With the many different product options available in the U.S. market today, mattress shopping can quickly begin to feel overwhelming. First, you have to sift through tens of brand names, then navigate the gimmick-heavy landscape of product offerings, then, finally, you must answer the critical question of which mattress size to pick.
Two of the more popular mattress sizing options, full size, and queen size, often feature as top contenders in most U.S. bed purchases.
However, should you buy a full size (double) bed or opt instead for a roomier queen? What are the actual dimensions for these mattress types? What are the differences between queen mattress and double beds? Which of these options is best for a couple? This article answers these questions and more to ensure you get the perfect mattress for your home.
Full vs. Queen Mattress: An Overview
According to a report by the U.S. Sleep Products Association, their survey of the U.S. mattress market indicating the dominance of queen mattresses, with this category accounting for a massive 32% of the entire market. Full-size mattresses come in third, making up 21% of the market, while twin beds sit in between the two, representing a 31% share.
Take one look at these three options placed side by side, and the statistics begin to make sense.
A twin bed is a small and slender option that works perfectly as a bed for singles, children, and teenagers: representing a significant proportion of the U.S. demographic. Hence, it is no surprise that twins rank this high up in market dominance.
Queen mattresses, which rank number one based on market share, are slightly longer and about a third wider than twin beds. Consequently, queens make an excellent choice for couples as they are significantly roomier, and hence, comfier than twin mattresses.
However, full beds are another major contender for this demographic, as they are only slightly smaller than queen mattresses, and they offer a more compact alternative that can prove to be the more attractive choice in many scenarios.
Whether you are shopping mattresses for you and your partner or you are single who is interested in the finer things (AKA more room to roam), full and queen mattresses represent some of your best options.
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The dimensions for both full and queen size mattresses offer convenient mid-size options that provide significantly more room than a twin (single) bed, yet do not come with the massive footprint of a king or California king.
A standard full-size bed measures 74 inches in length, 54 inches across, and depending on the product specifications; it can range in height between 7 and 25 inches.
A standard queen, on the other hand, measures a slightly longer 80 inches in length and has an increased width of 60 inches, while maintaining a similar height profile as a full-size mattress.
However, when shopping mattresses, beds, and accessories, keep in mind that most brand mattresses will not match these measurements correctly. Many products will run about an inch longer or shorter than standard, and this fact is embodied by IKEA, whose mattresses all run around a half-inch to an inch shorter than customary.
Hence, you must ensure that your box-springs and bed frames all match your mattresses before going through with your purchase.
Furthermore, with full and queen mattresses, several other non-standard dimensions exist that come with varying levels of popularity among specific sections of the demographic. Some of the most common non-standard dimensions for full size and queen mattresses include:
For tall people living in small spaces who want the extra height of the queen while maintaining the slim profile of a full size, the full XL is the perfect mattress. This mattress measures 54 inches, same as the full-size, but packs an 80-inch queen-size height to ensure that your bed fits you perfectly.
Sometimes, what you need is a bit more width than the queen without making the massive 16-inch jump to a king-size bed, and here, an Olympic queen works perfectly. This expanded queen mattress has a 66-inch width, 6 inches more than a standard queen while keeping the other dimensions the same.
A split queen mattress offers you significantly more maneuverability than a standard queen while maintaining the same dimensions. With this unique offering, you get a standard 80’ by 60’ queen split into two more manageable 80’ by 30’ pieces.
Pros And Cons
For mattresses shoppers, choosing between the various mattress dimensions mostly boils down to how much you need to accommodate you comfortably and how much floor space you have available to fit the bed. The full vs. queen mattress debate is no exception too.
With a standard full mattress, you get a 74’ by 54’ profile that provides substantial amounts of sleeping space for one. Due to its relatively slim build, full mattresses rarely feature in beds for couples, although you could get one to work with petite partners, teenagers, or children.
A queen mattress, on the other hand, is a more couple-centric option as the six extra inches in both directions can make a world of difference when it comes to fitting partners. However, on the flip side, you get a larger bed footprint
Aside from the differences in size, for full and queen mattresses, other variables like firmness and availability of accessories are typically comparable for offerings from the same brand.
- Smaller footprint is excellent for small spaces
- More compact, typically less dense, and easier to move around
- Usually less expensive than queens from the same brand
- Too small for many couples and tall singles to fit comfortably
- Less future-proof than a queen
- Provides additional room for enhanced comfort
- Can easily fit most couples comfortably
- The more future-proof option for people who are currently single
- Usually more expensive than full-size mattresses from the same brand
- Typically more bulky and harder to move around
- Larger footprint makes it harder to fit in smaller apartments
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Room Size Recommendations
While comfort is typically the primary driver when selecting a mattress, another crucial factor you must consider is your available floor space. The perfect bed for your home is only suitable for you if it fits in your apartment without making the room all-bed.
