(Sleeping) Better Together: Should Couples get a Queen, King or Cal King Mattress?

by SleePare

By Dustin Morgan | 5 Minute Read

The mattress industry has grown by folds in the last decade, and hundreds of brands in the US alone are competing with each other to provide the best beds for sleepers. 

Bed manufacturers are putting more and more efforts into realizing the needs of sleepers in the design and dimensions of their products.

Mattresses come in a variety of standard and customized sizes around the world. The difference in bed sizes depends on the brands and the market standards of the country. 

Several mattress sizes have been introduced in the market and have evolved to become the industry standard.

Mattress sizes closely follow the dimensions of available bed frames in the market as well. 

However, in European countries like the UK and Ireland, bed sizes are measured according to the size of the mattress they hold instead of the bed frame.

Common Bed Sizes Available in Market for Couples

n the US, mattress dimensions are usually measured in inches. However it is common in the industry to use their non-numeric names like King, Queen or California King, 

Let’s take a look at the most popular bed sizes suitable for couples and their dimensions in inches (rounded to 1 inch) used in the US according to the International Sleep Product Association (ISPA) 

 

  • Full (54″ x 74″)

A Full size mattress is usually not recommended for couples. Teenagers who have outgrown their Twin size mattresses use Full size mattresses. However, it can be used as a temporary mattress in case both partners have thin bodies and do not change positions often in their sleep. Some couples may also go for the Full size due to space and budget constraints.

 

  • Queen (60″ x 80″)

Queen size is the most purchased, advertised, and popular mattress size for couples. It is usually a budget-friendly size choice for couples. Due to its smaller width, it can be moved easily and thus it is preferred for modern bedrooms. A Queen sized mattress can accommodate thin or average-sized individuals easily. However, heavier sleepers may find it crammed unless they don’t mind closeness and occasional snuggle. 

 

  • Split Queen (60″ x 80″)

A split design is the best of both worlds for couples with different sleep preferences. A Split Queen lets you enjoy the closeness of a partner and space of a standard Queen size and can have very different surfaces at the same time. A Split Queen is the standard choice for couples who need maximum motion isolation during their bedtime.  

 

  • King (76″ x 80″)

A King size offers the maximum width in the family of mattresses (among the standard sizes). The ample 76 inches can give you extra spacious luxury, and can accommodate children and pets as well.  King size beds are wider than Queen size beds and can be difficult to move. You can expect an extra cost for King size in each brand as well.

 

  • Split King (76″ x 80″)

Split Mattresses are specially designed for couples with separate surface needs (comfort and firmness). A Split King mattress has the same dimensions as that of a regular King size bed, but it is split in the middle. So it’s virtually two beds joined together to make one.    

 

  • California King (72″ x 84″)

A California King size takes 4 inches off the width of the bed and gives you an extra 4 inches of height. It is the longest in the size chart of mattresses. This size especially favors tall couples and is wide enough to accommodate children or a pet as well. It is easier to fit in the bedroom as its width is less than the King size. 

What is the ideal bed size for you as a couple?

According to market sales, the most commonly purchased mattress size by couples is the Queen size. 

However, there is no ideal bed size for couples. 

It all depends on the preference and comfort level that can vary from couple to couple.

Couples with children and or pets prefer extra-large bed sizes like a King. People with generous available space and luxurious bed space requirements may choose even bigger customized beds.

If you do not have kids and require a less spacious bed, you may opt for a Queen size mattress. A Queen size is also preferred by people with smaller bedrooms and is on a budget. 

Taller couples require a lengthier bed like Cali King for a comfortable straight sleep posture.

There can be some slight differences in the sizes of all foam and spring mattresses. As coil mattresses are hard to fit into frames, manufacturers make them slightly smaller for easy placement.

Why buy a dual firmness/split mattress?

Split Mattresses can accommodate different sleep preferences and allow personal space to each partner. 

Some couples have a clear preference for split mattresses. It is the industry’s answer to motion transfer and sleep disturbances. They are as easy to move as single mattresses (if they are fully split).

There can be two types of split mattresses, namely fully split and half split. 
 

 

  • Fully split mattresses are split to the base, meaning they have a separate base and top layers. 
  • Half or partial split mattresses have a joined base (like coil layer) and split top layers. The top layers can have separate firmness, material, and levels of coolness according to the individual’s needs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Bed Size for Couples

Some essential elements you need to consider before going shopping and selecting your bed size as a couple are:

 

  • Motion Isolation

Since you will be sharing the mattress, motion isolation is a necessary feature. If your mattress is small, it can transfer motion to your body every time your partner moves, shifts, or gets out of the bed. 

If you are using a memory foam mattress, you can have better isolation even for a bed with a smaller width. 

However, for other mattresses, you may require appropriate space to mitigate motion transfer to ensure undisturbed sleep.   

 

  • Sleeping with Children or Pets

For families who own a pet or have children who often end up in their parents’ beds, you’ll need more space. If your dog or cat sleeps with you on your bed, you can choose King-size or California King size mattresses.

If you have space and money for even bigger mattresses, you can go for a custom-bed and enjoy the spacious sleep surface.  Remember, once you are used to sleeping on a King-size bed, you may find it difficult to go back to smaller surfaces.

 

  • Bedroom Size and Available Bed Frame

Most of the newer bedroom sizes do not allow for enormous bed sizes. The largest size people can fit in their bedroom is usually the Queen size. 

Choose your mattress according to your bedroom space and the available bed frame (if you want to use the same).

You can make more space in your room by decreasing your other furniture like the dresser, side chairs, or magazine table. 

This all depends on your bedroom design, window, and door orientation, and how you want to set your bed in it.

 

  • Intimacy, Back Pain and Other Requirements

Couples not only share a bed for sleeping but intimacy as well. Couples usually look for a bouncy mattress with superior edge support; however, a right sized sleep surface is also crucial for any couple’s sex life. Couples need to choose a bed size to complement the intimacy level they prefer while they’re trying to catch their ZZZs. 

Couples (or a partner) having back pain, spinal disorders, or any other medical condition may have special needs for a sleep surface. Their preference in size must also be considered when choosing the bed size. 

There is no one perfect bed size for couples. It all depends on the requirements and sleep needs of the individuals. However, the size you choose for your future bed can be critical as the mattress will stay with you for at least 7-10 more years.

To get the perfect mattress size, it’s best to shop with your partner. Test them together in a showroom, and discuss the dimensions before you make this substantial investment.

 

Dustin Morgan

Dustin Morgan


Dustin is the lead content creator at SleePare. With a degree in Computer Science and extensive experience reviewing mattresses, curating comparisons and advising on "best of" guides, he's truly a mattress technology expert.

Dustin has perfected this method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he's not only able to discern the overall value of a specific bed, but to assign its value to different types of sleepers.

Along with creating honest and straightforward mattress features, Dustin enjoys creating pieces aimed at helping people get their best sleep ever.

When he's not creating helpful content, Dustin enjoys jogging, fishing, hunting and playing video games in and around his Virginia home.