Full Vs Double Bed – What is the Difference?

The short answer: there is no difference between a full and a double bed. A full bed is also called a double bed and vice versa. Full and double are terms used for mattresses that are 54 inches wide and 75 inches long. Keep reading to know how this confusion between full vs double bed began. 

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History of Double Beds

Before the king and the queen size gained popularity in the 1950s, double bed size or full beds were the mattress of choice for couples. This was partially due to the lack of choices available to the masses at the time. Couples had the option of sharing a double bed or purchasing a pair of twin mattresses. 

Full beds at 54 inches wide did not offer a lot of space for couples and some couples chose to use twin mattresses instead. “Separate beds for every sleeper are as necessary as are separate dishes for every eater,” wrote Dr. Edwin Bowers in his 1919 volume, Sleeping for Health. And so twin beds were fashionable and were used separately with a nightstand between them and allowed couples to have individual beds while sharing the room. 

Post world war II, queen and king size mattresses became common in the 1950s. The average american became wealthier and moved into bigger houses that had large bedrooms. What added to the growth in popularity of queen size mattresses is that american adults started growing in size. Due to the rise in popularity of king and queen mattresses, double beds fell out of favour among couples.

What is a Full Size or Double Bed?

The term “double bed” refers to a bed that can fit two people. They are generally 54 inches wide and 75 inches long and are 15 inches longer than a single bed. Each individual has approximately 27 inches of sleeping space. 

A full bed is another term for double beds. There is essentially no difference between a full and a double bed. It is smaller than a king or queen size bed. It has the benefit of being able to fit in a small space and yet offers enough space for an adult to sprawl or share the bed with a pet.

When to Choose a Full Size Bed?

Even though full size mattresses were used by couples, they are no longer an ideal size for them. Full size mattresses offer enough space for an adult to sprawl out or share the bed with a pet. If the dimensions of your room are 10 by 10 feet or larger, a full size mattress is a great choice. 

Double beds are a good choice for the guest room, children’s room, a studio apartment, or a dorm room for college students. They can comfortably accommodate single sleepers and have the benefit of being compact allowing you to have decorating possibilities.

A double bed is broader than a twin or twin XL mattress, but smaller than a king, queen, or California king. Consider the other regular mattress sizes available on the market if the double or full size mattress does not meet your needs.

Check out our Mattress Sizes dimesions guide. 

Other mattress sizes

Queen Size Bed

A queen bed, measuring 60 inches wide and 80 inches long, is a size bigger than a full size mattress. A queen bed is 6 inches wider and 5 inches longer compared to a full size bed dimensions and is the most popular mattress size in the US. The extra length and width of queen beds make it the most common option for couples.

King Size Bed

The king-size bed is the one of the most spacious of all the bed sizes available. 66 inches wide by 80 inches long a king size bed provides ample space for a couple. When you have a king bed you can choose to share it with your spouse and a child or a pet. 

A king size mattress is 12 inches wider and 5 inches longer than a full size mattress. However, a king size bed requires a room size bigger than 13 by 13 feet.

The California king size

A California king mattress is the longest of all the standard mattress sizes. Cal king beds are 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, making them ideal for tall people or couples. Cal king beds, like king beds, fit well in large master bedrooms. 

California king mattresses are 18 inches wider and 9 inches longer than full mattresses and can be heavy or bulky to transport so make sure you have the space to maneuver the bed around before choosing this mattress. 


We hope this guide has clarified some notions and offered a solution to the sometimes confounding nature of bedding terminology.To know more about full size mattresses and other factors that can change your decision before buying a mattress, read on.

How big is a double bed compared to a queen?

A Queen bed is 6″ wider than a double bed, giving each individual more room. Until the 1960s, double beds (also known as full beds) were the most popular for two people to sleep in. They’re just 15″ wider than a single bed, giving each adult only 27″ of sleeping room. 

How much does a full size bed cost?

Full size mattresses can cost anywhere between $500 to $1000 depending on the material and the brand. There are, however, premium mattresses that can cost up to $5000 or more, as well as budget mattresses that can cost as little as $150. You can easily find a good mattress for under $1000. A full size nectar mattress costs $699.

Double bed vs full bed: which is better?

Double beds and full beds are the same size. The confusion between full size bed vs double bed is a famous one and can be misleading when choosing a mattress size. Full size mattresses measure the same as double beds as they are the same size with different names.