‘Are lions or tigers bigger’ is a Google search term which is why I am answering the question. Tigers are bigger than lions by a small margin. However, it is difficult to make a precise and certain comparison. That said, the tiger is known to be the heaviest wild cat species on the planet, heavier than the lion which also supports the argument that the tiger is bigger than the lion.
I’m basing my comparison on measurements and weights of adult tigers and lions as set out in tables in the excellent book Wild Cats of the World.
For the adult tigers the measurements were taken in Nagarahole National Park (Bengal tiger: three male tigers and one female) and in Russia (the Siberian tiger: five males and five females).
For the adult lions the data comes from measurements of adult lions in Botswana (the African lion) and India (the Asiatic lion). In Botswana three males and two females were measured and in India three males were measured. All measurements were made in millimetres.
Associated: Lion versus Tiger fight.
As the measurements of each individual animal are not presented in these tables but sometimes there is an average I have been obliged to average averages. And I have merged figures for males and females. Nonetheless, the results are as follows:
The Head and Body Length in Millimetres of Lions and Tigers
- 1824 mm — lion
- 1880 mm — tigers
As you can see, by a small margin, tigers are longer than lions and therefore they are bigger than lions provided none of the animals are obese or their body confirmations unusual. I am being pedantic.
The figures are swayed in favour of the tiger because of the Siberian tiger which is larger than the Bengal tiger. Some Siberian tigers can be incredibly large.
Associated: How big is the Bengal tiger?
In the data that I used the biggest animal measured was a Siberian tiger at 2900 mm and the average Siberian tiger length (head and body) was 2300 mm for male animals.
You can contrast these figures with the largest lion measured which was a female in Botswana at 2197 mm. This is where the major differences between the lion and tiger although the average Bengal tiger is also probably bigger than the average lion.