Tips to Choose Sleigh Bed Mattress Height
When choosing a sleigh bed, many of us prioritize comfort and design and ignore the overall height of the bed including the mattress height. Mattress heights can make a big difference both to the look of your bed, and in terms of comfort and providing under-bed storage. Many designers suggest choosing lower beds for a small bedroom as they give the appearance of more space whereas taller beds look good in a room with high ceilings.
Typically, sleigh bed mattress heights range from 6 to 20 inches. Factors that affect the height of a sleigh bed mattress include the headboard and footboard heights, the frame height, and whether the mattress will have a box spring foundation under it. While mattress length and width are standard, there’s no such thing as standard bed height.
What Is a Sleigh Bed?
A sleigh bed is a style of bed that resembles a sled. It features curved or scrolled footboard and headboard. Contemporary sleigh bed designs no longer feature exaggerated curves and scrolls.
Initially, sleigh beds were made of heavy wood, making them look quite bulky. Nowadays, sleigh beds are made of various materials, including wood, iron, aluminum, steel, and upholstery to suit a larger variety of bedroom designs and apartment sizes.
Sleigh beds come in both tall and short versions. The height depends on the depth of the mattress, the box spring, and the height of the bed frame. While higher beds may provide more storage room, lower beds have a more modern look and may provide a more minimal aesthetic. Lower beds are also appropriate for children since they are easier to climb into and offer a shorter distance to fall if the child rolls out of bed. Older people sometimes like higher beds since they're easier to get in and out of. Read our sleigh bed height guide to find out about the various heights of sleigh beds.
What is the Typical Sleigh Bed Mattress Height Range?
Determining a mattress height for yourself can depend on many factors including the bedroom’s design, the bed frame style, and your personal preferences and requirements. If you have a low sleigh bed frame, then choose an extra thick mattress for comfort. Conversely, if you prefer a thinner mattress, then choose a tall bed frame with lots of storage space underneath. Both of these combinations will give your sleigh bed and mattress a more balanced look. For more ideas on sleigh bed designs read our article on six sleigh bed styles.
The typical sleigh bed mattress height ranges between 5 and 20 inches. To change a sleigh bed’s height, choose a thicker or thinner mattress to lower or raise a sleigh bed’s height without changing the bed frame.
Keep in mind that no single mattress height fits all sleigh bed styles and sizes because sleigh bed designs can vary. Consider the specific characteristics of your sleigh bed and get a mattress with a suitable height. It’s easy to match a queen size mattress to a queen size sleigh bed. But you need to read more below to see what other factors can affect the mattress height that you choose.
If you have a nice mattress and don’t want to buy another new mattress, then consider laying a mattress topper on top of your existing mattress to raise its height and add extra comfort to your bed. Read our mattress topper ultimate guide for an in-depth look at the various types and thicknesses of mattress toppers to enhance your bed.
What Can Affect How High a Sleigh Bed Mattress Should Be?
Before you go shopping for a sleigh bed mattress, it is necessary to learn the key factors for choosing the ideal mattress height. This article from Intechopen titled, “Bed Size, Quality Sleep and Occupational Safety: An Investigation of Students at Slovak Universities” discusses the importance of bed height to avoid injury from falling off a high bed, or back strain from awkwardly bending to access a bed that is too low.
The height of a sleigh bed mattress is affected by headboard and footboard heights, sleigh bed design, the box spring, sleigh bed frame height, and personal needs and preferences.
1. Headboard and Footboard heights
A headboard contributes to the aesthetics of your bed and overall bedroom design. The best mattress height for a sleigh bed depends on whether you have a low or a tall headboard like this contemporary velvet sleigh bed from Amazon. A low headboard can make your room look more spacious and minimalistic compared to using a tall headboard. A headboard also provides a place to lean against when you sit up in your bed, so you do not want to cover up the headboard with a mattress that is too thick. Read our headboard height and size chart to find out about the various heights of bed headboards.
Generally, the headboard should rise well above the height of the mattress in order to look prominent in the room.
The mattress height for a sleigh bed also depends on the height of the footboard. The footboard can vary considerably in height, depending on the sleigh bed 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. This Hillsdale sleigh bed has a high rounded headboard that looks attractive in a classic-style bedroom.
Choose a mattress that sits level with the footboard’s height so you can sit on the end of the bed and to get in and out of the bed from the foot end.
This will help prevent the mattress edge from collapsing, which we discuss further in our article on what to do if your mattress edge collapses. However, matching mattress height to footboard height doesn’t match a traditional sleigh bed design. For a traditional sleigh bed, the top of the mattress should be far below the height of the floorboard.
2. Sleigh Bed Design
When purchasing a mattress, you should consider the overall sleigh bed style and design because the thickness of a mattress can significantly alter the look and function of your bed.
If the sleigh bed is a simple contemporary style, a low profile or thinner mattress gives a proportional look to the bed. If, however, the sleigh bed is heavy, ornate, and dramatically curved, it coordinates better with high-profile, or deeper mattresses.
