Understanding standard mattress sizes is important when you purchase a bed, of course, and remains critical when it's time to buy sheets, quilts and other types of bedding.
For quilters, a knowledge of mattress sizes makes it much easier to design and make a quilt that fits a bed perfectly, and there are good options for gift quilts, where you may not know what type of bed the project must fit.
- Crib Mattress: 28" x 52"
- Twin Mattress (also called a Single): 39" x 75"
- 3/4 Size Mattress (typical for vintage beds -- see Mattress Options for Antique Beds)
- Long Twin Mattress: 36" x 80" (Most beds in college dorms have long twin mattresses)
- Full Size Mattress, (also called a Double Mattress): 54" x 75"
- Queen Size Mattress: 60" x 80"
- King Size Mattress: 76" x 80"
- California King Mattress: 72" x 84"
Also see: a larger photo of the mattress size chart for comparison.
There are no standard mattress depths. Some bed mattresses are 9-10 inches deep, but many pillow top mattresses measure 15-16 inches in depth, or even more. Box springs and other components lift a mattress even higher off of the ground, and the extra height should be considered before you design a quilt or purchase other types of bedding.
If you're making a quilt for your own use, it's much easier to consider all of the bed size what-ifs. But if the quilt is a gift, you may not be certain which type of bed it will ultimately be used to cover, so consider designing a quilt that would fit a queen size mattress, the most popular bed size.
Quilt Design Options
Although knowing mattress sizes is essential when when you make a quilt, consider some of the variables before you determine the quilt's final dimensions. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much extra quilt width should extend past each side of the mattress to create a nice drop?
- Will the quilt look better if the primary focus of its design stops at mattress edges?
- Will the quilt be used with a dust ruffle? How much extra width and length is required to make sure the quilt extends nicely past the top edge of the ruffle?
- Does the bed have a footboard that would interfere with the quilt?
- Would the quilt look better tucked in to the mattress?
- How will the quilt look with pillows plumped underneath? Would it be better to alter the border width or add another design element, and then place pillows on top of the quilt near the bed's headboard? You might even choose to eliminate the top border.
- For pillows placed on top of the quilt, consider making throw pillow covers to match or coordinate with the design.