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Seeing as the average person spends a whopping 26 years of their life sleeping, it's essential to invest in a bed that prioritises comfort. However, with a wealth of options on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?
This in-depth guide explores two of the most popular designs – single beds vs small double beds. We cover everything you need to know about each, including sizes and where to find luxurious small double fitted bed sheets and single bedding. Plus, we also run through several pros and cons to consider before making a final purchase.
Are you searching for something a little bigger? Check out our king vs super king bed guide instead.
A small double bed, sometimes called a queen-sized bed or three-quarter bed, is 120cm wide and 190cm long (4ft wide and 6ft 3ins long). In contrast, a standard double bed is 135cm wide and 190cm long (4ft 6ins wide and 6ft 3ins long).
While small double beds and standard double beds are equally long, small double beds are narrower to fit compact spaces.
Small doubles are ideal for couples who like to snuggle up and people who sleep alone but want more wiggle room than a single bed can provide. Somehow, they manage to walk the line between being space-saving and spacious.
Did you know that UK houses are getting smaller? Research shows that in 1980, a typical house boasted 75 square meters of space. As of 2020, that figure decreased to 67 square meters. Not only are new-builds tighter than ever before, but more people are living in flats and semi-detached houses thanks to their affordability.
With less space to play with, it's easy to see why small double beds are a popular option for modern-day homeowners. Bigger than a single but smaller than a double, small double beds are large enough to fit two adults and are suitable for small bedrooms. This makes them wonderfully versatile and ensures there’s enough space for wardrobes, bedside tables and additional storage.
In compact rooms, you might be tempted to choose a single bed. However, small double beds give the illusion of space because they're mostly indistinguishable from standard double beds.
If you want a comfortable night's sleep, there are a few things you should buy alongside your essentials. Firstly, small double mattress protectors will guard your mattress against grime, allergens and daily wear. Restless sleepers should choose quilted mattress protectors with extra padding and breathable fabric. In kid's rooms, you can't go wrong with waterproof protectors that are resistant to spills and night-time accidents.
Alongside keeping your mattress safe, you'll need a small double duvet. Duvets are available in three fillings – hollow fibre comforel made from up to 80% recycled materials, duck feathers and goose down. What's more, you can choose anywhere between 3 to 13.5 togs, depending on the season. Don't know the difference between tog counts and top sheets? Read our small double bedding guide for more information.
Small double beds are perfect for guest rooms that are usually smaller than master bedrooms. They still provide unparalleled comfort while being more manoeuvrable and cost-effective.
A small double compared to a single bed may seem spacious. Yet, small doubles can still feel cramped for couples who like more personal space – the extra six inches width you get with a standard double bed does make all the difference.
If two adults use a small double bed, it can get pretty hot during the summer months because there's less room to escape each other. One solution would be to purchase a small double duvet with a lower tog count – somewhere between 3 and 7 will keep you cool.
Single beds are 90cm wide and 190cm long (3ft wide and 6ft 3in long). They're best for solo sleepers, children and box rooms with little floor space. While they might sound unglamorous at first, they're a practical solution that leaves you ample room for furniture. You can also find gorgeous single bedding that'll make your interiors feel more inviting.
Of course, the most attractive thing about single beds is their convenient size. You can squeeze one into the tiniest bedrooms without the space feeling claustrophobic. The cherry on top? Most single beds now come with built-in storage, meaning you don't have to buy as much furniture.
Single beds are low-maintenance for fuss-free sleepers who are too busy for frequent laundry loads. It's easy to wash linen in a standard-sized washing machine, and it doesn't take as long to tumble dry. Most importantly, you won't get tangled up when fitting sheets and inserting duvets because there's less material to manipulate.
Single beds are perfect for pint-sized kids and teens. You could even have two single beds or a double bunk in one room for sleepovers and siblings.
If you're a light sleeper, single beds can make the problem much worse. There's less room to stretch and fidget, and there's always a small chance of slipping off the side.
With that said, you can improve your sleep quality by investing in proper pillows, single duvet covers and single sheets. You can choose from 200, 400 and 1000 thread count cotton, with higher thread counts being softer for sensitive skin.
Unless they don't mind sleeping on top of each other, having a single bed in your spare room means you can only put one person up at a time. So, if you invite a couple to stay, one will inevitably end up sleeping on the floor or on the sofa.
Choosing the right sized bed is key to a good night's sleep, but where do you start? First, you should figure out the minimum space needed around your bed by calculating your room's dimensions.
Once you've worked out length x width = area, find a design that leaves plenty of walking space. Ideally, you want a minimum of 24in (2ft) space between your bed and walls.
In life, there's always a compromise. Most people with small bedrooms will have to sacrifice furniture if they want a small double bed or larger, whereas single beds allow for extra storage and decorations.
Ultimately, you have to decide what matters the most to you. Preferably, you should choose a bed size that accommodates at least one nightstand, a chest of drawers and a wardrobe.
As a rule, the bigger the bed, the better night's sleep. Small doubles provide more room for restless sleepers who tend to toss and turn before finally settling. Larger beds are also cooler for couples and people in sunny climates.
Single beds aren't a problem for deep sleepers who can drop off anywhere, especially when paired with high-quality bedding. While they often get an unfair reputation for being cramped, they offer ample space for solo snoozers.
When deciding on a single bed vs a small double bed, consider your lifestyle. Is a single bed practical if you want to invite your partner to stay? Do you have your best gal pals over for sleepovers? Have you got a spare bedroom or a sofa bed for surprise visitors?
Above all else, your bed should be practical and serve you for many years to come. Otherwise, you'll only have to spend money on an upgrade.
Whether you choose a single bed or small double bed, we can help make your space feel much more luxurious. At Victoria Linen, we offer an extensive selection of beautiful small double fitted bed sheets and single bedding made from the softest, most durable materials.
As well as transforming your sleeping space, our bed linen makes dropping off a breeze. When you invest in premium fabrics and high thread counts, you don't have to worry about waking up before your alarm.
If you have any questions or want to know more about our products, reach out to the team today. You can call us on 01706 220020 or email email@example.com – we'll be in touch as soon as we can.