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When choosing a mattress size, shoppers should take several factors into consideration. These include room size, budget, and the number of sleepers who plan to utilize the mattress. Most mattress models are available in six sizes: twin, twin extra long (twin XL), full, queen, king, and California. Other specialty and custom sizes may be available for certain models, as well.
This guide will compare two of the largest standard mattress sizes, queen and king. To begin, let’s look at some basic differences between the queen and king sizes.
|Standard Width||60″ (5′)||76″ (6 1/3′)|
|Standard Length||80″ (6 2/3′)||80″ (6 2/3′)|
|Ideal Bedroom Size||Minimum: 9W’ x 11L’
Maximum: 11W’ x 11L’
|At least 11W’ x 11L’|
|Average Price||$800 to $1,200||$1,000 to $1,700|
|Ideal Sleeping Arrangement||Single sleeper who prefers abundant space or couples that do not require much extra space.||Couples who prefer abundant space, particularly those with children and/or pets that sometimes sleep with them.|
Queen-size mattresses account for roughly 40% of all mattress sales, making them the most popular size. As a result, the queen-size mattress is an industry standard; many brands advertise their models using the queen as a default reference point.
Benefits of a queen-size mattress include the following:
Drawbacks of queen-size mattresses include the following:
The king size — which measures seventy-six inches (76″) wide and eighty inches (80″) long — is technically the largest standard mattress size with a total area of 6,080 square inches. Many mistakenly believe the California king — which measures seventy-two inches (72″) wide and eighty-four feet (84″) long — is the largest mattress size, but the California king covers a total area of 6,048 square inches.
Benefits of a king-size mattress include the following;
Drawbacks of king-size mattresses include the following:
Deciding between a queen or a king mattress is a huge personal decision and depends on many different factors. These factors include things like body type, co-sleepers, sleeping position and bedroom space. We’ve outlined all these factors below and discussed how they fit into the queen vs. king decision.
Whether you sleep with a partner or not is always going to inform your choice of mattress sizes. queen and king mattresses are both designed for co-sleeping, but for some couples the extra space of a king is preferred. If you like to have a little more breathing room between you and your partner, then a king size mattress will provide you with that additional space to toss and turn throughout the night. Since a queen size mattress can be more intimate and snug, people who tend to stretch their limbs and take a large portion of the bed may find it’s just too small to get entirely comfortable. If you’re still unsure, we recommend that you and your co-sleeper test a few mattresses out first and see if you both feel comfortable on your half of the bed.
Body type can play a large role in selecting your ideal mattress size. As a single sleeper, a queen will likely be sufficient regardless of how wide or tall you are. While a queen size bed is usually sufficient for sleeping two average weight adults, a king might be necessary for couples on the heavier side.
If your bed is home to the entire clan come weekend mornings, a king size mattress may be a necessity. Pets, children, and your sleeping partner can all get comfortable and sprawl out on a king size mattress for movietime or family bonding. If you co-sleep with your children, a king size bed will ensure you and your partner aren’t feeling like sardines while you share your sleeping space with your kids. When deciding between a queen and king mattress, children and pets are often the determining factor.
Sleep positions can play a large role in determining the best mattress size for you and your partner. Side, back and stomach sleepers all take up different amounts of space based on how they position themselves. If you’re a back sleeper that likes to sprawl out over the bed, you may need a bigger mattress than a side sleeper that keeps a straight profile. Consider how much space your sleeping position takes up and decide your size needs accordingly.
One of the largest factors in choosing between a king and queen mattress is bedroom space. A king size bed can overpower a small bedroom and make it difficult to decorate with other furnishings such as dressers and nightstands. If you plan on moving anytime in the near future, having a king size bed will definitely limit your bedroom options when looking at new places. If you have a nice spacious master bedroom, however, then a king size bed likely won’t be an issue.
Lastly, consider your budget. You can save several hundred dollars by opting for the smaller size queen mattress option. If you simply must have a larger bed, we recommend you shop during one of many online sales events or check out our guide on the best mattresses for the money.
Ultimately, a queen-size mattress is most suitable for individual sleepers who prefer some extra space and couples who don’t mind a narrower fit. A king-size mattress, on the other hand, is ideal for couples who prefer extra space or who often have kids and/or pets in the bed.
Nonetheless, this decision is ultimately subjective. If you are unsure which size will work best, we recommend trying out both sizes in mattress stores, as well as participating in sleep trials that allow you to sleep on queen- and king-size mattresses for longer periods of time and return the model that is least satisfactory for you and, if applicable, your sleep partner.