Avoid Mattress Size Madness

Mattress size a bit too small - Photo by Ben Onken (benkun2000 on Flickr) taken in Breckenridge, CO

Mattress size charts and tips make choosing the best bed easy. Here's goof-proof dimensions for the perfect bed size for you and your space.

Unfortunately mattress names make no sense. Many date from the 1930's when manufactured box springs were becoming common (along with marketing hype), and people were shorter by several inches. The result is that now you'd only want to sleep on a 'double' if you're single. Confused yet?

Fortunately for you, the Maniac's handy mattress size chart will keep you from bringing home a matress too big for the bedroom or the hallway. And the size recommendations below will keep you from jabbing your sleep partner in the ribs with your elbows.

...Except if you're 5 skiers in a bed. In that case, my advice is to have more beer.

Mattress Size Recommendations

A double mattress (full) is only 54 inches wide. It's often the mattress of choice for children, teenagers and shorter single adults. But don't try sleeping two adults. You'd be trying to sleep in a width just big enough for two standard crib mattresses (27" wide).

The queen size mattress (60" wide) is the most popular for single sleepers, couples that prefer closeness and people with smaller master bedrooms. But it might be too confining for more active sleepers since there's only 30 inches per person.

King and california king memory foam mattresses (72" to 76" wide) will be your best choice if you sleep with a partner and you tend to be restless sleepers. It's almost the equivalent of both of you sleeping on separate twin mattresses (78" wide). It's also great if the kids come bouncing in on weekend mornings or the dog or cat has bed privileges.

Is Your Bedroom Big Enough For Your Mattress?

Measure your available space and decide what size will best fit into your bedroom. To maximize privacy, try to place the headboard along the longest wall that allows you to have the bedroom door at the foot of your bed rather than by your head. Leave a walking space of at least 24 inches between the walls on either side of the bed. You'll need at least 36 inches on the side that faces any door that opens into the room. Measure any bedroom doors to ensure they can open fully without whacking the bed.

Measure the narrowest passageways into your bedroom, hall and house. It would be embarrassing if you thought you purchased the right mattress size and you couldn't get it into your sleeping quarters!

Do windows matter?Some people make a big stink about not putting your bed under a window to avoid drafts. I think that it depends upon where you live, the quality of your windows and personal preference. I live in a very warm climate where cool drafts are welcome, especially on hot summer nights. I wouldn't think of putting my bed anywhere but under a window.

Will Your New Mattress Fit In Your Bedroom? Minimum Space Needed
If Your Door Is
United States - Mattress Size in Inches(") and cmStandard Measurements At Foot of Bed At Side of Bed
Width (short side) Length (long side) W L WL
California King Memory Foam Mattress (also known as Western King size) 72" 180cm 84" 213cm120" 305cm 120" 305cm132" 335cm 108" 274cm
King size mattress (also known as Eastern King size)76" 193cm 80" 203cm 124" 315cm116" 295cm 136" 345cm 104" 264cm
Queen size mattress 60" 152cm 80" 203cm108" 274cm 116" 295cm120" 305cm 104" 264cm
Twin mattress 39" 99cm75" 191cm87" 221cm 111" 282cm 99" 252cm 99" 252cm
Memory foam mattress Single39" 99cm 80" 203cm 87" 221cm 116" 295cm 99" 252cm 104" 264cm
Twin extra long - placed with long side on wall "dormitory" style 39" 99cm 80" 203cm 63" 160cm116" 295cm75" 191cm 104" 264cm
Twin extra long - 'floating' in center of room39" 99cm 80" 203cm87" 221cm 116" 295cm 99" 252cm 104" 264cm
Double mattress 54" 137cm75" 191cm 102" 259cm 111" 282cm114" 290cm 99" 252cm
Memory foam mattress Full size54" 137cm 75" 191cm102" 259cm 111" 282cm 114" 290cm 99" 252cm
Memory foam futon mattress (Full) 54" 137cm 75" 191cm 102" 259cm 111" 282cm 114" 290cm99" 252cm
Crib mattress 27" 69cm 51" 120cm75" 191cm 87" 221cm87" 221cm 75" 191cm

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Mattress Sizes