How to Choose a Mattress for a Sleigh Bed?

How to Choose a Mattress for a Sleigh Bed?

Are you looking for a bed frame with a little more style and character than the typical frames you see on the market? If so, a sleigh bed might be just what you’re looking for. 

In this guide, we explain how to choose the perfect mattress for your sleigh bed and introduce you to our best picks.

What is a Sleigh Bed?

A sleigh bed typically fits standard bed dimensions but is unique in its design and aesthetics. 

For instance, most sleigh beds have an outwardly scrolling head and footboard, which makes it look a little bit like Santa’s sleigh (hence the name!).

A sleigh bed is a great choice for anyone looking to bring a little bit of character and flair to their home. They are more aesthetically pleasing than typical beds and provide all of the same functions and core features, making them a popular choice with people who have an eye for a flashy interior.

You can choose from a range of sleigh beds: wooden, upholstered, and even storage (ottoman or with one or more drawers). Storage sleight beds in particular are popular with those short of floor and cupboard space.

lucia sleepmotion 200i adbjustable bed

Shopping Tip: You can even find an adjustable sleigh bed, which allows you to move the back and feet areas of the bed. Check out the Lucia Adjustable Bed Frame, priced at £1,199 for double size. 

Which Mattress Should You Choose for a Sleigh Bed?

A pocket spring mattress is a good choice for a sleigh bed. The individually wrapped coils offer superior support and comfort, perfectly complementing the design of a sleigh bed.

Known for their durability, pocket spring mattresses provide advanced body support and comfort. Additionally, they have good edge support can complement the design of a sleigh bed and prevent sagging around the edges. 

Because the dimensions of a sleigh bed are standard, you can choose a mattress from the UK market that fits your chosen size – be it single, small double, double, king, or even super king.

Mattress Height:

Probably the most important factor you need to consider is how high the mattress is. Generally, sleigh beds can accommodate a mattress that is between 20cm-27cm high. 

Keep in mind that if you choose a thinner mattress the headboard and footboard will show more and will look taller. However, if you choose a thicker mattress it will cover the headboard and footboard and they will appear lower.

In some cases, if you choose a mattress that is 28cm or higher, it might be at the same level or even taller than the foot-end.

Shopping Tip: If you’re looking for a new mattress check out the Dream Team Tadley Combination Mattress, which is one of Dreams’ best selling products. It is 22cm high and has a “medium” firmness level. It has a layer of pressure relieving memory foam and pocket springs inside, and has received lots of positive reviews from customers.

Headboard and Footboard Height:

Make sure you check what are the dimensions of the sleigh bed frame. Check how high the head-end and foot-end are, and what is the distance between the floor and the slat base.

sleigh bed headboard and fooboard height
sleigh bed dimensions

In the example above, you can see the Detroit Upholstered Sleigh Bed frame and its dimensions in king size. Here the foot-end is 68cm high, while the distance between the floor and base is 40cm. 

This means that if you choose a mattress that is 28cm or higher, it be at the same height or even taller than the foot-end. 

Keep in mind that when you add your bedding and duvet, they will raise the height of your mattress further by 2-4cm. Also, if you are using or plan on using a mattress topper, it will further raise the height of your mattress. 

Memory Foam, Pocket Sprung or Hybrid Mattress?

As far as the mattress composition goes, you can opt for a memory foam, pocket sprung, or even a hybrid mattress if you enjoy the best of both worlds. Sleigh beds can accommodate any type of mattress mentioned above, here the choice is left up to your personal preferences.  

High-quality mattresses from various brands can work well on your sleigh bed, but we’d recommend either the Original or Hybrid from Emma.

emma mattress used with sleigh bed

Since the Emma mattress is 25cm deep, it is absolutely perfect for the slightly more compact frame of a sleigh bed.

What’s more, Emma’s mattresses are multi-award-winning and are consistently ranked amongst the most popular mattresses available in the UK. 

The breathable Airgocell foam later and visco-elastic memory foam combines to provide exceptional support and comfort while reducing the risk of overheating during the night.

Shopping Tip 1: If you want to do some more research on what are the top mattress brands in the UK right now, then check out our top 10 mattress list.

Shopping Tip 2: We’ve also put up a list of mattresses that come with free trial, so you can sleep and test how comfortable they are at home. You are given a trial period of 100-365 nights, with the option of a full refund and free return in case you discover that the mattress is not as comfortable as you thought.


Sleigh beds are the perfect addition to a master or guest bedroom and serve as the centrepiece of the room around which your other interior design touches feature.

They come with either solid slats or sprung slats, which hold your mattress. Sprung slats are slightly curved and provide a subtle “bounce feeling”. They offer more support and comfort, when compared to solid slats. 

The bottom line is that a sleigh bed is a great option for anyone, and it can really enhance the look of your master or guest bedroom. Choosing the right mattress should not be a difficult task if you follow our tips and tricks mentioned in this guide.

Disclosure – independently reviews and ranks products, by thoroughly researching them. We may receive a commission when a purchase is made through our links, at no cost to our readers. Prices and ratings mentioned above are accurate as of March 13, 2023.