There are many factors to consider when shopping for a new mattress, and one of the things you'll need to decide is the size. While most people tend to focus on the quality of materials and mattress comfort, keep in mind that the size will affect your sleep experience as well. For instance, you'll want to be sure that your bed offers enough space for two if you plan to share with a partner. If you sleep solo, you may want to think about your sleep style to find the size that suits you best. Be mindful of the size of your bedroom or living space, as well. The size of your bed should fit the scale of the room that you plan to furnish.
By now you’re probably at least familiar with the world of mattress nomenclature; a Twin is smaller than a Full, a Queen is smaller than a King, etc. To make things even easier for you as you make your decision about size, here's a cheat sheet with everything you'll need to know about the 6 standard mattress sizes:
Twin: 38 inches wide by 75 inches long
Unless you're considering purchasing a baby crib, a Twin is the smallest mattress size on the market. They are the size of choice for children's bedrooms, bunkbeds and trundle beds. At 38 inches wide and just over 6 feet long, not too many adults can sleep comfortably on a Twin bed.
Twin XL: 38 inches wide by 80 inches long
For those that don’t have a lot of space, but need a little extra mattress length compared to a conventional Twin, the Twin XL delivers an additional 5 inches of length. The Twin XL is the same length as a King size mattress, and in fact two of them side by side is equivalent to one King size bed. This "split King" arrangement is a perfect solution for couples who want to sleep next to each other and not be disturbed by the movements of their partner. The Twin XL is also commonly used in college dorms, much to the chagrin of students everywhere.
Full: 53 inches wide by 75 inches long
Full mattresses, also known as double mattresses, are the smallest sized mattresses that could still technically accommodate two sleepers. Keep in mind though, it's a tight fit for two adults. Previously the standard size for couples, the Full size is now typically used for single sleepers. The Full size is a nice option for growing kids, small guestrooms or a solo adult.
Queen: 60 inches wide by 80 inches long
The Queen is the most popular mattress size sold today. Many couples will opt for a Queen size when purchasing a mattress since they offer a nice balance between comfort (they are plenty roomy) and size (you can save some living space, as compared to a King size). They are also a great choice for guestrooms since they may host a variety of visitors, from couples to solo sleepers.
King: 76 inches wide by 80 inches long
King size beds offer the maximum amount of space for two sleepers. They are perfect for couples looking for some extra personal space or if their partner tends to toss and turn in their sleep. And with over 42 square feet of sleep surface, the King size bed provides ample room for furry friends or small children who may visit your bedroom during the night.
California king: 72 inches wide by 84 inches long
An offshoot of the King size bed, the California King was late to the game in terms of industry standardized mattress sizes. It gets its west coast identity from its roots in a Los Angeles based furniture store that designed the customized bed for large celebrity mansions. Cal King mattresses are 4 inches narrower than a conventional (or Eastern) King, and 4 inches longer. At exactly 7 feet long, the Cal King is a perfect option for taller people. Even though the Cal King loses 4 inches in width, this size still offers 6 more inches of sleeping surface per person than a Queen size bed.