Standard Height of a Bed Frame and Mattress
Is there such a thing as a standard bed height? People ask our team this question all the time so we decided to provide a thorough answer the common question.
We will also cover what reasons may cause you to need different bed heights and different products you can use to change/alter your bed height.
Continue reading to find out what the bed height standard is and what factors might influence the overall height of your bed set up.
BED HEIGHT CHART
Use the size charts below as a guide to setting up your bed for the proper height. You generally want your overall bed to try to sit around 20″-25″ in height.
|STANDARD OVERALL BED HEIGHT||20″-25″ thick|
|Memory Foam Mattresses||8″-12″|
|Budget Friendly Mattresses||6″-10″|
|Standard Box Spring||9″|
|Low Profile Box Spring||5″|
|BED FRAME||STANDARD THICKNESS|
|Standard Metal Bed Frame||6″-8″|
Standard Bed Height
You might look at beds and immediately assume that beds must be made in a standardized height. Most household items, furniture included, have a standard size or range that companies will stick to.
You may be surprised, there is no bed height standard that companies stick to. While the average height of a bed is 24 inches off the ground, there is so much variation within the size and components of a bed that it would be inaccurate to use that as an average.
So why is there so much deviation in bed height?
Unlike couches and chairs, mattress set ups include a variety of different products from bed frames to box springs and mattresses, all of these components vary in size and constructed dimensions. You could have a very low bed frame and a thinner profile mattress or a tall bed set with a thick mattress.
Does the Height of a Mattress Matter?
So now that you know there is no standard bed height, we can look into why bed height may be a necessary factor for some individuals to consider.
While the height of a bed may be not big deal while sleeping, it can affect your health when it comes to getting in and out of bed comfortably.
Everyone gets in and out of bed at least once a day, with many getting up extra times for things like a bathroom break, naps or even insomnia. Getting out of bed strains your leg and back muscles, so making sure your bed is a comfortable height to leave can be crucial to maintaining good health.
It can be terrible for your body if you try to stand with the bottom of your spine below your knees while sitting. The average person has knees that rest between 16 and 22 inches off the ground, so it is good to try standing with your knees within that height range.
Conversely, standing up while your knees are above your spine can also be bad for your health. If your bed is too low to the ground, you must use much more force to get up. This places a heavier strain on your knees and spine each time you go to get up.
An ideal bed should be easy to get up from. Make sure that your knees and the base of your spine are at about the same level when sitting off the side of your bed. Your legs should not be dangling, and you shouldn’t feel like you are near the ground.
When considering the height of a bed, you should know who will be sleeping in it. Both children and the elderly have select issues with bedding that should be accounted for when choosing the height of a bed for them.
Children are smaller than their adult counterparts. As such, children will want a lower bed because they won’t be able to climb as high.
On top of climbing, children also have issues with rolling out of bed. Many children move around at night, and it is not uncommon for them to roll right onto the floor. Make sure your child’s bed is not especially high off the ground, as this will prevent injuries from a big fall.
An exception to this rule comes from bunk beds and loft beds. While a loft bed is much taller than a medium-height bed frame, these beds typically protect children with a guardrail on the side. Children have fewer issues climbing in and out of bed, so having to climb up a ladder each night is less of a concern.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have the elderly crowd. After reaching a certain age, it can be complicated on the knees to have a bed that is too high or too low. Also, having a bed that is too high runs the risk of a bad fall.
To avoid making decisions for your parents or other relatives, include them in a discussion and ask if they may need a new bed. Elderly people are more inclined to make changes for their health if they feel like it is their idea. Make sure not to force the issue and steamroll people into a new bed. Some folks may genuinely be ok with the bed that they currently use.
On top of health concerns and age-related issues, people like a certain bed height for the aesthetic. While your home décor shouldn’t be the 1st priority when choosing such an essential item, it doesn’t mean you can’t consider it.
Many people like a particular style of bed that matches the theme of a room. A Victorian room may favor a more elaborate bed frame with enclosed curtains, while a children’s bedroom might favor a colorful frame.
These elements are great. Just ensure they do not extend into the height of a bed. As mentioned before, you will want the height of your bed to allow you to get up comfortably. Make sure that your knees and the base of your spine are at the same level when you sit on the edge of your bed.
If these elements fall into place, your bed frame can maintain whatever style, color, or shape you want.
Ways to Alter Your Bed Height
There are a variety of ways and products you can use to alter or change the thickness of your mattress when needed.
1. Use Bed Risers
Bed risers come in a variety of styles and thicknesses and are a great way to easily and affordably change the height of your mattress.
2. Use a Mattress Topper
Using a mattress topper on top of your mattress can help to raise the height of your bed by anywhere from 2″-5″ depending on which topper you get and how thick it is. This is also a great way to increase the comfort of a firmer or older mattress.
3. Use different thickness foundations
Standard Box Spring (9″ thick)
Most mattresses that are put on a standard bed frame will require a box spring to go underneath the mattress for support. A standard box spring measures about 9″ thick.
