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How big is a king size mattress? Well, there are several sub-varieties. An ordinary King mattress is 76" wide x 80" long. There is also the "California King", which is slightly narrower and longer at 72" x 84". Finally, you also have the "King Split", which is 78" x 80", and happens to be the same as if you place two Twin Extra Long mattresses together side by side.
King size mattresses are not all the same dimensions. Like other kinds of mattress sizes, a “king” will vary. The standard king size measures 76” x 80”, but a king size mattress in the UK is roughly the same size as an American queen size mattress. Then there is the California King mattress which is 72” x 84”. In the UK there is also a “super king size” mattress, which measures about 72” x 78”.
When you are looking for particular mattress sizes, don't forget the vertical measurements! Mattress thickness can vary dramatically from as little as six inches to 22 inches. If you decide to use a box spring or foundation, that will increase it still further. If you are buying a mattress for an existing bed frame, don't forget to measure the distance from where the bottom of the place where the mattress will rest up to the bottom of the headboard. Otherwise your headboard will either be a nuisance or invisible.
If you need to buy a mattress to fit in a particular bed frame or to go in a part of a room where space is limited, don't be satisfied that by knowing the type, i.e., “queen size mattress”, “full size mattress”, king mattress”, etc. you know the mattress size. Take your tape measure and get the size in inches and make sure it will fit.
If you've ever heard someone refer to a double mattress size or a full size mattress, they are talking about the same mattress size. You may also have heard that a double mattress is equivalent to putting two twin size mattresses side by side. The length is about the same, but the width of two twins together is about three inches wider than a standard full size mattress.
If you are buying a mattress in a specific size, don't assume that if you know it's a “twin” that you know the mattress size. Mattress sizes can differ even for a particular class of mattress. This is especially true for mattresses from other parts of the world. A “twin” size mattress from Europe will be about three inches narrower than a US twin, and an Asian twin will be about three inches wider and longer.
“Queen size mattress” actually includes at least three different sub-types of mattress sizes. An “ordinary” queen measures 68” x 80”. An olympic queen is longer at 66” x 80”. Finally the California queen is even longer at 60” x 84”. Ironically, this queen size is actually longer than a king size mattress, or even a “super king” mattress.