King vs. Queen Bed: What’s the Difference?

By Sanchita Sen Certified Sleep Coach
Last Updated On May 22nd, 2021

Though queen size mattresses seem to be the most popular, the king size isn’t lagging far behind. A king size mattress gives you extra wiggle room to get comfy, and…

King vs. Queen Bed: What’s the Difference?

Though queen size mattresses seem to be the most popular, the king size isn’t lagging far behind. A king size mattress gives you extra wiggle room to get comfy, and according to a 2016 study from the Better Sleep Council (BSC), the consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), nearly 47 percent of consumers sleep on a queen mattress and 25 percent on a king.

Deciding on the size of the mattress ideally suited for you may sometimes be tough, depending on parameters. In this article, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of both sizes.

Want To Save
On Better Sleep?

See our latest sales!

Get 30% OFF Mattresses

Difference Between King And Queen Size Mattresses

King and queen size mattresses both offer you the same space in length—their main difference lies in the width. The king (a.k.a. eastern king size) offers an extra 16 inches of width than the queen and is considered best for couples who enjoy more space. There are a host of other factors that need to be considered when deciding between a queen and king size mattress, though.

ParametersKing Size MattressQueen Size Mattress
Width76 inches60 inches
Length80 inches80 inches
Area per Person38 inches by 80 inches30 inches by 80 inches
Recommended Room Size12 feet by 12 feet10 feet by 10 feet
Room PreferenceMaster bedroomSmaller rooms like a guest room or a small master bedroom
Popularity25 percent47 percent
Advantage

More space for couples–can accommodate childrenModerately priced
DisadvantageCouples who enjoy space may feel crowded–ideally can not accommodate childrenExpensive–the extra space comes at a cost

Factors To Consider When You Decide

There are many factors that may influence your choice of mattress size. You need to prioritize amongst the factors while deciding which mattress size is best suited for you and your family’s long-term needs. A high-quality mattress is an investment you make towards your health. It is important that you make this decision wisely, only after analyzing all the determinant factors.

Size of the Room

Ideally, the rule of thumb is to leave 2 feet of space on either side of the bed, and five feet of room at the base of the bed—this gives you space to walk around and prevents the room from feeling too cluttered, which could negatively impact sleep.

While deciding on the perfect size, consider whether your room allows for a larger mattress. If you intend to add extra furniture to the room, then it’s an added criterion that has to be taken into account, while determining which mattress size will be best suited to the room.

King vs. Queen

The preferred room size for a king size bed is 12 feet by 12 feet and for queen size is 10 feet by 14 feet. If you want a queen in a big size room, you have enough liberty to add more furniture, but if you want a king in a comparatively smaller sized room, then you may have to compromise. While space is important when you sleep, keeping your bedroom environment clutter-free is also crucial to quality sleep.

Number of Sleepers

The number of sleepers using the bed is a critical factor when deciding on the size of a mattress. If you’re looking for the best mattress for couples, you can’t go wrong with either a queen or a king; however, kings provide each partner with 8 inches of extra space, and can also accommodate children if they want to snuggle with their parents.

In a queen size, each partner will have 30 inches, compared to 38 inches in a king size. The queen is also a popular choice amongst single sleepers who like to stretch out in bed. The queen may be good for both individuals as well as couples who like to sleep close. But realistically, there’s no room for children if they want to snuggle with their parents.

Location of the Bedroom

King size mattresses are heavy and carrying them may be difficult. If your master bedroom is upstairs or you live on the upper level in an apartment, then consider the logistic issues of carrying a king bed. The width of the stairways and sometimes the door also has to be considered. In contrast, the queen bed is easier to carry and weighs less than a king.

Your Future Decisions

If you move frequently, then it might be better to invest in a queen size mattress because heavy king-size mattresses are not easy to carry or maneuver.  On the other hand, if you are not single and know that you are staying in one place for the foreseeable future, investing in a king-size mattress could be the better choice.

Price

Mattress price depends on the size and type of mattress you choose, including memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid. A quality, queen size mattress may be more expensive than a poorly-made king-size bed, but generally, a king size will always cost more than a queen. Bedding accessories may also be more expensive for a king than a queen due to size.

Customization Within Sizes

Both the king and queen size mattress may be customized further to suit your preferences. Some of them are widely available, while others are comparatively rare to find.

Split Queen Mattress

The traditional queen-size is split in half, letting both sleepers choose their preferred type of mattress on their side of the bed. Split queen adjustable beds are also available in the market which allows one side of the bed to be moved independently of the other.

Olympic Queen Mattress

This size measures 66 inches by 80 inches, letting sleepers enjoy 6 inches more in width. This size is not widely available in the market and is most often seen in RVs and mobile homes.

Split King Mattress

The traditional eastern king mattress is split in half, allowing both sleepers the liberty to have their preferred mattress type on their side. Split-kings are two twin XL size mattresses placed side-by-side.

California King Mattress

This is one of the widely available options in the mattress market and accounts for 7 percent of all mattress buys. This size is best suited for taller people because it is extra-long, measuring 72 inches by 84 inches—four inches longer (but four inches narrower) than the standard king.

Split California King Mattress

A California king size is split in half to allow sleepers to choose their best mattress for their side of the bed.

Other Available Standard Sizes

If the above-mentioned sizes don’t appeal to you, there are other sizes available in the market.

Mattress SizeMattress DimensionRecommended Room Size
Full XL54 inches by 80 inches10 foot by 12 foot
Full54 inches by 75 inches10 foot by 12 foot
Twin XL38 inches by 80 inches10 foot by 10 foot
Twin38 inches by 75 inches10 foot by 10 foot

FAQs

What is the difference between a king and a California king?

Both have the same area, but the California king is longer and narrower than the standard king bed.

Is the king better or a queen?

Both king and queen size mattresses are the same length, but the king is 16 inches wider than the queen. Depending on factors like room size, number of sleepers, and price you can choose which size is best suited for you.

Conclusion

Both king and queen sizes are great options, but if you have a smaller bedroom, opting for a queen bed would be wiser. You have to factor in conditions like adding furniture, such as nightstands—essential for your bedroom. Your sleeping space should be such that it leaves enough room for you to walk around freely, and provide enough surface area for you to sleep comfortably.

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


About the author

Sanchita Sen is a full-time writer focusing on the sleep health and mattress industry. She is a former journalist who has written numerous articles on the healthcare sector. Some of the topics she has covered include how to lucid dream, fever dreams, melatonin for sleep, and best gel memory foam mattress. Sanchita holds a Master of Arts in Communications from Convergence Institute of Mass Media and Information Technology Studies. She is also a published author, who seeks inspiration from both real life and the world of fiction.

View all posts

You’ll enjoy these posts

Based on your reading history, we think you’ll enjoy these posts…

Discover the ultimate sleep system

Choose your mattress

Shop top-rated mattresses with proven sleep-boosting materials.

Get a pillow

We have the perfect pillow to pair with your mattress.

Browse Pillows

Pick out bedding

Bring out the best in your mattress with our soft and breathable bedding.

Browse Bedding