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US vs UK Bed Sizes: We Explain the Differences

US vs UK bed sizes - featured. Four mattresses stacked in a tower with the largest on the bottom and the smallest on top on a white background

We compare mattress sizes in the US and UK to help you make sense of a confusing market

When shopping for a new bed, it’s essential to consider US vs UK bed sizes. Whether it’s a new bed frame, mattress or even a new comforter you’re after, if you’re sourcing items from a variety of places then you could easily be caught out by the naming conventions and dimensions.

Choosing the right bed size for your needs involves considering such factors as space, budget and who will be sleeping on the bed to decide which size will best meet your requirements.

However, with UK queen beds measuring smaller than a double- or full-sized bed, and a US queen bed coming in far larger, it pays to do your research when shopping for beds, bedding and mattresses.

Below, our guide to US and UK bed sizes walks you through the range of different bed sizes available, so once you’ve measured up, you can pick the size that’s most suitable for you.

US vs UK bed sizes: At a glance

US size (W x L)UK size (W x L)
US small single 30 x 75in (76 x 191cm)UK small single 30 x 75in (75 x 190cm)
Twin 38 x 75in (97 x 188cm)Single 36 x 75in (90 x 190cm)
Twin XL 38 x 80in (97 x 204cm)Small double / UK queen 48 x 75in (120 x 190cm)
Full 54 x 74in (137 x 191cm)Double 54 x 75in (135 x 190cm)
US queen 60 x 80in (152 x 203cm)UK king 60 x 78in (150 x 200cm)
California king 72 x 84in (183 x 212cm)Super king 72 x 78in (180 x 200cm)
US king 76 x 80in (193 x 203cm)Emperor 78 x 78in (200 x 200cm)

What bed size should I choose?

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to choosing a bed, and unless your place is particularly palatial, you’ll need to consider a bed size that you can comfortably accommodate in the room in which it will be placed. Also be aware that the bigger the bed, the bigger the budget you’ll need, too.

How to choose the best bed size for you

Start by measuring your space and bear in mind that the dimension given only accounts for the size of the mattress; allow extra room for any headboards, footboards, certain styles of divan base and “feet”. When considering your measurements, ensure you leave at least a foot around all sides of the bed to pass it easily. Take note of any closet doors and drawers that need to open into the space, too.

Next, think about the size of the person or people who will be using the bed. Anyone over 6ft will find that their feet will stick out of the end of any bed smaller than a US queen or UK king. If you or your partner are heavier-built or tend to move around often in your sleep, then pay attention to the width of the different bed sizes.

What should I budget for a bed?

All sizes of bed are available in a wide range of prices, and how much you spend will be determined by your budget. Generally, though, you can pick up a good-quality bed including a mattress for as little as a couple of hundred dollars for a twin, and expect to spend around $1,000 for a US Queen. Of course, you could spend quadruple that amount for certain brands, and the figure will increase as the size does – Super King and Emperor beds cost thousands for the mattress alone.

Remember, too, that if you’re opting to size up or down over your current bed, then you’ll need to purchase a mattress protector, appropriately sized comforter and new bedding as well, so make sure your budget allows.

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What bed size is right for you?

  • Small single (US/UK) – While small single beds are a useful space-saving solution for box rooms, these are only suitable for very young children; plus you’ll need to upgrade to a twin/single bed from around age seven.
  • Twin/single – Most commonly for children’s rooms, since they provide comfortable sleeping space and don’t take up too much floor space. Single or twin-sized beds are also available as bunk beds, high sleeper beds and cabin beds, which all offer clever space-saving solutions.

US vs UK bed sizes. A double bed and a single bed on a white background

  • Small double/UK queen – While two adults can sleep comfortably in this size of bed, the smaller width makes it more suitable for occasional use, in a guest bedroom for example. If you’re really tight on space but set on having a double, then this size can work – just don’t expect to be able to spread out.
  • Full/double – A standard full-sized or double bed is a good option for two adults. This size will allow for a decent amount of sleeping space and will prove a practical size for most bedrooms. This is one of the more popular bed sizes in the US, so you’ll find plenty of choice across the market and can expect competitive pricing.
  • US queen/UK king – These beds offer a significant step up in sleeping space, look and feel luxurious while still being practical in size. These beds are popular and there are plenty of options available on the market. Taller people will appreciate the extra length this size of bed offers.
  • California king/super king – Offering an extensive 72in of length, the California King is also very wide, making it a seriously spacious bed choice if you have the room. In the UK, this is roughly equivalent to a super king which is a tiny bit shorter and 6in narrower. This is the largest size many retailers offer.
  • US king/emperor – This is the largest bed size, measuring over 6ft 6in long. Nobody really needs this much sleeping space, and nor will many have the bedroom space to accommodate a bed of this size, so it’s no surprise that there aren’t many emperor or king-sized beds, mattresses or bedding available from big bed brands. If you do opt for this size bed, you’ll need a healthy budget.

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