One of the standard mattress sizes in the UK is the double bed, which is also known as a full-sized bed in other parts of the world. It is a mattress size designed to sleep two people, although many couples opt for king size options for more space. Double beds are more commonly used by single sleepers or as guest beds.
A double bed, or full bed, has a mattress that is 135 cm (54 inches) wide and 190 cm (75 inches) long (or four foot six inches wide and six foot three inches long). The size is standardised throughout the UK, and it's the same size as a US "full" bed.
A double bed is exactly the same length as a single mattress, but it is 45 cm (18 inches) wider. Double beds are most often compared to king size beds, which are 15 cm (6 inches) wider and 10 cm (3 inches) longer.
Super king sized beds are significantly larger than double beds, at 45 cm (18 inches) wider and 10 cm (3 inches) longer.
Most couples will find that a double bed is not large enough for two people to sleep comfortably over a long period of time. This is because there is only 67.5 cm (27 inches) of width per person, 22.5 cm (7 inches) less than on a single mattress. In addition, a double bed is not long enough for many adults, and people over 1.7 m (five foot eight inches) tall will probably end up with their feet hanging over the end of the mattress.
Double beds have the advantage of being able to fit well into smaller spaces that would not be able to accommodate a super king or even king sized bed. They are much easier to move because the box springs and mattress will fit more easily through doorways and around corners in a small flat or home. They are also cheaper, both because the mattress is less expensive, and because bedding for a double bed will usually cost at least 10 per cent less than comparable items for a super king bed.
Double beds are often used for children who have larger rooms and would like some additional sleeping space, as they will fit many blankets and stuffed animals. They are also great if children want to have a friend come spend the night, as they can sleep in the same bed instead of on a trundle bed or the floor.
Another common use for a double bed is in a guest room, which often won't have enough space for a queen or king mattress, but which still needs to accommodate two people for overnight stays.