Sleigh Bed Height Guide – How to Choose the Right Sleigh Bed Height For Your Needs
Sleigh beds have been around for hundreds of years and remain as popular as ever. If you dream of adding an elegant touch to your bedroom, a sleigh bed is a great choice. The height of a sleigh bed will affect the overall look and feel of the bedroom—a higher sleigh bed will have a more regal feel and a lower sleigh bed will generally have a more contemporary feel. In this article we discuss different sleigh bed heights and how to alter them to meet your needs.
The height of a sleigh bed headboard can range from 48 in. tall to 72 in. tall. Sleigh bed footboards can range from 15 in. tall to 54 in. tall and the top of the mattress on a sleigh bed can range from 20 inches high to 38 inches high depending on the thickness of the mattress.
What Is a Sleigh Bed?
Sleigh beds have their roots in the Empire style of the early 19th century; the Empire style is a form of Neoclassicism. The design has remained popular, especially with those who have a classic taste in furniture.
As the name suggests, a sleigh bed is a style of bed that resembles a sleigh or sled. It has a curved or scrolled headboard and footboard, with side rails that enclose the bed. Sleigh beds range from heavily ornate designs with substantial curves to simplified designs with subtle details and slight curves.
Sleigh beds are most often made of wood but may also be made of a variety of other materials like aluminum, iron, and steel. They are often heavier than other styles of beds due to their additional design features such as the curves and rails. However, sleigh beds can also work well in smaller, more intimate spaces because the style can give a sense of sleeping in a cozy cocoon.
For more information, you're definitely going to want to check out our entire guide devoted to this question: what is a sleigh bed?
Sleigh Bed Heights
Sleigh beds come in both tall and short versions. Tall sleigh beds are often used in spacious rooms with high ceilings. Their height gives them a larger appearance, matching the room’s scale, even if the bed itself is not that big. Short sleigh beds, on the other hand, can fit perfectly in smaller rooms with low ceilings.
Typical sleigh beds are 48 inches tall at the top of the headboard. Short sleigh beds range in height from 40 to 48 inches and tall sleigh beds can reach up to 72 inches tall. Footboards are shorter than headboards and their heights are not typically listed in product sheets.
Don’t just consider the sleigh bed height when choosing your bed. The overall dimensions of the sleigh bed are also important. Make sure to choose a bed that has the width and length that fits in your room with some space to walk around the bed. Squeezing behind a sleigh bed headboard is not comfortable so you should expect to walk around the sides and foot of the bed. We’ve covered sleigh bed dimensions in the next section.
Sleigh Bed Dimensions
When shopping for a sleigh bed, it is particularly important to consider the overall size of the bed and how it will fit into the room it is intended for. Large and ornate sleigh beds create a dramatic effect in a bedroom. Much like canopy beds, sleigh beds are the focal point in the bedroom. Take a look at our article for more information on the similarities and difference between sleigh beds and canopy beds.
The style and design of a sleigh bed is crucial in determining the final overall size of the bed. If the sleigh bed is a simple contemporary style, with a slight curve to the head and foot boards, the overall size of the bed may not be much more than the size of the mattress. If, however, the sleigh bed is heavy, ornate, and dramatically curved, the headboard and footboard can add a significant amount to the final size of the bed, especially to the length of the bed. You’ll see examples of these types below.
Standard Sleigh Bed Dimensions Are the Same As Any Other Bed
|Twin||38”wide x 75” long|
|Twin XL||38” wide x 80” long||Longer than a regular twin.|
|Full/Double||54” wide x 75” long|
|Queen||60” wide x 80” long|
|King||76” wide x 80” long|
|California King||72” wide x 84” long||Narrower and longer than a regular King.|
You might also be interested in learning about our tips to choose sleigh bed mattress height too, so make sure to check them out.
