Double vs. Full Mattress – How Similar Are These Two Types?

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 06/30/2022

You probably ran into Double and Full bed sizes when shopping for a new mattress, and you might be wondering – what’s the difference between them?

Here’s the catch – there’s no difference. A Double mattress and a Full mattress are the same size mattress. It just went through a bit of name change, so there’s actually no Double vs Full debate going on.

This article will explain what you can expect from a Double bed and how to choose the right mattress for yourself. 

Basic Information

Before we get into a more detailed analysis of a Double bed, it’s time to cover some basic information. 

Full and Double mattresses have the same bed dimensions. When first mattress manufacturers started standardizing mattress sizes, they only created two types: Single bed (now called Twin) and Double bed (now called Full). 

They were called Single and Double beds even though their size difference was only 16″ of additional sleeping space. When people started putting Single beds together and calling them “double beds,” there was some confusion. Because of this, the Double mattress changed its name to a Full bed, which is the term used for it today. 

It’s one of the two oldest standard manufacturing sizes, and it used to be standard for couples. 

Double Bed / Full Bed

Double size bed dimensions are 54″ x 75″, making it the second-smallest standard bed size. Even though it used to be typical for couples, today it’s considered a mattress for single sleepers, although only those shorter than 6′. 

Even though a couple can fit on this bed, it would be too cramped. Also, a Double bed has a non-standard version added 5 inches to the length to accommodate taller sleepers. These are called Full XL size mattresses.

A Double size mattress is often used for children and teenagers, single adults, guest rooms, and smaller bedrooms. 

WidthLengthArea
Double/Full beds54”75”4050 square inches

Double and Full Bed – Features

Now that you know all about the basics of Double mattresses let’s get into a more detailed analysis of this bed size. 

Dimensions

As mentioned before, a Double bed size has the dimensions of 54″ by 75″, which makes it the second smallest standard manufacturing size

Additionally, a Full XL size mattress is a non-standard version of Full and Double beds with the same width but with 5″ added to the length to help accommodate taller sleepers

Accessories

Dimensions and standard manufacturing sizes impact the available accessories in general. Double mattresses are popular, so you don’t need to worry about finding suitable bed sheets and a bed frame for your mattress. 

However, if you’re getting accessories for a Full XL size mattress, you might have some trouble. Make sure to check the dimensions of the sleep surface on the accessories before purchasing them. 

Room Size

Every mattress requires a different room size. A Full bed is much larger than a Twin bed, but it still doesn’t take up a lot of space compared to some other mattresses.

A Full size mattress is often used for children’s rooms and smaller bedrooms because it doesn’t take up a lot of space while still giving the single sleeper enough area to sleep comfortably. 

The recommended room size for a Full size mattress is 12′ x 12′, so it doesn’t feel too cramped. 

Comfort

Comfort is the most critical aspect of choosing a new mattress, and it can depend on many things. When shopping for a new mattress, you should always keep in mind your personal preferences

Here’s a list of some of the most comfortable mattresses

There are three groups of people a Full size mattress is recommended as the most comfortable for. 

Children

A Full size bed is an excellent choice for kids and teenagers, so it’s the second most popular choice for children’s rooms. 

Single Sleepers

Single adults under 6′ tall can sleep comfortably on a Full size mattress. However, those over 6′ tall might feel like the 75 inches are too cramped and should go for a Full XL mattress

This mattress definitely can’t fit comfortably two adult sleepers, because there’s not enough space. Couples should go for a Queen bed at least.

Smaller Rooms

A Full size mattress is an excellent choice for smaller bedrooms and guest rooms because it gives more sleeping space while not taking much from the room itself. 

Price

Lastly in the Full vs Double bed debate, the pricing for Double and Full size mattresses is very affordable. They’re more expensive than Twin mattresses, but they’re still cheaper than the rest of the standard sizes. 

This price difference also affects the price of the accessories, so keep that in mind when shopping for your bed frame. 

Other Mattress Sizes

That would be all the basic information about Double size beds you should know about! But what if you just figured out they aren’t right for you?

In that case, here’s a table of other standard manufacturing mattress sizes to check out. You should also look at our comprehensive guide on mattress dimensions and sizes for more information!

Twin Mattresses

With the dimensions of 38″ x 75″, Twin beds are considered the smallest standard bed size. Formally called a Single mattress, this size has just enough space for single sleepers.

That being said, they might not be for everyone. Taller sleepers over 6′ are going to feel too cramped on this mattress, so they’re better off with a longer mattress, like Twin XL mattresses. Still, this size is perfect for kids’ rooms, shared rooms, small rooms, and even guest rooms.

A Twin mattress is also very popular and affordable because of its small size.

Twin XL Mattresses

Even though it didn’t use to be so, a Twin XL mattress is considered a standard size today. Twin XL mattress size dimensions are 38″ x 80″. It has the same width as a Twin but adds 5 inches to accommodate taller sleepers. The 75 inches just aren’t enough for those taller than 6′.

A Twin XL size mattress is an excellent choice for single adults taller than 6′, and also all of the recommended users for a standard Twin size mattress. Additionally, it’s a standard size for college dorm room mattresses.

Twin XL mattresses are affordable because of their smaller size, but it might be harder to find accessories and bed frames.

Queen Mattresses

Queen size mattresses have the dimensions of 60″ x 80″, and they’re the most popular size. This is primarily because a Queen size mattress has enough space to fit a couple, while still being affordable.

Additionally, Queen mattresses are also popular with single adults who like to have extra sleeping space. A Queen mattress is 80″ long, so it’s comfortable even for taller sleepers.

