High beds versus low beds. Does it make a difference and if so which one is right for you?
I’m gonna answer that question in this article.
I will talk about the differences between high beds and low beds, how to find the right bed height for you and go through all the different types of bed frames and foundations.
At the end of the article I may answer some frequently asked questions about bed height.
Table of Contents
Bed Height Overview
What are we talking about when we talk about bed height?
Basically it’s a measure from your floor to the top of your mattress. So a framer foundation, possibly a box-spring and your mattress on top of that.
That’s gonna be your bed height. But why is that important’
It’s important for two reasons.
First of all, it affects your mobility. How easy it is to get in and out of bed and also affects the overall aesthetic and design of your bedroom.
In general, you want to look for something between 16 inches and 24 inches in terms of bed height. That is the average knee height for most adults.
But there are some things you can do to find the perfect bed height for your specific situation.
How To Find The Right Bed Height
So the main thing that determines the bed height you should be looking for is going to be your own height.
For instance, if you’re a taller person, you’re gonna want a taller bed. On the other hand, if you’re a shorter person, you’re going to want a shorter bed.
It’s really easy to find out if you have the right bed height.
Basically sit toward the edge of the bed, you want to make sure your feet can get planted firmly on the ground and your knees and legs are basically at a 90 degree angle. Basically around there it makes it easy to use your knees, your hips and your thighs to get in and out of bed. It should be very easy to get out from that position.
However if your bed is too tall, your legs may dangling off the edge, it is very difficult to hop out of bed and then get back into bed. On the other hand, if your bed is too short, it’s gonna feel like you can stretch your legs out very easily in front of you or if you’re sitting too low, your knees are gonna be up above your hips.
This is very uncomfortable and very difficult to get up from that position.
It’s especially important for the elderly and those with mobility issues because you want to make sure it’s easy to get in and out of bed,
Now I want to talk about different types of beds and foundations and how they’re gonna affect the overall height of your bed.
The first type is a platform bed. This is going to be a lower type of bed, very close to the ground. You’re gonna have some wooden slats or other types of slats across the surface area.
You usually are not going to need a box spring. You put your mattress right on top of that platform bed. It’s going to be lower slung over all.
Because of that, it’s not the best match for taller people, especially if mattresses are on the thinner side, more difficult to get off a platform bed. At the same time a good match for shorter people.
Aesthetically speaking, it has more modern, sleek look. So if you want more of a modern design bedroom, platform bed is a very good idea. But you’re gonna sacrifice some storage space, not a lot of storage space underneath the platform bed.
Then we have traditional beds with standard frames.
With this type of bed a lot of times you’re going to be using a box spring. So this frame plus a box spring plus your mattress. It’s going to be on the taller side, on average around 25 inches off the ground.
It’s gonna be a good fit for all different types of people. So short, medium height and taller make a good fit for this type of bed.
Aesthetically speaking, it has more of a traditional look, more of an old-school look for your bedroom, but a lot more room for storage underneath the bed.
Speaking of old-school, we’ve got antique beds, definitely a rare form of bed.
With an antique bed, it’s gonna be definitely on the taller side. A lot of times you’re going to be using a box spring as well. With all that together, the mattress, the bed and the box spring, it’s gonna be sometimes around 36 inches off the ground.
Because of that, a very good match for a taller person. Not the best match for a shorter person.
Aesthetically, more of a classic look to your bedroom. But the main thing that’s great about an antique bed is the storage space. They’re much higher off the ground, a lot more room underneath the bed to put even taller boxes.
Then we’ve got futon mattresses.
We’ve all probably spent the night on a futon mattress, probably sometime in college. I am not a big fan of futon mattress because I am a taller person. They’re not that high off the ground, usually 20 to 21 inches. Not a good match for a taller person.
Also not usually that long, so not a great match for a taller person. If you’re shorter and medium height that could work for you.
Aesthetically speaking, if you’re looking for kind of a college dorm room look, I say go for it. As far as storage goes, with not a lot of room underneath for storage, but you can fold it up pretty easily, put it against the wall, get some more floor space.
Now I want to answer your frequently asked questions about bed height.
What is a good height for a bed?
You do want to look for something between 16 inches and 24 inches generally, but it’s definitely gonna depend on your own height. If you’re a taller person, you’re gonna want something maybe even more than 24 inches. If you’re a shorter person, definitely keep that at lower end of the spectrum.
Does bed height affect sleep?
Generally it’s not really gonna affect your sleep too much. But if you’re talking about mattress thickness specifically, it can affect your sleep. A thicker mattress usually can be more supportive, a better match for heavier people. If you have a thinner mattress, definitely not as supportive as a thicker mattress.
How tall should a bed be for the elderly?
According to experts, it should be between 20 inches and 23 inches, not too tall, not too short. It should make it easy to get in and out of bed without any real problems.
How can I increase the height of my bed?
You could invest in something called bed risers. They go underneath the legs of your bed, they push the bed a little bit further off the ground. What’s great about that is it adds more storage space underneath the bed, but at the same time it does cut down the stability of your overall bed.
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Alex P. Davis has a BA in Interior Design from The New York School of Interior Design and 10 years of experience expertly designing sophisticated interiors.