Two Duvets are better than One : Sleeping the German way


Culture Shock :  Two beds, Two Duvets , no top covers.

While on our holiday in Rhineland -Palatinate and Trier last 2015, I was totally shocked to see how our beds were made. Two single mattresses in one bed frame, with two duvets on top, with two big square pillows pinched in the middle . No covers. Same as the one I observe in Austria.The Dutch husband even told me that the beds can even be folded on a height that you like. All I can say was , Why oh why?

This is not-so-Asian, no, not even middle-eastern.Scandinavian style, definitely and yes, the absolute German way of sleeping.

I ponder on this matter and thought how it originated but I couldn’t find any material. Maybe for cleanliness purposes since I notice that Germans love to hang their duvets from their window to ‘air’, a typical scene I have  also seen in Kuwait. My neighbor does this even during winter.But dirty air or wind can even make it dirtier, don’t you think?

Maybe for more comfort, and less ‘tug-of-war‘  scenarios? Could this even led why Germany has a low birth -rate? or a presumably relationship-killer? Some say it’s funny seeing you sleeping like cocooned caterpillars next to each other.

And how does the fun happens?

Or what if your partner is a night-farter? It can happen and a total mood buster.Or what if  you’re the type to stick out a foot while sleeping?

Whatever the reasons behind it, there must be something to it that clicks.To think that not only Germany have this thing, but also other countries like  Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland — they all love  having two duvets on one bed.

English and American people tend to tuck their duvets under the mattress so that you can slip in from the top. Germans would hardly acquire a taste for this nighttime covering. Germans, as I have learned and confirmed, are not accustomed to share a duvet with their Ehepartner (spouse) or Lebensgefährte (partner in life). Germans need a duvet to be twisted and turned. This can only be guaranteed when each person has got his or her own duvet for the night. Germans really have a way to make everything in life easy–with their all sorts of inventions and interventions!

When we move here in Germany, we got a new bed  and of course, my husband love this idea  so much so we opted to get 2 beds to fit in one bed frame. The most common standard size for German mattresses is 90 by 200 cm for singles and 180 by 200 cm for couples.

The English language has a variety of names to denote particular bed sizes: Cot, Single, Small Double or Three Quarter, Double, Queen, King, Super King, etc., which I find similar to the middle east. I think all the beds there is fit for a king! The German language, however, is more pragmatic in this way. They don’t have any nice-sounding words for the various bed sizes. Here, shopping for beds comes easy.For example, by using either measurements or conventional adjectives such as Klein (small) and groß (large).

Duvets for  different season . One for Winter and one for Summer

The ordinary German Matratze (mattress) measures 90 cm (3ft) breadthways and 200 cm (6ft 6″) lengthways. This ordinary mattress is used for a single bed frame – which makes it a Einzelbett (Single). When two of these mattresses are put together they make a Doppelbett (Double) or Ehebett (marriage bed).

Some singles who don’t have to share their bed with another person opt for a bed size, which is larger than the ordinary 90 cm (3ft) by 200 cm (6ft 6″) mattress. Germans refer to this as a großes Einzelbett (large single bed). It’s measures: 140 cm (4ft 6″) by 200 cm (6ft 6″). German couples who think the common lying surface of 180 cm (5ft 9″) by 200 cm (6ft 6″) – two single mattresses put together – is still too small for a restful sleep can also opt for a mattress that measures 200 cm by 200 cm (6ft 6″) or two mattresses that measure 100 cm (3ft 3″) by 200 cm – which makes it ein großes Doppelbett (a large Double).

Does this tickle your interest? Here I find more interesting facts about sleeping and the way German prefer how their beds being done.

The Decke

Once you have your foam mattress and latenrost all set up, next come the bedlinens. Fitted sheets are easy enough. They are readily available in most shops .They are called Spannbetttüche and available is any color and several various fabrics. You match your bed size to the package and your bed is covered. So if you have 2 separate mattress, you get two pieces as well. I’m telling you, I sweat when I am making our bed with all these multiple linens.


There are no box springs here in Germany. The non-mattress spring support is called a Lattenrost. This is a set of bent wooden slats that are bouncy all held in a frame that goes under the mattress. The lattenrost come in different “bouncy-ness”s as well. Some are even articulated to allow sitting up in bed.

