Sleep on it

Part 4: REM room – A guide to sizing up how much mattress you need


Measures 97 by 190 cm (38 by 75 inches). Appropriate for children and teens (but watch for those growth spurts).

Double (also called Full)

Measures 135 by 190 cm (53 by 75 inches). Good for adults sleeping alone and couples who don’t mind a knee in the back or an elbow in the ribs on a regular basis.


Measures 152 by 203 cm (60 by 80 inches). The most popular size for sleeping à deux ? which also means you’ll find a better selection of linens for queen-size beds than any of the others.


Measures 193 by 203 cm (76 by 80 inches). King-size beds are gaining favor, which suggests that when it comes to slumber, bigger is better. For folks who just can’t get enough space to themselves, there’s the massive California king, a room-filler measuring 183 by 214 cm (72 by 84 inches).

Caveat emptor

Once upon a time, mattresses came in a standard 18-cm (7-inch) thickness. But over the years, they’ve puffed up like giant soufflés, now ranging from 23 to 38 cm (9 to 15 inches) thick ? often more when the mattress has a pillow top. While that’s great in principle, thick mattresses can make it tough to find sheets that fit.

Part 1: The land of endless sales Part 2: Finding a bed you can love Part 3: Bed-buying commandments Part 4: REM room – How much mattress do you need?

From the February 2001 issue.

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