Full vs. Queen

For many sleepers, it’s clear that a Twin or Twin XL would be too small while a King or California King would be too large. But that leaves an open question: which would be just right - a Full or a Queen size bed?

That many customers wind up choosing between a Full, also known as a Double, and a Queen is no surprise. For a single person, a Full or Queen provides markedly more real estate than a Twin or Twin XL. In addition, these are two of the most popular mattress sizes because of their ability to accommodate two people without taking up all of the available space in a bedroom.

This guide is written for those customers who are in the midst of deciding which of these mattresses will be the best bet for their bedroom. There are benefits and downsides to both a Full and a Queen, and we’ll review those points of comparison and offer practical tips to help you find the perfect mattress size for you.

Matters of Size: How Do Full and Queen Mattresses Compare?

Once you make the step up from a Twin or Twin XL, the mattresses offer noticeably more space. It’s common knowledge that a King is bigger than a Queen and that a Queen is bigger than a Full. But exactly how much bigger is a Queen than a Full?

The following table lists the standard dimensions for Full and Queen mattresses in both Imperial and metric units.

Full Queen
Width 53 inches / 4 feet, 5 inches / 134.6 cm 60 inches / 5 feet / 152.4 cm
Length 75 inches / 6 feet, 3 inches / 190.5 cm 80 inches / 6 feet, 8 inches / 203.2 cm
Total Surface Area 3,975 square inches / 2.47 square meters 4,800 square inches / 3.08 square meters

With those raw numbers, we can directly compare a Full and a Queen to see in relative terms how much larger the Queen mattress is. A Queen mattress is bigger on all counts. A Queen is roughly 6.5% longer and 13% wider than a Full, and its total footprint is 20% larger.

What Are the Key Considerations for Choosing Between a Full and a Queen Bed?

On its face, settling on an ideal mattress size might seem simple. In reality, though, this decision is influenced by a host of different factors and your own personal preferences and priorities.

Each of the following sections introduces a key consideration, compares a Full versus a Queen with regard to that consideration, and offers some specific tips for how to make an informed choice between these two sizes.

Bedroom Space

Before you can think about any other factors, you have to start by addressing the most basic issue: the actual physical space offered by your bedroom.

Full vs. Queen

As we’ve demonstrated, a Queen takes up considerably more space -- 20% to be specific -- than a Full, which means a Full will fit in many more bedrooms than a Queen. This is particularly true in older homes or apartment buildings that may have small bedrooms or rooms with odd, narrow dimensions.

Both the Full and Queen are rectangular in shape, meaning that they are generally similar in terms of how they are arranged in a bedroom space. However, the Queen has a slightly greater ratio of width to length than a Full, which may make a difference in certain rooms with abnormal or constrained dimensions.

How to Decide

The first step for deciding is also the most obvious: make sure that you know what sizes will actually fit in your bedroom. Given their listed dimensions, can both a Full and a Queen fit in your bedroom?

If only the Full would fit, then there’s nothing more to think about. If both the Full and the Queen would fit, then you can start to think more practically about the way that the space would be arranged with each mattress type. For example, consider the following questions:

  • Would either size fit in the specific part of the bedroom where you want to place the bed?
  • Would a Queen block your ability to open the door to the bedroom or bathroom or to access the closet?
  • Would a Queen make your bedroom feel overcrowded and cramped?
  • Would you be able to walk easily around a Queen or would it occupy almost all of the usable floor space?

Be realistic about the amount of space that will be available with each mattress size. If one makes it harder to move easily within your bedroom, that’s a problem that you’re likely to notice day-in and day-out, meaning that you should probably opt for the smaller option.

Remember that you will probably want other furniture in your bedroom beyond just the mattress. To make your bedroom more livable and stylish, you may want to have one or more nightstands next to the bed. Similarly, you may want to have dressers, a floor lamp, a desk, and/or chairs. If going with a Queen bed means that you are forced to sacrifice having other furniture in your bedroom, it may reduce the comfort and satisfaction that you get from your bedroom over the long-term.