Examples of Sleigh Bed Heights and Dimensions
Below are the overall dimensions of example sleigh beds and their heights:
|Sleigh Bed Example From Amazon||Size (King, Queen, etc.)||Dimensions||Sleigh Bed Height|
|Charlton Home Blundell Sleigh Bed||King size||~78" width x ~89" length||~47" height|
|Homelegance Abbeville Sleigh Bedframe||Queen size||~63" width x ~83" length||~50" height|
|Ashley Furniture Alisdair Traditional Sleigh Bed Component set||Twin size||~41" wide x ~7" deep (headboard and footboard only)||~47" height|
|Charlton Home Blundell Sleigh Bed||Full size||~56" width x ~85" length||~47” height|
|Furniture of America Goodwell Traditional Camel-back Sleigh Bed||Queen size||~68” width x ~94” length||~73” height|
|Baxton Studio Castello Upholstered Sleigh Platform Bed||King size||~89” width x ~80” length||~46” height|
Do you think a sleigh bed is too big for your space? If so, you might be interested in reading about these 6 ways to use sleigh beds in small apartments and our guide to lift up storage sleigh bed varieties and their benefits as well.
How to Change a Sleigh Bed’s Height
It is possible to find sleigh beds with just about any height for each of the different components of the sleigh bed. Generally, the overall height of a particular sleigh bed cannot be lowered, since the height of the sleigh bed depends on the headboard. However, you can increase the overall height of a sleigh bed and alter the height of the sleeping area using the techniques below.
The height of the sleeping area of a sleigh bed can be changed by adjusting the height of the mattress or box spring. It is also possible to raise the height of the entire sleigh bed by using bed risers.
The height of the headboard is the most important element in determining your sleigh bed’s total height. On average, the typical height of a sleigh bed’s headboard is about 48 inches tall. Read our headboard height guide to find out about the various heights of bed headboards.
To change the height of a sleigh bed headboard, add bed risers or replace the headboard altogether with a taller headboard. When adding bed risers to the headboard, the footboard will also need to be raised so that the attachment brackets can be used with the same holes in the bed frame.
The height of the footboard should also be considered carefully when selecting your sleigh bed. The footboard of a sleigh bed can vary considerably in height, depending on the design. Traditional sleigh beds usually have a footboard that rises well above the mattress. More contemporary sleigh beds have footboards that are below the mattress or level with it.
The height of the footboard will affect the way that the bed is used and how it functions. A tall footboard keeps anyone from sitting on the end of the bed and from getting in and out of the bed from the foot end. It may also become a nuisance for someone who is very tall or who tends to move around so that their feet hit the foot of the bed.
The height of the footboard also has a significant impact on the overall look of the bed. A tall footboard can cause the bed to dominate the room or provide a wonderful dramatic focal point. A tall footboard can create an intimate nesting space. On the other hand, a shorter footboard can give a more open and spacious feel, especially in a smaller space. A shorter footboard can also allow beautiful bedding to be more visible, especially if the footboard is made of metal bars like this one from Amazon.
To change the height of a sleigh bed footboard, use bed risers. Raise the headboard with the same bed risers that are used for the headboard.
Changing the thickness of the mattress will change the height of the sleeping area of the bed without changing the overall profile height of the bed. Mattresses can range in thickness from 8 to 14 inches. By choosing a thicker or thinner mattress, you can lower or raise your bed’s height without changing the whole bed. If you want to raise the height of the mattress while keeping the existing mattress, simply add a thick mattress topper that adds the desired extra height. Read our mattress topper size guide to help you choose the correct height for your needs.
Keep in mind that changing the thickness of the mattress may change the amount the footboard and headboard extends above the mattress, with the change affecting the footboard most. A thinner mattress may cause a low footboard to be higher than the mattress. A thicker mattress may reduce how much the footboard rises above the mattress. Either will change how the bed functions and how it looks.
To change the height of a sleigh bed mattress, add a mattress topper, buy a thicker or thinner mattress, or add a box spring under the mattress.
Some sleigh beds require box springs because they don’t have slats with a center support or a platform to support the mattress. Read our article on using box springs with sleigh beds for an in-depth discussion.
The box spring adds height to a mattress and provides ventilation.
To change the height of a sleigh bed’s box spring, buy a thicker or thinner box spring.
Even if the sleigh bed doesn’t normally use a box spring, a box spring can be added if you want to add a substantial amount of height to the sleeping area of the bed.
