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The Difference Between a Queen and Full Mattress May Not be What You Think



Couple lays together on Queen Size Mattress


You need to buy a new mattress. Perhaps this mattress is for your teen as they get bigger. Maybe this new bed is for yourself to go in your first new home you can call your own. Many times, a couple simply needs a new mattress because their other one is getting old, saggy, and lumpy. As you begin mattress shopping, the first decision you need to make is which size to buy. This is step one, no matter why you’re ready to buy a new mattress and for whom.

What’s the Difference Between a Queen and Full Mattress?

You know that a Twin mattress is for a small child or a single adult who’s dealing with limited square footage. A King mattress is a huge one, ideal for larger couples or a person who loves to sprawl out in luxury (learn more in our King mattress comparison article). Your other two main options are a Full mattress and a Queen mattress. The main difference between these two options is the size. 

Many people read this and think to themselves, “I know this. A Queen mattress is wider than a Full.” You’re only partially correct. In fact, few mattress shoppers realize that a Queen mattress is both wider and longer than a Full mattress. When we say it’s bigger, know that it’s bigger in every dimension! 

A Full mattress is 54” wide and 75” long. This means you have 4,050 square inches of surface area to sleep on. A Queen, on the other hand, is 60” wide and 80” long. Those few inches make a big difference! Sleeping on a Queen mattress you have 4,800 square inches of space. 

Learn more about the differences between the two sizes in our dedicated article: Queen vs Full Mattress - What's the Difference?

Who is a Queen Mattress Ideal For?

You want to ensure that you have enough space to sleep comfortably, without paying extra for a bed that’s larger than you truly need. For many, that’s a Queen mattress. These are the most popular by far, and a good option for most couples or singles who have the room. Even if a teen or adult is sleeping solo, it’s important to remember the five extra inches of length. Taller people don’t want their feet hanging off the end of the bed, even if there’s plenty of room right next to them. For this reason, a Queen is suited for those over 6’ tall. Learn more in our dedicated Queen article.

Who is a Full Mattress Ideal For?

There are situations where a Full mattress, sometimes called a Double, may make more sense. They are best for growing pre-teens and teens who are now too large for a Twin bed, and single adults with small bedrooms and limited space in their home. It’s plenty big enough for most adults, as long as only one person is sleeping there. A Full mattress is more affordable than a Queen, as they’re less expensive. Because they are smaller, they are also easier to move. If you’re trying to sleep two on a Full mattress, both people are going to be very cramped. 

Which size is best for you? Hopefully, looking at this in a bit more detail has helped you decide. There are a variety of factors to consider, including who is sleeping on the bed, your budget, and the square footage of the room you’re putting it in.

Before committing to a size, think about the entire lifespan of your mattress, and what may be needed eight or even 10 years down the road. If you’re single now, you may be sharing your bed with a partner in the future. A 12-year-old boy who’s too big for a Twin bed today may very well be too big for a Full in three years. If you decide to buy a Full mattress, know that you are giving up some versatility in the future in exchange for a lower cost now. You may end up needing to buy a new mattress again, before you would otherwise need to. A Queen mattress meets more sleep needs, so if you’re on the fence, we recommend sticking with the larger Queen size.