The Best California King Mattresses

By Amanda Lasater

All couples dream of upgrading to a California king size mattress. The California King size mattresses provide sleepers with an ample amount of space to stretch out and keep both partners (and pets!) comfy throughout the night.

While owning a California king may make you feel like royalty, shopping for one won’t. From support foam mattresses, to green tea infused foam mattresses, or hybrid mattresses that utilize both innersprings and memory foam—there are literally thousands of mattress options out there. 

Therefore, treating yourself to a new Cal king bed can be a daunting process (but it is well worth it). To help alleviate some of the stress that comes along with shopping for a new mattress and to get you on the road to a better night’s sleep, we’ve selected the best California king mattresses on the market today. 

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Best California King Mattresses

zinus green tea

Zinus Memory Foam 12 Inch Green Tea Mattress, California King

Best Overall

The Zinus Memory Foam 12-Inch Green Tea mattress would be an excellent California King size mattress for any room. The Zinus mattress features one of the latest upgrades in the world of memory foam which involves the replacement of some of the conventional petroleum with natural plant oils like green tea.

The infusion of the green tea oil and extracts help to keep the mattress smelling fresh even after long-term use. The use of natural green tea is far more preferable to the noxious chemicals that some other mattresses use for odor control. The green tea infused, memory foam mattress offers sleepers the typical medium feel of a memory foam mattress, with the firmness level rating of a 6 out of 10.

It is made with four layers of foam: a 3.5” layer of high-density base support foam, a 3.5” layer of high-density foam, a 2” layer of comfort foam, and a 3” layer of memory foam. The layers of high-density foam work together to form a supportive base to this mattress, while the comfort foam and memory foam layers work to provide exceptional pressure relief. Plus, it comes with a 10-year warranty.

classic brands cali king

Classic Brands Cool Gel 1.0 Ultimate Gel Memory Foam 14-Inch Mattress with BONUS 2 Pillows, California King

Best for Plus-Sized People

Not only does the Classic Brands Cool Gel mattress look great, it feels even better. The gel-infused mattress utilizes a fully foam design, combining layers of poly foam and memory foam atop a HD base foam for a total height of 14-inches.

The bottom layer of this mattress is a thick layer of high density foam, which works as a sturdy supportive layer for the base of the bed. The middle layer is Classic Brand’s Cool Gel Poly Foam, which continues to provide support while adding a layer of plush comfort. Finally, the top layer is the Cool Gel Memory Foam, which provides sleepers with a pressure-relieving and cooling sleep surface. These three layers of foam are wrapped within a beautifully tailored stretch knit fabric cover with waterfall edges and matching knit side panels.

Aside from the cooling technology and high breathability of this mattress, it is also hypoallergenic. It is compatible with adjustable bases as well as foundation bases, slatted platforms, flat platforms, and box springs. The foam mattress has a medium-plush feel but still offers sleepers a firm support level. Overall, this supportive mattress conforms to your body while the cool gel helps to regulate temperature and help you get your best night’s sleep.

olee sleep cali king mattress

Olee Sleep 10 Inch Gel Infused Layer Top Memory Foam Mattress Blue, Cal King

Best Cooling California King Mattress for Hot Sleepers

The Olee Sleep 10-inch Gel Mattress is the perfect choice for anyone who sleeps hot. The gel-infused memory foam that is utilized in this mattress has an ideal cooling effect on sleepers, and it offers the perfect level of pressure relief.

Unlike many other mattresses, Olee’s 10-inch mattress uses a bio-green foam, meaning that some of the traditional petroleum in the memory foam mattress is replaced with natural palm oil. In addition, the mattress makeup includes activated bamboo charcoal, a natural way to control bacteria, odor, and absorb moisture – a plus compared to mattresses that use harmful chemicals to achieve the same effects. The mattress offers a medium-firm mattress consistent with memory foam mattresses of the same thickness and ideal for all sleeping positions.

Linenspa spring and memory foam mattress

Linenspa 8 Inch Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress – Medium-Firm Feel – Cal King

Best for the Guest Room

Linenspa has become a well-known bed-in-a-box manufacturer – and for good reason. The company builds great quality mattress in all sizes and thicknesses, and sells them for unbeatable prices; and, their 8-inch Hybrid Mattress is no different.

