How Long is 36 Inches? 15 Common Comparisons (+Pics)

Are you curious about the length of 36 inches

Whether you’re a home improvement enthusiast, a savvy online shopper, or just someone curious about dimensions in daily life, this post has your back!

Using familiar items, from dollar bills to pens to soda bottles, we’ll unveil 15 comparisons for 36 inches to paint a vivid picture of 36 inches for anyone seeking to comprehend this measurement.

Read on to find out what suits you, depending on your needs.

Read: How Long is 25 Cm? 15 Common Comparisons (+Pics)

15 Common Comparisons For 36 Inches

36 inches equals 0.9144 meters, 91.44 centimeters, 3 feet, or 1 yard.

Compare it to the following items to understand how long it is.

1. 6 US Dollar Notes

People use dollar bills as a quick and accessible measuring tool, especially when rulers or measuring tapes are not readily available. They have standard dimensions and are consistently available.

All US dollar notes are 6.14 inches long, regardless of the denomination.

While that makes them perfect for small lengths such as six inches, if you can line up as many as six in a straight line, they would give you a sense of 36 inches.

2. 10 Standard Playing Cards

Standard playing cards are widely accessible, found in many households, and are used for card games such as poker, blackjack, bridge, and solitaire.

So, you can leverage their common presence in everyday life to understand different measurements, including 36 inches.

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They are only 3.5 inches long, meaning you will need as many as ten aligned end-to-end to bring you close to 36 inches.

3. 11 ATM Cards

Similarly to playing cards, you can repurpose ATM cards as quick reference items due to their standardized size and availability.

These cards are slightly shorter than standard playing cards, measuring 3.375 inches.

Therefore, with these, you will need to visualize as many as eleven.

4. A Stack of 3 2-liter Soda Bottles

2-liter soda bottles are a popular choice for packaging carbonated beverages. 

While not as precise as dedicated measuring tools, these bottles can provide a practical and accessible way to gauge smaller measurements informally.

They stand approximately 12 inches tall, meaning a stack of three will bring you close to around 36 inches. 

5. 4 & ½ Standard Red Bricks

Bricks come in various sizes and dimensions depending on the region and the specific type of brick.

Common brick sizes include standard red bricks measuring 8 inches long, 4 inches wide, and 2 1/4 inches thick in the United States.

So, using that as the benchmark, you can imagine a straight line of four and a half standard red bricks to get a sense of 36 inches.

6. 5 No. 2 Pencils

You may not have one handy, but you can likely visualize a No. 2 pencil (the iconic yellow-colored pencil) given its widespread use, standardized appearance, and cultural familiarity.

That no. 2 pencil, when brand new and with the eraser included, is 7.5 inches long, helping you understand small measurements such as 8 inches.

For 36 inches, imagine five placed end-to-end on a flat surface. Their combined length is 37.5 inches, close enough.

7. 6 & ½ Ballpoint Pens

Ballpoint pens are commonly used in schools and offices and are often considered staples for writing tasks.

So, since they are consistently available, people often use them as a quick and familiar reference when a ruler or other measuring tool is not readily accessible.

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Although they may vary in length depending on the brand, they range from 5.11 to 5.55 inches long.

Hence, taking the average of 5.49 inches, picture placing seven ballpoint pens on a table, and then imagine cutting one at either end into half. That’s approximately 36 inches.

8. 3 & ½ Letter-size Papers

Letter-size papers are the standard paper size in the United States and some other countries. They are widely used for various purposes, including printing documents, writing, and general office use.

They’re one of the most commonly used items for comparing small lengths at home because they are available in most households and have standardized dimensions.

They are 11 inches long, meaning three and a half add up to approximately 39 inches. But to be more accurate, you can cut a length the size of an ATM card out of that.

9. 4 No. 10 Envelopes

No. 10 envelopes are widely used for business and personal correspondence, especially mailing letters, invoices, and other documents.

When sealed, a No. 10 envelope is around 4.125 inches by 9.5 inches, allowing a neatly folded letter to fit comfortably within.

Therefore, to understand how long 36 inches is, imagine placing four No. 10 envelopes end-to-end on a table. They are only two inches longer.

10. Width of a Twin-size Mattress

Twin-size mattresses are ideal for single sleepers or rooms with limited space, such as children’s rooms, guest bedrooms, or smaller living spaces. 

They’re among the smallest mattresses, typically around 38 inches by 75 inches, but still, they provide a compact sleeping solution.

As such, you can compare 36 inches to the width of a twin-size mattress since it’s only two inches past the mark.

11. Half the Width of a King-size Mattress

A king-size mattress, measuring 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, boasts a spacious sleeping area suitable for couples or individuals who want ample room to spread out.

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Half its width is as long as the length of a twin-size mattress, so it is a reliable reference for 36 inches.

12. A Stack of 9 Toilet Paper Rolls

The dimensions of toilet paper rolls can vary based on brands and manufacturing practices.

However, the variation is negligible since they all fit most toilet paper dispensers. 

Their average height is about 10 centimeters (approximately 4 inches), meaning visualizing a stack of nine brings you close to 36 inches.

13. 4 Basketballs

Basketballs can be practical for quick, everyday approximations when more accurate measuring tools are not readily available.

Most basketballs (even at home) adhere to the general NBA guidelines with a diameter of about 9.4 inches.

So, if you can get one basketball, place it on a flat surface, and then imagine adding three more to make a straight line. They stretch to 37.5 inches, close enough.

14. 14 Tennis Balls


The versatile nature of tennis balls and their affordability makes them a household item with various uses beyond sports.

If you have many at home, they’re an excellent way to visualize and compare the sizes of small objects or spaces, especially in informal settings.

Each tennis ball is approximately 2.6 inches wide, meaning to bring you close to 36 inches, you need to visualize as many as 14 close to each other.

Read: How Long is 50 Inches? 15 Common Comparisons (+Pics) 

15. 2 & ½ Ten-pin Bowling Pins

While less common than other items, a ten-pin bowling pin can provide a reference point for lengths among bowling enthusiasts. 

The pin is a perfect reference for 15 inches since it’s precisely 15 inches long.

And if you can picture a stack of three and then imagine cutting the topmost pin into half, they can give you a practical sense of 36 inches. 

About Kevin Jones

My name is Kevin Jones, and I'm the proud founder of this website. I'm a self-professed measurement enthusiast, and I've been passionate about measuring things for as long as I can remember. On this website, you'll find information on all aspects of dimensions, including measurements and weight of stuff.