King vs. California King Beds
Stuck between a king and Cali king? We'll help you decide which is best for you.
When it comes to your mattress, size does matter. The size of your mattress can have a huge impact on your quality of sleep, especially for couples. Getting a good night’s sleep every night has long and short-term health and well-being benefits.
Since you will spend about a third of your life in bed, and the consequences of sleep deprivation are serious, choosing the right mattress size is not a decision to be taken lightly. Before you choose a mattress size, you’ll need to know the dimensions of each size mattress. When it comes to mattresses, the difference of a few inches can have a big impact on your sleeping.
|Twin||38” x 75”|
|Twin XL||38” x 80”|
|Full||53” x 75”|
|Queen||60” x 80”|
|King||76” x 80”|
|California King||72” x 84”|
You might be tempted to just get the biggest size mattress possible, but mattresses are a lot like diamonds: bigger is not always better.
Twin mattresses are perfect for single sleepers and children. They often work well in bunk beds and they provide extra space in smaller rooms. A twin bed’s width can vary between 38” to 39”, so be aware of this as you are picking sheets and bedding.
Read More: Best Twin Mattresses
Twin XL beds are exactly what they sound like, extra long twin beds, tacking on 5 extra inches to the length of a twin size mattress. Twin XLs work well for taller single adults and are the most popular size bed for college dorm rooms.
Related: Best Twin XL Mattresses
A full bed (also known as a double bed) is the perfect compromise for growing children who need extra room, guest rooms, and combination sleepers who need more width to toss and turn. For taller people, opt for a full XL which is 53” x 80”.
A queen bed is the most popular mattress size because it works for almost anyone in any situation. It goes nicely in a master bedroom and can comfortably sleep two people.
Read More: Best Queen Size Mattresses
Couples who need a bit more sleeping space usually go for a king bed. This larger mattress works well for average height couples to move around without disturbing their partner.
Read More: Best King Size Mattress
For taller couples, California king beds provide tons of legroom. The extra length provides enough space to stretch out. But beware: Cal king beds are not as wide as a regular king size bed.
Choosing the right size mattress involves much more than comfort, although that’s certainly an important factor. Here are some factors to consider when selecting your perfect mattress size.
Sleeping on a king size mattress may seem like a dream come true, but if your bedroom is on the small side, your king can dominate the living space. Don’t forget, you do more than just sleep in your bedroom, and you may have other furniture in there as well.
Measuring your room size is, of course, a good place to start when considering mattress size. To get a more realistic picture of your bedroom with a new bed in it, measure out the mattress dimensions with tape on the floor, and clear the space within the perimeter. Then rearrange your other furniture around the “tape mattress” and try out your normal bedroom activities. Is there room to walk around the bed? Do your dresser and nightstand drawers still open?Does your bedroom door open freely? Can you open the doors to your en-suite bathroom or closet?
Think your hallways are too cramped for mattress royalty? Think again. While your bedroom size may be a limiting factor, your hallways, stairwells, and doorways are not. One of the magical features of online mattress companies is that they compress their mattresses to fit in handy, very portable boxes. Even king size mattresses are easily transported under low ceilings, around tight corners, and up winding stairways. And they’re delivered right to your door. Yep, like we said: magic.
If you sleep alone, consider how you like to sleep. Do you roll over frequently when you sleep? If so, you’re going to need more room than someone who curls up in a fetal position. Maybe you sprawl out like the Vitruvian Man. That means your preferred mattress size may need to be nearly as wide as you are tall.
Finding the right size mattress for couples is a little more complicated. Let’s be honest: a full-size mattress may be fine for newlyweds, but once the honeymoon is over, you both need to get sound sleep consistently. At 53” wide, a full-size bed gives each sleeper only 27” of personal space, far less than a twin mattress allows a single sleeper. And with your partner only a few inches away, the invasion of your personal space may become unsettling, especially after the inevitable tensions that are part and parcel of relationships.
So, unless you want to sleep like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, a mattress no smaller than a queen is the best bet for couples.
Who’s that sleeping in your bed? You wouldn’t be the first parent whose kids or pets like sleeping with the leaders of the pack. If your bed often looks like a den of wolves, a king or California king might be the right mattress size for you. Even when the kids give up this snuggle time, you and your partner will enjoy the additional room as you age and become more sensitive to sleep disruptions.
Larger than average sleepers may want to consider king size mattresses as long as your bedroom and budget (see below) permit. Queen size mattresses offer additional 5” inches in length and 7” in width over full mattresses but may not be big enough when one or both sleepers are larger than average. A king size mattress offers ample room for both sleepers; in fact, it is the only size that allows each sleeper as much space as a twin offers someone sleeping alone.
In addition, a bigger mattress may last longer for larger sleepers than a mattress that merely fits them. More mattress real estate means more room to switch positions and locations on the mattress. With more of the mattress being used, it is less likely to develop body impressions from sleeping in the same spot night after night.
If you are over six feet tall, the length of your mattress becomes an important factor impacting your comfort. Even if your feet don’t extend beyond the bed, your feet may feel confined by sheets tucked in at the bottom of a full or even a queen size bed. California kings offer tall sleepers four inches more length than a regular king, which could mean the difference between cramped toes and relaxed legs and feet.
Before you start shopping, decide how much you can afford to spend on a mattress, and don’t be stingy. A $1,000 mattress will cost you about 27 cents per night over a 10-year mattress lifespan. You can’t even buy a pack of gum for 27 cents. And a little more than a quarter a day is a small price to pay for a good night’s sleep.
With the average price of a queen size mattress ranging from $250 to $5,000, there’s a mattress to fit every budget. The important rule here is to get the best quality mattress you can afford. Better quality mattresses will provide the support you need longer than those of lesser quality.
The good news? You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a high-quality mattress. You can find premium mattresses online for less than you’d spend at bricks and mortar mattress stores. And online mattress companies offer generous free trial periods giving you plenty of time to try your mattress in your own room, sleeping the way you normally do.
Related: Best Budget Mattress
Finally, if you decide on a mattress size different from what you currently sleep in, you will need to buy new bed linens, which will add to the cost of your new mattress. That includes mattress pads, sheets, bedspread or comforter and even pillows for larger sized beds. Be sure to factor those costs into your budget.
To figure out which size mattress you own, take a tape measure and go from one side of the bed to the other. Then, measure from the head of the bed to the foot of the bed. Check your measurements against our chart, and that’s the size of your mattress.
A mattress can cost you anywhere between $400-$3,000+ for a queen depending on which mattress type you purchase. Memory foam and innerspring mattresses will be the most affordable options while hybrid and latex mattresses are a good luxury splurge.
If you are looking for a smaller mattress for your little one, consider a crib mattress or a toddler mattress. The average size of a crib mattress is 28” x 52” and the average size of a toddler bed is 28” x 55”.
Choosing the right size mattress can mean the difference between sleepless nights and blissful, restorative rest. Choose wisely and you’ll be on your way to nightly vacations in La La Land. If you have questions about which mattress size might be best for you, send us a note and we’ll be happy to give you more information and our expert advice.
Stuck between a king and Cali king? We'll help you decide which is best for you.
Follow these 10 steps to turn your bedroom into a serene sleep oasis.