How Do You Close a Sleigh Bed Mattress Gap?
Sleigh beds have scrolled elaborate headboards with specially designed footboards that distinguish them from traditional beds and other types of furniture. The gap that these uniquely designed beds leave between your frame and the mattress can be an eye-sore or dangerous in some instances with young children or the elderly. In this article, we will discuss different ways to close a sleigh bed mattress gap.
Ways to close a sleigh bed mattress gap include using a mattress gap filler, installing a mattress wedge, filling the mattress gap with boards, adding padding to the headboard, eliminating or reducing mattress movement, getting a new mattress, or purchasing a new bed frame.
A sleigh bed mattress gap can be irritating and potentially a risk to children’s safety. This article from Wiley Online Library discusses accidental deaths that occur in beds and how to prevent them. Having a gap in your bed will negatively affect your quality of sleep because you will be constantly adjusting your sleeping position during the night to compensate for the discomfort caused by the gap.
What is a Sleigh Bed Mattress Gap?
Sleigh beds come in various sizes and heights, and though most mattress sizes do fit sleigh beds, you might have a situation where the sleigh bed is slightly longer than the mattress, which results in a gap between the mattress and the head or footboard. Read our article in sleigh bed dimensions for more information about sleigh bed sizes.
A sleigh bed mattress gap is the gap between the headboard and the mattress. This gap is more pronounced in some sleigh beds because of their different sizes and designs.
Why Close a Sleigh Bed Mattress Gap?
A sleigh bed with a gap is uncomfortable and dangerous. The gap can cause your pillow to sink or force you to sleep lower on the bed to avoid the gap. Additionally, your arms or hair can get pinched in the mattress gap. Small children are also at risk of getting stuck in the gap, they could lose toys or pacifiers and get caught trying to get them out. We will discuss in more detail the detriments and dangers that this gap can cause and why you should close it.
Close a sleigh bed mattress gap to prevent clothes or pillows from falling into the gap, to make it safer for small children, and to prevent arm pinching or hair from getting caught in it.
It Will Prevent Pillows or Blankets From Falling Into the Gap
You need to close the gap so you can place your pillow along the headboard and have comfortable neck and back support. If your pillow or a blanket falls into the gap, it can disrupt your sleep and make it difficult to fall back asleep.
It Will Make the Bed Safer for Children
Children and infants can be at risk of serious injuries if their sleigh beds have a mattress gap. They can get their legs, arms, or even heads stuck in the gap. Kids that play with toys or infants that use pacifiers can often lose them under their beds, a mattress gap will be another place for these items to be lodged and lost. To learn more about the risks children and toddlers face from mattress gaps, read this article from The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
If you're thinking a sleigh bed may not be the best choice for your child, after all, take a look at these nine different ways to repurpose a sleigh bed instead and then read our article comparing sleigh beds vs platform beds to see if the latter might work better for your family.
It Will Reduce the Risk of Your Arms Getting Pinched
A mattress gap can pinch your arm or skin depending on the size of the gap and your sleeping position. This pinching is an unpleasant feeling that can lead to minor injury and sleep interruption.
How to Close a Sleigh Bed Mattress Gap
While sleigh beds are aesthetically pleasing and comfortable, their mattress gaps can be hindrances that need to be alleviated. Here are a few easy yet effective methods to close a sleigh bed mattress gap that can apply to all sizes of beds.
To close a sleigh bed mattress gap try using a mattress gap filler or a mattress wedge. Other ways to fill the mattress gap include plywood boards, adding padding to the headboard, eliminating mattress movement by securing the mattress in place, or getting a new mattress. If none of these options fix the mattress gap problem, then consider buying a new bed frame.
1. Use a Mattress Gap Filler
A cheaper alternative to buying a new mattress is a mattress gap filler. You can purchase one online. Simply measure the gap between the headboard and the mattress and then you can purchase a mattress gap filler for your sleigh bed. You can also make your own DIY mattress gap filler with foam or other materials. For an example of a DIY mattress gap filler made with sustainable materials, check out this article.
2. Use a Mattress Wedge
Besides alleviating back pain and sleep apnea, mattress wedges, or wedge pillows can function as sleigh bed gap fillers as well. They are firm and durable and fit snugly into the narrow space between the headboard and the mattress.
3. Fill the Mattress Gap with Boards
An even more affordable option is simple cardboard or wooden boards that can be cut to size and used to fill the gap. This is not the most aesthetically pleasing option but it will get the job done. If you use wood, match the wood and stain color of the bed to get the best match. You can even use a side rail guard like this one which is designed for patients that may get trapped in between the mattress and side rails.
