How much of a difference is there, really, between a full and queen bed?
February 20, 2018 9:43 PM   Subscribe

I understand the difference in size. My full mattress is 54x75 inches. A queen would be 60x80. What I'm really wondering is, since that doesn't seem like much of a difference, in reality is it a bigger difference than the numbers would suggest?

I live in a 500 square foot open loft. It's time for me to buy a new mattress and I'll be buying a new bed too. So, if I'm going to move up from a full to a queen, this will be the time to do it.

I have enough space for a queen and I'm leaning toward getting one, but if it won't make that much of a difference I'll stick with a full because I'd rather not give up the extra space.

I'm single, so the only time I share my bed is... well, y'know... dating fun.

Is the difference between a full and a queen bigger than the numbers would suggest? ...for sleeping, and... other fun?
posted by 2oh1 to Home & Garden (44 answers total)
 
And I’m a little bit over 6 feet tall and for all solo purposes, a full bed is fine for me.
posted by skewed at 9:52 PM on February 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


If it's just you (and dating fun), I don't think there's a ton of difference between a full and a queen, if you're comfortable in a full.

However, my husband is 6'4" and fitting both of us in a full is a squeeze because he's SO. TALL. He's an inch longer than a full mattress! When it was him, and me, and two cats on a full bed, I literally couldn't roll over because other creatures were taking up LITERALLY ALL OF THE ROOM. And it's also nice, nearly 20 years into marriage, to have a bit more space. You don't ALWAYS want to be right on top of each other. Sometimes someone's sick, or your back hurts, or whatever. (And now that we have kids who are constantly trying to climb in the bed, I understand why people like kings!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:54 PM on February 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


For one person, it's not very noticeable. If you have a second person sleeping in the bed, it's a significant difference.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:54 PM on February 20, 2018 [41 favorites]


I'm 5'6" and sleep kind of stretched out. On a full size bed, that means I'm sleeping diagonally or my feet stick out of bed. My first bed I bought myself was a queen, and I will not be going back.

If you share a full size bed, you'd better be happy being all up in each other's business. All night. Somehow that extra six inches of width makes a big difference.
posted by ktkt at 10:00 PM on February 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


I think a queen is noticeably nicer to share with another sleeper. There's just more room, even though by the numbers it doesn't seem like a lot.

Also, I'm 5'4", and a queen is nice because I can put a pillow in a normal position at the head of the bed and fully stretch out straight and the tips of my toes won't even touch the foot of the bed. I find this very luxurious, and I have no idea how super tall people get comfortable in bed.
posted by jcreigh at 10:00 PM on February 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


Having a second person (or hell, even a pet) in bed with you makes a full bed feel very, very small. I upgraded to a queen recently and if I could have I would have gotten a king because I prefer having a lot of space in which to sleep, do things, and, well, do people, too. YMMV given your apartment's square footage, but oh, if you can, do get a queen.
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:01 PM on February 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm around 6 foot 4 and had a full sized bed for many years without a problem (shared most of the time with average sized women). It's nice to have the extra surface on the bed (I can lie stretched out straight on a queen but not a full) if you have the space for a queen but I don't think of it as life changing.

Measure the clearance for things like dresser drawers - will losing that extra few inches make you curse every time you try to get a pair of jeans?

If you sleep hot and so does your partner, having the extra space on a queen to separate physically so you don't overheat each other would be a plus.
posted by Candleman at 10:01 PM on February 20, 2018 [6 favorites]


Get the queen for when you have a guest
posted by blueprinter at 10:03 PM on February 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I’m 6’3” and I have a Full XL bed frame – made for a 54” x 80” mattress. When my wife moved in, I just put a queen memory foam mattress on it – it hangs over a bit bit isn’t noticeable and doesn’t sag. So, not that different really, but the extra space is nice so the cat can sleep between us.
posted by nicwolff at 10:12 PM on February 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I bought a full-size bed as my first bed out of college, and that bed saw me through two long-term relationships, including one with a 6'2 muscly Midwesterner, but I was glad *they* had the sense to buy queen and king-size beds.

For context, I'm 5'0 and curvy, and I run hot. Mr. Kouti is 5'7 and a skinny runner type, and runs cold. We sleep in a queen bed at home; we'd love a king bed, but we're under bedroom size constraints (there is no way to orient a king-size bed in our bedroom without preventing one person from being able to access the doorway). I'm sprawly and can easily occupy the entirety of a queen bed all by myself when Mr. Kouti is away.

Get the queen bed.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 10:14 PM on February 20, 2018


Had a queen in a 500 sq foot apt. Space was a bit snug, but managable.
posted by Jacen at 10:24 PM on February 20, 2018


My hubs and I (5’7” and 5’11”) share a full with one cat, but we spoon/sleep in little human balls and sometimes the cat gets demoted. So yeah the full is really only comfy to sleep two if they are into extreme snuggling.
posted by shalom at 10:41 PM on February 20, 2018


I've had full size beds for the last 24 years, and it's never been a problem, even through long term relationships. At one point, I shared my apartment (and my bed) with 2 cats and a girlfriend who lived with me for over a year... and it was never an issue.

