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What Is a Split King Mattress and Why Should You Get One?

by SleePare

By Emily Stringer | 4 Minute Read

A split king mattress is the same size as a king-size bed, but instead of a single bed, it is made from two twin XL mattresses side by side. The center of these mattresses are divided so each sleeper can customize their side of the bed. Split king mattresses are the perfect solution for couples who have different preferences when it comes to sheets, sleep position, and sleep schedules (on split king mattresses you can wake up and move without disrupting your partner). 

Split king mattresses are often misunderstood by mattress shoppers and are an excellent solution to common sleep problems among couples. Keep reading to learn more about split king mattresses and why they might be the right option for you. 

A Split King Mattress Overview

A split king mattress has the same proportions as a regular king-size mattress. These mattresses are popular with couples because both sides can be modified since the bed is two different mattresses. If one partner prefers a soft mattress and the other prefers a firm mattress, a split king allows them to prioritize their sleep health and having the best sleep surface for their primary sleep position while still sharing a bed. 

Adding an adjustable base is the best way to get the most out of a split king mattress. With an adjustable base on a split king, sleepers get the freedom of adaptability–you can sit upright and read a book while your partner takes a nap, and vice versa. Even without an adjustable bed, you can still get the benefits of a split king. 

How Does a Split King Mattress Work?

Like we mentioned above, a split king mattress is a king size mattress made from two Twin XL mattresses. Measures of these mattresses can vary. The majority of them measure the standard size for Twin XL; 38" x 80". Because of the connectors in the middle of the mattress, the split king has two independent beds that are connected but the mattresses are separate from one another, allowing you to select different firmness levels, plushness, and mattress materials.  

Split mattresses come in two varieties: full split and half (sometimes called partial) split. Full split mattresses have a separate base and top layer and are split to the base. A linked foundation (such a coil layer) and split upper layers make up a half split mattress. Full split king beds are as easy to transport as single mattresses because they detach from the frame. 

Other Mattress Sizes

It's necessary to double-check bed measurements and room measurements before adding a new mattress to your home. If you are thinking about getting a new mattress of any size, here is a rundown of each available size. 

Twin

Measurements: 39" x 75"

A twin mattress is your best bet for saving both space and money. A Twin size mattress is the smallest mattress size available, but it gives you a lot more flexibility when it comes to decorating your space and positioning the bed. Two Twin mattresses are ideal for sharing a room. They will help save space and give each individual their own personal space without overwhelming the room.

Twin XL 

Measurements: 54" x 75"

Along with split king mattresses, twin XL mattresses are most commonly used in dorm rooms. While a Twin XL mattress is smaller than a Full, it is the same length as a Queen. This mattress size is great for fast-growing children who require additional legroom than what you can get with a twin mattress. 

Full

Measurements: 54" x 75"

A full mattress is perfect for single sleepers who want more space than a or for couples who have limited room. Growing teenagers who are too big for a twin or twin XL would benefit from a full mattress. 

Queen

Measurements: 60” x 80”

Queen-size is the most popular size of the mattress. A Queen-size mattress is big enough for two people to sleep comfortably. This mattress is for guest rooms and master bedrooms with limited space.

King

Measurements: 76” x 80” 

A king-size mattress is the most popular choice for couples and families because it is the largest size offered and allows two adults to stretch out as well as fit the odd child or pet. 

California King

Measurements: 72” x 84” 

If you want a mattress that is comparable to a King-size except with a longer length, a California King is the ideal option. This 72" x 84" mattress is great for taller folks who need additional legroom or those who want a large, luxurious bed.

Is A Split King The Same as Two Twins?

A split king mattress is not the same as two twin beds. A split king bed cannot be made by linking two twin XL mattresses together. You absolutely can, but the result won’t be the same. Those mattresses were not designed specifically for that use. Another feature is the interconnection, which is absent from single twin XL beds.

Can a California King Be Split?

Yes! Thanks to improved mattress and bedding technology, customers can enjoy the comfort of a split king with the size of the California king. Each side of a split California king mattress measures 36 inches by 84 inches. If you're over 6 feet tall or share a bed with someone who is, a California king mattress might be the best option for you. Note that not all manufacturers produce split California king mattresses and they are more difficult to find and more expensive than regular split king mattresses. 

Pros and Cons of a Split King Bed

With everything, there are pros and cons and the split king mattress is no different. Before making the decision to upgrade your current mattress to a split king or deciding to buy a completely new one, here are some pros and cons of the split king mattress. 

Pros

  • Customization: A split king mattress allows for each sleeper to customize their side of the bed, giving them more freedom on deciding on sheets, sleep position, and adjusting the bed.
  • Motion transfer: Since each side of the bed is a separate mattress, motion transfer is minimized so you won’t wake your partner up when moving. 
  • Adjustable frame: Many split king mattresses are on adjustable bed frames. This way, couples can choose their most comfortable position–one person can sit propped up while the other lies down. 
  • Limits snoring: Sleep apnea and snoring are harmful for your health by limiting sleep quality and causing respiratory distress. A split king on an adjustable base can prop the head up, open nasal passages, and limit snoring.

