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What Is a Split Head Mattress?

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 6 minutes

  • A split-head mattress is divided into two sections at the headrest area, allowing each partner to adjust the headrest for personalized comfort independently.
  • Split-head mattresses are often paired with adjustable bases, enabling each partner to raise and lower their head independently while keeping their legs and feet at the same level.
  • While split-head mattresses offer enhanced comfort and support, they may be pricier than traditional mattresses and require compatible bedding and frames for optimal use.

When it comes to choosing a mattress for a couple, it can be challenging to find one that caters to both partners’ preferences. However, there is a solution that offers individual adjustments, customizations, and separate head and foot elevation: the split head mattress. In this article, we will explore what a split-head mattress is, its pros and cons, the type of bed frame it requires, and where you can find the perfect split-head mattress for your needs.

What is a Split Head Mattress?

A split-head mattress is a unique mattress design that is divided into two at the top half. Imagine slicing a mattress in half vertically but stopping halfway through the middle. The bottom half remains connected as one, allowing you and your partner to share the same mattress. This design is available in both queen and king sizes.

The split-head mattress is often paired with an adjustable base, which enables each partner to raise and lower their head independently while keeping their legs and feet at the same level. This setup provides individual adjustments and customizations for each side of the mattress, making it perfect for couples with different sleep preferences.

Benefits of a Split Head Mattress

A split-head mattress, as the name suggests, is a mattress that is divided into two sections at the headrest area. This division allows each partner to have control over the elevation of their own side of the bed, ensuring personalized comfort and support. The split head design is particularly useful for couples with varying sleep styles or needs. It provides the freedom to adjust the headrest without disturbing the other person, allowing for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Enhanced Comfort and Support

One of the main advantages of a split-head mattress is the ability to tailor the sleeping experience to individual preferences. Each partner has the option to adjust their side of the bed to their preferred elevation, whether it’s for reading, watching TV, or addressing specific health concerns. This customization promotes better sleep quality and overall comfort.

Minimized Motion Transfer

Another benefit of a split-head mattress is the reduction of motion transfer between sleepers. With a traditional mattress, movements on one side of the bed can be felt on the other side, potentially disrupting the other person’s sleep. However, with a split head mattress, the motion is isolated to each individual’s side, minimizing disturbances and ensuring a more restful sleep.

Space Optimization

While a split-head mattress provides personalized comfort, it also offers a solution for couples who want to maximize their bed space. By splitting only the headrest area and keeping the rest of the mattress as a solid piece, couples can enjoy the benefits of independent elevation without compromising the overall size of the bed. This is especially important for queen-sized mattresses, where space can be a concern.

Cons of a Split Head Mattress

While a split-head mattress offers many advantages, there are some drawbacks to consider:

  1. Higher Cost: Split-head mattresses can be slightly pricier than traditional king-size mattresses. However, the added benefits may outweigh the cost for those who prioritize individual comfort.
  2. Discomfort for Restless Sleepers: If you or your partner often toss and turn during sleep, the split down the middle of the mattress may lead to some discomfort. It’s important to consider your sleep habits and preferences before choosing a split-head mattress.
  3. Limited Availability of Sheets and Mattresses: Compared to standard mattress sizes, there may be limited places to purchase split-head sheets and limited brands that carry split-head mattresses. This can make finding the perfect bedding for your split-head mattress slightly more challenging.
  4. Adjustable Base Requirement: To fully enjoy the benefits of a split-head mattress, it is recommended to pair it with an adjustable base. While this enhances the comfort and customization options, it is an additional investment to consider.
  5. Potential Sliding: Some users have reported issues with mattresses sliding when placed in a king frame. Proper mattress and frame compatibility should be considered to minimize this problem.

It’s also important to note that a split-head mattress does not provide the maximum customization of a split-head mattress. If you and your partner have vastly different sleep habits, a split king mattress may be a better option for you.

Who Can Benefit from a Split Head Mattress?

A split-head mattress can benefit a wide range of individuals, including:

Couples with Different Sleep Preferences: If you and your partner have varying preferences regarding mattress firmness or sleep positions, a split-head mattress can offer an ideal solution. The individual adjustability allows each person to find and create their optimal comfort level, ensuring a restful night’s sleep for both individuals.

Individuals with Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as acid reflux, sleep apnea, or chronic back pain, may require specific sleeping positions for relief or treatment. A split-head mattress with an adjustable bed base can provide the flexibility needed to accommodate these conditions, allowing individuals to find the most comfortable and supportive position for their needs.

