The aim of this study was to assess the measurement properties of the 5-level classification system of the EQ-5D (5L), in comparison with the 3-level EQ-5D (3L). Participants (n = 3,919) from six countries, including eight patient groups with chronic conditions (cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, depression, diabetes, liver disease, personality disorders, arthritis, and stroke) and a student cohort, completed the 3L and 5L and, for most participants, also dimension-specific rating scales. The 3L and 5L were compared in terms of feasibility (missing values), redistribution properties, ceiling, discriminatory power, convergent validity, and known Missing values were on average 0.8 % for 5L and 1.3 % for 3L. In total, 2.9 % of responses were inconsistent between 5L and 3L. Redistribution from 3L to 5L using EQ dimension-specific rating scales as reference was validated for all 35 3L-5L-level combinations. For 5L, 683 unique health states were observed versus 124 for 3L. The ceiling was reduced from 20.2 % (3L) to 16.0 % (5L). Absolute discriminatory power (Shannon index) improved considerably with 5L (mean 1.87 for 5L versus 1.24 for 3L), The EQ-5D-5L appears to be a valid extension of the 3-level system which improves upon the measurement properties, reducing the ceiling while improving discriminatory power and establishing convergent and known-groups validity.