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King vs. Split King Mattress: Which One Is Right for You?

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024

  • King-size mattresses offer ample space for couples but can be heavy and require a larger bedroom.

  • Split king mattresses consist of two twin XL mattresses, providing customized comfort and motion isolation for couples with differing preferences.

  • Consider factors like mattress type (memory foam, innerspring, hybrid, latex), firmness level, cooling technology, edge support, motion isolation, trial period, and warranty when choosing a mattress.

  • A California king mattress is longer but narrower than a standard king, offering more length for taller individuals but less width for couples.

  • The choice between king-size, split king, or California king beds depends on your space, comfort needs, and personal preferences. Test different options to find the best fit for your sleep quality.

Choosing the right mattress is essential for a good night’s sleep. The decision becomes even more important for couples as personal preferences and comfort levels vary. Two popular options for couples are king-size mattresses and split king-size mattresses. This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of king vs. split king mattress, helping you make an informed decision for your sleep haven. Whether you’re furnishing your master bedroom or upgrading your guest room, understanding these options is essential.

What is a King Size Mattress?

A king-size bed is great for big rooms or large families. It’s also called an eastern king bed, and it measures 72 inches by 80 inches. This bed is good for tall folks – people up to 6 feet 5 inches can sleep comfortably in it. If you’re even taller, you might need a California king, which is 84 inches long and can even fit basketball players.

King beds are 6 feet wide, so two adults can stretch out and sleep on this big bed, which gives you a whopping 6080 square inches of sleeping space. If you don’t mind a bit of a squeeze, you can even fit a couple of kids or pets on the bed. Originally, they called it a king bed to make it sound huge and fancy. When you sleep in such a big bed called “king,” it feels like you’re sleeping like royalty.

Pros of a King Size Mattress

  • Spaciousness: With 6080 square inches of sleeping space, a king-size mattress provides couples with plenty of personal space. It is also suitable for co-sleeping with a child or a pet.
  • Compatibility with Adjustable Bed Bases: King mattresses are compatible with adjustable bed bases, allowing you to customize your sleeping position for maximum comfort. However, it is important to set up the base to move the mattress as a whole to prevent independent movement of each half.

Cons of a King Size Mattress

  • Size and Weight: One of the main drawbacks of a king-size mattress is its size and weight. These mattresses can weigh close to 200 pounds, making them difficult to move and maneuver.
  • Space Requirements: King-size mattresses are not suitable for smaller bedrooms. They require a master bedroom that is at least 12 feet by 12 feet to ensure there is enough space to move around comfortably.

What is a Split King Size Mattress?

A split king bed is just like a regular king-size bed, but it’s split down the middle. It is the same size as a king bed, so if you have room for a king bed, you can also fit a split king bed. If you already have a king bed frame or base, you can easily turn it into a split king bed. All you have to do is replace the old mattress with two new twin XL mattresses. Split king mattresses also work with adjustable bed frames, where you can use a remote to change the angle of each mattress.

Even though they seem similar, there are some unique differences between split king and regular king mattresses. Instead of one big mattress, the split king comprises two twin XL beds placed next to each other. This split design is great if you and your partner have different sleep preferences or if one of you has issues like back pain. It gives each person their own space. There are other split bed options too, like the split California king mattress and split queen-size mattress.

Pros of a Split King-Size Mattress

  • Customized Comfort: One of the biggest advantages of a split king mattress is the ability to customize each side according to individual preferences. If one partner prefers a soft mattress while the other prefers a firm one, a split king allows them to find the perfect balance.
  • Motion Isolation: Split king mattresses prevent motion from transferring, so when one person moves on one side of the bed, it’s less likely to disturb the other partner. This is especially beneficial for couples who have different sleep schedules or tend to move around during the night.
  • Compatibility with Adjustable Bed Bases: Split king mattresses work with adjustable bed bases, so each person can change their side of the bed separately. This is especially helpful for people with unique sleep requirements or medical conditions who need customized sleeping positions.

Cons of a Split King-Size Mattress

  • Specialized Bed Sheets: Split king mattresses require specialized bed sheets. Each side of the bed needs twin XL fitted sheets and a king-size cover sheet. While split king sheet sets are available, they may be easier to find online than in physical stores.
  • Visible Gap: When two twin XL mattresses are pushed together to create a split king bed, there may be a noticeable gap between the two mattresses. This gap can be uncomfortable if you tend to roll towards the middle while sleeping.
  • Cost: Split king mattresses may be slightly more expensive than regular ones. However, the price difference is usually insignificant, and the additional customization and comfort they provide are worth the investment for many couples.

Split King vs. King Dimensions Chart

Here’s a chart comparing the dimensions of a Split King mattress and a standard King mattress:

AspectsKing MattressSplit King Mattress
Length80 inches80 inches
Width76 inches76 inches
Smallest Room Size12 feet x 12 feet12 feet x 12 feet
Surface Area6080 sq inches6080 sq inches
No of Sleepers2 adults, 1 child/1 pet2 sleepers
Best forFamilyCouples

A Split King mattress consists of two Twin XL mattresses, which provide more flexibility for couples with different preferences regarding mattress firmness or adjustability. In contrast, a standard King mattress is a single large mattress that provides ample space for couples to sleep comfortably.

Split king beds provide a solution for different sleeping needs.

