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When shopping for a new mattress, size is an important consideration. There’s a particular, regal feeling that comes with owning a king size bed. Though a king bed may not be the biggest mattress on the market — technically even California king mattresses don’t hold that honor these days — it still offers tons more space than a twin, full or even queen-size mattress, making them a good choice for couples or people who like to spread out. But there’s more to consider than just size. There are so many different styles and variations that shopping for a new bed can be a little overwhelming.
One of the first things to consider when evaluating mattresses to choose the best king mattress for your needs is firmness. Are you a side sleeper, back sleeper or stomach sleeper? Side sleepers typically need softer mattresses, while back and stomach sleepers benefit from a firmer mattress, because having a firm bed will help support the spine, decreasing back pain. Whatever your preferred sleeping position, there are plenty of king mattresses to choose from that offer comfort and support in the areas you need it most. You should also think about whether you want a standard memory foam mattress, a gel memory foam mattress, an innerspring mattress or a hybrid mattress.
Could your slumber use a little more space? The CNET sleep editors have tested over 100 different mattresses, and they rounded up some of the best king mattress options on the market to help you narrow down your search. Whether you’re looking to upgrade to a king bed, or you need to swap out your current mattress for something more modern, the best mattress for your body, space and lifestyle is a scroll away.
Check out our size guide to compare mattress sizes. And if you’re looking to upgrade your whole sleep setup, we have suggestions for sheets, pillows and other sleep essentials.
Video: Best King Mattress for 2022
Watch CNET Video Producer Owen Poole review the best king mattresses for 2022.
Read more: Best California King Mattresses for 2022
3 firmness levels | Soft: Medium-soft to soft or 2 | Medium: Medium to medium-soft or 4 | Firm: Medium-firm or 7
10-year limited warranty
The Brooklyn Bedding Signature mattress fits the bill for your average sleeper looking for a quality king bed that won’t cost an arm and a leg. What really impressed me about this one, even though this is a high quality hybrid mattress, it costs less than the foam Casper. That’s pretty uncommon since hybrid beds are typically more expensive than all-foam ones, so it offers a really great value.
It’s offered in three different firmness levels, giving you the option to cater exactly to your primary sleeping position. It’s suitable for all sleepers from back, stomach, side and combination. I really liked the firm option because it sat around a medium-firm, and I’m a stomach sleeper who needs that additional support. However, side sleepers may want to consider the medium or soft model instead for more plushness.
Brooklyn Bedding Signature also has a hybrid construction containing almost 1,000 pocketed coils, making it durable and supportive enough for any body type from petite to heavy. If you’re looking for a quality king bed at a very reasonable price, this is a great pick.
Memory foam mattress
5 or medium
The Nectar Premier mattress is the replacement for the mattress company’s upper-level model called Nectar Lush. The Nectar Premier mattress has a thick memory foam construction, giving it a relieving and slow-responding memory foam feel. It takes a few seconds for your body to activate the foam, but once it does, the memory foam slowly contours around your curves and nestles you into the bed.
It’s a great king size bed for people who want the traditional memory foam feel you can find in a Tempur-Pedic mattress at a more wallet-friendly price.
This Nectar mattress is also entirely made out of foam, so you won’t get that bouncy and responsive feel that hybrid beds can provide. Inside the bed’s gel memory foam comfort layer is a phase-change material that helps keep your temperature neutral, unlike old memory foam beds that are notorious for retaining heat. For even more cooling abilities, you can also take a look at the Nectar Premier Copper model.
I think Nectar Premier falls around a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, making this king mattress suitable for most sleeping positions, especially back or stomach sleepers. If you’re a side sleeper under 150 pounds, however, it might not be soft enough for what you need. The memory foam nature of this mattress will also give some resistance to combination sleepers who switch positions during the night. Read more in our full Nectar Premier mattress review.
