The art of measuring - Part II - Bed sizes


For anyone who has recently moved or may move to the North America from Europe in the near future, there is something rather interesting about shopping for beds:

  1. The offering in term of sizes is much larger (and we did not list in the graph above the California King Size which is essentially narrower but longer than the regular King size),
  2. The sizes differ greatly depending on what side of the Atlantic you come from (or the British Channel actually as the UK has its own set of sizes too).

As you can see on the graph above (which is pretty accurate), there is actually no equivalent at all, so if you get the chance to get your furniture shipped over, make sure to take with you a couple of sheet sets (if not the full set, at least a few fitted sheets that are always the problem) that will fit your mattress nicely.

For those who forget, or do not know ahead of time, here are our recommendations should you have trouble: go with the size above the one you have (see table below). It may look flimsy on either side (or only one side if you decide to shove all the excess fabric under one side of your mattress only) and it may not look perfectly square but you will not get the unpleasant surprise of taking sheets out of their pack to realize it is one inch too short (which is very frustrating).

If your mattress is not very thick (I am thinking of a day bed, a sofa bed or a thin mattress you keep for guests), the size under should work well (I am thinking of a twin size sheet that is typically 1 inch too short for a 1 person European bed) and the temporary nature of guests beds makes that... Typically they do not sleep on that bed too long. But we do not recommend at all this approach for your own bed where you sleep every day: being woken up by a sheet that comes off regularly of the corner of your mattress (especially if that corner if the one right next to your face) is REALLY unpleasant. 

bed sizes

One last little tip: stores often refer to bed linens as 'European' to qualify the quality of the fabric, not the actual size. The only item considered 'European' size-wise is the square-shaped pillow and its corresponding pillow case (also called sham). 

Good night!