King vs. Queen Bed Size Comparison

Is a queen or king bed the right fit for you?

By Nicole Gleichmann

There are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for a new mattress, from material and budget to brand and warranty. But there is one factor that will influence both your comfort and the look and feel of your room, and that’s mattress size

For adults, the size debate generally centers around king vs. queen beds. In this article, we will compare the pros and cons of queen vs. king mattresses, so you can find the best mattress for your needs.

Top view photo of beautiful couple sleeping on big white bed. Young man lying on side without blanket while his girlfriend lying on side under blanket

A Quick Comparison: Queen vs. King Bed Pros and Cons

Queen King
Length 80” 80”
Width 60” 76”
Bedroom Size Medium-size or larger rooms Large-size or master bedrooms
Best for
  • Couples that sleep on their own
  • Individuals who sleep with a pet
  • Light to average weight couples
  • Couples who don’t move around a lot
  • Couples with kids
  • Couples with pets
  • Heavyweight couples
  • Couples who toss and turn
Cost Varies depending on quality, but less expensive than a king mattress Varies depending on quality, but more expensive than a queen mattress

 

Is a King or Queen Size Bed Bigger?

King mattresses are bigger than queen mattresses, but only in one direction. King and queen mattresses have the same length (80”), but king mattresses are 16” wider. Both queen and king beds are popular amongst couples.

Read More: Best Mattresses for Couples

A king mattress’s extra width is valuable for couples who find that they are a bit snug on a queen mattress. Heavier couples, those who toss and turn, and those who share their bed with kids or pets are typically good fits for a king mattress, rather than a queen mattress.

Queen
King

Queen Mattress Pros and Cons

The queen mattress is the most popular mattress size for adults. What’s great about a queen bed is that it offers enough space for couples without necessitating a huge room. You can fit a queen-size bed in most any bedroom, although smaller rooms often feel a bit cramped with a full bedroom setup.

Queen mattresses are also popular for single adults. In comparison to full-size mattresses, queens are both wider and longer. The extra length is great for taller people, and the width allows you to easily move around. Plus, a queen bed has enough sleeping space for a pet, a child, or a future partner. 

Read More: Full vs Queen Size Mattress

Pros

  • Big enough for couples
  • Sufficient space for single sleeper + pets/kids
  • Enough space for a single sleeper to toss and turn
  • Long enough for most adults
  • Popular option means there are lots of accessories
  • Less expensive than standard king or Cali king beds
  • Small enough to fit in most bedrooms

Cons

  • Can feel narrow for heavyweight sleepers
  • Not wide enough for a couple + kids or pets
  • Can be too short for tall people
  • Too narrow for couples who toss and turn

Related: Best Queen Mattresses

King Mattress Pros and Cons

King mattresses offer a great step up for those who find a queen-size mattress too small. A king bed is the same length as a queen mattress, but 16” wider.

Most couples who feel like a queen bed is too small would benefit most from extra width. Partners who toss and turn or have a bedhog can sleep peacefully on a king mattress. Families with children who sleep with their parents need this extra width for everyone to sleep soundly.

In comparison to a queen bed, a king bed costs more and takes up more space. Once you add in nightstands and bed frames, most king-size setups are going to require a master bedroom or a similarly large space. 

Pros

  • Wide enough for couples + kids/pets
  • Enough space for couples who toss and turn
  • Great for heavier couples
  • Long enough for most adults
  • Popular option means there are lots of accessories

Cons

  • Can be too short for tall people
  • More expensive than queen mattresses
  • Takes up more space than a queen bed

Related: Best King Mattresses

California King vs. Queen Size Difference

The California king-size bed is extra-long. In comparison to a queen-size mattress, it is both longer and wider. However, many people do not realize that the California king bed is not bigger than the king-size bed in every way. In comparison, the Cali king bed is longer, but narrower, than the king bed

As a result of their extra-length, California king mattresses are best for couples who find most mattresses too short. This is typically the case for tall folks or those who have a pet or two that cuddle down at the bottom of the mattress. 

For couples who find themselves wanting more space, extra width is typically the best solution. The need for more horizontal space is why king beds are more popular than Cal king beds. Sleepers who move around at night, those with wide shoulders, or couples whose kids sneak into bed will find the most space with a king mattress

Queen Standard King  California King
Length 80” 80” 84”
Width 60” 76” 72”
Best for
  • Smaller couples
  • Single sleepers with pets
  • Heavyweight couples
  • Families who share a bed
  • Those who toss and turn
  • Couples with pets
  • Tall couples

Which Mattress Size Is Best for You?

The right mattress size depends on your sleep habits and where you live. You want to take into consideration how you sleep now, how you might sleep in the future, and your current and future room size to determine the best mattress

Room Size

Room size is a limiting factor when it comes to mattress size. While you can technically squeeze a queen or king-size mattress into any room that’s just larger than the mattress itself, it’s best to save space for furniture, movement, and aesthetics. 

As a general rule, you want 2 feet of space or more between your bed and the wall or other furniture, with 3 feet creating the best overall look and feel. 

Take measurements of your current room and the furniture you have or are looking to buy. You can use a pen and paper or room layout phone app to play around and see what size mattress will fit comfortably.  

Always consider your future. If you invest in a high-quality mattress, you’ll want to take it with you when you move. Is there a chance you might have a smaller room in the future? You can always sell your bed and get a new one when you move, but it is nice to have a mattress that can move with you. 

Height

Twin-size and full-size mattresses are too short for people who are 6 foot or taller. With an extra 5-6 inches of legroom, queen and king mattresses comfortably sleep most anyone who doesn’t share the bed with a pet. 

But if you do have a dog or cat who curls up at your feet, even a king-size or queen-size bed can feel cramped. With 4 more inches of length, the Cali king mattress is best for tall people who sleep with pets

Couples

If you sleep with a partner, the smallest mattress that will sleep comfortably is a queen. Yet, a king-size mattress is usually considered the best choice for couples, so long as you have the space for it. 

A king mattress is the same width as two twin mattresses. With 16” more width than a queen bed, a king allows you to move around without sneaking onto your partner’s side of the bed. 

Kids and Pets

Many people spend their nights snuggling with pets or young kids. If you’re single, a queen-size bed will usually provide ample space for a child, dog, or cat. For couples, opt for a California king if your pet sleeps at the bottom of the bed, or a king-size if your pet or child sleeps next to you. 

Cost

You can find good-quality queen mattresses starting at about $500, and king mattresses at $700. But most high-quality mattresses start closer to $800 for a queen and $1,000 for a king. Once you get into the luxury mattress space, a king mattress can cost $700 more than a queen mattress.


Summary

Buying the right size mattress sets you up for years of comfortable snoozing. When choosing mattress size, it’s important to consider your sleeping habits and your home. You want a mattress that fits everyone comfortably but not one that will take up too much space. 

Queen and king mattresses are the most common mattress sizes for couples. Queens are best for couples who sleep on their own and don’t move around too much. Kings are better for couples who share their bed with pets or kids, as well as those who toss and turn.


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