4. Add Padding to the Headboard
Another option for filling the mattress gap is to add padding to the headboard. This is an effective method to get the mattress gap filled. Padded headboards not only provide you with a modern bed but also make it comfortable. You just have to get the accurate dimensions of the gap and then get a foam that measures a few inches larger than the gap. Read our article on how to modernize a sleigh bed for ideas on how to make a padded headboard.
5. Eliminate Mattress Movement
Another way of preventing the mattress gap is to add velcro strips or grip pads to the bottom of the mattress to prevent it from moving while you sleep. These strips can even be combined with one of the previously mentioned solutions to maximize comfort and safety.
6. Get a New Mattress
Having the right mattress size is the key to comfort in a sleigh bed. A mattress that is too big for its frame will spill out, conversely, a mattress that is too small will have a large gap. To reduce or eliminate this sizing mismatch, select the correct mattress and its corresponding bed frame size. It is important to know the dimensions of different bed sizes. Read our article on mattress sizes for platform beds to familiarize yourself with the various mattress sizes.
Below is a summary of different mattress sizes to choose from for your bed frame:
|Mattress Size||Average Mattress Width||Average Mattress Length||Amazon Product Example||Price range|
|California King||72 inches||84 inches||Linenspa mattress||~$825|
|King||76 inches||80 inches||Sweetnight mattress||~$760|
|Queen||60 inches||80 inches||Sleep innovation mattress||~$325|
|Double/Full||53 inches||75 inches||Sweetnight mattress||~$470|
|Twin||39 inches||75 inches||PrimaSleep mattress||~$200|
7. Purchase a New Bed Frame
Alternatively, your best solution might be a different bed frame. In some cases, this option can be less expensive than replacing the mattress. Again, you have to accurately measure the bed frame that you are purchasing because if your mattress doesn’t fit properly, the gap will still exist.
Below is a list of different methods that can be used to fix a mattress gap and their associated costs:
|Methods of Fixing a Mattress Gap||Pros||Cons||Amazon Product Example||Price Range|
|Mattress Gap Filler||Cheap and easy installation||Not durable||FeelAtHome mattress filler||~$30|
|Mattress Wedge||Health benefits||Difficult to install||Vekkia mattress wedge||~$35|
|Boards||Cheap and easy way to fill the gap||No added comfort||Bryco cardboard||~$15|
|Headboard Padding||Stylish and less expensive||Not durable. Requires DIY work.||Linenspa cushion craft foam||~$35|
|Velcro Strips||Prevents mattress movement||Tedious to install||3M Dual lock strips||~$50|
|Grip Pads||Prevents mattress movement and inexpensive||Tedious to install||X-protector grip pads||~$10|
|New Mattress||Sustainable and the accurate fit||Very expensive||Sweetnight King-size mattress||~$600|
|New Bed Frame||Sustainable and prevent moving||Expensive||Idealhouse bed frame||~$90|
You might also be interested in getting a completely different bed. Bookcase beds might be a good choice. Make sure to check out our related article explaining how to style a bookcase bed and decorate it properly for more ideas.
How Big Should a Sleigh Bed Frame Be to Properly Fit a Mattress?
A bed frame needs to be slightly larger than its mattress. Be mindful about the size because if it is too small or too large for the mattress it can create discomfort and cause a mattress gap. Ideally, the bed frame should be no more than 3 to 4 inches larger than the mattress. Read our guide to sleigh bed styles and sizes for more information about the measurements and types of sleigh beds that you’ll encounter.
To determine the dimensions of a sleigh bed frame that fits an existing mattress, add 3 inches to the width and 4 inches to the length of the mattress. The mattress size and the bed size can be matched by matching their size categories. For example, a queen-size bed accommodates a queen size mattress.
See below for a list of different bed frame sizes and mattress sizes that they accommodate.
|Sleigh Bed Frame Size||Dimensions of Appropriate Mattress||Sleigh Bed Frame Dimensions||Expected Mattress Gap|
|Twin||38 inches by 75 inches||41 inches by 78 inches||1 inch|
|Full/Double||54 inches by 75 inches||58 inches by 77 inches||1 inch|
|Queen||60 inches by 80 inches||63 inches by 84 inches||1 inch|
|King||76 inches by 80 inches||79 inches by 83 inches||1 inch|
|California King||72 inches by 84 inches||76 inches by 87 inches||1 inch|
Once you've closed the gap in your sleigh bed, you might be interested in our related article showing you how to lift up a sleigh bed and raise it to add extra storage space to your room. Check it out!