The City Mattress Blog

sleep tips

Queen vs King: What is the Right Size Mattress for You?


Couple lays across bed as they look for the right mattress size for them

Mattresses come in seven sizes, but most adults really only decide between two: a Queen or a King. When you are ready to buy a new mattress, it is also time to make this decision again. You don’t need to automatically buy the same size you have now! 

If you are wondering how to choose between a King and Queen mattress or even between a Queen and a Full mattress, we have the information that can make this decision easier for you. Although Queen size mattresses are the most popular option right now as highlighted in our recent Queen mattress article here, King size mattresses aren’t too far behind. In fact, we regularly see people upgrade to a King size when they buy their new mattress. Because both options offer space and comfort, for couples and single sleepers, it’s worth giving this choice just as much thought as the decision on which mattress to buy.

What’s the Difference?

Before we go any further, let’s first discuss exactly how a Queen and King are different. Both the mattresses are 80 inches long, but a King size mattress is 16 inches wider than a Queen size mattress. That’s over a full foot of extra mattress space! And note for those contemplating a Full mattress: the difference between a Queen and a Full might not be what you think!

Who is a Queen Ideal For?

Single sleepers

For those who sleep solo, it isn’t necessary to upgrade to a King in order to have plenty of space. Queen mattresses are both lighter and cheaper than Kings, so there’s no need to pay more when you’re already getting all 60 inches to yourself!

Couples with no pets

For many couples, 60 inches total or 30 inches a piece is plenty. If you don’t have any pets climbing into bed with you, you don’t have any trouble moving freely and feeling comfortable all night long. In the United States, the average shoulder width is 16 inches for men and 14 inches for women. That’s plenty of extra room!

Couples who like to snuggle close

Maybe you’re a couple who isn’t concerned with needing extra space, because you like to snuggle when you sleep. According to a 2016 study, about half of all couples cuddle in their sleep and those who do report being more happy in their relationship. In a case like this, there’s no need to upgrade to a wider bed option.

Those who don’t want new bedroom furniture

You can’t just stick a King mattress on a bed frame made for a Queen! If you currently have a Queen, an upgrade to a King size mattress will require a new bed. This means a new bed frame and headboard. If your current bed matches the rest of your bedroom furniture, it may all need to be replaced. If you don’t want to do this, you’re better off sticking with a Queen. 

Who is a King Ideal For?

Anyone who loves to stretch out

King size mattresses are 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. They are a popular option among couples who don’t like to be wrapped around each other when they sleep. They provide 38 inches of personal space for each sleeper, over three feet. The fact that they’re super spacious is one of the most commonly-cited reasons for buying a King size bed. If your goal is to truly sleep like a King, no other size will do. Learn more about choosing a King size mattress here. For those looking for something even larger, consider a California King.

Those with large bedrooms

King beds are not ideal for smaller bedrooms, because they’ll take up too much of the square footage. When you consider 76 inches of mattress width, plus the bed frame, and enough space to climb in and out, a King size is really only going to work for those with a large bedroom. Ideally, the rule of thumb is to leave two feet of space on either side of the bed, and five feet of room at the base of the bed. This gives you space to walk around and prevents the room from feeling too cluttered, which has been shown to negatively impact sleep.

Someone sleeping with a pet

You love sleeping with your pet, nearly as much as they love sleeping with you! What you don’t love however, is not being able to move and roll around because a large Husky is taking up all the space! That is why a King mattress is ideal for those whose pet sleeps with them, whether it is a couple or single sleeper.

Families who co-sleep

There are numerous benefits to co-sleeping, also known as bed sharing. Co-sleeping is the practice of parents and children sleeping in the same room, most often in the same bed. Many parents like co-sleeping because it keeps their children close, making nighttime care and breastfeeding more efficient, plus offering togetherness and attachment. Of course, being kicked by a toddler all night long isn’t fostering extra love. That’s why families who plan on co-sleeping for the long-term often choose a King bed. 

Larger individuals

For some couples, 30 inches of space per person just isn’t enough. That takes a Queen mattress out of the equation. Larger people have special mattress needs, and the width of the bed is one of them. If you don’t want to be right up against the edge, go with a King.

Hopefully, this breakdown made it easier for you to see which option is a better fit for you. There’s no wrong answer; it’s all about your personal preferences. If you need further help deciding on which new mattress is right for you, come into City Mattress and let our Sleep Experts guide you!