How do I Choose the Best King Size Mattress?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

There are several advantages to owning a king size mattress. The expanded sleeping area is ideal for two people, as it is still possible to enjoy some personal space. In order to get the most from your mattress, there are a few things to keep in mind before you actually buy a mattress of this size.

White mattress.
White mattress.

First, there is the matter of space. These mattresses take up a lot of room. This means that you should measure the floor space in your bedroom carefully before buying any mattress. If you find that the bed makes it impossible to move around the room freely, consider going with something a little smaller, such as a queen size mattress.

White bedroom with an eastern king (standard king) size bed.
White bedroom with an eastern king (standard king) size bed.

Assuming you have sufficient space for the king size mattress, your next decision has to do with the firmness desired. Fortunately, it is possible to purchase king mattresses with just about any level of firmness you can imagine. If you share the bed with a spouse or partner, consider purchasing a mattress that allows each of you to adjust the two sides of the mattress to level of firmness that suits your individual tastes.

Along with the firmness, you may want to look into mattress brands that include some of the more recent innovations in bedding. Many people find that a memory foam mattress provides excellent support, since it contours to the body and avoids the creation of pressure along the spine. Memory foam also has the advantage of absorbing motion, which means that your bedmate will not be woken should you get out of bed in the middle of the night.

Price is just as important as firmness and various features. There are a number of mid-priced brands that offer high quality for an affordable cost. While it may take some time to identify these more affordable brands in your local stores, the effort can save you a significant amount of money. Make sure the warranty on the product is acceptable, in case you find the king size mattress is not holding up as well as you anticipated. Since a mattress is something most people plan on using for several years, don’t try to skimp by purchasing any mattress that is likely to develop lumps or collapsed inner springs within a couple of years.

Keep in mind that while the dimensions of a king size mattress are standard, there are some specialty designs that are a little longer. This is true with what is known as a California king mattress. Always measure the mattress while in the store. Doing so will help to ensure there are no surprises when your purchase is delivered.

In addition to size, comfort and cost are important factors when selecting a king size mattress.
In addition to size, comfort and cost are important factors when selecting a king size mattress.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@KaBoom - Reading reviews can be really helpful, but only to a point. If you're looking to buy a king size mattress you should definitely go to the store and lay on a few. You can only learn so much from reviews, but you have to actually lay on the bed to see if it's going to be comfortable for you. Everyone has different preferences about their mattress.


One thing I like to do when I'm making a major purchase like a king size bed mattress is read a lot of reviews. If a mattress has a ton of bad reviews, I would steer clear of it. I try to gravitate towards mattresses that have a bunch of good reviews.

I find that if people are compelled to go and write a review of something, it has to be either really good or really bad. Most people don't just go write a review unless they have strong feelings about their purchase.


@Monika - You're right, California king mattresses do take special sheets, and they're actually really hard to find. A friend of mine purchased a California king size pillow top mattress recently because her husband is very tall. They were both very excited about the new bed until they couldn't find sheets anywhere. They ended up having to order some online.


@andee - The difference between a California king mattress and a regular king size mattress is one of king size mattress dimension. They're both the same width, but the California king mattress is longer than a regular king size bed.

This can be great for people who are very tall and have problems with their feet hanging off the edge of the bed. However, California king mattresses do take up more space and they can be hard to find sheets for since regular king size sheets won't fit a California king size bed!


What is the difference between a California king mattress and a regular one? I have a regular size king mattress but just realized I ordered new sheets that were California king size. Will these new sheets fit on my bed?


I live by myself and can't imagine having a king size bed mattress to sleep on. I get by just fine with a regular mattress. It is also cheaper to buy your sheets and pillows when you have a smaller bed.

When I stay overnight at a hotel I have slept on queen size and king size mattresses. Since I am used to something much smaller, these mattresses seem so huge.


I like the extra space a king size mattress gives you, but I had to give mine up and go with a queen size. We moved to a smaller house, and the bedroom just wasn't big enough for the king sized bed. You barely had enough room to walk around it. I would rather have the extra room in the bedroom than have the bed take up the entire room.


I have slept on a king size mattress for many years, and can really tell a difference if I have to sleep on something smaller. A queen mattress isn't so bad, but if my husband and I have to sleep on a regular sized mattress, it is way too small.

Since my husband likes a firm king size mattress and I like one that is softer, we bought a mattress where each of us can control how hard or soft our side of the mattress is.

This has made a big difference in the quality of sleep we get. It has also helped with our back problems. If you have a spouse who moves around a lot or is very tall, I would definitely recommend getting a king size mattress. If you can't decide on what kind of mattress to buy, then go with one that lets you have control over the firmness of your mattress.


Compare different mattress brands. Major national brands have earned their reputations for a reason--because they are proven leaders in the market, but definitely shop around.

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