Mattress Guides

King vs. Queen Bed

By Janith Lee, January 22, 2021

At 16 inches wider, a king bed offers more room to stretch out in than a queen. On the other hand, queen beds are sold more than any other size bed in the U.S. So what makes the smaller queen more popular than the larger king? While their size is the main difference, there are multiple benefits and drawbacks to both mattress sizes.

In this post, we’re sharing the pros and cons of these two popular options and offering tips for choosing the right bed size for you.

King Size Beds

King size beds are roomy, spacious, and one of the largest standard size beds on the market. They measure 80 inches long and 76 inches wide and are ideal for couples because king mattresses are also perfect for filling larger master bedrooms since they’re notably wider than other mattress sizes.

Pros of King Mattresses

More Room: King size beds are 16 inches wider than queen size beds, offering more space to stretch out. This is the main reason many people prefer king mattresses over a queen.

Great for Couples: King size beds are ideal for couples because they offer plenty of room for two people to comfortably sleep.

Comfortably Fits Pets and Kids: Even with two people in a king size bed, you can usually add a pet or small child without feeling too cramped.

Cons of King Mattresses

Impractical for Small Rooms: Apartments, smaller bedrooms, and guest rooms generally are not big enough to properly accommodate a king size bed. Even if one can fit, it usually doesn’t fit well and can take up too much space, making it difficult to move around your room.

More Expensive: At a larger size, a king size bed is more costly than a queen bed, so kings don’t always fit within every shopper’s budget. Additionally, bedding and other accessories will be slightly more expensive because more fabric and material has to be used. After spending more on a mattress and dishing out extra dollars for larger bedding, the difference between a king and a queen bed can really add up.

Heavy and Hard to Move: King size beds can be very heavy and may require more people to move them. Their large size can also pose challenges when maneuvering through small doorways or tight hallways. When buying larger mattress sizes, it’s convenient to shop with bed in a box brands because they ship their mattresses compressed and rolled in a compact box. That way, you’re able to carry the mattress to your bedroom and set it up with ease.

Common Variations of the King Size

If the standard king size bed doesn’t quite suit your needs, there are other common variations that may.

California King: The California king bed has become a fairly popular bed size and it’s great for taller people since it’s four inches longer than a standard king. It measures 84 inches long and 72 inches wide. While it’s longer, you’ll note it’s four inches narrower than a standard king.

Split King: Measuring 76 inches wide, king mattresses have the dimensions of two twin XL mattresses placed side-by-side. A split king mattress is two twin XL mattresses set together in a bed frame, so they’re divided down the middle to work with split-king adjustable bed frames and allow for customization between couples. Each half of a split king measures 38 inches wide and 80 inches long.

Queen Size Beds

A queen size bed is one size smaller than a king bed, and one size bigger than a full bed—otherwise known as a double bed. Measuring 60 inches wide and 80 inches long, a queen size bed is 16 inches narrower than a standard king size mattress.

Queen size mattresses fit comfortably in most bedrooms and its size works well for both single sleepers and couples. Due to its versatility, the queen is one of the best mattress sizes for adults and couples. And it’s slightly more popular than the king because it works in more bedrooms and fits within most budgets.

Pros of Queen Mattresses

Easier to Move: Queen size beds often fit in the back of most pickup trucks and they’re usually easy to maneuver through doorways and up staircases.

More Affordable: Queen size beds are more cost-effective than king size beds because they are smaller. This is also true for accessories like sheets and duvets, which will be less expensive than king size linens. On average, most shoppers pay $1,000 for a high-quality queen size mattress with a worthwhile warranty.

Great for Single Sleepers: If you’re sleeping solo, a queen size bed is a great choice as it affords plenty of room to stretch out. It’s also large enough to let a pet, young child, or sleeping partner join you.

Cons of Queen Mattresses

Can be Uncomfortable for Some Couples: Queen size beds can be suited for couples, but some may find this smaller mattress size feels a little cramped. If you or your partner is physically larger in size, a queen size bed will probably be too small.

Non-Standard Queen Sizes

There are other variations of queen size beds that offer slightly different size options. These non-standard sizes are not as common, so you usually have to purchase them from specialty manufacturers and bedding brands.

Olympic Queen (Expanded Queen): Wider than a standard size queen, an Olympic queen measures 66 inches wide and 80 inches long. This allows couples three extra inches of wiggle room on either side of the bed.

California Queen: A California queen bed is the same width as a standard queen but slightly longer, so they’re a better option for sleepers over 6 feet tall. Cal queens measure 60 inches wide and 84 inches long—four inches longer than a standard queen.

