What size is a single bed?

Updated February 21, 2017

Bed frames have been standardised to the benefit of both bed manufacturer and consumer. Nowadays when you mattress wears out and gets lumpy, you need not worry too much if the replacement will fit, for this issue has already been dealt with. However, within the various type of single and bunk beds that are on the market, there is some variation.


When designing bedrooms in a house, room size might be loosely related to bed size, for more often than not the parents' chamber is built larger than the rest of the bedrooms (and in fact, it is often referred to as the master bedroom). The eventual installation of a double-sized bed is one determining factor in the overall planning stage when you with the aid of an architect or builder are planning the size of each room.


Within the United States, single beds are of one standard size, but there are a few variations that might give a consumer a several options. The standard mattress size for a single bed in the U.S. and Canada is 98cm (39 inches) by 188cm (75 inches). You will find this size most commonly in a private residence. Also available is a longer-size single bed. This bed, which is 98cm (39 inches) wide, has a little extra length added to push the length to 2m (80 inches). This bed is commonly found in college dormitories and motel rooms to accommodate tall teens and larger adults. The longer version can be purchased for your home, as well. And finally, there is a "Super Single" on the market, a rather large single that is almost the size of a double. This bed measures at 120cm (48 inches) by 210cm (84 inches).

Beds for Children

Single beds for children are usually smaller than the standard adult-sized bed, but not by very much. The dimensions of a narrow single bed are reduced to 90cm (36 inches) by 188cm (75 inches) and are readily available through out the U.S. and Canada. For most children and even some small adults, this size of bed will work out just fine. For very young children and small toddlers, you might look into beds that are specially designed with side rails that keep a small one from falling out of bed at night. It is also possible to purchase a shorter bed with guardrails that is specially designed for a young child.

International Sizes

The size of a single bed varies in different parts of the world. This is mostly a fact of curiosity unless you happen to purchase your bedding directly from a foreign country. In that case, you might find the variation to be more than expected. Roughly speaking, single beds in the United States are the largest, and those made in Latin America and Continental Europe are the smallest, where the single bed usually runs at 88cm (35 inches) by 198cm (79 inches). In between are single beds from the U.K. and Australia, which measure at 90cm (36 inches) by 188cm (75 inches).

Bunk Beds

If you are considering placing a bunk bed in a room to save space, you will find that these beds are sized the same as a normal single bed, 98-by-188cm (39-by-75 inches) but there is a smaller child's version that is a few inches narrower at 90cm (36 inches), with the same length, though. When placing a bunk bed in a bedroom, don't forget that the bed can be as much as 6 feet high, so do not place one under a low ceiling.

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About the Author

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.