Sleep 101: Choosing the Correct Mattress Size

by SleePare

By Billy Peery | 5 Minute Read

Have you ever felt your bed is small and your feet are hanging off the edge? If your answer is yes, then you know how bad it feels. It can become challenging to sleep on a small mattress, especially when you’re tired and your body aches for a comfy snooze.

Did you know that men move more than women while sleeping? According to a Norwegian University research, lifestyle factors (such as smoking) and your gender can influence how much you move during the night. Research shows you move more in sleep as you age or gain weight. 

As we grow bigger, our body needs more surface area. Also, when we start sharing a bed, we may need extra space to avoid stacking upon each other.

Mattress Sizes Are Different All Over the World

Did you know that common mattress sizes are different all over the world? 

Yes, you read that right.

A King size bed in Singapore has different dimensions from a King size bed in the US. 

It’s because people have different average heights all over the world, and mattress companies keep that in mind before launching their products in the market.

Also, don’t forget to double-check the dimensions of the bed, regardless of the size claimed if your mattress is manufactured outside of the US, or imported from another country. 

A King-sized mattress from China may be smaller than a King size bed in the US.

Here is a list of standard US and EU mattress dimensions in cms and inches so you can understand the mattress size variations.

American mattress sizes: 

 

  • King Size: 193cm x 203cm (76’’ x 80’’) 
  • Cal King Size: 183cm x 213cm (72’’ x 84’’)                          
  • Queen Size: 168cm x 203cm ( 66’’ x 80’’)                             
  • Full Size: 137cm x 191cm (54’’ x 75’’)                                    
  • Twin XL Size: 99cm x 203cm (39’’ x 80’’)                 
  • Twin Size: 99cm x 191cm (39’’ x 75’’)                       

 

European mattress sizes:

 

  • King Size: 180cm x 200cm (71’’ x 79’’)
  • Queen Size: 160cm x 200cm (63’’ x 79’’)
  • Double Size (Full): 140cm x 200cm (55’’ x 79’’)
  • Single Size (Twin): 90cm x 200cm ( 35’’ x 79’’)

Important Factors to Determine the Right Mattress Size

Here are a few important factors you should consider before choosing your mattress.

 

  • Do you share your bed?

Mattress size depends on whether you’re sleeping alone or sharing a bed. If your partner pushes you towards the edge, then you could try a bigger size. 

People who share a bed generally go for a spacious sleep surface.

Especially if your kids are young and sleep with you, a small mattress will disrupt your sleep. 

The only way you can improve your sleep in this scenario is by getting a bigger bed. 

This way, you and your kids will have extra space to move. There have been accidents when parents have fallen asleep on their babies due to a lack of space.

When sharing, a King size mattress offers better sleep than a Queen size. In America, a Queen size is only 80’’ wide, which means, there is less space for each person. You should go for a King or Cali King.

 

  • Do you move a lot while sleeping?

On average, we move 40-60 times in bed during sleep. While some people may not move as much, it may become a problem for those who do. 

Choose a bigger bed size to move freely during the night. 

According to a study, people between 20 and 34 have more arm and limb movements than those of age greater than 35. So if you’re young and often feel like you’ve reached the edge of the bed, then it is time to get a bigger mattress.

Also, a large bed can improve motion isolation as it dampens the wave produced by the partner movement. 

As a result, you can enjoy a night of undisturbed sleep.

 

  • Are you on a limited budget?

Mattresses come in various sizes at a different price range, making it difficult for you to find the best mattress at the right price. 

For single adults, Twin to Full mattresses are a perfect fit as they have ample space for you to stretch out. However, Full mattresses are slightly expensive, and unless you’re overweight or sleep with a pet, a Twin mattress can certainly save you some bucks. 

California King is the biggest standard-sized mattress and priced high too. It is the most suitable size for couples and families with pets. If you and your partner are overweight, King size mattress is your best choice. 

However, if you are on a limited budget, a Queen can be almost as comfortable a choice for you. In fact, the Queen is the most popular bed size among American couples as it is affordable and offers enough space per person. You can even bring in your pet or a toddler to share the bed with you and your sleep partner. 

But, if the budget is extremely tight, try Full mattress size but choose it only if you and your partner are thin, sleep in one position most of the night, and enjoy intimacy. 
 

  • Considering the mattress foundation/bed frame

The bed foundation should match the mattress size. A small mattress foundation cannot hold a larger mattress properly. 

Doing so will not only disrupt your sleep but also damage your mattress. So when you replace your mattress with a larger sized one, keep in mind that you’ll have to upgrade the foundation size as well.

Moreover, mattresses bigger in size weigh more too. Even if you somehow balance your mattress on a small foundation, the mattress will start to drop from the edges. 

You will lose all the edge support, which assists a person in getting out of the mattress. The foundation can break as well.

 

  • Are you buying the bed for your growing kid?

If you are buying a mattress for your growing child, then always consider getting a bigger mattress. For instance, teens nearing growth spurts require a Full mattress instead of a Twin. Similarly, if they’re on the taller side, invest in a Twin XL instead of a Twin. 

You don’t change your mattress every few months, and it is a product you buy once in a decade. Let’s say your child is 13 years old. In 5 years, your child will be an adult and will have reached his/her maximum size. 

You will save money if you buy a Full-Size mattress now and save yourself from the hassle of buying a new one in a couple of years and then getting used to sleeping on it.

 

  • Considerations for Mattress Length

For a peaceful snooze, your limbs should stay within the boundary of your mattress. 

Sleeping on a mattress that’s too short will have your feet hanging off the footboard, which can be annoying. 

According to sleep experts, your mattress should be at least 12 inches longer than your height. 

The average height of an American is 5 feet 9 inches, which means your bed should be around 6 ft 6 inches long. 

People who are taller than 6 feet should consider getting a Cali King. It offers 4 inches extra compared to the King size.  

 

  • Considerations for Mattress Width

When you are young, you can sleep comfortably on a Twin, but when you’re all grown up, it’s time to invest in a bigger bed. 

For a peaceful snooze with enough space for side to side body movements, the recommended mattress width is at least 35 Inches. 

A bed narrower than this will make you limit your movements and disrupt your rest. Bed-sharing adults should consider sleeping on a King size mattress. 

The difference between a King and a Cali King is mostly related to length. People who are tall and lean may not need to focus too much on the width of the mattress.

Whenever purchasing a mattress, always keep your body structure and sleep style in mind to select the best mattress size. 

Your body is special and unique and deserves the best bed for optimal rest.

 

 

Dustin Morgan

Dustin Morgan


Dustin is the lead content creator at SleePare. With a degree in Computer Science and extensive experience reviewing mattresses, curating comparisons and advising on "best of" guides, he's truly a mattress technology expert.

Dustin has perfected this method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he's not only able to discern the overall value of a specific bed, but to assign its value to different types of sleepers.

Along with creating honest and straightforward mattress features, Dustin enjoys creating pieces aimed at helping people get their best sleep ever.

When he's not creating helpful content, Dustin enjoys jogging, fishing, hunting and playing video games in and around his Virginia home.