A Queen mattress is arguably the most versatile size on the market. It can be used for kids and adults of different sizes, couples, bedrooms, guest rooms, etc. It does take up a lot of space though, so keep that in mind.

Even though they cost more than some smaller sizes, Queen beds are affordable compared to how much they give to you. You can have space without having to spend as much as you would on a King size mattress or a California King size mattress. Also, its popularity means that you will easily find accessories for a Queen size bed.

King Mattresses

A Standard King mattress has the dimensions of 76″ x 80″, giving a lot of space to sleepers. Even though a King size bed is primarily used by couples, it’s also an often choice for singles. It’s also long enough to fit taller sleepers.

Couples with different sleeping preferences often opt for a Split King size bed. This bed is created by putting two Twin XL size mattresses side by side.

King size mattresses need a lot of room, but they look great in a master bedroom. The big size of King beds makes them not as affordable as other options, but the price can depend on different factors.

California King Mattresses

The only standard size bigger than King size beds is the California King mattress. It has the dimensions of 72″ x 84″, making it longer than Queen size beds and King size beds. However, a King mattress is wider.

California King beds are an excellent choice for couples and taller sleepers. The biggest downside of this size is in its dimensions. Because it’s so big, a California King mattress is going to cost you more and it needs a lot of room. 

NameDimensionsBest for
Twin38” x 74”Singles; adults under 6′ tall; teens; children; small rooms, shared rooms, and bunk beds.
Twin XL38” x 80”Singles; adults; teens; and children taller than 6′; small rooms; shared rooms; college dorms.
Full54” x 75”Singles under 6′ tall; teenagers; small rooms or a guest room.
Queen60” x 80”Singles, especially those over 6′ tall; couples; those who sleep with their pets or children; bigger rooms, guest rooms.
King76” x 80”Singles who like a lot of space; even those over 6′ tall; couples; couples sleeping with a child or pets; larger rooms.
California King72” x 84”Singles and couples, especially tall ones; those who sleep with their pets or children; larger rooms.

How to Choose a Mattress Size

That’s everything you need to know about these bed dimensions! Are you sure you want to buy it? Whether you’re confident or not, here are some other things you should keep in mind when shopping for a new mattress in general. 

Sleeping Position

People prefer different sleeping positions, but some of the most popular ones are side sleeping, back sleeping, stomach sleeping, and combination sleeping

Side sleepers take up the least amount of space, and they might even feel comfortable on a Single bed. A Full bed is also an excellent choice for them. 

Back sleepers and stomach sleepers need more space, but a Full bed is still good enough for them. 

Combination sleepers toss and turn at night, and they need the most space. A Full size bed would still be enough for them, but they can even go for a Queen bed. Check out our list of best mattresses for combination sleepers

Height

The sleeper’s height compared to the mattress size can significantly affect the sleep quality. Taler sleepers over 6′ aren’t going to feel comfortable on those 75 inches

If the sleeper is taller, they should go for a Full XL bed, or maybe even some of the bigger ones. A Full XL bed has a length of 80″, which is 5″ longer than a standard Double mattress

Versatility

A mattress is a long-term investment – depending on its material, quality, and how you take care of it, it should last you up to a decade. This is why it needs to be versatile, and you need to consider your future needs when purchasing it. 

For example, when buying a bed for a child, you should consider that they’ll grow out from a crib mattress. A Full size bed is a good choice for this. 

Partners

Do you plan on sleeping alone or with a partner? Although the Double mattress was considered for couples, the truth is they can barely fit and most likely won’t have a good night of sleep. These mattress dimensions just don’t give enough sleep surface for two people.

Room Size

The bed shouldn’t take up the whole room. It’s recommended to leave at least 3′ of space around the bed so you can move. 

The recommended room size for a Double mattress is 12′ by 12′. 

Transport

You should be able to move the mattress around if you need to move quickly or rotate it from time to time without trouble. This is why lighter and less bulky mattresses are a better option. 

A Full size mattress is sort of lighter than the rest, but it’s still bulkier than a Twin size mattress. It can be moved around and flipped. It’s just a bit harder. 

Cost

The price of the mattress can depend on many things, including the manufacturer and the materials used for it. 

A Double mattress is a popular and relatively small mattress size, so it’s more affordable than other options. Of course, this depends on the factors we mentioned. 

Check out our list of the best mattresses for the money!

Double & Full – Pros and Cons

Pros

  • More sleeping space for single sleepers
  • Common bed accessories 
  • Small enough to fit in most rooms 
  • Suitable for children and adults 
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • Not for couples
  • Not for taller people
  • It’s harder to find accessories for the Full XL version 

FAQ

What Is a Double XL?

A Double XL mattress is just another name for a Full XL mattress. This is a non-standard mattress size with the exact dimensions as a Full size mattress when it comes to width, but with the extra 5″ added to the length to accommodate taller sleepers

What Is a Small Double?

A Small Double is another non-standard size, and it’s the equivalent of three-quarters width of a standard Full size mattress. It has the dimension of 48″ x 75″, and it’s suitable for those who need something just a bit larger than a Twin mattress

Why Did This Mattress Size Get a Name Change?

The name changed from Double beds to Full beds when new standard sizes and production led to confusion because Double beds were getting mixed up with “double beds” – beds created by pushing two mattresses together. Still, a Full and a Double are the same mattress size.

Final Thoughts

Since they have the same dimensions, we can’t really call it a Full vs Double debate. But, we hope that this article helped you determine whether a Full size mattress or a Double mattress is right for you!

They’re essentially the same size that just went through a bit of a name change. They’re best for single sleepers who prefer a bit more space, although not taller ones. They’re also suitable for children’s rooms and guest rooms. 

Good luck with finding your next mattress!

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.