The Ultimate Guide to Bed Sizes

woman in purple tank top sleeps sideways on bed with white sheets

A good night’s rest begins and ends with the right bed, in the right size. 

Too small and you’re squished and uncomfortable. Too large and the bed can take up all the available space in the room, leaving nothing for even a bedside table. 

Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you need to find the bed size that is just right for you.

When it comes to bed sizes, you’re probably familiar with twin, double, king and queen sizes. But have you heard of a short queen or a California king?

Here are the most common bed sizes:

  • Crib—as the name suggests, this is a crib-size mattress. A full-size crib mattress is 27.5” W x 52” L and, by law, can be no more than 6” thick.
  • Twin/Single—this size is 39” W x 75” L and is intended to accommodate one person only ... ideally someone under 6’3”.
  • Twin XL—measuring slightly longer than a standard twin, the twin XL is 80” L, which means it can accommodate a taller individual.
  • Full/Double—at 54” W x 75” L, this size is good for a single adult or two adults who like to be cozy.
  • Queen—60” W x 80” L is a good size for couples or families who find that little ones climb in once in a while.
  • Short Queen—60” W x 75” L, the slightly shorter length makes it ideal for smaller spaces, like a boat or RV.
  • King—76” W x 80” L, the aptly named ‘King of Beds’ is the perfect choice when there are more than two people or pets vying for space.
  • California King—measuring in at 72” W x 84” L, the compromise on width with a little more in the length is intended to help out taller individuals.

Now we’ll take a closer look at each bed size to help you figure out which mattress makes perfect sense for your situation.

Bed Size Guide to Crib Mattresses

baby sleeps on crib mattress

There is no denying that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own crib with no blankets, pillows or bumpers. 

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is the second-leading cause of death for infants in Canada. Having a safe place to put baby to bed dramatically reduces this risk.

The size is actually stipulated by federal law to ensure that cribs and crib mattresses are standardized, minimizing the risk of injury. 

Crib mattresses also fit in most toddler beds. So when your child is ready to upgrade, you’ll be able to move their mattress with them.

Bed Size Guide to Twin/Single Mattresses

For a comfortable sleep, a twin/single is best suited for one person. 

What are the best uses for a twin/single bed?

If you’re accommodating one person in a relatively small space, this is the perfect fit. For example:

  • a child who has outgrown their toddler bed
  • rooms where siblings are sleeping in the same space but each need their own bed
  • a teenager living in a smaller room
  • furnishing a cottage bedroom

Another great option, if you need a guest bed in a space that also serves as an office or den, is to use a twin/single bed and turn it into a daybed or seating area when it’s not in use for sleeping.

It’s certainly more comfortable than most pull-out sofas, and will serve you for a long time in both capacities.

For kids, it’s an option to skip the overpriced toddler bed setup and move them directly from a crib to a twin/single.

They’ll get more use out of it over the long term as they won’t outgrow it for quite some time.

What size room do you need for a twin/single size bed?

This size bed will work well in any space that is more than 70 square feet.

What size person can fit in a twin/single bed?

At 75” long, a twin/single bed is best for someone who is under 6’ tall.

Taller individuals who are still space constrained, like an adult living in a studio apartment or a teenager in a dorm room, might want to look to a twin XL so their toes aren’t hanging off the end.

TIP for light sleepers: Two twin XL mattresses can fit on a king-size bed frame. So if your partner likes a different kind of mattress firmness, or has restless leg syndrome, this is a good option.

Bed Size Guide to Full/Double Mattresses

woman waking up from sleep on full/double bed

For a comfortable sleep, a full/double is best suited for one person, or two very cozy people.

What are the best uses for a full/double bed?

For an adult who wants to be more comfortable, a full/double is a good choice. It allows you to spread out a bit more without taking up a huge amount of space in the room.

Couples can use a full/double if they are constrained by space—in a small condo or apartment. It’s a bit of a squeeze, though, offering less legroom than a queen. 

If you have a dedicated guest room, a full/double is perfect.

What size room do you need for a full/double bed?

This size bed will work well in any space that over 100 square feet.

Don’t forget that many bunk beds come with a twin/single at the top and a full/double on the bottom, creating an even better set up for the cottage or vacation home.

What size person can fit in a full/double bed?

If sleeping alone, the full 54” of width is available. That’s plenty of space to move around! Count on only 27”each, if you’re two.

From a height perspective, a full/double can accommodate anyone up to 6’2”.

Bed Size Guide to Queen Mattresses

man, woman and golden lab dog sleep on queen-size bed

A queen-size bed can comfortably fit two people. In fact, it’s the most common choice for couples.

What are the best uses for a queen bed?

For a couple that wants a little bit of space, and maybe include a pet or the occasional rogue child, a queen-size bed works well. 

If you’re co-sleeping on a regular basis with a child, however, it might be best to look to a king-size bed for a better fit.

What size room do you need for a queen bed?

At this size, the dimensions of the room matter a great deal more, particularly if you have other furniture to place in the room, like a dresser or a chair. A queen bed works well in any room larger than 120 square feet.

If you’re looking to put a queen mattress into a space like an RV or a boat, a short queen is ideal. At 60” W x 75” L, it’s just that little bit shorter to easily fit into tight spaces.

What size person can fit in a queen bed?

If you’re sleeping alone, you can enjoy the full 60” all to yourself. Couples have to split that in half, which means 30” each. That’s still plenty of room for two.

From a height perspective, a queen is a full 5” longer than a full/double and can accommodate anyone up to 6’8”.

If you have a pet who likes to snuggle up at night, and if you have enough space in the room, a queen-size bed should do the trick.

Bed Size Guide to King Mattresses

cat, man and child holding teddy bear sleep on king bed

A king-size bed can comfortably fit two people ... plus Fluffy, Fido and Junior.

What are the best uses for a king-size bed?

For a sprawling couple or full-size family, a king bed is a must. If you have the budget and the space, a king-size bed ensures a better night’s sleep for everyone.

Couples have 38” each. That’s a lot. Better still, if you want all that space for yourself, the 76” is pure heaven.

What size room do you need for a king bed?

A minimum of 144 square feet of space is needed to comfortably accommodate a king-size bed. 

If your room is more oblong than square, a California king might be a good choice, as it is 4” narrower and 4” longer.

What size person can fit in a king bed?

From a height perspective, a king bed can accommodate a person up to 6’8”. The California king may sacrifice 4” in width, but it gives you 4” inches in length, so it’s perfect for tall people.

Still Not Sure What Size Mattress You Need?

Use our handy mattress size calculator to help you decide which bed size is best for your lifestyle.

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