Why You Should Trust Us
Buying a mattress can be stressful, even for the most seasoned shopper. Marketing hype and seemingly endless options can make it difficult to focus on features that really matter.
We’ve tested hundreds of mattresses over the years, so we know which performance factors impact sleep quality the most. Our testers have different body types, sleep positions, and personal preferences, which allows us to predict which models will be most compatible with various sleep styles.
Each mattress is rated according to criteria like temperature control, pressure relief, and durability. For split king models, we put extra emphasis on metrics like edge support, motion isolation, and firmness options. We realize a mattress can be a big investment, so we include models to fit varying budgets.
What Is a Split King Mattress?
A split king mattress is separated into two distinct twin XL size mattresses, each measuring approximately 38 inches wide by 80 inches long. A divided mattress allows partners to move without creating motion disturbances, and some companies let shoppers pick a different firmness level for each side of the bed.
What Size Is a Split King Mattress?
A split king mattress is divided down the middle, creating two 38-by-80-inch sleeping surfaces. Put another way, a split king is the equivalent of two twin XL mattresses placed side by side.
The combined mattresses correlate to a standard 76-by-80-inch king size mattress. Most couples find that moving two smaller mattresses is much easier than maneuvering a hefty king size bed.
Are Split King Mattresses Comfortable?
A split king mattress can be a real advantage for couples with very different sleep preferences. With a traditional king size mattress, co-sleepers have to negotiate mattress type and firmness level. A compromise often leads to substandard comfort and support for at least one partner. Split king beds can address differences in body weight and sleep position by granting personal customization.
Customize for Individual Sleep Preferences
A split king mattress gives couples more freedom to personalize their sleep surface. While not all companies let shoppers customize the firmness level of each side of a split king mattress, most offer mattresses in a twin XL size so that co-sleepers can purchase two twin XL mattresses to suit their individual needs. Couples can increase customization by combining a split king mattress with an adjustable base.
Mattress firmness is key when it comes to optimal support. A firmness level appropriate to body weight and sleep position promotes healthy spine alignment. For example, a side sleeper under 130 pounds typically needs a softer mattress that cradles the shoulders and hips. On the other hand, a back or stomach sleeper over 230 pounds generally requires a firm surface to minimize sagging.
People with chronic muscle or joint pain may require a different firmness level than their partner. By customizing firmness and support, a split king mattress can address individual health conditions.
Mattress Type and Comfort
Some mattress types are better suited to certain sleep styles and body weights than others. Back and stomach sleepers often benefit from a hybrid’s balance of contouring and support. Side sleepers, on the other hand, often prefer all-foam models that more closely conform to the body.
How a comfort system is constructed has a huge impact on perceived comfort and support. While some sleepers prefer a plush pillow-top design, others enjoy a more solid surface. A split king mattress lets co-sleepers choose the best mattress to meet their individual needs.
Motion isolation describes how well a mattress prevents movement from traveling from one side of a bed to the other. Co-sleepers are more likely to be disturbed by their partner’s movements when motion isolation is weak. All-foam mattresses are usually better at isolating motion than coil-based models.
A split king mattress automatically creates a motion barrier with its divided design. This gives co-sleepers more freedom to choose a mattress without worrying about bouncier models disturbing their partner.
Split King Adjustable Bases
Couples can take customization even further when pairing a split king mattress with an adjustable base. The design lets sleep partners modify the angle of their individual mattress, which can be helpful for health conditions like snoring and acid reflux.
Adjustable bases also accommodate dissimilar nighttime routines. The ability to operate each side of the bed independently lets a person sit and read in bed without worrying about disturbing their partner who goes to sleep earlier. Some designs also include luxury features like massage and temperature settings.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Split King Mattress
Like any mattress model, a split king bed comes with advantages and disadvantages. Extra cost, special sheets, and adequate edge support are important considerations when buying a split king mattress.
How to Keep Split King Mattresses Together
One potential drawback of a split king mattress is the gap separating the two mattresses. There are a few workarounds for closing troublesome gaps. For couples using a split foundation, sometimes all it takes is readjusting the connector. Most split frames have adjustable metal connectors that calibrate the distance between the two mattresses.
If a gap still persists, couples can try support braces that are designed to keep individual bases connected. Alternatively, a traditional king size mattress topper can cover an unwanted gap.
You May Need Different Sheets
Sleeping on a split king bed often requires purchasing more than one type of sheet set. A split king mattress uses two twin XL fitted sheets and a king size top sheet. Couples can also opt for a single king size fitted sheet, though this can be difficult to spread across both mattresses.
Some manufacturers make split king sheet sets, but these are harder to come by. Keep in mind that split adjustable beds require split fitted sheets.
Look for Mattresses With Good Edge Support
A mattress with robust edges will offer more even support. Many manufacturers use thicker coils or high-density polyfoam to reinforce a mattress’ perimeter.
When edge support is weak, a split king bed is more prone to buckling at the intersection of the two mattresses. Sagging can magnify any center gap, so strong edge support should be a priority when choosing a split king mattress.
Split King Mattresses Cost More Than a Traditional King
It’s always a good idea to consider your budget when shopping for a new mattress. Since a split king includes two mattresses, it’s usually more expensive than a traditional king size bed. While budget split king and king models may vary only slightly in price, luxury split kings can cost several thousand dollars more than their traditional king counterparts.
Another cost factor to note is that split king sheets are usually pricier than standard king size sets.
Pros and Cons of Split King and Traditional King Mattresses
A split king bed is generally more expensive than a traditional king size mattress, so shoppers should carefully consider their pros and cons. While the split king design offers sleep partners more personal latitude, co-sleepers still have to negotiate bed frames, toppers, and sheets.