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The Ultimate Bed Measuring Guide

The Ultimate Bed Measuring Guide

Single or double? King or Queen? We spend a third of our lives in bed, so it’s important to get the size of your bed just right. UK bed sizes fall into set categories, and while you can have a custom bed made to your own specifications, the easiest option is to buy a standard size. But do the dimensions for a king sized bed fit your bedroom? And what is the standard size for a double bed?

What size bed should you choose?

There are a variety of different considerations that go into choosing the right sized bed. We’re talking about bases here, rather than mattresses. So, what do you need to think about before you invest in your bed?

How much space do you have?

Before you buy a bed, get the measuring tape out. Take accurate measurements of the space available in your bedroom, taking into account things like:

  • The space needed for doors to open easily
  • Cupboards and wardrobe space
  • Where you want to position your bed
  • Whether or not you have a sloping or a flat ceiling (to avoid feeling too claustrophobic or even banging your head when you get up in the morning!

Which mattress do you want?

This is an easy one – because UK bed sizes are all a standard set of measurements, any size mattress will fit your bed base, whether you want a memory foam mattress or a traditional sprung option. Just make sure that when it comes to buying a mattress, you pick the right size for your base.

Do you want space on either side of the bed?

If you’re a couple, you probably both have your own nightstand or table with a lamp, and your own areas within the bedroom. Make sure that your base ‘footprint’ leaves you both enough room on either side. If you’re adding a single bed to a small room, the most likely position is with the bed pushed up against a wall. Therefore, access to both sides of the bed isn’t as important.

Are you or your partner particularly tall?

There’s nothing worse than a mattress that’s too short. You’re left with your feet hanging over the ends and it’s difficult to get comfortable. If you or your partner are over six feet, it may be worth going up a size (if you have the room) so that you don’t have to scrunch up to fit.

Knowing what bed sizes are available and how to measure your room correctly will save you from encountering problems later down the line.

What width should my bed be?

Most couples still have a standard double bed, which measures 4’6” wide (135cm). For two people, that can be quite a tight squeeze, not giving either partner much room to get comfortable or stretch out. Split a standard double mattress in half and you have just 67½cm each to sleep on! That could be considered ‘cosy’ at best and if you love snuggling up with your partner, that’s great. However, if you want a little more space then a larger bed may be a better option. A king size bed is 5’ or 150cm wide, while a super king is 6’ or 180cm wide.

For single beds, take into account the age of the person using the bed. If it’s for a young child then a small single at 2’6” or 75cm will be sufficient. If the bed is for a growing teenager, we suggest moving up a size to a single at 3’ (90cm) or even a small double bed at 4’ (120cm) wide.

What length should my bed be?

Your bed should be 10cm longer than the tallest person in the bed to stop the dreaded ‘overhang’ at the bottom (which can result in cold feet or uncomfortable gaps in the duvet at the bottom of the bed). A standard UK double bed is only 6ft 3” or 190cm, so if you’re over 5ft 11” you might want to choose a longer king size or super king size bed at 6ft 6” or 200cm long.

Uk bed sizes

Bed SizeFeet & InchesInchesCentimetres
Small single2'6" x 6'3"29.5" x 75"75cm x 190cm
Single3' x 6'3"36" x 75"90cm x 190cm
Small Double 4' x 6'3"48" x 75"120cm x 190cm
Double4'6" x 6'3"54" x 75"135cm x 190cm
King Size5' x 6'6"60" x 78"150cm x 200cm
Super King 6' x 6'6"60" x 78"180cm x 200cm

While the sizes above are standard UK bed sizes, European size mattresses are also available that will fit into a European size frame. At MattressNextDay, we have a selection of European size mattresses to fit the larger metric size frames.

How to measure your room for a bed?

The following steps will ensure you measure your space correctly and don’t have problems later on fitting the bed up the stairs, through doorways and into your room. Grab a pen and paper to write down your measurements and keep them to hand when ordering.

Step 1: check the dimensions of the bed, twice

Check the dimensions of the bed you want to buy will fit into the space in your room. Measure the space carefully (at least twice!) and make sure you factor in extra space around the bed. Some bed frames are larger than the mattress. For instance, sleigh beds or those with curved endings, and need more space than a standard size bed.

Step 2: Check the space in your room – again

Remember to allow for other furniture – do you want bedside tables? Is there a wardrobe near the foot of the bed? Skirting boards? You can use newspaper or books to block out the area where the bed will go. You can also check the position of your other furniture to get a better idea of the amount of space you’ll have around your bed.

Step 3: Check the dimensions of your headboard

If your headboard is thick, then it can stop the bed from lying flush to the wall. So make sure you factor those extra inches in. If your headboard is particularly high, it might affect where you can place it. For example, away from a window or underneath a beam if you live in an older cottage or house with sloped ceilings.

Step 4: Check plug sockets and radiators

It’s worth seeing if plug sockets would be in the right place for things like phone chargers, alarm clocks and lamps near the bed. This might affect where you place the bed.

If you have radiators then these affect where you can place the bed or could cut into some of the space, so that the bed doesn’t lie flush against a wall.

Step 5: Check Access

One of the most important things to check is access. Are your doorways large enough to fit the bed and mattress through? Will you need to self-assemble the bed once it's inside the room? What are your stairs like? Will you be able to manoeuvre around bannisters and balustrades? If you live alone, will you need help, even after it's been delivered, to assemble and lift the mattress onto the bed frame? All of these will determine what kind of bed you buy.

Remember our top tip – don’t just measure once, measure twice! If you’d like more help in choosing the right sized bed frame, then contact our friendly team who will be happy to help you.

Author: Lucy

Lucy is a copywriter, trend spotter, and our resident sleep expert! Lucie has been with the team since 2018 and her articles cover a sweeping array of subjects from general product care, the latest bedroom design trends, ways to promote healthier sleep and jargon-busting explanations to help you understand what goes into our products. Do you have questions for Lucy & the team? Call one of our sleep experts today!