NOTE: The US Product Safety Commission recently issued a recall for Nectar Premier king- and queen-size mattresses manufactured on Sept. 24, 2021. Look for a model number CHILL and Prototype ID:ECS2003RHCH on a tag on the bottom of your mattress to find out if yours has been recalled. We have reached out to Nectar for comment and will update the story if they respond.
Poly foam hybrid mattress
5 or medium
15-year limited warranty
The Helix Midnight Luxe mattress is one of Helix’s most popular models and, after testing, it’s apparent why. This king mattress is made from a combination of high-density memory foam, gel visco and support pocketed coils wrapped up in a breathable, quilted pillow-top cover, making it a true hybrid model.
Out of all the king mattress models I tested, the Helix Midnight Luxe had the most lumbar support due to its 1,000-plus pocketed coils, which really provided some pressure relief for my boyfriend’s chronic lower back pain. It also took the least amount of getting used to. This memory foam mattress felt comfortable almost immediately.
Although this particular mattress type is marketed toward the side sleeper, it’s comfortable for all sleep positions — I often sleep on my back, too. I rate it around a 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale so it’s designed to please everybody, or at least serve as a really great compromise if you’re sleeping with someone else and can’t agree on a firmness level.
There’s also almost no motion transfer in this king bed, making it easier to slip out of bed without your S.O. noticing. See more in our full Helix mattress review.
6 or medium to medium-firm
10-year limited warranty
Rather than varying layers of memory foam, the Purple Hybrid has a Hyper-Elastic Polymer grid formation that’s meant to absorb and relieve pressure. This Purple mattress seemed to have a magic ability to form around my body and perfectly cradle my pressure points, which not only made it immediately comfortable, but also had me waking up totally pain-free. I also can’t forget to mention the grid-like design of the polymer allows for a ton of airflow, so it’s one of the most breathable I’ve ever tested.
I rate this king mattress around a medium-firm and it has the firmest profile of the other Purple Hybrid mattresses, so I’d say this bed is best for combo, stomach and back sleepers who want back support sprinkled with ample pressure relief. It’s also the most affordable from the Purple Hybrid lineup, which is an added plus for your bank account.
The Purple mattress also had the most bounce out of all of the mattresses on this list, so if you’re looking for a king bed that’s responsive to pressure and quick to bounce back, this is an excellent option. Though, the grid did take a little while to get used to. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it was definitely different, so keep that in mind. There’s an adjustment period with any new mattress, though, so it’s not something that was totally unexpected.
Poly foam hybrid mattress
5 or medium
10-year limited warranty
The Leesa Legend was designed for all types of sleeping positions, but this king mattress is a standout pick for side sleepers. The mattress firmness level is categorized as medium to medium-soft, and it felt plush enough to appease most soft mattress lovers. Sometimes I find memory foam too firm, but I sank into the Leesa Legend in all of the best ways. And since it has two layers of springs in addition to two layers of memory foam, it provided the right balance of body contour and support for good spinal alignment without any sinking. Like the Nectar Lush, it also had excellent edge-to-edge support and minimal motion transfer.
The 100% organic cotton and Merino wool cover was also a really nice touch. Not only did this king size mattress feel soft and inviting, it’s designed to wick away moisture, so you stay cool and dry while you sleep. And it’s made from recycled water bottles, which is really cool. Read more in our Leesa Legend mattress review.
3 firmness levels | Plush Soft: Medium or 5 | Luxury Firm: Medium-firm or 7 | Firm: 9/10 or firm
The Saatva Classic combines innerspring coils with latex foam, making it a true hybrid mattress, but this mattress type has enhancements that are designed to reduce stress and tension in your back. The middle portion of the Saatva mattress has “lumbar zone technology,” or a series of wires that add extra support for the memory foam to keep your spine properly aligned, especially when you’re sleeping on your side. However, the luxury firm and firm models will be best for back and stomach sleepers.
Although I didn’t love this Saatva innerspring mattress initially, after sleeping on it for a few nights, it quickly became one of my favorites. It was firm enough that I felt properly supported, but, thanks to some extra plushness and thickness from the pillow top, it also felt softer than other similar mattresses.
