What is a Split King Mattress?

Find out what a split king mattress is and if this size is right for you.

By Loren Bullock

If you’ve ever been browsing for mattresses, chances are you’ve seen the size option Split King. You might have wondered: what the heck is that? Here we will define what a split king bed is and if it is right for you.

Adjustable bed

The Mattress

A split king mattress, simply put, is two twin sized mattresses shoved together to make a king. That’s right, this mattress size is just two separate mattresses made into one. The twin beds side-by-side actually equal the dimensions of a standard king mattress, but they use twin XLs to get the proper length.

The Foundation

Split king mattresses come with super cool adjustable bases. An adjustable base is what the mattresses sit on and is specially designed for two beds. Where it gets pretty cool is, well, the adjustable part: each side can choose their level of elevation, firmness, and customize to their specific sleep settings. These are all things most king size mattresses can’t do.

Who is a Split King for?

Typically, split king adjustable beds work best for couples or people who sleep in the same bed. If your sleep partner is a hot side sleeper and you tend to wake up shivering and sleep on your stomach, you both are probably going to have different things you want out of a mattress. Each person gets their own personal space, and you don’t have to compromise on key mattress factors.

Additionally, there is little risk of motion transfer when the person you share a bed with moves in their sleep or gets up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.

How Does Bedding Work?

Split king beds do require a special set of sheets. Split king sheets consist of a single top bed sheet that covers both mattresses, as well as two fitted sheets that will cover each of the twin XL mattresses. Luckily, because of the convenience of split king mattresses, many dual sheet sets are sold in stores.

Pros and Cons

It’s time to lay out exactly what the best and worst aspects of buying a split king are for easy decision making.


Good for Partner Sleep: As we’ve highlighted earlier, split king beds are the superior choice for individual couple preferences. Getting a good night’s sleep heavily depends on the quality and features of your mattress. If you forgo your own sleep needs for a compromise, you could be depriving yourself of better sleep. If you want to read more about sleep and relationship satisfaction go here.

Extra Features: As if having an individually customized mattress while sleeping with a partner isn’t cool enough, split kings have features not included in a regular king size bed. The elevation feature is unmatched. Using the adjustable base, you can sit your side of the bed up to read or help your posture while your partner remains unmoved.

Built in Barrier: I know that my least favorite thing about sharing a bed is waking up with the other person on my side. That isn’t a problem with a split king. There is a built in barrier that’ll stop that person from encroaching on your sleep territory. Of course you can always bring this barrier down if you want some time to cuddle.

Easier to Move: A king size mattress is a heavy pain in the butt to move once unboxed, but a split king breaks that up. Literally. It’s as simple as moving a twin; you just have to do it twice. Trust us, it will definitely be more simple to get through a doorway.


Requires Complicated Assembly: As awesome as adjustable bases are, they are not easy to set up. With regular mattresses you unwrapped them and place them on a foundation—easy. With a split king you must figure out how the adjustable base works and play with it until you find the right setting.

Valley in the Middle: Though a barrier is a great way to get personal space, cuddly couples may not want it. It may make some people feel disconnected from their partners.

Buying Special Bedding: If after reading this you are convinced you need a split king, like, today, you won’t be able to keep your same sheet set. You’ll have to buy new dual sheet sets which may be more of an inconvenience than anything.


Split king adjustable beds are a great investment when you share a sleep space: each person gets a personalized night of sleep every night. But if you’re not so sure, don’t worry. Most mattress companies give you at least three months to sleep on the mattress risk-free. Take the plunge: you and your partner may never turn back.

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