Queen and King size beds were invented in the late 1950's. Before that time, a full size mattress was the largest you could purchase. According to City Data, the median construction date for houses in Chicago is 1949, and for apartments it's 1944. This means that the vast majority of the housing stock for both home buyers and renters was not built to house modern mattresses, let alone large beds with frames that extend beyond the mattress boundaries.
While some homeowners and landlords in Chicago have rearranged walls and in many cases, re-purposed old dining rooms into additional bedrooms with the addition of doors and closets, it certainly feels like most north side bedrooms will only fit a twin bed, or at most, a full size mattress. I decided to do some analysis and see if this is true.
For each of the charts below, I used a benchmark of four times the area of each standard mattress size as a "comfortable fit." So, for a bedroom to comfortably hold a twin bed, it had to be at least 101 square feet. For a full, at least 110 sq ft. For a king size bed, it had to be 171 square feet or more. (more…)