Nothing in life is more important than a good night’s sleep, anyone who says otherwise simply doesn’t get enough of it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in February 2016, more than one in three (!) Americans don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep. Some things in life are worth their weight in gold, and a good mattress is one of those items.
So, as you are thinking about your sleep habits you are probably already contemplating a new mattress, and while you’re at it why not go for a size upgrade as well, but with so many sizes how do you make the right choice about what’s best for you? Whether you’re looking for the perfect bed rail for adults, you and your partner, or a child, this is going to be an in-depth guide on what mattress will be best for you before stepping foot in a mattress store.
Before getting into the details I should note that this will be different depending on whether you live in North America or Europe. Today we will mainly outline American mattress sizes, but I will make sure to quickly skim over European sizes as well. This guide will definitely help you find the best sheets for any mattress size as well.
American Mattress Sizes and Dimensions
Crib Mattress Size
Starting off with the most compact of your mattresses, the crib is obviously made for the smallest version of our human race. Anybody who has kids can tell you that infants spend a lot of time in their crib and it’s important to choose one that is the proper size and is comfortable for the child you are welcoming into the world. A normal crib will be 27 inches wide by 52 inches long.
Small Single Mattress Size
This is your run of the mill tiny mattress. While the twin is far more common, the small single or cot might be your best option on a tight budget, and in a room tight on space. It will fit a smaller person without much breathing room at 30 inches wide and 75 inches long.
Twin Mattress / Bunk Bed Size
As this child grows older he or she will eventually grow out of the crib (or cot) and need something bigger and better, welcome to the twin mattress! The twin mattress should come in at 38 to 39 inches wide by 75 inches long, making it compact for moving purposes, and big enough for smaller single sleepers.
All of us grew up on one of these bad boys, and the lucky (or unlucky depending on circumstance) ones even stacked them on top of each other as bunk beds.
Twin XL Mattress Size
The twin mattress works for some kids, but everyone knows the friend who hit a growth spurt a few years before the rest of his or her peers and needs a little extra leg room, enter the twin XL. At the same width, the difference here is length as a twin XL is perfect at 80 inches long making it perfect for taller children or college dorm rooms.
With the same width as a twin, twin XL mattresses are still compact and easy to move, while giving our taller friends a more comfortable night’s sleep.
Full Size Mattress Dimensions
While the twin XL bringing some extra length to the twin mattress, the full brings the extra width. It comes in at the same length as the twin, so taller people should keep in mind that a “bigger” mattress doesn’t necessarily mean a longer mattress. A full mattress should be 54 inches wide (over a foot wider than a twin), while still giving you the 75 inches long that you get from a twin mattress.
The full mattress has become the standard in “first apartment” bedrooms as it’s economical in terms of price, and still compact enough to move around without too much trouble. It should be noted that while you do get the added width, a couple might have a hard time sharing a full mattress comfortably.
Full XL / Double XL Mattresses
The Full XL is basically the full version of the Twin XL. It offers the same width as the full mattress at 54 inches wide but offers 80 inches of length for those who need a bit more leg room than the average-joe. The full XL or double XL isn’t as popular as a full or a queen so finding sheets might be a bit trickier.
Queen Size Mattress
For all the couples reading this saying, well if the full isn’t quite big enough, what should we get on our budget? The answer is the queen mattress. A queen mattress will come in at the same length as the twin XL, making our tall readers happy, with the added width that should make any couple happy with a good night’s sleep.
At 60 inches wide, the queen mattress gives you an extra six inches when compared to the full, which may not seem like a lot at first, but makes a huge difference on a nightly basis. The other benefit of the queen is again, the 80 inches of length. The queen mattress is the most popular mattress in America for its size, versatility, and average price point.
Olympic Queen Mattress Size
Looking for a bit more width, but not ready to commit to the King, there is an in-between (that can be hard to find) called an Olympic queen. It has the same 80 inches of length but offers a buffer in-between the queen and king at 66 inches wide.
King Size Mattress Dimensions
So, you looked at it, you tried it out, but the queen just wasn’t quite big enough huh? Good news, we have the perfect solution. Whether you can afford the luxury of the added space with your partner, or you have the reality of sharing the bed with kids or pets, the king mattress provides the extra width you need.
As you can see in the diagram above, the king mattress gives you the same 80 inches of length you get from a queen or twin XL but provides an extra foot and a half of width when compared to the queen.
