When shopping for a mattress, size can be a secondary factor for some people. Say, you’re buying a mattress for your kid. You’ve probably thought that twin, twin XL, and full-size bed dimensions may not be so different from each other. They should fit a bunk bed or daybed all right. But do they really?
Then, if you’re upgrading the master’s bedroom, you might come across King and California King sizes. Usually, online mattress brands sell them for the same price. So you should go to Cal King because it seems bigger and better. But is it really?
Enough with the rhetorical questions. Our point in creating this guide is to show you that mattress sizes may be too small a detail to think about. But paying attention to the exact dimensions, bedroom fit, and other related factors should help you find the perfect match. So, without much ado, get to know your standard mattress sizes. We’re also throwing in some special sizes for you at the end.
Table of Contents
- Mattress Size Dimensions
- Twin XL vs Full
- King vs Cal King
- Other Options
- Factors to Consider When Buying A Mattress
Mattress Size Dimensions
Twin Size Bed Dimensions
A twin-size mattress is 38 inches wide and 75 inches long (38×75 inches). This is the smallest among standard mattress sizes. This sleeping space is ideal for growing children, such as those who have outgrown the toddler bed. It can also fit single adults, college students, and those who have tiny sleeping quarters.
You’d usually find this used in bunk beds, daybeds, dorm rooms, and guestrooms. Online mattress companies typically offer their most affordable models in this size. If you’re on a tight budget, you can still have the luxurious feel of a premium mattress in Twin.
Read our full review on the Best Twin Mattresses for Bunk Beds.
Twin XL Size Bed Dimensions
A Twin XL bed is 38 inches wide and 80 inches long (38×80 inches). It has the same width as a twin-size one, but it’s 5 inches longer. This accommodates the needs of taller individuals, who will appreciate the extra legroom. However, it may be a bit harder to find bedding in these dimensions. You can instead have sheets custom-made as an alternative.
Two Twin XL mattresses can be put side by side to create a Split King mattress. This strategy is common among those who want to personalize the firmness of each side. You may use king-size bedding if you go this route or use two twin XL-size bedding separately.
Full-Size Bed Dimensions
As for full-size bed dimensions, it would be 54×75 inches. Full mattresses are also known as standard double mattresses. This sleeping space can cater to a single adult, especially someone who snoozes like Patrick the Starfish. A couple can squeeze themselves in if their bedroom space is limited.
For co-sleepers, they will be using up the mattress width at 27 inches each. This is something worth considering if you’re planning to add a pet or a child into the mix. Also, if you are around 6-foot tall, you have only 3 inches left to stretch your legs. It would be great, though, for adolescent boys and girls who are ready to move into a grownup bed.
Queen Size Bed Dimensions
The popular queen-size bed comes in 60×80 inches. It is comfortable enough for single adults, couples, growing families, and people who sleep with their pets. There’s enough room for a tall person to extend their body. You should have at least a 10-square-foot room to accommodate a Queen.
The bestselling beds in boxes in Queen are still less expensive than some retail store models. So it’s pretty easy to snag a great deal when you’re shopping mattress online. Also, when it comes to sheets and other accessories, finding queen-size versions should be a cinch.
King Size Bed Dimensions
What are the dimensions of a king-sized bed? That would be 76×80 inches. It’s got the same length as a Queen, but it’s wider. This gives couples more space to move individually. It can also cater to a small child or a pet in addition to the parents.
Aesthetically, a King brings a touch of luxury and elegance to any room. This is why it’s a key feature in hotel suites and master bedrooms. Split King, which sports two different firmness levels on each side, is a variation of this size. Like we said earlier, one King mattress is equivalent to two Twin XL ones.
Cal King Size Bed Dimensions
A California King mattress measures 74×82 inches. Contrary to popular notion, it is not bigger than a King mattress. It is less wide than the latter by 2 inches. But take those 2 inches and add them to the Cal King’s length. This makes this size better for tall individuals.
Like Twin XL, it may be difficult to find the bedding that exactly fits Cal King. You may need to get your bed linens custom-made. Nevertheless, this size is perfect for those who have a narrow room layout, as well as those who like a quirky aesthetic.
Twin XL vs Full
A Twin XL may seem a non-conventional choice when you have a Twin to deliver the job. But we have established that these two have their own strengths. A twin-size bed may be familiar to kids. You probably used one when you were younger. But a twin XL-size one is preferred by college students who live in dorms or single adults.
Now, when the decision is between Twin XL and Full, there are a couple of must-consider factors that stand out. First is that Twin has a total surface area of 3,120 square inches. Full or Double has 4,050 square inches. The former works in longer but narrower layouts, while the latter fits a wider space. So your call depends on your room’s dimensions.
If sleeping space is not an issue, you might turn to price. Twin XL is less expensive than Full. But it’s harder to find bed sheets and foundations that accommodate it. Both sizes are not couple-friendly. So it all boils down to how active/tall the single sleeper is.
King vs Cal King
As mentioned earlier, King is the wider bed–which makes it ideal for a small, growing family. On the other hand, you have the longer Cal King–which benefits tall people. But aside from these characteristics, how can you tell which size suits you?
Well, for one, we know that the surface areas for Cal King and King are 6,048 inches and 6,080 inches, respectively. However, you will need to save at least two feet of space around the three edges of your mattress to move in and out of it freely. Go for King if you have a relatively large space and Cal King if your room has a narrow layout.
On top of practical purposes, a King bed is picked because it is aesthetically pleasing. It just has that luxurious look to it which fits a master’s bedroom. Cal King speaks to styles that favor the peculiar. This size has an interesting origin story as well.
