The problem with split beds

This is what many European hotels call a double bed, even though it’s clearly two single beds that have been pushed together. It’s far from ideal for a romantic getaway.

Split beds

Split beds

If you ever travel in Europe and want to sleep with a partner in a real double bed, it’s a good idea to call the hotel first and check what they mean by that. The reason is that split beds are quite common in European hotels, especially in German-speaking countries.

The problem with twin beds pushed together to make a double bed is that no one like to sleep in the uncomfortable crack in the middle. Worse still, on a deep subconscious level, it produces the feeling of there being an irreconcilable gap between you. You certainly don’t want this on a romantic break, and it can have disasterous long-term effects if you have this permanent bed formation in your home.

Zip-and-link beds

This type of bed is sometimes better designed. The bed bases are joined at the head and foot by linking bars, and the single mattresses are zipped together. It can be a great solution if one partner needs a firm mattress and the other prefers a softer one. It also makes the beds much easier to transport when moving home.

If it’s done well and there’s no gap or ridge in the middle that can be seen or felt in any way, even when sleeping in the middle of the bed, this is fine. It’s rare, however. You’d want to try a bed such as this in a showroom before buyng, or at least purchase only if it has a money-back guarantee.

Beds under beams

Beams over bed

Richard and I slept in this rustic bed in a house we rented in Austria, but we cancelled our booking after our first sleepless night. Can you spot what’s wrong with it? Apart from the squeaky bedframe, dreadful sponge mattresses, and microfibre pillows and duvets? 

Yes, it’s the overhead beams, especially the one that runs down the centre of the bed, reinforcing the effect of the split. The agent confided in us as we handed the keys back that the couple who previously owned this house and slept in this bed got divorced. We weren’t surprised.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2010, updated 2023

Related articles
How the size of your bed can affect you
Beams, beams, beams
Why beams are such a feng shui no-no

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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 fifth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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17 Responses to The problem with split beds

  1. hi myself aarti,
    im married and having problems in relationship and heard that split boxes of double bed or split matress create bad effect In relationship and third person enter in life, it has become real for me I need help I am not able to change split mattress and double bed’s split boxes, can you help me any other solutions

    1. I don’t know where you heard that sleeping on split mattresses causes a third person to enter a relationship. There’s a lot of false information in the world of feng shui, and I’ve never seen any evidence of that. I also don’t know of any way to change a split bed situation other than by replacing it with a double mattress. |

  2. Karen, my bed is centered between two light colored support beams – one on either side of the bed (none directly over the bed). There is also a window at the end of each beam, which I’m hoping will counter any ill effects of the beams. Do I need to be concerned about this and do anything?

    1. It depends on your relationship. If you want intimacy, a double bed is best. If not, single beds are fine, pushed together or apart.

      But this is really too much of a simplification. There are certain situations where individual rooms, never mind individual beds, are a better option than sleeping together, and I’m not just talking about when one partner disturbs another with their snoring or restless sleep. For example, there are certain types or phases of spiritual work where each partner may do best if they sleep in their own space for a while.

  3. Dear Karen
    having just read your article about beds, I sleep on a magnetic bed and pillows with a far-infra red duvet cover from a japanese company called Nikken, what is your advice on something like this? Mattress is on a wooden frame, hand carved and raised from the floor and headboard facing north. thank you

    1. I slept one night on a top-of-the-range magnetic bed made by Nikken and lasted until about 3.00am when I got out of bed, pulled the incredibly heavy mattress on to the floor, and finally got a good night’s rest on the regular mattress that had been under the magnetic one.

      Magnetic mattresses may work for some people but definitely not for me. A good night’s sleep depends on separation of the higher subtle bodies from the lower, and what I experienced was that the magnets severely inhibited this. I’m normally a very sound sleeper, but couldn’t get to sleep at all.

  4. I have 2 single cots and mattresses pushed together but the headboard is designed in such a manner that it looks synchronised. I don’t use single sheets. I use a double bedsheet. There’s a very practical reason why there are single mattreses and and single cots. They are easier to handle than a big double bed, especially as one ages. The cotton mattresses we have in India are really heavy. So what can one do?

    I have found your book so useful. I don’t know of any space clearing experts in India so when my mother passed away after battling cancer I found it helpful to burn camphor everyday in her room for 15 days.

    I would like your opinion, Karen. And thanks so much.

    1. Here’s a suggestion that may help – you could put a thick layer of material between your mattresses and your bottom sheet so that you don’t feel the crack between the beds. The best type of material to use in your climate would be 100% cotton, which lets your skin breathe.

      As to the camphor, I know this is widely used in your country and it has an excellent purifying effect.

  5. Dear Karen,

    I have never really understood what kind of mattress is GOOD to sleep on. As you do not like either sponge or metal spring beds, can you please tell me this?

    1. To reply to your question briefly, you can find information about this topic in Chapter 17 of my book, ‘Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui’, where I explain, “It is best to sleep on a wooden bed base, with a mattress made from natural fibres. Have your bed raised a little off the ground so that air can circulate underneath it.”

      But the world has moved on a lot since I wrote that book, so I am including a much more detailed section about bedrooms, beds, bedding and sleep in the new book I am writing at the moment. It’s such an important topic because the quality of our sleep affects the quality of our waking life in many ways people just don’t realize.

      I don’t have a publication date for the book yet but it will be some time in 2011 and I will no doubt post more articles on bedroom-related topics here on this blog between now and then.

  6. Dear Karen,
    I just read your article on beams. What are your thoughts on ceiling fans in the bedroom and in other rooms of the house? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Ceiling fans in bedrooms are problematic because the spinning motion and continuous noise affect the quality of sleep. The higher the speed, the more the disruption. If there is someone sleeping in the room above, the electromagnetic field (EMF) of the fan (and probably the noise and vibration) will also affect them. I once had to move out of an apartment in London after discovering that the occupants of the apartment below me kept their fans on 24/7 during the summer months, making all my floors shake and every bedroom uninhabitable due to high EMFs.

      The architectural design, not the climate, is at the heart of most of these problems. In tropical Singapore, as an example, the old style colonial buildings are designed so that breezes flow freely through the rooms, making it unnecessary to use air conditioning or fans most of the time.

  7. Dear Karen, I don’t understand what’s the problem with the pillows, are they too small? And so, what should a good mattress, a good pillow and a good duvet be like? In my case, I’m allergic to dust and a doctor told me never to use feather filled duvets (although I’m not sure whether there’s any basis to that). Can you please give us some advice on that? Thank you so much!

    1. No, it’s not the size of the pillows!

      The focus of my article was mostly the physical shortcomings of this bed (split mattresses, single duvets, squeaky bedframe and beams overhead), whereas your question about bedding materials relates to the etheric aspect of sleep. This is such an important topic that I’m including a whole section about it in the new Space Clearing book I’m writing.

      Very briefly, sleep is a time when our etheric energies are revitalized. Synthetic bedding materials or nightwear can seriously inhibit this process. The etheric needs to ‘breathe’.

      If you have an allergy to dust, d an internet search in your part of the world for dust-mite-proof down and feather pillows, silk pillows, and organic wool ones, as well as an excellent range of organic bedding. If you’ve been sleeping with synthetic bedding for years you’ll be amazed at the difference in quality of sleep that changing your bedding materials can bring.

  8. Interesting… I’ve gotta check out your beams article straightaway. We’ve just signed a one year lease where one of our bedrooms (it will be shared by my sons) has angled board beams similar to the ones shown. I’m hoping the solution is easy…

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