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What to Know Before Purchasing a Split King Bed

A Split King is two Twin XL beds side-by-side. Together, they have the same dimensions as a 76-inch by 80-inch Standard King, allowing couples to select two different types of mattresses or adjustable beds to cater to varying sleeping preferences.

While the benefits are enough to justify the purchase for many couples, we still recommend everyone research before deciding, as the Split King concept has both advantages and disadvantages. Any couple considering this bed type should know what they are getting and weigh their options to avoid regretting the purchase.

Split King Bed Pros and Cons

The Advantages of the Split King Bed

  • Personalized Comfort – A Split King allows you and your partner to sleep comfortably despite differing preferences and will also give you and your partner defined personal space.

  • Motion Isolation – With a Split King, you and your partner sleep on separate mattresses, so one person tossing and turning at night should not disturb the other person.

  • Reduces Snoring and Back Pain – Raising the incline of your sleep position could solve snoring issues and back pain.

  • Easier to Move – If you’re moving homes, transporting two small beds is much easier than maneuvering a large Standard King. However, keep in mind that depending on how large the adjustable frame is, it could end up being just as challenging to move as a king mattress.

Read More: Best Split King Mattress

Most Common Problems with Split King Beds

  • Difficulty Cuddling – The differences in each side of your Split King may not be conducive to snuggling with your partner—and there’s also the matter of the crevice between you! Some couples aim to mitigate the issue by using one sheet for both mattresses, but this introduces the new problem of not being able to use the adjustable base separately.

  • Time Consuming – When changing the two sets of sheets, you may feel like you’re doing double the work.

  • Price – Split Kings with adjustable bases are expensive.

  • Noise – The mechanisms of the adjustable base movement could be loud.

  • Frame Complications – You may have difficulty finding a compatible headboard.

These issues are manageable, but you’ll need to prepare yourself before making such a significant investment.

Keeping a Split King Mattress Together

As you get in and out of bed or toss and turn at night, you may find the two halves of your Split King drifting apart. Here are some tips for keeping the two separate beds together so that they feel like one large bed:

  • Bind the legs of the bases together with bungee cords or bed-connecting brackets. Make sure that you make it tight enough to keep the bed from separating, but not so much that you warp your bed frame.

Using a ratchet tie:

  1. Strip your bedding and adjust the base to the most extreme upright mode for both head and foot sections.
  2. Extend a ratchet tie around both mattresses and move it to the middle of the bed.
  3. Place a towel or other protective fabric between the mattress and the ratchet.
  4. Tighten the ratchet until you’re comfortable with the tension, and then slide the ratchet under the mattress so that just the strap sits along the top.

If you’re uncomfortable with the dip in the edge of your mattresses that the ratchet causes or if your Split King contains beds of different heights, you might also invest in a mattress pad.

Stopping Mattresses from Sliding on an Split King Base

Using a ratchet may help limit some movement from your separate mattresses. However, you’ll still likely have to deal with the bed moving forward and backward.

Most split frames have a built-in support bar at the bottom to keep your mattress in place. However, if you are still uncomfortable with the degree of movement you are experiencing, placing a gripper mat beneath the mattress should solve the issue. Gripper mats are relatively affordable, and the traction the gripper provides should keep the bed in place.

Putting the Sheets on a Split King Bed

Twin XL sheets or King? It’s a bit of a dilemma. Making the bed can be a bit of a double-edged sword. If you plan to use the adjustable base on separate settings, you’ll need two sets of Twin XL sheets.

The ability to raise the head and foot of each side makes it much easier to reach all of the corners and wrap the fitted sheets securely around each Twin mattress. You’ll need two sets of Twin XL sheets since you’ll be making two beds instead of one.

If you use the ratchet method to stop your mattresses from separating, you’ll need King sheets since you’ll be unable to split the beds at the inner sides of the mattress. However, this prevents each side from adjusting.

Eliminating a Split King Gap

The ratchet strap method may solve most gap issues but presents sleepers with the problem of not entirely securing their Twin XL sheets. If the sheet issue bothers you, but so does the gap, you can invest in a Split King gap filler.

