When we travel, we like to take clothing and accessories to make us feel more at home. One item we cannot take with us is our bed. In most cases, we have no idea what the sleep quality is like in the hotel or B&B until we get there. One thing we can find out in advance, however, is the sizes of the beds.
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A full bed -- or double bed -- 135 cm (4 feet 6 inches) wide by 190 cm (6 feet 3 inches) long. This makes it the next size up from a twin or single bed. Though the width is quite comfortable for one person, it cramps a couple since it only allows around 68 cm (27 inches) of width per person, which is about the width of a crib. Though its length would seem to accommodate a taller person, when you include the size of the pillows, a full bed can only accommodate someone who is 165 cm (5 feet 5 inches) or shorter. In hotels and guesthouses, you will often find one full bed in a single room and two in a double room.
A queen bed is slightly smaller than a double bed -- it is 120 cm (4 feet) wide and 190 cm (6 feet 3 inches) long. The dimensions make it less comfortable for a couple -- unless they are particularly slim -- than a full double bed. Note that two people will have 20 cm (8 inches) less per person than if each slept in his own twin bed. You are more likely to find queen size beds by themselves in single rooms or in pairs of a double room in posh hotels.
The largest bed size, the king, measures a majestic 150 cm (5 feet) wide and 200 cm (6 feet 6 inches) long. Because of their larger dimensions, you are unlikely to find two of these in a double room unless the hotel is truly luxurious. But they are quite common by themselves, since they afford maximum comfort for singles and couples.
When reserving lodgings, if you are uncertain whether a hotel uses the same designations for bed sizes that you are accustomed to -- for example, in North America the queen-size bed is larger than a double -- ask them for the specific measurements so you can compare them accurately.
Size is not the only factor in determining a good night sleep. When you first enter a room, lay on the bed to try it out. If it's uncomfortable, ask the proprietor if he can transfer you to a room with better furniture -- this is unlikely if all the beds are similar in a hotel chain. One way to improve the comfort of a bed is to place extra blankets and pillows on it. Ask for these from housekeeping and leave an extra tip for their trouble.
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