If you’re someone who needs room to sprawl out or move around to get a good night’s rest, chances are you’d sleep best on a king-size mattress. Sharing a bed with another person or pets can leave you feeling crowded, but a king allows you room to move.
One of the first things you need to consider when buying a king mattress is firmness. Are you a side sleeper, back sleeper or stomach sleeper? Back and stomach sleepers benefit from a firm bed that supports the spine, while side sleepers typically need softer mattresses. You should also think about the type of bed you want, whether a foam mattress, mattress with gel foam or a hybrid mattress.
I personally tested more than two dozen mattresses from different mattress companies to help you find the best one for your needs. Whether you’re looking to upgrade to a king mattress, or you need to swap out your current king-sized mattress for something more modern, there are a lot of options out there — from advanced gel memory foam technology to adaptive polymer gel layers. And, if you’re looking to upgrade your whole sleep setup, we have suggestions for sheets, pillows and other sleep essentials.
Read more: Best California king mattresses for 2022
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.
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 six out of 10 on the firmness scale, making this memory foam 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.
The Helix Midnight Luxe mattress is one of Helix’s most popular models and, after testing, it’s apparent why. The 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-size 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. There’s almost no motion transfer and it falls smack in the middle of the mattress firmness scale — I rate it around a five 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. See more in our full Helix mattress review.
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 this bed is one of the most breathable I’ve ever tested.
I rate this 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 mattress 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. Read more in our full Purple Hybrid mattress review.
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.
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.
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.
Let’s address the elephant in the room right away: This mattress 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 mattress that my boyfriend and I wholeheartedly agreed on. There were other king-size 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.
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. Read more in our full Casper mattress review.
Maybe you’re not looking for the cheapest mattress, but the one that offers comfort and the best bang for your buck. The Brooklyn Bedding Signature mattress fits the bill for your average sleeper looking for a quality mattress that won’t cost an arm and a leg. What really impressed me about this bed, even though this is a hybrid mattress, it costs less than the foam Casper. That’s pretty uncommon since hybrid beds are typically more expensive than all-foam ones, and one of the reasons why I think it offers such a good value.
It’s offered in three different firmness levels, giving you the option to cater exactly to your primary sleeping position. 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should a good king-size mattress cost?
A quality king-size mattress should cost you around $1,300 or more, depending on how premium of a mattress you want to purchase.
What are the dimensions of a king-size mattress?
A king-size mattress measures out to 80 inches long by 76 inches wide and 4 inches wide. Compared to a queen-size mattress, it offers the same length but 16 more inches in width.
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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.