The only knock is that this mattress has more motion transfer than the others, so if you sleep with someone who moves around during the night, there’s a good chance you’re going to feel it. Read more in our full Saatva mattress review.
Mixed foam hybrid mattress
Medium or 5
Let’s address the elephant in the room right away: This best king mattress pick is expensive. But if you have the budget for this mattress brand and you’re looking for a way to invest in your quality of life, you won’t be disappointed. The Intellibed Signature Matrix Grand is constructed of several layers, including a latex and foam layer, but the real star of the show here is the Gel Matrix technology — something that was originally used in the beds in burn units to help alleviate pain while patients recovered.
Without getting too technical, the Gel Matrix is an elastic gel that flexes and moves so that it’s somehow firm and soft at the same time, giving you the best of both worlds. The firmness provides the support your body needs and keeps your spine in the proper alignment, while the softness allows some give to relieve your pressure points without sagging. And it truly does work.
When lying on the king mattress, I felt it give to my pressure points — namely, my shoulders and hips — while still keeping my body properly aligned, no matter which position I was in. As soon as I got comfortable in it, I could feel the pressure lifting away, almost as if I was in a zero gravity situation and, after a few weeks with it, I realized I was sleeping through the night consistently.
It’s also the first king size bed that my boyfriend and I wholeheartedly agreed on. There were other king mattresses that we both really liked, like the Helix Midnight Luxe and the Purple Hybrid, but the Intellibed Signature Matrix Grand has completely squashed all mattress discussions and, to me, that alone is worth the price.
Poly foam mattress
6 out of 10 or medium
10-year limited warranty
For an entry-level king mattress that skips the hoopla and offers an affordable value, the Casper Original is a great option. It’s incredibly accommodating, comfortable and arguably the most popular bed-in-a-box mattress on the market. It has a simple three-layer construction that boasts a zoned support design, meaning it’s firmer under your back where you need additional support, and pressure-relieving under your shoulders and trunk where your body needs pressure relief.
It’s not slow-responding like memory foam mattresses are. Instead, this bed responds quickly to pressure and I’d describe it as a basic, neutral feel; Like standard foam you might pull out from the cushions of your favorite comfy couch. The firmness level is also really accommodating, I’d rate it around a medium or 5 or 6 on the firmness scale. This makes it ideal for any sleeping positions from back, side, stomach, to combination.
The one downside about this bed is that it’s probably not ideal for people over 230 pounds because it’s not as supportive as it should be to last long-term for a heavier individual. There are plenty of Casper hybrid mattresses, however, that offer support, durability and the same signature Casper feel. There’s a reason why it’s so popular — when you lay on it, most people will agree that it’s a comfy bed.
You may not be familiar with Allswell, but you’re likely familiar with its parent company Walmart. As its entrance to the bed in a box game, Walmart introduced the affordable Allswell mattress. It’s a hybrid mattress made with both foam and coils, and hybrid beds tend to be a little more expensive than your average bed. However, the Allswell mattress is a good hybrid mattress for the price of a low-budget foam mattress, giving it a well-deserved spot on this best king mattress list.
It’s a tad on the firm side, I’d rate it around a medium to medium-firm. For that reason, I’d primarily recommend it to back, stomach and combination sleepers.
Inside is a simple construction with a foam base layer, 6-inch thick pocketed coil system and a poly foam top layer. It is quick to respond to pressure and you sit more on top of the bed than you do inside. If you’re a combination sleeper, this is music to your ears because it doesn’t give resistance like memory foam does when you switch positions. Also, thanks to its hybrid construction, it’s suitable for all body types.
In short, the Allswell mattress is a generally accommodating mattress that sells for a great price. Read more in our Allswell mattress review.
How we test king size mattresses
CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.
Testing a king mattress is similar to how we test most of our mattresses, and we pay attention to a handful of important factors.
