What’s the Difference Between a Full vs. Queen Mattress?
When you start your search for a new mattress, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what size you want. There are six popular sizes, from the smallest twin to the huge California king. As for moderately sized beds, the two most common are full (aka “double”), and queen.
But what’s the difference between full vs. queen? The table below shows the key differences, as well as the pros and cons of each size.
|Full||54" wide, 75" long||
|Queen||60" wide, 80" long||
Full and queen beds have some noteworthy differences, but also some similarities.
Both sizes can be used by two people, but some couples find a full to be too cramped. Both will feel quite spacious for single sleepers, and some may even find that a queen feels like overkill for a single adult.
Queens offer substantially more space overall. A queen is 6 inches wider and 5 inches longer than a full. For couples, a full offers 27 inches of space per person, while a queen allows for 30 inches per sleeper.
The difference in length is also important to note, particularly for tall people. At 75 inches long, the full may feel cramped for people over 6 feet tall. A queen should offer plenty of legroom for those up to 6 feet, 5 inches tall.
Who is a Full Size Mattress Best For?
Full mattresses are typically best for single sleepers, although they can also work well for some couples. Overall, full is best for:
- Single adults under 6 feet tall. Most single adults will generally be well suited to a full mattress. Width-wise, this size provides more than enough room for just about any single person. Length-wise, however, a full may not offer enough legroom for people over 6 feet tall.
- Couples on a tight budget, and couples with small bedrooms. While it may feel a bit cramped, a full mattress can certainly accommodate a couple. Many couples choose a full over a queen in order to save money, or because a queen would take up too much space in their bedrooms.
- Children and teens. Many parents choose to purchase full mattresses for their children, knowing that it’s a size that a child can grow into. While a full may seem unnecessarily large for a small child, it will provide adequate space for many years to come.
Who is a Queen Size Mattress Best For?
Queen mattresses are incredibly versatile. This is the most popular mattress size, and for good reason. In general, queen is best for:
- Couples. Queen is the most popular mattress size for couples. It provides 30 inches of room per person, which feels spacious for most people. And at a length of 80 inches, even taller individuals should still feel comfortable on a queen.
- Single adults planning for the future. Single people may wish to consider their future mattress needs before purchasing a smaller sized bed. For single adults who plan on sharing a bed someday, upgrading to a queen now may make sense.
- Single parents with small children. Parents who share their bed with a small child could get by on either a queen or a full. For the sake of your personal space and overall sleep quality, it’s likely best to go with a queen.
- Guest bedrooms. Queen is also a popular choice for guest bedrooms. The size can comfortably accommodate any guests you may have, and makes for a versatile choice. Even if a visiting couple is used to a king, a queen sized mattress should still feel comfortable for them for a short stay.
- Full dimensions: 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. This is 4 feet, 6 inches wide by 6 feet, 3 inches long.
- Queen dimensions: 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. This is 5 feet wide by 6 feet, 8 inches long.
Comparing the dimensions of a full vs a queen is fairly straightforward, as the two sizes are similar overall. Between the two, there is a 6-inch difference in width, along with a 5-inch difference in length.
Both sizes can accommodate two sleepers, but queens will feel more spacious. Six inches may not seem like a huge change on paper, but it can be the difference between having adequate personal space and feeling cramped. For single sleepers, both sizes will feel spacious.
The difference in length is also noteworthy - although this will mostly only affect those over 6 feet tall. At 80 inches long, a queen can comfortably accommodate those up to about 6 feet, 5 inches tall, while fulls may feel cramped for anyone over 6 feet.
- Full Surface Area: 4050 square inches
- Queen Surface Area: 4800 square inches
Surface area is a measurement that refers to the total amount of space offered by each mattress. It is calculated by multiplying the width by the length.
While it’s difficult to visualize what 4800 square inches actually means, these numbers can still be useful. Surface area figures allow us to quickly compare two different sizes.
By comparing full vs queen surface area, we can see that queen beds offer around 18.5% more total space than full mattresses, distributed in both extra length and width.
Purchasing a new mattress can be a major expense. And because there are significant price differences between different sizes, budget shoppers should consider pricing before choosing between full vs. queen. So, what are the differences in price between full and queen mattresses?
Full mattresses are the more budget-friendly choice. You can generally expect to spend about $100-$400+ less for a full than you would for a comparable queen. Pricing for a full mattress can vary, but quality full mattresses can usually be found for $700 to $2000+.
Queen mattresses are more expensive. However, they may offer better value in the long run due to improved comfort and better versatility. Quality queen mattresses typically run between $800 and $2500+. The price difference between queen and full is not always very large, so couples who are on the fence between the two sizes may wish to consider making the upgrade.
In other words, a full can save you a bit of money - but in many cases, going with a queen is well worth the extra expense.
Choosing between a queen and a full mattress is just one factor in your search for your next bed. Equally important is choosing the type of mattress you want. Here is a brief overview of some popular mattress types:
- Foam: Foam mattresses can be made of several different foam materials, including polyfoam. They can be made of a single foam type, or more commonly, a blend of several different materials. All-foam mattresses are typically low to moderately priced, so they are an affordable choice for budget-minded shoppers.
- Innerspring: Innerspring beds are made using metal coils or springs. A layer of dozens to hundreds of these springs makes up the underlying support system, while thin layers of foam and other materials add some comfort. Innerspring beds are available in every category, from ultra-budget to luxury.
- Memory Foam: Memory foam beds are made using specific types of foams categorized as “memory” foam. These foams offer very close conforming, cradling the body and improving comfort. Memory foam is a moderately priced material, but it is utilized in both budget and luxury mattresses.
- Latex: Latex beds are made using a natural material that’s manufactured from tree sap. It is generally bouncier and more durable than other synthetic foams. Latex is expensive to produce, however, so its use is generally restricted to higher-end mattresses.
- Hybrid: Hybrid beds utilize foam layers as well as traditional innerspring coils. Hybrids are generally comfortable, durable, and versatile options for a variety of sleepers. They are also typically more expensive than all-foam beds.
Generally speaking, all of these mattress types will be available in both full and queen. Both queen and full are considered standard sizes, so nearly every manufacturer offers both.
What Else Should I Consider When Choosing a Mattress Size?
Before making your final choice between queen vs full, are there any other factors to consider?
- Room Size: The size of the bedroom you plan to put your new mattress in may influence your decision of queen or full. Remember that a queen is about 18.5% larger than a full. If your bedroom is small, a full will most likely fit much better. It’s wise to measure out your room beforehand, to try to visualize how each size will fit. If possible, it’s good to have around 18-24 inches of space between the mattress and each surrounding wall (or piece of furniture).
- Accessories & Bedding: Prices for bedding and accessories will be similar for both full and queen. Full may be slightly cheaper, but the difference is minor. However, one thing to think about is whether or not you already have accessories for one of the sizes. If you already have a full bed frame, sheets, etc. and then decide to upgrade to a queen, you’ll have to similarly upgrade other parts of your bed as well.
- Children & Pets: If you share your bed with a child or pet, even if it’s just occasionally, that can definitely impact the mattress size you should choose. A queen will always provide more space for bed-mates, and can help improve the sleep quality of all parties. Pet parents whose animals like to sleep at the foot of the bed should also consider the length differences of full vs queen (75 inches vs 80 inches).