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Sizing Up the Standards

Bedding sizes can get a bit tricky, especially when you start dealing with the royalty that rules the bedding world: queens, kings, and California kings. Even twin-size bedding has become more complex; adding an 'XL' to the mix makes things just complicated enough that you really have to pay attention to sizing to be sure you're getting exactly what you need.

This quick, easy-to-use bedding guide should clear up a few things regarding sizing and fit, helping you to make your bed, literally, but also aid you in making it everything you've dreamed of and more, regarding comfort and style.

Twin-Size Bedding

Twin-size beds are a staple of childhood … and, curiously, most college dorm rooms. Twin beds generally fit one person comfortably. They're made for the individual who doesn't need a lot of extra space when sleeping, and they're ideal for small-space bedrooms or shared rooms. It's generally accepted that standard twin-size bedding components fit the following measurements:

Standard Twin Bedding Measurements
Type in cm
Mattress 39 x75 99 x 190
Bedskirt 39 x 75 99 x 190
Fitted Sheet 39 x 75 99 x 190
Flat Sheet 68 x 96 167 x 243
Comforter 68 x 86 173 x 218
Duvet 59 x 79 150 x 201
Bedding Sample
Twin

Twin-size fitted-sheet pocket depth is typically around 8 inches and is designed to fit a standard mattress depth of approximately 7 inches. Most stretch to accommodate an array of mattress depths, but if you have a special mattress or something extra thick, you may want to check the pocket depth of your sheeting to ensure a good fit. Actually, this rule applies to just about any sheeting – always consider the depth of your mattress and buy accordingly.

Most twin-size sheet sets come with one coordinating standard-sized pillowcase, measuring, on average, 20 x 26 inches, to fit standard-sized pillows.

Twin XL mattresses, which are well-known on a college campus, are a bit longer than standard twins and therefore require size-specific bedding, with the exception of comforters or duvets. Twin comforters and duvets should fit most twin XL mattresses.

Standard Twin XL Bedding Measurements
Type in cm
Mattress 39 x 80 99 x 203
Bedskirt 39 x 80 99 x 203
Fitted Sheet 39 x 80 99 x 203
Flat Sheet 66 x 102 167 x 259
Twin XL
Full-Size Bedding

A step up in size from the twin, but not yet crowned a queen, full-size beds are a great size for tweens and teens or single sleepers who want more wiggle room than a twin provides. Full-size, or double beds as they're also known, easily provide enough space for two standard-size pillows. Most full/double sheet sets come with two standard 20 x 26-inch pillowcases for this reason.

Standard Full-Size (Double) Bedding Measurements
Type in cm
Mattress 54 x 75 137 x 90
Bedskirt 54 x 75 137 x 90
Fitted Sheet 54 x 75 137 x 90
Flat Sheet 81 x 96 205 x 243
Comforter 86 x 86 218 x 218
Full
Queen-Size Bedding

This is where the royal treatment starts to take shape. Queen mattresses are pretty much, if not exactly, the same size as a full/double. But, the bedding sets designed for queen-size beds are larger, providing more of the material luxury and coziness you want out of your sheets and comforter. Queen pillowcases, however, remain in the standard realm, with most queen sheet sets coming complete with two standard 20 x 26-inch pillowcases.

Standard Queen-Size Bedding Measurements
Type in cm
Mattress 60 x 80 153 x 203
Bedskirt 60 x 80 153 x 203
Fitted Sheet 60 x 80 153 x 203
Flat Sheet 90 x 102 228 x 259
Comforter 86 x 86 218 x 218
Queen
King-Size (Standard or Eastern King) Bedding

Also known as standard or Eastern king size, this is where the royalty really begins. Wider than a queen by roughly 15 inches or more, this is where it's at if you like plenty of room to toss and turn, or if you have a significant someone who shares the bed with you. Kings, unlike queens, get their own, special pillowcases. A complete king sheet set will contain two king pillowcases to fit two king-size pillows, each case measuring 20 x 36 inches.

King-Size Bedding Measurements
Type in cm
Mattress 76 x 80 198 x 203
Bedskirt 76 x 80 198 x 203
Fitted Sheet 76 x 80 198 x 203
Flat Sheet 108 x 102 274 x 259
Comforter 100 x 90 254 x 229
King
California King-Size Bedding

California king-size beds are for those who are willing to lose a little width in favor of more foot room. Narrower but longer than its Eastern counterpart, California king bedding differs only slightly in its sizing from that of the standard king. Classic sheet sets should still come complete with two 20 x 36-inch pillowcases to fit the proper pillows this king deserves.

California King-Size Bedding Measurements
Type in cm
Mattress 72 x 84 182 x 213
Bedskirt 72 x 84 182 x 213
Fitted Sheet 72 x 84 182 x 213
Flat Sheet 108 x 102 274 x 259
Comforter 100 x 90 254 x 229
California King
Words of Bedding Wisdom

Keep in mind that both bedding and sheet sets can vary by brand and manufacturer, but most stick to similar standards of measurement to keep things relatively simple (thank goodness!). Be sure to pay close attention to what you're buying in terms of bedding essentials. Know what size your mattress is, in addition to its depth, and always (always, always!) check the measurements - including the drop of the bedskirt and pocket depth of the fitted sheet, both of which can vary a few inches - to make sure you're getting the best bedding for your needs.

And finally, when buying bedding and sheet sets, check to see what's included in the package. This will help save you a time later when you're trying to track down pillowcases or shams for a set that may have skimped on these seemingly essential pieces. On the other hand, if your pillows are a different size than your sheeting, a simplified set might work perfectly for you – just buy the pieces separately as needed.

Now take all of your newfound knowledge and go … it's beddy-buy time!

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