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Bed Sizes
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Measurement: Miscellaneous

Bed Sizes

This section is emphatically not science, but there's not enough to merit a page of its own and I couldn't think where else to put it.

I feel there's some potential for controversy here, as there doesn't appear to be any official ruling. The following came from the website of The Oak Bed Store (a UK online bed retailer). Wikipedia (needless to say) has a comprehensive page on the subject, giving sizes from around the world. Wikipedia takes the view that UK retailers are now obliged to sell in metric sizes, and gives the nearest Imperial equivalents (in inches) to the metric sizes. It refers to the Imperial sizes given here as "previous" sizes. In my experience, if you're ever asked about bed sizes in a quiz, these are the ones that are used; so I've stuck with what Wikipedia calls the "previous" Imperial sizes.

You may notice that while the Imperial and metric measures of width are approximately equivalent, the lengths are even less exactly so.

I haven't bothered to hide the answers, as I can't really imagine anyone wanting to test themselves on this.

Imperial Metric
Name Width Length Width Length
Small single 2' 6" 6' 3" 75 cm 190 cm
Single 3' 6' 3" 90 cm 190 cm
Small double (Queen size) 4' 6' 3" 120 cm 190 cm
Double 4' 6" 6' 3" 135 cm 190 cm
King size 5' 6' 6" 150 cm 200 cm
Super king size 6' 6' 6" 180 cm 200 cm

Other

The power required to lift 550 pounds by one foot in one second (33,000 in a minute) Click to show or hide the answer
Watts in a horsepower Click to show or hide the answer
Weight of a gallon of water Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer

Speed of light (in a vacuum) Miles per second Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Metres per second Click to show or hide the answer
Speed of sound (in air at 20°C) Miles per hour Click to show or hide the answer
Kilometres per hour Click to show or hide the answer
Feet per second Click to show or hide the answer
Metres per second Click to show or hide the answer
Time taken for sound to travel (in air at 20°C) One mile Click to show or hide the answer
One kilometre Click to show or hide the answer

Imperial gallons in a barrel of oil Click to show or hide the answer
US gallons in a barrel of oil Click to show or hide the answer
Metres in a nautical mile (international definition, adopted in Britain 1970) Click to show or hide the answer
Inches in a span (conventionally) Click to show or hide the answer
Inches in a cubit (approximately – sources vary between 18 and 22) Click to show or hide the answer
Unit of pressure, equivalent to 760 mm of mercury; defined as exactly equal to 100,000 pascals (Pa), which is slightly less than the average atmospheric pressure at the Earth's surface; not an SI unit, but its 1,000th part (equivalent to 100 pascals or one hectopascal) is commonly used in weather forecasting Click to show or hide the answer

Acceleration due to gravity, at the surface of the Earth In feet per second per second Click to show or hide the answer
In metres per second per second Click to show or hide the answer

1 mile per hour, in feet per second Click to show or hide the answer
Defined as the amount of land that can be ploughed by a yoke of oxen in a day – one chain by one furlong Click to show or hide the answer
Basic Anglo–Saxon unit of length – survived after 1066 as 1/3 of an inch Click to show or hide the answer
One tenth of a nautical mile (185.2 metres or 608 feet – originally 100 fathoms; 120 fathoms, or 720 feet, in the US Navy) Click to show or hide the answer
The three basic units (equivalent to the metre, kilogram and second in the MKS and SI systems) in the system whose adoption was recommended in 1873 by a committee of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, including physicists James Clerk Maxwell and William Thomson; known (in the same way as MKS) by the initials of these three units; it has been almost completely superseded by MKS, and more specifically SI Click to show or hide the answer
Click to show or hide the answer
Click to show or hide the answer
Defined as the length of a man's arm, from elbow to end of the middle finger Click to show or hide the answer
Originally a small copper coin created by Charlemagne, of which the British equivalent was the penny; now the unit of weight for silk, rayon or nylonClick for more information Click to show or hide the answer
The unit used to measure the optical power of a lens: equal to the reciprocal of the focal length in metres Click to show or hide the answer
Used in the tailoring industry, up to the 19th century: originally equivalent to the cubitClick for more information Click to show or hide the answer
The unit of work or energy in the CGS system of measurement: equivalent to 10-7 joules (one ten millionth of a joule, or 100 nanojoules) Click to show or hide the answer
1/20th of a pint in Imperial units and 1/16th of a pint in the USA Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
The length of furrow that a yoke of oxen is considered capable of ploughing without resting Click to show or hide the answer
Word used informally to indicate a very short, but unspecified, period of time: has also been used in various scientific contexts, the first of which (according to Wikipedia) was the time it takes light to travel one centimetre in a vacuum (approximately 33.3564 picoseconds, or 3.33564 * 10–11 seconds) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
One nautical mile per hour Click to show or hide the answer
Ancient European measure of the distance that a person (or a horse) can walk in an hour; defined in ancient Rome as 3 miles Click to show or hide the answer
The ratio of a body's speed to that of sound; named in honour of an Austrian physicist and philosopher (1838–1916) Click to show or hide the answer
The explosive yield of a nuclear weapon is most commonly expressed in Click to show or hide the answer
Historically defined as one minute (i.e. one sixtieth of a degree) of latitude, or the average length of one minute of arc along a great circle of the Earth Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Traditionally defined, in the UK, as 6,080 ft (1,853.1840 m); internationally defined in 1929 as 1852 metres
The unit used to measure font size (equivalent to one seventy–second of an inch in desktop publishing) Click to show or hide the answer
Albedo (used mainly in astronomy and climatology) is a measure of Click to show or hide the answer
A unit of weight (varying between 9 and 17 grams) first used in Mesopotamia around 3000 BC – also a coin of this weight, especially the chief silver coin of the Hebrews; now the Israeli unit of currency Click to show or hide the answer
USA: 36 square miles Click to show or hide the answer
The property by which engine oils are graded – the universal standard being that of the US Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–21