King vs. Split King Mattress Size

Last Updated December 30, 2023

In this blog, we will talk about the differences between a king vs. split king mattress while introducing you to the concept of an adjustable base bed.

Key Takeaways:

  • A king size mattress measures 72 inches by 80 inches, while a split king is two twin XL beds installed side by side, each measuring 38 inches by 80 inches.
  • When choosing between a king or split king bed, consider personal preferences and needs, such as sleeping habits, health issues, and room size.
  • King size mattresses offer plenty of personal space to sleep spread-eagled, but can be difficult to move and require a large room.
  • Split king mattresses offer ease of customization, but require careful consideration of each partner's preferences.
  • Split king mattresses can be more expensive than king mattresses, as you will need to purchase two twin XL mattresses and potentially an adjustable bed frame.

latex mattress

A king bed is an oversized bed, and the split king is another variant of the king-size mattress, but it is split in the center. People with large families, tall sleepers, and restless sleepers generally need a king-size bed. While the split king is good at serving some particular problems.

king vs split king

Split King vs. King Dimensions Chart

Specifics King Mattress Split King Mattress
Length 80 inches 80 inches
Width 76 inches 76 inches
Surface Area 6080 sq inches 6080 sq inches
Smallest Room Size 12 feet x 12 feet 12 feet x 12 feet
No of Sleepers 2 adults, 1 child/1 pet 2 sleepers
Best for Family Couples

King Sized Bed

A king-size bed is ideal for large bedrooms or large families. Also known as the eastern king bed, a standard king mattress measures 72 inches by 80 inches. This mattress can accommodate tall sleepers - people up to the height of 6 feet 5 inches can be comfortable in this bed. Taller people will need a California king, as it is 84 inches long and can accommodate even basketball players.

King size mattresses are 72 inches or 6 feet wide. So, two adults can sleep sprawled out in this spacious bed that packs 6080 sq inches of the sleeping area. But if you don’t mind space squeeze, you can fit a couple of kids or a couple of pets on the bed too.

At the very outset, the bed was named king to attract people to a jumbo-sized bed. When people sleep in an ample space named king, there’s no harm in believing they are sleeping like royals.

King size bed dimensions:

  • Dimensions in inches: 76 X 80 inches
  • Dimensions in cm: 193 X 203.2 cm
  • Dimensions in feet: 6.33 X 6.66 feet

king size bed

Pros of a King-Size Bed

  • Plenty of personal space to sleep comfortably
  • Can sleep with a couple of children or pets 

Cons of a King-Size Bed

  • Difficult to move
  • It needs a large room
  • Bedding is difficult to find

Who Should Use a King-Size Bed?

Parents and a couple of toddlers make a fairly big family, as do a couple with pets and multiple child. Whatever your family looks like, the king bed should be your undisputable choice if you like to sleep together. It has ample space to accommodate everyone, even though the sleeping area will be cramped. Then again, bring the king home if you don’t mind sleeping cozy and have a 12 ft x 12 ft bedroom. For couples who like to sleep sprawled, this the perfect mattress.

natural and organic latex mattress topper

Split King Bed

A split king bed is a king-size bed that has its center split into two. A split king has the exact dimensions as the king-size bed, so a room that can hold a king bed can easily fit a split king bed.

split king bed

You can turn your existing king bed frame or base into a split king bed. All you need to do is replace the old mattress with a couple of new twin xl mattresses. Split king size mattresses can also be installed in adjustable bed frames where you can adjust the incline on each mattress with the help of a remote.

Despite the similarities, there are unique differences between the split king vs. king mattresses. Unlike the king bed, which is a uniform mattress, the split king comprises two twin XL beds installed side by side. The split mattresses present a unique advantage to the bed, as do all variants of split beds like the split California king mattress and split queen size mattress, to name a few.

Split king size mattress delivers ample personal space great for partners with different sleep habits or when one has a pain issue.

Pros of a Split King Bed

Let's see the advantages of the split king.

Ease Of Customization

When you have two mattresses, and each is getting a twin XL bed to sleep on, so to speak, you can customize each mattress as you please. This means one mattress can be made of memory foam, while the other can be latex.

The ability to customize is a highly useful asset since no two sleepers are the same; even the best couples have to compromise their sleeping preferences in favor of a mutual arrangement.

Two mattresses also offer another option of furnishing the bed according to individual tastes. Each sleeper can furnish the bed with pillows, pillow covers, blankets, and duvets they prefer.

Motion Transfer

One partner may be a stomach sleeper, while the other is a side sleeper. In uniform mattresses, this becomes an issue. In contrast, the effects of motion and pressure differences are not felt in the two mattresses.

Moreover, the mattresses tend to sag and stretch in the side that gets the most pressure. So, when a partner is a side sleeper, uniform mattresses may get squeezed on one side. This difference in uniformity will inconvenience the other sleeper as the dent in the mattress will make other sleepers roll or slide over on that side of the bed.

Split again comes to the rescue when two partners have different work and life schedules. For example, one may have regular work hours throughout the day, while the other may have a night shift. Or one partner may prefer to sleep early while the other is a night owl. In a uniform bed, adjusting to different schedules becomes difficult.

