Historically, the United States and Europe have had different size and measurement standards for many different household items. For example, electrical plugs and outlets, shoes, and clothes all have different sizes or ratings. This is also true when looking at the differences in mattress sizes between Europe and the United States. To put it simply, it all comes down to the differences between the metric and imperial measurement systems where items like mattresses are measured in inches in the US, and centimeters in Europe.
To make matters even more complicated the U.K. and Ireland sizes differ from continental European sizes in addition to being different from U.S. sizes. Thankfully, comparing European and American bed sizes are not too difficult, however, there are helpful ways to convert the sizes. Generally speaking, American sizes are categorized by name. Of the sizes available, you can find twin, full or double, queen and king. U.K. and Ireland based sizes are similar, with the size names coming in single, double, king, super king. European sizes are simply referred to by their width and length in centimeters. For example, you might have a mattress that is measured as 200 by 90 centimeters.
How to Compare Sizes
If you need to convert between United States and European mattress sizes in order to compare, there are some simple steps you can follow in order to do so. The first thing you will have to do if you are comparing different size standards is determine the size of your bed and the measurement system in which it is measured (i.e. inches or centimeters). You will then have to locate a size conversion chart. A conversion chart will indicate the length and width of bed sizes in either inches or centimeters. Finding a conversion chart should not be too difficult. In fact, there are an abundance of them freely available on the internet. Next, you will just have to convert all the sizes into one measurement system. To simplify calculations, choose either centimeters or inches to measure the width and length of a bed. Finally, compare the resulting measurements. Generally, there are equivalents for American sizes in Europe, although they are rough equivalents and are not exactly the same size. At most, there will be a minor measurement discrepancy when converting, so there may be fractions of an inch or centimeter in difference.
Mattress Size Comparisons
Looking at some examples, we know a US twin sized bed is 75 by 38 inches or 191 by 97 when you convert the size to centimeters. The twin size mattress is also roughly comparable to U.K.’s or Ireland’s single size mattress, which measures 75 by 36 inches or 191 by 91 centimeters. For a mattress in continental European, a twin size would be equivalent to 200 by 90 centimeters or 79 by 35 inches. As you can see with a twin size mattress and European equivalents, the US version is slightly wider by a few inches.
A U.S. full or double bed is measured 75 by 54 inches or 191 by 137 centimeters and is similar to U.K./Ireland’s double bed that measures at 75 by 54 inches or 191 by 137 centimeters. Compared to the continental European size, it is roughly 200 by 140 centimeters or 79 by 55 inches. Here, European equivalents to a full-size mattress are actually longer and wider than a full-size mattress you would find in the United States.
A queen size mattress in the United States measures 80 by 60 inches or 203 by 152 centimeters and is equivalent to U.K./Ireland’s king size of 78 by 60 inches or 198 by 152 centimeters or Europe’s at 200 by 160 centimeters or 79 by 63 inches. Comparing a U.S. queen mattress to European equivalents can be a little confusing since the U.K. and Ireland’s king size is comparable. Despite the confusing terminology, a U.S. queen size is slightly longer than the U.K./Ireland king. As for continental Europe, the equivalent size is a little shorter but is also a little wider.
A U.S. king size bed is 80 by 76 inches or 203 by 193 centimeters, equating to U.K./Ireland’s super king at 78 by 72 inches or 198 by 183 centimeters and the European size at 200 by 180 centimeters or 79 by 71 inches. Again, the terminology in the U.K. or Ireland may be a confusing – you may be tempted to compare a California king to the super king, but they are not comparable mattresses. When it comes to king size mattresses, a U.S. king size is both longer and wider than both of its European counterparts.