Pillows and sizes

In Germany, they use huge square pillows instead of small rectangular ones, it’s as simple as that but not really if you have your usual pillows. You can’t find pillow case that can fit to it. So if you are moving to Germany, you better bring loads of spare ones or you can always buy online.

I told you, here in Germany, it’s all about function, it’s not the new fashion fad in sleeping but there are reasons why you need to resolve into this for better sleeping. It’s good for your back as well. Take a look at Ikea tips for good sleeping options  to help you on your next bed shopping!

Also, I found some great reading why Two Duvets in one bed is really the answer for a better sleep. Check these out;

Scandinavian Style : Two Duvets on one Bed 

Our hearts beats as one when we sleep in two Duvets


Any thoughts? Would you love or not this style for sleeping?

What’s your own sleeping preferences?



16 thoughts on “Two Duvets are better than One : Sleeping the German way

  1. Oh I didnt even know that there is a single duvet like that, always thought it only exists in movies and tv shows 😀
    Even in China we had those two douvets at my in-laws home and also in the different hotels we stayed in.
    The pillows though…they are a nightmare for most people I know as more often than not they get neck problems with them

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really Timo, If I didn’t come to Europe I will never ever know that there is a double-duvet kind of thing here…ah the benefits of travel. It’s always good to learn when you live the culture and not just reading it from internet.
    Yes, I don’t like the square pillows.Period. :-))
    Thank you so much for always supporting my Blog and I know I am late, but Happy Birthday to Nathan (Belated!)
    Soon the Little one will compete with attention ..Regards!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am married to a German, and we live in Austria. I absolutely hate the two duvets. It keeps us apart at night, (yes, def a sex life buzz kill). As someone who has always loved being close to their partner, I expressed to my husband that we need to get a comforter than will cover us both. When he told his mom about it, she rolled her eyes and said “so typical American.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I live in finland and we have the german style of two single quilts on a double bed. I like it since not only do you get your own quilt but they don’t have to be the same warmth – you can have one thick and one thin (or even one person with quilt cover only and the other with quilt cover+quilt inside it). Also being tall there are single quilts which are 220cm long (instead of the regular 200cm), these are great since my feet don’t stick out the end anymore. Only Germany has this 220cm long single quilt though, nowhere else in Europe (not even Austria or Holland) so I have to buy the quilts and covers from Germany.
    Sadly these quilts from Germany come with the 80×80 pillow covers (which we don’t have in Finland or any Nordic country) so it’s either non-matching quilts/pillows or time to find somebody with a sewing machine to fix the pillow covers.
    It sounds a lot of effort but it was worth it in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just come from a week’s skiing holiday in Switzerland – the two mattress, two giant pillow situation was a nightmare. My 9 month old daughter often ends up in our bed, which is ok as we have a California king… during this holiday it meant sharing a single bed with her & my husband on another :(((( everything else about the hotel was lovely but I did not look forward to nights

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can imagine your misery. I don’t like the giant pillows as well. But the two separate blankets I am slowly getting used to it. What works for me is that we order a separate pillow cases on our preferred so I don’t need to be buried in it. Glad that you find this Post informative and something your experience can relate. Thank you for visiting and wishing you Happy New Year for 2019!Tschüss!


  7. I am a British guy with a German girlfriend. Everything is making more sense to me now. The pillows drive me mad. When staying at her place Germany, I have often felt rather rude and detached just tucking myself up in a single duvet. When she is over at mine in the UK i have often woken up in the night, and by often i mean 2-3 times in a night, with not an inch of a duvet to myself and my girlfriend wrapped up like a sausage roll.

    I have poked fun at her about being a duvet thief, but i never thought to ask about the bed situation when at hers, i cannot think why, i just seemed to accept it.

    The different ways the British and Germans do things seems to be never ending. Some make perfect sense others do not. The pillows do not work for me, but the two duvet now makes perfect sense after reading this article along with some of the comments, though i do like a good snuggle which means i have become an expert at overlapping two duvets quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just learning about this habit the Germans have and I love it! I’ve always felt guilty about this as an american where we’re expected to sleep under one blanket and I just don’t like it so i never did it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I brought my single large duvet cover & comforter from the US & I’m happy I did! I’m not into the small duvet covers. I like sharing one blanket with my husband and the bed looks prettier to me with only one 🙂 I agree the large pillows are totally unpractical & hurt the neck. I’ve been stuffing the huge squares into my normal rectangle US pillow cases, which make them even more puffy. It’s not ideal!


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