A new bed is one of the small comforts in life, but shopping for it is one of the bigger headaches.
Add in the exorbitant cost of a mattress, the hassle of shipping it to your house, and the back pains that come with installing it, and you've got a big project on your hands.
Now imagine you get your new mattress home and find out it's too small. Or worse—it's too big to get inside the front door at all.
Before you buy, check out this quick and easy guide to bed size comparison and mattress sizes. We'll cover everything you need to know about picking the right mattress to help you get your beauty sleep while making sure it fits your space, budget, and decor.
Standard Mattress Sizes
The bedding industry is notorious for its less-than-straightforward mattress sizes. Without knowledge of measurements, a customer might be shocked to find that the "full" mattress they were sold barely fits in their bedroom.
The best way to avoid this problem is to understand your sizing options ahead of time so that you can make an informed decision.
In order to determine the best mattress size for you, consider both its width and length. While height varies depending on where the mattress is purchased and which model you pick, most have similar bed dimensions.
The sizes below are set according to industry standards, but keep in mind that many mattresses are sold with extra padding that might increase overall height and bed dimensions.
The standard for crib size is 27" X 52". Measuring these dimensions will ensure that your baby has the space needed to sleep comfortably.
Fitted with a sturdy mattress, your baby will be able to rest easy and feel safe in his or her own bed.
The crib mattress is firmer than an average full-size mattress, so it provides support for your baby's growing body while still remaining comfy.
Toddler mattress sizes are very similar to the size of a crib mattress at 28" X 52", though they're typically somewhat softer and placed in bed frames rather than cribs. Some parents purchase detachable safety rails to give their child a little bit more protection if he or she tries to roll around in the middle of the night. This way, they won't be able to fall out of bed.
A twin mattress is for single sleepers who want an affordable, simple bed that's easy to move around. With their slim shape and lightweight construction, twin mattresses are ideal for young children, college dorm-dwellers, or other single adults who need a basic, low-profile bed.
Twin-size mattresses come in a variety of thicknesses and densities to accommodate different sleep preferences. The 39" x 75" size is ideal for adults who want to minimize their bedroom footprint while maximizing the comfort of the mattress.
Twin XL-Size Mattress
A twin XL is a mattress that measures 80" x 39", and it is the standard twin bed size for college dorm rooms. Given that the twin XL offers more width than the standard twin bed — but not nearly enough for an adult — most people come out of college preferring a larger bed than a twin XL.
However, taller kids and students living in dormitories might want to get this mattress size, as a twin XL mattress gives them more room to stretch.
When it comes to mattresses, full-size is a good all-around solution for single sleepers looking to get enough space (but not too much). When used in a guest bedroom, it provides comfortable sleeping space while fitting in with other furnishings.
Full-size mattresses are a great option for teens outgrowing their childhood beds, and they provide ample room without being too big.
The queen mattress is the most popular size for adult sleepers. With dimensions of 60" X 80", it's large enough for two, but not so large that it takes up too much space in a medium-sized bedroom.
A queen mattress is perfect for couples or single sleepers who are looking for some extra space but don't want to pay for an enormous king-size mattress.
However, queen mattress sizes and larger typically take up too much space in small rooms, so remember to measure your bedroom to determine which size bed dimensions will fit comfortably.
King-size beds measure in at 76" X 80" offer a luxurious amount of space, so couples can sleep soundly without their partner getting in the way. With enough room for two people and a place for pets or kids to sleep as well, they provide a great night's sleep so you can wake up refreshed.
You could also choose the split king option. Twin XLs are placed side-by-side in a king bed frame, giving couples with different mattress preferences a chance to rest in comfort, meaning adjustable beds with split-side functionality (like the Sleep Number Bed) are best-suited for the split king bed frame.
Couples can make use of all that extra space together, or give themselves even more room to stretch out when they are sleeping alone. A typical master bedroom can accommodate a king-size bed without issue, so never hesitate to choose a comfortable mattress that's large enough for the people sleeping in it.
California King-Size Mattress
If your feet have always hung off the edge of a bed, a California king-size mattress will provide you with the length you need without sacrificing the width you need. A king-size mattress is typically 72” X 84”, but California king-size mattresses take four inches of width from a conventional king-size bed and add it to their overall length.
How To Pick The Best Mattress Size For You
Tip #1: Be Realistic About Your Body Size
Your height and weight will dictate what kind of mattress you buy. Most standard twin mattresses are roughly 75 inches tall.
