The Difference Between a Split King & a Divided King

Let's say this is a King Size mattress.

Selecting the right bed can feel like a Herculean task at times with all the different choices that exist. Adjustable beds are a great option for people who need relief from health issues or just for extra comfort. Adjustable beds have remotes that allow you to raise and lower your head and feet to suit your needs. King-size adjustable beds have the most flexibility in adjustment options. If you are thinking of getting a king-size adjustable bed then you now have the choice between Split or Divided.

This is how a Split King is set up.

What is a Split King?
King-sized beds are, at the risk of stating the obvious, quite large. Mattresses are flexible. Foundations, however, are not. To get the base foundation inside your home it comes in two parts that sit side-by-side under the mattress. A Split King adjustable bed allows each side of the bed to move independently. It’s ideal for people who have different sleep needs. The foundations can also be synced together if you don’t need or want the sides to be adjusted separately.

This is how a Divided King is set up.

What is a Divided King?
Until recently, if you wanted independent adjustment for both sides of your bed you needed to order a Split King. For people who prefer both sides of the bed to adjust in tandem, there is now the option to buy a Divided King. A Divided King has a foundation that is still made up of two parts, but in this case, it goes under the head and foot of the bed. This setup is more efficient than a synced-up Split King, it removes the redundancy of having two separate motor systems to move your bed, which means a lower cost for you.

If you prefer independent adjustment from your partner then a Split King is what you are looking for. If separate movement isn’t necessary then you can save money with a Divided King. Have further questions or want to start shopping for your adjustable bed now? The bedding experts here at Gardner White can help you figure out exactly what mattress and base system works best for your budget and needs.

We carry adjustable bed models in a variety of sizes and brands with different features! Find the adjustable base that is perfect for you!    

Last Modified: July 12, 2023 9:40 AM EST


  • Felicia

    November 1, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    A very good explanation of the difference between the two bed types. It is easy to see the benefits of both so the only thing one has to do is to decide exactly what the needs of the couple are before ordering.

    Thanks for sharing!

      • Corina

        November 26, 2018 at 7:28 pm

        Sissy, that’s how it feels for us too 🙁 We’ve only had our split adjustable 13 days, and trying to figure a way to make this work. Married 25 years – this is NOT working. Feels like we’re in separate beds. Love our new adjustable bed – but not so much the split.

    • Megan

      May 25, 2018 at 10:23 am

      A regular fitted sheet would fit better on a divided king. Because a split king base is separate, if you move one side too much, the sheet can come off. We suggest getting 2 twin xl sheets for a split king bed.

    • Megan

      May 25, 2018 at 10:25 am

      A divided base is great for those who want an adjustable base, but want a cheaper option than a split base. While you can’t have a personalized sleep position, you can still elevated your head and legs.

  • Elsa Anderson

    June 16, 2018 at 7:55 am

    I like when you said that buying adjustable beds aims to bring comfort and relief from health issues such as neck and back pains by giving you the option to adjust the head and neck part of the bed. I’ll be definitely needing one of these as I normally have back and neck pains from waking up at at wrong posture. A king bed might be too big for me so I would prefer getting a queen bed adjustable bed instead.

  • Kit Hannigan

    September 5, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks for going into detail about explaining the difference between split and divided king beds. I really like that you mentioned that if people prefer independent adjustment from your partner, then a Split King is what they should get. I might get one soon as a nice surprise for my wife who has really interesting sleeping routines.

  • Roc

    October 2, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    My question which seems to difficult to get an answer to is this; does the divided king adjustable have just one motor for each end that spans across all 76″ or does it have two motors for each similar to the split king? With the weight of today’s mattress (especially hybrids) and larger people, I would think 4 motors may be better to handle the weight than 2 if indeed the split king does only have 2 motors.

    • Megan

      October 9, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Good question, Roc. A divided king only has 2 motors. One for the head motion, one for the foot motion. If the base only has a head up feature, it will only have one motor. A split king has 4 motors: two for each side, at the head and the foot.

  • Dave

    December 23, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    See the benefits of the split as I may want a different setting than my wife, but we’re not keen on the separate beds. Is there a type of mattress that would be better than others to use as a solid king mattress on a split base?

  • Kellie Fudge

    November 3, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    We have 2 twin xl adjustable bedframes and mattresses. My questions are:
    A. We have our own remotes but either remote will move both beds at the same time. Is there a way to fix this?
    B. Is there a way to keep the bases and mattresses attached? When we meet in the middle, they split apart.


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