The effect of the addition of 1, 2,4, and 6 mol % cholesterol to 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) floating bilayers has been investigated by neutron reflectivity. All samples exhibited fully stable and reversible gel and fluid phases. Around the main lipid phase transition temperature, DPPC double bilayers exhibit large increases in the water layer separating the bilayers and the upper bilayer roughness. The inclusion of low amounts of cholesterol reduced the swelling of the water layer between the bilayers and the upper bilayer roughness and progressively widened the temperature range over which swelling occurs. Results from asymmetric bilayers are also reported. A higher amount of cholesterol in the lower bilayer induces a smaller swelling of the water layer between the bilayers than in the symmetric case. Finally, the effect of the inclusion of a leaflet of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DPPE) was investigated. The presence of a leaflet with a higher gel-transition temperature (T-m) modifies the phase behavior of the lower T-m leaflet.