How the size of your bed can affect you

Do you know that most adults sharing a double bed have 25% less space than if they were each to sleep in a single bed alone? How crazy is that?

Bed size

International bed sizes

The UK, Australia and New Zealand have the tightest fits. A standard double bed in these countries measures 4 feet 6 inches (137 cm), which gives each partner a mere 27 inches (68 cm) of personal space. In a single bed, each person would have 36 inches (91 cm) to themselves, which is 9 inches (23 cm) or 25% more.

Europe and South America are about the same. A standard double European bed ranges from 135 cm to 140 cm wide, which gives each partner 65-70 cm (26-27 inches), compared to 90 cm (35 inches) in a single bed.

A standard double bed in the USA (called a full bed) is roughly the same size, but compared to single bed sizes, ranging there from 39-48 inches (99-122 cm) wide, each person gets 28% less personal space. Not surprisingly, the full bed size isn’t such a common choice for couples. Americans generally prefer bigger beds.

The next size up in the US is the queen bed (5 feet wide), which is equivalent to the king bed in most of the rest of the world (150-160 cm). Here it starts to get difficult to make comparisons because there are so many variations in sizes, but even so, these beds still give less space per partner than sleeping alone in a single bed.

The maths really only starts to work when you get to king beds (known as superking beds outside the US), which measure 6 feet 4 inches feet wide (193 cm). Now each partner is finally sleeping in a space that is equivalent to a single bed.

And if you really want to go for it, there are some bed manufacturers who offer 7-foot (213 cm) wide emperor beds, 8-foot wide Caesar beds, and of course, bespoke beds made to any size at all.

How the size of your bed affects you

There’s no feng shui rule that says the bigger the bed, the better. Sometimes it works brilliantly well for both partners. I’ve also seen marital situations where too big a bed has resulted in a loss of intimacy in the relationship.

But too small a bed can definitely have negative consequences. Most people spend a third of their life horizontal, and spending so much time feeling physically restricted and energetically compressed can result in feeling similarly constrained in other aspects of life. It can also affect the quality of your sleep in ways you may not realize.

So what do I recommend? Well, it’s a matter of personal preference. Some people really do need more space than others.

But here’s the thing…

If you or your partner find you love the nights when the other person’s away because you get to sleep spread-eagle in the middle of the bed, then it would be wise to invest in the biggest one you can afford that your bedroom can comfortably accommodate. But if you both love the closeness and intimacy that a smaller bed can bring, that’s perfectly fine too. The important thing is to make a conscious choice about this instead of putting up with sleeping cramped for many years, as so many people do.


Copyright © Karen Kingston 2011, updated 2020

Related articles
The modern trend for dual master bedrooms
Do you really need to open your bedroom window when you sleep?

Like to read more articles like this?
Subscribe to my newsletters to receive news, articles and information about upcoming online courses by email. And I promise you – no junk mail ever.


About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fourth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
This entry was posted in Feng Shui. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to How the size of your bed can affect you

  1. Birgitta B says:

    What’s called a double bed in Sweden is actually two single beds joined by one headboard, so it’s normally 180 cm but with a “seam” in the middle. There are “real” double beds of 160 cm, but they are not very common (people regard them with suspicion as they are so narrow). My partner and I don’t live together, but we spend about half our nights together, so we have each bought one of those 160 cm beds and found that this works very well. When we book a hotel room we always ask for a real double bed and try to be very, very clear about not wanting two joined singles, but it’s very difficult to get Swedish people to appreciate the difference between double and twin. The positive thing about the marital double which is really a twin, though, is that if needed it’s easy to separate it into two singles.

  2. Debbie A says:

    Both my partner and I agree that havaing our own bed = a good night s sleep. We can still be intimate but having our own bed means we can have a good night’s sleep.

  3. Craig R says:

    Brilliant piece Karen – thank you.

    I must admit both my partner and I have UK superking beds in our homes. It was a leap financially (and the bedding is so expensive!) and initially I wondered if we would miss the extra bedroom space it takes up but it was the best thing we’ve ever done!

    Big hugs,
    Craig x

  4. Cori says:

    A standard german double bed is 180 – 200cm.

  5. Liz says:

    Many thanks – I know what to look for now.

    (I don’t like the idea of beds with an ‘east-west’ (side-to-side) split divan either.)

  6. Liz says:

    Hi Karen!

    I am looking for a new bed at the moment. A lot of them have the divans in two halves. This doesn’t seem like a good idea. What are your thoughts?

    I really enjoyed your talk at the Mind, Body & Spirit Show back in May!

    Thanks

    Liz

  7. Raquel says:

    Suppose your partner loves being as close as can be, but you like a bit more space? Such is the case with me and my husband. He loves snuggle his head on my shoulder, to drape a leg over mine– and I have to shrug and kick him off! I think he needs physical connection to be comfortable while he sleeps, but I like to stretch. And to think, we used to share a twin (single) bed back in the good old days…

    • Hmmm… this is more about levels of intimacy than personal space. If you used to enjoy closeness with your partner and no longer do, what’s changed to cause that? This is not a question I expect you to reply to publicly here – just something you may want to do some deep searching about with your partner.

      • Raquel says:

        Thanks for the insight, Karen. I will keep it in mind for sure– though I can’t remember a time when I didn’t mind him sprawled over me while we sleep. But, I’ve been reading your book, and I realized I had a spider-like plant right smack in the middle of our the relationships section of our home– I totally remedied that this past weekend after Space-Clearing! So thank you!

  8. Lena-Maria says:

    I’m alone in my 160 cm bed since a break-up two years ago. And I love to be able to roll around, sleep diagonally or just snuggle up in a corner. To have a choice.
    As much as I look forward to meeting a partner I dread the sharing of my bed…

    Love and Light!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Contact

Clear Space Living Ltd
483 Green Lanes
London N13 4BS, UK

UK Company No: 12067211
VAT Reg No: 339 267 376

Connect

FacebookTwitterRSS Feed

Facebook   Social_icons - Twitter  RSS Feed

International Directory
of Practitioners

Australia
Canada
Europe & UK
United States
Rest of the world