It’s interesting how attitudes change of what’s acceptable and what’s not, especially in the sleep department. There was a time that a full-size mattress was considered ample for a couple. But times have changed and that’s not considered adequate for most couples today. More kids grow up on full-size mattresses today than even twenty years ago.
A full-size mattress is a generous 53 inches wide by approximately 75 inches long. A full size mattress falls between twin-size and queen-size mattresses on the size charts. But what makes it full size? Well, some people think that it’s the right size for a full load of husband and wife. And there was a time it was the standard mattress size for couples.
A twin- or “single-” size mattress is only 48 inches wide, 15 inches less than the full-size mattress. So why is a full-size mattresses sometimes called a “double-” size mattress? The answer seems to be that some newly-wed couples think they can snuggle up comfortably together in a mattress that is only one size larger than the single mattress they occupied at college, or in their parents’ basement.
But when you take the width of a full-size mattress and divide it by two, it’s easy to see that each person gets less than 27 inches, about the width of a baby’s crib. That’s a full 11 inches less than the twin or single size mattress provided. Perhaps buying a full size bed is one reason why new marriages hit the rocks; both husband and wife are cranky from too little sleep.
A full size mattress is not meant for two people, unless they’re very young and very well acquainted. No, a full size mattress is meant for one person, and a very restless person at that. A sound sleeper can stay within the boundaries of a twin- or single-size mattress, and two (or more) bedmates should share a queen- or larger size mattress.
A full-size mattress is dwarfed by a king-size mattress, which is 76 inches wide. That 38 inches apiece is as close as our young couple can come to the personal space that each once had on a twin- or single- size mattress. But a king-size mattress may be impractical for some households. Even with a split foundation consisting of two narrower box springs, a king-size mattress may be too big for some bedrooms to negotiate doorways and stairs on the way to the bedroom.
How many spring coils should a full size mattress have? Spring coil count is one form of marketing hype; you really don’t need almost 2,000 coils to get a good night’s sleep, but more looks like better (and commands higher prices). In truth, a full-size bed does not need more than about 300 spring coils. It should be noted that coil spring count is not a good gauge of a full size mattress’ quality or comfort. Factors such as the wire gage used, the method of coiling the springs, and the internal padding laid over the springs have much impact on a full size mattress’ durability and comfort.
It may seem strange that a queen-size mattress, only six inches wider than a full size mattress, should cost up to 50 percent more. This is due entirely to the popularity of queen-size mattresses versus full-size mattresses. As we pointed out above, a queen is the minimum size that can reasonably hold a couple.
Good luck shopping for a full-size mattress, if you sleep alone.