Crash Course on Bed Sizes

It’s silly to think one needs such a guide but, if you’ve ever been in the market for a new mattress you know how crazy things can get! There’s the mattress, the box spring, the actual bed, and then everything else like sheets and mattress toppers. Knowing your bed size can help chart a more successful course through your shopping endeavor.

Bed Sizes Aren’t Mattress Sizes

Ever heard the term one size fits all? Well that certainly isn’t the case with mattresses and beds. King mattresses fit in King beds but there’s little way to predict how snug (or unsnug) they’ll fit until one tries for themselves.

This isn’t great news, obviously. No matter how in-depth those mattress buyer’s guides you Google seem: they often leave this part out: much of buying a mattress is a surprise and best guess.

When it comes to such mattress it pays to exert control over as many variables as possible. In this case one can have every advantage possible by ensuring to check, double check, and have someone else also check your bed size. This will help ensure you get the right mattress and box springs. It seems silly but trust me—it’s important!

Chart it Out ( Use Pictures )

A picture is worth a thousand words! When it comes to comparing bed sizes this isn’t as relevant as many other subjects, but stills holds true. Bed sizes can get a bit confusing when comparing things like King vs. California King or Twin vs. Twin XL bed sizes. In these cases, the difference only comes down to a couple of inches. Check out this bed and mattress size guide from Home Refinery for a better picture.


Box Springs Aren’t Always Single Units

King size beds often accommodate two twin-size box springs rather than a single king-size set. This phenomena has evolved through the necessity of manufacturing efficiency over the years. Why produce a new product when you’ve got a winning combo already laying around?

Two Twin XL box springs will work as a box spring for a single king size mattress but two regular Twin-size box springs will not. This is an aspect of mattress shopping where many often go awry. All this fancy-pants new mattress brands don’t even sell box springs after all, so you’ve lost the benefit of having a salesmen pair you with the right product. It’s worth it doing some work yourself to save on the markup though. For serious.

Mattress Sizes Vary in Height

Let’s say you’ve found the best mattress in the world, paired it up with a box spring, only to get it home a realize you’re now sleeping what feels like 5 feet off the ground. It happens a lot. This is what we call the height insensitivity phenomenon in the mattress world. Not really, but we would if we were that deep in it.

The point is that some Queen size mattresses may be 8 inches thick while others might be 14 inches. That might seem like a negligible amount but even a subtle change in what you’re used to can disrupt your sleep. I’ve never personally been much for low-beds and like to always have the thickest mattress + box springs combo I can find.

If you’re a low-bed kind of person consider that you might not even need a box springs set. If you sleep on a platform bed or have a sturdy set of slats to roll out it’s perfectly find to forgo the box springs entirely. There’s nothing in the bed + mattress rule books against it!

Make it Stick

Just in case I haven’t been clear that bed sizes and mattress sizes are something you want to pay attention to, I found this great bed sizes video from