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Standard Bedding Sizes for Bed Linens

Before shopping for bed linens or sheets, it is imperative that we understand standard bedding sizes.  Bedding comes in four basic sizes with two additional variations.  When purchasing bedding be certain that you understand the different sizes and how the sizes are determined.

The four basic sizes for bedding are:

  • King
  • Queen
  • Full (also referred to as double in some areas)
  • Twin

Additionally, the King size bedding has a variation called California King.  Twin sheets also come in an extra long size that is familiarly referred to as a dorm sheet.

Know your mattress size so you can select the appropriate bedding.  It is important to understand that the size of the bedding is stated in the size for the fitted sheet.  The fitted sheet is the sheet often referred to as the bottom sheet.  The measurments for this particular bedding is the measurement of the flat surface of the sheet, minus the extra width or length for the sheet pockets.  Sheet pockets refer to the corners that secure the bedding to the mattress.

The standard king size bedding is labeled as 78″ x 80″.  The California King is slightly shorter and slightly wider.  The sheet measurement is 72″ x 84″.  Before shopping for king size bedding determine if your mattress is a standard king size or California King.  The few inches will make a major difference in the fit of the bedding.

Standard queen size bedding is 60″ x 80″. 

Standard full bedding or double sheets are 54″ x 75″. 

Twin bedding is 39″ x 76″. 

The dorm sheet or extra long twin measures 39″ x 80″.

While most bedding ensembles or sets come in with a fitted sheet, the bottom sheet, and the flat sheet or top sheet.  The set is designed so that the flat sheet closely complements the fitted sheet.  Most consumers purchase the same size bedding for the top and bottom.  In other words, if one buys a full fitted sheet, the top or flat bedding will be listed as full also.  That is the most common practice.

However, if the consumer has a full mattress that requires a full fitted bottom sheet, it is not absolutely necessary to purchase a full flat sheet.  In fact, some individuals and couples have often complained that their partner “hogs” the sheet.  This can be easily remedied by purchasing a larger size top sheet.  In other words, while a full sheet may be required for the bottom bedding, the top or flat sheet could be purchased in the king size.  It would allow for more coverage on the sides and also allow for the top sheet to reach higher.

The choice of pairings of sheets is entirely up to preference of the consumer.  What is important to remember is that the bottom sheet must be the proper size to fit the mattress.  Beyond that the choice of size of the top bedding is entirely left to the preference of the consumer.  Well aware that most consumers have been conditioned to purchase the same size for the fitted and the flat, it is not a necessity.