cultural difference 18: beds

May 4, 2010

Germans don’t share a mattress with their partner. Each has his or her own mattress, but within one bed frame. And each person has his or her own, separate blanket.

The bedding is also different. Most of us don’t have sheets and blankets; we have down comforters in washable covers, like a giant pillowcase.

I’ve heard some people say that the separate covers and the “crack” between mattresses is unromantic, but at least, no one is hogging the covers 🙂



  1. Well, we had one mattress before we moved into a new flat around five years ago and bought a new bed. And even if the “crack” is indeed a bit unromantic at times – both of us sleep much better with the two mattresses.
    But we also have German friends who share one mattress and one cover – something which would never work for us. And it is indeed rather uncommon.

  2. With good sleep being such an integral part of a person’s overall health, bedding is an important consideration both as an individual and as a couple.

    Even here in the U.S., separate beds have been around for decades (snorers, restless sleepers). Separate mattresses in the same frame is a growing industry (Sleep Number Beds, anyone?) is the solution for those who have different preferences about the firmness of the mattress. If the mattresses aren’t totally separate, then there’s technology that prevents movement transmission from one side of the bed to the other, or at least minimizes it.

    Whatever works, IMHO.

  3. I don’t care for the crack (probably because I’m used to taking up most of the queen-size bed :-)), but I do use a duvet (the washable cover) for my down comforter!

    I never quite understood the sheets and blankets arrangement, so I tend to get tangled up in all the layers when I’m at a hotel. 🙂

  4. And making your bed in the morning is so much easier when you don’t have hundreds of layers 🙂

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