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|One of the nicest beds that's sold online, Saatva is a true luxury mattress. Even in a California king size, it's still really affordable as well.|
Memory Foam Mattress
|$200 Off + Gift|
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|GhostBed Luxe is an active-cooling mattress that's thicker and more supportive than your typical bed-in-a-box mattress. It has a firmer memory foam feel, which we think will be good for larger individuals buying a California king mattress.|
Best For Heavy People
|The quintessential mattress for heavier individuals—Big Fig is even an abbreviation for "Bigger Figure."|
|$275 Off + Gift|
|This might be a lesser-known bed, but we happen to really like it. The IDLE Sleep Hybrid is double-sided and incorporates coils.|
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Getting the right mattress is important, as I’m sure you well know. It can make all the difference in terms of how well you sleep and how well you feel throughout the day. A good night’s sleep is one of the pillars of living a healthy life—alongside, of course, a balanced diet, exercise, and so on. Knowing that, you should think critically about your mattress before you make an ultimate decision. Test several, do your research, and have high standards in terms of getting exactly what you want.
With regard to a California king mattress specifically, the size of the bed is important because it needs to fit your bed frame, platform base, etc., but the feel and support of the bed are even more important. Therefore, you should identify, among other things, your sleeper type, body type, temperature sensitivity, and material preferences. All this is to say that you should first get the right bed and then worry about sizing. Most companies offer a California king bed, so you should be almost universally covered.
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Saatva is one of the nicest, well-built beds that you can purchase online. Not only is this a comfortable mattress, but also it’s just constructed to a higher level than a lot of these three-layer, all-foam beds. It might cost a little extra (about $1,500 for a Cal king), but we can see it being worth it for a lot of people.
Saatva is available in three firmness levels (Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, Firm) and is therefore able to accommodate all types of sleepers regardless of their preferred sleeping position. It actually reminds us a lot of the WinkBed mattress, though it’s more affordable.
It also has a European pillow top and an organic cotton cover that looks great and smells earthy. Saatva is highly supportive, regardless of which firmness level you select and height profile you opt for (they make 11.5″ and 14.5″ options).
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GhostBed Luxe is one of very few cooling memory foam mattresses. It measures in at 13″ thick with numerous layers of memory foam, as well as a cool-to-the-touch cover. It’s about a medium-firm on the soft/firm scale and we think it will be best for back, stomach, and combo sleepers, as well as side sleepers that weigh around 200 lb or more.
It has a deep, contouring feel that reminds you of a traditional memory foam, albeit with more cooling properties. GhostBed Luxe is a great option for hot sleepers that like memory foam. It also happens to be one of the better foam beds for heavier folks. Typically, we only recommend that heavier individuals try out hybrid mattresses, but because GhostBed Luxe is 13″ thick and is on the firmer side, we say that it’s a viable option.
Big Fig is one of the most interesting mattresses available online. Most companies take the approach of creating a thinner, more affordable bed for the masses, but Big Fig has taken the opposite approach. They make one mattress and it’s not cheap. It also only targets heavier individuals that weigh up to 500 lb.
Big Fig is a 13″ coil mattress that also mixes in latex foam, dense polyurethane foam, and a cooling cover. The net result is a firmer mattress (medium-firm for extra heavy individuals) with almost unmatched support. It’s best for back and stomach sleepers, and is flat-out one of the most durable beds we’ve ever tested. Big Fig even backs the bed with a 20-year warranty, which is about 2x what you’ll see from most beds.
Every Big Fig mattress comes with a compatible base so that you can feel confident that the bed is on a proper foundation. We haven’t seen any other company offer the same bundle. Bottom line with Big Fig is that you get this mattress if you’re a bit heavier or are really concerned with durability.
WinkBed and Saatva are both great options for heavy people, so if you don’t like what you hear with Big Fig, make sure to check those beds out. They both obviously are available in a California king size.
$275 Off + Gift
IDLE Sleep has separated itself as a company offering affordable, double-sided mattresses, which are actually quite rare nowadays. This particular bed (the Hybrid model) will have the same firmness level on both sides, but the IDLE Latex Hybrid has the option of having a Firm side and Soft side.
The IDLE Hybrid has more of a neutral-feel, a bit like Leesa or Tuft & Needle, but with the bounce and support provided by coils. We find it to be a comfortable bed that accommodates all types of sleepers.
We have tested and review dozens of beds, ranging from budget mattresses to luxury mattresses, and everything in between. We’ve tried memory foam beds, latex beds, hybrid beds, and so on, so we have a good idea of what you should be thinking about when selecting a new mattress. Now, of course, we are writing this for the masses and we don’t know you specifically, but you should be able to glean some insightful information from this post. We know it won’t (and probably shouldn’t) be your only resource when selecting a new bed, but we are confident that our review will be helpful and thought-provoking. We don’t want to tell you what to get. We just want to point you in the right direction so that you can make an informed decision. It’s such a large purchase—usually well over $1,000—that it makes a lot of sense to research and read more about mattresses before you buy. We should also point out that we have a fairly diverse group here at the Slumber Yard. We have folks of different ages, weights, genders, and sleeping preferences, which gives us a good perspective on how these beds will feel for other people.
