Wait, What's the Difference Between a Double Bed and a Queen Bed?

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White Sands

Beds come in different sizes. This isn’t news to anyone, even though few of us may know what the sizes actually mean. Twin beds are the skinny ones—we’ve got that. And king beds are the really wide ones. But double beds and queen beds? We know they’re bigger than twins and smaller than kings, but our knowledge stops there. If someone asked us to define the precise difference between them, we probably couldn’t. 

When it comes down to it, though, there really is a difference between double beds and queen beds. In fact, there are a couple differences. For starters, queen beds are 6 inches wider than double beds. While double beds are 54 inches wide, queen beds are 60 inches wide. Queen beds are also 5 inches longer than double beds. While double beds are 75 inches long, queen beds are 80 inches long. These may not seem like big numbers, but anyone who’s ever shared a bed knows what a difference 30 square inches of space can make.

What Is a Double Bed?

A double bed—also known as a full bed (yes, they’re the same thing)—is 54 inches wide and 75 inches long. This makes it 15 inches wider than a twin bed, though both are the same length. 

Because double beds are wider than twin beds, many people think they’re suitable for couples. But let’s do a little math here. A twin bed is 39 inches wide. That means that when you crawl into a twin bed, you have 39 inches to move around in—and even that can feel a little tight sometimes. A double bed is 54 inches wide. So if two of you climb in there, you’re only getting 27 inches of personal space apiece. That's 12 inches less than you’d get in a twin. So if you’ve ever lamented that a twin was too small, you might want to rethink sharing a double bed with a partner.

That said, double beds are great if you’re flying solo. Because a double bed is 15 inches wider than a twin, you’ll have ample space to roll around and get comfortable in. The only downside? Since double beds are only 75 inches long, they may be too short for people who are particularly tall.

what's the difference between a queen and a full bed? - neutral bedroom with queen bed

Design & Photo: Ajai Guyot

What Is a Queen Bed?

A queen bed is 80 inches long and 60 inches wide. This makes it 6 inches wider than a double bed and 21 inches wider than a twin bed. Queen beds are also 5 inches longer than both double beds and twin beds. So with a queen bed, you’re not just getting width—you’re also getting length.

Queen beds may not seem that much bigger than double beds. But when it comes to sleep, a little extra space can go a long way. If you share a queen bed with a partner, each of you will get 30 inches of personal space. Now, this is still less than you’d get in a twin bed by yourself. But it’s more than you’d get sharing a double bed. Plus, the added 5 inches of length can make a difference—especially if one of you is tall.

And of course, the extra space a queen bed provides is really luxurious if you’re on your own. The 60-inch width gives you plenty of room to move around. And if you’re tall, the 80-inch length is about as good as it gets. Sure, you could splurge on a California king bed—which is 84 inches long. But even if you spring for a king bed, you’re only getting 80 inches of length. (King beds are 16 inches wider than queen beds, but they’re not any longer.)

Double Bed vs. Queen Bed

So far, we’ve managed to answer one of your questions: What’s the difference between a double bed and a queen bed? And to recap, the answer is: Queen beds are 6 inches wider and 5 inches longer than double beds. 

But we haven’t answered your more pressing question: Which bed should I get?

Double beds are great if you’re planning to sleep alone. They’ll give you ample room to move around, without taking up too much space in your bedroom. Plus, since smaller sheets tend to be cheaper than larger sheets, you’ll save a little money on bedding

But if you’re planning to sleep with a partner—or if you’re tall—you might be better off with a queen bed. The added width will give you and your partner more space to get comfortable, and the added length will keep your feet from draping off the end of the bed. Sure, you’ll have to sacrifice more bedroom space—and you’ll probably end up spending more on bedding. But getting a good night’s sleep is more important than scoring a deal. 

A Quick Recap of Bed Sizes

Of course, double beds and queen beds aren’t the only options on offer. To make it easier for you to understand the differences between all the beds out there, we’ve rounded up a quick bed sizing guide you can turn to any time you need a refresher.

  • Twin Beds: 39 inches wide, 75 inches long
  • Extra-Long Twin Beds: 35 inches wide, 80 inches long
  • Double/Full Beds: 54 inches wide, 75 inches long
  • Queen Beds: 60 inches wide, 80 inches long
  • King Beds: 76 inches wide, 80 inches long
  • California King Beds: 72 inches wide, 85 inches long

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