Tips for Choose The Right Size Bed

The bed sizes available in the United States are Twin, Single, Double, Full, Queen, King, California King, Western King, and Eastern King.

How in the world is anyone supposed to know the difference between all the bed sizes on the market today? Even the sales person in your local department store bed department might not have all the facts. It can be a very overwhelming decision. So, what exactly is the difference between the different sizes of beds available?

Read on for help understanding the sizes of beds on the market, and how to decide which one is right for your needs.

Some manufacturers will custom-cut beds larger or smaller than standard sizes, but beware of these custom made beds. While it may seem appealing to have a custom size bed, you may have trouble finding bedding to fit.


Twin, Single, and Extra-Long Twin Beds

  • Twin beds are also known as single beds. They’re the most common choice for children’s rooms or multi-use guest rooms. These beds are narrow and fit easily into the smallest bedroom. Often twin beds have a “trundle” underneath to accommodate a sleep-over or second guest. Twin beds are used for bunk beds too.
    • Overall dimensions: 39″ wide x 75″ long”
    • Width per person: 39″
    • Pros: Because of its small size it will fit easily into smaller bedrooms. Twin sheets are the least costly of all sheet sizes and are available in lots of patterns. It’s easy to make a twin bed.
    • Cons: A standard size is too short for many adults.
  • Twin Extra Long beds are 5″ longer than a standard twin. They’re often used in college dorm rooms to accommodate tall teens.
    • Overall dimensions: 39″ wide x 80″ long
    • Width per person: 39″
    • Pros: The longer length is good for taller teens and adults. It’s easy to make since it’s narrow. If you need flexibility in a guest room, two extra long twins are a good choice. They can be used as singles or pushed together to form a king size bed.
    • Cons: Bedding is difficult to find and not available in every pattern.

Note: What is considered “standard” is occasionally changed by some manufacturers. Before you go shopping for bedding, be sure to know the exact measurements of the bed you have purchased. Some standard fitted sheets may not fit.


Double, Full, or Queen Size Beds

Any of these sizes fit in a normal room, but many couples feel that a Full or Double bed (they’re essentially the same thing) is definitely too narrow for anything more than an occasional night’s sleep. A Queen size bed gives each one a bit more room without taking up too much more floor space.

Here’s the main difference between Full and Queen beds:

  • Double or Full beds are 15″ wider than a Twin, but if two share the bed, each has only 27″ of personal space — much less than a twin!
  • A Queen bed is 6″ wider than a Double bed, allowing more room for each person, but still 9″ less than a twin bed.
  • Double beds (also known as Full) were the most common for two to sleep in until the 1960’s. They’re only 15″ wider than a Single bed, leaving only 27″ of sleep space for each of two adults. At 75″ long, a Full-size bed may be too short for some taller adults.
    • Overall dimensions: 54″ wide x 75″ long
    • Width per person: 27″
    • Pros: Fits into smaller rooms. Might be just right for a single sleeper who is under 5’5″ tall. Sheets are less expensive than queen or king size.
    • Cons: Many people find a Double bed too narrow for 2 adults and too short as well.