California King vs King Mattress [Mattresses Compared]


When it comes to choosing your ideal bed, there are many factors to consider. Both King size and California size beds have their pros and cons, so how do you decide which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between California king vs king bed, and give some tips on how to choose the right size for your needs.

California King vs King

Although they’re two different types of beds, the king and the California king are similar enough to make it difficult to decide between them.

King Size Bed Dimensions

Being the widest mattress on the market, the king-size bed is designed to comfortably fit two sleepers. This makes it ideal for couples who can’t sleep too close because they feel cramped or overheated, as it gives them enough personal space while at the same time allowing them to feel close to their partner.

The king-size mattress dimensions are 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, with a total surface space of 6,080 square inches, which is equivalent to two twin beds placed next to each other. This size would be appropriate for larger master bedrooms, but it might be a little too large for smaller rooms.

Like any other bed, the king-size bed (also known as the Eastern king) has its benefits and drawbacks. Although it’s a good choice for families with children who like to snuggle with their parents from time to time, the king-size bed dimensions (6.3×6.6 in feet) make it challenging not only to move it but also to change its sheets. You may also struggle with finding a perfect king-size mattress because they can be quite pricey, as are the corresponding bed accessories. The following list contains all the pros and cons regarding this bed:


  • Ideal for couples who like their personal space or families with children or pets
  • Best fit for shorter, but wider rooms
  • Easily obtainable
  • Split king option – for sleepers with different sleeping preferences


  • The difference between king vs California king is that people over 6 feet tall find the king bed too short
  • Difficult to move
  • The mattress and bed accessories cost more
DID YOU KNOW: King-size mattresses can slightly vary in size, so make sure you take the precise measurements before you purchase the bedsheets. What you should also consider is the depth of your mattress, as there are three kinds of king size bed sheets – standard fitted sheets, deep pocket sheets, and extra deep pocket sheets.

California King Dimensions

Also known as the “Western King”, this bed is the second-largest standard-sized bed on the market, after the king-sized one. But how big is a California king exactly? It’s 72 inches wide, and 84 inches long, with a surface area of 6,048 square inches. This means that it’s a little narrower compared to a king-sized mattress, but what it lacks in width, it makes up in length. California king is considered the longest mattress on the market, as it’s around four inches longer than the king bed, making it ideal for people over 6 feet tall.

As its name suggests, this bed originated in California as an alternative to the king-sized one and is equal in size to two twin XL mattresses put side by side. The dimensions of a California king bed allow it to fit perfectly in a larger master bedroom that measures 12×12 feet. In terms of the number of sleepers, this bed would be perfect for couples, or families with one or two small children, although any more than that would make the space cramped.

Like the king-size bed, this one also has some pros and cons:


  • It’s long enough for tall people to rest comfortably
  • Fits easily in a master, 12×12 feet bedroom
  • Split option available for couples with different sleep preferences


The cons of California king bed vs king bed are more or less the same:

  • They can be quite expensive
  • Hard to move due to the bed’s size
  • Difficult to find bed accessories, such as beddings, organic mattresses, etc.
DID YOU KNOW: The first California King-sized bed was made in the early 1960s by a Los Angeles furniture company. Although initially made for celebrity mansions, the bed went into mass production a few years later.

Key Takeaways

Measuring 76 inches in width, the king bed is the widest bed on the market.
The king bed’s width makes it ideal for couples who want more personal space or families with children or pets.
The California King bed is 72 inches wide, and 84 inches long, and it’s the longest mattress on the market.
California King is ideal for people taller than 6ft, allowing them to sleep comfortably.

The king and California king are similar enough to require a detailed analysis to determine which one would best fit your needs, so make sure you consider every similarity and difference between the king and California king bed before you make your ultimate decision.

King California King
Other Names Eastern king Western king
Width  76” 72”
Length  80” 84”
Surface Area 6,080 square inches 6,048 square inches
Pros Ideal for couples who want more space Perfect for people over 6’ ft tall
Cons Difficult to move Difficult to move

California King Bed vs King: How to Choose?

Although both names seem to carry an air of luxury in them, that’s not enough to help you choose. There are many more factors to consider, and we provided you with the most important ones:

Your Height

When choosing between a California King bed vs king size bed, you should rely on your height. If you’re over 6 feet tall, the California King is probably a better option for you, as the extra length won’t let your feet hang off the bed sides. If you’re under 6 feet, then the standard king should work for you just fine.

Room Size

Ideally, your room should be at least 12×12 feet in order to fit either of these beds without seeming overly crowded. Having in mind the size difference between a king and a California king bed, you should base your decision on whether your room is narrower but longer or vice versa.

Sleeping Position

If you and your partner sleep on your sides, either option will be fine, as side sleepers tend to curl up a bit. However, if either of you sleeps on your stomach or back, you’ll need to make the decision based on your height.

Sleeping Partners

The difference between Cal king and king matters more if you share your bed with someone else, rather than sleep on your own. You could choose the California King bed if you and your partner enjoy cuddling or sleeping close to each other, but if you require extra space, the king bed is your go-to option.


Before purchasing your bed, make sure it can fit through all the spaces it needs to pass by before it gets installed, including your bedroom, your home’s entryway, as well as your doorways and staircases. Here’s where the difference between king and California king size becomes very important. Although both of them can be difficult to move, the length of Cal king makes it difficult to move around tight corners, while the width of the king one can be hard to fit through doorways.


Both king and California king beds are great options, but there are many factors to consider before making the final decision. Using all the information you gathered, make sure that your choice between a king vs California king-size bed is in accordance with your needs, preferences, and lifestyle.


What are the dimensions of a California king bed?

Being the longest mattress on the market, the California king is 72 inches wide, and 84 inches long, with a surface area of 6,048 square inches. It’s particularly appropriate for people over 6 feet tall.

What are the dimensions of a king size mattress?

The king-size bed is the largest, as well as the widest bed on the market. It’s 76 inches wide, and 80 inches long, with a surface of 6,080 square inches. The king-size bed dimensions make it ideal for couples who enjoy their personal space.

Which is better: California king or king?

When it comes to choosing the better option, you should know that there’s no universal answer. It’s all up to personal needs and preferences, so make sure to consider all the information about both California king and king bed before you make your decision.

What is the point of a California king bed?

The purpose of this bed is to make taller people sleep more comfortably. The principal difference of California king vs king is that the California one is 4 inches longer, which ensures that those taller than 6 feet won’t sleep with their feet dangling over the edge.


I am a curiosity-driven creature searching for answers — and questions — in the digital realm. From marketing through online business creation to software tools — I am fascinated by everything that can make life easier. When not looking for meaning, yoga and good food keep me grounded.

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