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What’s the Difference Between a Queen & King Bed?

What’s the Difference Between a Queen & King Bed?

Your mattress should be replaced every seven to 10 years, but most people neglect to do this and keep their mattress for too long.

If you’re in the market for a new mattress, you’ve likely been looking at a variety of different sizes — and there certainly are a lot to choose from. Two of the more popular sizes are the queen bed and the king bed, especially for couples. 

But what are the real differences between these two mattresses? Do they only differ in size, or is there something more? Are there different types of each, or are there just the standard queen and king?

Today, we’re going to answer all of these questions so you can make the right mattress decision for you and your unique needs. Everybody deserves a comfortable, cozy bed, so let’s get started!

What Is a Queen Bed?

Ladies first: Let’s talk about the queen-size bed. The queen-size mattress is the most popular in the US. At the end of the day, the queen bed offers a nice middle-of-the-road option that combines the best of two sides of the equation when it comes to buying a new bed. 

A queen-size bed is designed for two sleepers. It’s an upgrade from the full-size bed, offering a bit of extra space that helps couples sleep comfortably instead of being cramped throughout the night. 

While a full-size mattress is 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, the queen bed is 60 inches wide and 80 inches long. The extra six inches in width and five inches in length make for a lot more space that allows enough room for each sleeper to be comfortable on their own. It offers 4,800 square inches in surface area — plenty for two people. 

What Rooms Can Fit a Queen Bed?

Although queen beds aren’t the biggest mattress size there is, queens are still fairly big, so you’ll need to consider your room size before purchasing one, especially if you’re a single sleeper. If you don’t have a master bedroom, you might want to consider a smaller size. 

At a minimum, you’re going to want your room to be 10 feet by 10 feet in order to really fit a queen bed. But even then, this doesn’t leave room for much else in the bedroom. 

Are There Different Types of Queen Beds?

There are a few types of queen beds available. Of course, you have your standard queen, and these mattresses come in all sorts of different materials. You have your standard innerspring mattress, memory foam mattresses, latex foam, hybrid mattresses, and even waterbeds. 

You can even find queen beds that are split mattresses. Split queens are mattresses that are split down the middle. Each side of the bed can raise or lower the heads and feet of the mattress independently, so each sleeper can adjust their sleeping position to their personal preference. This can be helpful for people with back pain.

But there are also a few different sizes of queen beds. The standard queen mattress is 60 inches by 80 inches. Next, there’s the Olympic queen, which is 66 by 80 and offers a bit of extra personal space for each sleeper. Then, there’s the California queen. Its mattress dimensions are 60 by 84, so it’s good for taller people who need a bit of extra legroom. 

What Is a King Bed?

Now, onto a larger mattress: the king-size bed. The king is a bit of an upgrade as far as size is concerned. A king-size mattress is 76 inches by 80 inches. Essentially, it’s the size of two twin XL mattresses placed side by side. 

A standard king is perfect for two sleeping partners who need plenty of room each night. Realistically, a king bed can even comfortably sleep three if the third sleeper is a small child or even a pet. That’s why king-size beds are so popular for families. 

What Rooms Can Fit a King Bed?

Your bedroom size is going to need to be a bit on the larger side if you want to pick a king for your new mattress. Smaller rooms just can’t fit these bigger beds. You’re going to need at least a 12-foot by 12-foot room. 

The size difference between a king and a queen is pretty significant. The standard king-size bed is a whopping 12 inches wider than a standard queen, so it’s no wonder that small bedrooms just can’t fit these beds. 

What Are the Different Types of King Beds?

There are several different types of king beds on the market. The best mattress for you is the one that suits your needs best. 

Of course, you have your standard king. Then, you have the California king. This bed sacrifices some width in order to add length, so it’s better suited for taller sleepers. The California king mattress is 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. 

Next, there’s the Wyoming king, an even bigger mattress that is 84 inches on each side, making a perfect square. Finally, you have the monstrous Alaskan king, that’s 108 inches by 108 inches. This bed is an incredible nine feet long on each side and can sleep up to four people. 

Of course, you can also opt for a split king. This is essentially two twin beds that offer an individual adjustment on each side of the bed. It’s just like the split queen but a bit bigger. A split king mattress is a great type of mattress for those who need to be propped up.

Can You Use the Same Bedding for Each Type?

Unfortunately, whatever size mattress you get, you’re going to need bedding that is uniquely sized to fit that specific mattress. Queen-size sheets will be far too small for a king, and king sheets are far too big for a queen bed. 

But this distinction goes even deeper than that. For example, standard king sheets won’t fit on a California king bed. So make sure you check your packaging and shop for the exact right bedding to fit your mattress. 

This also goes for mattress toppers. A topper that’s too small won’t provide even coverage, which could have you sleeping lopsided without realizing it. And one that’s too big will likely cause your sheets not to fit properly.

And it’s especially important for your bed frame to fit your mattress exactly. Otherwise, your mattress won’t be properly supported, which can lead to quick wearing of the mattress or even the mattress slowly moving off of the frame each night. 

What Are the Other Types of Beds?

If you’ve gotten to this point in the article and you still aren’t sure if either of these options is right for you, you’re in luck. There are plenty of other mattress sizes out there for you to choose from, all of which are designed for a single sleeper. 

If you have a smaller bedroom and don’t have a sleeping partner or if you’re looking for a bed for your child or teenager, a full-size bed (also called a double), a full XL, a twin bed, or a twin XL might be better for you.

The twin bed comes in at 38 inches by 75 inches, with just enough room for one sleeper. A twin XL is 38 by 80, giving a little more legroom for taller folks. A full-size bed is 54 by 75 inches, and a full XL is 54 by 80 inches. 

If a twin is all you need, go for it! But if you’re a solo sleeper who needs a bit of extra room, a full will give you enough space to sprawl out to your heart’s content while still leaving enough space in your bedroom for everything else that needs to be there, from desks to reading nooks to a space to work out in.

King vs. Queen

When it comes to choosing your new mattress for your bed, the king and queen beds are the most popular go-to options out there. Each one has strengths and weaknesses that could be better or worse for your given situation. 

Now you have the knowledge to make the choice that is best suited for your unique needs. Getting good sleep is one of the most important aspects of your health. Go and pick your new mattress with confidence. Happy mattress hunting!


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