Split Queen: A split queen is the same width and length as a standard queen but it’s divided down the middle to make two equal parts, each measuring 30 inches wide and 80 inches long. Split queens are good for couples with vastly different sleep needs who need customized firmness on either side of the mattress.

Things to Consider When Choosing Which Is Right For You

When choosing between a king and queen bed, there are a couple of things to keep in mind to help you decide which size is best for your lifestyle.

Bedroom Size

The size of your bedroom will be a big factor in choosing whether to go with a king or queen size bed. The recommended room size for a king bed is 12 feet by 14 feet and the recommended room size for a queen bed is 10 feet by 12 feet.

It’s suggested that you keep a minimum of two feet of walking space around your bed to provide enough room to walk and move around. If you plan to have a dresser or other piece of furniture nearby, you should account for even more space.

If you’re unsure how large your room is, use a measuring tape to determine the exact size. Take note of any other furniture that will also be in the room.

Number and Size of Sleepers

If you’re sleeping alone, a queen size bed will offer plenty of room. Usually, for a single sleeper, a king size bed can feel a bit excessive in size and seem unnecessary.

If you will be sharing your mattress with a partner, you can (usually) get away with choosing a queen or a king and still get a comfortable sleep. To determine if a queen size mattress will comfortably accommodate both you and your partner, you’ll want to consider the size of each of you. If either of you has a larger build, you might find a queen size bed to be too small and want to opt for a king size bed instead.

Also, think about your and your partner’s sleeping habits, and if either of you tends to toss and turn at night. If you share the mattress with a restless sleeper, a king size bed will offer more space for movement. This means you and your partner are less likely to be disturbed by each other’s motion.

Remember to also take into account other sleepers like pets and small children. If they like to snuggle up with you and your partner often, you may be cramped in a queen size bed.

Budget

If you’re looking to save money, opt for a queen size bed—they’re more affordable since they’re smaller. They are also more cost effective over time because bedding and pillows for queen size beds are less expensive than they are for king size beds.

How Often You Move

A queen size bed is smaller, making it much easier to lift and move. If you move residences often, you may want to consider sticking to a queen size bed to make your moves easier.

FAQs

How much bigger is a king than a queen bed?

A king and queen size bed are both 80 inches long, their difference is in width. A king size bed is 16 inches wider than a queen, measuring 76 inches from side-to-side. This is a big enough difference to notice, especially if you sleep with a partner.

Can a queen size bed accommodate two people?

A queen size bed is large enough to accommodate most couples. That said, if you or your partner is physically larger in size, you’ll likely want to consider sizing up to a king to provide more room for each of you. This is also true if you or your partner tends to toss and turn a lot during the night. A king size bed will offer more room for movement and you or your partner will be less likely to disturb the other when sleeping.

How much room does a king size bed take up?

A king size bed measures 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. Kings are usually too large for most apartments and smaller rooms, but are ideal for a master bedroom. The recommended room size for them is 12 feet by 14 feet, but it’s best to measure your space to see if it will fit in your room.

How do I know if a king or a queen bed is the right size for me?

If you plan to sleep alone, a queen size bed offers ample room. If you will be using the bed with a partner, a queen size bed might feel too small for some couples who are larger in size.

If you choose to go with a king size bed, make sure you have the space for it. Measure your room and remember to leave a minimum of two feet of walking space around the bed.This will ensure you have enough room to walk around and prevent the bedroom from feeling cluttered or cramped.

Can queen size sheets fit on a king bed?

Queen size sheets will not properly fit on a king mattress because queen sheets are 16 inches narrower than king sheets. Queen size sheets are tailored to the specifications of a queen bed and since a king size bed is wider, the sheets will be too small to fit across the bed.

Conclusion

Since a king size bed is wider than a queen, it works great for couples and large bedrooms. On the other hand, queen beds is more functional for anyone who lives in a smaller space or is on a budget because they’re smaller in size and cheaper in price.

If you’re shopping for the best mattress for couples, you can’t go wrong with either a king or a queen. While queens offer plenty of comfort for one person, they are spacious enough to accommodate many couples; and this versatility makes the queen the most popular option among adults.

If you aren’t sold on standard mattress sizes, keep in mind that both king and queen beds are available in alternate sizes to suit more unique sleep needs. And if you’re still stuck, just remember that the the size of your bedroom, budget, and whether you sleep alone or with a partner, will ultimately determine which size bed is best for you.

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