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Queen vs king mattresses: Which size is best for your sleep?

King vs queen mattresses from two major brands, Avocado and Casper
(Image credit: Future)

Queen and king size mattresses offer room to comfortably share a bed with a partner, children or pets. But which size should you choose? Our queen vs king size mattresses comparison details the differences between the two when it comes to dimensions and pricing. We'll also explain how a queen or king might better suit your bedroom space and sleep needs.

Fortunately, all of the best mattresses are available in queen and king sizes so you'll have plenty of choice. Even better, the Memorial Day mattress sales are now live, so you'll be able to pick up a queen or king mattress for a much cheaper price compared to most other times of the year.

If you're torn between these two popular mattress sizes, our queen vs king mattresses comparison will equip you with the information you need to make an informed decision based on your preferences and budget. 

Queen vs king mattresses: Key differences

  • Each measures 80" long but king mattresses are wider
  • Queen mattresses typically cost a few hundred dollars less
  • King mattresses are slightly more comfortable for co-sleepers

The first key difference between queen and king size mattresses is their dimensions, and this goes for hybrid or memory foam mattresses. Both of them measure 80" long, but a queen mattress is more narrow than a king, with roughly a 20" difference between the two in width. 

A queen size mattress is better for solo sleepers, including older teens. While a queen can comfortably accommodate couples, it could still be a squeeze depending on your heights and body type. Thus a king size would be ideal for co-sleepers with larger builds. However, a queen is still a good option for individuals or couples who have smaller bedrooms where space is tight. Also, a queen size mattress is easier to rotate or maneuver when you’re moving home. 

A man and a woman share a bed with a fluffy white dog on a Nectar Premier Copper mattress

(Image credit: Nectar)

Your budget will play a part in determining which size you choose, as well. Queen size mattresses are generally less expensive than their king size counterparts — typically by a few hundred dollars. 

Queen vs king mattresses: Dimensions

  • A queen mattress measures 60” wide by 80” long
  • A king mattress measures 76” wide by 80” long
  • A queen bed can comfortably fit inside most bedrooms 

Queen and king mattresses are roomy, but the space you need to get comfortable depends on several factors.

At 60" wide by 80" long, a queen size bed is plenty for most solo adult sleepers. But, if you are particularly tall, heavier in weight or like to stretch out, then you might want to consider a king size mattress, which is 76" wide by 80" long.

While it is possible for co-sleepers to comfortably share a queen, if one of you is restless or sleeps hot, then you both might benefit from the extra space on offer from a king. If you sleep solo, but occasionally have a pet on the bed, then a queen is a good option. 

The biggest advantage of a queen size, however, is that it will comfortably fit into most bedrooms. And because it is easier to maneuver, a queen is a wise choice if you frequently move house. If you need a larger bed for a guest room, but don’t want it to take up too much space, then opt for a queen.

The extra width from a king will allow both solo and co-sleepers to stretch out properly, which is crucial not only for healthier spine alignment but it can be important if you sleep hot, allowing both sleepers to have enough space for air to circulate instead of getting hot and bothered. This effect is further enhanced if you sleep on the best cooling mattress.

The best mattress in a box brands sell both sizes, but if you’re unsure about which to go for then make sure you choose a model that comes with a risk-free sleep trial and easy returns.

Queen vs king mattresses: Pros and cons

  • Queen size is better for solo sleepers in smaller bedrooms
  • Hot sleepers might find the roominess of a king more comfortable
  • Either size mattress should isolate motion well for co-sleepers

A queen mattress is good for solo sleepers who require more room than a full or twin; it’s also a nice option for a parent who wants to co-sleep with their child. While a queen be a bit of a squeeze for two adult individuals, there is still enough room for adults of average height. If both or either co-sleeper is tall or has a larger frame, you might want to consider a king instead.

A man sleeps on a Tuft & Needle Min mattress while a woman sits next to him reading

(Image credit: Tuft & Needle )

For a larger bedroom, a king size mattress will be ideal, but bear in mind that its larger dimensions also means it will be trickier to maneuver, flip or rotate. Queen size beds, on the other hand, are much easier to move around, and are also good if you need to occasionally accommodate co-sleeping guests in a spare bedroom.

The more space you have to stretch out or get cool the better, especially if you sleep with a partner. Thus, a roomier king mattress may better suit sleepers who overheat.

While motion transfer is easier to feel on smaller mattresses, modern mattresses are designed to isolate motion so it might not be too much of an issue, regardless of whether you choose a king or queen.

Queen vs king mattresses: Prices

  • Queen mattresses are cheaper than king mattresses
  • Both sizes are regularly discounted in online sales
  • Each has a good range of affordable bedding options

King and queen are popular sizes that are easily available from most top mattress brands, including Tempur-Pedic, Casper and Saatva. You will also find plenty of choice when it comes to bedding, accessories and bed frames for either size. 

While king size mattresses are generally more expensive than queens, the affordability of both sizes depends hugely on the materials, brand and type of mattress. Current mattress sales will help you save substantial money on queen and king models.

Here is a selection of prices from some of best mattress brands, covering all budgets and mattress types:

Saatva Classic InnerspringQueen: $1,695King: $2,095
Casper Original Memory FoamQueen: $1,295King: $1,695
Avocado Green Eco Organic MattressQueen: $999King: $1,299
Nectar Memory Foam MattressQueen: $899King: $1,199
DreamCloud HybridQueen: $1,199King: $1,499
Tempur-Pedic Tempur-AdaptQueen: $2,399King: $3,099

Queen vs king mattresses: What is a queen size?

