Grazing angle x-ray reflectivity (XRR) is used to study density, thickness, internal layering and roughness of a variety of carbon samples, with and without hydrogen and nitrogen. The bulk mass density of optimised tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) is 3.26 g/cm2, for which Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) found a sp3 fraction of 85%. Combining XRR and EELS we benchmark the dependence of sp3 fraction on density for hydrogen-free carbons. Hydrogenated ta-C (ta-C:H) deposited by electron cyclotron wave resonance (ECWR) reactor from acetylene gas, has a density of 2.35 g/cm3, 75% sp3 and ∼30% hydrogen. These data provide a similar validation for density and sp3 EELS data for hydrogenated DLCs. XRR can also reveal internal layering in films, and indeed less dense layers may be found at the surface or interface of ta-C films, but no such layers are found in ta-C:H films.