and using less wood will save on weight helping gas mileage in the long run.

What Are Some Good Mattress Choices For Camper Conversion?

Choose a mattress based on your available space and comfort level. We like the gel-infused memory foam because they are slim, breathable and easy to cut. Listed below are a few popular size options.

Mattress SizeMattress TypeDimensions (in)Height (in)
KingModway Aveline Gel Infused Memory Foam76 x 806"
QueenModway Aveline Gel Infused Memory Foam60 x 806"
FullModway Aveline Gel Infused Memory Foam53 x 756"
TwinModway Aveline Gel Infused Memory Foam38 x 756"
Mattress SizeMattress TypeDimensions (in)Height (in)
KingLinenspa Gel Memory Foam Mattress76 x 805"
QueenZinus Cool Gel Memory Foam60 x 805"
FullZinus Cool Gel Memory Foam53 x 755"
TwinZinus Cool Gel Memory Foam38 x 755"

Folding Mattresses for Camping

Full Size
4″ Folding Portable Mattress
• High density foam
• Tri-fold design
Check Prices
Queen Size
4″ Folding Portable Mattress
• Removeable cover
• Includes carry handles
Check Prices
This Post Has 18 Comments
  1. This helped a lot. I’m just finishing high school and me and my best friends want to do a road trip up the east coast of Victoria because we do surfing. Bought an empty van and are now going to do it up and make it look like our style. This arcticle was a great help and we will definitely use this in our van. Thx xoxo E ‘N’ E

  2. Great article, thank you for posting it.
    Just a small correction:

    using less would will save on weight helping gas mileage in the long run

    I think it should say wood 😉

  3. Is that possible to build bathroom including bed and kitchen in full size Cargo Van please advice.

  4. Hi
    The one thing I don’t like is that you need to remove the sheets before doing the bed. Which means you need more storage, and also it’s not as simple as sliding the bed out, you need to take everything on and off the bed every time what time you need your bad. For Murphy bed you can often strap the sheets on and so it’s just a matter of taking the bed down.
    Thank you

  5. Great post! I’m rebuilding my Dodge Van now and am putting in a platform bed and i am wondering where you found your short queen memory foam mattress – what brand is it? I thought I was going to be stuck using the former couch cushions… memory foam sounds much better!

  6. My wife and I are 80 years old and have a 1999 Chrysler le Voyager, Reg No T96 ATP the smaller version and would like this converted to a 2 berth camper with cooker, sink, fridge, loo and shower if possible but not essential, we wood like an elevated roof fitted as we are both tall people and would like a fair amount of storage where possible. We like the idea of a Rock-n-Roll bed for ease of installing but would not like a cooker which slides out at the rear of the van as some do but one fitted inside on the side.
    If the installation of this is of interest to you please return with your price for all the work I’ve mentioned together with where you’re situated and how long it will take you to build.
    Kind regards
    Mr Lionel Harwood, (Peacehaven near Brighton)

    1. Hey Lionel, that sounds like a cool idea for your camper! We created this website to be used as inspiration for people who want to build their own vans. Unfortunately, we are not currently building vans as a business. I’d encourage you to try to find a van outfitter in your area. Best of luck!

  7. Hi. Any thoughts on a mattress vs a futon matress? Thinking of doing the slider bed vertical. I bought a 1999 ford e150 hightop a month ago. Will be doing the floor soon. I choose indoor outdoor carpet due to cost. I have no wood work skills but am exited to dive in.

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