European vs. United States Mattress Size Comparison Guide

European vs. United States Mattress Size Comparison Guide

Just like shoes and clothes, mattress sizes vary from country to country. The King size mattress on a North American website might not be the same as the King mattress in the UK. 

In this article, we list the most common mattress sizes used all over the world. Before you decide on which size is appropriate, you need to understand some preparation questions, as well as what are the actual dimensions responding to the sizes, because it might surprise you how different they are across continents. 

Let’s look at the bed frame first

It is a matter of measuring the length and width. 

The general rule of thumb is that your mattress should be at least 10cm (4 inches) longer than the tallest person sleeping on it. Any less, and you’re going to end up flailing off the end of the bed and getting cold feet on a winter’s night. 

Shopping for a single bed? Put your hands behind your head and measure the distance between your elbows. The width of your mattress should ideally be a little bit wider than that. The one exception is if you have problems snoring; then you might want a narrower mattress to discourage you from sleeping on your back and encourage side sleeping instead.

For couples, things in consideration are a bit more complicated. If you two disturb each other a lot, it’s worth investing in a large size mattress and bed to give enough space for starfishing. 

Secondly, you need to consider the room space

For example, if you can fit a super king into the room and with little space left, do you think this is the right choice?

Usually in the UK, a Queen is the same as a Small Double. However, that's not always the case. Sometimes it's the same as a Super King (with US sizing, a Queen size is always bigger than a Double). So when shopping for a Queen size mattress, it should be fairly clear by how the models are priced, but we'd urge you to double-check the actual dimensions too. 

The countries of the European Union (which now no longer include the UK), use the metric system for everything, mattresses included. If you're in the UK or USA, you're most likely to encounter EU mattress sizes when shopping at IKEA.

But as with the UK list below, be aware that these conversions are rounded up and not exact. So if you need to make accurate measurements, always use the dimensions given in centimeters. 

As with most things, American citizens still use old English measures to measure their mattress sizes. Below, we list all the main mattress sizes in the USA and their dimensions in inches, and in brackets you’ll find a conversion into centimeters. 

In the United States, the most common mattress sizes are twin, full, queen, and king. The U.K. and Ireland have similar names including single, double, king, and super king. 

In continental Europe, sizes are simply referred to by the measurement of their width and length in centimeters. For example, you might have a mattress size that is 90 centimeters by 200 centimeters.

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