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Bed Basics
Bed Basics

King vs. Queen Mattress: How To Decide Which Bed Size Is Right for You

An illustration of a woman pondering a queen or king mattress
Bailey Biffert

When you’re choosing your ideal bed, a lot of decisions come into play, including the comfort level, type of mattress and, of course, size. The queen is the most popular mattress size in the country, but for many people who have the space — or a partner who rolls — a king is the gold standard.

But what’s the real difference and how do you know which one to pick for your space? Never fear, we’re here to break down the two bed sizes, cover how they compare and make recommendations about who is best suited to each size. Read on to discover the Mattress Firm guide to the queen vs. king mattress.

What's the Difference Between King and Queen Mattresses?

The most prominent difference between a queen mattress and a king mattress is the size difference, namely in width. Both mattresses measure 80 inches long, but a queen-size mattress is 60 inches wide, while a king-size bed measures 76 inches in width. These dimensions make a king-size mattress 16 inches wider than a queen, meaning if two people share a bed, each has eight additional inches of room.

Because it’s a larger mattress, king-size beds typically cost more than their queen-size counterparts. A king-size bed frame or adjustable base and bedding items like sheets and duvet covers will cost more, too, since they require more material. However, if you have your heart set on a king but the budget for a queen keep a look out for sales such as Mattress Firm’s king for queen deal where you can get a king mattress for the price of a queen.

Size, Comfort and Price: King vs. Queen Mattress Comparison

When comparing a king versus queen bed, the width is the most important dimension to pay attention to since they share the same length. A queen mattress is 60 inches wide, while a king is 76 inches wide. A couple sleeping on a queen bed would, therefore, have 30 inches each, which comes out to be about two and a half feet. A king-size mattress would allow each sleeper to have 38 inches — or more than three feet — per side, giving each sleeper the width of a twin-size mattress. Both queen- and king-size beds are 80 inches long.

If you’re shopping for a new mattress and contemplating a king-size bed versus a queen, the top factors to consider are how much space your room can accommodate and what feels best for your sleep setup. Luckily, both are common bed sizes, and nearly all popular mattresses are available in the queen and king size. Senior Store Manager and Sleep Expert® Erich Bunofsky says that no matter what size you choose, you won’t be sacrificing quality. “Mattress manufacturers offer their entire selection in both queen and king sizes, so your selections will not be limited based off of size,” Bunofsky explains.

What Is a King Bed?

When it comes to the overall area of standard mattresses, the king-size bed tops the chart. Its dimensions measure 80 inches long and 76 inches wide for a total of 6,080 square inches of sleeping space. This outsizes the California King mattress, a favorite of tall sleepers. The California King is 84 inches long but is narrower than the standard king, at 72 inches in width, for an overall area of 6,048 square inches.

Most households find a king mattress fits best in larger or primary bedrooms. Because of its size, it’s likely to be too large to comfortably fit in smaller bedrooms, studio apartments, or even some homes that feature narrow hallways or tricky stairwells.

If your room can accommodate a king bed, you might also be interested in a split king bed. This size has the same dimensions as a king mattress but uses two twin XL mattresses, enabling each sleeper to customize their comfort level and even adjust the base position. This removes any motion transfer that some couples find bothersome.

Pros and Cons of King-Size Mattresses



  • Takes up more space than a queen-size bed
  • More expensive than a queen

What Is a Queen Bed?

The most popular mattress size in the country, the queen-size bed, measures 80 inches long and 60 inches wide. Individual sleepers who like to spread out could find a match with a queen-size bed, as can some couples.

When compared to a king-size bed, a queen is the same length but narrower. Some couples find a queen bed is large enough to comfortably sleep in, but others prefer the extra width that comes with a king.

One size smaller than a queen mattress is a full-size bed. It’s both shorter in length and more narrow in width when compared to a queen, with dimensions of 75 inches long and 53 inches wide.

Pros and Cons of Queen-Size Mattresses


  • Good for many couples or most adults
  • Less expensive than a king mattress
  • Most modern bedrooms are built to accommodate queen mattresses


  • Less sleeping area than a king-size bed
  • Could be too small for some couples or families

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Queen or King Mattress

When deciding on a king versus queen bed, here are some points to consider.

Size of the Room

Before deciding on which size mattress will be best, it’s helpful to measure the dimensions of your bedroom. Mattress Firm Sleep Experts® recommend leaving at least two feet of space on each side of the mattress to accommodate a nightstand and make for an easily accessible pathway into bed, keeping in mind access to closets and doorways.

Be sure to consider other bedroom furniture like dressers when deciding if a queen or king mattress will fit best. Lastly, consider if your mattress frame, platform foundation, or adjustable base will need additional space in the bedroom and expand the overall footprint of the bed.

Who’s Sleeping on the Mattress

Besides room size, Bunofsky says that considering who will be sleeping on the mattress is an extremely important factor when trying to decide between a queen and king mattress. While it’s important to keep you and your bed partner in mind, consider whether other family members often end up in your bed. “Pets and children often share the bed with you for at least a portion of the time you’re using it, and this is often overlooked. That is why I always make it a habit to ask about other members of the family before making a recommendation.” Bunofsky says.

