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.
Key Differences and Similarities between 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.|
Pros and Cons of a Queen Size
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:
- Less space required: A standard Queen-size mattress measures sixty inches (60″) wide and eighty inches (80″) long. They are suitable for any bedroom that measures at least nine feet (9′) wide and eleven feet (11′) long.
- Lower price-point: Though price differences vary by manufacturer, a Queen-size mattress may be priced $100 to $500 lower than a King-size version of the same model. The average Queen-size mattress costs between $800 and $1,200, though this varies by brand, model, and mattress type.
- Happy medium: For many sleepers, a Queen is the ideal size because it offers a wider and longer sleep surface than Twin or Full models, but does not take up as much space as a King or California King.
- Wide availability: With very few exceptions, every mattress model sold today is available in a Queen-size design.
- Lighter and easier to move: The average Queen-size mattress weighs between 80 and 100 pounds, making them relatively easy to move without assistance compared to King-size models. For this reason, a Queen-size mattress may be suitable for owners who frequently reconfigure their bedroom arrangements.
Drawbacks of Queen-size mattresses include the following:
- May not be couple-friendly: Although couples may be content with a Queen-size mattress, the limited width may be too narrow for some, including those with small children that sometimes sleep with them.
- Too small for bigger rooms: While it is usually more suitable for smaller bedrooms than a King, the Queen-size may appear too small and less aesthetically pleasing in larger bedrooms.
- Too short for exceptionally tall people: Anyone who stands higher than six feet and four inches (6’4″) will be too tall for a Queen-size mattress.
Pros and Cons of a King Size
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;
- Ample space: A King-size mattress provides a wider sleep surface that is suitable for most couples with extra space to spare.
- Kid- and pet-friendly: A King-size mattress may be ideal for parents and/or pet owners whose children and/or animals occasionally sleep with them.
- Aesthetically pleasing: A King-size mattress almost forms a perfect square shape, and will balance most bedrooms provided there is adequate space.
- Wide availability: Like Queens, King-size mattresses are widely available; the vast majority of mattress models sold today are offered in this size.
Drawbacks of King-size mattresses include the following:
- Higher price-point: King-size mattresses are always more expensive than Queens; in most cases, King and California King sizes share the same price-point, while a few select brands will price the California King higher.
- More space required: A bedroom should measure at least eleven feet (11′) wide by eleven feet (11′) long in order to accommodate a King-size mattress, meaning that smaller rooms may not have enough space.
- Relatively heavy: The average King-size mattress weighs 110 to 140 pounds, making them extremely difficult to move and maneuver without assistance.
Is a Queen or King Size Right for You?
The difference between a Queen- and King-size mattress is somewhat negotiable, but shoppers should consider the following points when comparing the two sizes:
- What is the area (width times length) of the bedroom where the mattress will be used?
- How many people plan to use the mattress?
- How tall is the person/couple that plans to use the mattress?
- Are parents or pet owners planning to use the mattress — and if so, will children and/or animals occasionally sleep with them?
- What is the shopper’s mattress budget?
- Will the owner need to move the mattress without assistance?
Ultimately, a Queen-size mattress is most suitable for individual sleepers who prefer some extra space, as well as couples who don’t mind a narrower fit. A King-size mattress, on the other hand, is ideal for couples who prefer extra space, as well as parents and pet owners.
However, these findings are 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.
For more information on mattress size comparisons, please visit the following Tuck pages: