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Split King vs. King Bed: How to Choose

September 1, 2020  ·  7 min read

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When purchasing a new mattress, an increasing number of couples find themselves weighing the pros and cons of a split king vs. king bed. But exactly what is the difference between a king and split king bed? The mattress experts at Texas Mattress Makers outline everything you need to know about split king vs. king beds.

Split king vs. king bed: What’s the difference?  

Beloved for their spacious size, king beds have long been a staple in American bedrooms. Meanwhile, split king beds are more common in Europe, with hotels even using split king beds for their guests. However, split kings have had a recent rise in popularity on this side of the pond due to the increase of options for adjustable bases.

So what is a split king bed? The primary difference between a split king bed and a king bed are the mattresses used to make up the entire bed. A king bed has one solid mattress, while a split king bed consists of 2 twin XL mattresses placed together in one bed frame.

Is a split king bigger than a king?

No. A split king mattress is roughly the same size as a king mattress. A king bed’s dimensions are approximately 76 x 80 inches. When placed together, the dimensions of the two twin XL mattresses are also 76 x 80 inches.

Is a split king more expensive than a king?

Yes, but not by much. At Texas Mattress Makers, a split king is typically $100 more than a king. Additionally, customized split king mattresses may be different in cost, with the extra payment used to cover the cost of the component used in making your mattress.  

Are split king mattresses comfortable?

Absolutely! Just like any other mattress, it’s all about matching your sleep habits and needs with the best mattress for you.

Are 2 twin beds the same size as a king?

Almost, and the details are important if your measurements are also important. A split king mattress is the same size as 2 twin XL mattresses into a single bed frame. This also means that two twins are not any larger than a king size mattress.

By the same token, two twin XL box springs should be roughly the same size as a king size box spring.

Split king beds provide a solution for different sleeping needs

Good sleep is key to remaining healthy. So if sleeping next to your loved one begins to reduce the quality of your sleep, it’s extremely important to find a solution that works for both of you. 

For some couples, upgrading the size of their bed is enough to do the trick, and that’s where a king-size bed can come in handy. A king-size bed can provide enough wiggle room for partners to sleep comfortably next to each other, even if one or both of them toss and turn. 

However, partners who have vastly different sleeping needs (the need for a firm vs. soft mattress, hot vs. cold sleepers, etc.) may want to consider a split king bed. In a split king, each individual can choose a twin XL mattress with the specifications they need to get a good night’s sleep. Additionally, split king beds eliminate motion transfer since each person sleeps on their own individual mattress. If you both toss and turn, a split king can be a real lifesaver for you both!

Note: Want the ability to select your own comfort preferences while still having only one mattress? Texas Mattress Makers also creates handmade dual comfort mattresses capable of accommodating different comfort levels on either side of a single mattress. You can also purchase our dual comfort mattresses in queen-size, a custom option available only when made in-store at one of our four showrooms. Just remember that each section in a queen dual comfort mattress will be smaller than a twin mattress.

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Find The Right Mattress Size for You

Split king vs. king bed pros and cons

If you’re choosing between a split king vs. king bed, it can be easy to get lost in the details. Here’s a quick pros and cons overview to help with your decision making process.

King-size mattress pros

  • Provides couples with plenty of space along with ample room for a young child or pet
  • Wide variety of options available 
  • Great if you and your family watch TV together in bed 
  • Compatible with most adjustable bed frames

King-size mattress cons

  • Size may make it difficult to move the mattress into your home (around corners and into door frames)
  • Heavy 
  • More expensive than smaller alternatives, such as queen-size mattresses 
  • When used with an adjustable base, the entire mattress is moved which can be uncomfortable if one partner prefers to sleep angled differently than the other.

Split king bed pros 

  • Provides couples with plenty of space 
  • Can more easily accommodate each partner’s sleeping needs
  • Eliminates motion transfer 
  • Two smaller mattresses are easier to move than one large mattress
  • More variety of choice in adjustable bed frames (one partner can sleep while the other sits up)

Split king cons

  • Less ideal for co-sleeping with young children  
  • Some couples find the split bed less intimate due to the split between the two mattresses
  • Can be slightly more expensive than a typical king bed 
  • Can be harder to make the bed (Pro tip: Buy a set of 2 Twin XL sheets!) 

What about a king vs. California king bed? 

When researching split king vs. king-size beds, you may also start exploring California king options. Measuring approximately 72 x 84 inches, California king-size mattresses add 4 inches to the length of a king, but take away 4 inches to the width. If your bedroom has room for a California king and you and your partner’s main concern is space, a California king can be a wonderful addition to your home. 

However, if you and your partner are struggling with differing comfort needs more than space issues, a California king will likely have the same drawbacks for you as a standard king mattress. 

Find the best split king or king mattress for your sleeping needs

Buying a new mattress isn’t just a big purchase — it’s an investment in your long-term health. If you are struggling to choose between a spit king vs. king bed or are having issues finding the best king mattress or split king mattress for your needs, the experts at Texas Mattress Makers can help. 

Picking out a new mattress involves an in-depth understanding of how your sleeping position, sleeping temperature, body shape, and weight interact. With over four decades of experience to our name, we can provide you with guidance in everything from how to choose a mattress to knowing when is the best time to buy a mattress and more.

If you already know what you’re looking for, you can browse our full selection of handmade mattresses online. Simply choose to shop by either comfort level, mattress type, mattress size, or budget and chat with an expert online if you have questions.

Or if you would prefer to get a feel for our mattresses in-person, visit us at any of our convenient Houston locations today!

More Beducation by Texas Mattress Makers: 

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