California King vs. Alaskan King: What’s the Difference?

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 02/24/2023

Getting a big, spacious mattress is a must, especially when you share it with someone. Being crammed isn’t very pleasant!

And when it comes to oversized mattresses, you can choose a standard mattress size or go for the “go big or go home” option. 

Whether it’s the California king, Alaskan king bed, or any other one, it’s important to do your research. We prepared this guide to help you make a confident decision.

Let’s get into the Alaskan king bed vs. California king discussion. 

What Is a California King Mattress?

With dimensions of 84 by 72 inches, the California king bed is one of the biggest standard mattress sizes, similar to a king bed. But a California king is one of the smallest options when it comes to king-size mattresses overall. 

A California king bed is a good choice for taller couples and can even fit a child or a pet. This size is appropriate for almost all standard mattress bedrooms. Another name for this mattress is the Western king.

What Is an Alaskan King Mattress?

The Alaskan bed is the biggest oversized mattress out there. The Alaskan king bed dimensions are 108 by 108 inches, named after the biggest American state. 

This mattress is perfect for co-sleeping for the whole family. It can comfortably fit a couple, but there’s also enough space for more than two children or multiple pets. You do need a big room for this non-standard mattress size, though. 

California King vs. Alaskan King – Key Differences

Now that we’ve covered the basics for both of these beds, let’s get into the meat of the California king vs. Alaskan king bed debate. 

Here are the main differences between the two. 


Starting with the most obvious one, the California king and Alaskan king have very different dimensions. 

California king mattresses are 84 by 72 inches, and Alaskan king mattresses measure 108 by 108 inches. This makes the Alaskan king bed 24 inches longer and 36 inches wider than the Cal king mattress. 

That might seem like a little when both mattresses are already spacious, but the difference in dimensions can impact many things. 

Room Size

Most of us dream of an endless mattress where we can spread out as much as we want, but there’s no point in getting that big of a bed if it can’t fit in your room. 

A California king mattress can fit in most standard bedrooms. It will do best in a master bedroom, though, because it’s still not a tiny mattress. 

The minimum room size for a California king size mattress is at least 12 by 12 feet, so it’s spacious enough for all the other furniture. 

On the other hand, getting an Alaskan king bed in a room of that size will create a cramped space. Unless your dream is to have a wall to wall mattress.

If not, your room space should be at least 16 by 16 feet to be suitable for an Alaskan king size mattress.


The bigger the mattress, the higher the cost. 

California king mattresses aren’t very budget-friendly per se, but they’re nothing compared to Alaskan king mattresses. 

On average, an Alaskan king mattress will set you back from $2,000 to $7,000, and the prices can vary significantly. It depends on materials, supply, and even shipping. 

On the other hand, a California king size bed usually costs between $700 and $4,000 on average. Luxury materials like natural latex can cost more, but memory foam is more affordable. 

An Alaskan king mattress can pay off if you plan on sleeping with more than two children. In that case, there’s no need to get separate mattresses, and you can use just this one family bed.

Sleeping Partners

A Cal king bed can comfortably fit two taller adults and even a child or a pet, but you will be close by. This option is still excellent if you’re okay with sleeping close to your partner while still having your own space. 

However, an Alaskan King bed can fit two adults with a lot of space between them, even for two children or multiple pets. When it comes to just two people, an Alaskan king bed truly gives you a lot of space. 

Sleeping Position

Choosing the perfect bed size also depends on your sleeping position. For example, while side sleepers take up less space, stomach or back sleepers need way more. 

California King and Alaskan King beds can fit two stomach or back sleepers, but the latter gives more space. An Alaskan king mattress might be a better choice for two combination sleepers

Height and Weight

Your mattress needs to suit your body. And that’s where your height and weight come into play. 

California king and Alaskan king beds are suitable for people over 6 feet tall, but if you’re even taller, the latter would be better suited. 

Also, the Alaskan King size bed has extra space, so heavier sleepers with bigger body types will feel more comfortable and less cramped. 


One of the biggest points in the Alaskan king vs. California king debate is how easy it is to get to them.

The Cal king mattress is a standard size, meaning you can find it at virtually any mattress store. But that’s not the case with the Alaskan king. 

