What’s the Right Size Bed for You?

Understanding Twin, Queen, and King Bed Dimensions

king size bed

 The Spruce / Michelle Becker 

The bed sizes typically available in the United States range in sizes and dimensions and are called the twin or single, double or full, queen, standard King or Eastern King, and California king or Western King.

How in the world is anyone supposed to know the difference between all the mattress sizes and bed dimensions on the market today? Even the sales person in your local department store bed department might not have all the facts. It can be a very overwhelming decision. So, what exactly is the difference between the different bed dimensions and sizes available?

Bed dimensions and sizes with measurements for twin, full, queen, king, and California king beds
 The Spruce / Catherine Song

Custom Size Bed

Some manufacturers will custom-cut beds larger or smaller than standard sizes, but beware of these custom made beds. While it may seem appealing to have a custom size bed, you may have trouble finding bedding to fit.

Twin, Single, and Extra-Long Twin Beds

Twin beds are also known as single beds. They are 39 inches wide and 75 inches long (or 80 inches long for XL twin beds). They're the most common choice for children's rooms or multi-use guest bedrooms. These beds are narrow and fit easily into the smallest bedroom. Often twin beds have a "trundle" underneath to accommodate a sleep-over or second guest. Twin beds are used for bunk beds too.

Twin Bed Dimensions

  • Overall dimensions: 39 inches wide x 75 inches long
  • Width per person: 39 inches
  • Pros: Because of its small size it will fit easily into smaller bedrooms. Twin sheets are the least costly of all sheet sizes and are available in lots of patterns. It's easy to make a twin bed.
  • Cons: A standard size is too short for many adults.

XL Twin Dimensions

Twin Extra Long beds are 5 inches longer than a standard twin, but the same width, making them 39 inches wide and 80 inches long. They're often used in college dorm rooms to accommodate tall teens.

  • Overall dimensions: 39 inches wide x 80 inches long
  • Width per person: 39 inches
  • Pros: The longer length is good for taller teens and adults. It's easy to make since it's narrow. If you need flexibility in a guest room, two extra-long twins are a good choice. They can be used as singles or pushed together to form a king-size bed.
  • Cons: Bedding is difficult to find and not available in every pattern.

Tip

What is considered "standard" may vary slightly amongst manufacturers. Before you go shopping for bedding, be sure to know the exact measurements of the bed you have purchased. Some standard fitted sheets may not fit.

twin beds
The Spruce / Michelle Becker 

Double/Full Beds and Queen Beds

Any of these sizes fit in a normal room, but many couples feel that a full or double bed (they're essentially the same thing) is definitely too narrow for anything more than an occasional night's sleep. A queen-size bed gives each one a bit more room without taking up too much more floor space.

Double or Full Bed Dimensions

Double or Full beds are 15 inches wider than twin beds at 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, but if two share the bed, each has only 27 inches of personal space—much less than a twin! Double beds (also known as full) were the most common for two to sleep in until the 1960s. At 75 inches long, a full-size bed may be too short for some taller adults.

  • Overall dimensions: 54 inches wide x 75 inches long
  • Width per person: 27 inches
  • Pros: Fits into smaller rooms. Might be just right for a single sleeper who is shorter than 5 feet and 5 inches. Sheets can be less expensive than a queen or king size.
  • Cons: Many people find a double bed too narrow for 2 adults, and too short, as well.

Queen Bed Dimensions

Queen-size beds, at 60 inches wide and 80 inches long, are 21 inches wider and 5 inches longer than a twin bed and 6 inches wider and 5 inches longer than a double bed. Though this extra width and length can make all the difference in getting a good night's sleep, each adult still has 9 inches less of width than they would if they slept separately in twin beds. A queen bed works well for guest rooms and small primary bedrooms and is a good choice for couples who like to snuggle.

