When shopping for a new mattress, one of the first questions to ask yourself is what size mattress should I get? Nothing feels more luxurious than sprawling out across a giant bed, but it isn’t always practical or economical to buy the biggest mattress you can.
Here’s what you need to know about mattress sizing and how to choose the best mattress size for you.
Standard Mattress Sizes
In many industries, sizing varies from one brand to another. Women know the hassle of having to try on every piece of clothing they buy because sizing is so subjective. When it comes to mattresses, however, there are standard measurements for different mattress sizes.
Here’s a quick table to show you the measurements for common mattress sizes:
|Twin XL||80×38 inches|
|California King||84×72 inches|
When it comes to choosing the best mattress size, your decision should be based on a combination of practicality and preference. You certainly shouldn’t buy a mattress too big to fit in your bedroom, but there are benefits to buying the largest mattress you have room for. At the same time, there are benefits to sticking to the smaller end of the size spectrum.
How to Measure for a Mattress
The first step in choosing a mattress size is measuring the space you have to work with. Taking measurements requires more than just measuring the length and width of the room – you need to factor in some space around the sides of the mattress so you can move comfortably around the room. If you plan to use a bedside table, you’ll need even more space.
Ideally, you should leave at least 3 feet all the way around the bed – both sides and the foot of the bed. It may help to map out the footprint of your bed on the floor using painter’s tape and double check to make sure the bed won’t get in the way of opening closet doors or dresser drawers. Be sure to factor in the size of your nightstands as well.
If you’re looking for ways to maximize your mattress size but you have limited space to work with, you can always push one side of the bed against the wall. This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re the sole sleeper, but it may be a bit of a hassle for your partner if you share the bed.
You might also consider using a bed frame that incorporates under-bed storage so you can save wall space by getting rid of free-standing dressers and armoires.
Choosing the Right Size Mattress
Once you’ve mapped out your room using painter’s tape, take a second look at your measurements to see what size mattress you can comfortably accommodate. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to choose the largest mattress you have room for. If you sleep alone or have limited space in your bedroom, you may prefer to select a size smaller than you have room for.
Here are some things to consider about each of the standard mattress sizes:
- Twin – The smallest mattress you can buy (aside from a crib mattress) is the Twin. These mattresses are best for children and small sleepers or for rooms with limited space – like college dorm rooms. If you’re looking to add a little extra length, consider the Twin XL size.
- Full – The next size up from a Twin is the Full which gives you an extra five inches in both length and width. Full mattresses are ideal for individuals who want a little more space than a Twin offers. They aren’t great for couples because each person only gets about 27 inches of space.
- Queen – The most popular mattress size is the Queen. Larger than a Full, Queen beds can comfortably accommodate couples. That being said, each sleeper only has about 30 inches so a Queen might not be best for couples who like to have their own personal space.
- King – The largest of the standard mattress sizes, the King bed measures 76 inches wide and 80 inches long which makes it perfect for couples. If you tend to share your bed with children or pets, you’ll be glad for the extra space a King size mattress affords you.
- California King – Though California King mattresses are the widest of the standard sizes, they’re actually a few inches shorter than a standard King. You gain four inches in length but sacrifice those inches in width. If you or your partner is very tall, you may prefer a California King to a regular King size mattress.
When choosing a mattress size, think practically about the space you have to work with as well as your own requirements and preferences. Buying a mattress is a significant investment, so take your time to think about the options before you make your final choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the length of a standard mattress?
Most standard mattresses are either 75 or 80 inches long. The Twin XL, Queen, and King sizes are all 80 inches long while Twin and Full are 75 inches long. California King mattresses are 84 inches long.
What is the biggest mattress size?
It depends how you’re measuring. The King and California King sizes are the biggest mattresses, but they vary slightly in length and width. If length is a priority, go with the California King which measures 84 inches long and 72 inches wide. If width is important, go with the King which is 80 inches long and 76 inches wide.
What size mattress is best for couples?
Unless you and your partner like to get up close and personal when you sleep, the best sizes for couples are Queen, King, and California King. These sizes give you at least 30 inches of personal space while a Full only gives you about 26.5 inches.