King? Queen? Royally confused about bed sizes? Then we’ll explain!
When it comes to choosing a new bed or mattress, getting the right size can be confusing due to the different terms used to describe the same size.
Most people will judge the size of the bed in relation to the ‘standard’ single or double size. These are the traditional dimensions and the ones that will be most commonly found in bedrooms across the UK.
However, manufacturers also offer other bed sizes which can be confusing. We often hear beds described as being King size, Queen size, Super King size and even Emperor size! It gets even more confusing as a Queen size bed is often described as being smaller than a King size, except when it is described as being larger than a King size!
Don’t worry though, we’re here to help and to give you the lowdown on the sizes that are available in the UK! And that is important. We think much of the confusion has arisen due to the differences in bed sizes and descriptions from country to country. As we are a UK supplier, we will stick to UK sizes!
Bed sizes in the UK
In the table below we provide a list of standard UK sizes, presented in the common imperial format with metric equivalents. These sizes refer to the dimensions that the vast majority of UK bed manufacturers will use for their beds and mattresses.
|Bed/Mattress Size||Dimensions (Imperial)||Dimensions (Metric)|
|Small Single||2’6” x 6’3”||75 x 190 cm|
|Single||3’0” x 6’3”||90 x 190 cm|
|Small Double (Queen)||4’0” x 6’3”||120 x 190 cm|
|Double||4’6” x 6’3”||135 x 190 cm|
|King Size||5’0” x 6’6”||150 x 200 cm|
|Super King||6’0” x 6’6”||180 x 200 cm|
However, bear in mind that this doesn’t mean that every bed on the UK market will adhere to these sizes. Sometimes a bed may be imported from abroad and if you buy a bed from a certain Swedish brand, they use their own dimensions which are more common in Europe.
The differences between a King and a Queen size bed
So back to King and Queen sizes. Lots of confusion reigns because of different definitions in the UK versus Europe and especially America.
Sometimes a King size and Queen size bed is classified as the same size. Sometimes a Queen size is defined as larger than a King, being a so-called Super King. However, unlike the rest of the world where a Queen size is larger, in the UK a Queen size is also termed a Small Double, being 4’ wide rather than the more common 4’6” of a standard double bed.
We’re glad to clear that up for you, but what’s more important is that whether you are buying a Queen, King or Super-King size bed, it all comes down to the measurements and whether it will comfortably fit into your bedroom! Do your research and bring your tape measure and you shouldn’t go far wrong!
Bed sizes in more detail
Small Single (2'6'')
A small single bed is fine for younger children or the very petite. Small single beds and mattresses are great for smaller bedrooms where space is very tight. Although they can be a good ‘transition’ bed for young children moving from a cot into their first ‘grown-up’ bed, as they get older, you may need to replace the small single with a standard single which can work out expensive.
The standard Single bed size is suitable for both children and adults. Wider than small singles, they provide a good amount of room for a single sleeper. This is the most common size for children’s beds, including bunk beds.
Small Double (4'0'')
A ‘small double’ (4’0”) bed (also known as a ‘Queen’ or a ‘Three Quarter’) is wider than a single bed but smaller in width than a double. It provides plenty of space for one or just enough room for two people as long as you don’t mind being cosy. Small double beds are ideal for smaller bedrooms and guest rooms where space is at a premium and the bed is only used on occasion.
Standard Double (4'6'')
A ‘double’ bed (4’6”) is designed to sleep two adults comfortably. This is the most common and widely available size for all beds in the UK.
King Size (5'0'')
A standard ‘King Size’ (5’0”) bed includes a longer length than the standard ‘double’ (6’6” instead of 6’3”). A king size bed provides plenty of room for two adult sleepers, but can take up a lot of room in the bedroom. If your bedroom is larger than average, they are a great choice.
Super King (6'0'')
The largest ‘super king’ bed provides loads of space for two sleeping adults. The height of luxury, they are great for those seeking more room in bed to really stretch out.
Tips for choosing the right size bed
Bed sizes are measured according to the size of the mattress they hold, but the actual dimensions of a bed frame can vary according to its shape and style and is almost always slightly larger than the mattress dimensions.
Make sure your mattress dimensions are 10cm longer than the tallest person who will be using the mattress, to ensure that it gives the right amount of support and no-one will have feet sticking out from the bottom of the bed!
Get the right width for your mattress by tucking both hands under your head. If your elbow touches the edge of the mattress or the person next to you, then you probably need a larger mattress, as long as your bedroom is wide enough.
Always measure the space available in your bedroom and buy the largest bed that will fit in the space. That way you are guaranteed to get the best quality of sleep. Why choose a standard double if you have the room for a King size?
At Bed-e-Buys most of our beds and mattresses are available in all the sizes we’ve discussed in this article.
- S B