3. Box Spring
A box spring elevates the height of a low mattress, which makes it easier to get in and out of the bed. The height added to the mattress gives the bed a stylish and sophisticated appearance.
A tall mattress paired with a box spring makes a sleigh sleigh bed look bulky and unattractive.
For sleigh beds without box springs, choose a thinner mattress for a low-profile bed and taller mattress for a high-profile bed.
Read our article on box spring heights to learn how to choose the right box spring height for your bed.
4. Sleigh Bed Frame Height
Your sleigh bed frame height is another factor that affects how tall the mattress should be. If your sleigh bed frame is too high, it might be difficult for you to get in and out of bed.The same applies to sleigh beds that are too low. If your sleigh bed frame is closer to the ground, it might be difficult for the elderly—or someone with back pain—to get in and out of bed.
Make sure to take a look at our detailed guide to sleigh bed dimensions to learn more as well.
5. Your Personal Preferences
The height of your mattress can significantly affect your comfort and sleeping experience. You should always consider your personal needs and preferences when purchasing a mattress for your bed. Think of how high or low you want your sleigh bed to be. Also, take into account visual features of your sleigh bed as the overall aesthetics of your bedroom will also influence the quality of your sleep. This article from Science Direct tilted, “Physical and Social Environment Relationship With Sleep Health and Disorders,” investigates how the aesthetics of a person’s environment affects their overall mental health and proper sleep.
Tips to Choose Sleigh Bed Mattress Height
The various mattress heights available make it possible to find the ideal height that will both compliment your particular style of sleigh bed as well as provide sufficient support while you sleep.
Choose a taller sleigh bed mattress height to match a tall headboard, footboard, or high-profile bed frame. A shorter sleigh bed mattress height matches a short footboard or low profile bed frame.
Tip 1. Measure Headboard and Footboard Height
As a general rule, sleigh beds with high headboards require higher mattresses, while sleigh beds with low headboards should be paired with mattresses of lower heights, allowing more headboard to show.
Sleigh beds with low footboards have a boxy look, and a low profile or thinner mattress provides a proportional look that doesn’t exceed the footboard’s height. For sleigh beds without footboards, both low-profile and high-profile mattresses provide a tailored appearance. Read our article on sleigh beds versus panel beds to discover the difference and similarities between these two attractive bed frame choices.
Tip 2. Choose a Taller Mattress for a Traditional Sleigh Bed Design
The height of your sleigh bed mattress depends on the style and design of your bed. Generally speaking, tall mattresses are ideal for traditional sleigh beds, making them look fuller. Some sleigh beds consist of raised side rails to support the mattress. Choose a mattress that is slightly taller than the rails to fit snugly onto the bed.
Conversely, modern and Nordic-style sleigh beds like this one from Amazon feature a more classic and simple design, which requires mattresses with a lower profile, to avoid your sleigh bed looking bulky and hiding its elegant design features.
Tip 3. Choose a Shorter Sleigh Bed Mattress to Pair With a Tall Box Spring
When choosing the mattress height for a sleigh bed, you should consider whether the bed includes a box spring. Typically, traditional sleigh beds do not feature box springs since they come with a built-in platform or sturdy slat system to support the mattress. In this case, choose a relatively tall mattress that offers a comfortable sleeping area, without obstructing the head and footboards.
A sleigh bed with no slats or platform to support the mattress requires a box spring. In this case, choose a low or thinner mattress to put on top of the box spring without spoiling the bed appearance. Read our article about whether a sleigh bed needs a box spring to discover what circumstances warrant including a box spring with a sleigh bed.
Tip 4. Measure the Height of Your Sleigh Bed Frame
Your sleigh bed frame height will hint at how tall the mattress should be. While you can’t make your sleigh bed shorter, you can easily elevate its height by using a thicker mattress. If your sleigh bed frame is already too high, simply avoid using a mattress that will make the bed seem even taller. If your sleigh bed frame is relatively low to the ground like this one, use a thicker mattress to increase its height so you can get in and out easily.
The best way to purchase the right mattress for your sleigh bed is to measure its bed frame height. If your sleigh bed features side rails, do not forget to measure their height as well. The perfect mattress height would be just a couple of inches above the side rails.For more information about sleigh bed side rails, read our article about how to replace sleigh bed side rails.
Tip 5. Sit at the Edge of the Bed With the Mattress So That Your Knees are Level With Your Hips
Mattress height preferences are subjective, but the height should correlate with your height. So sit at the edge of the bed to ensure that the height of the mattress provides maximum comfort. If your knees are above the hips, then the mattress is too low. Use a thicker mattress in this case. But if your feet can’t reach the floor comfortably, then the mattress is too high and must be replaced by a thinner one. To choose the proper sleigh bed mattress height, your feet should remain flat against the floor and your knees in a straight line with your hips.