To ensure that you have sufficient walking space in your bedroom, we recommend that you leave at least a two-feet gap from walls or furniture on either side of the bed. Furthermore, if you plan to procure an unusually large bed frame, you must account for this as well.
Before pulling the trigger on a new mattress, get the exact dimensions of your bedroom, then mark out how much space that specific bed will take up to ensure that you are comfortable with your proposed setup.
For a spacious setup that leaves you with enough spaces to move freely, we recommend queen mattresses for rooms that are 10 feet by 14 feet or larger. Similarly, we recommend you can use a full bed in enclosures that are not smaller than 10 feet by 12 feet.
Prices for mattresses can vary significantly across brands with everything from sub $100 beds to options that retail for several thousand on offer. However, for mattresses from the same brand, full size will typically cost slightly less than a queen, which makes sense, considering that it is smaller in size.
Similarly, with accessories like duvets, comforters, and linens, you can expect to pay a slight premium for queen size with offerings of matching quality. The same dichotomy extends to other bedroom furniture like bed frames and box springs too.
Should I Get a Full or a Queen Mattress?
While a queen mattress is now the go-to for many American buyers, a full-size mattress brings several advantages that make it an excellent choice for many. You should consider getting a full-size if:
- You are 5’9 or smaller
- You need a bed that you mainly intend to use alone
- You have a small apartment and could use the extra floor space you get with a full
- You need a bed for teenagers or children
However, we recommend that you make the jump to a queen if:
- You are 6’ or taller
- You plan to fit a couple comfortably
- You need a more future-proof bed that you can grow into
- You want to go overkill and get as much space as possible for maximum comfort
- You have a large enough room where a full-size mattress will look out of place
Full vs. Queen Mattress: Our Top Rated Picks
Our Top Rated Full Mattress: Nolah Original 10
With the Nolah Original 10 mattress, you get a proprietary foam from the renowned online retailer that promises instant responsiveness, maximum pressure relief, and guaranteed coolness through the night.
While this mattress is available in all the standard sizes, we especially recommend their full-size offering due to its unique construction that makes it ideal for the ideal user. The 10-inch mattress includes three layers: an active 2” airFoam layer, 1” of Avena foam for an additional bounce, and a firm 7” support layer at the bottom.
Since the top AirFoam layer is ultra-soft, it lets you sink in, providing improved pressure relief, and creating a perfect fit in terms of support for sleepers who weigh 200lbs or less.
Nolah Original 10 Key Features
- Unique three-layer design for enhanced comfort
- Soft AirFoam layer provides unrivaled pressure relief for lightweight sleepers
- With a viscose cover that wicks moisture and dissipates heat for a cooler sleep
- Better bang for the buck compared to most of the competition
Our Top Rated Queen Mattress: Nectar Mattress
If you are considering picking up a memory foam mattress, few options can provide an experience that rivals what you get with the Nectar mattress. Since its launch in 2017, Nectar has been on a steady rise to fame. Its unique mattress offers all the pressure relief of traditional memory foam without any of the overheating.
This mattress also gives you a risk-free way to jump on the memory foam wagon as the Nectar mattress comes with a 365-day trial period during which you can return the product and get your money back, no questions asked.
Nectar also offers a forever warranty that covers all manufacturing defects.
Nectar Mattress Key Features:
- Three-layer design, with soft top layers and a high-density foam base for enhanced support and comfiness
- 3-inch LushFoam top layer made from memory foam that contours to your body for a cradling hug and improved temperature regulation
- All-foam construction for maximum motion isolation
- With full edge-to-edge support
- 365-day trial period
- Full forever warranty
Full vs. Queen Mattress: FAQs
Can a Full Mattress Fit 2?
Full beds offer 15 inches more width than a single bed, making it a possible, albeit cramped fit for two adults. However, at only 74” long, full-size beds will be insufficient for adults who are 5’9 or taller.
Can Full-Size Sheets Fit a Queen Mattress?
No. A standard full-size sheet or comforter will be too small for a regular queen. However, you could use queen beddings with a twin but will have to deal with the spillover somehow.
Is Queen Size Bed Enough for a Couple?
The queen size bed is the most popular bed for couples in the U.S. today as it provides just enough space for most couples and then some. However, the fact that it is the most common choice does not make it the perfect choice for every couple; as if you need even more width, you are better off with a king or a California king.