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Should I Get a Queen or King Mattress?

Lara Vargas


When deciding whether you should get a queen or king mattress, it depends on numerous factors from your budget to room size.  As a general rule, if price and space are not considerations, buy the best mattress in the largest size available. Since that is not always an option, most people will need to make a choice between the two sizes. In order to create a comfortable room and to find the best mattress for your requirements you will need to understand what criteria should be used to determine whether  a queen mattress or king mattress is best for you.

How to Decide Between a King and Queen Mattress

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when trying to choose the best mattress size:

How big is your bedroom?

The size of the bedroom may be the most important factor when choosing between these two sizes. A queen mattress measures 60×80 inches, or 5’0″ by 6′ 8″. A standard king mattress measures 76×80 inches (6’4″ by 6’8″), and a California king measures 72×84 inches (6’0″ by 7’0″). The overall surface areas are 4800 square inches (queen), 6080 square inches (king), and 6048 square inches (cal king).

The headboard, baseboard or platform will also take additional space, so you may want to add least 4 inches to the width and length to accommodate the entire bed. It is likely you will want to place nightstands on each side as well, so don’t forget to include these (dimensions usually between 12 and 30 inches wide).

Thus, you will want to make sure the wall you are putting the bed against is wide enough for the headboard and nightstands. Additionally, you should allow a minimum of 2 feet around the perimeter of the bed for ease of movement, and also ensure that all doors will be able to open comfortably. For new bedrooms, mapping out the planned dimensions in tape on your floor can be helpful for visualizing which size bed will look best in your room.

How much space do you require?

Personal space requirements are important when choosing between the two sizes. A queen mattress only allows 30 inches width per person, if two people are sharing the bed. This is actually less space than you would each have sleeping on individual twin beds. If space is tight, a memory foam mattress or latex mattress is the best choice, as it provides full body support and resists motion transfer, enabling both partners to receive the support and comfort they need for a good night’s sleep.

A king mattress provides 38 inches per person, which may be preferable, especially for people who are larger or wish to have more room. California King mattresses are 4 inches longer and 4 inches narrower than traditional king, making them ideal for people who are taller than 6 feet.

How much can you spend?

If you are on a tight budget, note that king size mattresses as well as king size beds and bedding are more expensive than queens. On average, you might expect to pay $100 to $500 more to go from a queen to king in the same line. If space is not a top concern, you may be best served by opting for a higher quality queen than a lower level king, plus you will save on sheets and comforters.

Can a King size mattress fit through your home?

Some homes, especially older homes and apartments, may have doorways and stairwells that it make it rather difficult to maneuver a king size mattress. If space is tight, it may be easier to fit a queen mattress or split king mattress and foundations into the home, around corners and up the staircases.

How will you be using the mattress?

If you plan to use your new mattress on an adjustable bed, you might want to consider getting a split king set if at all possible. Due to the split nature of the bed, many couples may find a dual queen to be too small . Split king mattresses have two halves each measuring 38×80, whereas the split queen sides measure 30×80 each.

Most couples prefer a king mattress over any other size, if the master bedroom is large enough to accommodate it. The king-size sleeping area provides enough room for two people to relax into a comfortable position without disturbing the other. Queen mattresses are best used in guest rooms and smaller master bedrooms, or when it makes better sense for your budget. In summation, if you are trying to decide whether you should get a queen or king mattress, if space and pocketbook allow a king size it is generally the preferred choice.

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Comments (2) Leave a comment

  • I find with my king mattress I am sinking in my side and it feels like there is a bar in the middle of the mattress. It’s higher. Why is that?

  • This is good advice. You really have to think about the dimensions of the room and the dimensions of your sleeping partner.
    Although I’ve been sleeping on a queen bed for years, I have had to push my husband to the side in the middle of the night because he moves over to the center of the mattress while he sleeps.
    I also have a large bedroom but small doors and narrow staircase, etc. in an old home, but I I think I can find a way to make it fit.

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