What Size Bed is Right for My Child?

Just when you thought your kids had stopped growing, they go and have another spurt. A dead giveaway is when their trousers wave goodbye to their shoes and head towards their knees (although I’m told this is hip, along with socks and sliders… and we thought 80’s fashion was bad!) and their cuffs are eeking a little too far up their arms!

Another stark realisation that your kids are growing up is when they look you square on in the eyes, without the need to clamber precariously onto a hop up, I’m talking about when they simply stand in front of you, eye balling you head on. I’m undecided how I feel about it all, a smidge unnerved… perhaps resigning myself to the fact that I will soon become the smallest member of my family. I’ve concluded that my new footwear of choice will consist of stilettos and giant wedges, far more practical than shlepping a step stool around 24/7.

According to the Child Growth Foundation the average child will grow 89cm from the age 1-18! The most rapid growth is seen between the age of 1-6 years, where they grow on average 41cm. Can you imagine how much more they’d grow if they were planted in grow bags! Maybe I’ve been spending too much time with my tomatoes!

Thankfully children’s bedroom furniture is considerably more forgiving than their clothes and doesn’t require updating quite so often. However, we still want to make sensible decisions around our child’s furniture needs; so it’s hardly surprising that parents frequently ask me, what is the right size bed for my child? Great question, and this week I’m going to help answer it, with various bed sizes available, so ta-da, here’s the low down on which bed size could be most appropriate for your child.

Popular Bed Sizes for Kids

The size guide below shows the most suitable bed size options for children;

How to Determine Best Bed Size for your Child

Determining the right size for your child’s bed will depend on a few factors:

Age of child:

The age of your child will largely determine the size of bed that you decide to buy. As children get older their needs change; for example younger children generally spend more time playing, so floor space is often more important that a lovely large bed to lounge around in! On the contrary, older children may spend more time lounging (and sleeping!) therefore a spacious bed may become more important.

  1. Space:

The size of your child’s room is another determining factor when choosing what size bed to buy and may even rule out certain beds. Room planning is a bit like playing Tetris! Make sure you get all your measurements first before you set out looking for a new bed. As much as your teen may want a double bed, if it means that they have to adopt moves like Spiderman to navigate their bedroom, it may not be the most practical size bed!

  1. Is your child sharing with a sibling:

If your children are room sharing, you may be limited by space when selecting the size of their beds. Check out my article, design inspiration for siblings sharing a bedroom, for a few tips and ideas. Of course, this is where bunk beds can be a super option, being the ultimate space saving bed.

Lifetime Limited Edition Playhouse Low Bunk Bed

Bed Size for Toddlers

Once your child becomes mobile and the safety that their cot once offered becomes more of an assault course challenge – it’s probably time to move your child into a bed.

Toddler beds are suitable for children aged between 2 years – approximately 5-7 years. Offering a step into independence yet maintaining proportions that may be more suited to a younger child; toddler beds make a great first kids bed. As noted above, with the largest growth taking place between the age of 1-6 years, you may find that you need to replace a toddler bed after only a few years, so bare this in mind when planning your budget. If you’re considering buying a toddler bed head on over to my ultimate guide to toddler beds for a far more in-depth look at the what, why’s and when’s.

Toddler Bed Size

  • Toddler beds are smaller than a standard single bed. The dimensions of a toddler bed range between 144 – 166cm in length with a width of between 73 – 79cm.
  • Toddler beds require a mattress size of 70cm x 140cm, the same footprint size as a cot bed, so if your child is transitioning from a cot bed you may not need to buy a new mattress straight away.
  • The height of a toddler bed is also less than a single bed, again making them a practical option for younger children who could be more likely to take a tumble in the night.
  • Some toddler bed designs are set on the floor, adopting the Montessori approach of encouraging independence through learning and play.

If you feel that your toddler will be happy to move into a larger bed, you could consider a single bed. With many more designs available single beds offer a more varied selection.

Bed Size for Bigger Kids

Whether you opt to move your child straight from a cot to a single bed, or from a toddler bed into a single bed – single beds are the most popular size kids bed. Discover everything you need to know about single beds in my comprehensive guide to single beds, read on for a brief overview.

