King vs. California King Mattress Comparison Guide for 2022

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 05/11/2022

What Is the Size Difference Between California King and King Size Mattress?

This is one of the most common questions we receive when it comes to mattress sizes. We are here to solve all your doubts once and for all!

In this article, we will compare California King and King Size mattresses,and show you the results of:

  • Dimensions Comparison
  • Availability Comparison
  • Prices Comparison
  • Benefits Comparison
  • Other size alternatives, and
  • Answers to F.A.Q.

This guide will show you the difference between California King and Standard King size mattresses and help you choose the best mattress for your home. Let’s dig in!

California King vs. King Size Mattress

California kingKing
Dimension72″ Wide, 84″ long76″ Wide, 80″ long
Surface Area6,048 square inches6,080 square inches
Best ForTall peopleCouples
Benefits• Extra length is ideal for tall people
• Fits well in narrower rooms
• Maximum width is beneficial for couples and families
• Accessories are widely available
Drawbacks• Difficult to move
• Difficult to find accessories
• Difficult to move
• Not Ideal for those over 6″ tall

Many people are unaware of California King size mattresses, or yet believe that they are the same dimensions as the regular king-size mattress. No, Cal King mattress is not a name for regular king mattress that people from California use – as many wrongly assume.

California King size mattress was indeed invented in California, but with significant differences in dimensions, availability, benefits, and price compared to the king-size mattress. We highlighted the main differences you should bear in mind before choosing the perfect mattress for your home.

Dimensions

A king-size bed measures 76 inches by 80-inches —the equivalent of two twin beds placed next to each other. A great option for those looking to share their space with someone else, or just want more room themselves.

The king-size bed is a popular choice for couples and the largest mattress size on the market. The standard measure of 6320 square inches covers most commonly sized rooms in America today – from 12 feet by 10 to 13 ft spaces with an extra edge available if needed!

The California king mattress (also known as a Western king) measures 72 inches by 84 inches and is identical to two twin XL mattresses put together. The Cal king mattress is a perfect size for couples and sleepers who are over 6 feet tall. This extra-large, wide variety of mattresses can accommodate up to two children in addition to two adults.

Cal king beds are the second-largest standard size in the mattress industry with 6,048 square inches of total surface area. If you have a master bedroom measuring 12 feet by 14 or greater then this bed will be perfect for your space.

Availability

Due to the fact that king-size mattresses are more popular, manufacturers and distributors usually specialize in king-size mattresses. If you choose a king-sized mattress, you will have affordable mattress options to choose from. 

Finding a Cal king-size mattress shouldn’t worry you, either. However, some manufacturers may charge more for California kings, due to lower demand. We will explain more when we get to the prices.

Benefits

There are always two sides to the coin. The same goes for California King and a regular king-size mattress. Here is an overview of the crucial pros and cons of both alternatives.

California King Size Mattress

There are many benefits associated with owning a California King mattress. People choose to purchase this mattress because of the extra room for feet. You will never have to worry about monsters under your bed, as your feet won’t be hanging anymore.

Jokes aside, the California King is longer than the Regular King, giving it an advantage in this comparison. It is also easier to get in and out of, as it is not as wide as the regular King.

On the other hand, finding the right size bedding can be a challenge, alongside the higher costs.

ProsCons
Enough space for tall people (at least 6 feet)More expensive
Ideal for couples who like to sleep closer togetherNot easy to find the bedding
Fits ideally large bedroomsHard to move around the room (bulky size)

King size mattress

King-size mattresses are larger than traditional mattresses, making them perfect for people who want more space. They’re also great for couples, as they provide more than enough room for two people to sleep comfortably.

Additionally, king-size mattresses usually come with better quality materials and construction than traditional mattresses, making them a better investment in the long run.

On the other hand, king-sized mattresses may be too big for some people, and not fit all bedrooms.

ProsCons
Widely availableToo big for some bedrooms
Ideal for couples who like to stretch outHard to move (size and weight)
There’s room for childrenPricey

Price

California king mattresses cost more than standard king mattresses, generally speaking. A couple of factors are driving this price difference.

For starters, more material is used when constructing a California king mattress. Another factor is the demand for both mattresses. Due to lower demand for Cal king mattresses, retailers tend to bring up the prices.

The average price range for a California king mattress is between $1,200 and $1,600.

The average price range for a King mattress is up to $1,200.

Of course, you can find luxury brands going up to $5,000 for each size.

However, a regular king mattress can be more expensive than a California king mattress. This occurs when a retailer specializes in selling California king mattresses and does not carry standard king mattresses. It would be best to gather information about the retailer before making a purchase.

An additional thing to consider is the bedding price. Similar to mattresses, California king bedding usually costs more than regular king bedding.

How to Determine Which Size Mattress Is Right for You

Before deciding whether to buy a California King or standard King-sized mattress, there are several things to consider.

Before purchasing a new mattress, you should set up your bedroom in preparation for the installation. Ideally, you’ll want at least two feet of space on all three sides of your mattress. This will provide enough space to walk and move around the bed, and it will appear as though it belongs in the area and does not take up too much room.

