King vs. California King

Written by Zulekha Nishad

Last Updated June 13, 2024

When it comes to choosing a mattress, size is an important consideration. For couples or anyone who likes to have plenty of room to sleep, the King and California King are the two largest options on the market. But do you know the difference between these two mattress sizes? Most people don't. 

Key Takeaways:

  • A King size mattress is 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, while a California King size mattress measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long.
  • When choosing between a King or California King mattress, consider factors such as your height, sleeping preferences, room size, and budget.
  • Both King and California King mattresses are good for couples, but the King size may be a better option for families with pets or for those who need extra space.
  • The California King may be more ideal for taller people who need the extra length.
  • California King mattresses may be comparatively harder to find in stores and may have limited options when it comes to accessories such as sheets and bedding.

King Vs. California King

Contrary to popular belief, the California King is actually slightly smaller than the standard king. While it has a longer length, it has a narrower width, which results in a smaller total surface area. So if you're looking for the biggest mattress possible, the standard king is the way to go. However, if you need a bed that will fit in a smaller space, such as a narrow bedroom or RVs, the California King might be a better option.

latex mattress

In this blog post, we will explain the difference between the two sizes and give you some tips on which size is right for you.

What Is a King Size Mattress?

A King size is the widest standard mattress size in Canada and the US, and it is also one of the longest. This makes it a great option for couples who want plenty of space to move around during the night or for tall people who need extra length.

A King size mattress can be a good choice for people who have pets that like to sleep on the bed, as there is typically plenty of room for everyone. King size mattresses are also available in a variety of different materials, such as memory foam, latex, and innerspring, so you can choose the type that best suits your needs.

what is a king mattress

Pros of King Size Mattress

Here are a few reasons why you should upgrade to a king-sized mattress:

  • A king-size mattress is perfect for small families and couples. With plenty of space to sprawl out, you and your partner will be able to get a good night's sleep without feeling cramped.
  • Accessories for king-size mattresses are readily available and affordable. From sheets and bedding to mattress covers and mattress toppers, you'll be able to find everything you need to make your mattress comfortable and stylish.
  • King size mattresses fit nicely in most master bedrooms. You won't have to worry about your mattress taking up too much space or overpowering the design of your room.
  • Split king options are available for couples with different sleeping preferences. This way, each person can have their own side of the bed with their own level of mattress firmness and support. No more arguing over who gets the "good" side of the bed!

So if you're looking for a spacious, comfortable, and stylish mattress, a king-size mattress may be just the right option for you!

Cons of King Size Mattress

There are a few potential drawbacks to keep in mind when considering a king-size mattress.

  • At 80 inches long and 76 inches wide, it may be too small for people who are 6 feet or taller.
  • Because it is so large and heavy, moving and transporting a king-size mattress can be difficult.
  • If you have a smaller bedroom, a king-size mattress may not leave enough space for other furniture or for moving around freely.

Overall, a king-size mattress is a comfortable and luxurious option, but it is important to consider the potential downsides before you make a purchase.

A king size mattress used in RV

What is a California King Size Mattress?

A California king is a mattress that is 72 inches wide and 84 inches long. This makes it slightly narrower and longer than a standard king-size mattress, which is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. 

California king mattresses are a popular choice for couples who want more space to sleep without sacrificing the comfort of a queen-size mattress. They are also a good choice for taller people, as the extra length prevents your feet from hanging off the end of the bed.

If you're considering purchasing a California king mattress, keep in mind that sheet sets and other bedding may be harder to find than for standard mattress sizes. In addition, because they are longer than standard king mattresses, they may not fit through doorways or upstairs as easily.

what is a california king mattress

Pros of California King Size Mattress

California king-size mattresses are the second-largest standard mattress size, and they have a number of benefits.

  • It is beneficial for tall sleepers because of the extra length it offers.
  • It consumes less space as compared to other mattress sizes and is thus convenient to use in small spaces.
  • It is also convenient to stretch while sleeping on a California king-size mattress which makes it great for couples and single sleepers alike.

