Difference & Comparison of Full Beds Vs. King Beds

Deciding between a full or king bed depends upon the available space and the height of person using the bed.
A king bed offers an extra 5 inches of length.

Deciding between a full or king bed comes down to several factors. A king bed is significantly larger but also comes at larger cost. Keep the available bedroom space in mind as well, since a larger bed means less walking space in the room.

Bed Size Differences

A full-size bed measures 54 inches wide, 74 to 75 inches long. A king-size bed -- the largest standard bed size available -- is 76 inches wide, 80 inches long. In case you haven't yet considered it, there's one more standard bed size between the two, the queen-sized bed. A queen bed is 60 inches wide, 80 inches long.

Full-Size Features

  • A full-size bed offers a comfortable sleeping space for an adult or teen, or a luxurious, spacious experience for a child.

  • Because a full-size bed is compact compared to a king bed, it is a viable option for an adult even in a relatively small bedroom. A large shared bedroom may have enough room for two full beds.

  • While two adults can share a full bed, it may not be a comfortable long-term experience. If each person uses half the mattress, that means there's only 27 inches worth of width to shift or roll over in bed without touching the other person. A twin bed, for comparison, offers 38 inches of width, so you'll actually have less room sharing a full bed than you would sleeping solo on individual twin beds. 
  • A full-size mattress costs a good deal less than the same model in a king mattress. Likewise, the bedding for a full bed costs less than the same offering in king-size form. 
  • Bedding for a queen or king bed, with the exception of the fitted sheet, can be used on a full-sized bed, although the fit may be a bit sloppy.

King-Sized Considerations

  • A king bed offers considerably more space than a full bed -- 22 extra inches of width and 6 more inches of length, on average. The extra space may offer a luxurious, relaxing feeling if you are used to a smaller bed.

  • The extra length of the king-sized bed comes in handy for tall adults who find a full bed almost too short.

  • A king-sized box spring may be difficult to get through doorways or around angles to fit into the bedroom, since it does not flex. If you can barely manipulate a full-sized box spring through your home, keep in mind that a king bed is as wide as a full bed is long, so the extra size makes it extra unwieldy.
  •  A king bed takes up quite a bit of space in a room, so it is a good option for a large master bedroom where it serves as a focal point. It may be too large for small bedroom spaces.

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.