What is a Double Bed and Will It Be Ideal for You?

Last updated: Feb 02, 2021

Before the economy boomed in the 1950s and increased demand for the king and queen size mattresses, a double bed used to be a couple’s favorite size.  So, what is a double bed? Its size is larger than a twin mattress but smaller than a queen mattress which is longer and wider by 5 inches and 6 inches respectively. However, it is the same size as a full bed, which is why the two bed sizes are used interchangeably. The latter is the preferred term in the United States.

Despite their name, double beds are recommended for single sleepers because their size does not leave enough room for two adults to sleep comfortably. In this article, we explore these dimensions and the variations available for this size. We have also included a detailed comparison of this size and other large mattresses for a deeper understanding of what is a double bed and whom it’s best for.

What is the size of a double bed?

What is a Double Bed and Will It Be Ideal for You?To determine whether this size would be the right one for you and whether it would fit in your space, you will need to understand what is the width and length of a double bed.

A double bed is 74 (75 sometimes) inches in length, making it an ideal choice with plenty of leg room for tall people. Its width is 54 inches.

While this offers ample space for an individual to sprawl, it would translate to only 27 inches of width per person if you were to share it with another adult. This is why it is recommended for one person. Couples would be best served by a queen or king mattress since they have width dimensions of 60 inches and 76 inches respectively.

Double vs. Full

What is a Double Bed and Will It Be Ideal for You?A double bed and a full bed are essentially the same thing because they both have dimensions of 54 inches in width and 75 inches in length. Double bed is the common term used by most manufacturers, except in the U.S. where it is widely known as a full bed. Even the most well-known manufacturers never give you an option of a double sized mattress. Take a look at this incredibly popular model from Layla. There is no “Double” in the Size Selection section. Instead, you’ll find it under the name of “Full”.

Full beds are not recommended for couples because they are shorter and narrower than queen and king sizes. However, they make the best option for a young adult, or for small spaces such as studio apartments and guest rooms, or for a single parent and a child, or as a starter bed for couples with limited budget. The width of a double bed provides 15 inches of extra sleeping surface to move around, making this size a great upgrade from a twin model.

Double size variations: Full XL

You may also get a full bed in a slightly smaller or larger variation. The larger form is the rare full XL which is longer than a standard double bed by 5 inches but the width is the same. The second version is the small double size which has the same length as a double bed. However, it is much narrower, measuring only 48 inches compared to the 54-inch width of a full bed. This smaller model is also known as a queen size bed in the UK and Ireland where it is common. It provides a wide sleeping surface and fits in narrow rooms.

Double vs. Queen

What is a Double Bed and Will It Be Ideal for You?A Queen bed is 5 inches longer and 6 inches wider than a double bed because it has dimensions of 60 x 80 inches. This provides enough room for two adults to sleep comfortably. However, if you are sleeping with a partner and you need extra space for each person, consider a twin bed which provides 9 additional inches in width. A twin bed, also known as single bed, is 39 inches in width compared to queen which offers 30-inch width per individual. Queen size is popular with couples who like cuddling and it adds more leg room for adults who are more than 6 feet tall. The downside of a queen bed is the high cost, heavy weight and the substantial footprint. Fortunately, you can now receive a mattress in a box that has been vacuum-sealed to reduce its transport size for portability. Allow for a minimum of 48 hours for the mattress to expand to its full size before initial use.

A double bed favors single individuals with maximum height of 5 feet and 5 inches. This bed size and sheets are easily available and they are more affordable than queen beds. They also fit well in small bedrooms. Unfortunately, the comparatively narrow space provided by a double bed may make two sleeping partners feel constricted.

Who is a double bed best for?

Now that we have established what size is a double bed mattress and why it is not ideal for two adults, let’s talk about the situations where it is considered a great investment. This size suits single adults or one adult and a child or pet. It is also suitable for teens that have experienced a growth spurt and outgrown their twin beds. A double bed would also be a great choice for smaller guest rooms that measure 10 feet by 10 feet. It is more spacious and economical than a queen mattress and will be a great spacesaver for people moving to smaller houses because of coronavirus.

Before you make your purchase, measure your bedroom to see whether it can accommodate the length and width of the double bed. Remember to leave minimum space of 2 to 3 feet on the sides of the bed that are not against the wall for easy movement.

Final thoughts

We have explained what the standard size of a double bed is and reviewed its pros and cons, but there are other factors that come into play when choosing the right model. These include the available space in your room, whether you will be sleeping alone or with a partner, and your budget. Happy shopping.

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