Cons of California King Size Mattress

While the California king-size mattress is not as common as a regular king-size mattress, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider before making your purchase.

  • One issue you may face is difficulty finding accessories, such as sheets and covers that fit properly. There are also fewer furniture options available in this size.
  • The mattress itself can be quite bulky and difficult to move, making it a less than ideal choice for those who like to rearrange their bedroom frequently.
  • California king mattresses tend to be slightly more expensive than regular king mattresses.

What to Consider When Choosing Between a King or California King?

Before you decide between a King and California King size mattress, there are a few things you should know.

Room Dimension

In the US, a standard size bedroom usually measures 11 feet by 12 feet. And a master bedroom is bigger and measures 14 feet by 16 feet.

When considering a King or California king-size mattress, be sure you have enough space in your room for the mattress. You'll need at least 2 feet of space on all three sides of the bed so you can move around comfortably. This will also keep the room from feeling too crowded.

consider room dimension before choosing between a king and california king

If your room is narrower, a California King mattress would be ideal. If your bedroom is broader, a standard King-size bed should suffice. In any case, it's always advisable to measure the length and width of your room before selecting a mattress.


The California King is longer and narrower than a regular king-size mattress. Tall individuals will appreciate the additional room to stretch out. However, the width of the bed is not suitable for more than two people.

consider height before choosing between a king and california king size mattress

The King size is shorter than the California king mattress, but it is ideal for average height people. Despite their difference in height, the ample width also allows parents and children to sleep together on the same bed.

Sleeping Partner

It doesn't matter if you have a small or large bed if you are the only person who will be sleeping in it. If you're tall, a California king bed is fine, but if not, either one will suffice. However, if you sleep in a bed with someone else, they may want a standard king-size mattress rather than a California King.

consider number of sleepers before choosing between a king and california king

Parents who share their bed with a young child should choose a standard king-size bed, as it is wider and provides more comfort. If you have pets that sleep in bed with you, a Cal king-size bed will be a better choice. That's because it's longer, so your pets can sleep at the foot of the bed without bothering you.

natural and organic latex mattress topper

Mattress Foundation

Another crucial element to consider while selecting the size of your mattress is the foundation. Before determining dimensions or other factors, you should first evaluate the sort of foundation on which you will lay your bed.

consider mattress foundation before choosing between a king a california king mattress

King and California king beds can work with a variety of bed bases, like adjustable bases, foundations, and platform beds. Just be sure to pick the right type of bed base for your mattress.


Many buyers look at budget when they are choosing a mattress. Depending on what you can afford and what you need, there are different types of mattresses.

take your budget into consideration before choosing between a king and california king

The California King size bed is rare and has a higher price tag than the king-size bed, which is more common and affordable. Accessories for the California king are also hard to find and can be very expensive.

King mattress and california king mattress - which one is the best

King Vs. California King - Which One's the Best?

king size vs. california king size mattress

If you are taller than average, a king mattress will give you more length to stretch out. On the other hand, if you prefer more width to length, a California king mattress might be a better fit. Ultimately, the best way to decide is to lie down on both types of mattresses and see which one feels more comfortable to you.

Whichever mattress size you choose, make sure to also consider the type of bed frame and foundations you need to support it. A standard king bed frame will not fit a California king mattress and vice versa.

Other names Eastern King Western King
Length 76 inches 72 inches
Width 80 inches 84 inches
Surface area 6,080 sq. inches 6,048 sq. inches
Room size 13 by 13 feet 13 by 12 feet
Occupancy 2 People 3 people without squishing
Best for Couples Tall people

Other standard mattress sizes

Now that you know the difference between California king vs. king let us give you very brief information about the other available mattress sizes.


Also known as a single mattress, a twin mattress measures 38 inches wide and 75 inches long. These mattresses are the smallest of all the standard mattress sizes and are best suited for kids, regular-sized teens, and adults who are under 6 feet in height.

Twin xl

Measuring 38 inches long and 80 inches wide, the twin xl mattresses are 5 inches longer than a standard twin mattress, making it ideal for people who need a little extra room to stretch out. They are also one of the most popular kids' mattress sizes. In addition, twin xl mattresses are often used in dormitories or other shared living spaces, as they provide a comfortable sleeping surface for a single sleeper without taking up too much space.


