Skip to Content

Can two adults share a single bed?

Quick Answer

Yes, two adults can share a single bed, but it may not be the most comfortable sleeping arrangement. A standard single bed is around 39 inches wide, which doesn’t leave much room for two people to spread out. Sharing a small bed usually requires compromising on personal space and sleeping in close contact with each other throughout the night. Some couples don’t mind the coziness while others find it disruptive to their sleep.

What are the dimensions of a single bed?

A standard single bed, also referred to as a twin bed, measures approximately 39 inches wide by 75 inches long (99 cm x 191 cm). This is the smallest standard mattress size for adults. Here are the typical dimensions for single beds:

Size Width Length
Twin 39 inches 75 inches

The limited width of a single bed makes it a tight squeeze for two grown adults to sleep comfortably side by side throughout the night.

Can two adults fit in a single bed?

Physically, two average-sized adults can fit together in a single bed. However, having enough room to lie down doesn’t necessarily mean a comfortable night’s sleep.

Two people sharing 39 inches of sleeping space would need to sleep in very close contact with each other. Each person would have less than 20 inches of personal space. This typically requires snuggling up together in a spoon position all night long.

While some couples enjoy the enforced closeness, others may find the lack of personal space makes it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. The confinement can cause tossing, turning, and disruptions to sleep for light sleepers.

Ultimately, the ability to comfortably share a single bed depends on the specific sleeping habits, sizes, and preferences of the two people. Some couples may manage better than others.

What are the pros of sharing a single bed?

For some couples, sharing a cozy single bed has its appeals:

  • Promotes intimacy and closeness
  • Encourages cuddling, spooning, and physical contact
  • Convenient for small living spaces like apartments, RVs, and dorms
  • Only need one set of bedding
  • Easier to communicate at night
  • Feels secure and comforting for some

The cramped conditions can be an opportunity for enjoying physical proximity and bonding as a couple. The enforced closeness also makes communication at night easier before falling asleep and when waking up.

Sharing a bed can feel cozy for couples who like to maintain a lot of physical contact and don’t prioritize having space while sleeping. It can also be a practical arrangement in small living quarters.

What are the cons of sharing a single bed?

However, there are also distinct downsides to two adults cramming into a single bed:

  • Disrupted sleep from lack of space
  • Not enough room to change positions
  • Difficulty getting comfortable temperature
  • Movement and snoring disrupt partner’s sleep
  • Lack of personal space feels suffocating
  • Intimacy not always desired
  • Could exacerbate pain or health issues
  • May increase irritability and relationship stress

The primary complaint is compromised sleep quality from the lack of room to spread out and switch sleeping positions. Tossing, turning, and shifting positions frequently can wake up your partner throughout the night. Being too hot or cold sharing such a small space can also make it challenging to fall asleep.

Many couples find the constant physical closeness to be annoying or even claustrophobic after a while. The enforced intimacy every night isn’t always desired and can feel suffocating. Chronic lack of good sleep and personal space could potentially add stress and irritability to the relationship over time. Underlying pain issues or health conditions could also be aggravated.

Overall the single bed ends up feeling too crowded and cramped for most couples to use it as a long-term sleeping option.

Tips for sharing a small bed

If circumstances require sharing a single bed, here are some tips to improve comfort and sleep:

  • Get a high-quality mattress topper or mattress for cushioning.
  • Use separate top sheets and blankets for individual temperature control.
  • Try different spoon positions: switching roles each night.
  • Stack two slimmer pillows for sleeping slightly offset.
  • Keep ambient room temperature cool.
  • Compromise on ideal sleep position.
  • Communicate and be flexible if someone can’t sleep.
  • Schedule intimate time together outside of sleeping only.
  • Agree on protocol if someone needs to get up at night.
  • Use white noise or earplugs to dampen disruptions.
  • Shower before bed to feel fresh in close quarters.

Making some adjustments and having open communication can help mitigate the disadvantages of sharing a cramped single bed. But ultimately getting a larger bed may be needed for a long-term solution.

When is it time to get a bigger bed?

At a certain point, sharing a single bed is likely to take too great a toll on sleep quality, health, and relationship satisfaction for most couples. Signs it’s time to consider upgrading to a larger bed include:

  • Consistently disrupted sleep over many nights
  • Tossing, turning, and waking each other up frequently
  • Joint pain or aggravating health issues
  • Feeling exhausted during the day from poor sleep
  • Lack of personal space causing stress or mood issues
  • Frequent arguments over sleeping comfort and arrangements
  • General relationship tension from bed sharing annoyances

If these symptoms of an inadequate sleeping environment persist and cannot be resolved with compromises, it’s best for a couple’s comfort and relationship to invest in a bigger bed.

What size bed is best for couples?

Most couples prefer upgrading from a single to at least a full or queen-sized bed if possible:

Size Width Pros Cons
Full 54 inches More personal space. Room to shift positions. Still quite cozy for two people.
Queen 60 inches Comfortable compromise for most couples. May be too large for very small bedrooms.
King 76 inches Luxurious sprawling room. Ability to sleep undisturbed. Excess space for some couples. Difficult to fit in small rooms.

A queen size bed is a popular choice for striking the right balance of comfort, intimacy, and practicality for most couples sleeping together. But personal preferences, sizes, room dimensions, and budget can all factor into choosing the optimal bed size.

Alternating single and double beds

If purchasing a larger shared bed isn’t currently feasible, some couples switch off using the single bed some nights and a twin bed other nights. This gives each person a chance to sleep comfortably and stretch out in the double bed periodically.

However, switching between different mattresses and sleeping arrangements may further disrupt sleep consistency. So the single bed plus twin bed rotation is usually just a temporary workaround before transitioning to one sufficiently large shared bed.

Using a single bed for non-sleep activities

Even after upgrading to a more spacious bed, some couples enjoy preserving the single bed for other purposes like:

  • Reading, watching TV, or tablets
  • A guest bed when visited by family or friends
  • Solo sleep when someone is sick and needs to quarantine
  • Temporary retreat after an argument
  • Nap bed during the day
  • Child’s bedroom until old enough for an adult bed

Having an extra single bed beyond the master bed can be useful for creating a secondary space conducive for resting, relaxing, or sleeping in certain circumstances.


Sharing a single adult bed is possible for some couples but often uncomfortable as a permanent arrangement. The lack of personal sleeping space tends to disrupt sleep and intimacy. Upgrading to at least a full or queen bed is better for supporting sleep quality and relationship health over the long-term. But alternating beds or re-purposing the single bed are temporary options as well. With some creativity and compromise, a single bed can potentially meet certain needs, but most couples are advised to invest in a larger shared bed.