Two Duvets are better than One : Sleeping the German way

Have you ever wondered what is the sleeping patterns that most Germans do?

Life in Germany ; Two beds are really better than one!

Let´s start with the bedroom and most especially with their beddings.This is an Expat Lifestyle Blog so I think it´s just appropriate that I share with you my early experiences from basic things once we moved here for good last 2016.Germany is a land of many contradictions and really one of a kind things that still so many from the rest of world doesn´nt know. Youl´ll only know once you personally experience it.

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

I was totally surprised, shocked and amazed and the big question of Why is glued in both my face and in my mind. I will tell you why about my dilemma.While on our holiday in Rhineland -Palatinate and Trier last 2015, I was totally shocked to see how our beds in the hotel that we´re staying were made. Two single mattresses in one bed frame, with two duvets on top, with two giant square pillows punched in the middle . Nice touch ! and yes, no covers. Same as the one I observe in Austria.In my experiences as well in the Netherlands, it is exactly the same thing. Two beds, large pillows and two blanket and duvets.

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, defintely not, not even middle-eastern. Scandinavian style, definitely and yes, the absolute German way of sleeping.I have heard stories from friends that they have the same stories when they realized this. I came from Asia, in the Philippines, this is definitely not the way we made our beds and how we sleep. We have normal mattress, then we have a bed covering, we don´t use Duvets because it is very hot and humid and not all houses have air conditioning so normally, we have thinner blankets.But the standard is, you have one bed, one bed covering, and one blanket.It is shared by couples. If you are single, then you have a single set of beddings as well. Back in Kuwait, we used the ” normal” beddings and bed as well, never like this. We have a giant king size bed and and so goes with the duvets, and normal pillows.

Your Bed is made to your personal delight!

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? We have efficient washing machines here but I guess the size of Duvets cannot just fit totally to it so at least just hang it in the windows!

My daughter loves to play with the giant pillows which I really hate!

Maybe for more comfort, and less ‘tug-of-war‘  scenarios? I also remembered that I used to pull blankets when I feel cold or something so there is really a thug of war going on. 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.

Another thing, how does the fun happens?

Or what if your partner is a night-farter? Or a back or side sleeper? The options are so many! It can happen, and its perfectly normal but can be a total mood buster when both of you and your partner are not aggreeing about the beddings. Or what if  you’re the type to stick out a foot while sleeping? I , for example loves to sleep on the left side of the bed and I like blankets fully covering my toes.

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. This is the ultimate answer that I personally learned once we lived here. Now I exactly understand why it is like that and why does it makes sense. Bottomline, don´t take it as a cold feet or snob thing, 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.I find it very practical as well.

Oversized pillows, Two duvets in two separate beds, but since this is an Interracial bedroom, I have my own preference in pillows.

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 ( Blankets and coverings)

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. But in the end, I find it more and more practical.


There are no box springs here in Germany , well at least we don´t use it. 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. I saw one time when we were shopping for my daughter´s new room that the box type of beds are more expensive and they have another specifications.I only write from what I personally used and tried so I dont really know yet the difference.

Pillows and sizes

Now here we come to the trickiest part. I love my pillows to be a bit firm and not sloppy. I don´t like soft pillows, I just can´t sleep with it and the large square ones are a total nightmare for me. Many times I am in agony when sleeping over or when I forget to bring my pillow. With this problem, I even brought my pillows from Kuwait that I still used here now. My husband also uses a different size, he likes the simple 40 x 80 cm but then I prefer another. 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. Their size is also different from Throw 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 for your own preferences. I think the square ones are for decorative purposes—-I can´t survive with it!!

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. I think it’s good for your back as well. We are a fan of Ikea things because I think they have practical furnitures as well as trandy ones.Besides, when you move from one country or another, you take things lights considering the cost of moving furnitures. 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 Links out;

Scandinavian Style : Two Duvets on one Bed 

Our hearts beats as one when we sleep in two Duvets

How about you, what are your culture shock experiences about sleeping?Any thoughts? Would you love or not this style for sleeping?

37 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. To tell you frankly I love the two quilt beddings but I hate the gigantic pillows. I never loved it. I bring my own pillows if ever we stay in Hotels, esp. in Austria.


