What is a Split King Bed & Is it Worth It?

Last Updated on September 21, 2021

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

These days, you’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to buying a mattress. Firm or plush? Innerspring or hybrid? And just when you think you have it all figured out… you realize there’s an entire size option you’ve never even heard of: the split king. So, what exactly is a split king, anyway? We’re glad you asked.

Simply put, a split king mattress is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a king-size mattress (76” x 80”), but it’s “split” in half—made up of two twin xl mattresses (38” x 80”) set side by side. So while you still get the same large sleeping area that a king provides, you get the flexibility of two separate mattresses.

Here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of buying a split king mattress, and whether it’s a good choice for your sleeping needs.

Overview: What is a Split King Mattress?

A split king is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a king-size mattress, but it’s “split” in half—made up of two twin xl mattresses (38” x 80”) set side by side. This makes it perfect for couples because each partner gets their own mattress. Plus, when paired with an adjustable split king base, both partners have control over their settings and bed position.

SHOP GHOSTBED SPLIT KING SET

4 Big Benefits of a Split King Mattress

First, let’s talk about the pros. Here are just a few of the reasons we love split kings.

1. Accommodates Separate Sleep Preferences

Buying a mattress can be very subjective. There are a ton of different factors at play, including your weight and sleeping style. So what do you do if you want a bed as firm as a rock, but your partner wants a plusher top to sink into? Simple: a split king allows for these individual preferences. Options include choosing two different mattresses (if your needs are drastically different) or adjusting the feel of one side with a mattress topper.

2. Reduces Motion Transfer

The split king bed is also perfect if you have a partner who tosses and turns throughout the night. With a single king mattress, restless partners may disturb even the best sleepers. A split king means that you and your partner have your own mattress, so you won’t feel any movement from the other side of the bed.

3. Makes for Easy Moving

If you’ve ever tried to move a large king mattress, you know what we mean—especially if you’ve had to maneuver in and out of a small doorway. Hope you’re good at puzzles! A split king mattress, on the other hand, is much more manageable since it’s just two separate twin XL mattresses. Having a split base also makes moving your bed a breeze.

4. Pairs Perfectly with an Adjustable Base

To really kick your sleeping arrangements up a notch, your best bet is to put your split king mattress on top of a split king adjustable base.

Here’s why: with an adjustable base, you and your partner can also position your mattress any way you like, at any time. Is your spouse going to bed early, but you want to stay up and watch TV? Do you want to sit up to read, but your partner wants to zone out in zero-gravity mode? With a split king adjustable base, you can each relax in style. When you’re ready to snuggle, sync your settings and cozy up.

Is a Split King Adjustable Bed Worth It?

Couple sleeping on a split king mattress with adjustable base

Thinking about making the upgrade to a split king adjustable bed, but haven’t made up your mind yet? We may be partial, but we say yes—split kings are definitely worth it! Out of all the mattress sizes, it’s the one that provides the most space as well as the most customization for couples.

Plus, with all the added benefits of an adjustable base, you’ll enjoy great sleep and total customization, all at the touch of a button.

FAQs About Split King Mattresses

Now that you understand some of the main benefits of a king-sized bed with two mattresses, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Do You Need Special Sheets for a Split King Bed?

A split king bed will need slightly different bedding than a traditional king mattress. The two separate mattresses that make up the one bed will each need their own fitted bed sheet. On top of the fitted sheets, you can then layer on a single king top sheet along with a single quilt and duvet.

Marc's Tip

Looking for split king bedding? Check out our GhostSheets! Made with premium Supima cotton and cooling TENCEL, you’ll get that luxury hotel feel right at home. Our split king size comes with two twin XL fitted sheets, one king-size top sheet and two pillowcases.

Is a Split King the Same as Two Twin Mattresses?

At this point you might be wondering: can’t I just put two twin XL mattresses next to each other to create a split king? The answer is… yes and no! Technically, a split king isn’t really a size—it’s just two separate twin XL mattresses. But it’s so much more than that, too! With two twin XL mattresses, you’ve got plenty of options:

  • choose two different mattresses
  • choose two of the same mattress type
  • place on one regular king size bed foundation
  • place on a split king foundation
  • place on two twin XL adjustable bases
  • pair with a stylish headboard

See what we mean? Plenty of choices to personalize your bedroom and your comfort.

Is a Split King Mattress Comfortable?

You’ll have to try it to decide, but most people say a resounding yes. Many couples who compare a split king mattress to a traditional king consider the split king mattress just as comfortable, if not more so, because each partner can customize their mattress based on their sleeping needs.

Hint: Here at GhostBed, we’ll give you 101 nights to try out your split king mattress and decide for yourself!

Can You Feel the “Split” in a Split King When You’re Sleeping?

While there is a gap in a split king mattress because it is two mattresses joined together, most sleepers can’t feel it because the mattresses are designed to fit so closely together. If you prefer not to feel the gap at all, options include:

  • using a bungee cord to strap the legs together
  • purchasing a “gap filler,” which is typically a piece of foam you put between your mattresses
  • using a king-sized mattress topper on top

Keep in mind that some of these solutions, such as using a king-sized topper, may impact the functionality if you’re using an adjustable base. That is, you wouldn’t be able to raise one side of the bed up if you’ve got a split king adjustable underneath the mattresses.

What Other Problems Are Common with Split King Adjustable Beds?

The most common problem that people face with a split king is the gap in the middle, as we mentioned in the last FAQ. Beyond that, some people worry about the mattress sliding down when you’re elevating your head. To combat this, look for an adjustable base with a retainer bar at the foot and non-skid material beneath each leg.

Another common complaint to note: as you raise the head of some adjustable bases, the entire bed moves forward and can leave you far from your nightstand or anything else by the side of your bed. Some companies add “wall-hugging” or “wall-aligning” technology to their base to help with this; others (like our GhostBed Adjustable Base) are simply designed to keep you close even as the bed adjusts.

Marc's Tip

In my experience, there’s not a huge difference between bases with wall-hugging features and without. It’s typically about a 4” difference, so it’s not a lot! Even with wall-hugging features, you may not end up as close to your side table as you might think.

What Size Headboard Do You Need With a Split King?

Adding a headboard is a great way to protect the wall behind your bed—plus, the right headboard can add a stylish and upscale backdrop! All you need is a king-size headboard and the right headboard brackets to connect it to your adjustable bed.

Shop GhostBed’s Split King Mattresses

At GhostBed, we make it easy to build your dream sleep setup! All 4 of our mattress models are available in the split king size, but our top sellers are the cooling GhostBed Luxe and our latex & memory foam GhostBed Classic. Pair it with our Adjustable Base, pillows, mattress topper and luxury bedding to complete your bedroom.

Still have questions? Call, chat or email our friendly Sleep Experts and we’ll be happy to help!

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Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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After undergoing three neck surgeries, Marc knew what it was like to live and sleep in constant pain. In 2001, after searching fruitlessly for a comfortable pillow and mattress that supported his neck and back ... Learn More

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