Things that Are 16 Inches Long

Are you having trouble figuring out how long 16 inches is? Well, it’s the same as 1-1/4 feet or 0.4064 meters. These conversions won’t help you much in the real world, especially if you don’t have a measuring tape on hand. Luckily, we can use everyday objects to help visualize what 16 inches looks like in our mind’s eye.

The following list contains everyday objects that measure 16 inches or close:

  • Drumstick
  • File cabinet
  • Extra-large pizza
  • 4 coasters
  • 2 shampoo bottles
  • Dartboard
  • 4 gerbils
  • A3 paper
  • 2 mousepads
  • 4 square tissue boxes

1. Drumstick


A drumstick is a slender, tapered wooden rod used to whack the heck out of drums. They’re a vital part of a drum kit, which helps aspiring drummers make a racket and annoy everyone within a 1-mile radius. Believe it or not, there are several types of drumsticks heads, each serving a specific purpose in rapturing your eardrums.

But what’s important here is the length of the drumstick. On average, they measure 15-3/4 inches to 17-1/2 inches long. Depending on which model you get, it might even measure 16 inches on the dot!

2. File Cabinet

File Cabinet

File cabinets are incredible pieces of furniture that help you organize important documents. Of course, they only help with organization if you’re already an organized person. If you’re not, then your file cabinet is probably a jumbled mess, containing files that you should have shredded decades ago.

While file cabinets aren’t a completely reliable tool for measuring things, especially since they come in various sizes, a common width is 18 inches. Some mobile file cabinets may even measure exactly 16 inches wide.

3. Extra-Large Pizza

Extra Large Pizza

The best place to get Italian food is here in the US, and the best Italian food is pizza. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks had variations of this iconic dish, which consisted of flatbread and toppings. However, it took the geniuses of Naples to add tomato sauce and cheese to the mix, giving rise to the modern ‘za.

You can order pizza in various sizes, but the larger, the better. And if you’re going to use pizza as a measuring tool, you should splurge on an extra-large one since they measure at least 16 inches. You can also place 2 personal pizzas side by side to get a similar length, but you won’t get as much bang for your buck.

4. 4 Coasters

4 Coasters

Coasters are those flat things that our parents always told us to use to “prevent a ring.” As adults, we have a pretty good idea of just how annoying it can be to get rid of these stains. Or you might not even care in the slightest. Either way, you can use coasters as a tool for measuring 16 inches.

Gather 4 of them and place them side by side in a line. Since they generally range from 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 inches in diameter, you’ll only be short of or overshoot 16 inches by a tiny margin.

5. 2 Shampoo Bottles

2 Shampoo Bottles

Even if you’re bald, you should always use shampoo. Its real purpose isn’t just to remove residue from your hair (the suds can do that for you) but rather, to clean your scalp. So, step into your bathroom and look for a bottle of shampoo. It can help you measure 16 inches.

Shampoo bottles vary in size, with large bottles typically measuring close to 10 inches tall. Admittedly, 2 shampoo bottles will get you 4 inches beyond the 16-inch mark, but you can simply subtract the diameter of a coaster from the total height.

6. Dartboard


For some reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to put a dartboard in a bar—you know, an establishment where people go to drink? What could go wrong, right? Danger and injury aside, darts is an exciting sport if you know how to aim and hit a board from several feet away.

The next time you’re at a bar, stop the game midway and pull the dartboard off the wall. If it’s a regulation dartboard, it should measure 17-3/4 inches in diameter, or just 1-3/4 inches wider than the 16 inches we’re looking for.

7. 4 Gerbils

4 Gerbils

If you don’t feel like stepping into the line of dart fire, then perhaps you should consider going to the nearest pet store and gauging the length of a pet gerbil. These tiny creatures measure about 4 inches from the tip of their nose to their behinds. This does not include their tails.

So, try your best to align 4 gerbils, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what 16 inches looks like. It might be easier to get a ruler, but where’s the fun in that?

8. A3 Paper

A3 Paper

Those of us living in the USA are pretty accustomed to letter and legal paper.  What we’re not accustomed to very well is ISO 216 sizes, which is a sheet sizing system used by a majority of the planet.  It’s the whole Standard Imperial vs. Metric thing all over again!

Anyway, A3 paper measures 11-3/4 inches wide and 16-1/2 long. Don’t have A3 paper? Try A4, which is the most common printing paper size. It measures 8-1/2 inches wide, so grab 2 sheets and you’re practically at 16 inches!

9. 2 Mousepads

2 Mousepads

If you’re reading this guide on a computer, then there’s a good chance that you’re using a mousepad to guide your cursor smoothly. Mousepads, like any computer accessory, come in a variety of sizes and styles, but the typical mouse pad size is 8 × 8 inches.

For the serious gamers out there, there’s a good chance that you use an extended mousepad. These are wider mousepads that have enough space for your mouse and keyboard! Coincidentally, a common width for extended mousepads in 16 inches.

10. 4 Square Tissue Boxes

4 Square Tissue Boxes

While tissue boxes may seem like ordinary objects, there’s actually a lot that goes into its design. Sure, the walls are constructed of paperboard or cardstock, but the magic is in the plastic cover. Not only do they prevent moisture and dust from contaminating your tissues, but they also allow you to pull out one sheet at a time!

If you have square tissue boxes on hand, you’re in luck. These boxes usually measure 4.5 × 4.5 inches. 4 of them should get you only slightly beyond 16 inches.