  • A queen mattress is ideal for a parent who co-sleeps with a kid
  • It's also a versatile option for a guest bedroom
  • If you move often, a queen bed will be easier to handle

The dimensions of a queen size mattress are convenient if space is tight in your bedroom, whether you share a bed or sleep on your own. Queen mattresses are relatively easy to move, flip, or rotate (although this is something that will be easier for two people to do). Queen size beds are also a good option for tall teens, solo sleepers who allow pets on the bed or for a parent who co-sleeps with their child. 

If you need something larger than a twin bed for your guest bedroom, then a queen is ideal as it will give you the option of accommodating individuals as well as sleep partners. This size is also a cheaper option if you want to furnish a guest room for two, but don’t want to spend as much money as you would on a king. 

Here are some of our favorite queen size mattresses to check out…

Casper Original Foam queen: $1,165.50 at Casper (opens in new tab)

During the latest Casper mattress sales (opens in new tab), score $130 off the Casper Original queen size memory foam mattress, with three layers of premium foam including zoned support to keep you cozy and supported. This medium-firm mattress is the brand’s most popular choice and comes with a 100-night trial so you can check it out for yourself. 

Tempur-Adapt Mattress queen: from $2,199 at Tempur-Pedic (opens in new tab)

Luxury sleep brand Tempur-Pedic gets a touch more affordable with $200 off its Tempur-Adapt Mattress. Designed with 30% more conforming comfort than the brand’s Tempur-Cloud, there's also your choice of soft, medium, firm and hybrid options — all of which are discounted in the latest Tempur-Pedic mattress sales (opens in new tab).

Saatva Classic queen: $1,495 at Saatva (opens in new tab)

Save $200 on a queen size Saatva Classic during its Memorial Day sale. This high-quality luxury hybrid mattress comes in two heights and three firmness levels. As we note in our Saatva Classic mattress review (opens in new tab), it has layers of organic cotton, responsive coils, and high density foam for a mattress that delivers big on comfort night after night. 

Queen vs king mattresses: What is a king size?

  • King size mattresses are 76" wide by 80" long
  • They're suitable for co-sleepers, plus parents with kids
  • They fit well in medium-to-large bedrooms

At 76" wide by 80" long, king size mattresses can comfortably fit two adults as well as pets or kids. King size mattresses are great for medium to larger bedrooms; there is also plenty of choice when it comes to bedding and frames.

A king mattress works well for heavier solo sleepers of average height — although  taller people who are 6’2” or above might still struggle to get properly comfortable on a king size bed they share with another person. In that case, you may be better off with a smart bed that can be optimized to your sleep needs.

The price of a king size mattress is considerably higher than other sizes, but if you are co-sleeping it’s often worth the extra cost if your bedroom can accommodate it. Check out mattress sales online to find a decent price, along with freebies such as pillows or money off bedding bundles. 

Our favorite king size mattresses include...

Helix Midnight king: $1,399 at Helix Sleep  (opens in new tab)

There’s plenty up for grabs right now at Helix with $150 cash savings on a Helix Midnight mattress, plus two free pillows. This medium-feel innerspring and foam mattress has plenty of comfort and support, as well as extra pressure relief making it one of the best mattresses for side sleepers (opens in new tab).

Avocado Green Mattress king: $2,069 at Avocado Green (opens in new tab)

Eco-friendly mattress brand Avocado is offering 10% off all mattresses in its current sale — which includes the king size Avocado Green, a certified organic mattress made with organic wool, cotton and latex for the ultimate in eco-conscious luxury. One of the best organic mattresses (opens in new tab) for heavier bodies, it features a layer of 1,414 coils for superior support and comfort.

Tuft & Needle Original king: $1,195 at Tuft & Needle (opens in new tab)

During its Memorial Day sale, Tuft & Needle takes $200 off its Original all-foam mattress. That knocks the price of a king to $1,195. As we mention in our Tuft & Needle Original mattress review (opens in new tab), this is a great choice for couples, although it really excels in situations where there's not much heavy-duty use (like a guest bedroom). 

Queen vs king mattresses: should you buy?

Both queen and king size mattresses are roomy enough if you need more space to sleep. While both are suitable for co-sleepers, king size mattresses are the stronger option if you want plenty of space to stretch out, tend to sleep hot or don't want to be woken up by a restless sleep partner. King is also a better choice if one or both co-sleepers have larger body types.

Queen size mattresses will accommodate co-sleepers if space is tight in the bedroom, and also make excellent beds for guest bedrooms. They're typically cheaper than king mattresses, although both sizes are frequently on sale online.

Both sizes are widely available in various mattress types — including innerspring, memory foam, and hybrid — from top brands such as Nectar, Tuft & Needle and Saatva. Ultimately, which size you go for will depend on how much space you need to sleep, how big your bedroom is, and how much you're able (or willing) to spend. If you don't have the budget right now but need more comfort from your bed, you could also consider investing in one of the best mattress toppers for increasing comfort, support or cooling. 

Don't forget, looking after your mattress from day one will help it last longer, so consider investing in the best mattress protector to safeguard from spills and stains.

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Davina is an experienced sleep writer and mattress reviewer who also contributes to our sister site TechRadar, among other Future plc brands. Davina's a big fan of organic sleep products and has recently invested in a wool mattress topper that she quite happily describes as "life-changing." (Hey, we're serious about our sleep products). When she isn't testing mattresses or writing about sleep, Davina enjoys reading and creative writing, and incorporates meditation and yoga into her wellness routine.