This blog will explain the difference between the two main bed layouts and offer the best options for couples, families, and those taking pets away on holiday.

It will also offer pros and cons so that readers can make an informed choice.

What Is an Island Bed, and What Are the Benefits of Having One in Your Caravan Layout?

An island bed in a caravan is similar to a double bed at home because it offers access to the mattress from all sides.

All types of coachbuilts feature it. Despite compact designs down to 6.5 m and around 7 m, the average overall length is still around 7.5 m.

Below is a list of benefits that come with having an island bed in your caravan:

Bathroom Variations:

Finding an island bed floor plan with some amazing features is not uncommon. Like an en suite bathroom that is full width with the shower on one side, and the toilet or washroom on the other, with a door that closes across the aisle.

It is unusual to design a washbasin with a central location at the foot of the bed because the basin is located on the opposite side of the wall. Even though island beds that extend the length of the vehicle are a common design (particularly from UK manufacturers), the restrooms are normally not as good.

Great Storage Space:

The ability to adjust the ratio of locker size to bed height is a major feature of models with motorised or manual bed rising and lowering devices.

This can play a trivial role in storage space, as being able to raise the beds means putting more items underneath them.

Lots of Choices:

With multiple island bed layouts available, you can customise yours to suit your lifestyle.

Side settees and half-dinette lounges are options, while continental manufacturers now offer couches that can be converted into a pair of forward-facing travel seats. The latter is becoming increasingly common!

But it is worth noting that only Bailey’s new “Adamo” offers rear travel seats with side settee layouts in the UK.

These are just some of the top benefits you should consider when considering an island bed layout.

How Do You Decide If an Island Bed Suits Yours and Your Family’s Needs?

There will be many factors to take into consideration when you want to decide if an island bed suits you and your family’s needs when you are away on holiday, such as:

  • How big is your family?
  • How many children do you have?
  • Are your children still at an age where they want to be alone in their room?
  • If you are going away with your partner, do you want to sleep in the same room?
  • Are you going away with a group of friends, and do you want everyone to have their room?
  • Do you have pets and want to sleep next to them?
  • Are you looking to have your bathroom facilities?
  • Do you prefer a lounge and dining area?
  • Are you looking for a kitchen that is suitable for cooking large meals?
  • Do you want a TV?
  • Do you want children’s toys?

Answering these questions will convince you that an island bed is your ideal caravan layout.

The only thing that may be involved in deciding the number of beds in your caravan is that not all families will have the same layout. But don’t worry, this will not be an issue as there are many caravans with more than one island bed, and they can also come in various shapes and sizes.

If you have a large family or want to give your parents, grandparents, or friends their room, you can arrange the layout and fit as many as six bunks.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Fixed Bed Layout for Caravans?

Fixed bed layouts in a caravan can have many pros and cons, depending on your choices.

These can be beneficial if you are a couple with small children and want independence. Below is a comprehensive list of pros and cons to help you decide if a fixed bed layout is suitable for you and your family:


1. Size:

Fixed beds in a caravan offer a lot more space than boxed/island beds, which is a big plus if you are a couple, a couple with small children, or a family with a couple of children.

2. Easier to Clean:

The fixed bed layout can also be an advantage when cleaning the caravan, as all the bedding is on the floor.

(This can be a problem in some caravan layouts where bedding is on top of cabinets.)

3. No Need for a Dining Table:

Some fixed bed layouts have a drop-down table in the lounge, saving you room in your caravan.

4. A Small Kitchen Area:

Some fixed-bed caravan layouts can have a small kitchen area suitable for preparing small meals.

5. Security:

Fixed-bed layouts can be more secure than other layouts because the bed is away from cold draughts, windows (especially at night) and beds that drop below the table when not in use.

6. More Storage Space:

Using fixed beds in your caravan can also mean more storage space than in an island bed layout.


1. Automation:

Fixed-bed layouts can be more difficult to automate, as there can be more seams in the floor and more electrical components.

2. No Privacy:

Fixed-bed layouts can be less private because both people are lying on the same mattress, although they can each have separate headboards.

3. No Direct Access to Beds:

Whilst fixed-bed layouts offer the possibility of separate beds, they don’t offer easy access to both beds at the same time.

4. Not Suitable for Large Families:

The fixed-bed layout may not be ideal for a large family with small children, as it could be difficult to share a double bed.

