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What Is the Difference in Size Between a Queen Size Mattress & a King Size Mattress?

Michele M. Howard
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The differences in mattress sizes can certainly make a big difference in comfort. When weighing your options between a queen-size or a king-size mattress, you actually have three size choices--the queen, the standard king and the California king-size mattress.

The size of mattress makes a difference.

Although your physical size is important, it is not the only measurement to consider. The room size and room location are also important considerations.


The dimensions of a queen-size mattress are 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. A standard king-size mattress, sometimes referred to as an Eastern king size, measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. The longest mattress on the market is the California king-size mattress, which measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long.

Surface Area

The surface area of a queen-size mattress is equal to 4,800 square inches, while the surface area of a standard king is equal to 6,080 square inches. The surface area of the California king-size mattress is 6,048 square inches.

Shared Space

If two people are to share a queen-size mattress, the amount of width space per person is 30 inches. The amount of width space for a standard king size is 38 inches per person. This is the widest standard bed available. If two people are to share the California king mattress, the amount of width space per person is 36 inches.


With a queen-size mattress, two standard pillows work well and sheets are easy to find at a good price. With either the standard king or the California king, however, you will need to use three standard pillows or two king pillows due to the added width. Unfortunately, it is harder to find sheets, comforters, blankets, headboards and footboards for the California king mattress. Standard king-size sheet sets are easy to find but will not fit the California king, as its length is 4 inches longer.


If length is more important than width, the California king size is a better choice than the standard king mattress. The standard king is a good choice for larger people, allowing a few more inches of width space per person. Both the standard king and the California king mattress are very large and may be difficult to maneuver up stairs, down stairs or around corners.