Best California King Mattress Overview
The right mattress 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. One of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is owning a comfy mattress. If you sleep with a partner, have a large master bedroom, or you really value your space, you might just like a California king (a.k.a. Cal king) mattress. This guide will discuss our top favorite Cal king mattresses, and who we think they’ll be best for.
Use our jump-to links below to help navigate our detailed best list.
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With regard to a Cal 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. And without further ado here are our picks for the best Cal king bed of 2021.
Best California King Mattresses
- Most Comfortable Cal King Mattress – Saatva Classic
- Best Memory Foam Cal King Mattress – GhostBed Luxe
- Best Cal King Bed For Heavy People – Big Fig
- Best Flippable Cal King Size Mattress – IDLE Hybrid
Saatva Classic – Most Comfortable
Not only is Saatva a comfortable mattress, but also it’s just constructed to a higher level than a lot of these three-layer, all-foam beds, with two layers of coils for extra support. It might cost a little extra (about $1,700 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).
Why we picked the Saatva Mattress – Saatva is one of the nicest, well-built beds that you can purchase online. Unlike other hybrid mattresses, this one is made with dual innerspring systems, but it’s extremely affordable for what you’re getting from it. Especially for a California king mattress.
GhostBed Luxe – Best Memory Foam Bed
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 on the soft/firm scale and we think it should work for all sleep styles, unless you were hoping for a particularly plush or firm mattress.
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 it is possibly a viable option.
The downside to the GhostBed Luxe is its price. Coming in at over $2,000 for a Cal King it is the most expensive mattress in our list.
Why we chose the GhostBed Luxe Mattress – GhostBed Luxe is one of very few cooling memory foam mattresses, and we think it’s a great option for anyone who tends to sleep warm on memory foam. While it may be a little pricey, it’s an incredibly thick foam mattress, accommodates all body and sleeper types, and is super comfy for folks who like beds made from this material.
Big Fig – Best Bed For Heavy People
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 California king firm mattress (medium-firm for extra heavy individuals) with almost unmatched support. It’s best for back and stomach sleepers.
In addition, every Big Fig mattress comes with a compatible base so that you can feel confident that the bed is on a proper foundation.
Why we picked the Big Fig Mattress – Big Fig is flat-out one of the most durable beds we’ve ever tested, and is specifically designed to support heavier body frames. We also love how it comes with a base, which is a bundle we haven’t seen from any other brand. Bottom line with Big Fig, you should get this Cal king mattress if you’re a bit heavier or are really concerned with durability.
Idle Sleep Hybrid – Best Flippable Mattress
The IDLE Hybrid is a 14” thick mattress loaded with layers because of its flippable design. The Hybrid has seven layers within its cover with pocketed coils in the middle, a transition layer sandwiching the coils, with Air Flow Foam and Quilted Foam as the comfort layers on each side.
The best part is that it’s flippable so you can use both sides to extend the durability and lifespan of the mattress. 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. The price point is a bit high, but still the lowest of any of the mattresses in this review, with a Cal King running $1,690.
Why we chose the IDLE Sleep Mattress – IDLE Sleep has separated itself as a company offering affordable, double-sided mattresses, which offers sleepers maximum durability and longevity. If you want a Cal king mattress that’ll last a long time, we think Idle Sleep Hybrid is a great choice.
Best California King Mattress Price Table
|Mattress||Twin||Twin XL||Full||Queen||King/Cal King|
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What Is A California King Mattress?
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.
|Twin XL||39″||80″||Taller Children|
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.
California King Mattress vs King
The big difference—and chief reason why you’d get a California king mattress vs 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 think a Cal king is the best king sized mattress. Now, you might be a little concerned that the size of the California 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 California king bed if you’re taller than 6’2” and want the most comfortable mattress. If you’re not that tall, you should be just fine with a standard king size bed.
Price Of Cal King Mattress
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 king 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.
Buying A Mattress Online Vs. In-Store
Shopping online for a mattress is a unique experience that’s new to most people. If you go this route you’ll find pros and cons:
- Mattresses are typically more affordable online
- Shipping and returns are almost always free
- Generous trial periods
- Compare dozens of types of mattresses easily
- No high-pressure mattress salespeople
- Not able to test the mattress before buying
- Could be choosing blindly if you don’t do detailed research
Of course there are also pros and cons that come with shopping for a mattress in a store. Briefly these are as follows:
- Education from professional sales representatives
- Physically test the bed
- Try out accessories while shopping
- Limited selection
- More expensive
- Limited or no trial period
- May be under influence of high-pressure sales tactics
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which method is better. The good news is that more and more online brands are making their way into brick and mortar stores, eliminating many of the cons of buying online.
Pros & Cons Of A California King Mattress
Some couples and families may have a hard time deciding whether a California mattress is their best choice. This type of mattress isn’t all that common and has its own set of pros and cons.
- The extra length is great for tall people
- Extra length can be good if pets share your bed
- More difficult to fit in a bedroom
- Loss of 4 inches width
Finding A Comfortable Cal King Mattress
Consider Your Body Type
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.
Sleeper Type Impacts Mattress Feel
Similar story for your sleeping preferences. If you sleep on your side predominately, you will almost certainly need a different bed than if you sleep 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.
What About Split Cal Kings?
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.
Overview Of Best Cal King Mattress List
|Mattress||Best Of Title||Firmness Level|
|Saatva Classic||Most Comfortable Cal King Mattress||Plush Soft – 3 out of 10|
Luxury Firm – 6 out of 10
Firm – 8 out of 10
|GhostBed Luxe||Best Memory Foam Cal King Mattress||5 out of 10|
|Big Fig||Best Cal King Bed for Heavy People||7 out of 10|
|IDLE Hybrid||Best Flippable Cal King Mattress||Medium – 5 out of 10|
Luxury Firm – 8 out of 10
The Cal king mattress measures 72″ wide by 84″ long.
A traditional king size mattress (a.k.a. Eastern king) is about 76” wide and 80” long. A California king is typically around 72” wide and 84” long
Prices will range from about $1,200 to $3,000 for the Cal king.
A California king mattress is the same as a Western king and West Coast king.
There are three types of mattresses larger than the Cal King, and not surprisingly they are all named after the biggest of the U.S. states. These extra-large mattresses are the Alaska King, the Texas King, and the Wyoming King. Where the Cal King is just 72 inches wide and 84 inches long the Wyoming King is 84 inches wide and 84 inches long, the Texas King is 80 inches wide and 98 inches long, and the Alaska King is the largest of them all, measuring 108 inches wide and 108 inches long. Perfect for co-sleeping or those who need a lot more sleeping space.