I am currently in California for a long business trip. It is surprising how often I wake up here with my feet going past the end of the bed.

The double European beds are about the same size as Queen beds so my issue probably comes from the incredible amount of pillows that you usually find at the top of the bed.

I am not especially tall so how do American people, often taller than European (my feeling), deal with this? My guess is that there are several possibilities:

  • People throw somewhere all these pillows and just keep one
  • People sleep on the bed diagonally (I often do this one)
  • People build some kind of corridor in the middle of pillows so that they can squeeze in and fit in the bed
  • 1
    @Ankur I liked my title ("How to survive American bed ?") Why ? Maybe "How to survive American hotels' beds ?"
    – Ugo
    Jun 17, 2013 at 6:47
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    Feet out of bed is my default position. It starts to be a problem when this is not possible by construction...
    – Bernhard
    Jun 17, 2013 at 20:44
  • @Ugo I was just trying to clarify what the question meant to get it more attention. :) Jun 17, 2013 at 21:39
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    I don't really understand this question. Having lots of pillows is not particular to American hotels at all. It's more a function of the star rating of the hotel/how good in thinks it is. I once stayed in a hotel in Madrid with 10 pillows on one bed. And clearly, no-one is forcing you to use them all... Jun 18, 2013 at 22:59
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    @Karlson And I am pretty sure that if you read my post again you will even find this possibility listed. The question is more about getting cultural insight about something really surprising for some foreigners (believe me). How American people deal with it. I don't know if Mark Mayo is American but is advice of sleeping in fetal position seems amazing (it makes me laugh). Is it a stategy that most American really have?
    – Ugo
    Jun 19, 2013 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


Many pillows in hotels are decorative. You certainly don't need to keep them all there.

Generally you just put them to the side / on a chair / on the floor until you make the bed in the morning.

It may also be easier if you tend to sleep in the fetal position, rather than stretched out, but it's up to you to find the position that suits you best.

  • The standard mattress size for Queen and King is 84" or 7' or about 2m10cm (roughly).
    – Karlson
    Jun 17, 2013 at 16:43
  • You make beds in hotels? Most hotels have staff that do that for you. A “long business trip” might involve an extended-stay kind of place that doesn’t, I suppose, but that wasn’t mentioned in the question.
    – KRyan
    Aug 4, 2015 at 14:45

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