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How to choose a bed for a teenager

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Choosing a bed for a teenager depends on their needs, preferences, and the available room space. Teenagers require around eight to ten hours of sleep each night, so choosing a comfortable and supportive mattress is crucial.

Teenagers typically need more sleep than adults because their bodies and minds are developing quickly. Therefore, choosing the right bed and mattress is crucial to help them sleep better and feel more energetic during the day.

Young teenage boy relaxing on double bed staring at computer

What size bed for a teenager?

Bed size is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a bed for a teenager. Although many teenagers are accustomed to single beds, they may require a bigger bed as they grow and develop.

Small double bed

A small double bed, measuring 4’6” x 6’3” (120 cm x 190 cm) is wider than a single bed yet smaller than a double. It is ideal for a smaller teenage bedroom. There is ample space for a single person, but it might feel cramped for two people to share.

Double bed

A double bed, measuring 4’6” x 6’3” (135 cm x 190 cm) is ideal for a teenager. There’s plenty of room for them to stretch out or accommodate a future partner. Double beds are usually the same price as small doubles, so it’s often worth upgrading to this size if you have the room space. However, you may have to factor in additional costs, such as a wider headboard and bedding.

King size bed

A king size bed, measuring 5’0” x 6’6” (150 cm x 200 cm) is longer than a double or single bed, so it is a good choice for a tall teenager. It usually doesn’t cost much more to upgrade a bed from a double to a king. However, king size beds are wider and longer, occupying much more bedroom space.

Custom sizes

Some brands also offer custom sizes, allowing you to order extra-long beds for taller teens.

Beds for teenagers

Teenagers are likely to have strong ideas about the type of bed they want, so it helps to involve them in the process. The type of bed you choose will likely depend on how they use the bedroom. For example, is it primarily for rest, or do they need a dedicated study space?

A high sleeper

A high sleeper features a raised bed with usable space underneath for storage, studying, or entertainment. It’s a versatile solution ideal for compact bedrooms. The area beneath the top bunk can accommodate various items, such as drawers, cupboards, desks, wardrobes, or chairs.

High sleeper bed with a functional workspace underneath

Cabin beds

A cabin bed is similar to a high sleeper but is lower to the floor. Like a high sleeper, you can customise the space underneath the bed for storage or study. Cabin beds are ideal for smaller bedrooms due to their lower height, as they don’t overwhelm or dominate the space.

Divan beds

Divan beds are ideal for smaller teen bedrooms because the base is usually the same size as the mattress. Many divans are available in various colours and materials to complement any bedroom décor. Drawers can usually be fitted for additional storage. Some divans have springs in the base, providing a more luxurious feel.

divan bed with matching headboard dark brown

Bed frames

Bed frames are available in many beautiful designs, colours, and materials. So whether you prefer the natural beauty and warmth of wood or the versatility and elegance of metal, there are plenty of options to consider. Bed frames typically occupy more space than other beds because the mattress often sits inside the frame. So, it’s essential to measure the space properly before choosing.

Ottoman beds

Teenagers can be messy and disorganised. An ottoman bed has a large hidden compartment underneath the mattress, providing valuable storage space. The base lifts from the end or the side, providing easy access to storage. Ottomans are available as divans or bed frames. They are also safe for teenagers to operate, provided they are used properly.

grey ottoman bed with panels showing lift storage space underneath

Trundle beds

A trundle bed is a clever space-saving solution consisting of a single bed with an extra bed stored underneath. It is an appealing option for teenagers who enjoy inviting their friends for sleepovers. The underbed often has wheels or castors so that it can easily be pulled out or pushed underneath the main bed. The underbed typically has legs so it can be raised to the same level as the main bed, allowing the beds to be pushed together.

Trundle beds are available in various beautiful designs and styles. However, they often come with thinner mattresses so that one bed can fit easily underneath the other and may not feel as comfortable as regular mattresses.

How to choose a mattress for a teenager

Teenagers need around eight to ten hours of sleep a night, so choosing a comfortable and supportive mattress is essential. Besides their comfortable preference, you should also consider their build, weight, height, and preferred sleeping position when choosing a mattress.

As a general guide, someone who weighs under 11 stone should consider a soft mattress. Someone weighing between 11 and 16 stone should consider a medium mattress, and those above 16 stone should opt for a firm mattress.

Their sleeping position also matters. Side sleepers often prefer a softer mattress that cushions the shoulders and hips, whereas back and front sleepers usually prefer a firmer feel.

Teenagers grow quickly, so choosing the correct support can be challenging. A softer mattress may suffice initially, but as they grow and gain weight, it might not support them as well. If you’re unsure, a medium support mattress is often a safe option.

There are various types of mattresses, some contain springs, others do not. Here are some options to consider.

Open coil mattresses

Open coil mattresses typically feel firmer and bouncier. They are inexpensive to produce, making them a cost-effective option for teenagers. However, they may not feel as comfortable or supportive as other mattress types and may need replacing more regularly.

Pocket spring mattresses

Pocket springs work independently, allowing the mattress to conform more effectively to the body. Some pocket spring mattresses come in different tensions or firmness levels catering to different body weights. Pocket springs cost more than coil springs but are typically more supportive and durable.

Memory foam mattresses

Memory foam conforms and adapts to body shape, providing a softer, more luxurious feel. The material offers excellent pressure relief across various sleeping positions. However, it can feel warmer than ordinary mattresses due to its dense cell structure.

Latex mattresses

Latex is a premium material that, like memory foam, provides excellent pressure relief. It moulds and adapts to the body and has a slightly bouncier feel than foam. It also tends to be more breathable.

Hybrid mattresses

Hybrid models combine springs with foam. These mattresses are the perfect compromise for those who prefer the feel and bounce of springs with the pressure-relieving qualities of foam.

Plan for the future

Consider future-proofing a teen’s bedroom with a bed that adapts to their evolving needs and tastes. It’s pointless to invest in a cabin bed if they’d prefer a double bed in a few years.

Also, consider what will happen to the bedroom space if they’re likely to leave home for education or move in with a partner. Will it become a guest room? If so, opt for a larger bed to accommodate guests or couples.

Final thoughts

Choosing a bed for a teenager depends on their needs and preferences. Once you’ve settled on a new bed, they must take good care of it to maintain its condition and extend its life.

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About the author

About the author

Tony Brown is the founder and creator of The Bed Consultant. His career in the bed industry began in 2002. After graduating from university with a degree in Business Administration, Tony joined one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the UK as a bed consultant. Tony has helped thousands of customers find the perfect mattress.

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