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UK bed sizes 2024: The definitive mattress size guide

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Looking to buy the perfect size bed for your space? Here’s a rundown of all the UK bed sizes available

Struggling to wrap your head around the wide range of bed sizes available in the UK? You’re not alone. Particularly with specific names for each size meaning different things depending on where you are on the globe, it can be difficult to know which one you need to order. This is especially true if you need to find a bed that will fit into a smaller space.

Well, tape measures at the ready because we’ve compiled a handy mattress size guide to help you decide which UK bed size will suit you, and your space, best.

We also have top recommendations for each size to help you pick the mattress that’s perfect for you.

UK bed sizes: At a glance

UK Bed/ Mattress SizeMetric (WxH)Imperial (WxH)
Small Single75 x 190cm2ft 6in x 6ft 3in
Single90 x 190cm3ft x 6ft 3in
Queen (Small Double)120 x 190cm4ft x 6ft 3in
Double135 x 190cm4ft 6in x 6ft 3in
King150 x 200cm5ft x 6ft 6in
Super King180 x 200cm6ft x 6ft 6in
Emperor200 x 200cm6ft 6in x 6ft 6in
Large Emperor214 x 214cm7ft x 7ft

How to choose the right bed size

When picking a bed, size is just as important as comfort. Here are the most important things to consider before you splurge on a new bed, or on upgrading to a larger one.

Measure your bed frame

A key thing to consider is the size of your bed frame. The UK bed sizes we listed above are only the size of the mattress and don’t include any extra space that headboards or footboards might take up. Since different bed frames tend to have slightly different proportions, make sure you check the manufacturer’s specifications and use the measurements listed for your specific bed.

Measure your room size

For most people, the size of their bedroom dictates the size of their bed. If you’re thinking about upsizing, you’ll need to consider where you want to put your new bed. Some people are happy to have one or two sides of their bed touching the wall, while others prefer to have more room to move. If you want to be able to walk around your bed then make sure you’ve got at least a foot of space on each side so you can move about comfortably.

If you’re considering buying a new frame, you may also want to consider how much clearance you’ll have under your bed. Underbed storage is great for stashing away spare bedding, or items you don’t use all the time, especially if you’re in a smaller living space.

Finally, and particularly if you’re upsizing, double-check that your other furniture still functions – make sure you’ll be able to open drawers or cupboard doors without your new bed getting in the way.

Think about your sleeping arrangements

It may sound obvious, but you have to consider what the sleeping arrangements are before deciding on a bed size, as each size will have benefits and drawbacks.

Small single beds and single beds are ideal for kids, and they’re a great space-saving option for smaller bedrooms. Both beds are the same length (190cm), but the standard single is usually around 15cm wider than its smaller counterpart. Small single beds aren’t really big enough for anyone over the age of seven, so a standard single bed will be a more future-proof option for most households.

Even if you have enough space for a double bed in your kid’s bedroom, you may want to consider leaving that open for them to run riot and spread their toys around. You could also choose a high sleeper bed to give your child even more space, particularly since these often have a wardrobe or a desk built in underneath. Most of these types of bunk beds will fit a single mattress.

READ NEXT: The best single mattresses you can buy

Double and small double (queen-size) beds are really the smallest option if you’re planning to sleep in the same bed as a partner. As such, they’re perfect for guest bedrooms. Like with singles and small singles, double beds and small doubles – or queen-size, as it’s known here in the UK – are the same length but differ in width by around 15cm, with a small double only measuring up to 120cm wide.

That’s pretty cosy, if you ask us, so if either you – or your partner – like to spread out in the night then a small double isn’t really the best choice. The standard double offers that extra bit of space to get comfy for a good night’s sleep every night.

READ NEXT: The best double mattresses you can buy

King and super king beds are a sizable, while still practical, step up from a double. They’re 200cm long and 150cm or 180cm wide, respectively, which means there’s more than enough room for two people to sleep in one bed together. They also tend to be the largest mattress sizes stocked by most retailers. These beds are a real luxury, but you’ll need to ensure you’ve actually got the space for one before you splurge.

READ NEXT: The best king-size mattresses you can buy

Emperor and large emperor beds are absolutely massive. The largest of these two sizes measures a colossal 7ft x 7ft (approximately 215 x 215cm) – which is a ridiculous amount of space for only two people. The (slightly) smaller emperor mattress still has a length and width of 6ft 6in (approximately 180cm). If you want to sleep with a partner but really value your space then this is the size to buy. But only if you have the space and budget for it.

One caveat with these sizes is that most bed-in-a-box companies don’t generally stock mattresses this large, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find a well-reviewed emperor mattress from a well-known brand. So, you may need to spend even more to get a good bed – as well as suitable bedding – for an emperor-size bed.

Consider your budget

The cost of changing your bed size doesn’t just involve buying a mattress and a bed frame. You’ll almost certainly need to buy a new duvet and bedsheets, as well as a new mattress protector and (should you wish to use one) a new mattress topper too. Of course, the cost of all this can vary greatly and, while some people may be able to drop quadruple figures on a top-notch, luxury eiderdown, for the vast majority of people upgrading to a larger bed is a huge expense which takes lots of research and consideration. With that in mind, we’ve been careful to include budget options in our roundups, alongside the more premium options.

Anything else I should consider?

As we’ve mentioned, the names of different bed sizes can mean different things depending on where in the world you are. For instance, while a queen-size mattress is equivalent to a small double in the UK, in the US it’s closer to a king-size mattress (5ft x 6ft 8in). So, be sure to check the measurements outlined in the manufacturer’s or retailer’s specifications.

To save you some of the fuss, read our roundup of the best mattresses we’ve tested. We’ve tested and reviewed every single one of them, so if you want more information click through to our full reviews.

Read more