  10. 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!


  11. I am from Czech Rebublic and we have two blankets as well. Whenever we traverl to Britain, it is a nightmare for me and my girlfriend. It is unnatural to fight for one! 😀 One person always wakes up freezing, when you have only one blanket. Or in the summer – one person can decide not to use blanket or to have thinner one and you do not affect the second person.

    About snuggling and those comments about 2 blankets being a buzz-kill? I have never heard about anything like that in my life – you are doing something wrong guys – 2 blankes dont stop you from anything 😀

    Plus: Sometimes you travel with friends or siblings and the hotel (AirBnB) has only marriage beds. And you just don’t want to share one duvet with friend or sibling – that is just weird.

    Also – tucking blanket under the mattres is just weird – you want the blanket to adjust to you – you are not there to adjust to blanket.

    And what about those top covers? Why dont you have duvets in full coating guys? Your way just seems so unhygienic – and the top cover always separates from the duvet while you are sleeping – I am sorry, but it is just digusting.

    I am not sure about the pillows – you just get the kind of pillow you like. I prefere one small one, my GF preferes one large one with lots of small ones.


  12. I have no problem with the width of a single Duvet (Comforter) in a country like Austria. The real problem is the length! I am 168 cm (5’6″‘) tall and the Duvet is always shorter than I, which means that my feet are always exposed when I sleep!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am German and live in the US with a comforter. However the principle of two comforters, duvets, or blankets is simple. It gives you a better and undisturbed night of sleep.
    If you have a blanket stealer he/she wakes you up for example when hogging the comforter/duvet if you only have one.
    And two comforters/duvets do not keep you from having sex. Trust me, we Germans are very busy.
    It’s not done out of any other reason except to have a good nights sleep.
    You can choose your preferred thickness of your cover too, thin or thick.
    The pillows are called euro pillows. We do not just use these. We have regular size pillows as well.
    You won’t find comforters in Germany, only duvets. I prefer comforters since I don’t like to put duvet covers on, too much work for me.
    Hope that helps.
    I am going to bed now under my own comforter which is just the way I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your comment put a smile to my face.. thank you! Glad that you can relate to my story. I guess that I´ve got used to it now and you are absolutely right—2 blankets changed our sleeping life. Even my daughter get used to it now.
    But then, I still have my own pillows because I can´t really sleep with German pillows!:´)))


  15. Hah, funny – cultural differences are so precious because some of them get forgotten with time. I had so many in France. Anyway, as a Finn I can say that you need your own duvet because it’s cold in the winter. And for example hubby isn’t as cold as me so his is thinner than mine. I wouldn’t like to share a duvet or pillow, I want my own so I can sleep well! As for hotels, you can choose twin or double bed all around the world. At home over here, most often I guess it’s one large bed, though I’ve considered maybe getting separate mattresses because hubby’s tossing and turning in his sleep disturbs me – he weighs more than me so it’s like I’m in a car on a bumpy road sleeping next to him: every time he turns, I wake. Sleep is valuable!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The moment I came to Germany, this is a shock to me. I never seen those in Ph. We always have one big blanket!
    But here, for almost 6 years I began to loveee it. I am very light sleeper and I wake up to the slightest sound so having my own blanket without someone pulling my sheets really worked out for us.
    You are absolutely 100% right—A good sleep is gold!
    thanks dear for commenting, appreciate it a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Makes so much sense to me, both sleep really well!! We don’t tuck our duvets in though in England so if you have been to places where they do that, not the norm. We like them loose, but you are right we generally only have one.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I appreciated your blog very much. It hit a nerve. I haven’t had a good nights sleep since I’ve been married. Where can I purchase the beds with the slats, the mattress and sheets to fit. I’m exhausted after 50 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This style does give a better night sleep.
    No constrictions no more night leg cramps. People think it is weird but I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I find this amusing. My wife and I have used separate covers since we got married. I don’t really like it but she does. I do get the having your own cover make sense, but I like to hold my spouse.
    The amusing part is we didn’t know this was a thing. She was born in Germany to a US service member. She has German ancestors but was raised on military bases.
    Maybe if our duvets matched I would feel better about it

    Liked by 1 person

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