UK Bed and Mattress size guide - The truth about UK bed sizing

When it comes to UK bed sizes you will probably be familiar with the 6 standard bed sizes that are commonly advertised for the UK market; Small Single, Single, Small Double, Double, King & Superking.  When you see these advertised it can be easy to fall into the trap that all beds are created equally, or at least sized equally.

With regards to the mattress sizing, it would be great for companies like us who manufacture and sell beds if it was the case that all were the same size. Unfortunately given the varying different mattress types available and also a large number of mattress manufacturers this isn’t always going to be the case.

As it turns out most foam mattresses are very close which is quite easy to do as they are just cut from blocks of foam.  But then a large proportion of spring mattresses are made by hand, hand-filled hand-tufted and hand-stitched. So, as close as you can get it is impossible for it to be exact. We know this as we have a mattress factory and as much as we wish we could get them all exact to the cm but it just isn't possible with a hand-stitched item, even with the utmost care there will always be at least a couple of mm variation.

The other slight issue being there are actually 2 sets of standard sizes of UK mattresses and they do not quite exactly align.  

UK mattresses are traditionally;

2ft6 x 6ft3 - Small Single

3ft x 6ft3 - Single 

4ft x 6ft3 - Small double

4ft6 x 6ft3 - Double

5ft x 6ft6 - King

6ft x 6ft6 - Superking 

But we also now have metric sizes for beds; 

75cm x 190cm - Small single

90cm x 190cm  - Single 

120cm x 190cm - Small double

135cm x 190cm  - Double

150cm x 200cm  - King

180cm x 200cm  - Superking 

These numbers are very close to each other but are not exactly the same.  You can do the conversions and compare them to see it's so close it is generally a non-issue and not something that is ever really mentioned.  But it means as a bed manufacturer we have to be wary that our beds fit both sizes and not just align to the size of the mattresses we sell but also those mattresses from other suppliers.

We have put together a conversion and comparison shown below which will show you; 

Small Single 2ft6 x 6ft3 = 76.2cm x 190.5cm 75cm x 190cm

Single 3ft x 6ft3 = 91.4cm x 190.5cm 90cm x 190cm

Small Double  4ft x 6ft3 = 121.9cm x 190.5cm 120cm x 190cm

Double 4ft6 x 6ft3 = 137.2cm x 190.5cm 135cm x 190cm

King 5ft x 6ft6  = 152.4cm x 198.1cm 150cm x 200cm

Superking 6ft x 6ft6 = 182.9 x 198.1cm 180cm x 200cm

As you can see, there is a definite discrepancy between the two sets of measurements, in many cases, it is a few mm and therefore something that would never be noticeable.  But there are a couple where there is over 2cm of difference in either or both dimensions which is something that you may possibly notice in a side by side comparison of two mattresses.  

How does this apply to our bed sizes?

Because there are different mattress sizes and often when you order a mattress you won’t know to which standard it is built then we have to allow for this when producing bed frames.  This means there can often be a small gap around the edge.  This is normal.  It would be possible to manufacture a bed with a slightly smaller potential gap if we only designed them to fit a specific range of our own mattresses, but as they have to fit a full range of UK sized mattresses from all other suppliers then we have to take into account the variances in mattress sizing.

When we look at the ottoman frames, in particular, part of the reason for there having to be a gap is that there would be the issue that if it was a very snug fit it would be really difficult to open and close the ottoman section so we need to ensure that the mattress isn't pressing into the sides of the frame as that would want to hold the mechanism in place.