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Best California King Mattress (2020 Hand Tested Review)

A hand selected list of the best California king size mattresses.

Last Updated: July 28, 2020

Here are our favorite, top rated Cal king mattresses from some of the biggest and smallest brands. In this post, we will do a brief overview of each mattress and discuss why they made the list. You can always get more details in our full reviews.

HOW WE DECIDED

  • Mattresses Reviewed

    150+

  • Brands

    60+

  • Made the List

    4

  • Number of Contributors

    6

Finding the Best Cal King Mattress

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. Knowing that, here is our list of top rated California King mattresses you can buy.

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.

Best Cal King Size Mattresses:

AT A GLANCEPRICINGHEADLINE
GhostBed Luxe Memory Foam 25% Off + Gift Discount In CartGhostBed Luxe is a premium memory foam mattress that incorporates special cooling materials.
Big Fig Soft Foam $250 Off Code: SLUMBERYARDBig Fig is a thick and durable hybrid mattress that’s made specifically for heavy individuals. It is the mattress for a “bigger figure.”
Idle Sleep Hybrid Mixed Foam 20% Off + Gifts Applied In CartIdle Hybrid is a flippable mattress that offesr two different firmness options on the same bed.

Benefits Of A 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 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, you should be just fine with a standard king size bed.

Saatva Classic – Most Comfortable Cal King Mattress

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 $1,700 for a Cal king), but we can see it being worth it for a lot of people.

saatva mattress review back sleepers
Saatva has two layers of coils for extra support.

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).

GhostBed Luxe – Best Memory Foam Cal King Mattress

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 should work for all sleep styles, unless you were hoping for a particularly plush or firm mattress.

ghostbed luxe mattress review stomach sleepers
GhostBed Luxe is a very nice bed with a cooling cover.

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.

Big Fig – Best Cal King 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 mattress review foundation
Big Fig can handle Dillon no problem.

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.

Idle Sleep Hybrid – Best Flippable Cal King Size Mattress

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.

Idle Hybrid Mattress Overview
An overview of the Idle Sleep Hybrid mattress

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.

Review team

  • JD
    JD Christison

    Combo Sleeper

  • dillon lopez slumber yard
    Dillon Lopez

    Combo Sleeper

  • kenzie
    McKenzie Dillon

    Combo Sleeper

  • Owen Poole

    Side Sleeper

How Do We Know About Cal King Mattresses?

We have tested and reviewed 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.

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.

SizeWidthLengthIdeal For
Twin39″75″Children
Twin XL39″80″Taller Children
Full53″75″Teenagers/College
Queen60″80″College/Apartment
King76″80″Home/Couples
Cal King72″84″Home/Couples

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.

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 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.

Shopping In-Store vs Online

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.

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.

Finding A Comfortable Cal King Mattress

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.

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.

FAQs

What are the California King dimensions?

The Cal king mattress measures 72″ wide by 84″ long.

Cal King vs King Mattress?

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

What does a California king mattress cost?

Prices will range from about $1,200 to $3,000 for the Cal king.

California King vs Western King?

A California king mattress is the same as a Western king and West Coast king.