A traditional king size mattress (a.k.a. Eastern king) is about 76” wide and 80” long, so nearly a square. A California king, on the other hand, is typically around 72” wide and 84” long. Here’s a chart if you’re a more visual person.
For the record, a California king is also known as a West Coast king or Western king, so if you see those, just know it’s referring to a standard Cal king bed.
The big difference—and chief reason why you’d get a Cal king—is its extra length. It’s usually around 4-5” longer than a standard king, which means that if you’re 6’2” or more, you will probably prefer a Cal king. Now, you might be a little concerned that the Cal king is 4” narrower than a king. Don’t be too concerned about that. There’s typically still plenty of room for two people. Keep in mind that at 72” wide, it’s still about a foot wider than a queen, which is the most common size of bed. Moral of the story, try out a Cal king if you’re taller than 6’2”. If you’re not, you should be just fine with a standard king size bed.
Does a Cal king mattress cost more because of its slightly unusual shape? Actually, no. They’re typically the exact same price as a king or just a smidge more expensive. Don’t get me wrong, a Cal kind is usually notably more expensive than a queen size mattress, but it’s not all that much more than a king, if it’s more at all. For online bed-in-a-box-mattresses, a California king generally ranges from between $1,200 and $2,000, before discount. There are plenty of more affordable beds and plenty that are quite a bit more expensive, but that’s about the midpoint for Cal king prices. From what we’ve seen, if you shop in-store, the prices are a little higher than online, but not so much that it should deter you from looking.
The biggest advantages with shopping online are that usually the beds are more affordable and can be a great value for the money, shipping and returns are completely free, there’s a lax trial period of 100 days or more, and you can compare hundreds of mattress models and brands versus a few select brands in-store. That said, there are some notable downsides with shopping for a bed online. For starters, you’re not actually feeling and testing out the bed before you buy. This is just fine if you know what you want and you’ve done plenty of research—or even taken our Mattress Finder Quiz. It’s not so great if you’re up in the air or uncertain of the materials and feel that you’re looking for. Therefore, you’re probably more prone to making returns online, as opposed to in-store, because you’re ordering based on what we (a reviewer) or the brand has told you about the bed. The other pain-point with shopping online is that if you’re doing it without consulting a website like ours, you’re probably choosing blindly and without any additional education.
Education is one of the biggest advantages you get by shopping at a traditional brick-and-mortar store. The representatives will be able to walk you through sizes, feel, materials, etc., which can definitely be valuable in terms of selecting the right bed. You also get a chance to physically test a bed before you purchase. And that goes for bed frames, sheets, and pillows, as well. Stores like Macy’s and Mattress Firm will have plenty of accessories to try out while you shop for a new mattress. The big downsides with shopping in-store are that the number of beds and brands clearly are inferior to the infinite stock of the internet. Also, shipping, deliveries, and returns tend to be slightly less favorable than those of online brands that sell direct. Since the retail stores don’t usually own the mattress brand, they’re working with thinner margins and can offer less in terms of lax policies. That said, you are trying the mattress out for yourself in the store so you should have less of an urge to return.
When you’re searching for a new bed, especially for a particular size such as a California king, you should consider your body type. For example, if you’re tall, clearly, a Cal king makes more sense than a standard king. That said, if you’re heavy, that will influence what type of bed you should get. You can check out our list of the Best Mattress for Heavy People for more information. The point is that your body type makes a huge difference in terms of the correct bed for you. There is no single best mattress for every one out there.
Similar story for your sleeping preferences. If you sleep on your side predominately, you will almost certainly need a different bed than if you slept exclusively on your back. Back sleepers and stomach sleepers tend to prefer (and need) a firmer mattress that allows them to sleep on top of the bed. Side sleepers, however, usually need a bed that allows them to sink in a little and get good pressure relief (i.e. a softer mattress). Now, this isn’t always true and you should definitely consult a physician and/or chiropractor before you purchase a bed if you have various spinal or health issues. That’s just a general rule.
Sometimes brands will offer split California king mattresses that allow you to have a different comfort level for each partner. One brand that usually offers split Cal kings is Nest Bedding, but there are a few others that offer it, as well. Just so you know, one side of a split Cal king is around 36” wide and 84” long, so just a little narrower than a twin XL. Prices are usually a little higher for split Cal kings—around 30-40% more—but if you want a different comfort level than your partner, it’s still a good option. You can also check our Mattress Deals page for coupons on these beds, which should help to lessen the sting of the price tag.