Lastly, you may want to know how these two arrived at their other names. California King can also be called as the Western King. Meanwhile, the King is known as the Eastern King as well.
Read our complete guide to choosing between King and California King.
- Bunk Bed – Bunk beds have dimensions of 28 x 75 inches or 35 x 75 inches. They can be replaced by a truck bed, which has a longer and wider sleep surface.
- Three Quarter – This size gets its name as it is ¾ the size of a standard Queen. It is 48 inches wide and used typically in a recreational vehicle (RV) which has a narrow section or an odd shape.
- Short Queen – A little shorter than a standard queen-size mattress, the short queen is called so because it is 75 inches long instead of 80.
- Olympic Queen – This one is wider than the typical Queen at 66 inches. It can accommodate more people as well.
- Trailer Beds – Measuring 35 x 79 or 42 x 80 inches, these are used in trailers or trucks–they’re also called truck beds.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Mattress
Construction & Materials
The overall performance of a mattress is affected primarily by its materials and their construction. Quality layers should go hand-in-hand with a beautiful exterior. Usually, you’ll find a memory foam, latex foam, or polyurethane foam as comfort layers. Any of these components can also serve as a transition or core layer. At the bottom, high-density foam in all-foams or springs in hybrids is featured.
As for spring systems, look for models that use individually encased coils/pocket coils or offset coils. These are durable, supportive, and breathable. When it comes to ensuring the safety of foams and materials, you can rely on the certification obtained by brands from the following organizations:
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100
- GREENGUARD GOLD
- Global Organic Latex Standard (GOTS)
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOLS)
- Rainforest Alliance
Firmness & Feel
In the mattress industry, the Standard Firmness Scale typically determines the feel of a mattress model. Using a scale from 1 to 10, it tells consumers whether it is firm, medium, or soft. Each firmness level benefits a different set of sleepers. So it’s important to know where you belong. Aside from sleeping position, weight is a factor in choosing the right firmness level for you.
Based on the scale, 1 is softest and 10 is firmest. These designations reveal which weight they cater to:
- Soft (3 to 4) – Those who weigh less than 130 pounds
- Medium Firm (5 to 6) – Those who weigh 130 to 230 pounds
- Firm (7 to 8) – Those who weigh above 230 pounds
Take note that some companies apply a reversed version of the firmness scale (i.e. 1 is firmest and 10 is softest). Terms may also vary, such as when Plush replaces Soft. The guidelines are not set in stone. The scores and descriptions are the prerogatives of the manufacturer. So always check what the label says.
Cooling is the result of the materials, usually the foam and cover, being able to wick heat and moisture away from the body. This entails quick absorption of heat so it won’t get trapped in the materials. Temperature neutrality has a similar effect, in that it cools you down when your skin temperature rises. But it also has the benefit of warming you up when you’re skin temperature drops.
Cooling is achieved by components with quick heat conduction capabilities, such as copper. Gel and graphite can also dissipate heat fast. To regulate temperature, though, you will need the phase change technology. It’s the one that enables foams and covers to adapt to your skin temperature. Aside from these, you also have an open-cell structure to facilitate airflow and improve ventilation.
Edge Support & Sinkage
How does edge support help you sleep well? If you tend to sleep toward the edge, you will need the perimeter to be stable. If it is weak, this will leave you with the roll-off feel. Roll-off is that feeling of falling off the floor. You might have a high chance of experiencing this situation if you have a co-sleeper who hogs the center zone.
Another issue that may arise is compression. Depending on the lack of or minimal perimeter support, little to significant sinkage may occur. This can happen whether you lie down or sit on the edge. This early sagging can then lead to an uneven sleeping surface, which will be tough to lie down on.
Further, proper edge support enables the mattress to cover or extend its lifespan. Hybrids tend to work hard in this area while all-foams are found to fall short.
Motion transfer refers to the transfer of movements across the sleeping surface. Low to significant motion transfer can affect your sleep quality negatively if you are a light sleeper. This can be worsened by having a co-sleeper who shifts in their sleep frequently. Motion isolation is the mattress’s ability to contain these movements within their spot of origin.
Finding a bed with excellent motion isolation should help you achieve uninterrupted sleep. Memory foam mattresses and hybrids with pocket coils do not disappoint in this department. But there are exceptions to this assumption, so better look into individual performances.
With many options on the market, you can find high-quality models that align with your budget. You can base your search on the mattress type instead of random models. This is because it’s easier to group models of the same type together and find their average prices. Here is the list for the queen-size versions of the most common types:
- Innerspring – $100 to $2,500
- Memory foam mattress – $500 to $1,500
- Hybrid mattress – $1,600
- Latex mattress – $2,000
- Adjustable mattress – $1,000 to $3,500
Some brands offer to finance to eligible consumers who cannot pay cash upfront.
Last but not least, check out the terms and policies that come with your purchase. Read the fine print to prevent headaches in the future. For most online mattress brands, shipping and returns are free of charge. These terms, however, apply only to residents of the contiguous United States. You may have to pay for delivery if the product can be shipped to Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada.
Further, watch out for the sleep trials, with the company’s market average ranging from 90 to 120 nights. The longest offering so far lasts up to 365 days. Warranties can extend from 10 to 25 years, with the exception of a few dishing out a lifetime warranty.
While there may be small differences in numbers, an additional 3 inches of legroom can determine the comfort level of a tall individual. So, while you’re at it, just geek out on the dimensions and their implications. You can factor in your search for bedding and other sleep accessories at the same time.
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