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Chapter 7: Bedrooms

These universal design features are all about designing bedrooms that are simple & functional for relaxation, sleep, and romance.
Residential Universal Design Building Code, 2023 version. © The Universal Design Project.
Note: additional specifications can be found in Chapter 4: Circulation (e.g., doors, etc.) and Chapter 10: Systems (e.g., electrical: light switches, etc.)

Section 7.1: Measurements

Note: furniture selection and placement must be pre-determined.

7.1.1 Floor space of ≥ 42 inches on ≥ 1 side of the bed.

Plan for a minimum of 42" (107cm) of floor space next to at least one side of a bed.
People who use a walker, wheelchair, crutches, or a cane need to be able to get on and off the bed with ease. The reason for more width here (vs. the foot of the bed or a doorway) is that some people need to position mobility equipment at an angle to get on/off a bed safely.

7.1.2 Floor space of ≥ 32 inches at foot of the bed.

Plan for a minimum of 32" (81cm) of floor space at the foot of a bed.
It's important to make sure the bed size needed (or wanted) and room layout provides enough space to move around and reach all important areas: the side of the bed, closets, seating areas, dressers, and windows. The layout has a direct impact on the functionality of a room.

7.1.3 Closet doorway ≥ 32 inches.

Entrances to all closets should be no less than 32" (81cm)It's wide.
This applies to walk-in -or- reach-in closets.
It’s important for all individuals to have the ability to get into their closets to retrieve and store items. If the doorway is too narrow, it's more difficult to use the storage.

7.1.4 Closet storage ≤ 48 inches from the floor.

Low closet shelving and/or a clothes rod should exist at a height of no more than 48" (122cm) from the floor.
This does not prohibit the use of higher storage.
It's important to use storage that offers the greatest flexibility of use for closets. Low clothing rods and/or adjustable shelving will provide usability for anyone short or tall, standing or seated.

Section 7.2: Features

7.2.1 Main level option.

At least one bedroom needs to be located on the main floor if the home is multi-story.
A bedroom on the main floor is smart, perhaps for hosting guests or safely carrying young children to bed without the need to navigate stairs or using an elevator that makes noise. In the event of a power failure, people who can't climb stairs should have access to at least one bedroom.

7.2.2 Lighting inside of closets.

All closets must have interior lighting.
It's important to be able to see and locate items inside closets. Make sure switches are placed in an easy-to-access location, not behind a wall of clothes or on a wall that gets blocked by furniture or by an open door.
Last modified 11d ago
© 2016-2023 The Universal Design Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. EIN: 81-1119582