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  • Dimensions of a King Size Bed

    6 min read

    king size brown basotho blanket on king size bed

    Dimensions of a King Size Bed all you need to know

    King-size beds are the largest of all bed (mattress) sizes; however, international bed sizes differ from continent to continent. When purchasing a king-size bed, you should consider several factors beforehand. 

    Your sleep environment plays an essential part in your general health and well-being. A king-size bed has several benefits that support a better night's sleep, and you should purchase the right king-size mattress to suit your sleep environment, body type, and sleep style. Without considering all the factors, you might end up short-changing yourself.

    Bigger is not necessarily better if you want to improve every aspect of your sleep environment, but going bigger may address some sleep issues you've been battling. If you're a tall person and your feet hang over the end of the bottom of your current bed, causing you to wake up several times during the night, then it's evident that a longer bed/mattress will help. 

    Changing your lifestyle may also call for a giant bed, and going the king-size route might be your saving grace. Consider what bedding will be right for you to enhance your sleep pattern. Many people make this critical error, and looking at your sleep environment in totality is the recommended approach to attaining quality sleep.

    This article will focus on the five king-size mattresses available in the U.S. and compare other king-size mattress sizes just for measure. We will also touch on what type of bedding you should consider. Let's jump right in.

    A baby is on king size bed wearing Thula Tula Blanket

    Everything in the U.S. is bigger :)

    Dimensions of a King Size Bed

    This is so true when comparing the different king-size mattresses on offer in the U.S. to South Africa and Australia. There are five different king-size mattresses to choose from in the United States:

    King-size Nattress  Imperial Width x Length Metric Width x Length
    Regular king mattress 76” x 80” 193cm x 203cm
    California king mattress 72” x 84” 183cm x 213cm
    Texas king mattress 80” x 98” 203cm x 249cm
    Wyoming king mattress 84” x 84” 213cm x 213cm
    Alaskan king mattress 108” x 108” 274cm x 274cm

    As a comparison, the South African regular king mattress measures 72" x 74" (183cm x 188cm), and the king XL measures 72" x 79" (183cm x 200cm). The regular king mattress in Australia measures 72" x 80" (183cm x 203cm), and the Super-king measures 80" x 80" (203cm x 203cm).

    Judging from the size comparison, the Americans emphasize the definition of "king-size,", especially with the size of the Alaskan king mattress – Wow!

    But we are thinking about U.S. athletes, particularly basketball players; an Alaskan king mattress was made to order. Okay, so we are not all super tall, but many of us can do with the extra width if we are sleeping with a partner.

    Contrary to some website claims, a queen mattress is not bigger than a king mattress; however, the queen mattress is the same length as a regular king at 80" (203cm) but not as wide.

    A woman with her baby sleeping on king size bed with the blanket

    Why consider a king mattress?

    I believe that you want to improve the quality of your sleep.


    You're not getting the essential 8 hours of straight sleep, and you're not coping during the day. To improve your sleep environment, pivot on matching your needs with your sleep accessories to create your ultimate sleep environment. Here are a few reasons in point form that will have you considering a king-size bed:

    • Your height: You're a tall person, and curling up at night is fine when you go to bed but you stretch out during the night and your feet hang over the foot of your bed, which isn't very comfortable for long periods. Or perhaps your new life partner is tall and some things have to change, like your bed size.
    • Expanded family: Your toddler or young children sneak into your bed every night and you need the extra space to accommodate the whole family.
    • Sleep posture: Restless sleep can be caused by several reasons but to keep this point simple, either you or your partner tosses and turns a lot during the night and the only remedy is a larger bed if you don't like the idea of sleeping in separate beds.
    • Pet lover: Loving your pets is not a crime but many people allow their dogs to sleep on the bed with them, and the larger the dog the more space is required. Although adorable and perhaps admirable, sleeping with pets is not a great idea if you want a clean fresh retreat at the end of the day.
    • Bedroom space: Will a king-size bed fit into your bedroom and leave space for bedside stands (tables)? Does the length of a king-size bed still allow enough room for your other bedroom furnishings? You should measure your bedroom and draw up a floor plan of the layout with all the furnishings before you settle on what king mattress you should purchase. This will give you a good idea of how free space you'll have left in your bedroom.
    • Bedding: Bedding is widely available for the regular and California king mattress sizes, but if you've opted for a bigger one, you may have difficulty finding bedding to fit. Bedding is available for all the king mattress sizes mentioned above but the less the demand, the greater your search will be. Bedding is not a frequent purchase and retailers stay in business by replenishing stock that sells.
    A family is sleeping on king size bed and wearing black with white print wool blanket

    Mattress characteristics and bedding choices

    The king mattress you choose should be comfortable; not too firm and not too soft either.


    The internal design and outer covering of the mattress dictate comfort and how your body shape is influenced while sleeping. If you sleep on your side, your chin should be aligned with your spine and pelvis. In short, the contour of your body while sleeping should resemble your normal posture while standing upright. Your spine and neck should be aligned and your legs should follow this alignment.

    Pillows help to keep your neck aligned with your spine. Here again, not too firm or too soft. Your pillow should be comfortable and allow your airway to remain open. It would help if you didn't use a super soft pillow that folds up around your head and pushes against the bridge of your nose. The pillow design and the inner material should be considered. Down or feather pillows may not be the best option for someone who suffers from allergies. 

    Selecting the right bedding shouldn't be taken lightly. Bedding adds to comfort; part of being comfortable is regulating your sleep temperature. Using bedding that is not breathable will result in overheating and interrupted sleep. Cotton sheets are recommended as cotton is parous and will contribute to a regulated sleep temperature. Wool blankets sit at the top of your must-have list because wool has the most impressive thermal control of all fibers, natural and synthetic.

    The weight of your blankets or duvet is another aspect to consider. Weighted blankets help calm older children and adults, and are considered a medical device. The weighted blanket's weight should match the user's body size and mass. Regular bedding covering you while you sleep should not be too heavy as this will infringe on your comfort level and result in restlessness. Wool blankets are surprisingly light and regulate your body temperature while you sleep. Choose your bedding wisely and research the material used to manufacture your bedding. 

    Just a few more words

    Opting to purchase a king-size bed is a long-term investment that must pay off. Address all the "maybe's" and the "I think …" start to any thoughts you might have. If you need the extra width and possibly length of one of the king-size mattresses to improve your sleep quality, then you've approved your need.

    But don't stop at getting a bigger bed. You're investing in your sleep and most purchases will be one-off purchases that might have to be repeated every few years. Your bedding is an essential part of the sleep quality you need, and cutting corners here will defeat the object of the exercise. Invest in the right pills, bedding, and other accessories. A good advice is to look at natural products like cotton and wool. 

    There is nothing nicer than going to sleep in a bed that's big enough for you to sprawl out and cover yourself with clean fresh smelling bedding that doesn't weigh you down. The only thing that should wake you is your alarm clock in the morning.

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