When it comes to mattress selection, size matters more than you may know. Think you and your spouse can get a full night’s sleep on a full-size mattress? We don’t recommend it, and here’s why: Healthy sleepers move throughout the night—sometimes a lot. Without room to roam, we bump into our sleep partner, wake up more frequently, struggle to relax and just don’t sleep as well as we could. Need more reason to reconsider why size matters? Check out our top-10 list of size-centric tips to mull over as you consider the best dimensions for you.
1. The number one mistake people make when shopping for a mattress? Buying one that’s too small. A common purchase regret couples have is not upgrading to a king size. As a healthy sleeper, you move anywhere from 40-60 times a night, including a dozen full body turns. Healthy sleepers spend an average of a third of the day in bed, so make sure you’re spending that time comfortably.
2. When choosing a new mattress, it’s smart to consider who will be sleeping on it in the next five to eight years. Are you recently engaged or expecting a child? Soon you’ll need more room (a cuddly, sprawling toddler can take up a third of the bed alone, not to mention the real estate your spouse will require), so it’s a good idea to prepare your sleep space ahead of time.
3. The height and weight of those using the bed are also factors to consider when making a mattress purchase. Want to know if a mattress is going to be wide enough? Try this test: Lie down on your back and put your elbows behind your head. Do your elbows touch your partner or stretch past the edge of the mattress? You probably need a bigger size.
4. Now for the height test. A good mattress fit should give you at least six inches of space at the foot of the bed. If you or your spouse is over 6’6” tall, a California King is probably the best option for you.
5. It’s been shown that couples who sleep in cramped quarters feel less rested in the morning. (If you’ve ever been awoken by an errant arm or a soccer-playing sleeper, it’s easy to imagine why this may be true.)
6. Couples typically gravitate toward queen-size mattresses, but we suggest choosing the largest size your bedroom can accommodate. Surprisingly, at 60 inches wide, a queen bed offers each sleeper nine inches less space than if they were sleeping alone on a twin.
7. Full-size mattresses are best for solo sleepers. At 53 inches wide, a shared full size would leave only 26.5 inches for each sleeper—the same width as a crib.
8. Twin beds are a good option for space-constrained guest rooms. A twin bed can also be a good starter bed for a child, keeping in mind that a full-size or larger will be a better match once they enter their double-digit years. When shopping for your child, consider what their height and weight will be three to five years from the time of your purchase.
9. Mattress thickness doesn’t matter as much as having space to sprawl. But studies do note that thinner mattresses lose support and wear out more quickly than those that are more substantial. So be sure to keep mattress construction in mind, in addition to size, when selecting your ideal model.
10. Consumers who spent more than 15 minutes choosing their new mattress were more satisfied than those who spent less. So whether you’re researching online or rest-testing in store, be sure to take your time, weigh your options and choose the best mattress match (taking into account size, construction, comfort and support) for you and your lifestyle.