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Bed Basics

Does Bed Height Matter?

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There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying a new bed: comfort, support, pressure relief, cooling, price—the list goes on. And all these things are all important. But have you considered the height of your mattress? Did you know placing it at optimal height can have a positive impact on your sleep, health and safety—and even the look of your bedroom?

If you’re looking to elevate the quality of your zzz’s, here’s everything you need to know.

Important Factors When Determining the Ideal Bed Height for You

Basically, it comes down to this: A bed that’s too low to the floor can create issues for some while a bed that’s too high can cause problems for others. Ultimately, the best bed height comes down to personal preference, but there are a few factors that could influence your decision. Considering these might also encourage you to make changes to the height of the bed you’re sleeping on now.

Let’s kick things off by taking a look at you—specifically, at your height, body type, and any physical limitations you have, as well as your age.

Your height can have a definite impact! If you’re tall, you might be better off with a bed that’s higher off the ground. A higher bed will let you sit on the edge and ease back onto your mattress without the strain on muscles and joints that comes with sitting down on—or getting up from—a low bed. On the flip side, if you’re shorter, you don’t want a bed that’s so high you find yourself jumping up to crawl under the covers or having to hop down or slide off to get out.

Your body type can also be a factor in determining your ideal bed height. If you’re larger, for example, you don’t want a bed that’s so low it causes you to lower yourself on the edge of the mattress without control. This repeated impact can, over time, cause wear and tear and possibly damage your bed, box spring and/or frame. A larger person could also face difficulties getting out of a bed that’s too low. If your mattress is too high, a larger-bodied person could have difficulty getting up into bed. Plus, there could be a risk of falling.

Physical limitations such as mobility issues may require a lower bed that’s easier to get in and out. Someone who experiences back pain could benefit from a higher one to prevent the potential impact on their spine when they lower themselves to sit on the edge. A higher mattress could also make getting their legs into bed and lying back much easier.

Age is also a consideration when selecting the best bed height. Older adults may have trouble getting themselves in and out of a bed that’s too low or too high. Finding an optimal height that allows for safe, easy entry and exit is important. Note: When it comes to choosing the right bed height for an elderly person, it’s always smart to consult a doctor or medical professional to get their recommendations.

As we noted up front, bed height is a personal preference—just like the mattress you choose. But it’s important to pick a height that allows you to get in and out of bed easily and safely.

Understanding the Role of Bed Frames in Bed Height

When trying to determine your optimal bed height, it’s a good idea to start from the floor up. That’s where your bed frame comes in. How high the frame is will help determine the overall bed height and influence the ease or difficulty of getting in and out at night and in the morning. Frame height can also play a role when it comes to the way you and others see your bed as part of your bedroom décor.

Bed frames come in a range of heights, styles and materials. Some are low-profile and close to the floor, leaving little space for under-bed storage (if that’s important to you). A bed frame with a higher profile will typically result in a higher mattress placement (and more storage space).

It’s important to ensure the bed frame is compatible with the size and type of mattress you’ve selected, as well as with the box spring or foundation. When all goes according to plan—you’ll choose a frame that complements your mattress, provides the perfect height and creates a comfy space that will give you years of great zzz’s. Plus, when you’ve discovered the right height, your bed will look as good as it feels.

The Relationship Between Bed Height and Mattress Height

The thickness of a mattress, also known as its profile, will vary from model to model. So it makes sense that a thicker mattress results in a higher bed while a thinner mattress results in a lower overall height. In addition to selecting a bed that checks all the right boxes—when it comes to factors such as comfort, support, pressure relief, motion transfer and cooling—you’ll want one that’s easy to get in and out of.

Tips for Adjusting Bed Height To Meet Your Needs

Fortunately, there are some quick and easy ways to adjust the height of your bed to meet your specific needs.

Bed risers are a quick, easy and affordable solution for raising the height of your bed. You can find them at most home goods stores, and they come in a variety of sizes and styles. To raise the height of your bed, simply place them under the legs of the frame. Voila!

Use a low-profile box spring to lower the overall height of your bed. These are thinner than traditional box springs, and using one can be a simple, practical solution to making your bed the ideal height.

Platform beds are designed to be low to the floor and provide a sleek, modern appearance. When it comes to lowering the overall height of your bed, a platform bed could be a great option.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing Bed Height

Now that we’ve taken a look at the right things to do when determining the best bed height, here are two things you definitely shouldn’t do:

Not getting help from an experienced mattress salesperson not only leaves you trying to figure out the best frame, foundation and mattress height for your needs, but it also means you might not be choosing the best mattress for you, either. See someone with a ton of training. I strongly suggest getting help from a Mattress Firm Sleep Expert®. No, not because they asked me to write this article. These folks are the real deal. Sleep Experts® go through over 200 hours of training and collectively they’ve helped millions of people get better sleep. If you’re going to spend a third of your life in bed, make sure your mattress is the right one, at the right height.

Not considering the bed frame, according to the Mattress Firm Sleep Experts® I’ve talked to. This seems to be a common mistake when determining your ideal bed height—especially when buying a new bed.

Tip: Bring a photo of your bed and bedroom with you when shopping for a new mattress. Also bring along notes with the height of your frame, the profile of your box spring or foundation and the height of your current mattress. When you pair all that info up with the profile of the bed you’ve selected, you’ll know the final, total height before you even leave the store.

Avoiding these two mistakes—and prioritize your specific needs as the most important factor to consider when buying a new bed and determining its ideal height—and you’ll get the kind of rest that turns good mornings into a great ones.

Most-Asked Bed Height Questions and Answers

How does bed height impact my bedroom design?

Bed height can impact your bedroom design by affecting the visual balance of your space. A bed that is too high or too low can look awkward or out of place. When choosing the height of your bed, consider the style and design of your bedroom and aim for a height that complements the look you want to achieve. That said, keep your height, body type, physical limitations and age at the very top of your considerations!

How can I choose the right bed height for my health needs?

To determine optimal bed height, consider mobility issues and health conditions that may impact your ability to get in and out of bed. For example, if you have arthritis or back pain, a lower bed height may be more comfortable, and getting in and out may be easier to manage. On the other hand, if you have difficulty standing up from a seated position, a higher bed could be a better choice. Note: Always consult your doctor or a medical professional for advice and direction on choosing the optimal bed height for your needs.

How can I adjust the height of my bed without buying a new one?

There are some easy fixes! You can add or remove a box spring to raise or lower the total bed height. You can also increase the height of your bed frame by adding risers to the legs. Another option if you have trouble getting in and out of a tall bed is to use a secure step to make climbing in and getting out of bed easier—and safer.

What impact does bed height have on my sleep quality?

Bed height can impact your sleep quality by impacting your ease of movement. If your bed is too high or too low, you may experience discomfort, pain, or difficulty getting in and out. And that can disturb your sleep and impact your health.

How do I know if my bed is too high or too low?

If your bed is too high, you may need to jump or strain to climb into it, which can be uncomfortable and increase the risk of falls. If your bed is too low, it may be difficult to get in and out of and cause unwanted stress on your back and leg muscles.

What is the ideal height for my bed based on my height?

It all depends on your height and personal preferences. A good rule of thumb: Aim for a height that allows your feet to rest comfortably on the floor while sitting comfortably on the edge of the bed.

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