The developed world is divided into two kinds of people, those who love King Beds and those who don’t. Citizens of third and fourth-world countries do not often weigh-in on this divide because their response to the preference question is, “Bed”? As the world continues to flatten economically, which is Tom Friedman’s theory, the world’s poorer unfortunates will eventually be faced with the “Single, Double, Queen, King Bed” choice dilemma. With this post, I hope to prepare them for that day.
The typical Single Bed is 39″ wide and 75″ long. The Double is 54″ by 75″. The Queen is 60″ by 80″ and the King (and I’m guessing here, based on experience) is 7000″ wide by 80″ long.
From this point forward, I am going to discuss bed preferences from the perspective of those who want to share a bed with another person. I know that this leaves out all those who sleep alone by choice or circumstance, those who sleep with pets smaller than farm animals and those who sleep with someone of whom they are not all that fond. Narrowing my focus thus mostly eliminates any further discussion of Single Beds, leaving Doubles, Queens and Kings for further review.
At the end of WWII, when all the potential daddies came home from the War and jumped into bed with all the potential mommies, the bed that they jumped into was likely a Double Bed. This cozy sleeping arrangement led to what demographers refer to as the “Baby Boom” and the reasons are obvious; there was lots of intentional and unintentional “touching” going on.
As the 20th century rolled on, the bed and mattress manufacturers cast about for ways to encourage people to replace their old “baby-factory” Doubles with something newer, better, bigger and way more expensive. This was done at the request of shareholders. And so came the “Queen Bed”. This new replacement for the Double was 6″ wider and 5″ longer. The extra width prompted a sharp decline in birthrates among owners.
Following the introduction of the Queen came the King Bed. Indications are that owners of King Beds have no children at all.
I realize that not all King Bed owners are in the family-creation business by choice or circumstance, age being the primary determinant. However, in most cases, there is some interest in recreational sex. If the sociological polls are correct, even this activity is dramatically decreased among King Bed owners (I had the reference to the specific study but misplaced it). The reason is clear, too much damn space. For all intents and purposes, including the purpose of having recreational sex, if you own a King Bed, you may as well be sleeping alone in a Single Bed, just Like Rob and Laura.
Interestingly, in Europe, in order to create the “King Bed” experience, hotels often push two Single Beds together, dress them out in Twin sheets, throw a King Bed comforter over the whole mess and hope that if procreational or recreational sex occurs, that the couple won’t end up on the floor in the middle when the Single Beds separate during all the thrashing around. This arrangement also has the intimacy deterrent of the joined Single Bed mattresses seam which acts as an effective speed bump, not that a determined couple can’t simply rev it up and plow on over.
Having, on a number of occasions, been required to sleep in a King, I have developed a few observations that explain why I fall into the anti-King camp.
First, in many a bedroom, a King Bed crowds out all other amenities. Want a King plus a dresser? Too bad. Want a King plus a small media center for the TV? Tough noogies. Want a King plus a stationary bike to hang clothes on? No way. Want a King with access to both sides of the bed? You’re joking.
Second, when sleeping near your mate in a King, you are likely to be very far from the edge of your side of the bed. When nature calls at 3:00 a.m.–and this time reference is purely a reflection of my personal nighttime pattern, yours could be different and/or more often–one must perform what I call the “dog with worms” scrutching maneuver in order to get to your side of the bed. This often results in an uncomfortable bunching of pajama bottoms and can result in a self-inflicted wedgie. If one doesn’t wear pajamas, the result can be mild, but annoying, “sheet burns”, not that I would know anything about that.
Third, on those occasions when troubling thoughts, nightmares or carnal lust suggest that a comforting touch from your partner would be just the trick, in a King you are forced to go on search mission to find him or her, and in the dark! In a Queen or Double, one need only extend an arm or foot to make reaffirming contact. In a King, you can hunt around for minutes, thinking that you have been abandoned. These moments of panic regarding the relationship do it no good.
Here are the things that Kings have in the plus column. (1) You can store more crap that you don’t use underneath. (2) There isn’t a No. 2.
Finally, there is clearly a use for King Beds in a world where we are rapidly approaching the point of having too many people and not enough water and food for the lot. Send King Beds to all those places where the birth rate has exploded. Voila! Of course this solution has the downside of introducing “sheet burn” to parts of the world where it has been virtually unknown. Then again, we could simply include a tube of aloe ointment with every King.
Observoid of the Day: If you take more than your share, you are either a thief or an investment banker.