Is it Normal For Mattress Sizes To Be Off By a Few Inches?

Over the past year we’ve seen a few instances of discrepancies in mattress sizes. There are published sizes that the industry goes by, however the mattresses don’t always fit industry standards. Some brands are notoriously smaller than advertised. However, what I’ve learned is this isn’t abnormal, it’s quite common for your mattress to be off by some. Sometimes it’s several inches too short or wide.

This isn’t only for boxed or newer brands either. Traditional brands can vary by several inches too. It’s considered normal if it’s under 2 inches. If it’s more than that you can request a discount or return the mattress. However, it seems like it’s totally normal for mattresses to be smaller than advertised. We may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

this mattress is several inches too small

Note: there is also some variation in brands and how/where to measure from.

Here’s another example of a mattress that’s not as advertised. It’s about 4 inches too narrow. So there’s a gap between the sides of the mattress and the bed frame. I blacked out the name because it’s very well respected brand and the point isn’t to name names. I’m positive that there are many mattresses sold by this brand and others that either are correct or people just didn’t notice. I just want to show that it’s not rare for this to happen.

If your mattress was purchased online, you could try returning it, as long as it’s within the trial period. Or see if the warranty covers your mattress. Contact the company. It’s unlikely they’ll do anything if it’s only 1-2 inches. But to me, 3-4 inches can make a big difference and a company should work with you to replace it.

mattress not wide enough

Examples of mattresses that were short 

60”x80” is the normal size for a queen mattress. Here’s what we found in real life after measuring the actual size of different brands of bed in a box mattress.

Queen bed in a box mattress. Off by 3 inches in length.
60″ x 77 “

This one was 2 inches off on the width and 3 inches off on the length.
58″ x 77″

Often customers will say the mattress doesn’t fit their bed frame which is essentially the same thing as saying it’s not the correct size. Some will actually measure the bed and find it comes up short.

Also, most frames are made to account for variations. I know this because we have a twin xl mattress on a twin bed frame. The twin xl is 2 inches longer than a standard twin. However, it fits just fine and we can’t tell.

If you buy a Platform Bed they’re more forgiving (the link is to the platform bed that I have at my mattress studio and love). You can more easily switch between king/cal king, twin/twin xl, etc. and with the dimensions being somewhat off.

What we’ve learned is even the same brand could have different manufacturers of the bed and its components (like the mattress cover). There is sometimes a wide variation!

Why Are Mattresses Off by Several Inches?

We reached out to an industry expert to ask why there’s so much variation in mattress sizes. Here are reasons mattress dimensions might not quite matching up to company specs. It can be the result of a number of causes, including…

  1. The size originally planned for and listed on wasn’t feasible once the prototype was finished. As in they wanted it smaller but found it couldn’t
    be compressed that much.
  2. Manufactures must stay with restrictions imposed by Fed-Ex and or UPS and some try to squeak by but get caught shipping larger.
  3. The box manufacturer doesn’t hit the size exactly but the specs aren’t changed on the sites.
  4. Manufacturers want to make their boxes seem smaller so they incorrectly list the sizes.

From our perspective it’s usually not intentional nor is it consistent. Mattresses from the same brand undergo manufacturing changes (not large enough to tell you). Many times we notice variations – it’s not a standard across the board shorting of width or length of a bed.

When we reached out to a specific brand and they said:

Some fluctuation on the measurements is pretty normal. Depending on how much exactly, and which dimensions are affected it could be considered a warranty issue.

Have you noticed a size discrepancy with your new bed? If so, what did you do about it. Let us know in the comments.

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25 Comments

  1. Lori J Scher says:

    I received a Westin Heavenly mattress. It was supposed to be Eastern King. It measured 73.5″ x 77.5″. The box spring showed all around the bottom and looked terrible. Very disappointing.

  2. We have a 72 year old classic full bed frame, a family heirloom, and it is exactly 54″ wide inside the frame. We cannot find a box spring that is even 53″ let alone 54″. This is most frustrating. I think Mfgs. are skimping and not be upfront about their sizing. I can’t even find a discussion about this until I happened onto this site. Thank you. What to do? The gap is horrible.

    1. unboxsleep says:

      You’re welcome. I don’t remember if I wrote this but a customer measured and tried to get a discount because the mattress wasn’t as advertised. Of course I had nothing to do with the manufacturing. So I started measuring more mattresses and learned it’s way now common than I thought. And it’s way of sometimes.

      Tochta http://www.unboxmattress.com/Tochta manufactures custom size mattresses. Native ask if they know where to find a box spring to fit the frame.

      You can also get plywood and cut to size. You lose out on height but at least you have the support. I don’t know if that will work but I hope so.

      Good luck!
      Janet

    2. My temper pedic is 78 inches long instead of 80. I thought they were the best. And it cost 3499. Should I try to get a replacement or is the next one just going to be the same?

      1. unboxsleep says:

        It can vary from mattress to mattress. If it bothers you, ask for a replacement. Honestly, it’s so common (across brands and price ranges), that if you can live with it I would.

      2. unboxsleep says:

        This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that a Temper Pedic is off by several inches but I don’t want to single them out because it’s common across brands.

  3. Robert Cobb says:

    Any recommendations for a twin size mattress that is a hybrid in the 8 to 10 inch thickness range that won’t be under dimensions. I got a daybed that has 75 inches between the armrests but the Zinus I-Coil I bought is about 72 inches long. So when the mattress is flush with one armrest there is a 3 inch gap on the other side. Very annoying.

