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Bed Mattress Size - A Guide to Bed Mattress Size

beds twin dimensions standard

When shopping for a new bed, mattress size is one of the most important factors to consider. All of the other stuff – the materials, the thickness, the pillowtop, even the space-age memory foam – are minor decisions. Most of these features will be available with any size configuration.

Size, however, is likely to be the first decision faced by folks shopping for sleeping arrangements. First you must consider how many people will sleep in the bed and their sleeping habits. Some slumberers can fall asleep in a tight, tidy position and not move at all; others cannot sleep unless they’re sprawled out across every free inch of bed space. Some people toss and turn all night long, and they might even fall off the bed if it’s too small. Taller folks have an added issue – it can prove quite difficult to get a good night’s sleep when your feet are constantly hanging off of the end of the mattress or getting tangled in the footboard.

Obviously, a larger bed mattress size is required for two, and it is always better to have a little bit of unused space than not enough, but bigger is not always better. Depending on the dimensions of the bedroom, an oversized bed mattress may not leave much room for anything else. Surely you will want to have at least one or two pieces of other furniture to accompany the bed itself.

Thankfully, the basics of bed mattress size are fairly simple. The thickness of a mattress can range anywhere from 18 inches to a scant 3 or 4, but mattress sizes usually follow a standard sizing guideline.

Twin or Single Beds – Dimensions: 39" by 75"

Aside from things like cots and specialized beds for small children, twin is the smallest mattress size that is widely available. They’re commonly used for children’s bedrooms and guest rooms, as they leave a lot of room for toys and storage. Twin is the standard size for bunk beds, and many homeowners opt for the trundle bed version. A trundle bed includes a second bed that can be pulled out from beneath the main bed for sleepovers.

Extra Long Twin – Dimensions: 39" by 80"

The XL twin bed mattress size addresses the main problem with a standard twin bed – the length. A standard twin is usually too short for an adult to sleep comfortably, so these have an extra 5 inches to accommodate longer legs.

Double or Full Beds – Dimensions: 54" by 75"

With 15 more inches of width than a twin bed, a double bed is quite roomy for a single sleeper. It can be a good choice for smaller rooms, but the double is usually seen as too small for two people to sleep comfortably. It also might be a bit short for taller folks.

Queen beds – Dimensions: 60" by 80"

With a queen bed, mattress size is finally reaching the point where two people can can use the bed and still sleep fairly comfortably. Even so, each of those two sleepers has 9 inches less room than they would with two single beds. While it is perfect for couples who like to snuggle or sleep close together, restless sleepers and those who need their space might find it a little cramped.

King beds – Dimensions: 76" by 80"

King is the widest size that you’ll find in many stores. They offer a lot of room in which to sprawl out, but they can also be a hassle to move. For that reason, many of them use two separate box springs that can be manipulated a bit better. Sheets labeled “King Size” are almost always fitted for this type of king bed as opposed to the next on the list.

California King bed – Dimensions: 72" by 84"

The California king is a little bit narrower than the standard, but its length is better for the tall folks. It is the longest bed mattress size found in most stores. Finding sheets for it, however, may prove difficult at times.

These are just the common, standard sizes; there are other configurations available. Some manufacturers make odd-sized beds, like the Olympic queen or king, and others make standard sizes that may differ by a few inches. Remember that with an odd-sized bed, buying sheets that fit may be difficult or expensive. Always check the exact bed mattress size so you can be sure to get the right bedding.

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