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A Guide to Bed Height

Last updated: April 2024

Bed Height

Bed height may not seem like one of the most important issues when it comes to your sleep. However, the combined height of your bed frame and mattress can have an impact on your health and wellbeing and transform the look of your bedroom. To help you find the best bed height for you, here we run through the things to consider when choosing your bed.

How high should a bed be?

In a nutshell, your ideal bed height is based on your height, though you’ll also want to think about your health, plus the style of the bed when considering its height. A normal bed height is around 24 inches from the floor, this includes the bed frame and the mattress. However, typical bed height can range from 18 to 36 inches tall. For example, platform beds will usually be around 20 inches or less. Whereas a bed such as an Ottoman that has more storage than traditional frames, will be in the late twenties to 30 inches.

Why bed height is important

Although the height of your bed is unlikely to affect your sleep, it will affect how easily you can get in and out of your bed. Bed height can also have an impact on the décor of your room. So choosing the ideal bed height for your style and practical needs is an important decision. Bed height is important because of:

Olson Wooden Bed Frame

Feng Shui considerations

Choosing the right bed height isn’t only about style, but also energy. For example, in Feng Shui, the height of your bed is said to determine the quality of your sleep, and therefore your mood. Practitioners believe that chi energy needs to be able to flow uninterrupted all around your bed. A bed that is too low can block the chi energy, preventing you from getting a good night's sleep. Whereas a bed that is too tall can leave you vulnerable to high levels of energy and cause restless nights.

If this practice is of interest to you, have a read of our Feng Shui tips.

Mattress on a divan base

Depth of mattress

The height of your bed is dependent on the size of the mattress and not just the frame, as they come in many different types and thicknesses. Depending on your chosen bed frame, your mattress should comply. If you’re after an extra thick mattress for comfort, go for a shorter bed frame.

On the other hand, if you fancy a tall bed frame with lots of storage space underneath, you’ll find a thinner mattress is a good idea. The various mattress types and comfort grades all offer you a variety of different depths to find one that’s right for you.

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Women sitting on a bed putting socks on

Age and mobility needs

If you have mobility issues due to your age or a disability, getting in and out of bed can be difficult and cause pain. Therefore, it's important to choose a bed that allows you to get in and out of the bed without straining your body. A bed that’s too low or high can put strain on your joints, therefore finding a bed that correlates correctly with your height is important for ensuring maximum comfort.

Finding the right bed height for you

As bed height is so important, it's a big decision to get right. Generally, you need to think about your height, health, partner (if you share a bed) and bedroom style. Here we'll go through these considerations.

Finding the right bed height for your height

Your bed height should generally correlate with your height. For example, the taller you are, the taller your bed can be. To work out the ideal bed height specifically for you, sit at the edge of the bed. Preferably your feet should be flat against the floor and your knees in line with your hips. However, if your knees are above your hips, the bed may be too low for you. If your knees are below your hips, or your feet can't reach the floor, the bed is too high.

This can be difficult if sharing the bed with a partner who is significantly taller or shorter than you. The best way to combat this is to find a bed that lies in the middle for you both.

man sat on edge of bed checking bed height compared to his own
woman seen from behind rubbing her neck in pain

Finding the right bed height for your health

Bed height and back comfort go hand in hand. If a bed is too low it will be uncomfortable on your joints while trying to get in and out of the bed. The same applies to a bed that’s too high, as jumping out of bed on a daily basis can eventually lead to sore legs.

This affects the elderly more than others, or people who are prone to having weaker joints. If this is the case for you, attempt to find a bed in the middle (around 24 inches). If in doubt, go for the slightly taller option, as this will do less damage in the long run than a short bed.

neatly made bed seen from the foot of the bed

Finding the right bed height for your style preferences

If you’re not particularly tall or short, and you’re in good shape, you have a little more leeway when it comes to bed height. In this case, whether you opt for a high bed vs a low bed can come down to your style. For example, a high bed can create a decadent feel, while low beds are more suited to a modern look.

Finding the right bed height for you and your partner

If you sleep in the same bed as your partner, you have to think about each other when choosing the perfect bed height. It's unlikely that you’re both the same height, so you need to find something that suits you both. If you or your partner are particularly tall or short, this can be more difficult.

Generally, the best thing to do is to find a bed height that is in the middle of the ideal height for you both. However, if you or your partner has reoccurring joint pain, the bed height should be what's best for the person with the health issues. If this makes the bed too tall for the other individual, simply use a step or stool to make getting in and out of bed easier.

Couple on bed

Different bed frame heights

Although bed height tends to be 24 inches from the floor, including the mattress, there are some variations. The different heights add a different feel to the room and can be better for different people.

High bed frames

Tall beds are considered 25 to 36 inches high. Antique beds tend to fall into this category, as they usually stand at 36 inches high. These create an elegant look, especially if your bedroom has tall ceilings. These beds aren’t restrictive, and you’ll find a range of styles with this elevation, including Ottomans and divan bed bases. Tall bed frames are best suited to taller people or those that have no health issues and want an elegant look.

Quinn bed frame

Low bed frames

Low beds can range from 18 to 24 inches high. A low frame can help a room appear more open and make the room feel taller. Lower beds look great in minimalist rooms and are popular in Japandi-style bedrooms (find out about this trend in our Japandi Bedroom Design post). However, these are not the best option for taller people or those with mobility issues, as getting in them requires getting quite low, which can put strain on the joints.

Carson bed frame
Wilson bed

Standard bed frames

With a wide range of beds available in a standard bed frame size of 24 inches, this elevation of bed is a popular choice and suits many people. This height is kinder to your joints if your you're prone to back problems as it tends to be ideal for most people. A standard bed frame height is also a good choice if you are a couple sharing a bed and need something that suits you both.

How to raise your bed height

If you do find your bed is not high enough off the ground, there are several ways that you can increase its height. The easiest way is to use a dedicated bed riser. These little devices come in metal, plastic, and wood to suit the aesthetics of any room. They’re ideal if you need a few extra inches on your bed height and save you having to purchase an entirely new bed.

Another easy way to add height to your bed is to get a thicker mattress. If you don’t want to switch to a thick mattress , another alternative is a mattress topper which will also make sleeping more comfy.

Adjustable beds

Bed height is a crucial factor in finding the right bed for you. It can contribute to the look and function of your bedroom, aid in your comfort and it also has a significant impact on health and wellness.