Also known as a four-foot bed, a small double bed, or a three-quarter mattress, this size mattress was a common dimension for American beds in the early 1900s. It’s still pretty standard in the UK and much of Northern Europe, but as is typical of Americans, we’ve moved on to bigger beds since then. That leaves us with countless antique bed frames that deserve to be maintained and cherished, but either have a mattress that should be buried in a cemetery, or have no mattress at all anymore.
Three-quarter mattresses have as many dimensions as they have names; they’re a bit of a catch-all when it comes to custom-size mattresses for antique beds. Most of the time, three quarter beds are either 48”x75” or 48”x72”. However, just like the English language, there are several exceptions to every rule. Mostly because the West Coast and the East Coast don’t work well together, in politics, or in vintage bed mattresses, apparently. So some “3/4 mattresses” technically aren’t ¾ mattresses, but we didn’t feel like making a whole category of custom size mattresses called “miscellaneous doubles,” so here we are. Confused? Us too.
Also, a custom 3/4 mattress is not to be confused with the short queen mattress, which is more suited for custom RV beds. The three-quarter mattress has the “short” part of “short queen mattress” down, but it’s not as wide as the short queen beds we see in RVs. The modern ¾ mattress is most often made to fit an antique bed frame, as many folks still have these sturdy, well-made frames in their homes. Here are some of the reasons people invest in this type of custom-size mattress:
Honoring the Family Roots
It’s one thing to look at an old album of photos, but keeping a piece of handmade and well-loved furniture like a vintage bespoke bed is a great way to pass the love of a family from generation to generation. The sight of a four-poster or wrought iron antique bed frame reminds the younger generation of just how beautiful and well-made things used to be when all beds were bespoke, before mass-production, big-box stores came on the scene
In fact, everything was once custom-made in the USA, just like our quality custom-made mattresses are now. So, technically, having a mattress custom made for your antique bed frame is about as close to an authentic restoration as you can get. We will not, however, stuff your custom mattress with horse hair; memory foam was invented for a reason. Look at it this way, an old bespoke bed topped with a modern bespoke mattress is the best of old-world-meets-new-world, and it gets that beautiful antique bed frame out of the attic and back into use.
Staging an Heirloom for Posterity
We think every custom-made bed is a work of art—but some indeed go on display! America’s rich history comes to life in historic homes that have been turned into museums around the country that showcase the way our forefathers lived. If you’ve ever walked through a lovingly restored manor house or the childhood home of a famous writer, you’ve got a glimpse into the way things used to be.
And yes, these ¾ mattresses did really used to be stuffed with horsehair. The ones in the museums usually are. But if you’re staying at an historic inn or B&B? All of those high beds in wrought iron frames under comfortable hand-stitched quilts are staged with real custom mattresses, of course! Could you imagine getting to sleep in Emily Dickinson’s bedroom overlooking the garden? Not the antique mattress, of course—a custom-made replica that’s much more comfortable than she would have been able to enjoy.
Getting Spacious Sleep in Less Space
Sleeping alone doesn’t mean you have to cramp yourself into a twin size bed! The reason this size was popular in the twentieth century was that twin beds were not considered just for children, as they often are now. Hold on – then why are dorm mattresses so narrow, then? You must have to graduate to a larger bed when you graduate from college…
Anyway – married couples did not always share beds or bedrooms, preferring to maintain the privacy of their own space for sleeping. But they also didn’t want to be limited to a narrow twin bed. We’ve got a short period in the mid-20th century where couples did technically sleep on twin mattresses via split king and split queen mattresses they pushed apart for sleeping and pushed together for, well, you know. But that’s about it; many people like to sprawl when they sleep, and you simply can’t do that on a twin bed.
The 3/4 Bed is the Perfect In-Between
Having a 3/4 bed isn't exclusive to antique bed frames; you can enjoy the benefits of this versatile mattress size regardless of your bed's style. You can pair a 3/4 mattress with a contemporary or platform bed frame to create a stylish and space-efficient sleeping area. You can save space while still sprawling out across your bed. You don't need to have your bed take over your room with a king size. This versatile mattress size caters to a wide range of needs. Whether you're maximizing space or simply seeking a comfortable and practical bedding solution, the 3/4 bed can't be beat.
A quality night’s sleep on a three-quarter mattress is all about having the room to stretch out. If a standard double bed is too long for the size of the room, a comfortable ¾ mattress is better than the twin option. Historic bed and breakfast accommodations use memory foam toppers for 3/4 beds to maximize guest comfort, and you can, too, for your own antique bed.
Whether you are working with a special family heirloom or in the market for a just-right mattress for your needs, Custom Mattress Factory is up to the task! We take your specifications and our careful expertise to make you the comfortable, high-quality custom made mattress you need. So if you’ve been itching to bring a forgotten antique bed back to life, get a luxury custom mattress and matching modern linens for it, made-to-measure. It’s a chic and unique way to give a nod to the past.