Are you looking for a new bed? Choosing the right bed size is a balancing act between floor space and sleeping space. We all want lots of space to stretch out, but most of us will agree it’s no good if the bed leaves room for nothing else.
Here’s how to decide which bed size you need:
Choosing a bed if you already have a mattress
If you have a mattress and intend to keep it, the only thing you need to do is pick a bed frame designed for it. Your mattress will be either UK or EU size:
UK mattress sizes:
UK Single – 90cm x 190cm (3′ x 6’3″)
UK Small double – 120cm x 190cm (4′ x 6’3)
UK Double – 135cm x 190cm (4’6″ x 6’3″)
UK King – 150cm x 200cm (5′ x 6’6″)
UK Super king – 180cm x 200cm (6′ x 6’6″)
EU mattress sizes:
EU Single – 90cm x 200cm (3′ x 6’6″)
EU Small Double – 120cm x 200cm (4′ x 6’6)
EU Double – 140cm x 200cm (4’7″ x 6’6″)
EU King – 160cm x 200cm (5’3″ x 6’6″)
EU Super King – 180cm x 200cm (5’9″ x 6’6″)
EU Emperor – 200cm x 200cm (6’6 x 6’6”)
Match your mattress to the right-size bed frame, and you’re good to go.
Choosing a bed when you also need a new mattress
You’ll have lots more flexibility to upsize or downsize your bed if you also need a new mattress. Here are the most common sizes:
A single bed accommodates a 90cm x 190cm (3′ x 6’3″) mattress and is perfect for small children’s, and teenagers’ bedrooms. Single beds are narrow, so they maximize floor space more than any other bed.
A small double bed accommodates a 120cm x 190cm (4′ x 6’3) mattress, so the same length as a double but 15cm narrower. Small doubles are best for bedrooms where a double bed is too big or as an upgrade to a single bed.
The most popular bed choice, a double, accommodates a 135cm x 190cm (4’6″ x 6’3″) mattress. Double beds are ideal for two people under 6ft. Some brands also make long doubles with an extra 10-15cm of leg space.
King-size beds are the most popular large bed, accommodating a 150cm x 200cm (5′ x 6’6″) mattress. King-size beds are longer and wider than doubles, so they are best suited to tall people or anyone else wanting as much space as possible.
Don’t make this common mistake!
It’s important to remember that because a bed frame is made for a double mattress, not all double bed frames are the same size.
Bed frames come in all shapes and sizes; some bed frames protrude more than others, some are narrower than others, and some are taller than others.
The key to choosing the right bed size is to measure your bed space. Once you have these dimensions, you can look at frames by size.
Top tip: Divan beds have no protruding frames or legs and are near enough the same size as the mattress. They can also have in-built drawers.
Measuring your usable bed space
Before buying that king-size bed you have your eye on, you need to measure your bedroom to determine the amount of space you have.
Start by measuring the length of your bed space and then the width. Measure length from the wall and width from the end of the length.
Factor in bedside tables when measuring the width and how comfortable it will be getting out of bed. Will you have space? Ideally, you need space on either side.
A bed that’s too big will get in the way; this could be because the footboard sticks out too much or because the bed is too wide and needs squeezing in.
Most adults will find a double bed is big enough, with king-size beds best for larger rooms. Singles and small doubles are best suited to spare and children’s rooms.