Full vs. Queen: What’s the Difference?
The search is on: You’re looking for the right size mattress for your bedroom. And when you’re on the hunt for a bed, for a new space or an existing one, even a little room can mean a lot.
While many people think that full size beds and queen beds have the same dimensions, we’re here to set the record straight. Bed size dimensions vary and each one has its pros and cons, so choosing the right size mattress means more than just taking standard bed sizes into account. (Note: in the United States, a full bed is also referred to as a “double,” but the phrase has a different meaning for beds outside the U.S.)
Without further ado, let’s dive into the difference between full and queen mattresses.
Full vs. queen mattress size dimensions
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a new bed but finding the right mattress size doesn’t have to be daunting. We gave you the lowdown on the size difference between king mattresses and cal king mattresses, so let’s explore the difference between full and queen mattresses.
Are you wondering “how wide is a full size bed?” or “how long is a queen size bed?” We have your answer. Let’s start with queen vs. full mattress sizes in inches: full size beds measure 54” in width and 75” in length, and queen mattresses measure 60” in width and 80” in length. That makes full size bed dimensions in feet 4’6” x 6’3” and queen size dimensions in feet 5’ x 6’5”.
“There’s really only a few inches of width and a few inches of length difference between them,” explains Bradley Campbell, Mattress Firm Sleep Expert® based in Harker Heights, Texas. “They're almost identical in size and which means that they're almost identical in cost.”
With a queen mattress, you gain more width and more height, making it ideal for couples, people with pets or kids, or solo sleepers who want more room to splay out and get comfy. “If it's going to be two or more people sleeping in the bed, I always recommend a queen just because of the square footage in the bed,” Campbell explains.
On the flip side, a full bed can be just as great! Campbell says there are situations when a full is ideal. “Usually if it's a single occupancy and it's an adult, somebody who's over the age of 18, but they're sleeping by themselves and they're concerned about space in the bedroom, that’s when I recommend the full size,” he says. Finding the right mattress size is all about your priorities and sleep style.
Full vs. queen mattress size chart
|Full mattress||Queen mattress|
|Price||Varies; usually costs less than a queen mattress||Varies; usually costs more than a full mattress|
|Best for||Individual sleepers who want more room or couples who like to sleep close together||Couples or individuals who sleep next to kids or pets and want extra room to get cozy|
Which size bed is best for you?
Now that we have our bed sizes in order, it’s time for a deep dive into the difference between full and queen beds. Sometimes, a little more mattress can be the difference between good sleep and great sleep.
During your search for the right size mattress, consider your “must-haves” and your “wants.” What are your priorities? Fitting a lot of furniture into a small space? Getting the best sleep on the biggest surface? Everybody—and every body—is different, so here’s what you should keep in mind when choosing between a full vs. queen size mattress.
All shapes and sizes
Do you sleep curled up in a ball or do you like to splay out and use all the space you can get? When comparing full vs. queen size beds, it’s important to consider the size and height of your body and how that plays into your sleep.
While most people will be happy sleeping on either a full or queen mattress, the perfect pairing depends on your body type. For example, if you’re petite or only sleep on one half of the bed, you can get away with a full mattress. If you’re tall, a queen size bed will give you a few extra inches to stretch out. Sometimes, even the 5 extra inches that a queen mattress provides can make or break a good night’s sleep.
Assume your (sleep) position
When it comes to sleep positions, the options are endless (and sometimes unexpected). From the newlywed to the burrito to the cliffhanger, you never know which sleep position you’ll wake up in. On your search for the perfect mattress, consider how much flexibility you need. If you sleep in multiple different positions at night, a queen mattress gives you more space to move around. If you always fall asleep in one position and stay there, a full bed can get the job done.
Leave room for your room
Your sleep sanctuary, a.k.a. your bedroom, should be a relaxing, calming space. But what if your bedroom is also your kitchen, your office, and your living room? Room size is important to consider when choosing the right size of mattress.
“The queen size is by far the most popular bed size in the country. So almost all bedrooms in homes are now built to accommodate at least a queen-sized bed,” says Campbell. “So you really don't have to worry about space in a bedroom because most modern homes or apartments or duplexes are designed for at least a queen size or better.”
Remember that your bed frame plays a role here and will most likely be bigger than your bed. Do you rearrange your furniture often? Is there an anticipated upcoming move to consider? Before buying a mattress, it’s important to map out your priorities. Are you fitting a lot of furniture into a small space, or do you want the best and biggest mattress even if it means sacrificing room?
