king vs full bed size dimensions illustration

King vs. Full: What’s the Difference?

One of the most important considerations when purchasing a new mattress is size. This includes the size of the people who will be using it, the size of the bedroom in which it will be placed, and of course the size of your budget.

Here we break down the differences between king vs. full size mattresses and weigh the pros and cons of each, to help you find your perfect fit.

king size bed dimensions illustration

King mattress size

The standard king mattress measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long.

Pros of a king

To help you decide between a king vs. full bed, we’ve rounded up the top four benefits of choosing a standard king size mattress:

  • A king size bed provides more room for couples. “Most people would agree that the biggest advantage in getting a king size bed is more generous room for you and your partner,” says Mary Brennan, interior designer and founder of House of Fine Design in New Jersey. “Not only is it just more comfortable, but in particular, if one person is more of a restless sleeper or a light sleeper, the added sleep space helps keep disturbing the other to a minimum.”
  • Due to its large size, a king mattress allows plenty of space for children and pets.
  • Its larger size can help fill empty space in a large-size bedroom.
  • A king offers extra space for other activities besides sleep and sex, such as working or watching TV from bed.

Cons of a king

While there are a lot of positives to getting a king size mattress, there are some drawbacks too. Here are the four biggest reasons to not get a king bed:

  • It’s too much work for a solo sleeper. The king isn’t practical for solo sleepers because it’s a lot of bed for one person to have to make up alone. “A king size is a bit more effort when it comes to making and dressing the bed since it is so much larger,” says Brennan.
  • A king size bed takes up a lot of space. It won’t fit in studio apartments or small bedrooms. The ideal bedroom size for a king size bed is 14 feet by 19 feet, although it will technically fit inside a room as small as 10 feet by 12 feet.
  • Since they’re so large, they can be tough to maneuver. You may find yourself unable to fit it up stairs or get it through your front doorway. (In this situation, you may want to consider a split king, which is comprised of two twin XL mattresses, as this will be much easier to fit up a narrow staircase.)
  • Because a king size bed is the largest bed size, it can be a higher price than other mattress sizes—and you’ll have to spend more on things like a headboard and bedding.

full size bed dimensions illustration

Full size mattress

A full size mattress, also known as a double bed, measures 54 inches wide by 75 inches long.

Pros of a full

Here are the top four benefits of getting a full size bed:

  • Full size beds offer an ideal situation for solo sleepers. If you live by yourself, a full size bed will provide ample room.
  • This mattress size is a natural fit in downsized spaces. Those who live in apartments or who have small bedrooms will find that a full size bed is a good option. A full size bed can fit comfortably into a bedroom that’s at minimum 10 feet by 10 feet.
  • Full size beds are a great option for children. Prudence Bailey, founder and principal designer of Prudence Home + Design in Connecticut, speaks from her first-hand design experience, saying, “We use full size beds a lot when designing kids’ rooms since it’s a bed that they won’t outgrow until they leave home.”
  • Full-size beds are usually less expensive than their larger counterparts and easier to transport than bigger mattresses.

Our Best Full Size Mattress for Children

Cons of a full

There are a few drawbacks to a full size bed. Here are the biggest ones:

  • They don’t provide adequate space for most couples. In a full size bed, each person will only have 27 inches of space for themselves. “Size is the biggest downside, as most adults will find it too small to share,” says Bailey. That said, if you’re not physically large and don’t mind snuggling, it could be just fine. “If they are a cuddling couple, this is the size for them,” says Bailey.
  • Since they’re not especially long, full size beds aren’t a great option for tall folks. A full size bed is just barely over 6 feet in length, so you’re looking at feet hanging over the edge of the bed if you’re a few inches over 6 feet tall. Taller individuals will be better suited to a queen, or if you have the space, a king size mattress.

Our Best Mattresses That Come in King and Full Sizes

King vs full differences

By now you’ve probably figured out that the biggest difference between full and king size beds is the size. A full size mattress is 22 inches narrower and 5 inches shorter than a king size bed. Beyond that major difference, there are a few others to be aware of before buying a new bed. We’ve put together this handy comparison chart to help make your choice between the two easier.

Comparison King Full
Width 76″ 54″
Length 80″ 75″
Min. recommended room size 10′ x 12′ 10′ x 10′
Who it’s best for Couples who want a generous amount of space Solo sleepers, those with small bedrooms, or young children
Drawbacks Most expensive mattress size and can be hard to move Not enough space to comfortably sleep with a partner

King vs full prices: What’s the difference?

You can find a high-quality mattress—regardless of size—between $1,000 and $3,500. Of course, a full size mattress is less money than a king given that it’s significantly smaller in size. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars less for a full size bed than you would for a king. For example, our flagship mattress, the Saatva Classic, is $1,199 for a full size and $1,699 for a king.

More Great Saatva Mattresses Available in King and Full

Still debating which mattress size is right for you? Here’s what you need to know about the differences between king vs. queen size mattresses.