Thinking about the logistics of setting up your bedroom and how both of these mattress sizes affect those logistics can enable you to more thoughtfully consider the other factors, described in the following sections, that can help you choose between a Full and a Queen bed.

Price

A mattress is a significant purchase, and you can find mattresses on the market that range from just a few hundred dollars to well over $5,000. As a result, it’s important to think about your budget and how much you are ready to spend on a new mattress.

Full vs. Queen

For the same brand and model, a Queen will cost more than a Full. The Queen is usually about 10-20% more expensive depending on the exact mattress. In most cases, this difference amounts to $100 to $400.

How to Decide

To start thinking about how price will affect your choice between a Full and a Queen, you need to think about your available budget and how flexible it is.

If you have a considerable budget or a lot of wiggle room to spend more, then the price difference may not have much bearing on which mattress size to buy.

On the other hand, if your budget is firm, you probably will need to decide whether the size of the mattress is more important than other factors, such as the mattress construction or features.

For example, you may have narrowed your preferred mattress options down to two brands, one of which is your top choice. For each option, the Queen will be more expensive than a Full. But it could be that a Queen size in your second choice is less expensive than a Full in your first choice. In that case, you have to come to a conclusion about whether it’s more important to have a bigger bed or to have a mattress that more closely fits your preferences for design, construction, and features.

In general, if your budget is limited, the wise choice is to lean toward purchasing a Full. If your budget is more flexible, a Queen can be worth the 10-20% premium.

Sleeping Alone or Sharing the Bed

Your space needs when sleeping on a mattress can change significantly depending on whether you are sleeping by yourself or if you are sharing the bed with another adult.

Full vs. Queen

For sleeping alone, both a Full and a Queen are spacious. Obviously, the Queen is roomier thanks to its 20% larger sleeping surface, but a Full still has quite a bit of room, especially compared to a Twin or Twin XL.

How to Decide

For most people who are not sharing the bed, a Full will provide plenty of space. Even taller people can sleep at an angle on a Full to better accommodate their height.

For sharing the bed, a Full is often workable, but a Queen is a notable step up in available space. Whether you need that space depends on a number of other factors, such as body shape, sleeping position, preferences for personal space, and whether you share the bed with children or pets as well. These factors and others are discussed in more detail in the sections below.

Personal Space

One highly subjective element of choosing a mattress size is personal space. Some sleepers want to have a distinct personal bubble; others prefer to cozy up next to another person. When it comes to preferences for personal space, there is no right and wrong.

In some cases, these preferences may relate to temperature regulation and how soundly someone sleeps. A person who tends to get hot when sleeping may want more space so that their body can have more airflow and ventilation. Someone who is awoken easily may prefer extra room so that they don’t get accidentally stirred awake when their partner moves.

Full vs. Queen

Two people can sleep comfortably on a Full, but the buffer for personal space is definitely reduced relative to a Queen. A Queen delivers considerably more breathing room on the surface of the bed.

How to Decide

People who share a bed should think about their individual preferences for personal space and should discuss those preferences together. Couples should try to make sure that they are on the same page about their needs for personal space so that they can make an informed and conscious choice about how much room they really need.

If having plenty of real estate on the mattress is a major priority, then a Queen becomes a clear favorite over a Full. If having space to spare is an unnecessary luxury, then a Full can work just fine.

If the main reason for wanting space is because of temperature regulation, a Queen will offer more room for cooling airflow. A cooling mattress and/or cooling sheets can help with temperature regulation as well.

If a driving issue behind wanting personal space is concern about being woken up by a partner’s movement, a Queen will give more surface area to reduce the risk of sleep disruptions. Mattresses with great motion isolation, such as our best mattresses for couples, can help with this issue as well.

Body Shape

Not every person needs the same amount of space to sleep comfortably, and one variable that affects this is body shape. Taller people need a longer mattress to keep their feet from dangling off the edge of the bed, and people with higher body weight, especially over 230 pounds, may find it more comfortable to have a bigger and wider mattress.

