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King vs California King

King vs California King

Check out our guide to find out the differences between a king mattress and a California king mattress.

Are you looking for a longer mattress with more foot room, and or a wider mattress for additional space to spread out? If so, then you’ll have your choice between a king and California king. This guide will examine the main difference between king and California king, so you can find the right size for you.

King Mattress vs California King

Are you looking for a longer mattress with more foot room, and or a wider mattress for additional space to spread out? If so, then you’ll have your choice between a king and California king. This guide will examine the main difference between king and California king, so you can find the right size for you.

What Is A King Size Mattress?

A king size mattress, also known as an Eastern king, is 80 inches long by 76 inches wide. This makes it perfect for:

  • taller people who need more room to stretch out their legs
  • couples who want their own space on the bed
  • families with young kids or pets
King vs split king

What Is A California King Size Mattress?

Do you need a longer bed because you’re over six feet tall? If so, a California king mattress is a good choice, as it’s 84 inches long by 72 inches wide. While it doesn’t have the same width as a king mattress, it’s four inches longer, making it ideal for:

  • Those who need the added leg room 
  • Folks who have animals that sleep on the bottom of a bed

In turn, you’ll be able to find a more comfortable sleeping position, resulting in more restful sleep and less tossing and turning.

California king size

King vs Cal King

This table shows how both mattresses compare to each other:

KingCalifornia King
Width76”72”
Length80”84”
ProsPerfect for couples needing more space
Reduces tossing and turning due to being able to sleep in a more spacious area
Families and those with young children
Ideal for sleepers over six-feet tall to allow them proper sleep positions
Great for sleepers who need added leg room or space for pets
Less width means closer distance to your loved one
A good fit for long and narrow bedrooms
ConsThey take up a lot of space, making them a tight fit in narrow bedrooms
Can be expensive
They’re expensive, sometimes more so than a king bed
Their length can occupy most of a smaller bedroom

Things To Consider

When choosing between a California king vs Eastern king, there are several considerations you’ll want to take into account:

Budget

Both a king mattress and a California king bed can be expensive, especially if you decide to buy one made of premium materials like memory foam. In general, either version of a king bed can run you upwards of $1,000 or double if you want a more luxury option.

Then you’ll also have to consider costs for pillows, sheets, and other bedding accessories. In general, sheets are much more expensive for both king and California king because the manufacturer must use more material.

Therefore, if costs will play a key role, then you might want to consider a queen mattress. They are less expensive than a king-sized bed, give you plenty of room for comfort, and won’t take up as much space either. Plus, you won’t pay as much for bedding.

Room Size

The size of your bedroom will also play a primary role in which mattress you choose. If you have a narrow and longer bedroom, then a California king might be a better fit given it’s slimmer and takes up less space along the wall. It also might be more ideal if you need it to fit in between a particular nook-like space in your bedroom.

On the other hand, a bedroom that strikes a balance between width and length might be able to accommodate a king bed. However, you’ll also want to make sure you have space for furniture like end tables, dressers, and more.

Therefore, before you go out and buy a bed, take a tape measurer and see how much space a king or California king bed would take up. From there, see if you have the space to accommodate your bed and furniture. Doing this will also give you insight into whether you’ll have enough room to move around your bedroom comfortably. If both of the beds take up too much space, consider a queen mattress instead.

Body Type

If you’re over six feet tall, then a California king bed provides the right amount of space for you to stretch your legs. This also allows you to get into a comfortable sleeping position, which reduces pressure points and tossing and turning.

Meanwhile, if you have long legs but also have a wider body type and or you sleep with somebody who is larger-built, then the width of a king mattress makes it a good option for you to try.

Single or Co-Sleeping

If you’re single and taller, a California king might be a great fit since it gives you more length to stretch out your legs.  The same applies if you have someone sleeping next to you and you both enjoy cuddling throughout the night. Additionally, it might be beneficial if you have a pet who sleeps near the bottom of your bed.

Meanwhile, if you plan to have someone sleeping next to you and you both need space to stretch out horizontally, then a king size mattress might be a better fit. This is also perfect for households with small children, as it gives enough width for families to snuggle.