king vs full mattress dimensions
Buying Guides

King vs Full Bed: Which Bed Should You Buy?

    Last Updated
    December 1, 2022
    min read

    The main difference between king and full mattresses is in length and width. A king size mattress measures at 76 x 80 inches. A full size mattress measures at 54 x75 inches.

    Couples that share a bed often struggle with a common problem: getting enough space to sleep comfortably. If one partner tosses a lot in their sleep or likes to stretch out, this can cause serious issues about sharing the space equally. 

    Keep in mind mattress sizes can vary by an inch or two from brand to brand. In this guide, we will cover key differences in king vs full-size mattresses so you know which is best for you.

    What Is A King Mattress?

    As stated previously a king mattress measures 76 inches by 80 inches, and it’s one of the largest commercially-available bed sizes. Because of its luxurious size, it’s a popular choice for co-sleepers and restless sleepers. This is also recommended for those who want more personal space as they sleep, as couples can have more room to stretch out away from the bed’s edges.

    Pros Of A King Bed

    • They have plenty of space for couples with children or pets to sleep comfortably: No more fretting about rolling off your mattress edges in your sleep! A king-size bed has lots of room for couples, making it ideal for those who shift positions or stretch out during the night. There’s also enough extra space on a king-size bed for a pet or child to join them.
    • It’s perfect for tall people: Because of its considerable length, a king-size bed is a good option if you’re tall or like to sprawl out when you sleep.
    • It’s easy to find bedding options for this bed size: King-size mattresses are typically the largest mattress size made by most manufacturers. This means you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to well-fitting sheets, duvets, and other beddings for a king-size bed.

    Cons Of A King Bed

    • They’re harder to move: King-size beds are heavier and bulkier, making it challenging to move them through doors and into rooms. Their reduced maneuverability makes them harder to clean, move, assemble, flip, and rotate.
    • They’re more expensive than smaller beds: The rule of thumb for buying mattresses is “more space, higher price tag”. Price-conscious couples may find that the smaller full-size or queen bed fits both their space and budget requirements.
    • They need more room: A king-size bed will not fit well in a smaller bedroom as it leaves little to no space for movement or furniture. Ideally, your room should measure at least 13 feet by 13 feet if you want to have a king-size bed to fit comfortably in it.

    Who Should Get A King Mattress?

    A king-size bed is the best choice for couples that want to have extra room, particularly if they’re sharing a bed with children or pets. It’s also ideal for those who change sleeping positions throughout the night, as the extra space will prevent them from falling off the edge in their sleep.

    If you live in an open-plan living space, a king-size bed can also double as a luxurious focal point. Because you aren’t constrained by walls, you’ll have more room for this spacious bed size.

    What’s A Full Mattress?

    A full mattress, also known as a double bed, measures 54 inches by 75 inches. These beds are smaller than queen-size beds but wider than twin-size beds by 16 inches. Full-size beds used to be the bed of choice for American couples in the 1940s, until queen and king-size beds were introduced in the 1950s.

    Bedframe and mattress manufacturers typically recommend full-size beds for rooms that measure at least 10 feet by 10 feet. This gives an extra two to three feet of free space for walking space and furniture.

    Pros Of A Full Mattress

    • It’s more affordable: A full-size mattress is typically cheaper than a queen-size mattress by $100. Full-size bed accessories such as sheets are also cheaper, which can help you stick to a tight budget.
    • They’re easier to move: Because of their smaller dimensions, full-size mattresses are easier to maneuver through door frames and around room corners. This also makes them easier to assemble, which is a serious consideration if you need to move frequently or want to change your bedroom layout more often.
    • They fit better in smaller rooms: If you need to conserve space in a small bedroom, a full-size bed is the better choice. The extra space will also leave you more room to maximize bedroom decor, such as potted plants or floor lamps.

    Cons Of A Full Mattress

    • Couples may find this bed size too small: If you’re sharing a full-size bed with someone, there won’t be much room to shift around in your sleep. This makes for an uncomfortable night of sleep for those who are tall or often toss and turn throughout the night.
    • There’s no room for children or pets to co-sleep: If you have a child or a furry friend, consider getting a larger mattress size as a full bed may not be roomy enough for more than one co-sleeper.

    Who Should Get A Full Mattress?

    Full beds are best for solo sleepers or couples that like to cuddle while they sleep. Young adults, older children, and teenagers may also find full beds to be a spacious transitional bed size.

    There’s plenty of room if only one person is sleeping on this type of mattress. This makes them a popular choice for guest rooms, dorm rooms, and studio apartments. However, if you like a little more personal space or need more leg room, this may not be the mattress size for you. Instead, you may want to opt for a larger size, such as a queen or king bed.

    Taller individuals who don’t need the extra width may instead decide between a full and twin XL mattress since twin XL beds offer five more inches of length than full beds.

    Buy The Right Mattress For Your Sleeping Needs

    A king-size bed is the best bed for couples that prefer to have extra room while they sleep, especially if they’re sharing the bed with a pet or child. But for single adults, older teens, or those with smaller main bedrooms, a full-size bed is just the right size.

    Getting enough hours of good-quality sleep is important for your physical and mental well-being. If you don’t have enough space on your bed to sleep comfortably, it may be time to upgrade to a larger mattress. Talk to one of our Sleep Specialists or browse our site, so you can pick the right mattress size and get a good night’s sleep!

    Compare other closely related sizes:

    Split King vs King

    Cal King vs Queen

    Olympic Queen vs Queen

    FAQs About King vs Full Beds

    How much bigger is a king-size bed compared to a full-size bed?

    A king-size bed is five inches longer and 22 inches wider than a full-size bed.

    Can you fit queen-size sheets on a full-size bed?

    Yes, you can fit queen-size sheets on a full-size bed. Keep in mind that because a queen-size bed is slightly longer and wider than a full-size bed, you’ll need to tuck the excess slack material in. You can also hold them in place with elastic sheet straps.

    How much space will a couple have on a full-size bed?

    Couples sleeping in a full-size bed will have 26.5 inches of sleeping space per person. This may be a tight fit, especially if co-sleepers are taller or have larger body frames.

    Is a double bed the same as a full-size bed?

    Yes, a double bed and a full-size bed are the same. Full-size beds are commonly called “doubles” because it is commonly thought that full-size beds are twice as long and wide as twin beds. But, in reality, a full-size bed is 16 inches (a little under 1.5x) wider than a twin-size bed.


    About the authors

    Cecilia Gillen

    Cecilia brings over five years of writing experience primarily centered around lifestyle and health topics. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism from the University of South Dakota. She’s both an advocate for sleep and a night owl at heart.

    Kristen Olson-Turner
    Senior Director of Merchandising, Mattress and Bases

    Kristen Olson-Turner is the Senior Director of mattresses, where she has spent 10+ years understanding customer needs and integrating solutions into Purple products for better sleep and comfort.