Bed Design Guidelines

1.  A lower bed makes a room look larger than a higher bed and creates a less formal appearance.

2. Most beds are designed so that the top of the mattress is 16″ to 24″ from the floor.

3. For maximum comfort, the bed should be 6″ to 8″ longer than the height of the person that will be using it.

4. To provide clearance for bed covers, allow 1″ extra length and 1/2″ to 1″ extra width for the bedframe.

5. Mattress and boxspring dimensions often differ from the “standards” so measure them before designing the bedframe.

6. The top of the headboard should be at least a foot above the top of the mattress. If a footboard is planned, aesthetics are enhanced by making it shorter than the headboard.

7. Most beds are designed with knock-down joinery to simplify moving and storage.

8. Make allowances for wood movement if using solid wood for the headboard. One approach is to oversize the mortises in the bed posts where the tenons on the headboard attach. Another approach is to cut a double mortise/tenon and allow one tenon to float by not gluing it in place.

9. Most headboards, footboards, and sideboards are made from 4/4 or 5/4 material. The use of thicker material is generally not necessary.

10. Give consideration to a platform bed rather than a conventional bed with a boxspring. This approach can save money, enable the use of narrower stock for the sideboards, and provide greater clearance under the bed (boxsprings are often set close to the floor to put the mattress at a suitable height).


Adult Bed Specifications
Height to top of mattress 16″-24″
Best mattress height for sitting 17″-18″
Best mattress height for changing sheets 24″
Acceptable toe room for platform beds 6″-8″”
Bunk Bed Specifications
Overall height 60″-87″
Height to top of lower mattress 16″-24″
Height to top of upper mattress from top of lower mattress 30″-45″
Crib Specifications
Mattress height adjustment 31″ to 39″
Spacing between slats 2-1/4″
Height-floor to top of crib 48″
Cradle Specifications
Width x Height 22″ x 36″
Height (top) 22″ average
Height (swing type) 40″ average
Bedroom Storage Specifications
Hanging space for long coats and dresses 58″-64″
Hanging space for jackets and shirts 32″-36″
Clothing storage unit depth 24″
Drawer depth (shirts sweaters towels) 16″-20″

Standard Dimensions of Adult Mattresses

Mattress Width Length
Bunk 30″, 33″ 75″
Single 36″ 75″
Twin 39″ 75″, 80″, 84″
Double 54″ 75″, 80″
Queen 60″ 80″, 84″
King 76″ 80″, 84″
Standard Dimensions of Juvenile Mattresses
Mattress Width Length
Bassinet 18″ 36″
Bassinet 22-1/4″ 38-3/4″
Junior crib 23″ 46″
Junior crib 25-1/4″ 50-3/4″
6-year crib 27″ 51″
6-year crib 31-1/4″ 56-3/4″
Youth bed 33″ 66″
Youth bed 36″ 76″
Standard Thicknesses of Mattresses and Boxsprings
Type Thickness
Inner spring 5-1/2″ to 6-1/2″
Foam 4″ to 7-1/2″
Boxspring 5-1/2″ to 9″
Futon 3″ to 6″

Standard Dimensions of Bedroom Furniture

Item Height Width Depth
Dresser (bureau) 29″-37″ 36″-48″ 18″-24″
Chest of drawers 42″-56″ 32″-40″ 18″-22″
Double dresser 26″-34″ 60″-72″ 18″-22″
Night table 16″-25″ 18″-28′ 16″-22″
Blanket chest 16″-20″ 32″-54″ 14″-22″
Lingerie chest 50″-54″ 22″-24″ 16″-18″