Cons

  • Sheet size: Split king mattresses require fitted, Twin XL sheets. You can buy split king sheets but they are not as easy to find in stores. 
  • Size: The large size and bulk of a split king mattress/base are much larger than the average Queen size or even King sized mattress. Those who live in apartments, condos, or townhouses might not be able to fit one of these in their home. 
  • Seam Split: The two sections of a split king mattress do not interlock, resulting in a visible line between. If you or your partner roll toward the middle of the bed, this gap may cause discomfort. 
  • Price: Split king mattresses are more expensive than ordinary king beds based on availability. This mattress size is not as popular as other options so stores and manufacturers can charge more for them than the same identical bed in a non-split form. 

Buying Considerations for a Split King

Like other mattresses, there are several things to consider before taking the plunge and buying a split king mattress. Before making a large purchase like a split king mattress, it is important to make sure you will be able to fit in your space. Here are some things to look for when deciding whether you want a split king mattress. 

Materials

Like other mattresses, split kings are available in standard materials like memory foam, hybrids, latex, and innerspring. Whichever type you choose is up to your personal preference. Split kings are most commonly available in memory foam or hybrid. Want to learn more about mattress materials? Read our mattress buying guide

Firmness 

Like the mattress material, the overall firmness of a mattress is a vital component. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the firmness of your mattress. Usually, the ideal firmness level is determined by your body weight and sleeping position but is mainly up to your personal preference. 

Not sure which firmness level works best for your primary sleeping position? Here is a brief rundown of the best mattress firmness level for your sleep position. 

  • Side sleepers: soft to medium-soft firmness
  • Back sleepers: foam or hybrid medium-firm
  • Stomach sleepers: firm

Size 

A split king mattress is not only a large financial purchase, the item itself is large! Before making any buying decisions, make sure you have the room in your home to fit your new mattress. Also, consider that you will most likely have to dispose of your old mattress, bed frame, and pay for moving costs. 

Bedframe 

When buying a split king mattress or a different size mattress from what you currently have, you’re going to need to purchase a new bed frame to fit. Split king mattresses will fit a king-size frame. Adjustable bed frames are also popular for split king mattresses. Consider this cost when determining if a split king mattress is right for you. 

Sheets and Bedding 

If you decide on a split king mattress, you are going to have to invest in new sheets to fit it. A split king mattress requires twin XL fitted sheets on each half, with a flat king sheet on top. 

There's no need to buy two sets of twin XL sheets and a king-size sheet–split king sheet sets include both sets to cover up the entire mattress. If you have an adjustable base, buy sheets made from a more flexible and stretchy material so they stay on the mattress.

Split King Mattress for Couples

You and your partner can’t decide on the best king-size mattress? Go with a split king! Split king mattresses are perfect for couples who have different sleep preferences and schedules. 

A split king is an excellent option for couples that can’t agree on a king-size mattress they both like. This way, you don’t have to sleep in separate beds as both partners can choose your preferred mattress type. Low motion transfer means you won’t disturb your partner when moving. 

Is a Split King Mattress Right for Me?

The only way to know if a split king mattress is right for you is to try one out. However, most people are satisfied with their purchases. Split kings are perfect for couples who want to sleep together but have different mattress preferences and sleep positions.

Split king mattresses allow couples to customize their side of the bed, which helps to reduce sleep disruptions. If one couple prefers a soft mattress and the other prefers a hard mattress, a split king allows them to prioritize their sleep quality while still sharing a bed.

FAQ

Still not sure if a split king mattress is right for you? Here are a few additional questions you might have. 

Do Split King beds separate?

Yes, both mattresses that make up the split king separate. This makes them easier when moving or rearranging furniture.

Is a split King bigger than a king?

A split king mattress is the same size as a king-size bed, but instead of one bed, it’s two twin XL mattresses side by side.

How do you keep a split king bed together?

The split king mattress will have a connector that will keep the two separate mattresses together. 

Can I make a split king bed? 

Not exactly. While you can have two twin XL mattresses together, it will not be the same as a split king bed as you need the connector. 

What kind of sheets do I need? 

Two twin fitted sheets and one king flat sheet are required for a split king mattress. It may be inconvenient to look for these sheets, and they may be more expensive than standard sheet sets.

Can you use king sheets on a split king?

No. Split king sheet sets have two separate twin XL sets. 

Do I need a separate comforter for each side of the bed? 

This depends on your personal preference. If you can find a comforter big enough to cover both sides of the bed, then you can just use one. 

Can you cuddle on a split king?

Yes. You can still cuddle up to your partner on a split king but you will have the gap in the middle.

 

A split king mattress is a great choice for any master bedroom. This mattress may be the answer to getting a good night’s sleep while still sharing a bed with your partner. Upgrading to a split king mattress is worth it in many cases, especially if you and your partner have different sleep preferences. 

If you’re looking for a split king, adjustable beds, or other mattress advice, visit our website. Make sure to check out our mattress comparison guide to find the best fit for you. Also, remember to double-check if the brand you want has a split king option available. 

 
Emily Stringer

Emily Stringer


Emily is a sleep expert and content creator at SleePare. With over five years of experience writing and extensive experience reviewing mattresses, curating comparisons and advising on "best of" guides, she's well-versed in mattress technology.

Emily has perfected this method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so she'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, Emily enjoys spending time with her dogs and exploring her home town of Lexington, Kentucky.