In German Culture, does the concept of a Master Bedroom, exist? In America, most houses have a master bedroom that is constructed differently than the others, and is usually identified as such on the building plans. It is usually the largest bedroom, and many times will have special construction considerations, such as it's own bathroom, bigger closets, restricted access, etc.

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    Mauser, welcome to the site! Your question might raise a few eyebrows as "lacking research" or "not about the language". As I think it's actually quite interesting, could you please add a bit of your own research (e.g. what does your dictionary say), please? You should take the tour and visit our help center to get a better understanding how this site works and what makes a good question. Again, welcome!
    – Stephie
    Jul 29, 2015 at 16:34
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    Do you really mean the largest room in the house, or the largest bedroom in the house? The former would be rather uncommon in Germany; normally the living room (possibly combined with the kitchen, in a more modern house) is largest.
    – chirlu
    Jul 29, 2015 at 16:58
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    I did a bit of research. I have studied the language for more than 8 years. I also have two brothers that each lived and worked in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland for 2 years, and can speak German quite fluently, but neither of them knew the answer. I also gained no traction searching the internet. In my experience the best answers to cultural questions are to discuss with someone from that culture.
    – Mike Vonn
    Jul 29, 2015 at 18:24
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    The expression master bedroom is not used in German. If there is a second bedroom for guests it is the Gästezimmer.
    – rogermue
    Aug 1, 2015 at 0:56
  • The concept of a bedroom is different in US/Canada/UK from Germany. Aug 4, 2015 at 1:23

1 Answer 1


Yes and no.

No, because we don't count bedrooms but "all-purpose-rooms" excluding kitchen and bathroom. You will find terms like


meaning three rooms that could either be used as three separate bedrooms (like with college students sharing a flat), bedroom, guest room, office... whatever combination comes to mind or fits the life of the inhabitants.

Yes, because of course the main inhabitant(s) (or parents, for example) need their bedroom. But you wouldn't use a literal translation, instead it would be called

  • Elternschlafzimmer (in case of parents) or simply
  • Schlafzimmer (generic term).

Non-Master bedrooms on the other hand are typically specified in detail, either as

  • Kinderzimmer (yes, often even if said child is 25 years old),
  • Gästezimmer (for guests)
  • zweites (drittes / ...) Schlafzimmer (e.g. in case of a couple having separate bedrooms or a shared flat)
  • [Name of occupant]s Zimmer (if the child mentioned above rejects the term "Kinderzimmer")
  • ...
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    In my experience, the Kinderzimmer is often larger than the Elternschlafzimmer. After all, the Kinderzimmer is essentially the living space for the child, where the child spends much time also at daytime (and needs a lot of space for toys etc.), whereas bedrooms for adults are usually only used at night, for sleeping. Sure applied to my Kinderzimmer :) Jul 29, 2015 at 20:44
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    How you use the rooms is up to the people who live there. In my childhood home, my parents originally did occupy the largest room beside the living room, but as soon as I got old enough to play unattended for a while, we did some in-house moving to swap bedrooms. Jul 29, 2015 at 20:50
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    @O.R.Mapper Yup. Because the alternative is LEGO all over the living room floor ^_^!
    – Stephie
    Jul 29, 2015 at 20:52
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    @Mauser You are welcome. As far as the nomenclature of bedrooms goes, yes, it's the same.
    – Stephie
    Jul 30, 2015 at 21:15
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    Also, we usually don't have walk in closets in Germany. Instead we have a piece of furniture called Schrank where we put our clothes. (yes, Schrank is often translated with closet but in my experience Americans will assume walk-in-closet and Germans will assume piece-of-furniture-closet when you say closet). Jul 31, 2015 at 7:31

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