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Full Size Bed Dimensions: How Big is a Full Size Bed?

Also known as the double mattress, the full-size mattress is versatile enough to fit several kinds of sleepers of all ages — children, teens, and single adults, too. The full size is typically best for single sleepers and is an ideal option for giving a single adult plenty of room to stretch out during the night, while occupying minimal space in a bedroom.

Below are just a few fun facts about the dimensions of a full-size bed — if you’re currently shopping for a new mattress, you may find these helpful as you consider your sleeping needs, bedroom space, and budget.

Full Size Bed Dimensions

  • Mattress dimensions are 54 inches wide by 74 inches long.
  • The full-size mattress is the same length as a twin bed — but it’s 16 inches wider, offering much more generous personal space.
  • The full mattress is the smallest of all standard mattress sizes after the twin-size mattress.
  • Just like its twin counterpart, the full-size mattress might be a bit short for taller teenagers and adults, whose feet may dangle off the end! Sleeping diagonally from corner to corner can help provide more legroom.
  • The full-size mattress is a good choice for single sleepers of average height.
  • It’s also a popular choice for parents who are bed shopping for children or teens.
  • The double mattress can be a snug fit for couples — especially if they’re active sleepers or if they’re especially tall. At 54-inches wide, a full bed gives each sleeper only 27 inches of personal space — roughly the same width as an infant’s crib.
  • The full-size mattress is an ideal size for a travel mattress or RV mattress because it doesn’t take up too much space.
  • Be careful with your littlest ones — the dimensions of a full-size bed can make it unsafe for infants. Parents typically choose the twin bed when it’s time to upgrade from a crib to a big-boy or big-girl bed.
  • Full-size beds are commonly found in hotel rooms.
mattress size comparison

Benefits of a Full Size Bed

The full-size mattress offers sleepers — especially single adults — many benefits. In fact, until the queen-size mattress gained popularity, the double mattress was the mattress of choice for both single adults and couples. As more couples have gravitated toward the queen size mattress, the full-size bed has gained popularity as a choice for children. The full-size bed gives kiddos plenty of room to grow and to sleep comfortably sprawled across the mattress. It also allows parents to cozy up with their little ones at bedtime for stories, cuddling, tuck-ins, and tickle fights. And even though the full mattress offers extra-comfortable sleeping space, this size bed frame doesn’t take up that much more space than its twin-size counterpart. The single sleeper in a full-size mattress has plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

Full-size mattresses are less expensive than larger mattresses, so they can provide sleeping comfort without being an expensive splurge. Many single adult sleepers find themselves torn between whether to purchase a full-size mattress or spring for the queen size mattress instead. Depending on your personal preference and circumstances, the full-size mattress can offer some advantages, chief among them being its price.

In addition to its lower price point, the double mattress is also easy to accessorize — you won’t have any issues finding a wide variety of bed sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers, mattress pads, pillows, bed skirts and more to fit a full-size mattress. When you get into the larger mattress sizes — like king-size or California king — your choices for accessories may be diminished. Larger bedding will also be more expensive, sometimes considerably so. But full-size mattresses are so common in most households that accessories and bedding for them are generally easy to find.

With the popularity of the full-size mattress, you can also find all of its accessories at a variety of luxury levels and price points. You’ll have no issues finding something that fits your personal sleeping preferences and budget. Full-size bedding is usually priced pretty economically across the board. For example, you can find a decent quality duvet set at many traditional bed and bath retailers or online stores for as low as $20.

A full-size bed frame is also easy to find and simple to transport, which makes it a good choice for single adults who may need to move around a lot. Though not as compact as the twin-size version, the typical full-size bed frame also will generally fit comfortably within most any bedroom dimensions. The full-size mattress provides a generous amount of sleeping space without taking up a whole lot of real estate within your bedroom — still leaving you plenty of room to move around the bedroom and even to include other pieces of furniture like nightstands and bookshelves.

