Bed  Sizes & Dimensions

Not sure what size bed to get?  Keep reading.

What is the Best Bed Size for My Room?

I recently downsized from a Standard King (aka Eastern King) to a Queen size.  I did this for two reasons; my room is relatively small, and mattresses are HEAVY.  Since I test mattresses, I end up moving on to another mattress to sleep test every two weeks or so.  It is so much easier to move around Queen Size bed.  What I didn’t count on was the increased intimacy I discovered.  As much as he tries to, my husband has less room to run and hide from me.  My room now feels so much larger and I’m happier in general.

While putting together this mattress size comparison I compiled the results of a sleep study and found that 53% of the people that I surveyed sleep on a Queen size mattress.

The general rule of thumb is to make sure that you have 3 feet of space on each side of your bed.  You could get away with 2 feet, but your room will feel much larger if you ensure that you have 3 feet of clearance on all three sides of the bed.  To remember this rule of thumb just think 3X3, three sides three feet each.

Navigation Menu

  • Bed Size Table
  • King vs. California King
  • Split King vs King
  • King vs Queen
  • Full vs Queen
  • Full Size Bed Dimensions
  • Twin XL Size Bed Dimensions
  • Twin Size Bed Dimensions
  • Twin Vs. Twin XL

Bed Size Table

SizeDimensionsIdeal ForProsCons
Twin38″W x 75″LChildren, Single Adults (under 6 ft.)Leaves room for activities, used in most bunk bedsChildren will outgrow them
Twin XL38″W x 80″LSplit Adjustable bed users, Single Adults (up to 6’4″)Used in Adjustable beds (buy 2)Likely won’t fit in bunk bed
Full (Double)54″W x 75″LChildren, Single Adults, Skinny Adult CouplesWill make the room look largeToo small for most adults
Queen60″W x 80″LSingle Adults, Couple (average size increased intimacy)Ideal size for normal sized couplesToo small for tall and heavy people
King76″W x 80″LCouples, Couples with Large PetsIdeal size for large couplesWill take up large part of bedroom
California King72″W x 84″LCouples, Single Adults (comfortably up to 6’8″)Ideal size for tall couplesMore difficult to find bedding & frames
Split King [1][2]38″W x 80″LAdjustable Frame users (with different sleep preferences)You want firm, your partner wants soft, go split kingCreates a “no mans land”


[1] Split Kings have what I call “no mans land”.  There will be a dip between the mattress.  This means that you and your partner can’t use the middle of the bed, which otherwise is a nice meeting area for couples.
[2] You need to purchase 2 Twin XL mattresses for a split king.  This will allow you and your partner to have different angles on an adjustable bed.  Also you can choose to get two different types of mattresses, as long as they are similar in thickness.

King vs. California King

People ask me all the time, what is the difference between king and cal king.  The answer is easy you give up 4 inches of width to gain 4 inches of length as you move from a King to a Cal King.

  • King Size: 76 inches wide by 80 inches long
  • Cal King Size: 72 inches wide by 84 inches long

We just gave up our Queen for a King size.  My husband is 6’3″ and fits within the 80″ of length that both a Queen and a King share.  He doesn’t need the extra four inches of leg room that we would pick up if we were to change to a California king (aka “Western King).  Only about 1% of American society is taller than he, so the California King is a really small part of the market.  This, in turn, makes it more difficult, and sometimes costly to buy Cal King beds, and bedding.

The main question that you have to ask is: would I sacrifice 4″ of distance from my partner to pick up 4″ in leg room.  To make that decision you, or your partner, need to be really tall.  If you are under 6’2″ there are very few reasons to select a California King size.  Seriously, the only reason I can come up with for an average size male to pick a Cal King would be so that their dog can fit on the foot of the bed without being accidentally kicked.

Split King vs King

King size adjustable bed frames have two options.  You can either put a King mattress on them or you can put 2 Twin XL mattresses on them, for the split king option.  The Split King option allows you and your partner to have completely different mattresses.  If you have different mattress firmness desires this allows you to each get your own twin XL mattress.  In addition, you can set your side of the adjustable base to a different angle.  Perhaps you like the zero gravity position and he needs to be in the anti snore position.  The only way to accomplish this is with a Split King adjustable frame.  To read more about adjustable frames go to my best adjustable beds page.

