How to choose a mattress is difficult in itself. But if you’re at the point where you’re wondering what the difference is between full and queen mattress sizes — you’ve come to the right place. When measured, a queen bed is typically 60” x 80” and a full is 54” x 75”. While the queen is just one size up from the full, the difference in length and width can impact your sleep hygiene. Both sizes are popular: Nearly half of American adults sleep on queen mattresses, with full the second most popular size.
In addition to mattress dimensions, other distinctions between the two include price, room size, and comfort levels. The price for a queen is more expensive than the full and with the need for larger sheets, blankets, or duvet cover to accommodate the larger size, bedding will be costlier as well. However, when considering mattress size differences, the extra investment is often well worth it.
Another factor to consider is what your bedroom can hold and what the setup will be. How much space do you want on either side of the bed? What other furniture must fit in the room besides the mattress? Consider the dimensions of the bedroom when deciding which mattress makes the most sense. It may be easier to maneuver a full-size mattress in a room versus trying to meet the length and width of a queen-size bed.
Last but not least is the comfort level. In short, a bigger bed means extra room to stretch out, move, and feel relaxed. This is especially important if there are two sleepers versus one. The extra inches of a queen mattress are helpful when there are two people of varying heights, weights, and sleeping styles. Even if you mainly stick to one sleeping position at night, you don’t want to feel cramped to the edge or unable to lay out freely and get a pleasant night’s sleep.
What Is a Split Queen Mattress?
Although the queen and full mattresses are the most popular, there’s another alternative. If you’ve heard of the style and have been wondering, what a split queen mattress is, it’s just like it sounds. The height and width equal the size of a standard queen, but there are two separate mattresses in one bed frame. This option is preferable for couples who have widely dissimilar sleep needs.
For example, one person may prefer a firmer mattress, while the other needs more cushion. Or, one sleeper likes a cooler temperature, while the other wants a warmer touch. Modern design allows people to customize how they sleep, whether it involves two separate mattresses or using technology to personalize each side. The Pod gives each person control over the temperature of their side of the mattress to initiate fitful sleep. The sensors adapt to your changing biometrics throughout the night and adjust to fit your temperature preference at all times.
Symptoms of Sleeping on the Wrong Size Mattress
There are physical characteristics that’ll alert you when it’s time for a new mattress. It’s worn, the springs are noisy, and you can feel the shift of weight as you or your partner move during the night. There are sleep-related problems as well that indicate that your mattress may need a replacement. These symptoms include:
- Muscle soreness, especially in the lower back and neck
- Restless sleep or trouble falling asleep
- Next-day fatigue
- Inability to focus
- Irregular sleep routines
While there are several factors that come into play with sleep deprivation, your mattress may be one you’re overlooking. If you’re not comfortable while sleeping, it can prevent you from reaching the deep levels of your sleep cycle and waking you up more than you realize at multiple points during the night. Buying a new mattress and getting the size that works best, you can eliminate that as one of the problems causing you to lose sleep.
The Right Time to Switch Mattresses
For those who experience sleep disorders or sleep deprivation, consider if the age of your mattress is preventing you from getting a good night’s rest. It’s recommended to change mattresses every 10 years. Around this time is when they tend to lose their bounce and may not provide as much support. This timeline may be sooner depending on the state of your mattress and how it’s affecting your sleep. If you frequently wake up sore with pain in the lower back or neck, a new mattress may be key. Keep in mind that your preference will likely change over the years. As you get older, you may require a firmer mattress to feel adequately supported.
Research shows there’s a correlation between back pain and poor sleep quality and beds at least five years old. A study published by the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine analyzed participants with no clinical history of sleep disturbances to track progress over 28 days in their own beds versus 28 days on a new bedding system. Results showed significant improvements between pre- and post-test markers in back pain, stress, and sleep quality and efficiency. Additionally, continued improvement was marked for every four-week data gathering period after sleeping on a new bed.
In addition to this suggestion of when a mattress should be replaced, consider a mattress switch if you’re moving homes as well. It’s an opportune time to take inventory of your bedroom setup and give everything an update. Take measurements of the bedroom and decide if your standard frame can fit. And, if you’ve had a full-size mattress for several years, consider if it’s time to upgrade and give yourself more room. You don’t want to feel cramped in your space or on the mattress, so make sure you choose according to what your body currently needs.
Maintaining the Ideal Sleep Environment
Having a mattress that fits your bedroom and your personal comfort is one of the main parts of creating an ideal sleep environment. As the place you rest and refresh night after night, having the best possible option is crucial. There are several additional ways you can improve the quality of your sleep by making changes to the lighting, temperature, and bedding in your room.
- Eliminate light from the bedroom. Even a small amount of brightness that comes from automatic night lights or the blue light that emits from your phone when you receive a notification can cause sleep disruption. Opt for slatted blinds versus curtains if you want natural light to still come through in the morning, but otherwise, keep it as dark as you can.
- Cool down the temperature in your room. A cold bedroom is beneficial to help you go to sleep fast and receive deeper sleep consistently. The best sleeping temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees. A room that’s too hot or doesn’t receive enough ventilation triggers restless sleep. If you’re prone to throwing off the covers in the middle of the night, it’s likely you need to lower the thermostat or open a window to let fresh air in.
- Make your bedroom a calming space free of distraction. Keep it clutter-free and introduce relaxing elements like a soothing sound machine or aromatherapy to help induce sleepiness. Try to keep electronics out of the bedroom as part of a healthy sleep routine. The blue light — in addition to the anxiety that staying digitally connected can cause — will make it difficult to sleep soundly.
- Change your bedding when necessary. Pillows and sheets should be replaced every two years with new ones, but also consider the material that’s best for the season. During the summer, light cotton sheets will be far more cooling than a thicker flannel material. The same goes for changing a heavy duvet cover for a lighter blanket when the warmer months roll around.
Setting up your bedroom to be more conducive to sleep starts with having the right size mattress, followed by creating a cool and dark environment, adding calming features, removing distractions, and updating the bedding on a rotating basis. Each part is of equal importance. Changing your physical space allows you to then focus on emotional or psychological factors that may be deterring from receiving the amount of sleep you need to feel healthy.
When in Doubt, Go for the Queen Size
The queen-size mattress is the most popular for a reason. It comfortably fits an individual sleeper and is appropriate for a couple by providing enough room to roll into various sleeping positions. Plus, most bedroom sizes are designed to hold a queen mattress versus the larger king bed or California king measurements. It’s not only the comfort of more room that you’ll experience, it’s the likelihood of continuous, quality sleep.
There are factors that can negatively affect how well and how much you sleep each night. Make sure your bed and mattress size isn’t one of them. Identify and accommodate changes over the years with regard to your sleeping preferences to maintain a peaceful domain.