King vs. Queen Mattress Dimensions

Both king and queen mattresses are 80 inches long. A queen-size bed is 60 inches wide, while a king mattress adds 16 inches to the width, for a total of 76 inches. With over a foot of extra width, a king-size mattress is most desirable for many couples. Given the extra width, a king-size mattress will likely fit best in a larger bedroom. Mattress Size Chart: King vs. Queen Dimensions

A illustrated chart of king vs queen. Text reads: Dimensions: Length, Width and surface area. King Mattress: 80 inches in length, 76 inches in width, 6,080 square inches in surface area. Queen Mattress: 80 inches in length, 60 inches in width, 4,800 square inches in surface area.
Bailey Biffert

How King and Queen Mattresses Compare at Comfort Level

When it comes to the mattress itself, you’ll find comfortable options in both queen and king sizes. Each sleeper has their own ideals of what makes a comfortable mattress. Some people prefer the cloud-like feel of soft foam, while others feel best on a responsive hybrid mattress.

Not only does the mattress type impact the comfort level, but the size also plays a large role. Sleeping on a mattress that feels too small can be disruptive and uncomfortable.

Adult individuals could be well suited to a queen-size bed. Couples who don’t mind sleeping close to one another could also be comfortable on a queen-size bed.

Dr. Wendy Troxel, author of “Sharing the Covers: Every Couple’s Guide to Better Sleep,” is a clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist. She says that while some couples love the extra space of a king mattress, it’s not right for every couple.

“I've also talked to couples who have made the switch to a king-size and ultimately decided to downsize to a queen or double,” she explains. “They missed the physical closeness that happened when the bed size was reduced.”

Support and Durability: Queen vs. King Mattress Features

Since most mattresses come in both queen and king sizes, you’ll be able to find the same support and durability from mattresses of both sizes. Deciding between a king versus queen bed is just one of the options you’ll have when shopping for a new mattress. You’ll also want to consider whether you prefer an all-foam bed, a hybrid or an innerspring mattress.

When it comes to durability, your mattress size doesn’t impact its longevity. Bunofsky explains there’s no reason to worry, as size doesn’t impact lifespan. “The main thing that affects durability is the density of the coils and not the amount of them. In other words, it's not about the quantity of the coils but about the amount of them in a given area.” However, if you're hoping to get the longest lifespan possible from your new mattress, consider rotating the bed if your particular mattress benefits from half- or quarter-turns, and using a mattress protector that’ll keep it safe from accumulating any moisture, dust or allergens.

Price Point: King vs. Queen Mattress Cost

Given its larger size, a king-size mattress costs more than a queen bed. Depending on your desired mattress type and brand, the difference could be as little as an extra $50 to upgrade to a king-size bed instead of a queen. There could even be no difference in cost if you happen to snag a mattress during one of our king for queen promotions. However, more luxury mattresses could have a larger price gap, up to about $1,000 more expensive for a king instead of a queen size.

If your long term budget is a major consideration, a queen mattress might be a better fit. Bedding items like sheet sets, duvet covers and mattress protectors are also less expensive when buying for a queen-size bed rather than a king size. You’re also likely to pay more for a king-size bed frame or foundation when compared to the price of queen bed frames.

While there’s no right answer to a queen versus king, taking stock of room size, sleep position, sleep disruptors, and the likelihood of pets or kids joining you can help you identify which size is optimal for your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions About King vs. Queen Bed Size Mattress

Still questioning a queen versus king bed size? Here are answers to some common questions that could help you decide which size is the best option.

How Much Bigger Is a King Mattress Than a Queen?

Both measure 80 inches long, but a queen mattress is narrower. The width of a queen mattress is 60 inches, while a king mattress is 76 inches wide. Their overall area is much different: Queen beds have 4,800 square inches, while king beds have 6,080 square inches.

Which Is Better for a Couple: King or Queen?

Every couple has different sleep preferences. The question of whether they’ll sleep better on a queen or king mattress comes down to their individual feelings on space and comfort. Some couples prefer to sleep closer together on a queen mattress, while others prefer to spread out on a king bed. Sleeping position also plays a role since side sleepers tend to require less room than stomach or back sleepers.

What Is the Most Popular Bed Size: Queen or King?

The most popular bed size is a queen mattress. These beds are designed to accommodate two sleepers or one individual who prefers plenty of space while sleeping. Overall, a queen mattress measures 80 inches long and 60 inches wide. A king-size bed is the next step larger and a popular choice for couples, especially those who prefer more space while sleeping.

How Do I Choose the Right Mattress Size for Me?

Choosing the right size mattress can feel intimidating, but it only takes a few considerations to find the ideal size. One of the first steps is to measure your bedroom and decide which mattress size would fit best while leaving enough space to easily move around the mattress. Also, consider if you prefer to spread out at night or if you tend to stay still and do not need much space. Budget could also be a consideration since king-size beds and accessories tend to be more expensive than queen beds and bedding.

If you’re still wondering about the best size, Mattress Firm Sleep Experts® are always available both in-store and online to offer advice.

Can I Put a King Mattress on a Queen Frame?

We don’t recommend putting a king-size mattress on a queen frame. King-size beds are over a foot wider than queen mattresses, so a king-size bed would hang off the edges of a frame designed to support a queen-size bed.

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