If you have an upstairs master bedroom, you might ask, “Why do people put their master bedrooms downstairs?” Are there any benefits, and should you make the switch?
In this article, I’ll be exploring just that. Let’s take a look at why master bedrooms are downstairs, so you don’t have to waste time creating a new master suite that isn’t right for you.
Why Are Master Bedrooms Downstairs?
Master bedrooms are downstairs because they’re more accessible for elderly and disabled people. It can also be convenient since the bedroom is next to amenities like the kitchen. Finally, it might work better for certain lifestyles, like if someone wants to be on the same floor as their young children.
4 Reasons Why Master Bedrooms Are Downstairs
There are four main reasons you might want to put your master bedroom downstairs, including:
You Can Age in Place
One of the most popular reasons for putting your master bedroom downstairs is because you can age in place. If you haven’t heard of this, it means you can live on one level of your house without having to make adjustments as you get older.
This is especially great when you get a nice house and pay off your mortgage. If you put all that work and money into it, you might as well stay in it over the long term, right?
It also prevents you from having to make expensive purchases down the line.
Some elderly people with an upstairs master bedroom need to use a stairlift since climbing the stairs is difficult or dangerous for them. These can cost around $2,000-5,000 for a standard staircase and even more for curved stairs (starting at $10,000).
Others even install home elevators, which cost $30,000 on average. While both these options are expensive, there aren’t a lot of alternatives.
All in all, if you love your home and plan on staying there for decades to come, it might be cheaper and safer to put your master bedroom downstairs.
You Won’t Have to Worry About Mobility Issues
Of course, not all individuals with mobility issues are elderly people. Whether you’re temporarily or permanently disabled, you can benefit from an accessible home.
Things like a work injury or a broken leg can make it difficult for you to get around the house. If you’re in a dangerous industry like construction, you might not want to risk having your bedroom be inaccessible.
Or, if you have a permanent disability and are wheelchair-bound, you might need to install a home elevator to get to your bedroom upstairs.
While you could purchase a single-level home, you might like having the extra rooms upstairs as storage or for guests to stay in.
In these cases, downstairs bedrooms are often the best compromise so you can keep your multi-level home and make it accessible at the same time.
Imagine coming home from a long day of work. Your first instinct is probably to relax in your bed, right?
Well, if you have an upstairs master bedroom, you’ll have to drag your tired legs up the stairs and down the hallway before you can enjoy some rest and relaxation.
And then, after that, you might get hungry and have to go all the way back downstairs to pull something out of the fridge.
Sure, these are minor inconveniences.
Still, many people think it’s nice to have their bedroom be so accessible. I can hardly blame them!
When you wake up, the kitchen is only a few steps away. When you walk in the door, your bedroom is also only a few steps away.
And if you have a patio and want to enjoy the outdoors for a moment, that’s also only a few steps away.
One room adjustment can make you feel like you’re living the high life.
It Works Well With Your Floor Plan
Floor plans are vastly different from home to home, so I won’t be able to explore them all in this article. But here are a few common home set-ups that can work well with downstairs master bedrooms depending on your lifestyle:
All Bedrooms Downstairs
If your other bedrooms are downstairs, there are two common cases for putting your master bedroom down there as well.
One is if you’re a parent with young children. You might not want to have your baby in the master bedroom, whether they’re in a crib or a co-sleeping arrangement.
But you might still worry about them being out of earshot. Even if you have a baby monitor, having your baby far from you can be nerve-racking, especially if you’re a new parent.
It’s also more difficult to check on them at night since you have to creep down the stairs every time.
Even if your child is a little older, you might not be comfortable leaving them unattended.
For your peace of mind it might be better to put the master bedroom downstairs near your child’s/children’s room(s).
Two is if you enjoy having guests over. If you’re all on the same level, it can make them feel more at home and like they’re all part of the family.
This is especially great if you enjoy inviting your extended family or close friends over. You can all wake up and spend time together right away in the mornings, creating a sense of closeness.
Master Downstairs, Other Bedrooms Upstairs
Of course, you might also have your bedrooms upstairs and decide to put your master bedroom downstairs. This can have some benefits, too.
If you’re a parent with older children or teens, you might want a level of separation between you and them.
If you have a partner, you can get away from the hustle and bustle of parenting for a second and spend some alone time with them. Even if not, having some alone time by yourself can be valuable, too, allowing you to collect your thoughts and reflect on the day.
This might benefit your kids, too.
Often older children like establishing their independence. They can feel a bit more independent having the floor to themselves, even if you’re only a staircase away.
You might also like having your guest bedrooms upstairs while you sleep downstairs. It can be nice for you and your guests to have a little alone time right after waking up before you meet again on the same level.