Full vs. Queen

A Queen is larger than a Full in terms of both width and length, making it far better at accommodating different body shapes and sizes.

A Queen is 6 feet, 8 inches long, while a Full measures in at 6 feet, 3 inches long. Given that most people don’t sleep with their head exactly at the top of the mattress, most people 6’3” or under can rest comfortably on a Queen. On a Full, people that are 6’ or taller may find that they have a hard time fitting completely on the mattress.

A Queen is seven inches wider than a Full, providing a significant increase in space for people who have higher weight and want additional space to get comfortable on their mattress.

How to Decide

It can be hard to know in advance exactly how much space you’ll really need on your mattress. One way to get an idea is to think about any experience you’ve had sleeping on a Full or Queen, such as at when staying at a hotel or in a friend or family member’s guest room. If a Full seemed insufficient based on your body shape, you are likely to benefit from choosing a Queen.

If you can’t draw on past experience, determine first if you are too tall for a Full. If you are over 6’ tall and tend to sleep with your legs stretched (instead of bent), you will probably find that your feet overhang the edge of a Full, making a Queen a wiser choice.

If you have a larger frame and/or a higher body weight, the extra room available on a Queen can make it easier to share a bed and to make sure that you can get settled into a comfortable position for sleep. On the flip side, if you have a slight frame, a Queen might feel like too much space and may not be worth the added cost.

Sleeping Position

Your body size is important, but so is your sleeping position. Some sleeping positions take up significantly more space, such as if the limbs are outstretched. Other positions involve bent limbs or curling up in a ball, requiring much less real estate on the mattress. Some people, known as combination sleepers, move between positions in the night and can need more space to stay comfortable as they do so.

Full vs. Queen

Just as with body size, there is no denying that a Queen mattress is able to accommodate more sleeping positions because of its greater width and length.

How to Decide

Side sleeping is the most common position, and many people in this position bend their knees slightly, curling up in a way that reduces their space needs on the bed. If this is your main sleeping position, it is likely that you will find enough space on either a Full or a Queen bed.

In comparison, sleepers in some other positions take up more space. Examples include:

  • Back or stomach sleepers who stretch out their arms and/or legs, taking on a T or star shape
  • Side sleepers who bend up and stretch out their legs, pushing out their backside and creating a comma, hook, or question mark shaped position
  • Combination sleepers who consistently change positions in bed at night

In these sleeping positions, space takes on extra importance to keep you comfortably on the mattress and to prevent hogging another person’s part of the mattress. For that reason, a Queen tends to be a better choice. If you sleep in one of these positions and are taller or have a bigger body size, the benefits of a Queen become even greater.

If you are a more compact sleeper, especially with a smaller body frame, a Full can provide plenty of room to sleep soundly and without feeling cramped.

Sharing the Bed With Children and Pets

Compared to a Twin or Twin XL, it’s far easier for two adults to share a Full or a Queen bed. Both of these mattress sizes can usually comfortably accommodate two normal-sized adults.

Many couples, though, share the bed with children or with pets. This can drastically change the calculus about how much space you really need from a mattress.

Full vs. Queen

There’s no arguing with facts: a Queen provides 20% more sleeping surface than a Full. For this reason, it has a considerable advantage when it comes to providing space for co-sleeping with children, cats, or dogs.

How to Decide

Because the Queen provides more room on the bed, it has a major leg up on a Full if you are sharing your bed with kids or animals. However, to determine whether you really need that space, think about the following two questions:

  • How frequently are children or pets sharing your bed?
  • When they do share the bed, how much negative impact does that have on your or your partners’ sleep?

The more frequent and more disruptive co-sleeping is, the more benefit you will get from a Queen over a Full. If kids and pets are only climbing into bed every now-and-again, or if they really don’t affect the quality of your sleep, then the added price of the Queen may not be justified.

Bed Frame and Bedding

To get your bed set up, you will need to have a bed frame (in some cases with a box spring) as well as sheets, blankets, and pillows.

