Mattresses and Sleep

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What is a Split King & Do You Need one? | Leesa

What is a split king?

These days, there are so many options out there to make your sleep better: foam, hybrid and dual hybrid mattresses, moisture-wicking bedding and pajamas, USB ports in your bed frame and bases that you can adjust with the click of a remote. But with all these choices and terminology can come confusion. What's the perfect bedroom setup for you? (Don't worry. We've got your back!)

One of the terms that is often misunderstood is "split king." Yes, most people understand that this means it's a king-size bed setup, but let's take a deeper dive into what exactly it is and if it's the right bed for you.

King vs. split king mattress

Leesa king-size mattresses come in regular king and California king. A split king mattress isn't anything overly complicated: it's simply two twin XL mattresses side by side that make a king-size bed. Let's break it down:

Our king mattress is 76 inches wide and 80 inches tall. Our California king mattress is 72 inches wide and 84 inches tall (giving taller sleepers a little more leg room!).

Since a split king mattress is two twin XL mattresses side by side, our split king mattress would measure 78 inches wide and 80 inches tall (because our twin XL mattresses are 39 inches wide and 75 inches long).

Whew! That sounds like a lot of math. Why would anyone go through the trouble of getting a split king mattress when you can just get it all as one bed? Let's talk through the pros and cons of a split king mattress setup.

Pros and cons of a split king

A split king mattress setup has its pros:

  • With a split king setup, partners can each customize their side of the bed. If one likes a firmer bed and one likes a softer bed, a split setup allows them both to get their way. Maybe you prefer our Leesa Hybrid mattress, but your partner likes the double spring layers in the Leesa Legend. You can have both!
  • The physical split, while it doesn't create an actual hole, provides a built-in line of separation, so each partner can stay on their side of the bed, or meet in the middle to cuddle.
  • It allows you to get a split adjustable base, so each partner can customize their comfort. This is the most common reason people choose a split king setup. One partner can be sitting up to finish the end of their book while the other is fully reclined and nodding off into dreamland.

There are also cons to having a split king mattress setup:

  • The obvious, most common concern with a split setup is the divide between twin XL mattresses. If you don't have the right base, your mattresses may slide apart over time, causing an actual hole between beds. (We'll talk about the right foundation next!)
  • Bedding may be a little more complicated to buy. You can do two fitted twin XL sheets with one king flat sheet and a king comforter, or all king bedding.

Foundations for a split king setup

You have a few options when it comes to the right base for a split king mattress. Since it's two mattresses, do you get two bases or one?

The best base setup for a split king mattress (and the most common reason people choose a split king) is two twin XL adjustable bases. This allows for the customization we talked about earlier: your partner can elevate their side of the bed while yours is completely flat, or vice versa.

There are many other bed base options. Read our full guide to bed bases, here. >>

Who needs a split king setup?

As we mentioned, a split king setup is best for those couples that want a split adjustable base. This allows each partner to customize their side of the bed, whether they both prefer a different mattress or just have different sleeping preferences.

For more mattress and base help, as well as sleep tips & tricks, head over to our blog. 

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