Queen vs. Full: What’s the Difference?

Queen vs. Full Size Mattress

If you have a smaller bedroom, a full size or queen size mattress can offer you plenty of comfort. They’re similar sizes, only about a half a foot difference between their length and width—this can make it challenging to decide between the two. Once you consider your budget, room size, and whether or not you plan on sharing the bed, the decision should be easy.

What is a Queen?

A queen size mattress is 60 inches by 80 inches and a popular mattress size for adults. It’s large enough to comfortably accommodate most couples, while also featuring plenty of stretching space for a single sleeper. If you like to sleep with your arms stretched out, a queen will let you do so without your limbs falling over the edge.

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Queen mattresses are an excellent choice for smaller master bedrooms, studio apartments, and guest bedrooms.

Variations

Aside from the standard queen, there are three other variations.

A California queen mattress is 4 inches longer than a standard queen mattress. If you’re a taller person, a California queen will let you sleep without your feet hanging over the side.

An Olympic queen mattress is 6 inches wider than an ordinary queen bed. It’s good for couples who need a little more space than a standard queen can provide, but who lack the budget or room space for a king mattress.

And a split queen mattress is the same size as a regular queen, but it’s divided into two halves. This division allows couples to customize their side of the bed. If you like a firm mattress, but your partner can only sleep on a soft bed, a split queen can help you both sleep comfortably.

What is a Full Size Mattress?

A full size mattress, sometimes called a double bed, is 54 inches by 75 inches. That’s 16 inches wider than a twin size mattress, perfect for anyone who wants room to spread out or turn in bed.

While twin size mattresses are the most common choice for a children’s bedroom, a full size mattress is an excellent alternative—many bunk beds can accommodate two full size mattresses, and some are designed to fit a full size on the bottom and a twin size on top. Full beds are also good choices for smaller guest bedrooms.

Variations

A full mattress only has one size variation, a full XL mattress. It offers 5 more inches of legroom than a standard full bed. It’s not a common size, so you might have to look online for the mattress, along with a matching bed frame and bedding.

Which is Right for Me?

When you’re deciding what the best mattress size for you is, you want to consider cost, bedroom size, and whether or not you’ll be sleeping alone.

a. Pricing

As a smaller mattress, a full bed is less expensive than a queen. However, the two often have similar prices. For example, a full size Zoma Mattress costs $650 and a queen size $750. Bedsheets and comforters for a full size mattress also cost slightly less than those for a queen.

If you’re sleeping alone, a full size mattress should suit you as well as a queen. If you plan on sharing your bed, however, we recommend budgeting for a queen.

b. Room Size

Dimensions

FeatureQueenFull
Width60 inches54 inches
Length80 inches75 inches
Surface Area4,800 sq. inches4,050 sq. inches

You might be able to afford a larger mattress, but that won’t matter if you can’t fit it into your bedroom. You have to consider not just the mattress’s size, but how much space the bed frame and other furniture require. We recommend leaving two to three feet of floor space around the bed clear for walking.

Both queen and full size mattresses need a room that’s at least 10 feet by 10 feet since there’s only a small difference between their sizes. The narrower fit of a full mattress, however, means that it’s the better choice for a smaller bedroom.

c. Single Sleepers vs. Couples

FeatureQueenFull
Single AdultsExcellentSuitable
CouplesExcellentCramped
Kids/TeensSuitableExcellent
Guest RoomsExcellentSuitable

If you’re a single sleeper, either a full size or queen mattress can give you plenty of sprawling space. If you plan on sharing with a partner, however, we highly recommend a queen size bed. You’re likely to feel cramped sharing a full size mattress, as you’ll have about 27 inches of sleeping space—that’s 11 inches narrower than a twin size mattress.

Even a queen mattress can be small for some couples, in which case you might want to consider a king size mattress.

d. Bedroom Aesthetics and Furniture Placement

The way your mattress fits into your bedroom’s design and layout can also influence your decision:

Due to its smaller size, a full mattress allows for more flexibility in furniture placement and can make a room feel more spacious. It’s easier to fit additional furniture, such as desks or dressers, without overcrowding the room.

While slightly larger, a queen mattress can still fit comfortably in most bedrooms without overwhelming the space. It pairs well with standard bedroom furniture and offers a balanced look, especially in medium to large rooms.

Other Sizes to Consider

Perhaps a full size and queen size mattress are too big or too small for your sleep needs. If so, you might want to consider a twin or king size mattress.

Twin

A twin size mattress is the smallest standard bed size. If you’re shopping for your child’s first bed after their crib or need a bed for a smaller room, a twin mattress can provide a good night’s sleep.

Twin XL

A twin XL size mattress is 5 inches longer than a twin mattress. If you’re taller or want a guest room mattress that can accommodate most single sleepers, a twin XL mattress is a good choice.

King

A king size mattress is the broadest standard size mattress—16 inches wider than a queen. If you and your partner need more space, a king bed can provide it.

See our article comparing a king with a queen bed.

California King

A California king size mattress is 4 inches narrower than a king mattress. In exchange, it’s also 4 inches longer.

If you’re taller than 6 feet or sleep with someone who is, a California king size bed might be the most comfortable mattress size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are a double and a queen the same size?

A double bed is another word for a full size mattress, which is 6 inches narrower and 5 inches shorter than a queen mattress.

Is a full bed big enough for two?

Some couples do share a full size bed, but we can’t recommend it. A full size mattress has about 27 inches of sleeping space for each partner. Many couples find it feels cramped on a full mattress.

Which is bigger, a twin bed or a double?

A double bed is the same as a full mattress, which is 16 inches wider than a twin mattress.

Do I need a box spring for my mattress?

Whether you need a box spring or not depends on your mattress’s materials. You should not place a latex or memory foam mattress on a box spring. The box spring’s inner coils do not offer consistent support and will let the foam mattress sag.

An innerspring mattress is fine on a box spring, as are some hybrid mattresses.

What is an Alaska king size bed?

An Alaska king is perhaps the largest size mattress you can find. It's 108 inches by 108 inches, or 9 feet on all sides. It's not one of the standard sizes, so if you're interested in owning one you may have to custom order it

Did We Help?

Full and queen size mattresses have similar sizes, with enough space for single sleepers. However, you’ll probably want a bed larger than a full if you plan on sharing. Take the time to consider your budget and the dimensions of your bedroom before you decide on a new mattress.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

James Nguyen, Sleep Expert James Nguyen

James Nguyen is Zoma's resident sleep expert and staff writer. James enjoys learning about the newest technologies in the mattress industry and doing deep dives into the science of sleep. He's tried nearly every gadget and gizmo in an effort to determine which sleep-promoting accessories can truly enhance your shut-eye. Outside of work, James takes his dedication to get healthy sleep seriously, and has even declared himself an "expert napper." James' research has been featured on Thrive Global and other media.

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