I know a full bed is fine.

But since I'm buying a new bed this year and I need a new mattress too... I can't help wondering if the few extra inches of a queen size mattress really make that much of a difference. That's what I'm wondering.
posted by 2oh1 at 11:24 PM on February 20, 2018


It dooooeeeesssss

#teamqueensized
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:36 PM on February 20, 2018 [29 favorites]


Yes, it's absolutely worth it. Not so worth it that you should get rid of a perfectly good full mattress you weren't otherwise planning to replace. But if you're buying a new mattress anyway, and you expect to have company in bed--in a sleeping over sense, not just a sexytimes sense--it's definitely, hands-down worth it.
posted by tapir-whorf at 11:50 PM on February 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


Get the biggest bed you can fit and can afford. It is sooo worth it.
posted by Jubey at 11:59 PM on February 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


Yeah, having shared both, it's a noticeable difference. My parents have shared a full bed for decades of marriage and I have no idea how. We have a queen bed frame I adore and if we didn't we'd be sleeping on a king now that our bedroom is big enough.
posted by potrzebie at 12:03 AM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yes. My boyfriend likes having space when he sleeps and it's noticeably easier for us to both be comfortable when we sleep on my queen sized mattress than when we sleep on his full sized mattress.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:40 AM on February 21, 2018


I can't help wondering if the few extra inches of a queen size mattress really make that much of a difference.

Don't think of it as a few extra inches of width or length. Think of it as 780 extra square inches of surface area.

Even if it's just you by yourself, you will appreciate the additional space a queen affords for a tray of sandwiches, or a laptop, or several more cats. The extra length is particularly nice if you will have a footboard. And, yes, it will be good for dating fun as well—that's 7.6 extra diagonal inches.

Two negatives I can think of: your current bed linens will be incompatible with a queen (though most comforters will still work); if your design aesthetic is antique, bummer, queens were a mid 20th century innovation, so no Eastlake for you.
posted by mumkin at 1:15 AM on February 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


Definitely get the queen. I went from double to queen to king and the only thing that changed was adding two cats. It's so awesome having all that space.
posted by kitten magic at 1:50 AM on February 21, 2018


"Two negatives I can think of: your current bed linens will be incompatible with a queen (though most comforters will still work); if your design aesthetic is antique, bummer, queens were a mid 20th century innovation, so no Eastlake for you."

Funny thing. I actually already own a set of queen sheets because I bought a set of mislabelled sheets on clearance a while ago and I've been saving them. So, no worries there. And this is the bed I plan on getting. I own something identical in shape (but made by West Elm back in 2006 and discontinued the next year for good reason. It looks fantastic, but their version was cheaply designed. I've been wanting to buy the real thing from Room & Board for ages and I'm finally committing to it).
posted by 2oh1 at 2:49 AM on February 21, 2018


I’m generally on team biggest-bed-you-can-afford... if space is not at a premium. In five hundred square feet, depending how your place is laid out, I’d probably stick with the full since you’re already fine with it anyway.

It might help you visualize the size difference by laying down a queen-size masking tape outline where you plan on putting the bed. Maybe it’ll seem huge, maybe it’ll be no big deal.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:29 AM on February 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


I would get the queen for the added length. But if you’ve been happy in a full this long, I imagine you will continue to be happy in a full.
posted by lakeroon at 4:22 AM on February 21, 2018


absolutely 100% never a doubt zero hesitation get the queen. GET THE QUEEN DO EET.
posted by halation at 4:24 AM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm 6'5" and sharing a full with a partner is... something I do only because I really love her and she just does not have room for a queen right now. The two of us absolutely fill the bed, and then some. The nights we manage to sleep at my house are notably better for me, though I might want a king since I have four cats knocking around.
posted by wotsac at 6:13 AM on February 21, 2018


I'm tall enough that there is a big difference in comfort between full and queen mattresses. The extra side-to-side space is nice also, in case the two of you aren't in the mood to snuggle all night. I'd say get the bigger bed, but definitely check (with tape or cardboard, as suggested above) that it will actually fit, since your place is not large.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:36 AM on February 21, 2018


I was a full bed die-hard for years. Then I got a queen bed when I moved about 3 years ago...never going back. I sleep by myself 95% of the time, and I'm a small thing (5'2"), but it is noticeably more comfortable to have all that room. Do it!
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:38 AM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm just under six feet tall (I'm a woman). I find sharing a full with another person to be uncomfortable. Once a pillow is added, my feet are over the end because I can't sleep diagonally when another person is there. I shared a full in university because of space constraints, but given a choice a queen bed is way, way better.
posted by TORunner at 6:41 AM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Get the queen, even if just for you. I did. Learning that I could sleep starfish was a BIG revelation.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:04 AM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


I owned a full for five years, including the first year and a half that my wife and I were living together. When we needed to replace the bedframe, we went up to a queen. It's totally worth it. We're not particularly tall (5' 9" and 5' 4"), and it's a huge difference.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 7:12 AM on February 21, 2018


The difference is A LOT, a queen size is super worth it.

