Eukaryotic cells attempt to maintain an optimal size, resulting in size homeostasis. While cellular content scales isometrically with cell size, allometric laws indicate that metabolism per mass unit should decline with increasing size. Here we use elutriation and single-cell flow cytometry to analyze mitochondrial scaling with cell size. While mitochondrial content increases linearly, mitochondrial membrane potential and oxidative phosphorylation are highest at intermediate cell sizes. Thus, mitochondrial content and functional scaling are uncoupled. The nonlinearity of mitochondrial functionality is cell size, not cell cycle, dependent, and it results in an optimal cell size whereby cellular fitness and proliferative capacity are maximized. While optimal cell size is controlled by growth factor signaling, its establishment and maintenance requires mitochondrial dynamics, which can be controlled by the mevalonate pathway. Thus, optimization of cellular fitness and functionality through mitochondria can explain the requirement for size control, as well as provide means for its maintenance.