How big is the bed? US vs Irish bed sizes

It sound simple – a king size bed is a king size bed no matter where you are, right? No, wrong. It’s easy for US visitors in Ireland to expect one size of bed from a website description and arrive to find something quite different and usually smaller.

This is a run through of the most common bed sizes you’ll see in Ireland, with a comparison to their Irish equivalents. Bed sizes in the UK are the same as in Ireland and while beds differ a little in the rest of Europe they are closer to Irish/UK sizes than US ones.

There are a few broad generalisations about bed size – not set in stone but mostly true:

  • Bed & Breakfast, hostel and other budget accommodation will generally have smaller beds than hotels.
  • At the more expensive end of the scale, no matter what the accommodation type, you are likely to get larger beds.
  • Some luxury hotels, especially those aimed mainly at American visitors, do provide larger US sized beds. They are likely to specify this or to state bed measurements on their websites.
  • In general, over time, bed sizes provided in all Irish accommodation types have become larger and arriving to a startlingly smaller bed than you expected is not common any more.
  • If you are particularly tall or large or if a bed with lots of space is really important for you to get a good night’s sleep, do ask in advance about bed size.

Single/Twin Beds

US: 39 x 75 inches / 97 x 191 cm

Ireland: 36 x 75 inches / 91 x 191 cm

There isn’t a huge difference in the size of a standard single or twin bed, Irish beds are just 3 inches or about 6 cm narrower.

Look out however for beds described as a small single. These have no US equivalent (except perhaps a camp bed) and are very narrow, just 30 inches or 75cm wide. They are sometimes added in family rooms as a child bed but are also not uncommon in budget accommodation and really are not that comfortable for most adults.

Sometimes two single beds, or more often two small singles, are attached to form a ‘double’ bed, allowing property owners to easily reconfigure the sleeping configuration of a room depending on the preference of guests. This works pretty well if one large mattress is used on the attached beds, less well if they have separate mattresses when attached. Be careful though if asking for a room with such a set up to be configured with separate beds – you may end up with two small singles and a pretty cramped sleep.

Double Beds

US/Ireland: 54 x 75 inches / 137 x 191 cm

A standard double bed is the same size in Ireland as in the US. This is a common bed size in Bed & Breakfast accommodation and in 2 & 3 star hotels, less common in more expensive hotels.

There is also a small double size, sometimes called a ‘compact double‘, which is 6 inches or about 15 cm narrower than a standard double. These beds could be described as either cramped or cosy, probably depending on whether you are buying or selling!  While not a very common size it is sometimes used in smaller rooms in Bed & Breakfast accommodation and is something to watch out for.

US Queen and Irish King

US Queen: 60 x 80 inches / 152 x 203 cm

Ireland King: 60 x 78 in / 152 x 198 cm

This is where the most confusion starts to pop up with bed size. What is described as a Queen Size in the US is almost identical in size to what’s described as King Size in Ireland, with the Irish king just a couple of inches shorter.

This is a common bed size in Irish hotels, but can catch visitors out if they expect an Irish king size to be the same as a US king size and arrive to find a bed that is quite significantly narrower, by 16 inches or about 30cm.

While some hotels which cater primarily to the American market will have US king size beds, unless a description online specifically states that a bed is US King Size (or specifies a measurement), rather than simply King Size, this is the bed you can can expect.

US King and Irish Super King

US King: 76 x 80 inches /193 x 203 cm

Ireland Super King: 72 x 78 in / 183 x 198 cm

The term ‘Super King’ may lead you to expect a huge bed, perhaps what would be called a ‘California King’ in the USA. Not so, in fact whats called a Super King in Ireland is both shorter and narrower than a standard King in the USA.

This is the largest bed you are likely to find in Ireland, and you are unlikely to find one outside of the more expensive hotels. In many cases it isn’t in fact one bed, but is made up of two standard single beds connected together, in which case it’ll be about 3 inches shorter.

Article updated: May 30, 2017

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