Disadvantages of Having a Master Bedroom Downstairs
As great as downstairs master bedrooms can be, they’re not the best option for everyone. Here are some reasons you might not want to have one:
It Can Be Noisy
A fridge is running, a TV is playing, and the lawnmower is whizzing right by your window. These are only a few of the many sounds you might experience in their full glory when you’re downstairs.
Everything from a midnight snack to a living room rendezvous can be enough to keep you up at night.
You could try getting a white noise machine, but sometimes the walls are so thin it doesn’t do much for your poor, sleepless mind. Sleeping one level away from all the noise can work wonders.
Some Upstairs Master Bedroom Floor Plans Are More Beneficial
Okay, I mentioned a few layouts where downstairs master bedrooms might be better, right? Well, the same is true for upstairs bedrooms:
All Bedrooms Upstairs
Many homes prefer to have all their bedrooms on the upper floor, which is the case for homes with only one guest room and ones with multiple bedrooms alike.
The main reason is that all the bedrooms are one level removed from anything happening downstairs. If you love to entertain guests but have others living in your home, they might enjoy getting to retreat to their rooms for some privacy.
Master Bedroom Upstairs, Other Bedrooms Downstairs
This is similar to the layout where the other bedrooms are upstairs, and the master is downstairs, except in reverse. If your home is already set up this way, you might already be enjoying the benefits of having a level of separation between you and any other home residents.
Some people consider it better than the reverse layout since the upstairs feels farther removed from any downstairs noise or entertaining.
You Might Have to Modify Your Home
As great as downstairs master bedrooms can be, they aren’t very common. If your home has an upstairs master and you plan on putting it downstairs, get ready for some home modifications.
One example is garage conversions, which may require a building permit depending on where you live. There are also some codes you might have to meet, like installing an escape hatch or adding insulation.
Be sure to check your building codes so your new master bedroom doesn’t break any regulations.
You’ll Have Less of a View
If you were lucky enough to buy a home with a stunning view, you might be disappointed when you look outside the downstairs windows. In most cases, views look better from above ground level.
Sleeping with the Window Open Isn’t Recommended
Whether your AC is worse for wear or you love a fresh breeze, you might enjoy sleeping with the window open. Unfortunately, this isn’t a great idea when you’re downstairs.
Open downstairs windows can serve as entry points for everything from burglars and pests. That can be dangerous when you’re asleep.
You have two options: keep the window closed or have an upstairs master bedroom.
When Should We Consider Downstairs Master Bedrooms?
If you’ve looked at the pros and cons above and you’re still on the fence, here are some things to consider before getting a downstairs master bedroom:
Setting up a master bedroom downstairs can be inexpensive or very costly depending on your current home’s state. As mentioned, you might have to convert a room into a master bedroom that was originally something else.
But some master bedrooms take more work to create.
If you’re looking for a large master bedroom, you might have to knock down some walls. Or if you want your master bedroom to have a master bathroom attached, you may have to get plumbing installed.
It’s good to set up a budget beforehand so you can see if it’s the right decision for your wallet.
Ease of Set-up
Ideally, converting a room to a master bedroom would be as easy as snapping your fingers. It’s usually not that simple, though. At a minimum you’ll need to move a bed or some other furniture around.
But as I said in the previous section, some master bedrooms take more work to create. It might involve hiring plumbers, demolition specialists, and others to get the job done.
If you’re not keen on major home renovations, it might be best to skip out on a downstairs master bedroom.
Can We Set Up Master Bedrooms Upstairs? When?
The answer to this is a definite yes. Actually, most homes are set up this way by default, so it might be a matter of moving your furniture around.
But if your home has the opposite layout, you can convert an upstairs room to a bedroom like you can convert a downstairs room.
Here are a few things you may want to consider if you do:
- It’s best to get a moving company’s help if you’re moving heavy furniture upstairs like your bed. Otherwise, you might risk injuring yourself.
- Like converting a downstairs room, always check your local regulations and building codes to ensure your new room is compliant.
- You may have to set up a master bathroom or combine rooms depending on your house layout and how ambitious you want to be with the master bedroom.
Besides those things, you can set up a master bedroom anytime you’d like if you think it’s best for your lifestyle.
Do Downstairs Master Bedrooms Affect Resale Value?
I mentioned earlier that upstairs master bedrooms are more common than downstairs master bedrooms. So, you might be thinking, “Will my home be less valuable if I decide to have a downstairs master bedroom?”
The answer to this is actually no. Market research shows that homes with downstairs master bedrooms tend to sell for higher prices on the market.
In some cases, you might even be able to sell your home for a price above its listing value, like one home that was listed at $1.385 million and sold for $1.5 million.
The only potential concern is that you might have to keep your house on the market longer. Not everyone is looking for a downstairs master bedroom, after all.
But if you can find the right buyers, you might end up with more money than anticipated.