So while a partner is asleep and the other joins later, they will have to move on the bed to tuck themselves in. Their motion is enough to disrupt the partner's sleep and wake them up. When twin mattresses are concerned, motion isolation is not a problem since the mattresses are not joined to each other.

Easy To Transport

Imagine you are moving a mammoth 76 inches x 80 inches mattress and a 38 inches x 80 inches mattress. Which one is easier to move?

Of course, the smaller one. Two people can quickly move, shift and shuffle the mattress. While you'll need 3 - 4 able hands or professionals to move a mattress of standard king size. 

In that respect, moving the split king mattress is easier because, effectively, you are moving two twin XL mattresses. A couple pairs of hands are enough to carry it - however, you'll need to make two trips to move the mattresses.

Moreover, moving a king-size bed is quite tricky - it needs a professional moving vehicle, usually a van or a truck. You can prop each twin XL against the other and carry it in the back of your pickup truck without hassle. You save money and time!

split king mattresses are easy to transport

Cons of a Split King Bed

A split king bed is a unique design bed, not a standard one, so it will have setbacks and inconveniences.

Availability of Bedding

Despite having two xl twin mattresses, a split king bed sheet is compatible with the split king bed. However, this bedsheet is quite difficult to come by in retail stores. Although you may get it online, its availability is quite scarce.

Uncomfortable gap in the middle

When you are sleeping on an adjustable bed frame, each bed base is connected to another with a link plate. Due to this arrangement, a gap or a split line remains in the center. This gap exists even when you sleep on a king-size bed frame where two twin XLs are kept side by side. Sleeping with this gap is uncomfortable.

Budget Issues

Once you install a split king bed with an adjustable bed frame, you are signing up for some additional expenses. Firstly, you'll have to spend some extra money to replace the new adjustable frame with the old king bed frame. Then, you have to buy bedding for each of the separate mattresses. So you're looking at additional sheet sets, duvets, and comforters for each bed. 

Moreover, the bed frame is of a mechanical design and is controlled by a remote. So you have to factor in maintenance costs as well.

Who Should Use a Split King Mattress?

Partners who prefer to customize the bed to accommodate their sleeping needs should choose a split king mattress. Each partner will have a bed to themselves and they can sleep with as much space and in whatever position they like - on their side, stomach, or a combination of both.

couples sleeping on split king bed

What Mattresses Can You Use With King and Split King Beds?

There are about four kinds of mattress types that you can use with both king and split king beds. They are:

1. Memory Foam 

Memory foam mattresses are great at providing pressure relief; pain issues require this mattress. Gel memory foam mattresses are even better; they are great at cushioning and act as cooling agents too. Gel memory foam beds are ideal for people who sleep hot and have pain problems.

2. Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are available in all mattress sizes; availability is not an issue here. Innerspring mattresses are made with elastic coils of steel, cushioned with some padding. They were the mattresses of old; modern sleepers find these mattresses quite uncomfortable.

3. Hybrid

Then you get the hybrid mattresses - they are better than innerspring, even though hybrids also have steel coils within them. But a hybrid is deliberately cushioned with a few inches of foam padding - this adds comfort and regulates air circulation in an otherwise stiff mattress.

4. Latex

A latex mattress is the finest bed you can rest your head on. It's made from natural rubber, which makes it quite costly too. Latex mattresses are soft and ventilated - this helps the air circulate nicely within the mattress and doesn't let the mattresses get hot. Latex mattresses can be installed in both king and split king beds.


The choice between king and split king mattresses is personal - only you can know what combination of bedding can bring you comfort. So, determine the size of your bedroom, look at your sleep habits and lifestyle, and consult with your partner before selecting either of these beds.


Is a Split King Better Than a King Bed?

Split king is a special bed design ideal for people who need two distinct qualities of mattresses in a single bed frame. A king mattress, on the other hand, is a versatile mattress. The king is purposeful to many people - from large families to single sleepers.

natural and organic pillows

Are There Split California King Beds?

Yes, there are split California king beds, and their mechanism is not much different from a split king bed. A split California king bed measures the same as a standard cal king mattress - 72 inches wide and 84 inches long. However, unlike the parent mattress, the split cal king has a gap in between; this allows two separate mattresses to be stacked together and add upto a cal king mattress.

But this variety of split mattress is extremely rare.

Do Two Twin XL Beds Make a King Bed? 

A twin XL mattress is 38 inches wide and 80 inches long. So, when you stack two twin XL mattresses together, you'll get a big mattress with the exact dimensions of a king-size bed - 76 inches long and 80 inches wide.

What Kind of Sheets Can Be Used on a Split King Bed? 

Split king sheets, where each sheet has the size of a twin XL, are the perfect bedding pair with a split king bed. But mind you, the split king sheet is a single unit sheet where two sets of twin XL sheets are patched together. While you may think using a couple of twin XL sheets can be a substitute, their sleep experience will be less comfortable than when you're using a split king sheet.

Related blog posts:

1. Mattress Sizes Chart and Bed Dimensions Guide

2. California King vs. Queen Mattress Size

3. Twin Vs Twin XL Mattress Size Comparison

4. A Detailed Guide on Full vs. Queen Size Mattresses: Which One Should You Sleep On?

5. Twin vs. Full vs. Queen Mattress Size Comparison

Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.