10 Key Dimensions to Know for the Perfect Bedroom Layout
Follow these practical guidelines to help you choose the best layout and furniture to maximise your sleeping space
A small double mattress, sometimes referred to as a queen size, typically measures 120cm wide x 190cm long in the UK and Ireland. This could be great for a growing teen or where space is limited.
A standard double in the UK and Ireland measures 135cm wide x 190cm long, while a king-size mattress measures 150cm wide x 200cm long. If you want to go really roomy, a super king measures 180cm wide x 200cm long, but these are best reserved for particularly wide rooms, otherwise the bed will tend to dominate the space.
European double mattresses measure 140cm x 200cm, with the king size measuring 160cm x 200cm and the super king 180cm x 200cm.
When choosing your bed, you’ll need, of course, to take care that your bed frame, mattress and bedclothes all match in size.
The traditional single mattress sizes in the UK and Ireland are 70-75cm wide x 190cm long for a small single bed, and 90cm wide x 190cm long for a standard single. The smaller size is great for younger children, or where space is tight.
A European single mattress will be longer, measuring 90cm x 200cm.
Again, you’ll need to coordinate your choices of frame, mattress and bedclothes to avoid unfortunate mismatches.
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Off-the-peg bunk beds are designed to fit in a standard room height of 2.4m.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll need to allow a minimum of 60cm clearance between the top of the upper mattress and the ceiling, more if the occupant of the top bunk is tall.
The height of the top bunk will typically be a maximum of 180cm above the floor.
Where space is extremely restricted, a fold-up bed can provide a great space-saving solution and make every centimetre of your room work hard.
You’ll need to take into account the dimensions of the bed both when folded away and when in use, and whether the design opens out from the side or from the head of the bed. The closed depth will vary from 38cm to 56cm.
A space of 50-55cm at the end of a double bed will allow you to move around, and make, the bed reasonably comfortably.
You can get away with slightly less space at the foot of a single bed, as the bedding is typically less bulking. Single beds will also be happy against a wall, and in such instances, they can be made relatively easily without needing to access the end at all. If you hope to fit a bed across the width of a small room, make sure to measure between the skirting boards (as opposed to between the walls) to make sure you are not short of a few precious centimetres.
Bear in mind though that these are all preferred minimum sizes – your bedroom will thank you for more space to move around the furniture where this is possible.
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A space of 60cm each side of a double bed is perfect for the purposes of both making the bed and of placing a convenient bedside table or locker for each occupant.
It is worth choosing a bed size to suit this rule of thumb, as opposed to shoe-horning in one that will leave you feeling constricted.
A gap of 50cm between the beds will allow for making each bed comfortably, as well as creating a useful space for a shared bedside table or locker.
A headboard is possibly a bit of a misnomer as, nowadays, you probably just want your shoulders to be supported when sitting up in bed. A height of between 30-40cm above the mattress will accommodate this comfortably.
However, you might prefer to choose a taller design to suit the overall room scheme, or to create a dramatic feature.
In an attic room with a sloped ceiling, you’ll need an average height of 150cm from floor to ceiling at the head of the bed. If you are very tall, this height may not be enough to avoid banging your head when sitting up or getting out of bed. You’ll need to add the height of the mattress off the floor to your own sitting height to determine at what height you’ll need to position the bed.
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Unless you’re lucky enough to have a separate walk-in wardrobe, you’ll need to accommodate your clothes storage within your sleeping space.
A depth of 60cm is best here, which allows enough space to accommodate clothes hung on a rail parallel to the doors. Where space is restricted, you could have the rail perpendicular to the door instead, so your clothes will be hung facing you. In this case, the hanging space would have to be at least 60cm wide.
How happy are you with your bedroom layout? Tell us what bothers you – or what really works – in the Comments.