The Difference Between A King And Queen Bed – What You Should Know

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Okay, so let’s say someone is in the market for a new bed and it’s time to decide – should they choose a Queen bed or a King bed? This may seem like a very simple decision, but it turns out there is actually quite a lot more to know about each bed and mattress than simply the size difference.

To help customers feel confident about the next bed and/or mattress they purchase, we’ve put together everything customers need to know about Queen vs King bed as well as a few tips and tricks to decide which is a better fit for their bedroom or guest room.

sharpshutter/Shutterstock

The Queen And King Basics

Standard Queen Bed

Width 60″
Length 80″
Width per Person 30″

Who Is A Queen Bed Ideal For?

A Queen bed is 5” longer and 7” wider than a Full-sized bed and is best suited for both couples and individuals because each couple gets approximately 30” of space to themselves; because it can work for an individual or a couple, it is the most popular mattress size today, and a Queen bed is often a fantastic fit for smaller master bedrooms or guest rooms.

If you think a Queen-size mattress is the right fit for you, check out our Editor’s Pick below for the best Queen bed:

Best Queen-Size Mattress

Helix Midnight Mattress

The Helix Midnight provides pressure relief and cooling features, making it a great Queen-size mattress option.

Clarity Score 4.0/5
Read Helix Midnight Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Queen-Size Mattress

Helix Midnight Mattress

The Helix Midnight provides pressure relief and cooling features, making it a great Queen-size mattress option.

Clarity Score 4.0/5
Read Helix Midnight Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Queen-Size Mattress

Helix Midnight Mattress

The Helix Midnight provides pressure relief and cooling features, making it a great Queen-size mattress option.

Clarity Score 4.0/5
Read Helix Midnight Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review

Standard (or Eastern) King:

Width 76″
Length 80″
Width per Person 38″

Who Is A King Bed Ideal For?

A King bed tends to be best suited for couples, and it is the equivalent of each individual sleeping on their own Twin XL bed (pushed together); the King bed offers each person 8” of additional space than a Queen sized bed, making it ideal for master bedrooms, but may be too large for some individuals.

If a King bed is what you’re searching for, check out our Editor’s Pick below for the best King-Size mattress:

Best King-Size Mattress

Saatva Mattress

The Saatva is a supportive mattress that is available in three firmness options, making it a great King-size bed for many types of sleepers.

Clarity Score 4.1/5
Read Saatva Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

180 nights

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

15-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best King-Size Mattress

Saatva Mattress

The Saatva is a supportive mattress that is available in three firmness options, making it a great King-size bed for many types of sleepers.

Clarity Score 4.1/5
Read Saatva Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

15-year warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Trial Period

180 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best King-Size Mattress

Saatva Mattress

The Saatva is a supportive mattress that is available in three firmness options, making it a great King-size bed for many types of sleepers.

Clarity Score 4.1/5
Read Saatva Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

180 nights

Warranty

15-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Watch Our Video Review

Types of King and Queen Beds

Mattress Size Dimensions
Standard Queen 60" x 80"
Standard King 76" x 80"
Olympic Queen 66" x 80"
California Queen 60" x 84"
Split Queen Two 30" x 80" pieces
California King 72" x 84"
Split King Two 39" x 80" pieces
Split California King Two 36" x 84" pieces

Less Traditional Sizes

Olympic Queen (or Expanded Queen): The Olympic Queen is a full 6″ wider than a Standard Queen but has an identical length (80″); this makes it an excellent option for couples who require more space.

Width 66″
Length 80″

California Queen: California Queens are waterbed mattresses and are particularly difficult to find these days; customers might require a time machine to find a California Queen.

Width 60″
Length 84″

Split Queen: This is essentially a Queen bed but is split down the middle, making it an excellent option for couples who desire to have the ideal firmness on their side of the bed.

Width 30″ (each half)
Length 80″

California (Western) King: This size of bed is fairly popular and is narrower and longer than a traditional King size mattress, so people can save a bit of space in their bedroom.

Width 72″
Length 84″

Split King: This is similar to a Standard King (but 2” wider) and is split down the middle, which makes it a fantastic option for couples.

Width 39″ (each half)
Length 80″

Split California King: Similar to how King beds are often offered in a split option, you can also find Split California King beds; however, this option is typically less common than a Split King size.

Width 36″ (each half)
Length 84″

People Might Choose A Queen Bed If …

  • Those who have a smaller room. Couples working with tight spaces might want to choose a Queen over a King bed because this will allow additional room for furniture; the downside is that couples will have much less personal space in the bed, as it is significantly narrower than a King.
  • People who like to cuddle with your partner. With 30″ of mattress surface per person, it won’t be very difficult to get close to one’s partner at night; individuals will definitely be sleeping more closely.
  • Those who are looking to save money. Queen mattresses are significantly cheaper than their King size counterpart; not only will customers save money picking a Queen mattress over a King, but they’ll ultimately save on the accompanying bed frame, mattress protector (yes, people should get one) and bedsheets.

fizkes/Shutterstock

People Might Choose A King Bed If …

  • Customers who have a big room to fill. King-sized beds tend to be the best fit for larger master bedrooms, where there is plenty of space not only for the bed but all the additional pieces of furniture and bedroom accessories.
  • Those who value their personal space. While it comes down to personal preference, many couples opt for a King size bed over a Queen if they have the space in their bedroom and can afford it; each individual gets an additional 8″ of space on the bed, which makes it comfortable for each individual to spread out or for the youngest family member to hop in during the night.
  • Those who can afford a pricier bed. Those who have been mattress or bed shopping lately know that everything can add up; customers should make sure they can afford a comfortable mattress, as well as a sturdy bed and bed frame and some comfortable King-sized sheets as well.

Other Things To Consider

There is nothing worse than hauling a new bed into the bedroom, only to realize it doesn’t actually fit; a little bit of research and some planning is the key to ensuring people end up with the ideal bed or mattress for them.

  • Measure the space and leave room for movement. If someone is thinking about making the leap from a Queen to a King-sized bed, they should make sure that they can fit it in the bedroom and still have room to move around; an article from Thingz Contemporary Living says that the majority of designers will recommend 30″ of space around the bed for easy movement.
  • Make sure it is possible to get the new bed into the bedroom. Regardless of whether or not a Queen or King mattress will fit in the room, people should make sure they can get it up the stairs, through the entryway or wherever else it needs to go before getting to the bedroom; consider getting others to help move the mattress, as even a Queen can be particularly difficult to maneuver alone.
  • Consider the necessary accessories for the new bed/mattress. People may be excited to upgrade from a Queen to a King (or a Full to a Queen) but they also should remember that they will not only need a new frame to fit the new mattress, but a mattress protector and sheets in the new size will be important too; they should make sure to add those to the budget when they’re shopping so they’re not stuck in a beautiful bed with terrible sheets or risking the mattress warranty by not protecting it.

Bottom Line

As with all things sleep-related, someone’s decision between a Queen or King bed will be personal – people should take a second to consider all the factors in their life – budget, room, sleep partners, etc. Once people decide on a size, they shop around to see what type of bed and mattress will serve them best.

Featured image: All About Space/Shutterstock

Gravatar for Katie Golde

Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news. She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.