How do I Pick the Right Mattress Size?

Mattress Size

Getting a good quality night’s sleep can often prove challenging, and it may feel as though you have tried every tip and trick out there to help you drift off at night. If this is the case, you are not alone — around 68% of Americans have trouble sleeping on a weekly basis.

There are, however, key factors that are often overlooked when trying to get a comfortable and deep sleep. Of course, your sleep environment and activities throughout the day can have an impact, but choosing the right mattress can massively improve the quality of sleep you get.

Without the right mattress, efforts toward bettering your sleep will likely be diminished. In particular, the size of your mattress is a crucial factor to consider as you need to provide yourself with enough space to sleep comfortably.

In this article, we will cover the importance of a suitably sized mattress, how to choose the right size for your needs, and what sizes are available. Additionally, we have included a section on mattresses recommended by sleep experts to make it even easier to find the perfect mattress.

How important is mattress size?

The size of the mattress you choose will impact your sleep if it is not suitable. A mattress that is too small will result in you feeling cramped and unable to move around, or you will likely find yourself bumping into your partner. On the other hand, the right size mattress will allow you to sleep comfortably and lie in a position that will fully support your body.

There are several aspects to consider when selecting a mattress including the type, materials used, thickness, and firmness. However, you could spend hours choosing the perfect hybrid or memory foam mattress, but if the overall size is not right, you will find that you get less quality sleep throughout the night.

Whether you are sleeping alone or with a partner, you will need to consider what your requirements are in order to make an informed decision about the size of mattress you opt for.


How do I choose the most suitable mattress size?

When deciding on the right mattress size, there are several key factors to weigh up which are as follows:

  • Size of the person using the mattress
  • Number of people using the mattress
  • Identifying the space available
  • Location of the room
  • Cost of the mattress

Size of the person using the mattress

Your height will be a considerable factor when choosing the right mattress. If you are under 6 feet tall, you will usually find that any size mattress will accommodate your height. On the other hand, if you are over 6 feet, you will most likely need a longer mattress — these are Twin XL, Queen, King, and California King.

Additionally, the sleep position you prefer will also play a part in how much space you need. Sleeping on your front or back usually requires more bed space as you’ll sleep fully extended and be in need of more legroom to stretch. This is also true if you find that you toss and turn throughout the night; if you have a partner it is best to provide yourself with ample room to move freely without waking them up.

Number of people using the mattress

Identifying the number of individuals that will be sleeping on the mattress will really help you decide on the size you need. Naturally, the more adults, children, or pets sharing a bed, the larger the mattress needed.

The majority of couples find that a Queen size mattress is the minimum size available that allows enough space for each individual. Taller couples, and couples who like to share the bottom of their bed with pets, however, are likely to benefit from a longer mattress like a California King. If you share your bed with your pet, you’re not alone — in the US, nearly half of dogs and 62% of cats sleep on their owner’s bed.

Another option is a King size mattress (the size between a California King and a Queen), which is usually the perfect choice for couples who are sharing their bed with a child.

If you are a single person, there are plenty of options available in terms of size that will provide ample space for you to sleep comfortably. Both the Twin XL and the Twin sizes are suitable for single adults, with the Twin size also being a good option for children. Single, taller adults who are over 6 feet tall will usually find that a Full (Double) sized mattress accommodates their height, allowing them to fully stretch out — this is important in order to avoid back and joint issues as a result of being cramped during the night.


Available Space

Choosing the right mattress for you will also be dependent on the space you have available. If your bedroom or sleeping area is on the smaller side, you may want to opt for a smaller-sized mattress and bed frame to avoid them being obtrusive.

It is advisable to choose a bed size that fits comfortably in the space you have, as well in an easily accessible place. For example, having a bed in the corner of a room is not convenient if you have a partner as one of you will have to climb over the mattress to reach the other side.

Location of the room

An often overlooked aspect of buying a new mattress is the logistics of getting it into the room it will be used in. If your home has narrow corridors or low ceilings, it can be hard to maneuver a mattress into place. This does not necessarily mean you will need to buy a smaller mattress though as many companies now offer mattresses delivered in boxes, making the unpacking process much easier.

