Queen vs. Full: What’s the Difference?
If you have a smaller bedroom, a full size or queen size mattress can offer you plenty of comforts. 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.
Queen mattresses are an excellent choice for smaller master bedrooms, studio apartments, and guest bedrooms.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 requires. 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.
Single Sleepers vs. Couples
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
A double bed is another word for a full size mattress, which is 6 inches narrower and 5 inches shorter than a queen mattress.
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.
A double bed is the same as a full mattress, which is 16 inches wider than a twin 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.
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.