Remember that major changes to the thickness of the box spring will also change how the headboard and footboard look relative to the new height of the bed and how the bed functions.
To change the overall height of the sleigh bed, use bed risers. Bed risers can be used to raise the height of a sleigh bed between 2 to 14 inches.
With a sleigh bed, it is particularly important to make sure that the feet of the bed will actually fit into the selected bed risers because many sleigh beds have uniquely designed feet. In fact, many sleigh beds are not easily raised using bed risers. Also, make sure the specific bed riser is designed to carry the weight of the sleigh bed. These bed risers from Amazon have a broad base to accommodate wide bed legs and can bear a weight of up to 10,000 lbs.
You might not want to use bed risers with some sleigh beds—especially if the design has boards designed to cover the sides of the bed. Bed risers would definitely change the overall look of the bed because the space under the bed may now be visible. On the other hand, bed risers can make the space under the bed more accessible. Read our bed riser article to help choose the bed riser height which will suit your bed.
Reasons to Change a Sleigh Bed’s Height
Although the design of the profile of most sleigh beds tends to be fixed there are still good reasons that you might want to change the height of components of your sleigh bed.
Reasons to change a sleigh bed’s height include matching your room decor, making the bed easier to get in and out of, enhancing your health, and improving bed safety.
Bed Height Can Change the Look of a Room’s Decor
Simply changing the height of your bed can change the overall look of your bedroom. Raising the bed can emphasize the bed, making it a more dominant focal point.
You might want to change your bed height to better match your room decor. If you have a traditional bedroom and you want to make it look more contemporary, having a lower bed may look more appropriate. It may give your room a more spacious feel than a higher, more traditional style sleigh bed. Read our article on sleigh bed styles to learn more about the vast array of styles to choose from.
Bed Height Can Make it Easier to Get In and Out of Bed
The height of your bed is a particularly important consideration for how easy a bed is to get in or out of. This article from Taylor & Francis Online advises that a bed height for seniors should be between 20 to 23 inches high from the floor to the top of the mattress. In fact, the best height is the one that is easiest for the sleeper to get into and out of, without straining or struggling.
The last thing anyone wants is to have trouble getting in and out of bed. If you already have your bed and have had any trouble with getting in and out of it, you can try some of the previously mentioned ideas for changing the height of the bed’s sleeping area. Consider getting a bed step like this one from Amazon if you have small children who regularly climb up onto a high bed.
Bed Height Can Affect Health and Pain
Your bed height can have an impact on your health if it is difficult to get in or out of. If your bed is too low, it may have a negative impact on your joints or your back. It can also be hard on your body if the bed is very high and hard for you to get in and out of bed. This article from Sage Journals discusses the appropriate height for beds in order to avoid injury.
Bed Height Safety
The height at the top of the mattress can have safety implications. It is an especially important consideration when it comes to seniors and children. A high bed could result in serious injury if a child or senior falls off the bed.
By using a thinner mattress, you can make a bed lower and safer. However, these concerns need to be balanced against the potential difficulty in getting up out of a bed that is too low. Read our mattress foundation thickness guide for more information on the height that would suit your needs best.
Does a Sleigh Bed Need a Boxspring?
The design of every sleigh bed is different. Some are designed with platforms while others have rails. Additionally, the type of mattress you use will determine if you need a box spring. We’ve covered this topic in detail in our article entitled “does a sleigh bed need a box spring?”.
Many sleigh beds do not need a box spring because they have slats or platforms designed to support the mattress on its own. But if the slats are more than 2 inches apart then a box spring is needed to prevent the mattress from sagging.
A sleigh bed usually features slats in the frame that are enough to hold a mattress in place and to provide it a strong foundation on which to rest, while maximizing ventilation through the mattress. However, for these beds, you might still choose to use a box spring if you want to change the sleeping height of your bed. Read our article on box spring height to learn more about the different heights they come in. This box spring from Amazon would work well with most headboards and footboards.
If you're ready to take apart your sleigh bed, however, make sure to read our step-by-step guide on how to disassemble a sleigh bed before you get started.