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Why Your Bed Height Really Matters

Low bed or high bed? Which is better? Here's why you should take your bed height into consideration.

Mattresses sit in bed frames to raise them from the ground. Beds are commonly raised off the floor due to a variety of factors such reducing mould and increasing accessibility. Bed frames are also designed to hold the mattress and offer support.

Due to factors such as mattress depth and bed frame design, heights of beds vary from home to home, but which height is right for you and your bed? We explore why bed height is important and what height your bed should be.

Image of a beige low divan bed in a bedroom setting.
Low Divan Bed

How high should a bed be?

The average height for most beds is 24 inches from the floor, but can also range from 18 to 36 inches. This is the total height from the bottom of your bed frame to the top of your mattress. The reason that most beds are this height is because it is the best height to help the majority of people get in and out of bed easily. 

You’ll find that some different bed frames can affect the height of your bed overall – for example, an ottoman bed with underbed storage will be taller, coming in at closer to 30 inches, while shorter bed frames like platform beds are only around 20 inches. The height of your bed can also be affected by how thick your mattress is. Our Mattress Depth Guide will help you understand this better.

When you’re trying to gauge how high your bed should be, you need to take your height into consideration. If you’re particularly tall, then you’ll find that having a taller bed is more beneficial for you, and the opposite is true for shorter people too. You should have your knees and hips at equal heights when you sit at the edge of your bed. And if you have a partner whose height varies a lot from your own, just meet in the middle! You can read our guide on How To Choose Beds For Tall People for more advice.

The height of your bed will also impact how much storage space you have underneath the bed. The lowest beds won't have any room at all for you to store anything, but high beds will offer clearance space below for you to use to make your home clutter-free.

Of course, you might want to opt for a luxury four poster bed, in which case the frame of the bed will extend to around 200cm high. The height of the actual bed base on a four poster bed, however, can vary, so don't just assume that a four poster means you'll be sleeping up high - but you do need to make sure that your ceiling height is appropriate for this type of bed frame.

Low beds vs high beds

Depending on your height, age and personal preference, you may prefer a bed which is lower or one that sits higher. Tall people and people of an older age may prefer a higher bed due to the ease of slipping out of it in the morning. Whereas people who are shorter in height will find a lower bed much easier to get into and out of.

The best way to find out whether your bed is the right height for you is to sit on the edge and determine whether your knees align with your hips. If your knees are above your hips your bed may be too low. If your knees are below your hips, your bed may just be too high.

If you are looking to increase or decrease the height of your bed, you may only need to invest in a new mattress, bed frame or divan bed rather than both. As bed frames vary in design and mattresses vary in-depth, if you aren’t ready to part with your much-loved bed frame, simply purchase a thinner or deeper mattress to suit. You can easily raise the height of your bed by adding a thick mattress topper.

If you're looking to make your bed higher, you should go for an extra deep mattress, which will easily add a few inches to the height of your bed. If you prefer a lower bed, go for a low bed frame and thin mattress.

Image of the mattress on a grey divan bed.
Tuft & Springs™ Opulence 3000 Pillow Top Mattress

How high should the top of a mattress be from the floor?

Today, the average bed height is around 25 inches and so the top of your mattress should roughly sit 25 inches from the floor. Bed height corresponds with how tall a person is – the average height of the UK population is 5ft 9in, so this is the standard that beds are made to. If you are shorter than this, your bed should sit lower to the floor. If you're a lot taller, consider a thicker mattress and taller bed frame.

Does bed height affect sleep?

In Feng Shui, it is believed that the height of your bed can affect your sleep. It is thought that sleep quality is dependent on how energy flows around the bed. The space under your bed should also be free from clutter to allow the energy to pass through freely. To get the right levels of energy for a good quality night sleep, the bed must also not be too high as this will eradicate the feeling of being grounded.

What is a good height for a mattress?

Mattresses are made up of layers of varying materials. The type of mattress you choose will determine the thickness and how many layers it has. For example, an orthopaedic or memory foam mattress will usually have a lot of depth for additional comfort and support. The standard height of a mattress is between 6 and 7 inches, however, mattresses now can be as deep as 10 to 15 inches. A luxury pillow top mattress will also be higher, as they include a stitched-in additional comfort layer.

Image of high storage bed with under bed storage area and built in drawers.
Ella Wooden Storage Bed

Does the height of a mattress matter?

The height of your mattress will matter when it comes to comfort. Over the years, mattresses have been getting thicker as the design and construction has adapted and more technologies have been developed - they need somewhere to go! What a mattress is filled with, how firm it is, and the method of construction are all factors which contribute towards the depth of a mattress.

Mattress comfort is down to personal preference. Thick mattresses are sturdy and offer maximum support, reducing the effect of sinking. Thinner mattresses, however, can still offer the support and comfort you need, and keep you lower to the ground.

If you've decided on your perfect mattress height, you might still have some other things to consider. Our Ultimate UK Bed & Size Guide will help you choose the right size mattress for you, or if you need more general advice, our Mattress Buying Guide will be sure to help.

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