However, if you're taller than 6 feet 2 inches, then a twin-sized bed probably won't be comfortable for you — as it will be too short. A better option is to buy an XL twin-sized mattress, which is about 80 inches in height.
Tip #2: Mind Your Bedfellows
Say you're sharing a bed with your significant other — how can you make sure the two of you are comfortable? Start by considering your bed size.
Most couples tend to start off with a Queen-size one, but if you find that you prefer more space and legroom, you might want to size up.
This is especially true if you have pets or children sharing the space with you since they tend to take up more room than the average adult.
Tip #3: Measure Your Room Size
Measuring your space where the mattress will go is essential to make sure it'll fit nicely in your space while still leaving plenty of room.
If you're really tall, a California King mattress will provide plenty of legroom. If you're under 6'5” a Queen size mattress or smaller will give you enough space to sleep comfortably.
Mattresses are expensive pieces of furniture and only get more costly the larger they get. Sheets for large mattresses are also pricier and increase in price as mattresses increase in size. Unless money is no object, you don't want to get a bigger bed than you need.
Generally, a good mattress can last for over 10 years, so we recommend investing in one that you love and that fits your personal preferences.
Tip #4: Thicker Isn't Always Better
Mattresses are made thinner or thicker depending on their size ranging from 6-18 inches of foam or padding. Most mattresses sold today are between 8-12 inches thick.
Thinner mattresses are better suited for lighter sleepers, who don't weigh more than 130 pounds, and thicker mattresses should be reserved for heavier sleepers. The majority of adult sleepers are in the middleweight range, tipping the scale at about 150 pounds.
The higher the profile, the higher the cost. This is because thicker mattresses tend to have more foam layers and other support material systems. A lower-profile bed, on the other hand, will have less support but come at a better price.
Tip #5: Buy Matching Pillows
Pillow size may also come into play depending on the mattress size. The smallest and most common sized pillows, standard, tend to be sufficient for twin and full-size mattresses.
However, people who toss and turn frequently during the night may opt for a larger pillow such as super standard, queen, or king.
You're also welcome to consider a euro pillow or contour pillow depending on your preference.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Twin-Size Mattress The Same As A Single?
A twin mattress is a single mattress that measures 39 inches wide by 75 inches long. Many people use the terms single and twin interchangeably when referring to these mattresses, and it’s actually a common practice to refer to a twin mattress as a single mattress.
Is A Full-Size Mattress The Same As A Double?
A full-size mattress, or double bed, is the same thing, and they're both terms you might see on listings from different manufacturers. Both are used to describe mattresses that measure 54 inches wide and 75 inches long.
Which Mattress Sizes Are Most Suitable For An Apartment/Townhouse/Dormitory/Etc.?
Your choice of bed size depends on your sleeping habits and personal preferences. If you're a single adult, a full bed should be fine. For couples, queen beds are sufficient and cost-effective.
If you tend to sleep alone, a twin or twin XL would work, but they're narrower than queen or king beds.
If you're going the standard route with a queen-sized bed for your guest (or master) suite, it's important to make sure that you have the space for it. A larger bed means more room for storage underneath.
Is A Full-Size Mattress Big Enough For Two People?
You and your partner might be able to share a full-size mattress. It's just 27 inches wide, so it should fit two people who aren't too wide themselves. However, you'll want to make sure you both like the same level of firmness. You'll also want to make sure you know each other's preferred sleeping positions (you'll need to roll over a lot).
A full-size mattress is most suitable for couples who are small, children, or those who sleep close to one another. If you happen to be a couple that prefers to spend a little extra time in the bed with your partner, then a full-size mattress may not be the best option for you.
Can I Buy A Custom-Sized Mattress?
Although the most common mattress sizes are twin, full, queen, and king, special requests can be made as well. Larger custom mattresses may be referred to as Alaska king or Wyoming king beds.
Young families and couples who share a bed with a large dog or desire an extra layer of comfort for their sleeping area may prefer to purchase a custom Alaska or Wyoming King bed. Customarily, these beds aren't available in retail stores — they must be specially designed online or through local mattress brands that specialize in Alaska and Wyoming bedding.
The best way to know whether a mattress size will be comfortable for you is to test it out in person.
While there are plenty of articles about the science of how bodies are supported by mattresses, ultimately your own personal experience will determine whether a mattress is right for you.
Everyone's body size is different, meaning everyone's ideal mattress size varies. That's why we encourage customers to visit one of our showrooms so they can sample the feel of each mattress type for themselves.