There is a well-documented evidence base for the beneficial effects of mindfulness-based interventions for various health issues, and research has increasingly explored the role of mindfulness in nonclinical contexts. While the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FMMQ) was widely used to study dispositional mindfulness, no work has investigated the unique contributions of each mindfulness facet to depression, anxiety, and stress in a general population. The present study used psychometrically refined FFMQ and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) scores obtained from a sample (n = 400) of equal number of students and general population. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to investigate predictive values of mindfulness facets to psychological distress variables. Nonjudgmental attitude was the strongest predictor of lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress across both students and general population with standardized β ranging from − .32 to − .46. Nonreactivity was the second strongest predictor for stress and depression, but Acting with Awareness was a significant predictor for anxiety and stress in students only. Overall, mindfulness facets were stronger predictors of lower DASS scores in students compared to general population. Relationships between some mindfulness facets and distress variables differ between students and general population and therefore may not be generalizable across these populations.