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Mattress Sizes:
What Size is Best for You?

Choosing the Right Mattress Sizes for You and Your Family

The first thing to consider when choosing a mattress size is obviously the size of the person sleeping on the mattress and the size of the room the bed will live in.

A child has different needs than those of a 6’+ tall Norwegian couple who likes to sleep with their 2 mastiffs. Are you a starfish sleeper or do you prefer the coffin position? Do you tend to move around a lot? Do you often find yourself falling asleep on your back and waking up on your face on the other side of the bed? To meet all of your needs, Mattress Express carries every size suitable to your preference.

Standard Mattress Sizes

Kevin Fear, owner of Mattress express explains mattress sizes.

  • Twin Bed: 39″ x 75″
  • Twin XL Bed: 39″ x 80″
  • Full Bed: 54″ x 75″
  • Full XL Bed: 54″ x 80″
  • Queen Bed: 60″ x 80″
  • King Bed: 76″ x 80″
  • California King Bed: 72″ x 84″

Mattress Sizes Explained


 Twin/Twin XL Mattress

Depending on the age of the child/person and the size of the room, a twin, twin XL, or even a full might be preferred.   If space is not abundant and your children/roommates share a room or sleep in bunk beds, a twin size is most likely necessary.

A mattress of 8” depth is fine for a smaller child, but will not provide enough cushioning for a teenager or adult.  Most children are ready to transition from a crib mattress to an adult bed around the age of 2 or 3. Many children prefer to sleep with their parent(s), some until the age of 6 or 7, but this just depends on personal parenting preference.  Even if your child sleeps with you nightly, they should still have their own bed. The level of firmness should take into consideration the teen’s weight. a general rule is: for 25-31 lbs choose medium firmness; for more than 31 lbs firm firmness; and softer beds for under 25 lbs.

A comfortable mattress size should also function to sleep cool as this will also encourage the child to sleep on their own.  For example, if the family pets will be sleeping in the bed too, the size should allow for extra “breathing” space.

Children with allergies can be sensitive to synthetic mattresses made of materials such as latex and organic cotton, so you may want to select a mattress size is also labeled hypoallergenic.  If your family tends to be taller genetically, you might want to consider skipping the twin size altogether and opting for a twin XL, full size, or even queen size so that they don’t grow out of the mattress as they become a teenager. Most, if not all, young children experience bed wetting as they adjust to sleeping through the night without needing to use the bathroom.  So when choosing a mattress size you’ll want to select a same size waterproof mattress cover to avoid such an accident ruining the mattress.

Full & Queen Size Mattress

Most teenagers are near the size of an adult, so when your child outgrows their childhood mattress, it’s wise to go ahead and shop for an adult size. At 75 inches long, a full size mattress may be too short for taller teens and a queen would be a better fit.

At 53 inches wide, a full size or double mattress is usually not wide enough for two adults to sleep comfortably, offering only 27” (crib width) of sleeping space for each. The queen size is the most popular size, at 60”x80”.

Though 7 inches may not seem like a lot, it can make all the difference in having enough elbow room when the bed is being used for two.

For single sleepers, many find having extra space a necessity and prefer a queen size. While a king offers even more space to stretch out, it does consume quite a bit more floor space. If you are a single sleeper who likes to sleep with pets, a queen size mattress should be just enough space to accommodate you all comfortably. A couple sleeping with pets will find a queen size a bit cramped, even if kitty sleeps on your head.

A king size mattress affords you an extra 16 inches of width, if you like the feeling of independence when sharing a bed. The California King gives away 4 inches in width and gains 4 inches in length, so if you’re tall and have the bedroom space, it’s the best choice.  Since your quality mattress investment will last 10+ years, it’s diligent to consider how you will re-purpose it down the road, such as when your child moves away from home.

King/California King Size Mattress

There are many reasons for choosing a King over a queen size mattress. The most common reason being a family who likes to share their bed with children and pets, and who like enough space between so as not to get overheated while sleeping.

The ample space also minimizes interruptions while you sleep. Most individuals who fall into the category of Big and Tall will be able to find ample comfort on a mattress that is King or California King size.

Mattress depth is important here, as heavier individuals will sink further into the mattress. Look for mattresses with a depth of at least 12 inches. The mattress should be firm enough to be supportive, but not too firm that it causes pressure points.

High-density mattresses are a great option for people of a larger size, as they will provide enough support for those who sink far into the mattresses.

A king size mattress affords you an extra 16 inches of width from a queen (60”), making a total width of 76 inches. A California King gives away 4 inches in width from a king and but gains 4 inches in length, making it a better choice for taller individuals.

Child and Crib Mattress

Though you might think that a soft or pillow top mattress would suit the lighter weight of a toddler or baby, for safety reasons the mattress should be fairly firm.

It should be firm enough that there is no indentation where the baby has been lying on it, and there should be nothing else like blankets, pillows or stuffed toys around your baby as these could cause a blockage of air-flow.  This is because an infant doesn’t have the strength to move itself out of position if they flip over on their tummy and their face pushes into the mattress. The federal government regulates the standard mattress sizes for cribs via the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 20012 (CPSIA). The minimum size is 27 1/4” x 51 5/8” with a thickness not exceeding 6 inches. Since crib dimensions can vary, its best to adhere to the rule of thumb that no more than two fingers of gap should exist between the side of the mattress and the crib frame. Any space more than two fingers width means that the mattress is too small and suffocation or entrapment poses a hazard.

You can find more information on how to keep your sleeping baby safe at the American Academy of Pediatrics

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