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Standard Mattress Sizes

A Guide to Bed Mattress Dimensions

A guide to standard mattress sizes can be helpful as it can often be difficult to decide on the best size. Much goes into the choice of a new mattress.

There are so many styles and materials available and mattress dimensions run from cradle to king size.

Yet it is important for consumers to know what choices are available so that they can choose wisely. Making the right choice in size will affect our comfort as well.

After all, we spend about one-third of our lives in bed. A good choice of mattress can make the difference between years of restful sleep versus years of restless, inadequate sleep.

A general rule of thumb for choosing suitable mattress dimensions is to choose one that exceeds the buyer's height by at least six inches. During the night, people shift positions dozens of times, and the extra room with those dimensions helps ensure the sleeper remains entirely on the mattress.

Cradle Mattresses

Starting with the tiniest of the standard mattress sizes, cradle mattresses are often necessary when new parents "inherit" cradles that don't have mattresses and therefore leave the cradle unused, even though the gentle rocking motion is calming to new babies.

Cradle mattresses are most commonly available in two standard mattress sizes, 18 x 36 inches (46 x 91 cm), and 15 x 33 inches (38 x 84 cm).

Crib Mattresses 28 inches x 52 inches (72 cm x 132 cm)

These are usually four inches thick and measure 28 x 52 inches. Unlike cradle mattresses, crib mattresses come in one standard size, which makes it easier to buy cribs, sheets and mattresses separately.

For safety, the thickness is usually limited to four inches or less, as a thicker mattress may pose a health risk to infants. There are also toddler beds that look like smaller versions of twin beds that use crib size mattresses.

Twin Mattresses 39 x 75 inches (99 x 190 cm)

Twin size or single beds are most often found in children's rooms because they fit children best and don't take up as much floor space as larger beds, leaving more room for other furniture, toy boxes, or other items. This is also the standard size for daybeds.

The standard twin size mattress dimensions are 39 x 75 inches (99 x 190 cm), and thickness varies, but is usually 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) thick.

Twin XL Mattresses 39 x 80 inches (99 x 203 cm)

There are also twin beds that are extra long (designated as XL twin). These standard mattress sizes are most common in college dorm rooms where space is at a premium but the sleepers are taller than young children.

These mattresses are generally 39 x 80 inches (99 x 203 cm), and generally 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) thick. When buying sheets for these beds it is important to look for sheets sized specifically for the XL twin size mattress dimensions.

Full Mattresses 54 x 75 inches (137 x 191 cm)

Full or "double" sized mattresses work well for people who are 5 feet, 9 inches tall (175 cm) tall and under. These mattresses can fit two people of average weight. Larger people may want to consider larger standard mattress sizes for the added width they include. Often used in guest rooms or smaller spaces, Full (double) mattresses are 54 x 75 inches (137 x 191 cm) in size.

The thickness of a full mattress will depend on the material it is made of and other mattress qualities, such as its firmness or addition of a pillow top. Depth can range from a thin 4 inches up to 25 inches.

Queen Size Mattresses 60 x 80 inches (152 x 203 cm)

Queen mattress dimensions are the most popular bed size. They sleep two people of up to 6 feet, 2 inches (188) cm tall. They are also six inches wider than a double, making them more suitable for larger people.

These mattress dimensions are 60 x 80 inches (152 x 203 cm) in size. Like full mattresses, the thickness will depend on the material the mattress is made from as well as other characteristics.

King Mattresses 76 x 80 (198 x 203 cm)

King size mattress dimensions are the widest of the standard mattress sizes at 76 inches (198 cm). They are 80 inches (203 cm) long, so they comfortably accommodate two sleepers of 6 feet, 2 inches (188 cm) tall.

They are generally thicker than double mattresses, but again, the thickness of a king size mattress depends on the material from which it is made.

California King Size 72 x 84 inches (183 x 213 cm)

The California king sized mattress is narrower, but longer than the regular king sized mattress. This size is growing in popularity, especially with taller consumers.

More popular in the Western United States, it is becoming easier to find on the East Coast as well. At 72 x 84 inches (183 x 213 cm) in size, these mattresses require sheets that are designated California King size.

Mattresses have undergone lots of changes in recent years in terms of materials and technological advances, though standard mattress sizes have stayed the same.

What Are The Top Rated Mattresses?

Navigating the World of Bed Sizes

Mattress sizes are just one of the things to consider when you are buying a bed.

Even if you find the right material, the perfect firmness, and a great price if your bed is too small you will still be uncomfortable.

That is why taking a few minutes to learn about bed sizes is so important.

Throughout history people have been making their own beds and mattresses. That meant that there was never a standard size for any kind of bed.

With the coming of industrialization and mass production came the world of standard bed sizes. Early standardized beds were much smaller than beds are today.

Most children would sleep on a twin bed or a trundle bed, an even smaller mattress that fit underneath their parents' bed. Couples would sleep on a full sized mattress.

If you look at beds in museums you'll see how much smaller they are than modern mattresses. Today people like their beds large.

Fortunately bed sizes range from small to very large. In the United States you can get beds up to the California king size, a whopping 72 inches by 84 inches.

However, mattress sizes vary between the United States and United Kingdom. If you intend to order your mattress online you should familiarize yourself with both charts.

In North America, bed sizes are as follows:

North American Mattress Size Chart

Mattress Size
Note: sizes may vary +/- one half inch
Other Name Width
in Inches
Length
in Inches
Crib/Toddler Baby bed 28" 52"
Twin Single 39" 75"
Twin X-Long Extra Long Single 39" 80"
Double Full 54" 75"
Queen Queen 60" 80"
King Eastern King 76" 80"
California King Western King 72" 84"

The sizes are slightly different in the United Kingdom.

  • A single bed is 36 by 75 inches, the equivalent of an American twin
  • A small double at 48 by 75 inches
  • A double at 54 by 75 inches and there is no queen size
  • A king is 60 by 78 inches
  • A super king is 72 by 78 inches

Even when you have the mattress sizes at your fingertips, you still need to know how to use the information.

First you should look at the length of the bed. Consider your height and then add another twelve inches for your pillow.

That will ensure that your toes don't hang off the bed during the night.

Then you should decide which standard bed size is right for you.

If you sleep alone you could do with a twin or a full sized mattress. Many adults prefer a full if they are sleeping alone because you still have room to move but the bed isn't too big.

Most couples find a full sized bed too small. In this instance you only have 27 inches, just over two feet, per person.

Instead, a queen bed is the most popular size. King beds are roomier, but they are also more expensive and tend to overwhelm all but the largest of bedrooms.

The best way to choose the right bed size is to go down to a mattress showroom and lay down on a bed with your sleeping partner.

Then you can be assured that you will have enough room. After that, since mattress dimensions are standard across the country, you can confidently choose your mattress size, sight unseen, because the sizes will never vary.

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