Mattress Size Comparison

It's that time. You have realized the importance of sleep and you're looking at your old lumpy mattress, and you know that you can't put it off any longer. You need to hit the refresh button on your bedroom and get a new natural mattress.

Perhaps it's time for your significant other and you to add a little elbow room to your bed. Perhaps you have a child who has grown out of a crib or a teen who has grown out of their childhood twin. Maybe it's time to move the treadmill out of the spare room and turn that space into a cozy guestroom. Whatever the reason, buying a new mattress can be a daunting task. Before you even tackle the questions of the materials you want, the style you're looking for, or finding new linens to adorn your new mattress, you must answer a very important question: what size mattress do you need? Beyond that, what are the different sizes of mattresses? What does a queen mattress measure? What's the difference between a California king and a standard king? What size is a king mattress in feet?

Yes, there's a lot to think about when you're shopping for a mattress. This article will break down the most popular and some of the lesser known mattress sizes and give you some insight into what size is right for you.

Twin Size Mattress

The standard twin size mattress is the smallest adult-sized mattresses available on the market today (though in the United States is has become quite uncommon for adults to sleep on them due to their diminutive size). You might also have heard this mattress referred to as a “single.” Whether the tag reads “twin” or “single” the dimensions are the same: 38 inches wide by 75 inches long. The extra width, compared to child size mattresses, allows for a little more mobility in the night and is wide enough to sleep an adult comfortably. However, the 75-inch length – that's 6 feet 3 inches – will make it difficult for taller adults to stretch out without their feet hanging off the end.

The ideal place in the home for this mattress is, of course, a child's room, but it also will be the size for a rollaway bed or a trundle bed if you're looking for extra sleep space for guests. If you're hoping to turn a small room into a guest bedroom, the single bed is a space-saving option. This is also the typical size for bunk beds, so in every way, the twin is a compact and economic mattress that can easily add much-needed sleep space to your home.

The twin mattress  has fallen out of favor in recent years as its small size means that children will often grow out of it rather quickly and will thus require replacement as the child reaches adolescence. If space saving is your first priority, however, look no further than the doughty twin.

Twin XL Size Mattress

Of course, if you're a taller adult who really wants the benefit of a single bed's space-saving qualities there is another option: enter the twin XL. This mattress maintains the width of a twin, 38 inches, but adds five inches to the length of a twin standard mattress: giving it around 80 inches down the line. As a frame of reference, if you ever lived in a college dorm this is more than likely the mattress you slept on.

This will sleep adults more comfortably than the regular twin—an interesting tidbit: two twin XL's can be used together on a single king size frame. Why is this a bonus? Couples often prefer different sleeping surfaces – the age-old firm mattress versus soft mattress debate. By picking out two twin XL's a couple can each customize their side of a luxuriously spacious king. For some people, this is a fun solution to what must be the longest running debate in all human history. 

Double / Full Size Mattress

The full size mattress is becoming a more common choice for parents looking for a first bed for their children, as it will usually last through several growth spurts. In their younger years, kids will have plenty of room to stretch out while they sleep and you'll find a little room for yourself for a bedtime cuddle or story.

The full size mattress measures 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. If you're wondering how long a double bed is in feet, we'll do some math for you: it's 4 feet 6 inches by 6 feet 3 inches, plenty of room for quite a few sizes of a human. You'll notice right away that it shares the same length as a standard twin, which means this is again not a terribly popular choice for adults, and taller teens may find it a bit cramped.

While two people certainly can fit on a double, your results may vary. Splitting this mattress for two people leaves just a little over two feet of space (27 inches to be exact) for each person, the same width as a crib.

Queen Size Mattress

The queen is the most popular mattress size in the United States and Canada. It is an excellent choice for couples or multiple budgets and is also a popular choice for single people. The standard queen measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. That extra six inches of space as compared to the double bed makes a lot of difference when sleeping two people, while it is sized such that it will fit comfortably in a variety of bedroom spaces. It is considered by many to be the best choice for a guest room, so if your house has space, a queen will offer your guests real comfort in a relatively space-efficient package.

When you get to queen size beds, the size and spatial qualities of the bedroom become more of a concern. A standard queen covers an area of about 26 square feet—not an inconsiderable span of floor space. If your bedroom is 10 feet by 10 feet then that 26 feet will account for just over a quarter of your floor space. Consider the other furniture you'd like to keep in your room and whether you want nightstands on either side of the bed when deciding whether this size mattress is right for you.

The queen is popular, but some people find it's still not quite large enough to fit their needs or fulfill their desires. It is longer than a twin, but a couple sleeping in a queen is getting less width a piece than if they each were sleeping in their own twin. If you're a person who values a lot of mattress room, then the next sizes up may be more your speed.

King Size Mattress

The standard king size mattress used to be considered a bit of an extravagance, but more recently it too can be seen in the homes of people of all economic stripes. No matter our varying situations, humans spend about a third of our lives in bed, so if you've got the space, there are aspects of the king that just make sense. The king size mattress measures 76 inches by 80 inches long making it the best choice for a couple for whom personal sleeping space is very important. Additionally, if you sleep with kids or pets the added room of a king means your mattress can handle that.  A couple of the kids, a whole host of pets, not to mention you and your spouse—many and more can fit comfortably on this king of beds.

Space is the first thing to take into account when considering purchasing a king. A general rule of thumb is that a room should be 12 feet by 12 feet in area for a king to fit comfortably. Not only should you think about the space in your room but just how you intend to get the mattress into said room. Before buying a king take measurements of relevant door frames and hallways to ensure you can get the mattress to where you want it. 

California King Size Mattress

The California king originated, as you no doubt guessed from the name, on the west coast of the United States. It is slightly smaller than a standard king overall but is 4 inches longer. The California king measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, which is a full 6 feet by 7 feet. For couples of average heights, the California king and standard king will suit equally well, but for very tall people the California king is a bed that offers the ability to stretch out that no other mattress can match.

The same space considerations that we discussed for the standard king apply to the California king. One additional detail to think about is the California king is not considered a standard size everywhere you'll need to be sure you can find sheets and blankets that will fit it. In the age of the internet, this is easier than ever, but it is important to note that going to a local store in search of linens for a Cali king can sometimes prove frustrating.


When you're looking for the right sized mattress ask yourself these two questions:

  • Who is the mattress for? A couple's needs are different than an individual’s. A child's needs are different than a teenager's.
  • Where is it going? The space in your house will be your surest guide to the size of your mattress.

Answering these two questions will guide you to the appropriate size, and, with that sorted, you can move on to the really juicy details. Natural memory foam? Learn how to choose a memory foam mattress if that's the route you're looking to go. Lucky for you Essentia offers all these standard size organic mattresses and can even build you a custom size mattress if you want to be super special. It's your bed. Enjoy it.