King vs. Split King Mattress: What’s the Difference?
Standard king and split king beds are the widest mattresses on the market, but there are a few differences in their construction. King beds are an excellent choice for couples because they provide more space for couples.
Split king beds are also becoming a popular choice for couples as sleepers can customize their sleeping positions.
In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between king and split king beds to make your choice a bit easier.
What is a King Size Mattress?
A king size mattress, also known as an Eastern king, is the broadest standard bed size. Measuring 76 inches by 80 inches, king beds are an ideal choice for couples who want more space to sprawl out.
Due to their large size, purchasing a king bed can be pretty expensive. Not to mention, accessories such as bedsheets and comforters can also come with a higher price tag.
Buying a large bed may also make it difficult to transport your mattress. It can be a struggle to get king beds around tight corners or move them up a staircase. King beds are better for spacious rooms or apartments as this could make it easier to move.
Also, your bedroom should be at least 12 by 12 feet to accommodate a king bed. You’ll want to make sure you have extra walking room and space for other furniture.
Benefits of Choosing a King
Many sleepers enjoy king beds because they can accommodate an extra sleeper. This way, if you have small children who curl up with you from time to time, you’ll be able to sleep comfortably. You may even have space for your pets if you allow them to sleep with you.
King beds are also an excellent choice for couples who have similar sleeping preferences but want a little more personal space. You’ll also have the option to pair king beds with adjustable bases to customize your sleeping position. However, you must set up the base to move the mattress as a whole.
What is a Split King Mattress?
A split king size mattress is two twin XL mattresses placed side-by-side. Each twin XL measures 38 inches wide by 80 inches, equaling the exact dimensions of conventional king beds. Split king beds are an excellent option for couples who have different sleeping preferences.
More often than not, split king beds are paired adjustable bases. This way, sleepers can adjust their side of the bed without disturbing the comfort of their partner. Since split king beds are designed with couples in mind, they are not necessary for single sleepers.
One drawback of purchasing a split king bed is it can be difficult for you to keep your mattresses together. There is a noticeable gap between the two beds, and it can be uncomfortable for couples who like to sleep closer together.
Benefits of Choosing a Split King
Purchasing a split king bed can be a good investment for snorers and allergy sufferers. Sleeping in an elevated position may open up your air passages to reduce snoring.
Adjustable bed frames may also ease pressure points since you can place these beds in the zero-gravity position. The zero-gravity position is a neutral body posture initially developed by NASA.
This position equalizes your body weight reducing the stress on your joints. Additionally, split king beds eliminate motion transfer for couples, allowing for more restorative rest.
Split king beds are also easier to transport. These do come with two mattresses, but twin XLs are significantly lighter and thinner than standard king beds. You can get split king beds through tight doors and place them in moving trucks without struggling.
Factors To Consider Before Buying
Split king and king beds are perfect options for couples. In the next section, we’ll list some factors you and your partner should consider before you buy a new mattress.
When deciding between a split king and a regular king, you should think about your sleeping style. King beds are a great choice for couples who like to sleep closer together in similar positions.
It’s also better to choose a king bed if you and your partner have similar body types. For instance, if both sleepers are plus-sized, you two will need a firm mattress to prevent sinking.
Split king beds are usually better suited for couples who have different sleep needs. These beds allow sleepers to sprawl out without disturbing their partner. So, if you are a side sleeper and your partner is a stomach sleeper, you’ll both have enough sleeping space.
Furthermore, split king beds come with two mattresses, so you won’t have to pick the same firmness level as your partner. This will allow you to choose the best mattress for your body type and sleeping position.
There are several mattress types you can pick from to accommodate your sleeping style, including; latex, innerspring, hybrid, and memory foam mattresses. If you are using an adjustable base, it’s best to use memory foam and latex mattresses since these beds are more flexible.
Split kings and regular kings are usually about the same prices. However, some brands may charge an extra $100-$200 for a split king bed.
Prices for both mattresses range between $500-$3000. Bedroom accessories like adjustable bed bases and bedsheets are pretty expensive as well. An adjustable bed base may cost as much as your mattress, with some foundations priced at $1200.
Since split king and king beds are the same sizes, they require a bedroom at least 12 by 12 feet. These types of mattresses are not the best for sleepers with limited space or small bedrooms. If you are someone with a smaller bedroom, it may be better to buy a queen or full size mattress instead.
Other Mattress Sizes
Twin size mattresses are the most compact option for adult sleepers, perfect for anyone who needs a mattress in a small space. It’s also excellent choice for budget shoppers who want to invest in a high-quality mattress without overspending.
Twin XL size mattresses are the same width as a traditional twin but have a few extra inches of footroom. Measuring 38 inches wide and 80 inches long, the twin mattress is good for taller sleepers who want a mattress that doesn’t take up much room.
Full size mattresses are the bed of choice for single sleepers who like to move about, whether awake or asleep. A full or double bed measures 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, offering far more width than a twin bed. However, this width is still not roomy enough for most couples, so we recommend a queen or larger for two people who want to share a bed.
Queens are the last mattress size before a king mattress, providing a smaller surface that’s still expansive enough for two sleepers. The dimensions of a queen are 60 inches wide and 80 inches long. Not only is this size more compact than a king mattress, but a queen bed is also more affordable, making it generally the better choice for couples on a tight budget.
If you and your partner are uncomfortable sleeping on a standard king, purchasing a split king bed may be a better solution. Split king beds will accommodate your and your partner’s firmness needs. Plus, these beds eliminate motion transfer, so you do not disturb the other sleeper.
Purchasing a split king bed is not necessary for couples with similar sleep needs. Using a standard king mattress will provide adequate space for each person to sleep comfortably.
Remember, split king and standard king beds are the same sizes. So, you’ll need to place them in large bedrooms to avoid crowding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Each half of a split king mattress needs twin XL fitted sheets, with a flat king sheet on top. You will not have to buy two twin XL sets, as there are split king sheet sets available. If you’re using an adjustable bed, it’s best to buy tightly fitted sheets to keep them from popping off.
King size beds do not have the exact dimensions as two twin mattresses. A standard twin size mattress is 38 inches by 74 inches long, and a twin XL is 38 inches by 80 inches long. Two twin XL beds equal the dimensions of a king mattress and are better suited for split king foundations.
A split base is the best foundation for a split king bed. These foundations consist of two separate pieces placed side-by-side. Split foundations are easier to transport than standard king bases. You can get these foundations around tight doorways and up staircases without struggling.
Some manufacturers do offer California split king beds. Like a regular split king, a split Cal king mattress is separated into two halves—each half is 36 inches by 84 inches. It’s worth mentioning it can be harder to find bedroom accessories for these mattresses.
Most split king beds come with an iron plate connector. We recommend resetting the connector to the farthest setting. However, if this doesn’t work, align your bases and use bungee cords to pull the legs towards each other.