The right mattress size matters for a good sleep

Having enough space to stretch out and relax is one of the key ingredients of a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, people tend to discover the importance of the right mattress size the hard way. If you have ever woken up in the middle of the night falling out of bed or from the disturbance of your partner’s stray elbow, you may have come to the conclusion that you need a mattress size upgrade. Buying a mattress that is too small is an unfortunately common mistake but this handy guide will help you choose the mattress that is the right size for you.

mattress size

What is the ideal size of a mattress?

There are some useful guidelines to help you make the right choice.

It is advised that, for length, a mattress should be around 30cm longer than the height of the tallest person sleeping in the bed. This ensures that your whole body always stays within the boundaries of the mattress, preventing limbs swinging off the bed at night.

The ideal mattress width ultimately depends on your preferences, but there are some basic rules to follow. When you were a kid, you most likely slept in a small, single bed. When you grew up, you probably graduated to a larger bed. The same applies to sharing a bed. If you sleep alone, on a single, it makes sense to move on to at least a king size when you sleep with a partner. If you are used to having the width of a single bed to yourself, a queen size will most likely be too narrow as it offers less space than two singles.

Of course, not everybody can get their ideal size mattress due to the constraints of room size or other issues. But don’t worry – even a small increase in bed size can really make all the difference.

Bed and mattress sizes

So, now you have figured out what the perfect mattress size is, things get a little bit more complicated. The main mattress sizes are single, queen and king. Unfortunately, the precise measurements of each mattress vary hugely between different regions, so buying the right size requires some care. Beds are sold according to the size of mattress they fit and to avoid running the risk of a mismatched bed and mattress, here is a quick guide to the regional variations in mattress size.

Singles are called twins and double beds are typically referred to as full. The standard bed sizes tend to be a couple of inches larger than other regions. There is also the uniquely named California king bed, which is longer but not as wide as a standard king size mattress.

There is a slightly confusing variation between mattress sizes in Europe but, in general, beds tend to be slightly smaller than in the USA. Mainland European beds also tend to be a little longer than UK ones. A word of warning too; the term bed size in the UK normally refers to mattress size and you may be caught out if you use this measurement as the space needed for a whole bed.

In Australia, there is a standard bed size list that rises all the way from a single up to a super king in a very straightforward manner. In New Zealand, it is similar apart from variations of a centimetre or two.

Buying a bed from the USA and a mattress from Europe could land you in trouble if the measurements are slightly different. Take note of the exact sizes, and don’t just assume that all king beds are made equal.

The information here should equip you with the knowledge to go out and find the right size mattress. Hopefully, you’ll be able to wave goodbye to rogue elbows to the face in the middle of the night, and welcome in a new era of comfortable, undisturbed sleep.