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King vs California King Size Mattresses

You’ve been meaning to get a better mattress over the last two months. You have narrowed down your search to a King or a California King mattress.

And really, you don’t know much about selecting mattresses, right?

  • What’s the difference?
  • Which one is bigger?
  • site:Which one’s right for you?

There are many questions and misnomers that you’re yet to find answers to.

Selecting between a cal king and a king size mattress can be a daunting task.

That’s why we are here to help you select the perfect mattress so that you can soon sleep like a King.

Together, we are going to ruffle a few feathers and set a few things right.

Now, let’s have a look at the differences between King vs California King mattresses.

Differences Between King vs California King Mattresses

King vs. California King Size

You might think the California King mattress is larger than the standard King mattress. You couldn’t be farther from the truth. The major difference between the two beds is the size.

King Size Mattress Dimensions

The King mattress has a lesser total surface area when compared to the California King. A standard king size bed dimensions are 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, with a total surface area of 6,080 square inches. 

Cal King Size Mattress Dimensions

However, the California King size bed is slightly longer. The California King sized mattress is 72 inches wide and 84 inches long.

Key Bed Dimension Differences

  • A King mattress has four inches more width compared to the California King size.
  • While the California King size has an additional length of 4 inches.

You might wonder how this affects your choice when purchasing a mattress. The dimensions fit different body types.

Well, if you’re of average body size, then this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you are a tall sleeper (and huge) then these dimensions are a big deal.

We recommend the California King size if you are taller than 6 feet.

If you have a partner or children, then the King mattress would be ideal as it provides you with extra width.

Bed Frame
King Mattress Size
California King Mattress Size

King vs. Cal King Surface Area

Which mattress has a bigger surface area? The answer might astonish you.

The standard King mattress is smaller than the California King mattress. Yet when you look at the total surface area and compare the two, the King mattress is actually bigger.

See our handy bed size table below:

King Bed Dimensions: 76 inches X 80 inches = 6080 sq. in.
California King Bed Dimensions: 72 inches X 84 inches= 6048 sq. in.

Beddings and Accessories

Accessories for the California King mattress are much harder to come by when compared to the King mattress.

It’s quite difficult to find box springs, bed sheets, bed frames, protectors, pillowcases, and comforters.

Plus, they cost a tad bit more than their King versions.

King California Mattress

On the other hand, it’s quite easy to find accessories for the King size mattress.

Walk into any retail store and you’ll find comforter sets, king sheets, mattress encasements, and any other extra accessories that you may require.


King and California King mattresses often have a similar cost. Sometimes the Cal King mattress costs slightly more.

Pricing for the King vs California King normally depends on the type of material used (memory foam, latex, etc.).

Also, the demand for a specific product may influence the manufacturing cost.

Please Note: The King and California King mattresses cost more than the standard double bed. If you’re looking to buy a luxury mattress, the price variation can be consequential.

King and California King mattresses are 16 inches larger than a queen mattress. This translates to additional packaging and materials.

So if you are in need of more sleeping space, a King-size mattress is ideal.

However, if more space isn’t a priority then you might save a lot of money by getting a queen size mattress.

King vs. California King: Pros and Cons

Standard King


  • Widely available.
  • Better for wider and shorter room spaces.
  • Best for couples with pets or children.


  • Difficult to move around.
  • Not suitable for tall people.

California King


  • Best for taller people.
  • Better for narrow and long room spaces.
  • Ideal for singles or couples.


  • Difficult to move around.
  • Accessories are not easy to find.king
Ideal for ...
California King
Long and Narrow Rooms
Single Sleepers
Wide and Short Rooms
Taller People
Kids and Pets
A Comparison Table of King vs California King Mattresses

Factors to Consider When Choosing a King vs California King Mattress

Room Size

California Bed King

Here are a few questions to consider when it comes to room size:

  • What’s the size of your bedroom?
  • Will you have to move furniture for your mattress to fit?
  • How much space will you need on either side of the bed?
  • How much usable room space versus bed space makes sense to you?
  • Will you be moving anytime soon?
  • How do you intend to physically get the mattress into the room?

A large mattress can offer you a great night’s sleep. However, if you don’t factor in the size of your bedroom you could be in for some rude awakenings.

When fantasizing about jumping into a huge comfy bed, be cautious about getting trigger happy.

Keep in mind: King and California King mattresses are over 6 feet wide and at least 6 feet long. These beds are suitable for master bedrooms.

If your room is a standard size or you live in an apartment, you may not have enough space left for furniture. You may not even have space to access the bed from either side.

California King Bed Recommended Room Size 12’ x 12’ – 14’ x 12’.
Standard King Bed Recommended Room Size 10’ x 12’ – 12’ x 13’.

This is dependent on how much furniture or walking space you prefer in your bedroom.


One of the reasons you might be looking for a new bed is because you and your spouse need more sleeping space.

Or your adorable kids tend to snuggle in with you during most mornings.

Or your pet is spoilt with mattress privileges and your current bed won’t cut it anymore.

King Bed Sizes

Whatever your reason, going for a King bed or a California King bed is one of the most effective ways to gain additional sleeping space.

The extra 4 inches in width and in length for either bed makes a whole lot of difference.

You also have the option of a split King, which refers to a King mattress that has been divided into two equal halves (twin bed).

This can be a great alternative if you have a partner who doesn’t have the same sleeping position as yourself.

Or if they like to watch TV, or read during the night when you’re asleep.

Ready to Sleep Like a King?

The variation between the King and California King mattresses isn’t extensive. However, it’s enough to influence how the mattress fits in your space and how well you sleep.

It really boils down to preference.

The California King is great because of the extra foot space.

However, if you’re on a budget and your priority is extra sleeping space, then the King size is the way to go. Plus accessories for the King size are easier to find and much cheaper.

Size of King Beds

Your room’s dimensions also play a significant role in determining which of the two beds you should purchase.

If you have a wider but shorter room, Kingsize is a better choice.

If your room is long but not wide, the California King size will suffic