Mattress Guides

Queen vs. King Mattress

Maximize your sleep experience by picking the right mattress size for you: king or queen.

By Alex Reale

We spend about a third of our lives in bed, so it’s important that we take mattress shopping very seriously. You want to carefully assess all the different features and aspects, including material (such as memory foam or box spring), price, and especially size.

You’ll find that there are several different standard mattress sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king. Picking the right size mattress for yourself or your loved ones may seem simple, but it takes careful consideration and research to ensure you’re making the right choice. Keep reading to find out the primary differences between two popular mattress sizes, queen and king, and learn which one may be right for you.

Queen King
Height 18” to 36” 18” to 36”
Width 60” 76”
Length 80” 80”
Surface Area 4,800” 6,080”
Average Cost $1,000 $1,200
Who it’s best for Older teenagers, adults, couples Larger adults, couples that share their bed with children or pets
Mattress options Best queen size mattresses Best king size mattresses
queen vs king size mattress

Queen and King Similarities

King and queen beds share many of the same qualities, which is why it can be difficult trying to pick out the best mattress out of the two. They are both roughly the same height, ranging from 18 inches to 36 inches tall (depending on your bed frame and mattress material). They are also the same length at approximately 80 inches, making them both ideal for taller sleepers. 

Although their widths are different (explained later), they are both wide enough to accommodate a majority of couples that share the bed. Finally, both king size mattresses and queen size mattresses have a very small difference in pricing. They are both more expensive than twin, twin XL, full size mattresses, and a mid-range king or queen can cost between 1,000 to 1,200 dollars total.

Queen and King Differences

Even though queen size beds and king size beds are very similar, there are subtle differences that you must understand before making a purchase. Queen size mattresses and king size mattresses are approximately the same height and length, but they are different widths. 

A queen size mattress is up to 60 inches wide, while a king size mattress is up to 76 inches wide. This makes a king size mattress more accommodating for larger couples who share the bed with children or pets, while a queen size mattress is better for average or smaller size couples and teenagers.

Due to the king size mattress being wider than its queen counterpart, it also has a larger mattress surface area. A king size mattress’s surface area is 6,080 square inches, and a queen measures 4,800 square inches. This extra surface area means that a king mattress will require more materials in its construction, and thus will be more costly (fortunately, the price difference between king and queen isn’t too significant).

Considerations When Mattress Shopping

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to picking the right mattress for yourself. There are numerous factors you need to look into before making the purchase. Below are the most important considerations you should remember while you’re shopping for your new sleep option.

Age

Most mattresses aren’t exactly meant for specific ages, but rather body types and sizes. However, there are usually certain ages that feel more comfortable in specific bed sizes. Younger children who are just leaving their crib mattress behind will feel more comfortable on a twin size mattress. If these children hit their growth spurt early and become taller, they may want to try a twin XL. A full size bed also works for larger children or teenagers who want extra legroom. 

Queen and king size beds are spacious enough to accommodate virtually any age sleeper, and they are both excellent for couples who share a bed. 

Cost

As mentioned previously, the larger the bed, the more materials that will be used in its construction. Therefore, smaller mattresses like twin, twin XL, and full will be inexpensive compared to queen and king size mattresses.

Room Size

Before buying a bed, you need to look at the size of the room to make sure it fits. Even if the mattress is small enough to fit in the designated room, you want some additional space for other belongings, such as toys, dressers, nightstands, etc.

Twin and twin XL mattresses are sized perfectly for smaller rooms, such as children’s bedrooms, and can be used in bunk beds. Full size beds can sometimes fit in children’s bedrooms, but they’re also great for studio apartments, college dorm rooms, and guest rooms. These smaller mattresses leave plenty of space for other belongings in smaller bedrooms.

Queen and king size mattresses are very long and wide, and they are designed for use in master bedrooms. They may fit in other large bedrooms, but be careful, as they can take up a lot of extra space and make the room feel very cramped and confined.

Size of Sleeper

One of the keys to determining the best mattress size is to look at the size of the sleeper. If you want the sleeper to have enough personal space to be comfortable during their rest, you need a mattress that will accommodate their body frame.

Twin and twin XL mattresses are good for smaller body frames, such as children and younger teenagers. Full size beds are ideal for adolescents and young adults because of the extra length. For most single adults and couples, you’ll want to go with a queen or even a king size mattress (although the latter is much better suited for couples that share a bed).

Moving

Moving a mattress can be very difficult, especially if you’re doing it on your own. If you’re someone who reorganizes their room a lot, or if you frequently move homes, then you’ll want to think about the mattress. 

A twin or twin XL mattress is fairly easy to move or flip on your own, and a full size mattress can be manageable for a single person to maneuver, but queen and king size mattresses absolutely require more than one person to move them, especially if you are smaller. Due to their awkward sizing and weight, trying to move a king or queen size mattress by yourself can potentially lead to injury or damage to your home.

Bed Height

One often overlooked factor of most mattresses is the height. When you get in or out of bed, you’re putting a lot of stress on your back and joints, so you want a mattress that will make this process easier on your body. Twin, twin XL, and full size beds are usually around 11 inches high, allowing children and smaller people to get in and out of bed without struggle. 

A queen and king size mattress can be between 18 to 36 inches high, which can make it tough for some to climb into or leave their bed. As you’re looking at mattress dimensions, make sure that you’re getting a bed with the right amount of height so you won’t be struggling at night or in the morning.

Single Sleepers vs Couples

Are you sleeping alone, or do you share your bed with someone? Do you also share your bed with children or pets? These questions are important to answer as you pick out your mattress as some sizes are more accommodating of couples than others.

Twin beds, twin XL beds, and full size beds are meant for single sleepers, while standard queen size and standard king size are much better suited for couples due to their larger sleeping space. If you and your significant other share a bed, and you’re both average size adults, you can probably stick with a queen size bed. However, if you have larger body frames, or you’re looking to share your bed with pets or children, then a king size mattress’s extra width could be beneficial.

Sleep Activity

Some people are very active when they sleep. This means they often toss and turn or shift sleeping positions in their bed. If you’re sleeping on a mattress that’s too small for you, then you can risk falling off the edge of the bed. If you share your bed with someone else and you’re an active sleeper, you can disturb each other with your tossing and turning, which is why you’d need more space.

For people who are active sleepers, we highly recommend going with a full size bed or larger, and if you share your bed with a sleeping partner, then it’s a much better option to go with a queen or king size mattress so that there’s enough space.

Which One is Right for You?

A new bed is an investment. That means you need to take proper steps to ensure you’re picking the right one for yourself. You don’t want to pick a mattress that won’t make your sleep experience refreshing and relaxing. 

Make sure you take all of the aforementioned factors into consideration as you’re picking out the right mattress for yourself or your loved ones. It ultimately comes down to personal preference, but this mattress size guide will hopefully point you in the right direction for finding the best mattress possible.