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Split King vs. King: What Is a Split King + Are They Worth It?

    Last Updated
    March 26, 2024
    min read

    What Is a Split King Bed?

    A split king is two twin XL mattresses that, when combined, equal the size of a king bed. The main reason people choose a split king vs. king mattress is because of differing sleep preferences between couples. Split king beds also pair well with split king adjustable bases.

    If you’re in the market for a new mattress and deciding between mattress sizes, you may be weighing the pros and cons of a king vs. a split king mattress. The main difference between king and split king beds is that a king is one mattress and a split king is made up of two mattresses. When combined, the two mattresses of a split king are the equivalent size of a king bed.

    In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about the differences between a split king and king so you can be confident in your decision. 

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    What Is a King Size Mattress?

    Sometimes called an Eastern king, the standard king bed is the largest mattress size commonly available on the market. Measuring 76-by-80 inches, this size is popular because of its roominess. The table below highlights the benefits and drawbacks of king mattresses.



    Plenty of sleep space for co-sleeping and stretching out

    Not ideal for couples who prefer to sleep elevated at different angles

    Easy to find bedding options

    Difficult to move

    Great for large primary bedrooms

    Mattress and accessories cost more than smaller mattress sizes

    Pros of a King Mattress

    A king bed provides ample space for a couple to stretch out while they sleep. Oftentimes, there’s enough room for a small child or pet to co-sleep without feeling cramped. Many restless sleepers enjoy sleeping on king beds because of the extra space that allows them to toss and turn without the worry of rolling off the bed or disrupting a sleeping partner. 

    It’s also easy to find bedding options for this mattress size. King size sheets are commonly available in most retailers where home goods are sold.

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    Cons of a King Mattress

    As the largest standard mattress size, king bed are more expensive than smaller mattresses. Some couples feel that a queen bed's dimensions provide enough space, with measurements of 60-by-80 inches. While it’s slightly smaller, this alternative is less expensive than a king bed.

    If you’re looking to pair a king bed with an adjustable base, note that the base will move your entire king mattress. This can be uncomfortable if one partner wants a more elevated sleeping surface than the other.

    Additionally, because of their size and heft, king mattresses can be harder to move into your bedroom, especially through door frames and around room corners. This also makes them harder to clean, flip, and rotate to improve mattress longevity.

    An illustration of two mattresses to compare the size of a split king vs. king bed.

    What Is a Split King Bed?

    Sometimes called a double king bed, a split king mattress size matches the king bed at 76-by-80 inches and fits a king size bed frame. The key difference is that it consists of two twin XL mattresses in a single bed frame. Because there’s a split between them, there’s less motion transfer and opportunities for more sleep customization. The table below details the most significant split king bed pros and cons.



    Less motion transfer

    Not conducive to co-sleeping with a child

    Partners can address their specific sleeping needs

    Not ideal for couples who may want an adjustable bed but also like to cuddle

    Easier to move

    Typically cost more than standard king beds


    Not comfortable to sleep in the center

    Pros of a Split King Mattress

    Sharing a mattress typically requires compromise from couples about mattress firmness and materials. This can lead to poor sleep quality if one partner isn’t sleeping on the right mattress for their sleeping position. With a split king bed, partners can choose the mattresses that best address their individual sleeping needs.

    A split king also allows a more custom sleep experience when paired with a split king, dual-control adjustable base. These bases allow each side of the bed to move independently so one side is free to elevate while the other lies flat. 

    The best adjustable bed frames offer personalized comfort and support for sleepers experiencing sleep apnea, chronic pain, limited mobility, and more. Plus, individuals who like to read or watch television in bed can benefit from an adjustable base as it allows them to do so at a comfortable incline. 

    Purple’s split king adjustable bases are the ideal match for our split king mattresses. They’re sturdy enough to support Purple mattresses and offer advanced features that allow you to fully customize your comfort.

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    Thanks to the split between the individual mattresses, there’s less motion transfer, so no need to worry that you’ll wake your partner when you get out of bed. This also makes it much easier to move and assemble this type of mattress. Rather than moving a single bulky king size mattress, moving two twin XL mattresses separately proves much easier.

    Cons of a Split King Mattress

    The separation between split king mattresses can raise issues when co-sleeping with children — or if your partner likes to cuddle. Additionally, split king mattresses tend to cost more than a standard king since they require two separate mattresses.  

    Who Should Get a Split King or King?

    Both king and split king mattresses are great options for couples. However, even though they have the same measurements, their benefits and drawbacks may sway you to purchase one over the other. 

    A king bed is best for couples who want to have plenty of space while sleeping but don’t want a split to get in the way of nighttime cuddles. There’s also enough room to accommodate a child or a pet on this mattress size, so everyone can rest together comfortably.

    A split king bed is best for couples who have different sleeping needs. For example, a side sleeper and stomach sleeper or a cold sleeper and hot sleeper can enjoy a peaceful night of sleep in the same bed without compromising on mattress firmness. 

