Last month, my husband called to me quietly down the hallway one night. He was peeking into our oldest son’s bedroom, where our getting-taller-by-the-day teenager slept in his twin bed. Suddenly, he didn’t look like a child in a normal bed — he looked like a young man in a too-small bed! When did this happen? It’s funny how one day your kids are clearly children, and then one day, it’s so evident that they are turning into adults. My husband said “Should we get him a new bed?”
We pondered that for a couple of days, and then I remembered a trip we took last year. The room we stayed in had a king-size bed on one side and a sofa bed on the other, but after the second night of sleeping on the king, I realized that it wasn’t a king bed at all — it was two twin beds put together. I peeked under the sheet to confirm and found a padded bed bridge concealing the gap between the mattresses. You couldn’t really tell unless you really pressed your hand into the middle, where the bed was slightly firmer.
Well, when our daughter moved out and vacated her old room, she left her old twin bed behind. We’d discussed getting rid of it, although aside from it taking up space in our basement, there was really nothing wrong with it. So, I thought, why not put her bed together with our son’s current bed and create a king-size bed for him? It would give our son some much-needed sleeping space, and it would certainly cost less than purchasing a new mattress and bed frame — especially for a teenager who will be off to college in just a few years. Bonus: My husband and I have a king-size bed, so we already own plenty of king bedding.
I started researching this a little more. In addition to the bed bridge pad to close the gap between two twin mattresses, the hotel mattress I’d seen had a ratcheting strap around the perimeter of the two mattresses to hold them together. There are many twin-to-king bed bridge kits on Amazon which include both the foam bed bridge and the mattress strap. I saw that Bed, Bath, and Beyond also carried twin-to-king bed bridge kits, so I headed over to look at them in person.
I purchased this Therapedic Quick King Bed Bridge, which sells for under $20. (Of course, I used a 20% off Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon to buy it too!) This bridge did not come with a strap, so I also purchased this twin-to-king mattress joiner strap (under $6 on Amazon) to prevent the two mattresses from sliding apart.
I also bought some stick-on feet to level the bed frames with each other if necessary, because the two beds and frames were different styles purchased at different times, and it seemed unlikely that they would match up height-wise once we put them together.
Then, it was time to set everything up. Incredibly, both beds were level with each other, and we didn’t need to use the leveling feet at all. We put a king bed skirt on to conceal the pair of bed frames underneath. We also used two of our kids’ old canvas belts to strap the adjoining legs of both bed frames together so that the frames don’t slide apart.
Next, it was time for the bed bridge. The one caveat of putting two standard twin mattresses together to make a king is that this setup is slightly shorter than a traditional King-sized bed. Two Twin XL mattresses, side by side, equal one King. Standard Twin mattresses are 75″ long, while Twin XL mattresses, and King mattresses, are 80″ long.
You can see the extra length of the bed bridge wraps around the top and bottom of the mattress. We could have trimmed it down, but we decided just to wrap it and tuck it under the mattress strap as it would help close the edge gaps too.
Here’s what the underside of the bed bridge looks like. The bottom has a comfortable but firm foam wedge which fits into the gap between the two twin mattresses.
Next, we covered it with a king-size padded mattress pad, which helped to smooth the edges where the bridge meets the mattresses.
Then it was time to make up the bed for the first time! Even though the length of this two-twins-to-king bed is slightly shorter than a standard king, the sheets still fit fine. We placed a set of bookshelves next to his existing headboard to bridge the gap between the bed and the wall. (My dad built the headboard for me when I was a child, and then my son inherited it. It’s also hiding a fantastic vintage stereo inside its doors, so he wasn’t about to give it up!)
This bed bridge does a great job of creating a smooth transition between the mattresses. You don’t feel a sag or dip at all, even when you sit right in the center. If anything, the foam bridge is a little higher than the mattresses, but I suspect that will settle in somewhat with time as the bridge conforms to the shape of the gap.
Now, this much-larger bed has become the brothers’ go-to place to hang out, talk, or watch TV away from their parents. Our oldest son is extremely happy with the result (even though it means sacrificing some floor space,) and his friends who’ve come over since the upgrade has reacted with “Lucky!” and “This is so cool!” There haven’t been any issues of the mattresses or frames separating, even when there have been five teenagers sitting on the bed enthusiastically gaming at the same time.
Most importantly, our son is sleeping better. We set the bed up on a Friday night, and that Saturday morning he slept until 11am — absolutely unheard of for our usual early riser. Of course we peeked into his room again that morning to see him happily sprawled out across the big bed, fast asleep.
This entire bed-upgrade project cost us under $25!