Whether you’ve purchased a new bed that needs covering or just want new bedding for the bed you already own, no doubt you’ve found yourself face to face with the confusing creature that is sheet sizes. How do you decide which size bedding to buy? Will full size bedding fit a queen size bed? Will queen size bedding fit a full bed?
Sizing in bedding is standardized and depends on the dimensions of the mattress on the bed, which are measured width by length, and thickness of the mattress. Unfortunately, this means that full or double sized bedding will not fit a queen size bed.
While bedding dimensions can vary by brand, the sizes of beds are very standardized. Full (and double) size beds are both 54” wide by 75” long. Bedding for this size bed may be referred to as full or double size bedding. However, queen size beds are larger, measuring 60” wide by 80” long. No other size is synonymous with queen, and only queen size bedding will fit that mattress size appropriately.
Once you measure your mattress and know which size bedding to buy, the thickness of your mattress also comes into play. Most fitted sheets will list a “pocket height” which is the thickness of mattress that sheet will accommodate. Since most newer beds are designed to use a thicker mattress, it is essential that your fitted sheet work with this thickness of mattress or the sheet will not stay on the bed or may tear easily when used.
Since bed sizes are standardized, bedding sizes are somewhat standardized as well. Fitted bed sheets must be adequate to cover the dimensions of the mattresses listed above. Flat sheets have minimum standards that must be met, but some brands choose to give more than the requirements for extra length and width. Thus in some instances a full/double flat sheet might work on a queen size bed, but will not allow as much coverage or the ability to tuck the sheet in around the mattress.
Besides sheets, your bed also needs a mattress pad to protect your mattress. Mattress pads are used as a protective layer and can add extra thickness to an older mattress. They are required to fit the industry standard for mattresses in full/double or queen size. The mattress pad, while used under the fitted sheet, can add thickness to your overall mattress depth so take it into account when measuring the thickness of your mattress to buy your sheets. The fitted sheet must have a pocket height deep enough to accommodate both the mattress and your mattress pad. Full or double sized mattress pads will not work on a queen size mattress.
Once you have a mattress pad and sheets, it’s time to consider a bed covering such as a fleece blanket, quilt, or down comforter. Dimensions for these bedding pieces are less standardized and can vary by brand and manufacturer. You should read label dimensions carefully to be sure that the width and length accommodate your bed and allow adequate overhang at the sides and bottom. In some cases a generously sized quilt or comforter in full or double may be able to be used on a queen sized bed, but the overhang will typically not be enough to cover the mattress on both sides. It is best to buy the correct sized bedding for the dimensions of your mattress.
The best method for getting correct size bedding is always to measure your mattress’s width, length, and thickness. With this information it is then much easier to choose the correct corresponding bedding, and you won’t be left wondering if full size sheets will fit your queen size bed. If you are unsure of which size bed you own, then measuring is the only way to determine that. A few extra minutes of work prior to going shopping for bedding will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run. Full and double size sheets will never work on a queen size mattress. Using queen size sheets on the smaller bed will result in loose fitting sheets that will not stay on the bed while you toss and turn. It’s best to do the work and take the time to measure your mattress dimensions and then by reading the labels on bedding you make the correct sizing choices. This will result in many nights of unencumbered sleep and bedding that will hold up to the test of time!