Couples with Varying Schedules: If you and your partner have different schedules or sleep patterns, a split-head mattress can minimize disturbances caused by movement during the night. Each sleeper can adjust their side of the bed without affecting the other, ensuring uninterrupted sleep for both individuals.

Finding the Perfect Split-Head Mattress

When considering a split-head mattress, there are a few factors to keep in mind to ensure you find the perfect fit for your needs.

Mattress Type and Materials

Split-head mattresses are available in various types and materials, including memory foam, latex, and hybrid options. Each type has its own unique characteristics and benefits. Memory foam mattresses mold to the body, delivering superb pressure relief, whereas latex mattresses provide responsive support and natural breathability. Hybrid mattresses combine both features by integrating foam and innerspring coils to provide optimal support and comfort.

Adjustable Base Compatibility

To fully enjoy the benefits of a split-head mattress, it’s important to choose an adjustable base that is compatible with this type of mattress. Not all adjustable bases are designed to accommodate split-head mattresses, so it’s essential to check the specifications and ensure a proper fit. Look for adjustable bases that offer independent control for the heads on each side, allowing for individualized elevation and positioning.

Bedding Options

One consideration that often arises with split-head mattresses is finding the right bedding. Traditional fitted sheets may not fit properly due to the split head design. However, as split-head mattresses gain popularity, more bedding options are becoming available. Look for sheets specifically designed for split-head mattresses, or consider using two separate sets of sheets to ensure a proper fit.

Different Types of Split Head Mattresses

There are several different types of split-head mattresses available on the market:

  1. Traditional Split Head Mattress: This type of split head mattress is designed with a split down the center of the head section, allowing for individual adjustability. It is often used in conjunction with an adjustable bed base.
  2. Flex Head Mattress: A flex head mattress is similar to a split head mattress but offers additional flexibility in terms of adjustment. It allows each sleeper to adjust the head section and the foot section independently.
  3. Split Head Mattress with Massage Feature: Some split-head mattresses come with built-in massage features. These mattresses provide the added benefit of soothing vibrations that can assist in relaxing muscles and promote a deeper sleep.

How to Care for a Split-Head Mattress

Routine care and maintenance can extend the longevity of your split-head mattress.

  1. Regularly Rotate: To ensure even wear and minimize sagging, rotate your split head mattress every three to six months. This will evenly distribute the weight and pressure across the surface.
  2. Use a Mattress Protector: A mattress protector can aid in preventing stains, spills, and dust mites from permeating the surface of your split-head mattress. Opting for a waterproof and breathable protector is recommended for enhanced protection.
  3. Clean Spills Promptly: If any spills occur, clean them immediately to prevent stains from setting. Use a gentle detergent and warm water to lightly blot the affected area lightly, being careful not to saturate the mattress.


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Can I use a regular bed frame with a split-head mattress?

Yes, a split-head mattress can be used with a regular bed frame. However, to fully utilize the adjustability features, it is recommended to pair it with an adjustable bed base.

Can I use any type of sheet with a split-head mattress?

Yes, you can use standard sheets with a queen mattress or split-head mattress. However, it is important to ensure that the fitted sheet is deep enough to accommodate the mattress and any additional height from an adjustable base.

Do I need to purchase two separate mattresses for a split-head design?

No, a split-head mattress is designed as a single mattress with a split-head section. It offers individual adjustability without the need for two separate mattresses.

Can I use a split-head mattress with an adjustable bed base?

Yes, a split-head mattress is often paired with an adjustable bed base to provide maximum customization of sleep positions.

Are split-head mattresses more expensive than regular mattresses?

Split-head mattresses can vary in price depending on the brand, features, and materials used. In general, they may be slightly more expensive than regular mattresses due to the added temperature adjustability features.


Choosing a mattress as a couple can be a daunting task, but a split-head mattress provides a solution that caters to individual preferences. With the ability to adjust each side of the mattress, accommodate mobility issues, and allow for reading in bed, a split-head mattress offers numerous benefits. While it may come at a slightly higher cost and have some limitations, it can be an excellent choice for couples seeking personalized comfort. Consider pairing it with an adjustable base for optimal customization.

Harrison Wall is Sleep Junkie’s business strategist and sleep analyst. He also authors posts on bedding and mattress accessories. Harrison regularly coordinates with new mattress companies and tests their products to determine what really helps you get better rest and have brighter mornings.

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