5. No En Suite Facilities:

Some fixed-bed layouts have an en suite washroom on one side of the bedroom, but there isn’t an en suite facility in the caravan overall.

6. Limited Choice of Caravans:

Another disadvantage is that you can find fixed-bed layouts in fewer caravans than in other layouts.

This is because manufacturers are trying to maximise space in a caravan, which usually means larger sleeping areas at the expense of options such as seating areas and static beds.

So as you can see, a mobile home with a fixed bed layout can offer many advantages – especially if you like to sit up in bed and read or watch TV – but there are also some disadvantages to consider.

How Do You Choose the Suitable Bed Layout for Your Caravan If You Take Pets on Holiday With You?

If you are thinking about or regularly taking your pets on holiday with you when caravanning, you may want to consider whether to choose an island bed layout or a fixed bed layout for your caravan.

Why? Well, if you are planning to take your pets into your caravan while travelling, you will also need to factor them into the decision process.

The needs of both you and your pets will be very important because both want the most enjoyable holiday possible – including a comfortable night’s sleep! So taking this into account, here are some tips on how to choose the suitable bed and layout for your caravan if you regularly take your pets on holiday with you:

1. Consider How Your Pets Sleep at Night:

If your pet likes to sleep without you, you may want to consider an island bed layout so you can lie in bed with your pet in the daytime. Then you can avoid disturbing them if they sleep through the night.

2. Consider Whether Your Dog Likes to Climb on the Bed:

If your pet likes to climb onto the bed with you, then a fixed bed layout will be better.

This is because a fixed bed layout means that your pet will never be able to climb onto the bed with you, and your pet will feel secure in the fixed bed layout on the bed with you.

(In fact, most animals prefer a fixed bed layout because this makes them feel more secure.)

3. Consider Whether Your Dog Likes to Sleep at Your Feet:

If your pet likes to sleep at the foot of your bed, you wouldn’t want them to climb over you to get to the bed. This can be difficult if the island bed layout is used.

A fixed bed layout would be best if you have pets who like to sleep at your feet.

4. Consider How You Can Treat Your Pets While You Are Away on Holiday:

If you are a pet owner, this may help you decide which layout and bed you prefer.

For example, if your pet needs medication or needs to be kept calm or warm while on holiday with you, then this may require a fixed bed layout, so your pet can be close to its owner.

5. Consider How Much Space You Need for Walking Your Pets:

If you regularly take your pets on holiday with you, and they need to be taken for walks twice a day, then this could mean a considerable amount of walking each day.

If your caravan has a fixed bed layout, this may need some extra space around the bed to take the dogs out for a walk.

As you can see that you need to take into account many things before you decide how to choose the right bed and layout for your caravan if you regularly take your pets on holiday with you

What Other Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Bed Layout for Your Caravan?

The bed layout that you choose for your caravan is very important.

It can distinguish between a good night’s sleep and an uncomfortable night’s sleep. So take your time to consider which bed and layout would best suit your and your family’s needs, and then decide.

For lots of useful tips on choosing the right layout and bed for your caravan, check out this comprehensive list of things to consider:

  • Layout and Bed Size: An easy choice is whether you want a small or a large bed. A long, narrow bed will be narrower than a short, wide bed but longer than it – giving you more width to position your fixed furniture. A larger bed will also give you more length for your legs when standing or sitting. However, a larger bed will take up more internal space in your caravan and cost more.
  • Length of Caravan: A longer caravan will give you more space for furniture options. However, a longer bed will mean you have less length to position your fixed furniture.
  • Height of Caravan: A taller caravan will give you more space for furniture options. However, a taller bed will mean you have less length to position your fixed furniture.
  • Position in Caravan: A centrally located bed will always be the most central position to the rest of your caravan and will give you the most space to place the furniture.
  • Fixed Furniture: Think about the placement of your fixed furniture before deciding on the layout of your beds. Fixed furniture will need to be positioned in a way that does not interfere with your chosen bed layout. If your fixed furniture is positioned toward the front of the caravan


So, what’s the verdict?

Are island beds better than fixed beds for caravans? It depends on your needs and what you’re looking for in a caravan layout.

If you’re unsure which bed layout suits you, don’t worry! Our team of experts can help you make the right decision for your family.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our caravan holiday and discuss your specific needs. We can’t wait to help you create some fantastic memories on your next holiday!