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King vs. Queen Bed: Which Mattress Size Is Right for You?

King vs. Queen Bed: Which Mattress Size Is Right for You?

by

Aoife O.
 | 
Jan 11, 2023

When shopping for a new bed, the first—and one of the most important—decisions you have to make is which size mattress to buy. The size you choose will determine how much personal space you have to spread out while you sleep, how much free space you have left in your bedroom, and how much you’ll pay for your new mattress and accessories.


Many shoppers feel torn between two adjacent mattress sizes: king and queen. So, we put together a practical guide that explains the differences between the two and what critical factors can help you choose.


King vs. Queen Mattress Dimensions

What’s the difference between a king and a queen bed? King mattresses are the length as queen mattresses but 16 inches wider. A queen mattress measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long, totaling 4,800 square inches. Meanwhile, king mattresses measure 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, offering 6,080 square inches of surface area.

Queen mattress dimensions: 80 by 60 inches
King mattress dimensions: 80 by 76 inches

King vs. Queen Comparison Chart

Spec.

Queen

King

Width

60 in

76 in

Length

80 in

80 in

Surface Area

4,800 sq. in

6,080 sq. in

Personal Space (2 Sleepers)

30 in (across)

38 in (across)

Room Space Needed

10x10 ft

12x12 ft

Ideal For

Single sleepers and couples

Couples and families or pet owners


King vs. Queen Pros and Cons

There’s a significant difference between queen and king beds—1,280 square inches, to be exact. King mattresses are bigger than queen mattresses, but are they better? Not necessarily. Your ideal mattress size depends on your unique sleep needs and situation.


For example, king mattresses have the advantage of more surface area, making them an excellent fit for couples who want to sprawl out and have their personal space. On the other hand, queen mattresses are more compact and well-suited for smaller bedrooms. Saving money by choosing a queen over a king is also a big advantage.


Below, we take a closer look at how these two mattress sizes perform in sleep comfort and logistical areas:

Spec.

Queen

King

More Surface Area



Space for a Single Adult

Space for 2 Adults

Space for 2 Adults and Kid(s)



Space for 2 Adults and Pet(s)



Fits a Smaller Bedroom



More Affordable



Easier to Move



Bedding and Accessories Widely Available

Split Option (Learn More)



Advantages and Disadvantages of a Queen Bed

Pros

  • Queen mattresses cost less than king mattresses
  • Queen mattresses take up less bedroom space
  • They’re easier to set up and move
  • Queen beds comfortably sleep a single sleeper or a couple

Cons

  • Queen mattresses are narrower than king mattresses
  • Couples who want a lot of personal space may not have enough room to sprawl out

Advantages and Disadvantages of a King Bed

Pros

  • King mattresses are wider than queen mattresses
  • King beds comfortably sleep couples, plus kids and pets
  • With this bed size, you have the option of a split king mattress setup

Cons

  • King mattresses cost more than queen mattresses
  • King mattresses take up more bedroom space
  • Their larger size makes them harder to set up and move


Which Is Right for Me, a Queen or a King?

Now that you know the basic differences between queen and king mattresses, it’s time to consider your personal needs for your new bed. If you think through each factor below, you’ll have no trouble choosing your ideal mattress size.

Price

For many mattress shoppers, a major deciding factor between sizes is price. King mattresses are bigger, so naturally, they cost more than queens. But how much more? According to our research for our 2023 Mattress Cost Guide, foam king mattresses cost an average of $317 more than their queen counterparts.


At Nolah, our most affordable queen and king size mattress is the Nolah Original. Click here to learn more!

Sleep Arrangement

Who will be using the new mattress? While teens and single adult sleepers love the spaciousness of a queen bed, they often find that king mattresses take up more bedroom real estate than necessary. Queen mattresses can comfortably sleep two adults. However, if you or your partner are particularly restless sleepers or tend to quarrel for bed space, you may want a bigger mattress. You may also want to consider a king if your kids or pets sometimes join you in bed.

Sleeper Height

Queen and king mattresses have the same length (80 inches), so vertical space to stretch out isn’t a deciding factor between the two. However, if you’re 6 feet tall or taller, you may feel more comfortable on a longer bed. You can opt for a California king instead, which is 4 inches longer than a standard king or queen. California kings measure 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, so they’re longer than kings but also narrower. See our King vs. California King guide for more information.

