family sitting in bed
Bedroom Design

Family Bed: Size, Cost + What to Consider

    Last Updated
    January 30, 2023
    min read

    Although family beds are not as common as standard mattress sizes. There is a market for family beds. Family beds are commonly used to fit the family plus pets. The are also used by people that have the extra space in their room. 

    Are you curious about the concept of a family bed, where parents, children, and even the family pets can all share the same sleep space? Other reasons to buy a family mattress? Before you try it, make sure to first do your research, talk about it as a family, and find out what size bed can actually accommodate everyone in your family comfortably.

    4 Reasons You Should Embrace the Family Bed

    1. Better Sleep for Everyone
    2. Family Intimacy
    3. Health Benefits for Infants
    4. Consistent with Traditional Human Behavior

    Family bed sharing may not be for everyone, but for those who wish to pursue this sleep style, it’s important to choose a mattress size that helps everyone get a great night’s sleep.

    What is a Family Bed?

    In general terms, a family bed is any bed in which a family — of any size — shares a sleeping space. More specifically, family beds can refer to a series of super-sized mattresses that are fairly new in the mattress industry.

    These jumbo family beds are designed to accommodate entire families. They are also used by people with the extra bedroom space. Some “family-sized” mattresses may measure 144 inches in wide, which is almost double the width of a traditional king size mattress.

    How Big is a Family Bed

    A family bed comes in three different sizes, medium, large and extra large. The XL family bed is 144" inches wide by 84 inches long. Yes, you read that right, the mattress is wider than it is long.

    Below are the family bed sizes:


    Measurements (Inches)

    Minimum recommended room size (Inches)

    Family bed (XL)

    144” x 84”

    17’ x 12’

    Family bed (large)

    120” x 80”

    17’ x 12’

    Family bed (medium)

    108” x 80”

    14’ x 12’

    Don't have the space for a family bed? Get a king or cal king mattress. Purple features the GelFlex grid which instantly adapts to your body providing the comfort and support you need. 

    What is an Alaskan King Bed?

    While the standard queen-size mattress has long reigned as the most popular mattress, and the king-size bed has been crowned best mattress for couples, the Alaskan king bed has burst onto the mattress scene with even more generous dimensions. While traditional king size bed dimensions measure 80 by 76 inches, the oversized Alaskan king measures roughly 108 inches square, which makes it a popular option for those who want to share a giant bed with the whole family.

    If you’re interested in an Alaskan king bed, chances are you won’t find one in stores. They generally are custom-made for consumers who specifically request them.

    How to Create a Family Bed With Purple

    If you don’t want to order a customized family-size bed, you can also recreate the family bed experience by combining other bed sizes — all available from Purple. You could combine two standard-size king mattresses for a bed that’s 152 inches by 80 inches. This typically works well for families with smaller children and gives everyone plenty of room to get a good night’s sleep.

    You can also combine two California king-size mattresses, for a bed that measures 144 inches by 84 inches. This is an especially good choice if you’re dealing with very tall sleepers. Hint: check out Pinterest for some great ideas on how to make this work and look great. Just make sure to carefully measure your bedroom space to make sure you can fit the mattress size dimensions of the oversize family bed within your available room.

    4 Reasons You Should Embrace the Family Bed

    Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons you might want to pursue a co-sleeping space for your family. For those who decide that family sleep sharing is for them, many reasons factor into the decision, including the following:

    1. Movie Night

    Comfortably watch a movie with the family. Soemtimes living rooms don't have enough space. A family bed has plenty of room for everyone to watch a movie and get comfy.

    2. Family Intimacy

    For some, co-sleeping can increase bonding. The physical proximity and the ability to breastfeed easily create a sense of comfort for the infant and promote better sleep for the mother. Sleeping in close proximity allows the parents to be nearby to help with the child or infant's needs during the night and also to establish a close physical bond. The togetherness that comes with a family bed helps reinforce the family bond after a busy day.

    3. Health Benefits for Infants

    Some doulas and lactation consultants believe that co-sleeping with a child can help regulate the baby’s breathing and even body temperature. 

    One longtime, traditional “treatment” for an infant failing to gain weight quickly has been to hold the baby close to the mother’s skin, and in fact, to sleep with the infant snuggled against the sleeping mom, skin-to-skin, nursing throughout the night. Today, more infant sleep studies are underway at various universities around the world, and they are starting to yield results that support the health benefits of sleep sharing for infants and other family members.

    4. Consistent with Traditional Human Behavior

    Bed sharing, or co-sleeping, isn’t a modern invention. In fact, most of our ancestors slept in family beds for centuries, and children only started sleeping in their own rooms within the last hundred years or so in most industrialized countries. In some traditional cultures, the practice of bed-sharing has never really stopped.

    Co-Sleeping with Infants: Is It Safe?

    Purple Infants

    Co-sleeping has emerged as a fairly controversial parenting issue, and this is ultimately a question you really have to answer for yourself and with your doctor. For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics counseled against co-sleeping with an infant under any conditions — until 2016, when it first acknowledged co-sleeping as a regular occurrence for some families. The AAP still recommends that an infant sleep by herself in a crib that has only a fitted sheet — this means no pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or other lumpy surfaces and materials that can in any way create a dangerous environment for an infant. Instead of sleeping in the same bed, the AAP recommends sleeping in the same room for up to one year with an infant.

    However, some researchers, including those at the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame, acknowledge that co-sleeping can have benefits for both babies and their parents — only if done carefully and with safety as a paramount concern. It’s much less of a burden on a breastfeeding mother, plus both parents are near to the infant in order to meet his/her needs throughout the night, which can mean better sleep for everyone.

    There’s also something to be said for the intimacy of co-sleeping, which keeps parents and infants physically close and tightly bonded. Some birth doulas and lactation consultants actively encourage co-sleeping — posing that co-sleeping can help an infant regulate both breathing and body temperature, citing the historical precedence of co-sleeping throughout much of human history. In fact, in many cultures, families have shared family beds for centuries — and continue to do so.

    There is often a fear that co-sleeping is related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and the research there is conflicting. One 1992 study out of New Zealand largely shaped opinions on sleep sharing and the risk of SIDS, indicating that sleep sharing led to a higher incidence of SIDS. However, the study was found to include parents engaging in dangerous behaviors, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and going to bed intoxicated. When this data was removed from the study, there was no clear correlation between shared sleeping and a higher incidence of SIDS.

    Upgrade Your Sleep With Purple

    Ultimately, no single sleeping solution works for every family all the time. Before deciding to share a family bed, make sure everyone is on the same page.

    If a family bed is not for you. Purple offers mattress sizes from full to split king. Featuring the GelFlex grid purple mattresses instantly adapt to your body providing the comfort and support you need.

    FAQs About Family Sized Beds

    Which is bigger, queen size or family-size bed?

    A family size bed is 144" x 84". A queen mattress is 60" x 80". A family bed is 84 inches wider and just 4 inches longer. 

    How big is a Family XL bed?

    A family XL bed is 144" x 84". This makes the family xl mattress 12 feet wide and 7 feet long.

    How Much Does a Family Bed Cost?

    The cost of a mattress can range depending on the brand and material. Expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to over $10,000 for a family bed. Most mattress companies do not carry a family bed size mattress.


    About the authors

    Cecilia Gillen

    Cecilia brings over five years of writing experience primarily centered around lifestyle and health topics. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism from the University of South Dakota. She’s both an advocate for sleep and a night owl at heart.