When it comes to mattresses, the toughest people to please are couples! Why? Because you can two totally different preferences and yet you're trying to sleep on just one mattress!
Couples often disagree about what they feel is the best mattress. One person likes a medium firm and the other likes soft or some combination of preferences. Or, consider that one person gets up or moves around a lot in bed, waking up the other person.
Lack of sleep, especially chronic lack of sleep is hard on relationships. When you're sleep deprived regular problems seem complex and you lose some of your ability to think through complex issues. You might get snappy or feel extra grouchy. Some of the worst marriage advice we've seen is to not go to bed angry! Well, maybe those people aren't as stubborn as the rest of us but we say, sleep on it and tackle the issue after a good night's sleep.
If two beds isn't a great solution for you, some mattresses like Helix come with different levels of firmness on each side of a single bed to accommodate two people. Overall we have found Helix to be lower quality construction for the price so it's not a top pick if you're picky.
Two Mattresses, One Bed
Just like your relationship, two people can be as one! How do you address the problem of vastly different preferences in mattresses? Get totally different beds for each person. They have to be the same size and thickness but they can be totally different brands.
For example, one person may want a cushy memory foam bed. They could get a mattress like the AZUL from BedinaBox or a Sweetnight mattress. The other person has a bad back, gets too warm and wants a totally different kind of temperature neutral mattress. They may choose a Purple mattress (which comes in 4 different height options).
Both the AZUL and Purple are higher end mattresses that come in a box and are 11 inches thick. Neither is a pillow top so they would work together. If one person doesn't like the bed they ordered they can return it for a full refund and try another brand until they find the perfect mattress for them.
Instead of getting separate bedrooms or one person sleeping on the couch to get good sleep, consider getting a split king. Instead of getting one mattress like you do with a regular king, you get a box with two mattresses in it – two twin size mattresses.
That way you can each have your own mattress. Even different brands. We've talked to couples who've done that and it's worked perfectly – just be sure to get a platform or base that can hold both.
If you place two twins next to each other, there will be a separation between the mattresses. The beds could separate and someone could roll into the crack or valley in the middle. However, there are things you can do to address that. First, let's talk about sizes.
Here are some options:
Use Two Twins or Two Twin XLs to Make a Split King or a Split California King
Two twin beds = a split king
Two twin XL beds = a split California king
Sizes of King, California King, Split King and Split California King Mattresses
Split king – 2 twin size mattresses
Now you need to pick a king size bed – a split king or a split California king. There are split queens but they're harder to find and not practical for a lot of people (not big enough). If you're going to feel crowded on a twin bed because it's not wide enough for you, choose a regular split king. Remember, you don't sleep with your legs straight out so even if you're tall you should be ok.
First, note that all measurements are approximate. Sizes aren't standard – so your mattress may vary some from these dimensions. Frames and sheets are built with leeway so they can accommodate these differences.
A twin bed is 39″ wide and 75″ long. A king bed is 76″ wide and 80″ long. If you attach two twin beds you get a king size bed that's 2 inches wider than the standard size king and 5 inches shorter. If you put that in feet, a California king is 6.7 feet tall (or long).
That's why most people use two twin XL mattresses together which makes a California king. In that case each twin xl is 39″ wide by 80″ long. So they're the same width – the difference is that the twin XL is 5 inches longer than a standard twin size mattress.
California king – 2 twin XL size mattresses
A California king is 72″ wide x 84″ long – it's both narrower and longer than a standard king which is 4 inches narrower and 4 inches longer. To make a split California king you'll use two twin XL mattresses. If you put that in feet, a California king is 7.8 feet tall. If you or your spouse are over 6 foot 8″ then you should choose a split California king instead of a regular king (unless you sleep curled up).
Here's a table to make it easier to decide what fits best for your height and sleep preferences:
Now for the question of bases – or what to put your mattress on…
Bed Frames for Split King Beds
Many regular king size frames will work with a split king or California king but you can also purchase a bed frame specifically for a split king. Split king adjustable beds are a choice for a better lifestyle and health.
Split King Adjustable Bed
Adjustable bases are also a great way to accommodate two different sleeping styles. You can get a split king adjustable so each person can choose to raise the head and feet. Some manufacturers even offer a middle split so it's only split at the top of the bed to raise or lower your head (helps with snoring).
If either one of you have chronic health conditions like acid reflux, sleep apnea, congestion or edema, an adjustable bed can really help.
Avoid the Crack: SPLIT TOP OR SPLIT HEAD ADJUSTABLE BEDS
If you still hate the idea of having a crack down the middle – try a split head adjustable bed. It only splits from the waist up and is guaranteed to eliminate the crack down the middle and make cuddling with your partner a possibility.
Split King Sheets for Sheets for Adjustable Beds
A split king sheet set is made to address common problems with just buying two twin sheet sets. The fitted sheet can come off or tear easily if you have an adjustable base. So the solution is to have 2 fitted sheets, 1 for each of the 2 twin extra-long mattresses but one top sheet that you share. When you buy sheets for a split king or split California king they are built this way.
Otherwise if you buy two twin sets you'll each have your own sheets (none are shared).
PeachSkinSheets Night Sweats: The Original Moisture Wicking, 1500tc Soft SPLIT KING Sheet Set VANILLA BEANMALOUF Double Brushed Microfiber Super Soft Luxury Bed Sheet Set – Wrinkle Resistant – Split Cal King Size – White
As for a mattress protector, we love the Purple mattress protector. It's so easy to put on and it stays put. Plus it is stretchy so you can use it on all thicknesses of mattress. We had it on our 9.5″ tall Purple mattress and our 13″ tall mattress and had the same great coverage for each. Also, it protected our bed. Our mattress looked like new when we sold it to upgrade to the Purple4, 2 years after we had the original Purple.
How do you keep two twin mattresses from separating in the middle?
You might think getting two mattresses is a great idea except for one thing – you don't want to fall in the middle or for the mattresses to slide around on the base. What to do to keep your twin or twin XL mattresses from coming apart when you sleep?
This video lays out two solutions: use a bed strap to essentially fasten the two mattresses underneath and/or use shelf liner. Cut the shelf liner in half and put a strip under the width of both mattresses at the foot and head of the bed.
Here are products that help your beds stay together: a bed strap and shelf liner like featured in the video. You may also consider a bed bridge that eliminates the indention between the mattresses so it's a more even surface.
FeelAtHome Strap for Twin Beds – Twin to King Bed Strap – Twin Bed Connector for Converting Twin to King or Twin XL to King – 33ft Long Bed Connector Strap with Metal Buckle – Twin Bed Joiner (White)Duck Brand Select Grip Easy Liner Non-Adhesive Shelf Liner, 12 in. x 20 ft., Taupe (1100731)