American Bed Sizes vs. UK Bed Sizes

Written by valerie anders
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American Bed Sizes vs. UK Bed Sizes
There are many bed sizes to choose from. (Getty Thinkstock)

Standard bed sizes are not always standard from country to country. This difference in sizing can be a problem when shopping internationally or online. Even beds and mattresses with the same name will not always have the same dimensions. Generally, bed sizes in the United States are a few inches longer and wider than their counterparts in the United Kingdom. It is always a good idea to check the dimensions and measurements on any bedding you plan to buy, assuring that you have purchased the correct size for your bed.

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Single/Twin Beds

In the United States, several sizes qualify as twin or single beds. The standard twin bed in the US is 39 by 75 inches (100 by 190 cm). A bunk mattress would be 36 by 75 inches (91 by 190 cm), and a extra-long twin bed measures 39 by 80 inches (100 by 204 cm). By comparison, the United Kingdom measurements for a twin bed are 36 by 75 inches (91 by 190cm), the size of a US bunk bed.

Double Beds

In this one size, the United States and the United Kingdom are exactly the same. Both countries measure a double bed as 54 by 75 inches (137 by 190 cm), which is comfortable enough for two small adults, or one larger adult. Double beds used to be the standard in most homes, but today most adults prefer a larger bed.

American Bed Sizes vs. UK Bed Sizes
Double beds are a good choice for guest rooms. (bed with desk in the corner of the room image by David Smith from Fotolia.com)

Queen-Size Beds

The United Kingdom does not have a classification of beds called queen-size beds. On the other hand, the United States has four types. The standard queen-size bed is 60 by 80 inches (152 by 204 cm). The California queen-size bed has the same width, but is 4 inches longer. The expanded queen bed measures 66 by 80 inches (168 by 204 cm), allowing a little more width for two adults. The fourth option is sometimes called the super-queen-size, but actually measures the same as the expanded queen-size bed.

American Bed Sizes vs. UK Bed Sizes
Queen-size beds are the preference for most adults. (master bedroom 35 image by redking from Fotolia.com)

King-Size Beds

The United States has three sizes of king-size beds. The standard king size bed measures 76 by 80 inches (193 by 204 cm). The California king has less width at 72 inches (183 cm), but is longer by 4 inches (10 cm). The grand king-size bed measures a generous 80 by 98 inches (203 by 248 cm), which provides a comfortable sleep for larger, taller individuals. In comparison, the standard king-size bed in the United Kingdom is 60 by 78 inches (152 by 198 cm). This is the same width as a queen-size bed in the US, and 2 inches (5 cm) shorter. The UK does have a super-king-size bed, which measures 72 by 78 inches (183 by 198 cm). However, even this bed is still smaller than the standard king-size bed in the United States.

American Bed Sizes vs. UK Bed Sizes
King-size beds are often the standard in finer hotels. (guestroom 9 image by Trevor Allen from Fotolia.com)

Advice and Warnings

If you plan to shop overseas or purchase something online from another country, double-check your bed's size against the measurements of the product. As a rule, linens, bedding, and mattresses sold in the United Kingdom will be shorter and narrower by a few inches. If you are purchasing fitted sheets, it is easy to see why this could be a problem. However, flat sheets will often be long enough or wide enough to use. Mattress size is also a consideration when you travel abroad. If you book a room with a king-size bed in the UK, remember that its size is really closer to a US queen-size bed.

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