Summary of Sleigh Bed Mattress Height Recommendations
There is no universal sleigh bed mattress height that works for every single sleigh bed. As we have discussed in the sections above, various factors affect how high a mattress should be. The optimal sleigh bed mattress height should be determined based on your sleigh bed’s design and characteristics.
However, there are some general tips and recommendations you can consider when searching for a sleigh bed mattress. Check the table below for quick and simple instructions on when to choose certain sleigh bed mattress heights.
|Sleigh Bed Mattress Height Range||When Should You Choose This Height||Amazon Product Example||Price|
|6” – 8”||Mattress heights ranging from 6 to 8 inches are considered short, slim, or low. They are ideal for modern or Nordic-style sleigh beds. This mattress height range can also work well for a sleigh bed with a box spring and a short headboard.||Zinus 6-Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress||~ $120|
|9” – 12”||Mattress heights ranging from 9 to 12 inches are considered standard or medium-height mattresses. These mattresses are perfect for almost every type of sleigh bed, including traditional, modern, Nordic-style, and even those with or without a box spring.||Zinus 10-Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress||~ $175|
|12” – 15” and Above||Mattress heights ranging from 12 to 15 inches or above are considered thick, high, or extra thick and tall. Such mattresses are ideal for traditional sleigh beds or those with no box spring. You can use a mattress with this height range if you want to increase the overall height of your sleigh bed.||Classic Brands 14-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress||~ $250|
Average Size of Sleigh Bed Mattresses
Sleigh beds can accommodate standard size mattresses that are available, and do not require a special or customized mattress because of their extended frames, curved footboards or headboards.
A California king size sleigh bed mattress measures 72” x 84”, a king size sleigh bed mattress measures 76” x 80”, a queen size sleigh bed mattress measures 60” x 80”, a full or double size sleigh bed mattress measures 53” x 75”, a twin XL size sleigh bed mattress measures 38” x 80”, and a twin size sleigh bed mattress measures 38” x 75”.
Typically, a California king size sleigh bed mattress fits two adults with kids or pets, or one tall individual who spreads out. A king size sleigh bed mattress offers the most room for couples. A queen size sleigh bed mattress fits two adults who need some space, whereas a full or double size sleigh bed mattress is a snug fit for two adults when homes and bedrooms are built smaller. A twin XL sleigh bed mattress is ideal for one tall teenager or a single adult, and a twin size sleigh bed mattress is suitable for a child.
Below is a summary of different mattress sizes with their sleeping capacity and dimensions:
|Mattress Size||Sleeping Capacity||Average Mattress Width||Average Mattress Height||Amazon Product||Price range|
|California King||Two adults + kids or pets||72”||84”||Linenspa 8-Inch Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress||~ $289-349|
|King||Two adults + kids or pets||76”||80”||Olee Sleep 13-Inch Galaxy Hybrid Gel Infused Memory Foam and Pocket Spring Mattress||~ $235-295|
|Queen||Two adults or couples||60”||80”||Lucid 10-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress||~ $249-279|
|Double/Full||Two young adults or couples||53”||75”||Zinus 8-Inch Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress||~ $145-175|
|Twin||One kid or one young adult||38”||75”||Signature Design by Ashley Chime 12-Inch Plush Hybrid Mattress||~ $139-198|
Why Mattress Height on a Sleigh Bed Matters
The mattress height for a sleigh bed not only affects the overall look of the bedroom, but also determines the comfort and access to the bed. A mattress that is too high can be difficult to get into or out of, and a mattress that is too low may place strain on your lower back and legs. This article from Spine discusses how better beds influence better back health.
Mattress height on a sleigh bed matters because it affects the overall aesthetics of the bed and how easy it is to get in and out of bed for a sleeper.
1. Sleigh Bed Aesthetics
Mattress height is important because it can affect the overall height of your sleigh bed as well as the appearance of your bedroom. While low beds can make a room look more spacious, taller beds would appear more appropriate in a room with high ceilings, and allow for under-bed storage. Our comprehensive bed skirt guide goes into detail about how to store items under your bed and disguise the area with a bed skirt.
Taller mattresses are more suited to a traditional design scheme and can offer a sense of luxury, while lower mattresses work better in a more contemporary design scheme.
2. Bed Frame Height
The height of your mattress should fit with the height of your bed frame. Sleigh beds like this one, typically feature side rails to support the mattress, so don’t use a mattress that is shorter than these rails.
In the case of a sleigh bed with no side rails, consider using a higher mattress to fill up space and give the bed a more luxurious look.
How easy it is to get in and out of the bed is dependent on age. While young people are usually comfortable with beds of any size, taller mattresses can lead to injuries in case of a fall. So lower mattresses are safer when it comes to children’s sleigh beds like this one from Amazon.
However, older adults need a mattress that they can easily get in and out of without straining their body. A low mattress height will be a struggle for them, while a 12-inch mattress like this one would be ideal.
You may also be interested in learning how to disassemble a sleigh bed. If so, make sure to take a look at our related article to find out.