Many people often confuse California king beds as being larger than king beds, but this isn’t the case.
Want a trick to help you remember the difference from a king vs. California king bed? California kings are longer, just like the shape of the state!
While California kings are longer, king sized mattresses actually have a larger surface area.
If you’ve decided it’s time to treat yourself to one of the kings, here are a few things to help you decide which of the mattress royalties might be best for you, along with some things to consider before taking the plunge.
|California King Mattress||King Mattress|
|Size||72” wide x 84” long||76” wide x 80” long|
|Surface Area||6,048 square inches||6,080 square inches|
|Summary||Offers the most length for taller sleepers, but not as much width as a king||Offers the most width for couples who want more space between them|
|Good for…||Taller people who need extra length||Couples who need more space|
If you’d like to learn more about bed sizes, check out our mattress size guide.
Related: King vs Queen Size Mattress
As with most mattress decisions, deciding between a king or California king mattress really comes down to personal preference. But there are a few practical things to consider, like the size of your space, the size of the people who will be sleeping on the mattress, and cost.
Before committing to a bigger mattress, make sure it a) fits easily in your bedroom, and b) still gives you space to navigate around your room.
Ask yourself these questions:
If your bedroom orientation is long and narrow, then a California king might work better for you.
If it’s wider, then a king might do the trick. If you’re not sure, you can use an online planning tool like Roomstyler 3D Home Planner to help you visualize your space. It’s free and easy to use (we tried it ourselves).
Tall people may prefer a California king because it provides more length. However, this also means you’re sacrificing width and stretching out space by sleeping on a mattress that’s 4 inches narrower.
If you’re sharing the bed with another person, a king mattress will provide more personal space for each individual so you aren’t hanging off the bed. A king is the only size that allows each sleeper as much space as a twin offers someone who is sleeping alone.
If you have permanent or periodic guests, like pets or small children, you should also consider how and where they fit into the equation.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you decide:
If you’re upgrading from a queen mattress to either a king or California king, you can expect to pay around 15 – 20% more for the mattress alone. However, a king and California king mattress of the same make and model are almost always the same prices.
But don’t forget, investing in a bigger mattress also means a new bed foundation, and new bedding accessories like sheets, a mattress protector, and comforter. These will be more expensive than your standard queen accessories.
We’re not trying to scare you, we promise. Sleeping on a king or California king bed can be glorious. And we think you deserve it!
But we just want you to be prepared. No one likes surprises when it comes to buying a mattress.
Here are a few more things to be aware of before you commit to a larger mattress.
Still have questions about king or California king mattresses? Explore the best California king mattress and drop us a line in the comments below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we wake up from our nap.
Larger mattresses require more support, meaning kings and Cal kings should be supported with a solid foundation like a platform bed frame or a strong slatted foundation. You may also consider placing it directly on the floor.
California king beds are 84 inches long. King mattresses shorter at only 80 inches long.
California king beds are 72 inches wide. King beds offer more width at 76 inches wide.
California king beds are ideal for taller people because they are designed to add more length to your bed.
Couples enjoy king sized beds because of the added width. This allows each individual to have the same amount of space they would have if sleeping on a twin size mattress alone.