Single Bed Size

  • Single beds may vary slightly in overall size depending on their design, also bear in mind that there is a UK single bed size and a EU single bed size.
  • The dimensions of a UK single bed will measure somewhere between 200cm length, 99cm width and require a UK single mattress size of 90cm x 190cm.
  • The dimensions of a EU single bed will measure somewhere between 212cm length, 102cm width and require a EU single mattress size of 90cm x 200cm.
  • Single bed heights will vary depending on the style, many product specifications will detail all the measurements so you can refer to these before making a final decision. Some single beds are set higher than others to accommodate under bed drawers or a trundle bed.
  • Single beds are higher than a toddler bed, if you are thinking of buying a single bed for your toddler you could consider adding a bed guard as extra safety until you are confident that they have become accustomed to being in a bigger bed.

Bed Size for Teens

There may come a time when a single bed just isn’t big enough for your strapping, rugby playing hulk of a teen; or a single bed doesn’t offer enough loafing space to comfortably fit 5 girls and the dog. I’ve dedicated an entire article to the ultimate teen bed, but if you’re simply looking to size up to a small double or double bed, here are a few considerations:

Small Double Bed Size

  • Small double beds may vary slightly in overall size depending on their design, also bear in mind that there is a UK small double bed size and a EU small double bed size.
  • The dimensions of a UK small double bed will measure somewhere between 198cm length, 128cm width and require a UK small double mattress size of 120cm x 190cm.
  • The dimensions of a EU small double bed will measure somewhere between 208cm length, 128cm width and require a EU small double mattress size of 120cm x 200cm.
  • Small double bed heights will vary depending on the style, many product specifications will detail all the measurements so you can refer to these before making a final decision.

Double Bed Size

  • Double beds may vary slightly in overall size depending on their design, also bear in mind that there is a UK double bed size and a EU double bed size.
  • The dimensions of a UK double bed will measure somewhere between 200cm length, 145cm width and require a UK double mattress size 135cm x 190cm
  • The dimensions of a EU double bed will measure somewhere between 210cm length, 148cm width and require a EU double mattress size 140cm x 200cm.
  • Double bed heights will vary depending on the style, many product specifications will detail all the measurements so you can refer to these before making a final decision.
New York Small Double Kids Bed in Blue

When a Space-saving Bed is Top Priority

Aside from the regular toddler, single, small double and double bed, there are of course many other bed styles that you could consider… remember I said I enjoy throwing in the odd curve ball! I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t at least mention all the alternative amazing beds that are available!

If getting a space saving bed is the single most important consideration, you have many options beyond the single or double bed! For those of you with multiple children or if you’re limited on bedroom space, you could consider one of these:

  • Daybeds – Daybeds are designed to double as a bed and for seating or lounging. Daybeds can also feature trundle beds. Check out my guide to daybeds for more information.
  • Trundle Beds – Trundle Beds offer another sleeping option as a second bed is housed under the main bed so can be stored away when it’s not needed. A super effective space saving bed.
  • Bunk Beds – Bunk Beds are the official space saving bed! Bunk beds also come in various sizes not just a standard single size. Take a look at these fabulous bunk beds for some inspiration.
  • Cabin Beds – Cabin Beds are another brilliant space saver. These storage beds have built in drawers, cupboards, desks and wardrobes, providing excellent use of space.

As you can see, buying the right size bed for your child doesn’t come with a textbook answer. One thing is certain though, you’ll be bowled over by the choice at cuckooland.com (did you honestly think this blog was just about measurements 😊) – whether you’re hunting for their very first toddler bed or sizing up to a larger bed for your towering teen, we have a dedicated (and super friendly) team on hand to help answer any questions.

That’s all from me for now… I’m off to search for new shoes!

Nathalie

With more than 8 years’ experience in providing advice and support to parents looking for their perfect kids bed, mother of 2, Nathalie Davis is passionate about helping children develop. In her role as Director of Product Procurement at Cuckooland, Nathalie has helped thousands of parents improve their children’s sleep and sleeping habits through the beds and mattresses she sources and the articles she writes. In her spare time she teaches her Golden Retriever to be a responsible vegetarian and is often spotted sifting through clothes at her local Charity Shops.

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