Choosing the Right Size Mattress

When the time comes to purchase a new mattress, you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed by the many sizes and other options. As a relatively significant financial investment, you will want to make the best choice possible, and the first step is to determine your budget and your individual needs. Your mattress should fundamentally provide adequate support so that your head, shoulders, and spine are properly aligned. It should be neither too firm nor too soft, as either situation will affect your body’s alignment. A big part of choosing the best mattress is deciding upon the best size for your purposes.

More Compact Options

Twin and full beds are the smallest options beyond crib and toddler mattresses. Twin or single mattresses generally measure 38 inches wide, with full or double mattresses measuring 15 inches wider and both coming in at 75 inches long. Due to their compact size, adults with a height over 5 foot 5 inches may prefer a larger mattress. However, a twin XL mattress represents an additional option and one that is popular in college dormitories because of its additional 5 to 6 inches in length.

Choosing to Spread Out

Queen and King mattresses offer much more space and are generally the better choice for couples. As the most popular mattress choice, queen beds provide approximately 60 inches in width and 80 inches in length, which translates into about 30 inches of personal space per sleeper. These are popular for couples, single sleepers who want to spread out, and smaller master bedrooms. King mattresses, meanwhile, offer up 18 additional inches in width to deliver about the same space as each sleeper having their own twin bed. However, a King bed can be quite cumbersome, especially for smaller bedrooms and for corridors, doors, and stairwells when moving. One option on the west coast of the USA is a California King, which is 4 inches narrower and 4 inches longer at 72 by 84 inches.

Sizing Up Your Mattress

To calculate the best mattress size for you, pull out your measuring tape and calculator to measure how much space is available in your bedroom. This will help ensure that you plan your mattress to suit your sleeping space, and not the other way around.

1.    Measure your room’s dimensions, and determine the available square footage by multiplying length by width. This will help you recognize what will and will not fit into your bedroom.

2.    Then, measure the dimensions of the furniture in your bedroom, including bookcases, nightstands, and dressers. This will help you rearrange your living space if necessary.

3.    Create a floor plan on graphing paper with windows, doors, and closets, followed by furniture and then your mattress. Try out a few different arrangements to find the best one.

4.    Consider various sizes, but remember that a headboard and footboard will generally take up an additional 4 inches in length. Now, you’ll know what mattress size will work best!

As a final step, you might create a life-sized layout and use it to test out a particular mattress size. You can even lay down in your imagined bed to try out the size of the mattress that you have in mind.


You can further tailor your mattress to your preferences in terms of materials and more specialized options, like flexible futon mattresses. In any case, planning ahead and determining the best mattress size for your bedroom will go a long way toward creating the perfect sleeping haven for your home.