Cost of the mattress

The cost of a mattress varies considerably depending on quality, type, and of course, size. For budget-friendly options, you will likely be looking in the region of $450-$1300, and for higher-end mattresses, you could be paying around $1200-$2500.

Like many products, the larger the mattress, the more expensive it will be. When choosing a new mattress, it is best to aim for a balance between budget and your size requirements.

What sizes do mattresses come in?

There are six standard sizes of mattresses available which are Twin, Twin XL, Full (Double), Queen, King, and California King. These run from smallest to largest and have different dimensions which facilitate the number of individuals, and the height of the sleepers. Before you purchase a new mattress, check the dimensions to make sure the mattress will fit in the intended space.

Twin: Twin size mattresses are the smallest standard size available. A twin bed is generally chosen for children and teenagers but is also an option for adults of average height or less, who have limited space.


Twin XL: Although the same width as a Twin, the Twin XL mattress size is 5 inches longer, making it a more suitable option for taller teenagers and single adults. Again, this mattress size is good for those with smaller rooms — think college dorms or box rooms.

Full: Also known as a Double Bed, a Full mattress is perfect for those who sleep by themselves and are of average height. This size of mattress provides ample room to move around during the night without fear of falling off the edge of the bed. Additionally, whilst it is possible to fit two adults on a Full mattress, it does not normally allow enough room to sleep comfortably.

Queen: A Queen mattress is a great option for couples of average height as it can accommodate two adults comfortably. Also, a Queen mattress takes up less floor space than a King or California King which means it fits in more rooms.

King: The widest standard mattress size available, a King size mattress is perfect for couples who want to sleep alongside children or pets. It is also longer than a Queen or Full mattress which provides more legroom for taller individuals. For couples who have different firmness preferences, there is the option of a Split King which is essentially two Twin mattresses of different firmness on a King-sized base.

California King: The California King is the longest mattress available, however, it is slightly narrower than a King-sized mattress. Seeing as the California King has such a large surface area, it is suitable for multiple individuals as well as pets. The only real downside is that it does require a large amount of space to house it comfortably in a room.

The following table summarises the standard mattress sizes to help you choose a mattress that is right for your requirements:

Crib MattressTwinTwin XLFullQueenKingCalifornia King
Mattress Dimensions27.25 inches by 51 inches38 inches by 75 inches38 inches by 80 inches54 inches by 75 inches60 inches by 80 inches76 inches by 80 inches72 inches by 84 inches
Recommended forBabies and small childrenChildren, teens, and single adults under 6 feet tallTeens or single adults over 6 feet tallSingle adults under 6 feet tallCouples not sharing with pets or childrenCouples desiring more space, couples sharing with a childTall couples, those sharing with pets
Minimum room sizen/a7 feet by 10 feet9 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 6 inches9 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 6 inches10 feet by 10 feet12 feet by 12 feet12 feet by 12 feet

What is the best mattress to buy?

From mattress sizes to sleep positions, there are plenty of factors you will need to research when trying to figure out what mattress to buy. This can be a time-consuming process when you consider the number of factors you will need to decide on. To make your life a little easier, sleep experts SFGATE have compiled a list of the best mattresses of 2022 to help you in your journey to buy a new mattress.

Here are the top recommendations:

Best Mattress OverallAmerisleep AS3
Best Memory Foam MattressZoma Mattress
Best Mattress for the MoneyVaya Mattress
Best Luxury MattressNolah Evolution 15
Best Natural MattressOrganica
Best Mattress for Back SleepersSaatva Classic
Best Hybrid MattressGhostBed Flex
Best Mattress for Side SleepersTuft & Needle Mint
Best Cooling MattressBrooklyn Bedding Aurora
Best Mattress for Pressure ReliefPurple Hybrid
Best Soft MattressAmerisleep AS5
Best Mattress for Stomach SleepersHelix Dawn Luxe
Best Latex MattressAvocado Green Mattress
Best Firm MattressLayla Hybrid
Best Mattress on AmazonZoma Start

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