The Alaskan king mattress is big and rare. You’ll have to research where to find it, and there’ll be fewer options regarding materials. Although some companies provide custom mattress construction. 

Bed Accessories

The California kings are standard sized mattresses that almost all mattress sellers provide. This means that all accessories, like the bed frame and other bedding furniture, are just as easy to get to. 

But an Alaskan king is a non-standard size, and the available accessories are limited and harder to get. You could have the bed frame custom-made, but the cost would be higher.  

ParameterCalifornia kingAlaskan king
Dimensions84in x 72in108in x 108in
Room size12ft x 12ft16ft x 16ft
Price$700 – $4,000$2,000 – $7,000
Sleeping partners2 adults + 1 child or pet2 adults + 3 to 4 children or pets
BodyPeople taller than 6ftReally tall people and heavier sleepers
AccessibilityIt can be found anywhereNot as common

California King Bed – Pros and Con

Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of this standard size.


  • More affordable
  • More accessible 
  • You don’t need a massive room for it


  • Not as big as the Alaskan king
  • Not for bigger families 

Alaskan King Bed – Pros and Cons

Now let’s consider some of the benefits and drawbacks of the Alaskan king size bed. 


  • Gives a lot of sleeping space 
  • Good for co-sleeping
  • Unique


  • Heavy
  • Costly 
  • Not accessible 

California King vs. Alaskan King – Which One Should You Choose?

It’s all about what you need and what you prefer. 

California king beds are the better choice if you plan on sleeping with your partner and just one child or pet. They’ll give you just enough space, will only set you back a little and don’t require a huge room. California king mattresses are also more common than other oversized beds, so shopping will go easier. 

And if you want a big bed for co-sleeping families where you can get more personal space, go for the Alaskan king bed size. It’s big, but it’s also pricey and less easy to find. And you’ll need a big room for this one. 

Other King Bed Sizes

And if you want something bigger than a California king but think the Alaskan king bed size is a bit too much for you, say hello to other king-size beds. 

Texas King Bed

The Texas king bed is the second-largest king bed, named after the second-largest American state. Measuring 80 by 98 inches, the Texas king mattress is perfect for tall sleepers, although it doesn’t have the width for co-sleeping. 

Wyoming King Bed

The Wyoming king mattress is another square-shaped mattress, measuring 84 by 84 inches. It’s as wide as a king mattress, but it gives more legroom, which taller sleepers will love. Sometimes, this mattress is called an emperor-size mattress. 

Where Can You Buy Extra Large Mattresses?

As we already mentioned, a California king mattress is a typical standard mattress size, and you can find it in all mattress stores. But how can you get your hands on a Texas king, Wyoming king, or Alaskan king bed? 

That might take some research—at least more than a Cal king size bed. Even when you find one, you’ll also need to look for bed frames and other accessories. 

Most mattress manufacturers also sell bed frames and other mattress-related products, but if they don’t, you’ll have to have them custom-made. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There a Bigger Bed Than an Alaskan King?

Technically, the Alaskan bed is the largest mattress around. But, the Family XL mattress created for co-sleeping is 144 inches wide but only 84 inches long. 

What Is the Best Mattress Size for Couples?

Couples can sleep on any mattress from a Queen-size onward, but it’s all about your body type and what you prefer. A standard Queen size bed can get pretty cramped for two people to sleep comfortably.

The king is wide but not perfect for tall people, and the California King is narrower than a standard King mattress. If you want more personal space, go for an oversized mattress.

What’s the Difference Between a King Bed and a California King Bed?

A regular king bed and a California king bed have the same area size, but the California king is 4 inches narrower and has 4 inches of extra length. This makes the California king mattress a better choice for taller people. 

Final Thoughts

To put it simply, a California king bed is a safe choice. It’s spacious enough for a couple and a child, it’s suitable for tall people, it’s affordable, and it doesn’t take up as much space. 

On the other hand, an Alaskan king sized bed is perfect if you want to co-sleep with your partner and multiple children or pets. It gives you a lot of space, but it also costs a lot, and you’ll need a bigger room. 

But there’s no actual winner in the Alaskan king bed vs. California king debate.

Remember to always choose your mattress based on your preferences and sleeping habits. You’ll be the one sleeping in it!

Good night, and good luck finding your new mattress!

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.