    1. unboxsleep says:

      The problem is it’s inconsistent even among brands. So it’s tough to know. I wish I could tell you which one but Zinus is known as a budget mattress. Zinus has some that are better, but their cheaper models are not very durable and they’re all made in China.

      Tochta is a solid brand that makes both their own and custom mattresses for a decent price (not luxury beds) and are made in the US. Since they fit RV mattresses and odd shaped, they should get their sizes right. http://www.unboxmattress.com/tochta

      1. Stop with this racist assumption that made in China means it’s bad. The best things in the world are made in China and just because some products made in China are bad, doesn’t mean made in China must be bad. Plenty of products made in the West are far inferior to their counterparts made in China.

        My mattress cost $10,000 and was made in the US. It is 4 inches too short.

        1. unboxsleep says:

          My experience is that mattresses made in China are of inferior quality. Some have pieces made in China and they’re fine. If you know of a mattress that’s good quality that’s made there, I want to hear about it. And it’s not China as much as manufacturers deciding what to have mattresses made of (cheaper material). However, when it comes to mattresses, the few Chinese based brands have been difficult to work with (try to get a refund, for example). But so have many in the US.

          So many companies get mattresses made there because it’s so much cheaper to have them rolled and shipped than to have them made in the US. Before the rolling machines shipping was so much more (took up way more space). I’m not a racist, I strive not to be and I don’t call people that label easily. I don’t appreciate being labeled that way.

          Once again, my point is proven that mattresses aren’t standard sizes and often aren’t as stated. Sad that you paid that much and it’s that off!!! Also, I’m so curious on the brand.

  4. Well, if I buy a 38″ x 80″ mattress I expect to receive a 38″ x 80″ mattress, otherwise advertise a 38″ x 78″ mattress and price it accordingly. It is completely dishonest. Personally , if I was in the market for a twin XL I would never buy a 38″ x 79″ or 38″ x 79″. Simple as that.

    1. unboxsleep says:

      I agree, but it seems to be pretty common…

  5. lorraine rooney says:

    The base of my canadian Silk and Snow queen mattress in a box is off by 2 in in width and 1 inch in length. It’s harder to measure the sleeping surface but visually it seems to be a bit narrower than the base, altho that might be an optical illusion. I find the resulting gap in the bedframe is annoying – it’s a slatted base so we see the ends of the slats and through to the floor! I plan on asking for a refund/return and will shop elsewhere.

    1. unboxsleep says:

      It’s so common, unfortunately. I wouldn’t like to see the floor through your base either. Let us know what you end up with and how it goes. Good luck!

  6. I just bought a queen size Casper hybrid. I have a platform bed with wooden slats and you can see the edge of the slats sticking out on both sides of the bed. It’s such an eye sore to me.

    1. unboxsleep says:

      I appreciate you sharing this info, I hope more people will comment. I’m not sure it will change anything but at least people can see how common it is across brands. Today I reviewed a mattress that’s said to be 12″ high but it was between 11-11 1/2″. Sometimes it’s even wrong on the height.

    2. Thanks for saying this! I am experiencing the same exact problem and it is so annoying! I bought a queen-sized Leesa Hybrid mattress for our queen Thuma platform bed and the mattress is several inches short in both directions. There are large gaps in every corner, big enough for our toddler to store his toys in the corner of the frame and the mattress. This is our first big bedroom furniture purchase and it just seems like it shouldn’t look like this for the $$$. If this is such a common problem, why aren’t more people complaining about this? Thuma is a very popular bed frame. If most mattresses are actually smaller than their advertised dimensions, I would expect a lot more people to complain about this issue.

      1. unboxsleep says:

        I don’t know but it seems like it should be regulated! I’m learning more about it from comments like yours. It fits my own conclusions.

        I wish I’d measured them when I worked at a mattress nonprofit. I wonder if there are brands that aren’t off by several inches. I’m starting to think most are.

        I’m going to start measuring in my reviews. I measured and the brand I’m reviewing now is 1/2 inch shorter on height than advertised.

        But if I talk about it I’m singling out the brands from here on out when I’m convinced it’s the norm.

  7. Hi! I actually am searching badly for mattress 72.5 x 38.5 x 8 for Max & Lily bunk bed trundle. Standard twin mattress 75 x 39 is ok for upper and lower beds, but trundle requires a little smaller size (go figure why company designed the bed this way if they don’t sell trundle mattress) which I can’t find. Are you aware of any brand which makes shorter by few inches twin? Thanks!

    1. unboxsleep says:

      You can get a custom built mattress from Tochta (www.unboxmattress.com/tochta) that is reasonably priced.

  8. Just bought an Evolove Queen Mattress that measures 59″ at the base and 57″ width on the part you sleep on — really upset about this — it feels narrow when you sleep on it. Not sure what to do about it.

  9. I also just bought a mattress that was 2 inches less in height that was advertised for. 11 inches instead of 13 inches. Does that take away from comfort because I am having bad back and hip pain? Did I get a defective mattress?

    1. unboxsleep says:

      That’s pretty significant and yes it can make a difference in the comfort level. Especially if you have 2 less inches before the spring layer. But either way, yes, in this case, I would return it if you can.

  10. I bought two Leesa hybrid twin xl’s for my king bed and one is about 2” in height shorter than the other. It is obvious looking when the bed is unmade and can be felt if lying across the split. It is within the warranty period so Im planning to exchange it. Im wondering if the replacement could also be off and that they may not ever match in height?

    1. unboxsleep says:

      It’s possible, unfortunately. I’m not sure they’d even know without unrolling and checking.

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