image of family sleeping in king size bed

King Size Bed Dimensions Guide

Feeling cramped in your bed alongside a partner, kids, and pets? Moving to a bigger bedroom? It might be time to upgrade to a king size bed.

“Most people would agree that the biggest advantage in getting a king size bed is more generous room for you and your partner,” says Mary Brennan, interior designer and founder of House of Fine Design in New Jersey. “Not only is it just more comfortable, but in particular, if one person is more of a restless sleeper or a light sleeper, the added sleep space helps keep disturbing the other to a minimum.”

There are also aesthetic considerations, Brennan says: “A king size bed brings a certain presence to the bedroom and, when decorated well, becomes the most inviting focal point to the room.”

Here’s how to determine if a king size mattress is right for you, from king size bed dimensions to design considerations to keep in mind.

King size bed dimensions

The standard size of a king size mattress is 76 by 80 inches, which translates to 16 more inches of width than a queen (it is the same length). In addition to the standard king size, there are also two common specialty king sizes. A split king has the same dimensions as a standard king but is formed from two 38-by-80-inch twin XLs placed side by side, and a California king mattress is slightly narrower and longer than a standard king, measuring 72 by 84 inches.

king size bed dimensions infographic

Benefits of a king size bed

Allow us to sing the praises of a king size bed. Here are the top four reasons you should consider one for your bedroom:

  • A king size bed provides more room for couples. Each sleeper gets about 38 inches of space to themselves. It’s an especially good option if one of you is a restless or active sleeper because you can comfortably move around without bothering your partner.
  • A king size bed allows plenty of room for kids and furry friends to pile into bed with you.
  • A king size bed is an aesthetically pleasing choice in a large bedroom, where a smaller bed might look puny.
  • A king size bed serves as a cozy and comfortable activity space for working, reading, and watching TV.

Our Best King Size Mattresses

Drawbacks of a king size bed

This all sounds pretty great, right? Of course, it’s important to note that there are a few downsides as well. Here are the three biggest drawbacks of getting a king size bed:

  • A king size bed is too large to fit in studio apartments or small bedrooms. A king size bed needs a big bedroom—at least 10 feet by 12 feet to fit comfortably but ideally 14 feet by 19 feet.
  • A king size bed is tough to navigate through tight spaces. Since it is so big, you may not be able to get it up a narrow staircase or around corners. That’s when you can consider a split king, which gets you the same size sleep surface but in the form of two twin XL mattresses, which are much easier to move.
  • A king size bed, because it is so large, usually carries a higher price tag than other mattress sizes—and you may also have to spend more on accessories like the bed frame and bedding. Speaking of bedding, “a king size takes a bit more effort when it comes to making and dressing the bed,” Brennan notes, “but for most of us that’s a small sacrifice.”
image of saatva king size bed

Pair a king size bed with nightstands that are at least 30 inches wide.

Design considerations for a king size bed

Brennan shares a few design considerations to take into account, starting with the size of other furnishings in the room. “With a king size bed, it’s very important to be sure you have bedside tables that are not dwarfed by the bed,” she says. “Typical night tables are 24 inches in width, but that’s really a bit too small—next to a king they feel a bit lost. An ideal size would be at least 30 inches in width, but never go less than 27 inches.”

Apart from issues of scale, a king size bed doesn’t impose many restrictions. In fact, Brennan says, a king size bed permits more flexibility in some design choices. Take bedside lighting, for example. “Whether you choose a wall-mounted sconce or a table lamp, the key here is scale,” she says. “As long as the fixture is large enough to feel like it belongs, you could choose from a huge variety of styles and shapes.”

Other things to keep in mind when designing your bedroom around a king size bed: walk-around space, storage, and door swings.

To figure out what kind of space you’ll have to walk around a king size bed, take painter’s tape and tape out where the bed would go, making sure you have three feet of walk-around room, plus space for your furniture. Also make sure the doors in your room can still swing properly.

As for storage, a king size bed may leave you with less room for other furniture. If that’s the case, you may want to consider a platform bed, which can incorporate storage, and a bedside table. Wall storage is another good option.

More Great King Size Mattresses

Is a king size bed worth the cost?

Since a king size bed is so large, they are the most expensive mattress options compared to other sizes. You can anticipate paying between $1,000 and $3,500 for a high-quality king size mattress. You should weigh the pros and cons to decide if a king mattress size is worth the cost for you. If you sleep with a partner, have kids and/or pets that always pile into your bed, and you have the space for a large mattress, then a king size bed just might be a good option for your home.

King mattress foundation

Lastly, you’ll need to think through the foundation. In general, king mattresses can be paired with several foundation types—just be sure to double-check with the manufacturer to see what your mattress is compatible with.

  • A traditional box spring foundation historically contained actual springs in a wood box, but today, it’s more of a fabric-covered or exposed wood frame that supports the mattress and creates a comfortable height for your bed.
  • An adjustable base allows you to raise and lower your head and feet, making for maximum customization and comfort. (Here are the top health benefits of an adjustable base.)
  • A platform bed is a modern option and can be used without a foundation. Instead, the mattress rests directly on the platform.

Not sure whether or not it’s time to replace your old bed? Here are signs you need a new mattress.