A Comparison of Standard Mattress Sizes

Hero Bed Standard Mattress in Bedroom

If you are like most people, you probably don’t know too much about mattresses or standard mattress sizes. You’re probably most concerned with how comfortable the mattress will be for sleeping and little else. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with buying a mattress with only personal preference in mind, there are several other factors that you’ll need to consider.

One of the most important is the size of the mattress itself. As space is often limited in a home, you’re going to need to consider who’ll be using the mattress and how much room you have in your home before you pick a size.

Choosing a size isn’t the easiest decision to make, especially with all of the options that are available on the market today. At Hero Bed, we’ve put together a comparison of all the standard mattress sizes in the U.S. so you can make a more informed decision as to which mattress is the right one for your home. Hopefully, this guide to standard mattress sizes will help you be a little more informed when making your next mattress purchase.

Small Single (Crib)

Man setting up small single mattress in crib in his kid's playroom.

The smallest standard mattress you’ll find on the market is the small single. This mattress is often referred to as a crib mattress as these kinds of mattresses are generally reserved for fitting into cribs. They are also referred to as a full-size crib

Crib mattresses are ideal for an infant’s first mattress, giving them plenty of room while not taking up much space in a bedroom. In addition, small singles tend to last for a long time, often being used for a toddler bed for when a child outgrows a crib.

An important fact to note is there isn’t a standard measurement per se. Rather, there is a standard tolerance when it comes to sizes. Crib mattresses are regulated by the Federal Government as per the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The act clearly states that the minimum size for a small single is 27 ½” in width and 51 ⅝” in length, with no more than 6” in thickness. It is possible to find small singles that are larger than this.

Regardless of the size, crib mattresses are well known for being lightweight and durable. Like many adult mattresses, small singles can be either foam or innerspring, and both are known to be much easier to clean in case of a bottle spill or other accident.

A good rule of thumb to remember is that you’ll want your small single to be snug with the crib you’ve purchased for safety reasons.

Twin

Twin bed mattresses on twin beds in college dormitory.

Once a child has outgrown a small single mattress, you’ll likely need to upgrade them to a twin-sized bed.

A typical twin-sized mattress is 38” x 75”. These dimensions are great for most children throughout their adolescence and into their teenage years. However, depending on the child, a growth spurt may require you to upgrade mattresses later on.

The small size of this mattress means that many adults will find it too small to comfortably sleep on. However, their slim size makes this type of mattress a popular pick. The reason being that these mattresses can fit into rooms where there is not a lot of space to spare such as a small and/or odd-shaped bedroom.

Twins are also known as single mattresses and can easily be stacked side-by-side in bedrooms that are shared. They also remain a top pick for bunk beds as they are very portable.

Another reason why twins remain a popular choice among consumers is that they are relatively inexpensive. As they use much less material than larger mattresses, they remain affordable for most households, meaning that you’ll likely find one in most houses you go to, whether they are being used for kids’ bedrooms or for a guest room.

If you are a single sleeper or have very limited space within your apartment or home, a twin mattress could be the right one for you.

Twin XL

The Twin XL is well known as the standard for college dorm rooms. Dorms tend to have numerous, tiny bedrooms making the Twin XL a natural choice for sleeping accommodations. 

Measuring at 38” x 79”, these mattresses were designed to save space. They aren’t any wider than a regular twin mattress, but they offer 5 more inches in length, giving taller sleepers some much-needed legroom.

Additionally, this mattress can serve just as well in a home as it can in a college dorm. The extra length can be very welcome for teenagers who are growing and the affordable and maneuverable nature of the mattress can bring some much-needed peace of mind for parents.

Another great feature of a Twin XL bed is that they can be stacked side-by-side in a king-sized bed frame. This can be an economical solution for couples who prefer different firmness in a mattress, allowing you to still sleep next to one another while enjoying your sleeping preferences.

It is not uncommon for many sleepers to discard a Twin XL for larger mattresses with more sleeping space once they are able to do so. Still, if you are looking for an affordable solution for a mattress, a Twin XL mattress can serve you well.

Full Size

Young woman stretching her arms in the morning, while sitting on full size mattress in bedroom.

Sometimes referred to as a “double bed”, full-size mattresses can be a decent upgrade from a twin mattress when it comes to sleeping space. At 54” x 75”, this mattress offers quite a bit more width than a twin does.

This is great news for single sleepers, as there is plenty of room to switch positions while sleeping. However, full-size mattresses are not usually considered a couple’s mattress. Split between two people, each person would only get the width of a crib mattress to themselves. So unless you really enjoy cuddling close, you may want to look for larger mattresses if you are shopping for a couple.

Still, a full-size mattress can be a smart buy. Not only are they affordable but also can easily be transitioned into a guest room once all of your children have moved out. If you are looking for a mattress that can be utilized in a variety of situations, a full mattress might be the one for you.

Full XL 

A less common type of mattress, the full XL mattress measures at 54” x 80”. This gives sleepers about 6 inches more legroom than the full-size does. So, if you are a single sleeper on the taller side who wants the versatility of a double bed with a little bit more space for your feet, you should look into this option.

Queen

Queen size mattress in bedroom with headboard.

The queen mattress is by far the most popular of the standard mattress sizes in America right now and it’s not hard to see why.

At 60” x 80”, a queen bed offers plenty of space for all kinds of sleepers. Whether you are a solo sleeper who values space or whether you are a couple looking for an adequate sleeping room, this mattress offers versatility that other mattresses simply can’t match.

As queen mattresses are one of the larger mattresses on the market, it may not be able to fit in some smaller bedroom, meaning that at this mattress size and larger, you’ll need to start considering the size of your living spaces. This said, queens, can fit in a large majority of bedrooms, which contributes to its popularity.

One of the perks to the queen being so popular is that there is an abundance of bedding and accessories available for this mattress size. In addition, you’ll be able to find these accessories at all sorts of price ranges. This means that you’ll be far more likely to find exactly what you want with a queen-sized mattress.

If you are looking for a mattress that offers both room and customization options, you may want to look into purchasing a queen mattress.

King

King-size mattress on bed with gray square headboard, large rustic wooden mirror and textured wall in trendy minimalist apartment.

Currently the widest type of mattress available, the king size mattress offers a regal amount of space, as the name implies. These mattresses measure 76” x 80”, leaving you with an impressive  6,000 sq.in. of sleeping space. 

If you are a single adult, this amount of space may be a little overkill. But if you are a couple, this mattress size can be a wonderful pick, particularly if you also plan on sharing a bed with children and/or pets. 

A king-sized bed is essentially the same dimensions as two twin XL beds put together, meaning that you won’t have to compromise on sleeping space. However, the large size of this mattress may not only hinder your efforts to move the mattress around but also need an appropriately sized room to accommodate it. 

California King

The California king is the longest of all the standard mattress sizes available. Measuring at 72” x 84”, the California king takes about 3 inches off of width when compared to a king mattress and adds on 4 extra inches at the end of the bed.

If you are a big and tall individual, a California king may be the perfect type of mattress as it gives you an appropriate amount of legroom, especially if you are over 6’ tall. While it may not be as wide as a traditional king bed, this mattress still offers you an impressive amount of width.

The slender nature of a California king enables it to fit into more rooms than a king can. Still, you may still have some difficulty moving this mattress due to its large size.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide has given you the information you need in order for you to purchase the right kind of mattress. Just remember to always consider your living space, who will be sleeping in the bed, and your budget before you buy.

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