I'm confused by the people who say otherwise.
posted by jbenben at 7:41 AM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


If I'm doing the math right, a queen sized bed is 750 sq inches or so bigger - or 16% bigger. That's a pretty big difference.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:21 AM on February 21, 2018


Another six footer here on #teamqueensized. Big enough not to be squeezed most of the time, small enough that making the bed and laundering the linens are not complete pains in the arse.
posted by flabdablet at 9:45 AM on February 21, 2018


There's a big, big difference. My wife and I slept on a queen for years and went to a wedding where the group rate hotel (run by friends of the couple) had only full size beds. The two of us literally did not fit on the same bed at the same time. We were shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, and my feet hung off the end of the mattress (I'm 6'2").

We sleep on a king now and it is glorious. Even a queen feels small after that, but a full means we sleep in separate beds or at least one of us fails to get a night's sleep.
posted by fedward at 10:54 AM on February 21, 2018


Holy smokes, who are all these people who happily share a full? I sleep on a queen with two cats, and it's adequately luxurious. It doesn't feel ridiculously large at all. I hope to always have a queen, and if I add another person to the mix, I'd want a king, no question. Life is too short and sleep is too important for small beds.
posted by missmary6 at 11:14 AM on February 21, 2018


My husband and I shared a double for the first 22 years or so of our relationship, then upgraded to a queen about six months ago. OH MY GOD WHAT A DIFFERENCE.
posted by Lexica at 11:38 AM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


nthing that it makes a big difference! We are both about 5 foot 8. Sometimes our 7 y/o has nightmares and is in there with us for part of the night. Going from full to queen, even without the little guy in there with us, made a big difference. We spent years with a full, and I didn't think we would get more out of something bigger, but oh yeah, it's nice.
posted by thenormshow at 11:43 AM on February 21, 2018


When I graduated college, I inherited a queen bed from a friend that was an upgrade from my full, and it was life-changing. Now, I have a 6'3" boyfriend and if we had to share a full bed, we wouldn't last. #teamqueen all the way!
posted by Everydayville at 12:05 PM on February 21, 2018


My wife and I had a full bed for a few years, then got a queen and are temporarily back in the full for space reasons. Both are fine when its just the 2 of us but I must say one great thing about the queen is never worrying about my feet hanging off the end of it.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:28 PM on February 21, 2018


It's a big difference. When my husband and I were cohabitating and newly married, we shared a full size bed. If I wanted to read in bed, I had to rest my arm on him. We had so many near misses with almost punching/elbowing each other in the face when rolling over. Get a queeeeeen.
posted by Aquifer at 1:17 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


As an adamant get-the-biggest-bed-you-can person who, at over 6 ft has to sleep diagonally if a full bed has a footboard, my only caution would be that a queen boxspring *might* have more problems getting up stairs in older houses/buildings if a corner is too tight or a stairwell ceiling too low. I once bought an old house and had to have mattress factory techs take my queen box apart and reassemble it upstairs in the bedroom. It wasn't that difficult or expensive, just a bit of a pain, and actually even a full box might not make it up some stairs.
posted by ClingClang at 4:23 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


my only caution would be that a queen boxspring *might* have more problems getting up stairs in older houses/buildings if a corner is too tight or a stairwell ceiling too low

As I found out when I moved into an old apartment with a too-small staircase, they make two-piece "split" queen boxsprings for exactly this reason.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:08 PM on February 21, 2018


I recently upgraded from a full to a queen after a lot of debate. IT'S EXTREMELY WORTH IT!!!! I LOVE IT! Strong endorse. I do not miss the floor space, and I have a teeeeennnnyy tiiiinnnnyyy place. But now I have a big comfy bed!
posted by Charity Garfein at 10:19 PM on February 21, 2018


Do you ever sleep in a queen bed at a hotel or the like? My wife and I have happily shared a full sized bed for all the years we've lived together, and it's plenty of space for us. When we do get a queen bed at a hotel, it always feels quite noticeably different, but not in a good way. A full is enough space for us to fit comfortably, touch or not touch depending on mood, and to toss and turn without bothering the other. For us, a queen feels like the other person is too far away, as if we're not even in the same bed.

Also, above someone said to "Think of it as 780 extra square inches of surface area." Don't forget that this also means 780 fewer square inches of non-bed space in your room. Our bedroom isn't the most spacious, and taking up an extra 5.5 square feet for bed area we don't use would be unfortunate.

I guess this comes down to: yes, a queen bed is noticeably larger. Whether or not that's a good thing, and if it's worth taking up the extra space in your apartment, really depends on you and how you (and the people you might sleep with) like to sleep.
posted by JiBB at 2:06 AM on February 22, 2018


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