Low Profile Box Spring (5″ thick)
A low profile box spring is the same design as a standard box spring but it slightly thinner. Using a low profile box spring instead of a standard box spring will lower your bed set by around 4″ overall.
Bed Slats (1″ thick)
Bed slats are generally about 1″ thick and provide the same support as a box spring. They are spread about 2-3″ apart and allow your mattress to sit much lower than a standard box spring does. Many bed frames today are made with bed slats built in (platform beds)
Bunkie Board (1.5″ thick)
A bunkie board is similar to bed slats but is generally an entire board that goes under your mattress for support.
Standard Mattress Thickness
So now that you know why the height of a bed from the floor might matter to some people, you might still be wondering about the thickness of a mattress. Is there a standard height of a mattress that people should use?
While there is no standardized rule for how thick mattresses are made, the consensus is that thicker mattresses provide more comfort. Most mattresses measure between 10″-16″ thick. Pillow top mattresses are generally thicker while some firmer mattresses ten to be slightly thinner.
A bed with a 5″ foundation and 15″ mattress will generally be more comfortable than a 5″ mattress on top of a 15″ bed frame. This disconnection between mattress thickness and bed height is part of why there is no hard-and-fast rule about bed height.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve covered all the essential information about the standard height of a bed frame and mattress, we can go into some more niche concerns. You may still have some additional curiosity, so here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bed height.
Why are American beds higher than in other countries?
American or colonial beds are higher off the ground than other options due to temperature. Beds that are higher off the ground are less likely to receive cool drafts, so those who want to be with the warm air will use these taller beds.
What is the best bed height for seniors?
As stated before, there is no hard-and-fast rule about the height of a bed from the ground. Depending on a person’s size and wellness, they may find more comfortable getting up from a certain height over another.
The most important aspect of choosing the height of your bed is getting out of it comfortably. When sitting on the side of your bed, ensure that your knees are at an equal level to the base of your spine and that your feet can touch the floor.
Are bunk beds a good idea for children?
Bunk beds are terrific for children as they both save space and provide a fun set piece for bedtime.
Children do not have as much trouble getting in and out of bed, so climbing a ladder to sleep is less of a concern. Children also don’t require as much support for their backs, so a thin mattress will not affect them as much.
When using a bunk bed, put the most responsible child on top, as they are less likely to try anything dangerous. If a bunk bed does not already come with them, install guard rails on the side that your children cannot displace easily.
What bed height is typically safest for patients?
When you have an elderly or injured patient at risk for injury through falling, you will want a comfortable bed height for this person. If your patient is sitting off the edge of their bed, ensure that their feet are touching the ground and that their knees are on level with the base of their spine.
Should a mattress be placed on the floor?
No, you should avoid placing most mattresses directly on the floor. Using a mattress straight off the floor is bad for them because it can damage the structure. Mattresses are designed to be supported by a foundation on top of a bed frame.
Most mattress companies will recommend that you keep their products off of the ground and will void their warranties if customers fail to do so.
What size bed is most common for couples?
Most couples sleep on a queen size bed or a bed approximately 60 inches wide. A queen size bed gives roughly 30 inches of space to both partners, which is only 8 inches thinner than a twin-size bed.
Some couples splurge for a king-size bed, but many find this option excessive. King-size beds are nicer to sleep in, upping the 30 inches of individual space to roughly 38 inches, but it comes at the cost of room space. King-size beds eat up an extra 16 inches of horizontal space in a bedroom, and many couples do not use the full width of these beds.
Can you place a mattress directly on a bed frame?
While you can technically place a mattress on a bed frame, you will want to place a foundation between the two surfaces first.
Bed frames only have one or two slats on their own, and these slats are mostly for supporting the foundation, not the mattress itself. Suppose you place a mattress onto this frame without a foundation in between. In that case, it will cause your mattress to sag down, making it much less comfortable.
On top of comfort, using a sagging mattress directly on a bed frame mitigates the warranty. This means you will not be able to return your mattress after doing so.
Why do some couples sleep in separate beds?
While many couples choose to sleep in the same bed to save money and increase intimacy, others opt to sleep in two different beds for several reasons.
One of the big reasons couples may choose to sleep in different beds is because of comfort. Having another person who snores, has insomnia, or moves around a lot in their sleep can make for a less comfortable rest.
Another reason couples choose to sleep in separate beds is scheduling. Whether you work together or not, couples spend a lot of time with each other. It can be comforting to know that sleep is a designated time for personal space, allowing couples some designated time apart.
When it comes to the bed height standard, there is no preset precedent that companies stick to. Both bed frames and mattresses come in varying sizes, and it is up to the consumer to find out what height matches them best.
While the height of a bed does not affect sleep, those who want to get out of bed comfortably will want a comfortable height off the ground. Make sure that your knees are on level with the base of your spine when you are off the side of your bed and that your feet are touching the ground.