Standard king size beds, a.k.a., Eastern king beds, and queen size beds differ in width but not in length. A king size bed offers ample room for stretching out, while a queen size bed is better for smaller bedrooms. The upfront and long-term costs of owning a king size bed will be higher than those of a queen size bed.
Contents: King vs Queen Size Bed
edit Standard Dimensions
A king size bed is wider than a queen bed. While a queen size bed is 60 inches (152 cm) wide, a king size bed is 76 inches (193 cm) wide. Both bed sizes are 80 inches (203 cm) long.
edit Non-Standard Dimensions
In some cases, mattresses or bed frames come in slightly nonstandard dimensions that can easily become troublesome. It is important to remember to measure beds and/or refer to manufacturers' details for all mattresses, bed frames, and box-springs to ensure products are not mismatched. Nonstandard sizes, particularly very thick mattresses, also sometimes require different bed sheets.
The most common nonstandard queen mattress sizes are as follows:
- Olympic queen (a.k.a., expanded queen) mattresses measure 66" x 80" (167.6 cm x 203 cm), making them a full six inches wider than the standard.
- California queens are specifically waterbed mattresses that are four inches (10 cm) longer than a standard queen size mattress. These are mostly obsolete now but can still be found occasionally.
- Split queen mattresses are standard queen mattresses that are literally split down the middle, allowing them to be adjusted and moved for various needs. Each half measures 30" by 80" (76 cm x 203 cm).
Common nonstandard king mattress dimensions include the following:
- California king (a.k.a., Western king) mattresses are the most common "nonstandard" king bed. They are so common that they are not even really nonstandard, simply a different kind of king size bed. At 72" x 84" (183 cm x 213 cm), they are narrower and longer than the standard king size.
- Split king mattresses are like split queen mattresses and are divided down their middle. They are often two inches (5 cm) wider than the standard width, however. Each half measures 39" x 80" (99 cm x 203 cm).
edit IKEA Dimensions
In the U.S., IKEA's queen and king mattresses are not made to standard size. The company's mattresses are often a half-inch to inch (1.27 cm to 2.5 cm) shorter than standard mattress lengths. This means that standard bed sheets will fit an IKEA mattress, but buyers will often be forced to use IKEA bed frames if they want to avoid having a gap between their IKEA mattress and a non-IKEA bed frame's headboard or footboard. Likewise, IKEA bed frames will not be able to properly contain non-IKEA mattresses.
edit Pros and Cons
Queen size mattresses are considerably narrower in width than king size mattresses. A king size mattress allows two average-sized people to sleep next to each other with nearly as much room as if two twin XL size mattresses have been placed together — 38 inches (96.5 cm) per person. This allows for comfortable stretching out. A queen size mattress puts couples much closer together — 30 inches (76 cm) per person — which can negatively affect sleep.
Though king size beds might be more comfortable for some and allow couples to spread out more, they are very heavy to move and require a large bedroom. This quickly makes them impractical for apartments and smaller homes, both of which tend to have small rooms. A good way to know whether a king size bed will fit in a bedroom is to make sure there will still be two feet (61 cm) outside of the king bed. This will allow for enough walkable room. However, if other furniture is to be placed in the same room (e.g., nightstands, dressers, etc.), extra space is needed.
Unsurprisingly, king size beds cost more than queen size beds. Other than this obvious cost difference, though, there is no real average price for either size bed. Prices tend to vary depending on manufacturers, distributors, mattress material (e.g., spring, memory foam, latex, etc.), and padding (e.g., Eurotop or pillowtop). The personal finance blog, Get Rich Slowly, has a guide to smart and affordable mattress buying.
It may be difficult to figure out whether a king size bed is worth its higher upfront cost. Factoring in related and future costs may paint a clearer picture. For example, the bed frame, box-spring, and linens for a king size mattress will all cost more than they would for a queen size mattress.
Queen size beds are sold more than any other bed size in the U.S. A survey by the Sleep Products Association (albeit dated) pegged the market share of major bed sizes in the U.S. mattress market as follows:
- Queen beds: 32%
- Twin beds: 30%
- Full beds: 21%
- King beds: 7%