Bedroom Size

As a general guide, we recommend king-size beds for bedrooms 12 by 12 feet or larger and queen-size beds for rooms 10 by 10 feet or larger. These dimensions leave enough space for the bed, nightstands, dresser, and walking space.


Need help visualizing your space with a new bed? In feet, a queen bed measures 5 feet wide by 6 feet and 8 inches long. King beds are the same length but 6 feet and 4 inches wide.

Bedding, Bases, and Accessories

It’s important to note that bases, bedding, and mattress accessories like toppers and protectors aren’t one-size-fits-all. You’ll need queen accessories for a queen mattress and king accessories for a king mattress. When deciding between these two mattress sizes, be sure to factor in the cost of buying new accessories if you don’t already have them in the corresponding size.


Need to refresh your whole sleep setup? Nolah offers a wide selection of cooling bedding, a luxurious AirFoam™ mattress topper, waterproof mattress protectors, and four supportive bed frames to choose from.


Common Questions About King and Queen Mattresses

Now, let’s dive into some frequently–asked questions about king and queen mattresses.

How Much Wider Is a King Than a Queen?

King mattresses are 16 inches wider than queen mattresses. Especially if you share your bed, this extra 1 foot and 4 inches across makes a big difference. However, solo sleepers generally don’t need the extra lateral room and have plenty of space to sprawl out on a queen bed.

How Much Bigger Is a King Than a Queen Bed?

In terms of surface area, king mattresses are 1,280 square inches larger than queen mattresses. Kings measure 76 inches wide, while queens measure 60 inches across. However, king and queen mattresses are the same lengths, both measuring 80 inches long.

Is a Queen Bed Good for a Couple? What’s Better for Couples, a Queen or King?

Both queen and king mattresses comfortably fit two adults, but kings are 16 inches wider. Sharing a queen bed doesn’t mean you have to sleep back to back, but you won’t have a ton of space to spread out or move around. That said, if saving money and bedroom space is your priority, a queen mattress will serve you well.


If you and your partner want more personal space to sprawl out, then choose a king. You may also want the extra width of a king if your kids or pets occasionally join you in bed.

What Is the Best Queen Mattress?

In general, the best mattresses provide proper spinal support, pressure relief, and temperature regulation. But what features should you look for in a queen mattress specifically? If you sleep with a partner and you’re worried about disruptions or limited space, look for these key qualities: motion isolation and edge support.


Motion isolation dampens your partner’s movements, ensuring you won’t feel them stirring from across the bed. Foam and foam hybrid mattresses excel in this area. Meanwhile, edge support ensures you can use every inch of your bed’s surface. For edge support, hybrid mattresses perform better than all-foam mattresses thanks to their strong, structured coils. The Nolah Evolution hybrid features enhanced perimeter coils for superior edge support.

What Is the Best King Mattress?

Once again, the best mattresses provide spinal alignment, balanced cushioning, and cooling. Buying a king mattress is a significant investment, so when you buy your new bed, you want to know it will last for the long haul. That makes durability essential. At Nolah, all our mattresses are made with durable AirFoam™ or latex, have protective covers, and include a lifetime warranty with purchase.


More Options

King and queen-size mattresses are both luxurious options, but they aren’t your only choices.


If a queen bed sounds too big for your needs, consider a full-size bed. Full mattresses measure 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. That’s 6 inches narrower and 5 inches shorter than a queen mattress. Full mattresses make a great fit for single sleepers, teens, kids, and guest bedrooms. Check out our Full vs. Queen-Size Mattress guide for more information.


If you want a luxurious, spacious mattress but want something longer than a standard king, consider a California king. As previously mentioned, California kings are longer (84 inches) but narrower (72 inches) than standard kings. These dimensions make them ideal for tall sleepers or couples who sleep with a pet at the foot of their bed.


King and Queen Mattresses at Nolah

Hopefully, this guide has helped you narrow down your options and choose the ideal mattress size for your sleep needs and bedroom space. At Nolah, you have four premium mattresses to choose from that come in both king and queen sizes. We design and assemble all our mattresses right here in the U.S., and every mattress purchase includes free shipping, a 120-night at-home sleep trial, and a lifetime warranty. Click here to learn more about our award-winning mattresses and how they can improve your sleep.

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