King vs. Queen: What’s the Difference?

King size and queen size mattresses are popular choices for couples looking to upgrade their master bedroom. Deciding which is best for you and a partner can be challenging since they have similar dimensions. By considering other factors such as room size and budget, you can determine which size is the best mattress for you.

What is a King?

king size mattress is the largest standard size available, measuring 76 inches by 80 inches. It’s great for couples, although many single sleepers enjoy the luxury of having a big bed all to themselves.

If you’re sharing a bed, you might want to compare a king to a split king mattress. A split king mattress is divided into halves that are 38 inches by 80 inches, the same size as a twin XL. The division lets each partner choose their preferred firmness.

Split king mattresses also pair well with an adjustable base because each half of the mattress moves independently. A regular king mattress can move with an adjustable bed frame, but only as a whole.

Another variation on a king size is a California king size mattress, also known as a western king. A California king is 4 inches longer than an eastern king mattress, although it’s also 4 inches narrower. A Cal king mattress is a good choice if you’re sharing a bed with someone who’s over 6 feet tall.

You can read our comparison of a Cal king to a queen mattress.

A standard king size Zoma Mattress is $850, the same price as a Cal king size.

What is a Queen?

A queen size mattress is the most popular bed size—it suits couples and single sleepers, or large bedrooms and small bedrooms. A queen mattress measures 60 inches wide and 80 inches long.

Just like with a king mattress, you can find a split queen mattress that lets you customize each side of the bed. A split queen mattress is more difficult to find than a split king mattress and requires special bedding.

Other variations of a queen size mattress include an Olympic queen mattress, which is 6 inches wider than a standard queen, and a California queen, which is 4 inches longer than a standard queen. These nonstandard sizes are difficult to find outside of online mattress retailers.

A queen size Zoma Mattress is $750.

Comparing a King to a Queen

To decide whether a king or queen is the best mattress for you, you’ll want to consider the space you (and your partner, if applicable) will need, the size of your bedroom, and your budget.

Individual Space

Both king and queen size mattresses are a popular choice for couples. King size mattresses provide each partner with an extra 8 inches of personal space, which is useful if one partner tends to toss and turn or overheats if they’re too close to each other.

Room Size

There’s a 16-inch size difference between a king and queen mattress. However, the added sleeping space might not be an advantage if you have a small room. Ideally, you should have at least 30 inches of walking space around any mattress.

King size mattresses fit best in a master bedroom that’s at least 12 feet by 12 feet; this leaves enough space for walking and bedroom furniture such as nightstands. A queen size bed works well in any bedroom that’s at least 10 feet by 10 feet—such as a small master bedroom or a guest room.

Price

Size is a significant factor that affects a mattress’s price, though there are other considerations such as material type and warranty length. As a smaller mattress, a queen size mattress is a better budget mattress than a king bed. Bed frames, bedding, and other accessories for a queen also cost less.

Other Mattress Sizes

A queen or king mattress might be too big for your bedroom or just not what you want or need right now. If so, there are different mattress sizes to consider.

Mattress SizeMattress Dimensions in Inches
Twin38 by 75
Twin XL38 by 80
Full54 by 80
Queen60 by 80
King76 by 80
Cal King72 by 84

Twin

Twin size mattresses are the smallest standard size, perfect for single sleepers with smaller bedrooms. If you need a bed for a studio apartment, a child’s room, or a guest bedroom, a twin mattress might be the perfect fit.

Twin XL

Twin XL size mattresses are 5 inches longer than a standard size twin. A twin XL mattress is an excellent option if you’re buying a mattress for your child to sleep on until they graduate high school. It’s also a good choice for a college-bound graduate because most dormitories contain twin XL size bed frames.

Full

Full size mattresses are also called double beds and offer 16 more inches of sleeping space than a twin bed. We only recommend a full bed for single sleepers; if two people were to share the bed, each would only have roughly 27 inches of space.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size bed do most couples have?

Queen mattresses are the more popular choice for couples, since they’re less expensive than a king mattress and fit in most bedrooms.

How big is a Texas king size bed?

A Texas king is a nonstandard, oversized mattress that’s 80 inches wide and 98 inches long. It’s not the largest bed size, though—an Alaskan king mattress is even larger at 9 feet by 9 feet.

How often should you turn a mattress?

You should rotate your mattress every three to six months. Other mattress care tips include encasing the mattress in a protector, changing your bedding once a week, and vacuuming frequently to prevent dust mites and debris from penetrating the mattress.

How many years do mattresses last?

The lifespan of your mattress depends on its materials.

Memory foam: 7 to 10 years

Natural Latex: 12 to 20 years

Innerspring: 5 to 6 years

Hybrid: 6 to 7 years

Did We Help?

Both a queen mattress or a king mattress can provide you with a good night’s rest. A queen mattress is the better choice if you have a small bedroom or a tighter budget. A king mattress is the better option if you plan on sleeping with your partner and child, or if you need extra personal space. If you’re sharing a bed, talk with your partner to figure out which is the best option for the two of you.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

Sarah Anderson, Editor-in-Chief Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson is a sleep, health, and wellness writer and product reviewer. She has written articles on changing and improving your sleep schedule, choosing the right mattress for chronic pain conditions, and finding the best pillow for you. Sarah Anderson has her Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to working for Zoma, she wrote for a variety of news publications.

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