Queen vs King mattress − what's the difference and which will suit you best?

I've outlined all the pros and cons of Queen vs King mattresses to help you decide which size meets your style needs and budget constraints

Bear Natural Mattress on a bed against a white wall with a nightstand either side.
(Image credit: Bear)

As I save up to buy a new bed, I'm considering the pros and cons of Queen vs King mattresses. A King would make more of a statement in my master bedroom and afford ample space for starfishing, but a Queen might be the more realistic choice in light of my size and budget constraints.

There's a big jump between a Queen and a King bed: we're talking 16 additional inches in width. That's good news for couples who like their own space, as well as solo sleepers who toss and turn. In order to buy a King bed, though, you'll need to find 16 additional inches in floor space, as well as another couple of hundred dollars.

As H&G's resident sleep writer, I believe that the best mattress is the bed that fits your space, meets your sleep needs, and goes easy on your wallet. I've slept in my fair share of Queen vs King mattresses and I know the difference those extra inches can make.

Queen vs King mattress − pros and cons

I've outlined all the pros and cons of each mattress size to help you choose between Queen vs King mattresses. I've consulted in-house sleep experts and mattress manufacturers to work out which size suits which sorts of sleepers. Along the way, I've picked out a few of my favorite mattresses in each size to further streamline your shopping experience.

What's the difference between Queen vs King mattresses?

Before we begin, it always helps to define our terms. I've summarized the similarities and differences between Queen vs King mattresses in the table below.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 QueenKing
Dimensions (inches)60 x 8076 x 80
ProsTakes up less floor space; often cheaperMore space to sprawl
ConsCan feel a little crampedExpensive; less suitable for small bedrooms
Best forSolo sleepers; couples who like to sleep close; anyone with a smaller bedroomCouples; taller, broader sleepers, anyone who suffers from chronic pain or struggles with mobility

According to our mattress size chart, a Queen mattress and a King mattress are the same length, but a King mattress measures 16 extra inches across. That's the general rule, though the exact dimensions might vary between mattress brands.

A word of warning about US vs UK beds: mattress names and measurements may differ either side of the pond. A UK Queen is actually a small double and measures around 54 x 75 inches; a UK King is the equivalent US Queen; and a UK Super-King is as close as it comes to a US King. If you're shopping with an international mattress brand, make sure to double-check your dimensions before you buy.

What are the pros of a Queen mattress?

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress against a white wall beneath wall art.

(Image credit: Bear)

I asked Thomas Høegh Reisenhus, the in-house sleep specialist at TEMPUR, what he likes best about Queen beds. He says it's the perfect compromise: 'a Queen mattress offers ample space for an individual to stretch out, while a couple will also have plenty of room.'

A Queen mattress 'is also the superior option if you have less bedroom space,' says Thomas. When you opt for a Queen over a King, you say more than a foot in floor space that you can use to position bedroom furniture or simply move around your house more freely.

Then, there's the matter of money. A Queen mattress is likely to be a couple hundred dollars cheaper than a King mattress, since it's that much smaller. Thomas says you should try not to get too caught up in the costs: 'the crucial thing is to invest in the best mattress you can afford since, far from being a luxury, it plays a huge role in fostering wellbeing in all areas of life.'

Headshot of Thomas Høegh Reisenhus.
Thomas Høegh Reisenhus

Thomas started with Tempur-Pedic in 2007, working to develop their mattresses, pillows, and sleep accessories. In 2018, he qualified as a sleep counsellor to better understand the optimal sleep conditions for each space.

I've scoured the sites of the best places to buy a mattress to bring you the best beds in a Queen size. Each of these mattresses is tested by an H&G sleep expert and evaluated for comfort, cooling, and cost.

What are the cons of a Queen mattress?

A Saatva Zenhaven Natural Latex Mattress against a white wall.

(Image credit: Saatva)

A Queen mattress isn't quite as spacious as a King. There's plenty of room for solo sleepers to toss and turn across the bed, but couples might opt for a King mattress in order to keep their own space overnight. Also, if you struggle with mobility, then you'll appreciate the extra surface area of a King mattress to maneuver in and out of bed.

Along similar lines, a Queen mattress doesn't take up as much floor space as a King mattress. If you're looking for a mattress that can measure up to your main bedroom ideas, then you might be better off with a King bed.

What are the pros of a King mattress?

Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress against a blue-gray wall.

(Image credit: Tempur-Pedic)

I asked each of my experts to choose between Queen vs King mattresses for use in their own home. For Hypnos Bed's Head of Retailing Marketing, Amanda Castle, it's no contest: the King mattress wins, every time. 'Having the extra space to get settled and sleep uninterrupted is key,' says Amanda. With a King bed, 'you should feel supported across the whole width of the mattress and able to move freely. If you share your bed with a partner, this extra space is even more important so that you can minimize disturbing each other.'

Amanda acknowledges Queen beds and King beds are the same length, but she says it's the width that makes the difference. 'A King bed is the equivalent of two Twin beds, pushed together, which offers couples plenty of space to truly spread out'. Amanda also notes that 'if you are taller and broader than the average sleeper, then it's definitely worth upgrading to a larger mattress size if possible. What's more, anyone who suffers from joint or back pain or anyone who tends to toss and turn in the night may find that they sleep better with a more spacious mattress'.

Headshot of Amanda Castle.
Amanda Castle

Amanda leads the retail marketing team at Hypnos Beds. She has a lot of experience across the world of bedrooms and bathrooms and knows what size bed suits a space.

If you're looking for a mattress for a master bedroom, then it's worth considering that a King bed will make more of a statement. These are a few of my favorite King mattresses for shoppers with big bedrooms and big budgets.

What are the cons of a King mattress?

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress against a white wall.

(Image credit: Nectar)

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: a King mattress is almost always more expensive than a Queen mattress, simply because you're paying for 16 extra inches of material and a few more hours of man power. If you've got your heart set on a King bed, then it might be worth shopping the mattress sales to try and score a discount. Still, you should be prepared to spend at least $1,000 to get a decent, durable King mattress.

Your average King mattress measures more than six feet across. Just because you can squeeze a King mattress onto your bed frame doesn't mean that it's the best use of your floor space or the right fit for your bedroom. For solo sleepers and smaller bedrooms, a Queen mattress should be more than sufficient.

Final thoughts

If you're still at the start of your mattress shopping journey, and you're weighing up the pros and cons of each size, then you're in luck: I've written similar features on the pros and cons of Queen vs Full and King vs California King beds.

If you're still at the start of your mattress shopping journey, and you're weighing up the pros and cons of each size, then you're in luck: I've written similar features on the pros and cons of Queen vs Full and King vs California King beds.

Emilia Hitching
Sleep Editor

Emilia is our resident sleep writer. She spends her days tracking down the lowest prices on the best bedding and spends her nights testing it out from the comfort of her own home – it's a dream job. Her quest to learn how to sleep better has taken her all around the world, from mattress factories in Arizona to sleep retreats in Scandinavia. Before she joined Homes & Gardens, Emilia studied English at the University of Oxford. She also worked on the other side of the aisle, writing press releases for regional newspapers and crafting copy for Sky.