- Firmness: The measure of how firm or soft a mattress feels is an important factor in deciding if a bed is suitable for you or not. Firmness, a lot of the time, indicates how pressure relieving or how supportive a mattress feels. Side sleepers usually like a softer mattress because it offers more give, therefore, more pressure relief around the hips and shoulder areas. Back and stomach sleepers, on the other hand, tend to sleep better on firm beds that keep the spine properly supported. We test firmness by using our judgment and deliberating amongst team members. It’s easier to test firmness when you have 100 different mattresses to compare it to.
- Construction and features: We take a close look at the construction of a mattress, which is a good tell on how it feels and how supportive it is for certain body types. We also consider any extra or special feature a mattress might have to stand out from the rest of the competition. Is it cooling? Does it have a special cover made with Celliant fabric or cashmere? Does it have an extra durable construction? We take all of this into consideration when testing mattresses and delegating best list picks.
- Performance: This refers to motion isolation, temperature regulation and edge support abilities. How well does a mattress perform when we put it to the test? We test motion isolation by having couples judge how it sleeps, or placing a glass of water at the end of the bed to see how much it shakes when we move. Edge support is tested by laying on the sides, bouncing and checking how sturdy it feels. Personal experience is also how we test temperature, with the help of a thermometer gun.
- Feel: Feel is a separate topic from firmness. This refers to how a mattress’ materials are perceived. Is it dense and morphy like memory foam, neutral and soft like neutral-foam, or supple and bouncy like latex foam? We like to describe the feel as best we can since you’re unable to feel it through your computer screen.
Read more on how we test mattresses.
What to look for in a king size mattress
When looking for the best mattress, you should take in some key considerations. You should follow the same guidelines when looking for a king size bed, with a few key considerations.
- Hybrid vs. foam: The more you weigh, the more supportive your mattress should be. Hybrid beds are best for all body types, including those over 230 pounds, while foam beds are most ideal for people under 230 pounds.
- Firmness is a key indicator for how accommodating a bed will be. Like I said above, side sleepers should opt for medium to soft mattresses that offer ample pressure relief while back and stomach sleepers should consider medium to firm beds that offer enough support for proper spinal alignment. Medium beds right in the middle are perfect for combination sleepers.
- Key features like cooling tech, edge support reinforcements and Celliant covers can help you decide if a bed fits your lifestyle and circumstances. Strong edge support is great for couples who share a mattress, while beds with Celliant covers are perfect for people with active lifestyles.
- Price matters when looking for a king bed. The bigger the bed the more expensive it is. King beds are often more than $1,000, but there are budget options like Allswell to consider if you’re looking for maximum savings.
Who is a king mattress best for?
Not everyone needs a king size bed, but it is mighty convenient and comfortable during these situations:
- Couples who want more space than a queen size offers
- Taller people who don’t want to feel cramped (queen beds are about 6.6 feet long)
- Sleepers who share a bed with their kids (king beds are wider than California king beds)
King and California king mattresses are the most popular of the king variety, but there are a host of beds that are technically classified as king. Here’s an overview of the different types of king beds if you’re looking for something a little different.
King size mattress types
|Standard king (aka Eastern king)||76 by 80 inches|
|California king||72 by 84 inches|
|Split king||Two twin beds (36 by 80 inches)|
|Split California king||Two twin XL beds (36 by 84 inches)|
|Alaskan king||108 by 108 inches|
|Wyoming king||84 by 84 inches|
|Texas king||80 by 98 inches|
King size mattress FAQs
How much does a king size mattress cost?
The average king mattress costs around $1,000 or more, depending on how premium of a mattress you’re looking to buy. However, there are more affordable options available for around $500 for budget shoppers who are looking to pay a little less.
How big is a king size mattress?
A king-size mattress measures out to 80 inches long by 76 inches wide and 4 inches thick. Compared to a queen-size mattress, it offers the same length but 16 more inches in width.
More for a good night’s rest
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.