  • Overall dimensions: 60 inches wide x 80 inches long
  • Width per person: 30 inches
  • Pros: Gives two adults more space than a double. The extra length (5 inches) works well for most adults. Sheets and blankets are easy to find and tend to cost less than king bedding.
  • Cons: With only 30 inches of personal space for each person (only 3 inches more than a double), a queen may be too narrow for everyday sleeping for a couple. Some bedding is sold as "full/queen" and doesn't really fit either full or queen perfectly. Check bedding dimensions to be sure that it will fit comfortably. Standard-size pillows or queen pillows work well.

Tip

You might find a slightly larger queen-size bed called an "Olympic Queen." Beware before you buy bedding: standard queen sizes may not fit correctly and you might need to cut down king-size bedding, adding a considerable cost to your purchase.

About This Term: Primary Bedroom

Many real estate associations as well as the Real Estate Standards Organization have classified the term "Master Bedroom" as potentially discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among members of the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.


Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to make The Spruce a site where all feel welcome.

full size bed
 The Spruce / Michelle Becker

King and California King-Size Beds

With two sizes of king beds and four names, it can get confusing when you go shopping for a king-size bed. A standard king is also called an Eastern king and a California king is also called a Western king. A standard king is about 4 inches wider but shorter than a California king, and a California king is 4 inches longer but narrower than a standard or Eastern king.

Two people sleeping in a king-size bed will get the same amount of personal sleeping space as in a twin bed. In fact, if you pushed two extra-long twin beds together, they'd be about the same size as an Eastern king. For great versatility in a guest room, if you have the floor space, you can use two extra long twin beds separately for singles or push them together to make a king bed for couples.

When buying sheets, you have to be careful to purchase the right size. Flat sheets will fit both sizes of king beds, but fitted sheets are cut to fit one or the other. Before you go shopping for sheets, be sure to measure your bed exactly to be sure to buy the linens that will fit.

Standard or Eastern King Bed Dimensions

Standard King or Eastern King beds are 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, about 16 inches wider than queen beds and the same length. A king-size bed is sold with two box springs or frames and one mattress. This makes it easier to move.

  • Overall dimensions: 76 inches wide x 80 inches long
  • Width per person: 38 inches
  • Pros: As the widest bed commonly available in stores, the standard king is the most comfortable for two adults. The 80-inch length is sufficient for most people. Sheets labeled "king-size" fit a standard king bed.
  • Cons: Because of its size, a king bed may not be practical for frequent movers. They're hard to get upstairs, through narrow, winding hallways, and small rooms. A king bed may not be long enough for very tall people. Bedding is often most expensive in the king sizes. The wide bed requires at least three standard or two queen or king pillows, adding to the cost.

California Western King Bed Dimensions

California King or Western King beds are 72 inches wide and 84 inches long, 12 inches wider than a queen and 4 inches longer. This is the longest bed commonly available in stores and is the best choice for very tall people. As with an Eastern king, a California king bed set comes with one mattress and two half-width box springs to be more manageable when moving. Very tall single people can sleep from corner to corner and still be comfortable.

  • Overall dimensions: 72 inches wide x 84 inches long
  • Width per person: 36 inches
  • Pros: A California king-size mattress is wide enough for two to sleep comfortably and is the longest bed commonly available. Its extra length is good for tall people.
  • Cons: This very large mattress may be cumbersome to move and may not fit up stairs, through narrow hallways, or in small bedrooms.
FAQ
  • What size of bed is good for one person?

    A twin or single bed measures 39 inches by 75 inches and is the standard size for one person.

  • What size of bed is the most popular?

    According to a recent Statistica survey, about 47% of American adults reportedly sleep on a queen-sized mattress, far more than any other size. The next popular is king-sized at 19%.

  • Do most couples prefer a king or a queens size bed?

    According to sales, the queen-sized bed is the most purchased mattress; however, some couples prefer a king, for instance, families with children or dogs or pets that share the bed.

king size bed
 The Spruce / Michelle Becker
Article Sources
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  1. "How wide is the bed you mainly sleep on at home?" Statistica.