The 8-inch profile offers a medium-firm feel that is perfect for your child’s room, a college dorm, or a guest room. The hybrid design combines the reliable support of a traditional spring mattress with the pressure point relief of memory foam to achieve the best of both worlds.  The tempered steel coils provide sleepers with a highly supportive base layer that ensures maximum spinal support. Layered on top of the innerspring coils is a thick layer of comfort foam to create a cushioned surface.

The top layer of the mattress is a quilted memory foam, which adds a plush layer of foam to conform to your body and relieve pressure. Plus, even though it has the innerspring coils, Linenspa has still figured out a way to compress it down for shipping so there is no need for difficult installation in your bedroom. And it comes with a 30-day trial period. What’s better than that?


What is a California King Mattress?

One of the largest mattress sizes, a California king mattress is a variation of a king mattress that is more long than square. That’s why California king mattresses are recommended for tall people and king mattresses are recommended for couples. 

Sometimes California king mattresses are referred to as a West Coast king or Western king mattress. These are all referring to the same mattress size.

Take a look at the mattress sizes chart below to see standard mattress size comparisons. 

Size Standard Dimensions Best For
Twin 38” x 75” Kids
Twin XL 38” x 80” Kids
Full 53” x 75” Teenagers/College Students
Queen 60” x 80”  College Students/Couples
King 76” x 80” Couples
California King 72” x 84”  Couples/Taller People
Split King (38” x 80”) x 2 Couples
Split California King (36” X 84”) x 2 Couples/Taller People

Pros of a California king mattress

  • Extra surface area: One of the larger bed sizes available, the California king allows plenty of room for you to spread out. If you sleep with a partner and/or pet(s), this extra space will be beneficial. 
  • Extra length: Tall people won’t have to hang their feet off the bed on a Cal king mattress.
  • Convenient fit: Less square and more rectangular, a California king mattress fits nicely in most bedrooms, leaving room for furniture on either side of the bed. 

Cons of a California king mattress

  • Expensive: The larger the bed, the more you’ll have to pay. If you’re on a tight budget, a California king may not be for you. 
  • Harder to shop for: Keep in mind, once you get a new bed you’ll need new sheets, a new bed frame, and potentially other bedding accessories. It’s more difficult to find sizes for a California king, and again, more costly. 
  • Longer, less square: For those who don’t know the distinction between a king and California king, you may not realize that on a California king you have less width for stretching out. For people sharing the bed, they may desire a king instead. 

Read More: Pros and cons of a California king mattress

How to Find the Best California King Mattress

There are a lot of factors that play into finding the best California king mattress for your specific needs. 

Mattress Type 

  • Memory foam: Memory foam mattresses hug the body and provide great pressure relief, motion isolation, and responsiveness. But they can trap body heat and sleep hot without cooling technology. 
  • Innerspring: Traditional mattresses are made with steel coils. These mattresses are bouncier but may not be as durable or provide as much pressure relief or motion isolation as other mattress types.  
  • Latex: Latex mattresses have a more buoyant feel than memory foam and are naturally cooling. Quality latex tends to be more expensive than other mattress types.  
  • Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses combine two or more different mattress materials, typically innerspring with a thicker layer of foam.
  • Organic: Organic mattresses are made with natural materials, like organic latex, organic cotton, and organic wool. They are hypoallergenic and manufactured without chemicals.

Sleeping Position

  • Side: Sleeping on your side is the most common sleep position. But this can add pressure to the shoulders and hips if you sleep on a mattress without good pressure point relief qualities. Side sleeping on a mattress without spinal alignment qualities can also lead to backaches and neck aches. These sleepers typically benefit from a medium-firm mattress. 
  • Stomach: Stomach sleepers are the rarest breed of sleeper and rightly so. Stomach sleepers put more strain on their backs and are more prone to waking with lower back pain. Stomach sleepers should look for firmer mattresses. 
  • Back: Sleeping on your back is the best for preventing back and neck pain, but a lot of people don’t find this sleeping position very comfortable. Those who do can enjoy plusher mattresses. But they should look for a mattress with enough support to keep their spine in alignment.
  • Combination: Combination sleepers toss and turn during the night and rarely settle on one sleeping position. These sleepers benefit from mattresses with good responsiveness, meaning they adapt quickly to your movements. A mattress that’s not very responsive may make you feel like you’re stuck in bed.

