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Mattress Sizes: What’s The Difference?

It’s time to answer the age-old question that has been plaguing bedrooms since the beginning of time: Does size matter? Mattress size, that is (you can take a breath now, fellas).

The best mattress size for you depends on a number of factors, including how many people are sleeping in the bed, your height, and the size of your room; however, there are options outside of just the standard beds you see on the showroom floor, as well as additional considerations to take into account before you take the leap and buy.

Mattress sizes can be broken down into two categories: those for multiple sleepers and those for single sleepers. According to Sleep Foundation, the best mattresses for couples and co-sleeping families are queen, king, and California king while the best options for single sleepers are twin, twin XL, and full.

While standard king, queen, twin, and full mattresses are widely recognized by shoppers and are readily available for purchase at just about any retail outlet, out-of-the-norm sizes like twin XL and California king are also options to think about, especially if you have special sleeping circumstances.

King Vs. California King

There’s nothing like checking into a spacious hotel room and flopping down on a king-size bed with linens tightly tucked around all the sides to keep you feeling swaddled like a newborn baby throughout the night. At 76 by 80 inches wide and 6,080 square inches of surface area, there’s plenty of room for you and your partner to sleep together without feeling like you’re sleeping together. After all, space is healthy for a relationship, right?

If you’re considering bringing a little hotel luxury to your home and springing for a king size mattress, here are a few pros and cons to consider according to Best Mattress Brand:Mattress size chart

Pros of a king-size bed

– There’s plenty of sleeping area for you and your partner. Space is ideal, not only for comfort but for distance from each other’s body heat. Excess warmth while snoozing can lead to restless nights, poor sleep quality, and sweating, which absorbs into linens and makes for a germ-filled sleep environment.

– They make your bedroom feel more regal. In the same way, a king-size bed screams “luxury” when you stay at a hotel, a large mattress in your master bedroom can make your sleep space feel extra special, so you are relaxed and content when you’re ready for bed.

– You have the option to get a split king. Just like the name says, this mattress is split right down the middle and is the same as two twin XL beds in a single bed frame. This is ideal for

couples who want to slumber together but have different sleep needs in material and firmness.

Cons of a king-size bed

– They can be expensive. Depending on quality, materials, retail outlet, and even the season, purchasing a king-size mattress can cost a pretty penny.

– They could be too big for your space. No matter how badly you want a large mattress, if a king-size bed will clutter the bedroom and not allow for enough space for furniture and moving about, it isn’t a practical choice.

– They can be bulky and heavy. If you’re not able to hire help to bring the mattress home after purchasing, it can be difficult for you and a partner to tackle alone.

While a king-size mattress is a sufficient choice for the average couple, a California king could be a better option for partners who are over 6 feet tall. With an extra 4 inches of length compared to a standard king mattress, this bed can accommodate even the longest sleeper. Some pros and cons of a California king according to Best Mattress Brand include:

Pros of a California king size bed

– They’re long enough to stretch out. Go ahead – sleep spread eagle in the center of the bed. You have room.

– They are perfect for a couple that likes to snuggle. While a California king has 4 inches of extra length, it is also 4 inches narrower than a standard king, so you can cozy up to your partner.

– They’re great for people who sleep with animals at the foot of the bed. Whiskers and scruffy can curl up at your feet without fear of being kicked in the middle of the night.

Cons of a California king size bed

– They can be expensive. Because it is a bit unusual, not every retail outlet readily carries this mattress size. With few purchasing options, you may be forced to pay a premium for the extra inches of sleep space.

– Bed accessories that fit properly can be hard to find. When you purchase a California king, you’ll also have to purchase a bed frame and linens that fit an extended mattress. Furniture stores and traditional shops where you usually buy sheets and comforters don’t often carry items in this special size, so you’ll have to search farther for them and likely pay more for them.

– They are massive and hard to move. Before buying a California king, be sure to measure the room you’re planning to put it in, as well as the door frames and hallways you’ll need to fit through to get to the room. Also, be sure you’ll have help moving the bed in.

Twin Vs. Twin XL

If you’re a single sleeper, a twin or twin XL are good options for you. Like king vs. California king, length is the distinction between these mattress sizes. While they are similar in width, a twin XL measures five inches longer than the traditional twin. According to Sleep Advisor, some pros and cons of a twin XL include:

Pros of a twin XL size bed

– They allow for extra foot space. Even in a dorm or studio apartment, it’s possible to get a few inches of additional toe wiggle room.

– They are virtually the same price as a twin. Without much of a cost difference, if you have the space to accommodate for the length, why not go for the XL?

Cons of a twin XL size bed

– They require more space. Measure the length of your room before you buy to be sure the bed will fit comfortably.

– You’ll need special linens and a bed frame that isn’t standard. Just like with the California king, you may have to search a bit more for bedding accessories that fit a twin XL.

If you’re average height and sleeping alone, a twin bed should be sufficient to slumber comfortably. A twin bed is especially smart for teens and young adults who may be moving between dorm rooms and apartments often and require something minimalistic and light. Sleep Advisor sites some pros and cons to this size:

Pros of a twin-size bed

– Twin mattresses are common and easy to find. You’ll have plenty of retail and online options to choose from to be sure you get the best deal.

– They are a more cost-conservative option if you’re not ready to splurge on a queen bed.

Cons of a twin-size bed

– They are too narrow for more than one person. Even if you’re only occasionally sharing a bed with a family member, friend, or significant other, it isn’t large enough for an extra sleeper. If you’re planning on having any visitors stay with you, a twin bed might not be an appropriate purchase.

How To Choose the Best Mattress Size for You

Along with height, the number of sleepers, and bedroom size, The Sleep Foundation recommends also considering:

– Sleep Position: People who sleep on their back or stomach need maximum space to lay flat while side sleepers may be curled up and require less room.

– Additional Costs: A new mattress is only one part of a total bedding purchase. The bed itself can cost as little as $400 or more than $3,000. If you plan on buying furniture and linens to go with your new bed, make sure you don’t blow your entire budget on the mattress alone.

– Versatility: It’s not always easy to anticipate how and when things will change but, if possible, think about what your mattress needs will be in the future. For example, if you and your partner are planning on growing your family, consider going up a size to leave room for the anticipated additional sleepers.

It’s important to remember that a smaller bed does not mean poor quality. It’s possible to buy something conservatively sized like a twin bed and still have the option for luxury materials like memory foam, gel, or any other type of material you prefer. Just keep in mind choosing the right mattress size is just as important as choosing the right material. Splurging on something high in quality is only a worthwhile purchase if you’re able to sleep comfortably and soundly on it. When it comes to mattresses, size does matter.