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

Queen mattress vs king image shows a queen mattress on the left dressed in white and green silk sheets and a king mattress on the right placed on a beige bedframe
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In our queen mattress vs king comparison, we're comparing the two most popular bed sizes in America. When it comes to buying a new mattress, the size you opt for is one of the most important decisions you'll make. Queen and king size mattresses offer plenty of room to spread out, but there is a difference in price. 

So if you're wondering whether you can save money by opting for a queen mattress vs king, or whether you should spend more on a king because it's right for your needs, you're in the right place with our comparison. 

Here we're looking at queen mattresses vs king beds in terms of comfort, price, dimensions and more. This year's best mattresses for all sleepers and budgets each come in queen and king sizes, so you have plenty of choice. Nearly all of them are discounted in this month's mattress sales too, so you'll save money. 

Queen mattress vs king: Dimensions

  • A queen mattress measures 60” wide by 80” long
  • A king mattress measures 76’ wide by 80” long
  • A queen will comfortably fit into 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. 

A Tom's Guide sleep features editor and sleep staff writer sit on a queen size Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress

(Image credit: Future)

The biggest advantage of the best queen size mattress, 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 – that makes replacement much easier if you bought the wrong mattress size.

Queen mattress vs king: Key differences

  • A significant price difference between them means a queen is cheaper
  • A king mattress is 16" wider 
  • A queen takes up less bedroom floor space 

The biggest difference between a queen mattress vs a king is obviously the size. Both come in at 80” long, but there’s a 16” difference in width between the two. A queen is a narrower option which can still comfortably accommodate couples, but it will depend on your height and weight. 

Queen mattresses are also a great option for guest rooms and teens. King mattresses will give you considerably more space to spread out on, and can be an excellent choice for couples, co-sleeping parents and those who share their bed with a restless sleeper. However, the downside to that is that they take up more floor space in your bedroom. 

You’ll also find a significant price difference between the two sizes and, as you move up the price brackets, this gap will become larger. So, a queen could be the better choice if you’re on a tighter budget. 

Queen mattress: Pros and cons

  • Queen mattresses are smaller and take up less floor space
  • A queen will cost less than a king mattress
  • There’s less space for bed sharers to spread out in a queen size bed

A king mattress covered in grey sheets placed on a grey bed

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Queen mattresses are still a popular choice for many couples, as those of average weight and height will find there’s plenty of room to sleep on. They’re also a great choice for teenagers and guest rooms and could be ideal if you one parents wants to co-sleep with their child. Single pet owners will also appreciate the extra space for their animals. 

The slightly smaller size of a queen mattress means that it’s easier to fit into smaller spaces, which can be ideal if you’re trying to furnish smaller bedrooms. That smaller size also makes queen mattresses easier to rotate and flip (as applicable) and maneuver about – particularly useful when you’re moving house. 

On the minus side, queen mattresses have less space for sleepers to spread out on and could be a bit of a squash for those of a larger build or taller height. They also mean that you’ll be sleeping closer to a partner, which could be a problem if they’re a restless sleeper (although most modern mattresses have excellent motion isolation). 

That closer proximity could also make it harder to stay cool at night, with two bodies making it harder for temperature to be regulated successfully. However, if you’re a hot sleeper, we’d recommend you invest in one of the best cooling mattresses, which will make size less of an issue.

Budget-wise, a queen is always going to be cheaper than a king as it’s smaller so if you’re trying to save money it may be the way to go.

King mattress: Pros and cons

  • King mattresses offer plenty of space for larger sleepers to spread out on
  • A king can comfortably fit two adults along with kids and pets
  • King mattresses are considerably more expensive than a queen

The extra width on a king mattress (76’ to the 60” of a queen) means that they’re a great choice for larger sleepers who need space to spread out on. Couples will also appreciate the extra space, which reduces the risk of any disturbance from a restless partner, as well as helping with temperature regulation as you’ll be further apart. 

A queen mattress placed on a green bedframe in a sage green bedroom

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A lot of people choose opt for one of the best king size mattresses as there’s room to fit the family and pets on the bed, whilst still leaving a little space for the adults. And, as with a queen, they’re a great choice for co-sleepers.

That extra room comes at a premium pricewise though, and you’ll also need a larger bedroom to fit one in comfortably. The extra size also means that king mattresses are more unwieldy than queens, making them trickier to move about or rotate / flip. You will need two people to do these things at all times.

Queen mattress vs king: Price difference

  • Queen mattresses are cheaper than kings
  • Both sizes are regularly discounted in online sales
  • Price difference depends on what price bracket a mattress falls into

As you might expect, you’re always going to pay more for a king mattress than a queen. But the exact difference will depend on the price bracket of the mattress you’re buying. At the budget end, the difference could be only $50 rising up through a few hundred dollars for mid-range mattresses and over $500 for premium ones. 

Let’s look at the price differences between a queen and a king for five of our top mattress picks. Do note that these prices are the MSRP – you’ll usually find these mattresses discounted to some extent. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Queen size (MSRP)King size (MSRP)
Saatva Classic:$2,095 $2,595
Nectar Memory Foam:$1,099$1,399
Helix Midnight Luxe:$2,373.80$2,873.80
Avocado Green:$1,999$2,699

Queen mattress vs king: Which should you buy?

Buy a queen size mattress if... 

✅    You’re on a tighter budget: Whilst not the cheapest size, a queen mattress will cost considerably less than a king. This means you could save hundreds of dollars and still have a sizeable bed to sleep on. 

✅    You have a smaller space: A queen will take up less room than a king, giving you the option to set it up in a smaller house or guest room. 

✅   You want a bed that’s easy to maneuver: The smaller size of a queen will make it easier to rotate and / or flip, as well as move around. This could be a distinct advantage when moving house. 

Buy a king size mattress if... 

✅    You’re of a larger build: King mattresses give sleepers more room to spread out on, making for a more comfortable night’s sleep.  

✅    You sleep hot: Although many king mattresses are specifically cooling, the extra space will allow sleepers more room away from a partner, which can help with temperature regulation and keeping the mattress cool. 

✅   You need a bigger bed for the family: If you’ve got kids and / or pets, the larger size of a king mattress will give you plenty of room for everyone to pile on for a cuddle or two. 

Jo Plumridge
Mattress tester and sleep writer

Jo Plumridge is an experienced mattress reviewer with several years' experience covering all things mattresses and sleep, and who tests memory foam, hybrid and organic mattresses. What Jo doesn't know about a boxed mattress isn't worth knowing, so naturally we tasked her with producing a series of features for Tom's Guide looking at all aspects of mattresses, from how to pick between latex and memory foam (it's a tricky one), to the seven mistakes people make when buying a mattress for the first time. When testing the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid for Tom's Guide, Jo said: "I loved the back support and pressure relief it offered. Plus, it looks far more expensive than it is." When she isn’t writing about sleep, Jo also writes extensively on interior design, home products and photography.