Mattress Performance Factors

  • Firmness: California king mattresses come in a variety of firmness levels. Generally, medium-firm mattresses are best for most sleepers, but it mostly depends on your sleeping position and your personal comfort preference. 
  • Edge Support: Beds with good edge support, or more support around the perimeter of the bed, can help you spring out of bed in the morning. They can also keep you from feeling like you’re going to roll off the bed if you curl too close to the edge. 
  • Durability: A mattress with a supportive foundation and quality materials should last up to 10 years or longer.  
  • Cooling: Many people sleep hot, and a mattress that traps body heat, like memory foam, can make you miserable. But mattress manufacturers have remedied this by adding cooling gels and minerals to memory foam that disperse body heat. Both latex and innerspring mattresses promote airflow and tend to sleep cooler.  
  • Motion Isolation: Motion isolation, also called motion transfer, is the ability for a mattress to isolate a sleeper’s movements. This is especially helpful if you sleep with a partner or pet who changes positions often or gets out of bed a lot at night. 
  • Pressure Relief: A mattress with good pressure relief offers more give at the shoulders and hips for a more comfortable night’s rest.
  • Spine Alignment: Mattresses that keep the spine from falling out of alignment help reduce backaches and neck aches.

Learn more about each of these performance factors by checking our Our Review Process, a breakdown of how we rate mattresses that we test in our Mattress Lab.

Bedding Accessories for California King Beds

Keep in mind that California king mattresses can be the most challenging to shop for when it comes to purchasing California king sizes sheets, bed frames, and more.

California king size bed frames

California king mattresses are longer and more narrow than standard kings, so you’ll need a bed frame that accommodates this size mattress. The type of mattress you choose will dictate the best bed frame for your California king mattress, whether it is a platform base, slatted foundation, adjustable base, or box spring. 

California king size bed sheets

Because of the size difference, you cannot use standard king sheets with your California king mattress. California kings are considered a specialty size by some, so sheets may be harder to find and more expensive than traditional sheets. Your best bet is to shop for California king sheets online. This applies not only for sheets, but for other accessories for your California king bed, like comforters and blankets.


FAQs

What’s the difference between a king and California king mattress

King mattresses are more square (76” x 80”) and California king mattresses are more rectangular and long (72” x 84”). Both are a great mattress size for a couple, but a California king mattress is better for taller people since it has the extra length. 

Is there a bed bigger than a California king? 

There are a few variations of a king mattress known as the Wyoming king, Alberta king, and Alaskan king, which are each larger than a California king mattress. These styles are rare and not typically offered by mattress retailers. 

Can I use king sheets on a California king mattress? 

A standard king bed is 4” wider and 4” shorter than a California king mattress, so fitted king sheets will not fit on a California king mattress. We’ve rounded up the best sheets for a California king mattress and the best comforters for a California king mattress.

How long does a mattress last?

If you’re making a large investment, you’ll want it to last. The average lifespan of a mattress is roughly 8 years, however, this varies upon the use of the mattress. Some people travel often, so they only sleep on their mattress a few days a week while others may have children jumping on their mattress – all of which affects the life of a mattress. 

To determine whether it is time to get a new mattress, check yours for signs of sagging and wear. Also, monitor your comfort level while sleeping, as difficulty sleeping can be a sign of a mattress that needs to be replaced.

How much does a quality California king mattress cost?

The mattresses we profiled range between $200 and $400 and many of them come with a warranty covering 10 years. Considering the importance of your mattress and the length of the warranty, even the most expensive mattress we profiled is well worth the money!

Do I need a box spring or bed frame for a California king mattress?

One of the best features of memory foam and hybrid mattresses is that they do not require a box spring. Instead, they just need a flat surface – so you could even put it on the floor. This reduces the overall cost of buying a mattress. If you do want a bed frame, we’ve rounded up the best bed frames for a California king mattress.


Summary

Compare the best California king mattresses below:

Product Material Best for  Customer Rating
Zinus Memory Foam 12 Inch Green Tea Mattress Memory foam Quality 4.2/5
Classic Brands Cool Gel Mattress Memory foam Plus-Sized People 4.4/5
Olee Sleep 10 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Memory Foam Hot Sleepers 4.3/5
Linenspa 8 Inch Hybrid Mattress Hybrid (Memory foam and innerspring) Guest room 4.4/5

Whether you sleep with a partner or you just have young kids who end up in your bed each night as they toss and kick, a California King mattress is the best way to ensure a spacious night’s sleep. Consider our picks for the best California King mattresses on the market today and start waking up feeling rested and refreshed each morning. 


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