"Consumer advice for mattress shoppers...
....and support for local retail businesses.
What are the Standard Mattress Sizes and Mattress Measurements?
by Graham Challenger
What are the standard mattress sizes? What are a Queen-sized mattress measurements?
What size mattress should I buy? What size mattress will fit in my house?
Are all Queen size mattresses the same mattress size? What is the best mattress size for a couple?
What is the best mattress size for tall people?
It turns out that buying a mattress that is "too-small" is one of the most common mistakes made by shoppers. Finding a mattress that is the "right size", depends on the bedroom space you have and whether you are alone or a couple. First-time couples who've been sleeping on a "double bed" since he/she moved in or they got married may think they have "enough" room for a good night's sleep. When they look closely, measure and find out that each person has only as much sleeping space as a baby's crib, they are shocked. No wonder it's tough to get a good nights sleep. It isn't the novelty of having a sleeping partner, it's the fact that you have no room to sleep, without waking each other. The move up from a Queen-size mattress to a King-size bed is even more dramatic for other couples.
Finding the correct sized mattress is not about romance or "closeness". A correctly sized mattress will allow you to get a good night's sleep. Since I'm no longer in the day-to-day retail mattress store business, I find that the questions I'm asked by family and friends have changed. I used to be asked, "Can you get me a good deal on a new mattress?" or "what is the best mattress to buy?". Lately the questions are the ones listed above. Those are much better and more thoughtful questions, because the opportunity to get a "deal" makes you feel good for a few days. You'll be sleeping on your decision for several years to come. Take the time to make an informed choice.
Here are the industry standard mattress sizes and measurements, for North American retail purchase.
--------Twin Bed Mattress
(also known as single) 39 inches wide by 75 inches long --
Shoulder width per person: 39 inches
This is the most common bed for the children's room. Some hideaway beds and Daybeds use this mattress. Almost all mattress manufacturers also build a Twin Extra Long mattress. It is 39 inches wide by 80 inches long. This longer bed is exactly 1/2 the width of a King size bed (below). In fact, most King-size beds rest on a pair of Twin extra Long support bases. Many college dorm rooms use solo, Twin Extra Long mattresses. The longer length is good for older, taller teens and young adults. Sheets and other bedding may be harder to find in this "long" size.
--------Full size Mattress
(also known as a Double Bed) 54inches by 75 inches --
Shoulder width per person:27 inches
You rarely see "Double beds" advertised any more. They are called a Full-size mattress. This size bed is OK in small apartments, rooms with little space and for adults up to about 5 foot 6 inches, who sleep alone. This is the bed we remember from old TV shows too. Rob/Laurie Petrie [The Dick Van Dyke show] and Rickie/Lucy Ricardo [I Love Lucy] slept on a set of Full-size beds, whenever they needed a -bedroom- scene. Some young couples start with Full-size bed sets even today, because it's what they had, before the partner moved in. A full-size mattress is a tight squeeze, for a couple. Most baby cribs have more width, per person. A -Double- bed will feel "larger" than a twin-size bed, to short adults, because of the extra 15 inches of width. A full-size mattress is really only large enough for a single adult sleeper, because it is no longer than a "single". This size bed is probably too short for tall adults or too narrow for larger/heavier adults.
---------Queen size Mattress
60 inches x 80 inches --
Shoulder width per person: 30 inches
Queen size beds are 60 inches wide by 80 inches "tall". â€“ 6 inches wider and 5 inches longer than a full size mattress. Those added inches can make all the difference in sleep comfort, especially for couples. The Queen size is the most common size that retailers sell and for that reason, is the price quoted in the largest print. Just because it's the most popular mattress size, doesn't mean it's correct for you. With 30 inches of width per person, each adult still has 9 inches less width or "shoulder space" than if they slept alone in a twin bed. The 80 inches of length will accommodate all, but the tallest adults. A Queen size mattress is a good choice for guest rooms, or the "master bedroom" in apartment / condo, and for the few couples who really prefer close quarters. It's also a great choice for single sleepers who are also "sprawlers."
---------King size Mattress
76 inches x 80 inches --
Shoulder width per person: 38 inches
A King size mattress is 16 inches wider than a Queen size bed. This is (almost) the largest standard size bed you'll find in USA retail stores. Two adults will be most comfortable in a bed this large. It is really not a luxury size, as many retailers want to imply. Personal space / width per person is 38 inches. Notice that the length is the same as a Queen sizes mattress. If you are taller than 6 foot 4 inches, you may want to consider a California King sized bed (below) , if you have space in the bedroom. As mentioned above, this mattress is the same size as two "twin extra-long" mattresses set-up side by side. Some large guest rooms can be setup this way on purpose for adjustable sleeping arrangements.
---------California King size Mattress
(or Western King size Mattress) 72 inches x 84 inches --
Shoulder width per person: 36 inches
California King size mattresses are often called the largest mattress available, but look closely at the exact dimensions. It is only 12 inches wider than a Queen size bed, not 16 inches wider, like a standard King size mattress. The real difference is the extra 4 inches of length. A California King sized bed is a better bed for taller adults.
Any King-size mattress may create a space problem for some buyers. Make sure to use a tape measure, and confirm the new "floor plan" in any bedroom, before you go shopping. The mattress needs to fit in your room space, but all your other furniture need space too. Don't forget to leave room for door openings into hallways and closets. King-sized mattresses are built as a single piece mattress and two twin-size foundation / box spring support bases. This is done for delivery convenience. A King size mattress may be too big for some bedrooms and difficult to lift/carry up stairs and around corners or too bulky to navigate through some corridors, doors and stairwells. Paying for [or negotiating a "free"] delivery is probably a good Idea for any Queen-size mattress or King-sized bed.
Fitted sheets, bedding and pillows may be slightly more expensive for your new King-size mattress.
Finding "nice" bedding won't be difficult due to the wide variety of retail stores and online catalogs.
The trade-off to slightly higher cost is the wide number of choices in colors, and plush/luxury fabrics sold for these more expensive beds. You may want to shop for sheets, as part of your planning process. Investigate the larger King size pillow sets too. They are wider, so two long/wider pillows will fit the full width of your new King-sized bed. if you are considering / buying a King size mattress for the first time, you be pleasantly surprised at the difference a "few inches" make in a good night's sleep.