Gap fillers are T-shaped connectors that you can fit into the gap between each mattress. The gap filler creates a small bridge and eliminates any dip between the bed. You can place it into the space between the mattresses either before you’ve made the bed (using King sheets) or after (using Twin XL sheets).

Attaching a Headboard to a Split King Bed Frame

Some bed frames allow the user to screw a headboard directly into the base. However, not every Split King comes with this feature, and the ones that do are expensive.

Instead of shelling out more money or forcing your headboard onto o a frame that isn’t compatible, why not try attaching your headboard to the wall? Finding a headboard with a wall mount may be the best and most affordable solution. You can also find lots of DIY solutions to building a headboard for your Split King adjustable frame if you search online.

Is a Split King Bed Worth It?

Split King beds come with a pretty hefty price tag, and you’ll find certain drawbacks as well as necessary adjustments if you are using a Split King for the first time.

However, if you and your partner are experiencing sleep issues that a Split King solves, then it’s certainly worth the upgrade.

Choosing the right bed is a personal decision that affects both your mental and physical health. If the pros outweigh the cons, then a Split King adjustable bed might be the best fit for you.

See Our Guide: Best Adjustable Beds

Considerations Before Buying a Split King Bed

Aside from the pros and cons, there are a few things you should consider before you decide to invest in a Split King bed. Be sure to pinpoint your distinct partner needs, whether firmness, elevation, or adaptability to body weight. You should look at other options as well, such as Standard Kings with internal features that adjust for each partner.

Sleeping Preferences

Do you and your partner have wildly different sleep preferences, from mattress firmness to incline level? If the answer is yes, then you can both find satisfaction with an adjustable Split King. However, if your preferences are not extremely divergent, it may not be worth the upgrade. You may be able to find a Standard King mattress that will adapt each side to each of your preferences.

Related: Best Beds for Couples and Best King Size Mattress

Lifestyle and Medical Conditions

Sleepers experiencing back pain or other medical conditions such as sinus or spinal issues may gain a lot from a Split King bed. The customizable features of this kind of bed allow you to create the best sleeping experience for each of your specific needs. The ability to incline the upper body may be essential for sleepers with some specific medical conditions.

Read More: Using an Adjustable Bed for Back Pain

Pricing and Features

Split King beds are not the most affordable bed style. You will be investing upwards of several thousand dollars between the frame and the two mattresses, in addition to the accessories if you need to ratchet them together or add a filler or mattress pad. However, adjustable beds are highly customizable, and most types include wireless remote controls with programmable presets and USB charging ports.

Quality and Assembly

Both the adjustable bed frames and Split King mattresses vary in quality between brands and models, so it’s essential to shop around and choose the right combination of features to meet your needs as a couple. Some companies that offer Split King adjustable bed frames may include delivery and assembly services with your purchase or for an additional fee. The same is true for mattress companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you separate a Split King bed?

It depends on the frame. If your Split King frame is one unit, then you’ll have to purchase separate frames for each mattress if you choose to move the beds apart. Some adjustable Split King bases do come with the ability to convert into individual frames.

Is a Split King the same as two Twin XL mattresses?

Essentially, yes. The dimension of the combined Twin XL mattresses together is equivalent to that of a Standard King. However, be sure to consider a few factors. If you buy two different brands of Twin XL mattresses, they might not be the same depth. Also, some companies will design unique features for Split King mattresses that aren’t available when purchasing two Twin XL mattresses.


Switching to an adjustable Split King bed may take some getting used to, primarily if you’ve never used this kind of bed before. However, the unique features of a Split King adjustable bed make it an attractive option for couples who require different sleep environments but do not wish to sleep in totally separate beds.

The adjustable Split King is also an excellent solution for anyone experiencing sinus, reflux, back pain, or snoring problems. While it can be quite the investment of both time and money if you experience any of these issues, a Split King adjustable bed might be the perfect solution for you and your partner.

Olivera Jancikin

Olivera Jancikin

Content Writer

About Author

Olivera is a content writer for Sleep Advisor and is enthusiastic about sleep. She firmly believes in the benefits of daytime naps on top of getting a full 8-hour sleep at night.

Combination Sleeper

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