Full size mattresses measure 54 inches long and 75 inches wide. These mattresses are ideal for single sleepers and small children who want more room to stretch out. However, a full-size mattress may be too narrow for couples and won't be long enough for people who are taller than 6 feet 3 inches. If you need a mattress that is big enough for two people, you should consider a queen or king-size mattress.


A queen mattress is the most popular standard US mattress size and measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. They are the most preferred option by couples.


In the battle of King vs. California King, who came out on top? The answer may not be so clear-cut. Both sizes definitely have their pros and cons, but ultimately it comes down to what works best for your individual needs and sleeping style.

If you're still not sure which size mattress to buy, hopefully, this article has helped clear things up a bit. And if not, at least you now know the difference between a king and a California king!

With all of that said, which size do you think is better: King or California King? Let us know in the comments below!


Is a California King Bigger Than a Regular King?

No, a California king bed is not bigger than a regular king. The difference between the two is in the dimensions.

A regular king has a width of 76 inches and a length of 80 inches. A California king has a width of 72 inches and a length of 84 inches. That makes the California king four inches longer but four inches narrower than a regular king. As a result, a California king mattress has less overall surface area than a regular king mattress. This can be beneficial for taller sleepers who need more leg room, but it is not necessarily ideal for couples who want more space to spread out.

However, the best mattress size for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. But if you're looking for maximum surface area, a regular king-size mattress is the way to go.

How Much Bigger Is California King-Sized Mattress Than Queen?

A California king bed is slightly longer and narrower than queen size bed, measuring 72 inches by 84 inches. Queen beds, on the other hand, measure 60 inches by 80 inches. This means a California King bed is 4 inches longer and 12 inches wider than a standard queen bed.

What is an Alaskan king bed?

Alaskan king beds are the largest type of bed available on the market, measuring 108 inches long and 108 inches wide. That's nearly 9 feet by 9 feet! These massive beds are sure to give you plenty of room to sprawl out and get comfortable.

If you have a large bedroom, an Alaskan king bed is a perfect way to make a dramatic statement. Not only will you enjoy the extra space, but you'll also appreciate the luxurious feel of having so much room to yourself.

Do California King Sheets Fit a King-Sized Bed?

The answer is no. Cal King sheets are longer than standard King sheets, but they're also narrower. As a result, they'll be too long and not wide enough to properly fit a King mattress. So if you're outfitting a King bed, you'll need to shop for king-size sheets separately.

What Is a Split King Mattress?

A split king mattress is a type of bed that consists of two separate mattresses that are placed side by side. This arrangement is often used for couples who have different sleeping preferences, as each person can adjust their side of the bed to suit their needs. Split king mattresses also have the advantage of being more versatile than traditional king-size beds, as they can be easily separated and rearranged to fit in smaller rooms.

Can I Put a California King Mattress on a King Frame?

A California king mattress is slightly narrower and longer than a standard king mattress, so it can technically be used on a king frame. However, there may be some gaps between the mattress and the frame, which can impact the level of support and comfort the mattress provides. For this reason, it's always best to use a California king-sized mattress with a California king bed frame size. This will ensure that the mattress fits properly and provides the best possible level of comfort and support.

Is a Western King Sized Mattress the Same as Cal King Mattress?

Yes, both western king and cal king mattresses are the same, measuring 72 inches wide and 84 inches long.

What Is an Eastern King Sized Bed?

Eastern king is another name given to standard king beds and measures 76 inches wide and 80 inches wide.

Young family with children in a king bed

natural and organic pillows

Related blog posts:

1. Mattress Sizes Chart and Bed Dimensions Guide

2. California King vs. Queen Mattress Size

3. Twin Vs Twin XL Mattress Size Comparison

4. A Detailed Guide on Full vs. Queen Size Mattresses: Which One Should You Sleep On?

5. Twin vs. Full vs. Queen Mattress Size Comparison

Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.