Full vs. Queen

As two of the most popular mattress sizes, you’ll find most bedding products and bed frames are offered in either size. The primary difference is not availability but price because Queen size products tend to come at a higher cost.

Most people use standard size pillows, which are 20” by 26”, on a Full. Queen size pillows, which measure 20” x 30”, are usually preferred on a Queen.

How to Decide

The primary consideration with regard to bed frames and bedding is simply the cost difference. Though not huge, you’ll spend more on products to fit a Queen, and this might be a problem if you are working with a limited budget.

If you already have a Full or Queen and are contemplating a change, remember that you will have to replace the bed frame and other bedding if you do opt to switch it up.

Setup and Moving

When you get a new mattress, you have to get it properly set up in your bedroom. Some companies offer installation -- either as a free service or for an additional charge -- while most simply ship the mattress to you as a bed-in-a-box.

If the mattress is delivered without installation services, you will have to unbox and position the mattress yourself.

If you move to a new home, moving the mattress will require lifting and carrying it out of your home and into your new home and bedroom.

Because of their size and weight, installing or moving a mattress can be tricky. How heavy or unwieldy a mattress is will depend in large part on its interior materials and whether or not it has handles.

Full vs. Queen

Because of its smaller size, a Full is generally lighter and much easier to setup or move than a Queen. It is much more feasible for one person to lift or position a Full than a Queen, and in most situations, it will require two people to handle a Queen.

When moving, a Full makes the process easier, especially because its smaller dimensions make it simpler to fit through doorways and staircases or around tight corners.

How to Decide

Depending on your situation, the logistics of setting up and moving a mattress may have more or less relevance. The following questions can help you determine how important this factor is for your decision:

  • Are you going to move soon or often? If your work or life circumstances are such that you predict that you’ll move often or in the near future, it can be handy to have a Full that is easier to lift and transport.
  • How easily can you get help? If you have a network of people who you can ask to get help, moving a Queen usually won’t be a big problem. If you think you will have to set the mattress up or move it on your own, a Full will pose fewer challenges.
  • How spacious is your home? If your house or apartment has lots of tight hallways or narrow doorways, a Queen can create some headaches when it comes to moving. Those headaches can be amplified if you have breakable items like artwork, vases, or decorative ceramics that could be knocked over when moving a mattress.
  • What is your ability to maneuver a mattress? If you’re a CrossFit enthusiast or a bodybuilder, carrying a bulky mattress may seem like a walk in the park. On the other hand, if you have physical limitations, a heavier bed could be a major negative.

Some mattresses come with handles sewn on the side, and regardless of whether you go for a Full or a Queen, this can be a feature to look for if you expect to move your mattress frequently.

Lastly, don’t forget that when a bed-in-a-box mattress is delivered that the mattress is compressed. For this reason, it’s easier to bring the bed into your home than to take it out. Be sure that you will be able to get a mattress, especially a larger one like a Queen, out of your bedroom and home before you take it out of its packaging.

Interior Decorating

The look and feel of your bedroom is influenced by the size, shape, and positioning of your bed. The size that you choose can affect the overall vibe of your bedroom.

Full vs. Queen

Because a Full and a Queen have a similar shape, they’ll usually have the same look as far as how the bed jives with the dimensions of the room. The biggest difference will come from how much open space is in your bedroom around the bed.

If your bedroom is on the smaller size, a Queen can make it feel either crowded or cozy, depending on your perspective. In a large bedroom, a Full may leave a lot of empty space, which can, again depending on your viewpoint, feel either cold or airy and open.

How to Decide

Try to imagine your bedroom and where you would place a Full or Queen. Imagine what furniture and other decorations might go in the bedroom. It may even be helpful to take out a piece of paper and create a sketch of these images.

As you envision what your bedroom might look like with either a Full or Queen, consider which fits more with the vibe that you’re hoping to create. If you want a bedroom with lots of open space, a Full is better for your style. If you prefer a cozier space, the Queen will be a wiser choice.

Need to improve your sleep? Read our in-depth, unbiased mattress reviews to find the perfect bed.

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