    A split king bed is also ideal for couples where one or both partners are restless sleepers, as the shifting of one won’t disturb the other’s sleep. If one partner snores, a split king mattress paired with a split king adjustable base may alleviate snoring (unless deeper health concerns are the root cause).

    A chart for how to choose between a split king vs. king bed that compares comfort, adjustability, sleeping preferences, and more.

    How Much Does a Split King Bed Cost: Are They Worth It?

    You can expect to set a budget of at least $2,000 to spend on a high-quality mattress in a split king size. They may be priced higher (up to $15,000) or lower (around $1,000) depending on the mattress type, manufacturer, and retailer. 

    The price difference between a king vs. split king mattress is generally a few hundred dollars, with split kings costing more. This is because split king mattresses require more materials than a king (even though they have the same dimensions). Prices for Purple’s split king mattresses start at $2,198. 

    Tip: Don’t forget to factor in the cost of your bed frame and mattress foundation. Large mattresses that require a box spring may offer a split box spring option at a higher price tag (due to their convenience).

    Split king bases and bed frames range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars more than their king counterparts. Our split king adjustable bed frames are: 

    For those looking for a standard king bed frame to support split king beds of different firmnesses, our king bed frames start at $299 for the Platform Bed Frame and go up to $880 for the Purple Bed Frame

    How To Choose Between a King and Split King 

    Selecting a bed size is the first step when buying a new mattress. Since king and split king beds have the same dimensions, you may find it challenging to choose between the two. Here are a few key considerations for deciding between a king vs. split king:

    • Consider who you’re sharing a bed with. A split king is best for two sleepers, whereas a king can comfortably fit a couple with children or pets.
    • Factor in your comfort preferences and if they differ between you and your partner. If you both like the same mattress firmness, a king size may suit your needs. 
    • Assess your sleep health needs. If one or both partners have physical health demands that may benefit from an adjustable bed, a split king may be the better choice for a personalized sleep experience. 
    • Consider your sleep positions. A king bed may work just fine for partners who sleep in the same position, as they may have the same comfort and incline needs. 
    • Evaluate your budget, as split king beds generally cost more than king beds.

    Not sure if a king or split king is right for you at all? Here are the dimensions for all standard mattress sizes available:

    Mattress Size



    38” x 75”

    Twin XL

    38” x 80”


    54” x 75”


    60” x 80”


    76” x 80”

    Split king

    76” x 80” (two 38” x 80” mattresses)

    California king

    72” x 84”

    Get the Right Mattress for Your Bedroom

    Now that you understand what a split king mattress is and the difference between a king and split king, it’s time to determine which might be right for you. A king bed is perfect for the couple that doesn’t have different mattress needs. But for those who don’t share similar sleeping preferences with their significant other, a split king bed may be the solution to their restless nights.

    Poor sleep quality is detrimental, so if you’re planning to share a bed with someone who has distinct sleep needs, consider getting a split king bed instead. Check out our product pages or talk to one of our Sleep Specialists to find out which mattress can help you get a great night’s sleep!


    Split King vs. King FAQ

    Yes, two twin XL mattresses make a split king and, when combined, are the same size as a king mattress. Twin XL mattresses measure 38-by-80 inches each, which is equal size to a king mattress, which measures 76-by-80 inches.

    No, most sleepers do not feel the split in a split king bed. Typically, sleepers do not lie in the middle of a split king bed, but even if you did, you shouldn’t feel the split if the mattresses fit snugly together.

    If you do feel the split, you can add a topper or bridge to fill the gap between the two mattresses. This is not recommended if you have a dual-control adjustable base.

    Yes, you can still comfortably cuddle on a split king bed as long as you avoid sleeping on your side directly where the two mattresses come together.

    While you don’t need a special mattress for an adjustable bed, you should use a split king sheet set on a split king adjustable mattress. A split king sheet set comes with two fitted twin XL bed sheets and one king size top sheet. Using a regular king size sheet set may not be the most comfortable because:

    • It could increase motion transfer at night as the split between the two mattresses won’t allow a fitted sheet to tightly cover the seam.
    • It will prohibit adjustable beds from elevating at different heights.

    No, a split king bed is not necessarily larger than a California king bed. Measuring 76-by-80 inches, a split king bed is wider than a California king bed, which measures 72-by-84 inches. However, a California king bed is longer and may be more comfortable for taller people.

    You can keep your split king mattresses together by following these tips:

    • Adjust your bed frame’s connector for a better fit.
    • Use non-slip rubber pads or furniture coasters underneath your mattresses.
    • Place strong, mattress-safe double-sided tape along the center edge of your mattresses.
    • Tie the two mattresses together.
    • Get a fitted bed frame.
    • If you have no intentions of using different elevations on your split king and adjustable base, you can use a mattress topper or gap filler to reduce the split’s impact and feel.

    About the authors

    April Seifert

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.

    Kristen Olson-Turner
    Senior Director of Merchandising, Mattress and Bases

    Kristen Olson-Turner is the Senior Director of mattresses, where she has spent 10+ years understanding customer needs and integrating solutions into Purple products for better sleep and comfort.