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How the Size of Beds Has Changed Over Time

These days, it’s easy to find sheets that snugly fit your bed. But not so in the 18th century and earlier, when standardized bed sizes didn’t exist. In general, bed sizes varied depending on the furniture maker. As a result, both mattresses and bedding had to be individually fitted to the unique shape of each bed. One of the best ways to see the difference firsthand is to visit a preserved colonial house like the ones open to visitors in Williamsburg, Virginia, which have numerous colonial beds on display, complete with requisite 18th century canopies and high headboards.
Single Bed size in old mansions
Along with their unique colonial trimmings, you’ll observe that bed lengths varied from being very, very short and wide to very, very long and narrow, along with every kind of dimension in between. After the industrial revolution took place, however, standardized twin and double beds took the place of more approximated sizing. In the 1960s, standard ‘king’ and ‘queen’ sized beds also became extremely popular in the United States. By the end of the era, most master bedrooms included either a queen or king sized bed. So the next time you visit the bedding aisle, remember to be grateful that finding the right sized bedding set is as simple as looking for twin, double, queen or king -sized linens — no custom fitted sheets needed!
Bed Sizes

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