Beds are made in standard sizes, such as twin, full, queen and king sizes. It is recommended that you find a bed size that is at least four inches (10cm) longer than the tallest person who will sleep in it. The following measurements can be taken to ensure you get the right bed size.
Measuring a Bed
Strip the bed of all bedding. You will want to measure it from the exact edge.
Grab a retractable measuring tape. You may ask a friend to help you hold the measuring tape if it does not lock into place.
Keep a pen and paper nearby to write down the measurements for future reference. You will be able to use these measurements to see what type of bed you have in the next step. Alternatively, you can measure a space in your house to see what size bed will fit comfortably in the room.
Place one end of the measuring tape at the left side of the bed. Pull the tape out until it reaches the right edge of the bed. Write down this width measurement.
Set the end of the tape at the middle top of the bed. Extend the tape till you get to the middle bottom of the bed. Write down this length measurement.
Determining Bed Size
Determine if your small bed is a twin. Most twin beds are 39 inches (99 cm) wide, while a “narrow” twin is 36 inches (91 cm) wide. Standard length will be 75 inches (191 cm) long.
In the UK, a single bed is 36 inches (91 cm) wide.
An extra-long twin, like the beds in most dorm rooms, is 80 inches (203 cm) long. Look for sheet sets that say “x-long twin.”
This bed size is used for most standard bunk beds.
Move on to a full size bed if the bed is 54 inches (137 cm) wide. It should also be 75 inches (191 cm) long. In England and occasionally in the US, this is referred to as a “double” bed.
While a twin bed fits one person, a full bed is best for one large person or two small children or adults.
Increase your size to a queen bed if the width is 60 inches (152 cm). The length should be 80 inches (203 cm). If the length is 84 inches (213 cm), it is a California queen sized bed.
There is no equivalent to a queen sized bed in the UK. The next largest size is a king.
Another type of queen, called the “super,” or “expanded” queen is 66 inches (168 cm) wide and 80 inches (203 cm) long. The expanded is also thicker than the super or the standard queen.
Queen sized beds and larger are designed with enough room for two adults.
Judge if your bed is a king size. If it is 76 inches (193 cm) wide and 80 inches (203 cm) long, it is a standard king. A UK king sized bed is much smaller at 60 inches (152 cm) wide and 78 inches (198 cm) long.
Look through the additional options if your bed or space is even larger. A California king is 72 inches (183 cm) wide by 84 inches (213cm) long and a Grand king is 80 inches (203 cm) wide and 98 inches (249 cm) long. A super king bed in the UK is 72 inches (183 cm) wide and 78 inches (198 cm) long.
If you are choosing a bed for a room based on these measurements, remember that you should have a foot or two of space on each side for easy movement about the room.
It is a good idea to measure the depth of your mattress before you purchase sheet sets. Pillow-top or extra thick mattresses require deeper pockets. Look for an indication that your sheet sets will fit a pillow-top or extra-thick mattress.
It is harder to find non-standard sheet sets, like those for the California queen, super king, or expanded queen. They are likely to be more expensive because of their large size and scarcity.
Things You’ll Need
Retractable measuring tape
Sources and Citations
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