Updated at: 14-12-2021 - By: Jane Brody

You need to make sure you get the proper mattress size before you buy a new bed. The king and California king are the finest choices for folks who want a lot of space. How do these two sizes differ, though?

Most people believe the California King is larger than the traditional King. Quite the contrary, in fact. Despite its greater length, the Cal king has a narrower base, resulting in a smaller sleeping surface than the standard king. Choosing between a California king and a regular king may not be as simple as you think.

The normal king is the more frequent of the two sizes, so keep that in mind when you’re in the market for a new mattress. If you’re torn between one of these big mattresses and another, the good news is that there is usually no difference in price.

It’s not uncommon to find king and California king-sized mattresses in the best mattress companies of 2021. Split California king and RV king mattresses are also available from some manufacturers, such as Brooklyn Bedding. Campers, trailers, and other types of recreational vehicles can use RV king beds, which are king-sized.

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Pros:

  • Good for tall people

  • Good for narrower rooms

Cons:

  • Hard to find bedding and accessories

  • Not as common

The origin of the California king is a subject of contention. According to some, it was developed in the 1920s and ’30s for Hollywood stars, while others believe it was developed post-World War II or in the 1960s to accommodate the enormous mansions of Los Angeles. However, it’s still known as the Golden State, and you’ll find many mattress companies providing Cal kings or Western kings.

The California king bed, which is 72 inches broad and 84 inches long, is best suited for those who desire more space at the foot of the bed. If you have a pet that sleeps at the foot of your bed, you may find that a conventional king-sized bed isn’t quite long enough. Because it is longer and thinner, it is more suited to confined places. You should leave at least 2 to 3 feet surrounding your bed for easy movement. In smaller rooms, a California king-size bed may be a better option than a normal king-size bed.

Due of its rarity, California king beds are less widely available than their conventional counterparts. Makes finding sheets and box springs that fit your bed more challenging. With many mattress businesses making their own sheets to complement their mattresses, you can easily obtain a California king bed and the sheets to go with it all in one order.

In our list of the Best Mattresses of 2021, all of the mattresses are available in California king size.

Pros:

  • Standard size makes finding accessories is easier

  • Better for those that want a wider bed

Cons:

  • Requires more space overall

“Eastern king” and “Western king” are two different terms for the king-size mattress, which is 76 inches broad and 80 inches long. As a result, it has a slightly larger footprint than the California king. Ideal for couples who need a little more space than a queen-size mattress can provide them. A queen-sized mattress might fit on top of it, but it’s 16 inches wider. People of ordinary height who prefer a little extra room on the edges of their bed will find this mattress ideal. When it comes to co-sleeping with children, this might be the best option.

The availability of a king-size mattress over a California king-size mattress is one of the advantages of the king. Most products for numerous bed sizes feature a king size because it is considered a common size. The California king bed isn’t always like this.

Every mattress in our list of the best mattresses of 2021 comes in king size.

What is a King Size?

A king-sized mattress is 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, which is the same size as two twin beds placed side-by-side. When two people sleep, a king-size bed (also known as an Eastern King) has room for children who prefer to sleep with their parents at night.

Largest available mattress size is 6,080 square inches, which is the surface area of a king-sized bed in the United States. At least 12 feet by 10 feet is required for this bed size, but we recommend 13 feet by 13 feet for the best balance of room. It is second only to the queen size bed in terms of popularity among couples.

Pros

  • Room for families and couples that prefer to spread out.
  • Bedrooms with a lot of space.
  • Easily accessible.
  • Couples with varying sleeping habits may benefit from a split king bed.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • It’s too enormous for a small area.
  • Size and weight make it difficult to transport.

What is a California King Size?

In terms of size, a California King (also known as a Western King) is the same as two double XL mattresses put together. Additionally, this mattress size is ideal for couples, especially those who are at least 6 feet tall. Because it is narrower than a king-size mattress, a Cal king can accommodate up to two adults and one or two small children.

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With a total surface area of 6,048 square inches, California king beds are the second-largest standard size in the mattress business. The extra length of a cal king mattress works well in master suites that are 12 feet by 12 feet, but a room 12 feet by 14 feet would be perfect.

Pros

  • At least 6 feet tall.
  • Close-knit families who like spending time together.
  • A split California king option for couples with varying sleep habits.
  • Bedrooms with a lot of space.

Cons

  • Due to its size, it is difficult to move.
  • Increased cost
  • Bedding is hard to come by.

Many factors must be taken into account when making a choice between a standard size king mattress and the California king mattress. Cost isn’t a concern in this scenario, but it is crucial to consider when making a buy. Because they are nearly the same size, the manufacturing costs for a California king and a regular king may appear to be different. Most kings and California kings in our review are priced the same.

In addition to pricing, here are some more factors to keep in mind:

  • The fundamental distinction between these two mattress sizes is the ratio of their width to their height. A California king is four inches narrower and four inches longer than a normal king. A California king bed can be a good option if you’re more than 6 feet tall.
  • The people you share a bed with: If you and your partner both prefer a lot of room while you sleep, a normal king mattress may be the best option. There are some people who prefer to sleep in close proximity and may not even notice the difference in width.
  • A mattress’s ability to accommodate a variety of sleeping positions is a critical consideration. In this scenario, you should think about how much space you or your partner prefer to sleep in. Go with the normal king if you want greater surface area or more room on either side. The king. Find out more about the best mattresses for side sleepers in our buying guide.
  • Because California king mattresses were designed to fit inside the rooms they were intended for, room space is an important consideration when selecting a mattress size. Remember to consider your space’s shape as well as its dimensions. Although the longer, narrower California king would seem like the natural choice for longer, narrower rooms, it’s important to consider the room’s overall layout and how your bed will fit in with the rest of the furnishings. Make sure there is enough room to get around the bed comfortably when taking measurements.
  • You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a new mattress just to discover that you can’t fit it in your door. The width and length of your doorways and hallways should also be taken into consideration. Consider the delivery fees while comparing the prices of different mattress brands.
  • Free shipping or free delivery may be offered by many mattress companies, but this may only be to the customer’s front door. Whether you choose a California king or a king, you’ll almost certainly require assistance moving it.

FAQs

Is a California king bigger than a regular king?

The total surface area of a king-size mattress is bigger than that of a California king-size mattress — 6,080 square inches vs 6,048. For most people, the difference is insignificant. In most cases, both choices can give the amount of personal space necessary for two individuals to function.

How much bigger is California king than a queen?

If you are looking for a mattress that is both broader and longer, you should choose for a California king, which spans 72 by 84 inches.

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What is the point of a California king bed?

Although the concept of a Cal king may seem absurd, it’s an excellent choice for couples who have trouble getting comfortable in a standard king bed or for those who have a narrow master bedroom. If you’re traveling with only one person, the California king will save you some space because it’s wider but still provides plenty area for both of you.

What is an Alaskan king bed?

The size of an Alaskan king is 9 by 9 feet, or 108 inches by 108 inches. For those who need a lot of area for two people to sleep, Alaskan kings are a great option. They are also ideal for co-sleeping with children. If you want an Alaskan king mattress, you may have to order one from a mattress retailer.

Why is it called a California king?

The city of Los Angeles, California, is the birthplace of the California king. A six-foot-wide by seven-foot-long bed, according to the mattress’s designer, would fit in most California homes.

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