Since the width of a queen bed is only 6” more than a full bed and the length is 5” more, it’s easy to assume that the size difference doesn’t matter. But when you’re working with limited square footage, every inch counts, so a full size mattress might be the right one for you. A full bed also makes a good guest bed if queen isn’t an option. Your guests can stay comfortable without you sacrificing your budget or space requirements. And don’t forget about a nightstand.
“I usually recommend having a foot-and-a-half to two feet of space on each side of the mattress to accommodate a nightstand,” Campbell says. “We're starting to find more and more information about sleep and that sleep has to do with so much more than just a sleeping surface. So being able to create a really healthy sleeping space on your nightstand with a white noise machine or something for aromatherapy or a place where you can actually plug your electronics to get them away from you right before bedtime is really what people want, to have a nightstands-width available on both sides of the mattress.”
Single or double?
No matter who you are, getting the right amount of sleep is vital to your mental and physical health and your overall well-being. So if you or your partner sleep hot and need a little breathing room or, no matter how much you love them, you need your own bubble of sleep space, when it comes to the size of beds, it’s all about preference. If you like to sleep close to your partner, you can easily enjoy sleeping on a full mattress. If you sleep alone or with kids or pets, a full bed size can also be comfortable. But if you want more room to cuddle with your significant other (or to bring in the kids or pets with room to spare), a queen mattress may be a better choice.
Is a queen or a full better for kids?
When it comes to buying a mattress for kids, a full-size bed is often popular, as it fits into a smaller space and is more confined for smaller bodies. But if your child is tall or you plan to keep the same bed for many years, you might want to think about a larger mattress.
“Don’t think about tomorrow, think about six years from now,” Campbell advises. “Parents shopping for a mattress for their eight-year-old usually think they don’t need anything more than a full. But if they're looking to use this mattress for 10 years or at least until the kid is in college, that could be 12 years.” As parents know, time flies, so that mattress might not provide the right support through your child’s teenage years. “When they’re 15 and 16 and they hit that growth spurt and they're going for touchdowns or they're playing volleyball and they come home from a workout dog-tired, they're going to want that extra four inches on the bottom of the four inches of width so that they can really spread out,” Campbell says.
It’s time to get comfy
Life’s all about compromise, but not when it comes to your sleep. We’ve discussed how sleep impacts your mental and physical health, and mattress comfort plays a vital role in getting the quality zzz’s your body needs. While you can compromise on the size of a new mattress, you shouldn’t compromise on comfort. Mattress comfort is relative to each sleeper—the materials, firmness, and thickness all play a role in how your mattress feels and how you feel when you sleep on it. We recommend starting right where you are and deciding on the right size bed first. When you’re done with that, you can explore finding your perfect type of mattress. Trust us—once you find the right one, it’ll be love at first sight.
But at what cost?
While full beds are usually less pricey than queen beds, the costs don’t differ much. That’s why we recommend that you choose your new mattress based on what you like and what you find most comfortable. If you’re on a tight budget, our Sleep Experts® can help you find the perfect balance; they’ll make sure your new mattress works for your budget, your lifestyle, and your sleep style. However, keep in mind that bed costs also differ based on the brand and special features or technology, so you can find both full and queen mattresses in a variety of price ranges.
Queen bed pros and cons
Pros of a queen-size mattress
- Gives you extra room to get comfy
- Queen size bed frames are often easier to find
- There’s not much of a cost difference between queen and full mattresses
Cons of a queen-size mattress
- A queen mattress takes up more space, especially when paired with a bed frame and/or headboard
- If you don’t sleep on the entire sleep surface, it may be space better used elsewhere
Full bed pros and cons
Pros of a full-size mattress
- A full mattress saves room when every square foot counts
- The cost difference of a full vs. queen size mattress is not too significant, but if you’re on a tight budget, a full bed can save you some money
- It’s a big step up from a twin mattress and has many of the benefits of a queen mattress
Cons of a full-size mattress
- Less sleep space for couples or solo sleepers who sleep next to kids or pets
- If you’re moving to a bigger space in the future, you might want to get a bigger mattress for the long term
- There are fewer options for full bed frames, and you don’t want to pair a full-size mattress with a queen size frame, or vice versa (trust us—we speak from personal experience)
A little research goes a long way, so we hope this guide brought you one step closer to finding the mattress of your dreams. While you’re at it, check out our most popular full mattresses and most popular queen mattresses, and rest easy knowing that if you ever get stuck, our Sleep Experts® are here to help.