Frequently Asked Questions About Full Size Beds

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly posed questions about the full-size mattress.

What’s the difference between a queen-size bed and a full-size mattress?

Queen size bed dimensions are 60 inches wide by 80 inches long, while the full-size mattress measures 54 inches wide and 75 inches long. The difference in bed sizes seems slight, and you might not notice the size difference if you’re a single sleeper of average height. But these few inches of extra space can make a world of difference for a couple trying to sleep in the same bed. Couples who really, really like to snuggle throughout the night may be fine in a full-size bed, but most couples get a better night’s rest together in the queen-size version since they have more personal space. In fact, almost all couples today will choose a queen size mattress over its full-size counterpart.

Why did the queen bed take over the full bed in popularity?

As recently as 30 to 40 years ago, the full-size mattress was the standard size of choice for couples. In fact, it was the original bed designed especially for couples. Until the post-World War II era, houses featured smaller master bedrooms which accommodated full-size bed frames nicely. But when the Simmons Mattress Co. developed the larger queen size and king size mattress types in the late 1950s, the queen gained popularity with couples because of its extra sleeping space — and the full-size mattress became the standard for older children, teens, single adults, and guest rooms.

As American bedroom sizes have increased, the queen size mattress has remained the most popular choice for the master bedroom. There’s more room for kids and pets to hop into bed for a cuddle. Also, people tend to be larger today than they were 30 to 40 years ago, and more concerned with space and luxury while they sleep. This helps the queen size mattress maintain its popularity with sleeping couples.

Do full-size bed dimensions vary from country to country?
Yes — mattress sizes often vary from country to country, and sometimes even by region within the same country. In America, the full-size mattress is also known as the double mattress, while in Europe, the double bed comes in a variety of sizes.

What size room is best for a full-size bed?
One of the great things about the full-size bed is that it can fit just about anywhere — guest rooms, children’s rooms, small master bedrooms, you name it. As long as your room is at least nine feet by nine and a half feet, you should have plenty of space for your full-size bed, while still having room to move around and also accommodate other bedroom furniture. Full-size beds also offer you more options for placement in a room — they tend to look good whether positioned against a wall or with a side against a wall.

Always make sure to measure your bedroom before purchasing a mattress, to make sure you have plenty of room without starting to feel too cramped. If you can, try to sketch your room arrangement on graph paper — or you can find apps to help you do this. Factor in the measurements of bookshelves, dressers, nightstands, chairs, or other furniture that you’d like to have in your room. For the best aesthetics, try to keep 3 feet of clear space around your bed frame. Anything less than 2 feet of clear space around your bed can look and feel a bit cramped.

Is full size the same as a double bed?
Yes — in the United States, the terms “full size” and “double” are used interchangeably to describe the same mattress. But don’t be fooled — just because we sometimes call it a double mattress doesn’t mean it’s always the best choice for two sleepers.

What’s the difference between a full-size mattress and a twin-size mattress?
A full bed and a twin bed are the same length but have different widths. A twin bed, also known as a single bed, measures 38 inches wide and 75 inches long, which tends to work well for a small single sleeper and fit well in small bedrooms. The full bed measures 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, providing additional personal space for that same single sleeper to sprawl out more comfortably for a good night’s sleep. For some sleepers, those 16 additional inches make a world of difference for their overall comfort. For extra length, you can also find a twin XL mattress that measures 38 or 39 inches wide by 80 inches long — you’ll typically see a twin extra-long in college dorms. For the single adult sleeper of average height, a full-size mattress can offer more comfort without taking up too much space in a bedroom.

The Full Size Bed

Ultimately, your choice of mattress size is a personal one. If you’re currently mattress shopping, consider the full-size mattress. It’s a versatile, effective choice for many different uses, especially for older children, teens, and adult sleepers.

It isn’t always easy to settle on the best mattress size, but if you’ll consider the ideas presented here, you’ll have sound information for choosing the mattress that will deliver your best night’s sleep. Sweet dreams!