At 76 inches wide by 80 inches tall, the king mattress offers a proper size for just about any situation, but with that size comes a bit of an inconvenience in terms of “movability” and can cause some problems getting up to that new master bedroom without some help.
California King Mattress Size
Where are my tall folks at? I know there were quite a few people out there reading about the king thinking you need the extra space for you and your partner, but you’re more worried about length than width. The California King is the solution to this problem.
While you do lose a couple inches of width compared to the king (it is still 12 inches wider than a queen) you get the extra length you’re looking for. At 72 inches wide, you have plenty of space for two (or three or four), and at 84 inches long (7 feet) it should fit the majority of the population very comfortably.
Uncommon King Size Mattress
Athletic King, Texas King and Olympic King might not be familiar to many of us, which makes finding the best egyptian cotton sheets difficult.
Now if you’re the type of person who says, only 7 feet long? Only 72 inches wide? I need much more than that? You’re in luck my friend because there exists a mattress big enough for a small army, the athletic king also known as the Texas king also known as the Olympic king. At 80 inches wide by 98 inches (8 feet) long, this monster can fit your entire family and have room for the pets as well.
European Mattress Sizes
That’s it for American sizes, as mentioned I do want to quickly run through the European sizes for a comparison in case you find yourself as somebody moving to America for the first time and want to know how your new mattress will compare to your old one.
- Twin = Single, single (NA) is about two inches smaller in terms of width
- Full = Double
- Queen = King, queen (NA) is about two inches longer
- King = Super King, king (NA) is about 4 inches wider and two inches longer
Guide to Choose the Right Type Mattress
Choosing the right bed and mattress size is one of the best investments you can make if you consider that you will spend much more time (almost one third of your life) on your bed than in your motor car. Not only are your bed and mattress the most used pieces of furniture in your home but they will massively impact the quality of sleep and hence your well being and health.
For many people the solution to a good night’s sleep may be right underneath them and yet there are very few guides on how to assist people to select the right mattress and bed. This guide aims to address that need.
Here are 4 key-considerations in choosing the correct size mattress.
Regardless of the styling and decor of your bedroom there are four criteria to consider when buying a mattress: size, durability, comfort and support.
Size of your Bed
Your bed should firstly be small enough to fit into your bedroom and leave enough space to move around the bed freely. Your mattress should be big enough for you to fit comfortably on your bed without any of your body parts touching hard parts of the bed and should allow enough space for some movement during the night. If you share a bed it should leave enough room for the both of you.
The main mattress sizes are: Small Single (2ft 6″),Single (3ft),Small Double (4ft),Double (4ft 6′),Kingsize (5ft), Super King Size (6ft), Continental Single, Continental Double & Continental Kingsize.
Comfort of your Bed
The comfort of your mattress has to do with how the mattress adapts to your body and how your bed “wraps its gentle arms” around your body. The comfort of your mattress is influenced by the quality & type of fabric, the layers of cushioning materials and padding (in the case of innerspring mattresses).
Bed Support Types
A good mattress and bed should support your body at the important places and maintain your spine in its natural position (good posture). The heaviest parts of your body are the most important areas namely your shoulders, hips and lower back. The position of your spine during sleeping is essential to maintaining the health of your spine. Spine curves naturally forwards in the neck, backwards in the back and forwards again in the lower back. The spine in its natural position reduces the pressure on nerves, the muscles and spinal discs and allows for a restful and rejuvenating sleep.
The quality of the materials & fabrics used and the quality of manufacturing determine the life of a mattress, while the structural elements (springs and frame) influence the comfort and support.
Buying a bed, mattress or headboard is a personal choice.
While the guidelines above are aimed at assisting you in choosing the right size mattress for your bed, it remains a personal choice and this is influenced by many other factors. There are other factors that influence your choice of mattress such as your body type – weight, length etc. – , your age, your sleeping habits and sleeping position as well as the choice of your pillow and headboard.
In closing, it is important to remember that choosing the right mattress for your needs is one of your most important decisions because it will influence your body’s ability to rejuvenate itself, your effectiveness and health.
A good mattress should support your body while you sleep and should allow you to move during your sleep without affecting your partner. It needs to offer the right firmness and thickness for your body type. The best mattress will offer functionality both when you are lying down and when you are sitting up in bed.