Modern advances in bed technology have certainly made our sleeping lives a lot better. More supportive mattresses, moisture-wicking linens, adjustable bed foundations—we've come a long way since straw-filled sacks of cotton on wooden slats. But these advances have also made our sleeping lives a bit more complicated. There are many decisions to make in choosing the right mattress and bed, and with those decisions comes a lot of unfamiliar terminology. One of those often-heard (and often-misunderstood) terms is "split king." Most people understand that it's a type of bed, but what, exactly is it, and why should you consider getting one?
Well, look no further: your split king bed explainer has arrived.
Split King Bed—The Basics
On its most fundamental level, a split king bed is two twin-size mattresses put together to form a king-size bed. Though exact measurements can vary, most split kings you'll find use the twin XL size, making a footprint of 38" x 80".
The twin-size mattresses are joined through some form of connector, which again varies depending on the make, and can be split apart again as desired. It is, as the name suggests, a split king.
Laying the Foundation
The next question that normally arises has to do with the split king foundation. If the bed is comprised of two twin-size mattresses, does it have two twin-size bases? Or is it one king-size base? Or something else entirely?
Luckily, mattress makers have a ready solution in the form of split king adjustable beds, designed specifically to accommodate the two mattresses. Something to consider is whether you want to add adjustability to your bed. Because you have two independent halves to your bed, adjustability becomes a much more attractive feature: you can sit totally upright and read your book comfortably while your partner snoozes, and vice-versa. Of course, you can enjoy the benefits of split mattresses without this feature as well.
- Split king mattresses are the only sleeping solution that accommodate entirely different sleeping preferences in partners. Two partners who have vastly different firmness preferences, ideal sleeping positions, and bed habits can both comfortably sleep on their perfect mattress in their perfect position without bothering the other one.
- Split king beds come with a built-in barrier between sides that prevents middle-of-the-night sprawl ("Hey! You're on my side!"). There's also less motion transfer, meaning that any tossing-and-turning won't disturb your better half.
- If one half of the foundation or mattress needs repair or cleaning, you can address it without having to fix the entire bed.
The big divide when it comes to split king beds concerns, well, the big divide in the split king bed. That is, the seam in the middle of the bed where the two mattresses join. To some people, this is an uncomfortable nuisance or makes them feel too disconnected from their partner. To others, it's no big deal. If you're considering a split king, be sure to purchase a model that lets you try it at home for ideally 2-3 months to see how it works for you and your partner. (If you're looking for split bed alternatives that let you cuddle while still allowing independent customizability, check out our split top king mattresses, which we call Dreamtop at Reverie®).
Other complaints include the fact that buying split king sheets is a bit more complex (two twin XL fitted sheets, one king flat sheet), and that split kings tend to be more expensive.
The Split Decision
Split kings are a luxurious, customizable, and advanced sleeping solution that is absolutely perfect for some people. It's a unique and slightly more complex bed choice than your standard king, so it requires some research and testing before you commit, but for all the added benefits they provide, split king beds are definitely worth the effort.