If you have a narrow room, the Cal King may be a good fit for you. Similarly, if your room is somewhat wider, the conventional “Eastern” King size mattress will suit due to its width.

Your Height

The California King might be the best choice for taller people. You’ll have a little more room from head to toe due to the extra length. If you don’t mind your feet potentially hanging off the bed, a standard King size mattress will bring a bit of extra width. That said, this is a personal choice that depends on your preferences. 

Check out our ultimate mattress size guide to find the perfect mattress for your body type. 

Your Family

Before choosing which size is better for you, think about who you share your bed with. Do you sleep alone or with a partner? Do your kids or fluffy friends join you on the bed?

If you happen to share your bed with a partner, then the standard king size will be perfect. You’ll have plenty of space for both yourself and your partner. If there are children in this equation (or even pets), we recommend going for a California king-size mattress.

Sleeping Positions

Before purchasing a mattress, consider how you and your partner sleep. Think about how much you both enjoy spreading out. That will tell you whether you should go for a larger surface area. For more room on either side, go with the standard King.

Installation

Don’t allow yourself to make an expensive purchase of a sizable new mattress only to discover you can’t get it through the door. This is why the dimensions of your entryways and hallways are just as essential to consider.

When comparing mattress pricing, be sure to evaluate the delivery charge as well. Many mattress makers provide free delivery, but it may only mean to the front door. Whether you choose a King or a California king bed mattress, you’ll almost certainly need assistance moving it.

Costs

As explained above, a California king will cost you more than a regular king. This includes mattress, bed frame, beddings, pillows, and accessories.

When comparing mattress pricing, be sure to evaluate the delivery charge as well. Many mattress makers provide free delivery, but it may only mean to the front door. Whether you choose a king or a California king bed mattress, you’ll almost certainly need assistance moving it.

Other Size Alternatives

You may choose from a greater variety of mattresses than simply a king or California king mattress, especially if you are looking for a bed in the master bedroom. A queen mattress, a split king, or an enormous king mattress are also valuable options to consider.

Queen Mattresses

For several reasons, queen-size mattresses are the most popular bed size. Queen mattresses are less expensive than a king or Cal king mattress and fit in smaller master bedrooms. A king mattress may feel too large in single sleepers, whereas a queen mattress might provide more room without being cumbersome.

Split King Mattresses

Do you and your partner prefer high-quality soft mattresses or firm mattresses? If you don’t want to compromise on your sleep quality with a medium-firm mattress, a split king mattress allows you to customize your side.

Split King Mattresses go well with adjustable bed frames. Each half of the bed may be adjusted independently from one another. One side of the bed can be adjusted one way, while the other side is adjusted differently.

Split king mattresses are more expensive than standard king or California king bed mattresses. Split king mattresses require different bedding – two twin XL sheets and a king cover sheet and comforter.

Other King Sizes

There are other larger-size mattresses you could consider. Although, bear in mind that they might be harder to find and transport. If you decide to go for any of the below-described mattresses, lean on online sellers to find your perfect mattress.

The Texas king is a mattress size that is larger than a standard king. The Texas king is 12 inches wider and 6 inches longer than a standard king. This extra space may be ideal for those who want more sleeping room.

The Wyoming king is the largest king-size mattress offered by Serta. It is a monstrous 20 inches wider and 12 inches longer than a standard king mattress. This extra size might be perfect for those who want the most space possible while they sleep.

The Alberta king is an uncommon king-size mattress that is 14 inches wider and 10 inches longer than a standard king. This mattress might be good for people who want a bit more width without having to go as large as the Wyoming king.

The Alsace king is an extra-long king mattress that is 4 inches longer than a standard king. This mattress is also called an Eastern King, and it can be suitable for tall people who need more room to stretch out while they sleep.

FAQs

Is California King Bigger than a Regular King?

While California King and Standard King mattresses may look the same, they do not have the same dimensions. California King mattresses are 4″ longer and 2″ narrower than Standard King Size mattresses.

Can a King-size Mattress Fit in a California King Frame?

The king-size bed frame is a perfect place to store your largest mattress. If you have an old-school metal rails type of headboard, then just replace it with longer California King size railings and enjoy the extra space.

Why Is It Called a California King?

The California King was created in Los Angeles, where it got its name from. The man who invented the mattress thought most Americans had houses big enough for a six-foot-wide and seven-foot-long bed!

Will My King-size Sheets Work on a California King-size Mattress?

Unfortunately, not. You have to purchase California king-size bed sheets for Cal king mattresses.

Is a California King Worth It?

This is the question you’ll have to answer for yourself! A California king bed costs more, but it may be the perfect option for tall sleepers or couples with small, narrow bedrooms.

Final Thoughts

We hope that we have helped you understand the difference between California King and King size mattresses and make an informed decision about the right mattress size for your home.

If you are still unsure which mattress size is ideal for you, we’ve got your back.

Head over to our ultimate guide to mattress sizes and dimensions that will teach you everything you need to know about mattress sizes and dimensions. Enjoy choosing your mattress, and let us know what your final verdict is!

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.