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for staying healthy. If sharing a bed with your loved one starts to affect your sleep quality, finding a solution that works for both of you becomes essential. For some couples, the answer might be upgrading to a larger bed, like a king-size bed. A king-size bed provides ample space for partners to sleep comfortably together, even if one or both tend to move around during the night.

However, a split king bed could be the ideal solution if you and your partner have different sleep preferences, such as needing separate mattresses, different mattress firmness levels, or having different temperature preferences. With a split king, each person can choose a twin XL mattress that suits their needs for a restful night’s sleep. Plus, the added benefit of a split king bed is that it minimizes motion transfer since each person sleeps on their own mattress. If you’re both restless sleepers, a split king can make a lot of difference in your sleep quality.

It’s worth noting that Texas Mattress Makers offers split mattresses as another option for couples who want to customize their comfort preferences while still sharing one mattress. They create handmade dual comfort mattresses that can accommodate different comfort levels on each side of a single mattress. These dual comfort mattresses are available in queen-size, but only when ordered in-store at one of their four showrooms. Keep in mind that each section in a queen dual comfort mattress will be smaller than a twin mattress.

Other Considerations for Choosing a Mattress

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In addition to the size and type of mattress, there are other factors to consider when making your decision. Here are some important considerations:

Mattress Type

  • Memory Foam Mattresses: Memory foam is popular for its contouring and pressure-relieving properties. They conform to your body shape, providing excellent support and reducing pressure points.
  • Innerspring Mattresses: Innerspring mattresses are constructed with a network of coils or springs that provide support and bounce. They are generally more responsive and have better airflow than other mattress types.
  • Hybrid Mattresses: Hybrid mattresses bring together the advantages of memory foam and innerspring mattresses. Typically, they include a layer of memory foam atop a coil support system, offering a blend of comfort, support, and effective air circulation.
  • Latex Mattresses: Latex mattresses are used either from natural or synthetic latex foam. They offer a responsive and supportive sleeping surface and are known for their durability and hypoallergenic properties.

Firmness Level

The firmness level of a mattress is a personal preference and depends on factors such as body weight, sleeping position, and any specific comfort needs. Here is a general guide to various mattress sizes and firmness levels:

  • Soft: Soft mattresses provide a plush and cushioned feel. They are suitable for side sleepers or individuals who prefer a more contouring and pressure-relieving surface.
  • Medium: Medium-firm mattresses offer a balance of support and comfort. They are suitable for back sleepers and individuals who prefer a combination of softness and support.
  • Firm: Firm mattresses provide a solid and supportive surface. They are recommended for stomach sleepers and individuals requiring extra spinal alignment support.

Additional Features

  • Cooling Technology:  If you often get too warm when you sleep, search for mattresses that have cooling features like gel-infused foam or breathable cover materials. These features help regulate your body temperature and promote a cooler sleep environment.
  • Edge Support: Edge support refers to the stability and firmness of the mattress edges. If you value a larger usable sleep surface or sit on the edge of the bed frequently, look for mattresses with reinforced edge support.
  • Motion Isolation: Motion isolation is important for couples to minimize disturbances caused by movement during sleep. Hybrid and Memory foam mattresses tend to have better motion isolation than innerspring mattresses.
  • Trial Period and Warranty: Check the trial period and warranty the mattress manufacturer offers. A trial period allows you to test the mattress in the comfort of your home and return it if you are unsatisfied. A longer warranty period provides peace of mind and ensures the mattress’s durability.

What about a King vs. California King Bed? 

When comparing split king and other split king vs full-size beds, it’s also worth considering California king options. A California king mattress is around 72 x 84 inches in size, making it 4 inches longer than a regular king but 4 inches narrower. A California king can be a great choice if you have enough space in your bedroom and your main concern is having more room to spread out.

However, if you and your partner have different comfort preferences rather than space constraints, a California king may not address those issues better than a standard king mattress.

FAQs about King vs. Split King Mattress

Is a split king bigger than a regular king bed?

No, a split king mattress is not bigger than a full bed frame or regular king mattress. Both have similar dimensions, with a king mattress measuring approximately 76 x 80 inches and when you put two twin XL mattresses together to create a split king, they also measure 76 x 80 inches.

Is a split king more expensive than a regular king bed?

Yes, a split king is slightly more expensive than a regular king bed. Typically, a split king is about $100 more expensive than a standard king bed. However, the cost may vary if you opt for customization, where the extra expense covers the specific components used for your split cal king mattress.

Are split king mattresses comfortable?

Certainly! Like any other mattress, the comfort of a split king mattress depends on your personal sleep preferences and needs. Choosing a Cal king mattress that suits your sleeping habits and comfort preferences is essential.

Are two twin beds the same size as a king bed?

Not quite, but it’s close. When you combine an adjustable bed frame with two twin XL mattresses to form a split king, it’s nearly the same size as a regular king bed. However, it’s important to note that two twin beds together are not larger than a king-size mattress.


When choosing between a king-size mattress and a split king mattress, consider your personal preferences, sleeping habits, and bedroom space. King-size mattresses offer ample space for couples and are ideal for larger master bedrooms. On the other hand, split king mattresses provide individualized comfort and support, making them a great option for couples with different sleep preferences.

Evaluate factors such as price, size requirements, and compatibility with other adjustable bed frames and bases when deciding. Additionally, consider mattress type, firmness level, and any additional features that are important to you. Remember that choosing the right mattress is a personal decision, and what works for one person may not work for another. Take your time, do your research, and test out different mattresses to find the one that will provide you with the best sleep experience possible.


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