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South Africans in Germany

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Beds, Mattresses and Duvets

The sleeping arrangements in Germany is a bit different from what we are used to in South Africa. The average German couple sleeps on a bed base with two single mattresses and each with their own duvet.
Some would argue for this but I would at least want to share a duvet with my partner.
I vacuum packed all my queen size duvets and brought them with me to Germany together with my standard SA pillows.
It works fine as long as you don’t want to buy new duvet covers.
If you do want to get new duvet covers for your SA duvet inners, your best bet would be to buy from the UK, but be aware their King size is to my knowledge the same as our Queen size, so always make sure of the measurements.
Since the German double bed consists of mostly two 100 x 200cm mattresses, a King size duvet will work best.
Finding covers for a King size is possible at online shops but your choice is limited and the pillowcases will be the German standard 80 x 80.
Always make sure of the pillow size

Where to shop for bedding

Here is a list of online shops that have a bigger variety and some have the correct pillow sizes:

Bedding sizes South Africa vs Germany

  Mattress size in SA
 Duvet Size in SA Mattress size Germany
Children / Kinderbett     70 x 140cm
Single / Einzelbett  90-92 x 188cm 130 x 190cm 
135 x 200cm
140 x 200cm
90 x 200cm is most common but it is also available in 100 x 200cm
3 / 4 or großes Einzelbett 107 x 188cm  150x200cm 140 x 200cm
Double / Doppelbett 137 x 188cm  200 x 200cm 2 (90 x 200cm) Mattresses
Queen 152 x 188cm  230 x 200cm  
Queen Extra Length 152 x 200cm  220 x 220cm  
King 183 x 188cm  230 x 220cm  
King Extra Length / großes Doppelbett 183 x 200cm  240 x 240cm  2 (100 x 200cm) Mattresses

South African pillow sizes

Standard Pillow 45 x 70cm
King Pillow 50 x 90cm
Continental Pillow 70 x 70cm
Body Pillow 45 x 150cm

German pillow sizes

The standard size is 80x80cm, although you can find other sizes like 40 x 80cm.
If you buy a duvet cover, and do not find pillows cases that will fit your SA pillows, you can of course take the 80×80 cases and resize them or use SA pillowcases that will still look good with your new duvet cover.
Alternatively invest in a new 40 x 80 pillow

Mattress hardness

H1 Suitable for people weighing less than 60 kg. Since such a low body weight is relatively rare in adults, only a few mattresses are manufactured in this mattress firmness level. Often these mattresses are also only available with mattress firmness level 1, so they are real custom-made products.
If you weigh more than 60 kg, you should under no circumstances choose a mattress with a degree of hardness of 1 (even if you like it softer), as this would quickly lose its dimensional stability.
H2 One of the two most popular sellers in Germany – especially among women. It is particularly suitable for people who weigh between 60 and 80 kilograms.
Depending on the manufacturer, the designation F2, medium strength or medium, is also common.
H3 The mattress firmness level 3 (H3) is by far the most common in Germany and is suitable for people weighing 80 kg or more. 
Depending on the manufacturer, the upper limit is 100, 110 or even 120 kg (a mattress hardness of H4 is usually recommended for over 120 kg). 
H4 The mattress firmness level 4 (H4) is suitable for people who weigh over 100, 110 or 120 kg (depending on the manufacturer). This degree of firmness is often referred to as firm, extra-firm or even ultra-firm.
Since there is no further degree of hardness for many manufacturers or models, there is often no upper limit to the next higher degree of hardness.
Usually this is reached at 120, 140 or 150 kg.
H5 The degree of hardness 5 (H5) is the rarest. 
Often the mattress firmness level 4 is just as suitable for heavy people and mattresses firmness level 5 is just harder. That is probably the reason why some manufacturers do not have mattresses with a degree of hardness of 5 in their range.
Most mattresses with firmness level 5 are suitable for people weighing 140 or 150 kg or more, but sometimes the lower limit is 120 kg.

Types of beds


  • Lattenrost


A Lattenrost fits into a bed frame





A Polsterbett is a bed frame, where the frame and the attached headboard and if applicable, the footboard is upholstered and covered. You have to buy the mattresses separately.

Differences between a Lattenrost and a Boxspringbett:
Both have a mattress that lies on a flexible base.  In the case of the Lattenrost, it is slightly curved spring wood slats while the Boxspringbett has a box that, like a mattress, contains a core made of spiral springs and usually includes a topper – an approx. 6 cm high mattress topper with a soft foam core that rounds off the comfort experience. 
While the components of the conventional bed – mattress, slatted frame and bed frame – are usually bought individually, box spring beds are offered as a complete package. 

Where to buy beds


  • Duvet
  • Duvet cover 
  • Pillow 
  • Pillow Cases
  • Mattress 
  • Single bed 
  • Double bed
  • Large single bed 
  • Large double bed 
  • Children’s bed 
  • Home Textiles 
  • Bettdecken
  • Bettwäsche
  • Kopfkissen
  • Kopfkissenbezüge
  • die Matratze
  • das Einzelbett
  • das Doppelbett
  • das große Einzelbett
  • das große Doppelbett
  • das Kinderbett
  • die Heimtextilien

Related content

Housing in Germany

Types of Housing Flat – Wohnung / Apartment. Atlbauwohnung – An old building, that might be protected Dachgeschosswohnung – penthouse but usually with slanted walls Einliegerwohnung – Granny flat Entangewohnung – Apartmentbuilding Loft Maisonette – duplex apartment Penthouse


Shopping in Germany can be a daunting experience if you are not familiar with how things work here. The worst is probably grocery shopping. In South Africa there is usually someone at the till that bags your groceries

Good to know

Your Visas are approved, your paperwork is finalised and you are ready to start planning the big move. This can be a very stressful time, and we hope the information we provide here helps to ease the process.