King vs. Queen: Mattress Comparison Guide

If you’ve been sleeping on an old mattress and don’t feel well-rested, a new bed could be a quick solution to a good night’s sleep. King and queen size mattresses are the most popular choices among couples in the United States, but choosing the best mattress for you can depend on a variety of factors that are unique to your circumstance.

A queen size mattress is a common choice because it easily accommodates most couples. While a king size mattress (also known as an eastern king) is the same length as a queen, it provides an extra 16 inches of width for considerably more sleeping space.

Consider the size of your bedroom and the furniture you have in it while shopping for your new mattress. It’s recommended to have at least 30 inches of walking space around your bed to provide enough room for nightstands, a dresser, and any other furniture you might have. Making an informed decision on the right bed size can mean many years of great sleep.

Queen Size Mattress

Size

A queen size mattress measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long, which provides a total surface area of up to 4,800 square inches. A single sleeper will have plenty of room to stretch out and get comfortable. This bed is also large enough to easily accommodate two people with 30 inches of sleeping space for each, but it is not quite big enough to include children.

Recommended Room Size

In order for a queen bed to comfortably fit in your room, it should measure at least 10 feet by 10 feet. A bedroom of this size is large enough to accommodate the recommended 30 inches of walking space around the bed frame as well as some extra furniture.

Who is it Recommended for?

A queen size bed is a popular choice among couples because it comfortably fits two sleepers and doesn’t take up as much floor space as a king size mattress does in the bedroom. With 30 inches of sleeping space for each sleeper, you and your partner aren’t likely to feel crowded. This mattress is also great for individuals who are tall, as someone who is 6’4” can still sleep in a queen size mattress alone or with a partner. A queen mattress is large enough for most couples to sleep comfortably, so it’s also a great guest room mattress if you plan on hosting company frequently.

Pros and Cons

Queen size mattresses are incredibly popular because they’re big enough for couples but they don’t take up as much space as a king, they’re easy to move and they’re affordable. A mattress and foundation for a queen are lighter than those of a king so they can fit more easily through doorways, tight hallways, and small master bedrooms that you’ll find in most homes and apartments. However, if your family enjoys spending time together on your bed, a queen will make for a tight squeeze.

King Size Mattress

Size

While the king mattress is the same length as a queen at 80 inches, it’s considerably wider at 76 inches. With 38 inches of personal space for two sleepers, this is a good option that provides plenty of room for children to join their parents in bed and everyone can still be comfortable.

Recommended Room Size

A room that is 12 feet by 10 feet is just large enough to provide necessary walking space around your king size bed, but you likely won’t have enough space for much furniture other than nightstands. A 12-foot by 12-foot room is a better option that offers extra space for dressers and other furniture you might have.

Who is it Recommended for?

Couples who enjoy more personal space while sleeping will each appreciate the extra eight inches of a king size mattress. A king bed makes it easy for a family to spend time together with plenty of extra wiggle room.

Pros and Cons

One king size bed has the same dimensions of two twin XL mattresses set side by side, so a couple on a king bed is essentially sleeping on two twin XL mattresses. However, king mattresses are relatively large and heavy. They can be difficult to move through hallways and doors in a new home, and it can even be hard to find space for one in a master bedroom.

California King Size Mattress

Size

Another option in the king mattress family is the California king. The Cal king mattress is a slightly different shape than an eastern (traditional) king. At 72 inches by 84 inches, a California king bed offers some extra length and is ideal for people who are more than 6’5” tall.

Recommended Room Size

Even though a California king bed is four inches narrower than a standard king, you gain those inches back in the length of the bed. A 12-foot by 12-foot room is still recommended for this mattress if you’d like to fit additional furniture in your bedroom.

Who is it Recommended for?

The California king mattress provides 36 inches of sleeping space for two individuals, which is six inches more than that of a queen. The real benefit of this mattress comes in the seven feet of length. California king size beds are the best option for people who are 6’5” or taller. Taller sleepers looking for a long bed will find this mattress to be a great option.

Pros and Cons

People who are taller than average will love the extra length of a California king. However, the added length of this mattress can make it difficult to move into an apartment or a small home.

Shopping for a Smaller Mattress?

If you don’t feel like you need the amount of sleeping area that comes with a king or queen mattress or are looking to furnish a smaller room, there are plenty of other mattress sizes to consider.

  • Twin Size Mattress – 38” x 74”
  • Recommended Room Size – 9’ x 9’
  • Twin XL Size Mattress – 38” x 80”
  • Recommended Room Size – 9’ x 10’
  • Double/Full Size Mattress – 54” x 75”
  • Recommended Room Size – 10’ x 10’
  • Full XL Size Mattress – 54” x 80”
  • Recommended Room Size – 10’ x 10’

Pricing

Mattresses will vary in price based on size and type. While you can find a king mattress that’s less expensive than a queen, the material might not fit your sleeping style. In addition to its size, the price you pay for your next bed is based on its materials. You can choose between innerspring, hybrid, latex, and memory foam mattresses to fit your budget and sleeping style.

FAQs

Is it worth getting a king size bed?

A king size bed is large, and thus requires a bigger room. While you’ll have plenty of space to stretch out while you sleep, your bedroom can feel cramped if it cannot comfortably accommodate a larger mattress. The feeling of sleeping in an overstuffed room can be stressful and have a negative impact on your ability to sleep.

Do two twin beds make a queen?

No, two twin beds do not equal the dimensions of a queen. A twin is 38 inches wide, so two twin mattresses placed side by side on a bed frame would have a 76-inch width—the same width as a king bed.

How much bigger is a king than a queen?

King and queen mattresses are both 80 inches long, but kings are 16 inches wider. A California king has 12 inches of extra width and four inches of extra length compared to a queen bed.

What size bed do most couples have?

A queen bed is most common for couples because of its moderate size and affordable price. At 60 inches wide, it provides plenty of sleeping space for two people without feeling overly large.

Can a Cal king fit in a king bed frame?

A California king mattress is four inches narrower and four inches longer than a standard king, so Cal kings do not pair well with king bed frames. If you buy a California king mattress, you’ll need a bed frame designed to suit that specific size. Using a too-small bed frame could damage your mattress due to its lack of consistent support.

Which Size Mattress is Right for You?

At the end of the day, the right mattress size for your needs is determined by your bedroom size, personal preferences, and budget limitations. If your budget or bedroom size prohibits you from choosing the bigger-sized king mattress, the decision on mattress size is essentially made for you. However, if you have a larger bedroom and extra funds for a new mattress, then you are left with a choice to make. Hopefully, our mattress size comparison guide has offered some clarity in the shopping process, but if you’re still stuck, you can make the decision easier by planning out the rest of the furniture you’d like to include in your bedroom and defaulting to whichever size fits most comfortably.

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