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Specifying the perfect bed size

How to choose the right bed size for the best night's sleep
State 05 bed - Savoir house design

Your choice of bed size may be determined by the size of your room or even what you have previously slept on, but we believe it should be more considered than that. The size of your bed should also be chosen in accordance with your height and weight, sleeping style and personal preferences. As the most important piece of furniture you will ever buy, bed size needs to be carefully considered because it contributes to comfort and the quality of your sleep.

Savoir Royal State Bed

Historically, the size of the bed was chosen to reflect the status and wealth of the individual. In Medieval Europe, discerning individuals conceived the idea of the ‘great bed.’ These were large pieces of furniture carved out of wood reaching 7 or 8 feet long by 6 or 7 feet wide. In this period, beds were designed to be dismantled so that the owner could take them with them when they travelled to their next country pile or castle. Beds were prized possessions and a mark of status. They were used not only for sleeping, but also to welcome visitors, eat meals and even hold meetings. The 17th century was certainly a period of magnificent beds. The most famous being the late Elizabethan ‘Great Bed of Ware.’ A substantial four poster bed carved out of wood, over 3 metres long and 3 metres wide. Accommodating at least four couples, it is now housed in the V&A museum in London.

By the 18th century, beds were no longer regarded as lavish spaces used for receiving visitors. The bedroom had become a more private space dedicated to sleeping. This lead to beds becoming simpler in style and smaller in size. Headboards continued to shrink in the 19th century, and bedrooms became akin to the ones we are accustomed to seeing today.

The 20th century saw the arrival of common bed size terminology with Double, King, Super King and Emperor in the UK, and Full, Queen and King in the US. The terms were created to bring some commonality to bed sizes. However, whilst they serve as a guide, they are not always consistent in their measurements around the world. For instance, a King size bed is typically 150 x 200cm in the UK, but in the US, it is 76” x 80” which is 193cm x 203cm. It is therefore better to consider the dimensions themselves when specifying a bed.

When it comes to choosing the right size, first consider your personal space requirements. A King size bed at 150 x 200cm gives each person 75cm sleeping space, which is less than a Single bed. We recommend a Super King which is 180cm wide and comfortably accommodates 2 people by giving each person 90cm and thereby minimising sleep disturbances.

UK Bed Sizes

Savoir UK Bed Size Guide

US Bed Sizes

Savoir US Bed Size Guide

You and your partner’s size and shape are also important considerations for the size of your bed. If you are 6ft tall, you should have a bed that is at least 6 inches longer, which means a King size as a minimum. If you are over 6ft, a Savoy King, California King or Emperor size may be more comfortable, giving you that extra few inches of length. Once you have assessed your space requirements, then consider the largest bed your bedroom can comfortably accommodate. If you have enough room, an Emperor bed offers grand proportions and is square (210cm x 210cm), not rectangular so provides ample space all round. It not only feels decadent, but it provides an extra comfortable sleeping environment.

If you are choosing a bed that is larger than a King size, we recommend a zip and link mattress and a split box spring base. This will make moving and turning your mattress much easier than if it was a one-piece. You will not feel the difference as the mattresses are zipped neatly together. Whether you choose a one-piece or zip and link, the tensions can be adjusted on both sides to accommodate you and your partner. So, if you like a soft and your partner wants a medium, this can be easily specified.

Given the length of time you will keep your bed, it may be worth considering if a custom size is the best option for you. If your room is an awkward shape or you simply prefer a longer or wider bed, we can make it to these dimensions. You may even want to consider a round bed, for an entirely different look. Simply speak to a showroom consultant to discuss your requirements and receive a quote.

If you are choosing bespoke dimensions, be aware that whilst duvets and pillows usually fit different bed sizes, the fitted sheet will not, so you will need to have a custom size made or use a flat sheet. We can also provide custom size sheets on your request.

For more advice on buying a mattress, speak to one of our bed specialists or book an appointment at your nearest showroom.