Twin (also known as "Single")
Is most often used in children's rooms and guest bedrooms. It's a narrow bed that's easy to make and can fit almost anywhere. Approx. width per person: 39"
Pros: Because of its small size it will fit easily into smaller bedrooms. Sheets are less expensive than for other size beds. A Twin bed is easy to make.
Cons: Too short for many adults.
Twin Extra Long
Is generally used in college dorm rooms and is 5" longer than a standard twin. Bedding may be harder to find and available only a limited variety of patterns. Approx. width per person: 39"
Pros: Standard fare in college dorms. Longer length is good for taller teens and adults. Still easy to make.
Cons: Bedding can be harder to find and won't be available in every pattern.
Double (also known as Full)
Are only 15" wider than a Twin bed. This won't leave much elbow room for 2 adults (each will have only 27" of width vs. 39" in a Twin bed). Too, a Double bed is only 75" long which may be too short for some adults. Approx. width per person: 27"
Pros: Fits into smaller rooms. Sheets are less expensive than queen or king size.
Cons: Many people find a Double is too narrow for 2 adults with only 27" in width for each person. And, it may be too short for some.
are 6" wider (and 5" longer) than a Double bed. These added inches can make all the difference in comfort, but each adult still has 9" less than the width of a standard Twin bed. However, it's a good choice for guest rooms and smaller master bedrooms. Approx. width per person: 30"
Pros: A better fit for 2 adults. The 80" length comfortably accommodates most adults. Bedding is easy to find.
Cons: At only 30" of wide for each person (only 3" wider than a Double) many people find a Queen is still too narrow for comfortable sleeping for a couple. Note that some bedding is sold as "Full/Queen" and may not perfectly fit either size, so check the measurements before purchasing. Can use standard pillows or the slightly larger queen size pillows.
Also known as Eastern King, is about 18" wider than a Queen bed. Both are about 80" long. The Eastern King is the only bed to give each person the same width as a Twin bed. In fact you can push 2 Extra-Long Twin beds together to be the same size as an Eastern King. This is a good way to have a versatile guest room (use 2 twins separately or push together to make a king bed for couples). An Eastern King bed comes with one mattress and two half-width box springs to be more manageable when moving. Approx. width per person: 38"
Pros: This is the widest standard bed available. Roomy enough for 2 large adults. The 80" length comfortably accommodates most people. Sheets are easy to find and are generally labeled simply "King".
Cons: This is a very large mattress that may not fit easily up stairs or into smaller rooms. Taller people may prefer the California King instead with its longer length. All bedding is most expensive in king sizes. Needs 3 standard pillows or 2 king pillows for this width.
12" wider than a Queen bed but adds 4" in length. This may be a better choice for taller adults. This size is sometimes known as the "Western King". Bedding may be labeled either "California King" or "Western King". A California King bed set comes with one mattress and two half-width box springs to be more manageable when moving. Approx. width per person: 36"
Pros: A California King size mattress is roomy in width for 2 adults. Also, it is the longest standard bed available at about 84", and is ample for most taller people.
Cons: This is a very large mattress that may not fit easily up stairs or into smaller rooms. Sheets are plentiful on the West Coast but may be a bit more difficult to find in other parts of the country, so try looking for them online if you're not on the West Coast. Needs 3 standard pillows or 2 king pillows for this width. All bedding is most expensive in king sizes.