A woman helping to measure the height of a young man against a wall.Share on Pinterest

When your height is measured at the doctor’s office, you usually stand next to a device called a stadiometer.

A stadiometer is a long ruler attached to the wall. It has a sliding horizontal headpiece that’s adjusted to rest on top of your head. It’s a quick way of accurately measuring your height.

What if you need to measure your own height at home? Is there a way to do so that’s easy and accurate? And can you measure your height if you don’t have anyone to help you?

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to measure your own height, with and without any help. And, if you want to know your height in both feet and meters, we’ve got that for you, too.

To accurately measure your height with someone’s help, follow these steps:

Steps to measure your height

  1. First, find a flat, uncarpeted section of floor and a flat section of wall.
  2. Take off your shoes.
  3. Remove braids, headbands, or anything else on your head that may get in the way of an accurate measurement.
  4. Remove any bulky clothing that may make it difficult to stand flat against the wall.
  5. Stand with your feet flat on the floor with your heels against the corner where the wall and floor meet. Make sure your head, shoulders, and buttocks are touching the wall.
  6. Stand up straight with your eyes looking straight ahead. Your line of sight and chin should be parallel to the floor.
  7. Have someone place a flat object (like a ruler or hardcover book) against the wall at a right angle. Then have them lower it until it rests gently on top of your head, keeping it at a right angle to the wall.
  8. Lightly mark the wall with a pencil at the point where the ruler or book (or other flat object) meets your head.
  9. Use a tape measure — ideally a metal one that will remain straight — to measure the distance from the floor to the mark on the wall.
  10. Take note of the measurement to the nearest 1/8th of an inch or 0.1 centimeter.

If you don’t have someone to help you measure your height, you can still follow the steps outlined above with a few modifications:

  1. Use a cereal box or similar object to measure the height of your head against the wall. A ruler or book may be more difficult to keep straight and flat on top of your head if you’re doing it on your own.
  2. If possible, stand facing a mirror to make sure the cereal box (or whatever headpiece you’re using) is parallel to the floor.
  3. With one hand holding the box, use your other hand to mark on the wall where the bottom of the box meets the top of your head.
  4. Or, if you can hold the box steady, step out from underneath it and mark the wall with one hand while holding the box in place with the other.
  5. Use a tape measure to measure the distance from the floor to where you marked the wall.

While most of the world uses the metric system to measure length, the United States still uses feet and inches (called the imperial system).

To convert your height to its metric equivalent, start by calculating your height in inches only. A person who’s 5 feet, 6 inches tall is 66 inches.

One inch equals 2.54 centimeters (cm). So, to make the conversion, simply multiply your height in inches by 2.54 to get your height in centimeters.

In this case, a person who’s 5 feet, 6 inches tall, once converted to the metric system, is 167.64 cm tall (66 x 2.54).

To find your height in centimeters, use this chart. If you often have to convert your height, or the height of others, you may want to print this out and keep it as a quick reference:

4 ft. 6 in. = 137.16 cm5 ft. 8 in. = 172.72 cm
4 ft. 7 in. = 139.7 cm5 ft. 9 in. = 175.26 cm
4 ft. 8 in. = 142.24 cm5 ft. 10 in. = 177.8 cm
4 ft. 9 in. = 144.78 cm5 ft. 11 in. = 180.34 cm
4 ft. 10 in. = 147.32 cm6 ft. = 182.88 cm
4 ft. 11 in. = 149.86 cm6 ft. 1 in. = 185.42 cm
5 ft. = 152.4 cm6 ft. 2 in. = 187.96 cm
5 ft. 1 in. = 154.94 cm 6 ft. 3 in. = 190.5 cm
5 ft. 2 in. = 157.48 cm6 ft. 4 in. = 193.04 cm
5 ft. 3 in. = 160.02 cm6 ft. 5 in. = 195.58 cm
5 ft. 4 in. = 162.56 cm6 ft. 6 in. = 198.12 cm
5 ft. 5 in. = 165.1 cm6 ft. 7 in. = 200.66 cm
5 ft. 6 in. = 167.64 cm6 ft. 8 in. = 203.2 cm
5 ft. 7 in. = 170.18 cm6 ft. 9 in. = 205.74 cm

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the average height for women is about 5 feet, 4 inches and the average height for men is about 5 feet, 9 inches.

The average height for men and women differs throughout the world.

For example, the Netherlands has some of the tallest people in the world. On average, Dutch women are around 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and Dutch men average nearly 6 feet in height.

Conversely, in places such as the Philippines, the average woman is just under 5 feet tall, while the average height for a male is around 5 feet, 4 inches.

Whether you’re a teenager who’s still growing or if it’s been a while since you’ve had your height measured, it’s easy to measure your own height at home with a few basic tools.

Knowing your current height is also helpful when it comes to some health screening tools, such as your body mass index (BMI).

Having an accurate measurement is helpful in other ways too, such as buying clothes online or filling out forms that want to know your height in inches or centimeters.