Whether restoring an antique doll bed or a new one that needs a mattress, doll beds are made in many sizes. Custom made, a doll mattress can be made to the size you need. The correct measurements are the first step in creating the perfect fit.
When I make a custom doll mattress, I make it exactly to the customer’s measurements. When completed, this will be the measurement of the mattress at the corners. The mattress is full and soft, slightly overstuffed. Please allow space if you want a loose fit and also for bedding that will need to be tucked between the mattress and the frame of the bed.
Here’s an explanation of the measurements I need. I ask for the size you need in:
width x length x thickness
It’s happened in the past that while a customer is waiting for a doll bed that they’ve ordered or are having made, they’ve ordered a mattress from me to fit it. The measurements the manufacturer has given them though is the overall size of the bed. This would not necessarily be the measurements for the base the mattress would sit on. We’ll need the base measurement and also to consider the size of the materials that it’s made with.
When measuring, take into consideration how you would like the mattress to sit, either within or on the frame and any bedding that will need to be tucked. For this bed, I measured just inside the pink side rails. For a wood bed, think about if you would like it to fit within the frame or on top of the frame. I personally like the mattress to fit down into the inside of the frame so that it doesn’t slip down on one side and sit crookedly.
You’ll need space here for tucking and so that the mattress isn’t sitting right up to the head and foot boards. For example, when I measured for this bed it was 17 1/2 inches. I subtracted a full inch to make the mattress length 16 1/2 inches. It left just the right amount of space for fit and tucking without being overly small.
The structure of your bed will also affect the measurements you’ll need for the mattress. For the pink bed, everything is straight forward. For a doll bed like the wooden one below, the legs are within the space the mattress will need to be, so you’ll need to adjust your measurements accordingly. For this one, I measured to the leg, not the end of the frame.
The majority of doll mattresses I have made are 2″ thick. Occasionally they are as thin as 1/2″ or as thick as 4″ depending on how the doll bed is constructed. When measuring how thick you’ll need your mattress to be, take into consideration any details in the head or foot board you’ll want to show, pillows or dolls. Also think about appropriate proportion in relation to the size of your bed.
Usually the width of the pillow would be determined by the width of the mattress, leaving some space on both sides. With a wide but short mattress, sometimes using two pillows rather than one might work better.