The Couple's Dilemma: what size of bed?

June 06, 2015

photo courtesy of The Linen Works


I love beds.  Aside from their restorative powers, they are a beauty to behold. They are also a conundrum for couples.  As unique as snowflakes, individual sleeping preferences include mattress firmness, sheets tucked in or free-flowing, windows open or closed, duvets or blankets, one pillow or two, and on and on. It's no easy feat to satisfy two independent minds with one choice.  

In my parents' generation, two single beds were common place. Even as a child, I thought it strange that I had as much sleeping space as they did.  Over time, there was a move toward the queen-sized bed and eventually the king.  Despite the roomy proportions, I remain dissatisfied.  Simply put, I want my own bed.  At 39 x 80", the twin XL mattress actually gives me marginally more personal space than my half of our 76 x 80 king bed.   It would allow me to customize my own mattress and bedding but despite this knowledge, it's an unappealing option. Putting aside the dogma that a happy couple must sleep in the same bed, somewhere in my brain full of rules, a twin bed is a kid's bed.

Perhaps more important is that I already have something else in mind.  At a Marriott hotel in London, we were once upgraded into the "Ambassador Suite" which featured a phenomenal master bed with stunning chandelier, huge armoires and a round table that seated twelve.  (Ambassadors apparently can't afford conference rooms.)   But in the adjoining room, there were two double beds.  I realize this isn't groundbreaking in a hotel, but they were "small doubles" which, size-wise, put them somewhere in-between a twin and a double bed.   Side by side, beautifully done up in luxurious linens, I was bewitched.  They looked as if they were designed for a pampered king and queen who couldn't bear to have their own rooms.

For the life of me, I don't know why it hasn't caught on here in North America.  The small double is luxurious, customized and if a room is large enough to accommodate a pair, a couple's perfect solution.   Whether or not it becomes the next big thing, I'm definitely heading that way.  Right after we build an addition on our master to fit them...