Your choice of bed size may be determined by the size of your room or even what you have previously slept on. Yet 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.
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 beds 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 to their next country pile or castle. Beds were prized possessions and a mark of status. They were used for sleeping, welcoming visitors, eating meals and even holding meetings.
The 17th century was certainly a period of magnificent beds. The most famous being the late Elizabethan ‘Great Bed of Ware’. This is 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 led 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 creation of these terms brings 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” (193cm x 203cm), see our size guide for more information. 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 of sleeping space. This is less than a Single bed. We recommend a Super King which is 180cm wide and comfortably accommodates 2 people. It gives each person 90cm and thereby minimises sleep disturbances.
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, (King size). If you are over 6ft, a Savoy King, California King or Emperor size may be more comfortable. These larger beds will give you an 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, so provides ample space all around. 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 zipped mattress pair and a split box spring base. This will make moving and turning your mattress much easier than if it was a one-piece. You won’t feel the difference as the mattresses are zipped neatly together. Whether you choose a one-piece or zip and link, we adjust the tensions 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 years you will keep your bed, it may be worth considering a custom size. 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, consider the size of your bedding. Whilst duvets and pillows usually fit different bed sizes, the fitted sheet may not. You may therefore need a custom-size flat sheet. We can also provide custom size sheets at your request.