Personally, I wouldn’t select a Split King as there is one major draw back.  When you have two separate mattresses sitting side by side, they won’t be connected.  This means that snuggling with your partner isn’t going to be comfortable.  This is the you can run and hide option, for decreasing intimacy between partners.

Are you curious to see how different mattresses perform on adjustable bases?

King Vs. Queen

The King is the same length as the Queen, but you pick up an extra 16″ of width.  The king size is recommended for large couples, or people who just want more space from their partner.  If you have a giant room and want extra space (and are under 6’6″) the King size is a nice choice.  For those who want a more intimate sleeping situation, or have a smaller room the queen size is a nice choice.

  • King Size Mattress: 76 inches wide by 80 inches long
  • Queen Size Mattress: 60 inches wide by 80 inches long

Remember the queen bed dimensions are 60″ by 80″ so only the width changes as you move to a king bed.  This is really the debate that all couples have to have at some point in their relationship.

Do we want the extra space provided by a king bed, or do we want the extra intimacy that you get from a queen size bed?

How are you going to use that extra foot and a quarter as you move from a queen to a king?

Do kids sneak into bed late at night?  If so, a queen likely won’t fit you, your partner and a growing child.

Full Size Vs. Queen Size

First let’s look at the sizes

  • Queen bed dimensions: 60 inches wide by 80 inches long
  • Full Size bed dimensions: 54 inches wide by 75 inches long

You can expect to save about $100-$200 if you downsize from a queen to a full size mattress.  Your room will feel a bit larger, but that’s about it.  If you are a couple the extra money that you have to spend to move up from a full to a queen size is well worth it.  Plus if you can get your mattress to last 7-10 years now you are only talking about $20 per year to invest in getting enough room so that your feet don’t hang off the edge of the bed.  Also your chances of catching an elbow from your partner will go down with that extra six inches (wide) of sleeping room.

Full Size Bed Dimensions

The full size bed is sometimes called a double bed.  It measures at 54″ wide by 75″ long.  So you are giving up 5 inches of length when compared to either the Queen or the King size bed.  You are also giving up 6 inches of width when compared to a queen size.

A normal size adult female hand is generally around 6 inches long.  So if you are considering moving from a full size into a queen you can take a quick estimate of how much space you are getting by putting your hand above your head and the other hand sticking out from your side.

I recommend this size for children, people with small rooms and single adults who are below average in height and weight.  A couple likely wouldn’t be happy with the dimensions of a full size bed, unless they are both very petite.

Twin XL Size Bed Dimensions

The Twin XL is the size for split king adjustable beds.  I can’t live without my adjustable bed, but split king adjustable beds just don’t work for me.  What happens with a split king is you have to purchase two Twin XL mattresses.  Think of them as his and hers.  So you have ultimate control of your side right?  You could get an organic latex mattress and he could have something completely different like a pillow top, right?  Well, yes and no.  Sure you could do completely different sides, but then you have serious issues in the middle.  If one is way less firm than the other or one is taller than the other, gravity will kick in and you will find yourself rolling to the other side of the bed.

The Twin XL is 38″ Wide by 80″ Long.  Let the length sink in for a bit.  At 80 inches it is the same length as a queen or a standard sized king mattress.  Have you ever seen a kids bunk bed built for people up to 6’2″?  Probably not.  So that is how you can remember when you are shopping, “why am I buying a Twin size mattress?”  If the answer is for a bunkbed then you need a twin.  If it is for two adults on a split king adjustable bed, then you have the right size.

I recommend this size for adults that are going to purchase a split king adjustable base.

Twin Size Bed Dimensions

The Twin is the size you need if you have a bunk bed, possibly the size of a dorm room bed.

The Twin XL is 38″ Wide by 75″ Long.  So it is 5 inches shorter than a queen or a king, but it is way less wide.  It will be exactly half the width as a king size mattress.

This is the standard size for children’s bunk beds.

Twin or Twin XL

This is really easy.  If you are buying something for a kid (think bunk bed) you need a twin.  If you are buying 2 mattresses for a split king adjustable bed, then you need 2 Twin XL mattresses.

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