What are the benefits of Small Double Beds?
With the numbers of small double beds on the rise in the UK, what makes them so popular and how can they be of benefit?
What Size Are Small Double Beds and Why Are They So Popular These Days?
122 x 190 cm | 48" x 75" | 4' x 6'3"
Small double beds refer to a 4 feet wide x 6 feet 3 inches long mattress (122 x 190 cm). This is 6 inches narrower than a standard double mattress and 8 inches wider than a standard single mattress.
Over the last 10 years the popularity of small double beds have become much greater for use in spare rooms. They are also great for teenagers. They give a wider sleeping area without taking over all the available space in the room.
Height and Weight Gains
The height and weight of teenagers has increased dramatically in the last 25 years. In 1994 for example, the average height of a 16 year old male was 5’ 9” and just over 10 stone.
Their female counterparts were 5’ 2” and 8.5 stone respectively. Today however boys on average are 5’11” weighing almost 12 stone and girls are 5’ 5” and coming in at just under 10 stone.
These remarkable gains in both height and weight are a key consideration for parents of teenagers. Trying to ensure that they are not only comfortable while sleeping but also ensuring that their beds are actually large enough for the size of their bodies.
Standard single beds are 91cm x 190cm or 36” x 75” in size so they are a full 21cm or 8” shorter than the small double bed counterparts.
Housing Stock Shortage
It is has been well publicised in the UK that there is a housing shortage throughout the country. Caused by many years of strict planning regulations on the development of green field sites. This has led to a huge gulf in the supply and demand curve.
Home builders have purchased land on an ongoing basis for many years. This land sits and waits for the authority to be given from the government to the builders to build homes. The criteria of which is set by Government guidelines.
The Government has not been prompt enough to take action. As a result latest figures suggest that the UK requires around 250,000 new homes EVERY year up to 2020.
This combined with the difficulties and hoops young adults are required to jump through in order to rent a property for themselves (let alone get a mortgage) means that they can be effectively stuck in their old room at Mum and Dads for years to come.
This in itself is demoralising for young people who want to spread their wings and start to stand on their own two feet and the flip side of the coin to that, is that Mum and Dad still continue to fund their offspring well into their 20’s and sometimes beyond.
These are the years that Mum and Dad should be spending together and indeed spending their money on themselves while they still can. But how can they tell their children to leave home knowing the housing ladder is beyond their reach. It’s a vicious circle that is affecting a considerable part of the population – young, middle aged and older.
In addition, elderly grandparents who have reached a stage in their lives where they are no longer able to take care of themselves. Subsequently then moving in to live with their offspring which makes the sleeping accommodation even tighter.
Houses in the UK have shrunk by 2 square meters in the last 10 years alone. This is mainly due to smaller houses being built in an attempt to keep costs down and also ensure the end sale price can be achieved by first time buyers.
As a result this means that in most cases, what seems like a relatively small amount is lost in the upstairs space and especially in the spare room or children’s room.
The knock on effect of that is rooms that perhaps 10 years ago could accommodate a double bed are now unable to do so due to the lack of floor space therefore the room occupant has to make do with a small double sized beds and mattresses instead.
Assuming that ‘most’ small double beds in the UK are inhabited by teenagers then it is also important to consider that teenagers need the most sleep out of any age bracket from toddler to old age.
Studies suggest that they require exactly 9 ¼ hours’ sleep a night. Facts show on average teenagers mainly get around 7 hours sleep.
Combining this with the height and weight increases mentioned it's crucial that teenagers are getting close to 9 hours sleep. Hence the requirement for a slightly larger sleeping area than a single.
To conclude, it seems that small double beds and mattresses
are here to stay! They now make up a much larger proportion of spare room / teenage rooms than before.
They are certainly not purchased in the same volumes of single or double beds. In terms of popularity they are increasing yearly as they are a perfect ‘halfway house’ for parents and home owners.