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What Are the Differences Between a Cal King vs. King Bed?

Posted By: Layla

You have many options when shopping for a new mattress, including sizes. When it comes to how big your bed should be, you have to consider many factors, including your height and room size. However, as you may know, there are standard mattress sizes and variations on those standard mattress sizes. If you're looking for a bigger mattress, you may have considered California king vs. king mattresses.

What Are the Differences Between a Cal King vs. King Bed?

Many people believe California king mattresses are much larger than king mattresses. However, that’s not the case. California king beds are longer than standard king beds, but it’s not as wide and has less surface area, so it’s not actually bigger. If you’re considering a Cal king vs. king, there are a few things you need to know.

California King vs. King Mattress Dimensions

As we’ve mentioned, a California king mattress is longer than a king mattress, but you’ll need to know the exact dimensions to understand which bed is right for you when deciding between a king vs. California king mattress.

A California king bed is 72 inches wide and 84 inches long with a total surface area of 6,048 square inches.

Meanwhile, a king-sized mattress is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, totaling a surface area of 6,080 square inches.

King vs. California king dimensions

A king-sized mattress is more square-shaped than a California king, even though they’re both technically rectangles. Of course, there are other types of king beds, but these two are the most common in stores.

Pros and Cons of a King Mattress

A king mattress is a popular choice for any master bedroom, and it’s the widest standard mattress available. If you’ve already made a choice between a king vs. queen bed, you may want the king mattress for its additional size, especially if you share your bed with a partner, children, and pets. Here are the pros and cons of king mattresses.

Pros of King Mattresses

  • Common bed size: King mattresses are a common bed size, making them ideal for those who need extra space. Because they can be found at most stores, it also means there are more accessory options available, such as sheets and comforters.
  • Great for partners: Partners may choose to turn two twin beds into a king to give them more space, or they can get a king-sized mattress to allow them to sprawl out and move around without interrupting each other’s sleep. Unlike queen mattresses, king mattresses offer an additional 16 inches in width, providing more space for couples or those sleeping with kids or pets.
  • Extra room: King mattresses can provide sleepers with extra room whether they sleep alone, with a partner, or with a pet, making them cozy for anyone. Because they’re so wide, you don’t have to worry about sprawling out to get comfortable.

Cons of King Mattresses

  • Heavy: King mattresses are heavy, making them hard to move.
  • Large for some rooms: King beds might be too large for some rooms in the house, such as a guest bedroom. They’re typically best for master bedrooms that tend to have additional space.
  • Pricier than smaller mattress size: The bigger the mattress, the more expensive it will be, so kings are pricier than smaller mattress options like a queen, but to many people, they are well worth it.
Pros and cons of king and California king mattresses

Pros and Cons of a California King Mattress

A California king mattress is longer than a king mattress, but you’ll sacrifice width for extra leg room. These mattresses are ideal for people above six feet tall. Here are the pros and cons of a California king mattress.

Pros of California King Mattresses

  • Good option for taller people: Tall people over six feet might prefer to have extra leg room in the bed to ensure their feet don’t hang off the mattress or having to sleep in a position that’s not comfortable for them.
  • Great for couples: Like the standard king mattress, the California king mattress is great for couples because it provides extra space even though it has less width.
  • Extra room: You can never go wrong with extra foot room, especially if you have pets that like to sleep at the bottom of the bed.

Cons of California King Mattresses

  • Limited and costlier accessories: While the California king is a fairly common mattress size, it’s not a standard size, so there is a limited selection of accessories, such as sheets and other bedding.
  • Less width than a standard king: Extra space for your feet might be nice if you’re tall, but if you don’t need it, you’ll be sacrificing width.
  • Hard to move: California Kings can be hard to move because they’re bulky and longer than standard mattresses.

Should I Choose a California King or King Mattress?

To choose the right mattress for you, you need to learn how to choose a mattress. When deciding between a Cal king vs. king mattress, here are a few factors to consider:

How to choose between a king vs. California king mattress
  • Height: How tall you are should impact the size of the bed you buy. If you’re average height or smaller, you’ll be happy in a king mattress no matter what. However, if you’re taller, you might prefer to get a California king because it has more space near your feet, so your feet will never hang off the bed again. Depending on your preferences, you may choose to sacrifice either width or height when choosing between these two mattress sizes.
  • Couples: If you share your bed with your partner, you’ll have to take into account their preferences as well. A California king is narrower than a king bed, but it might be ideal for couples that prefer to sleep closer together, especially if one of them is tall. However, if both sleepers prefer their space at night, they’ll be perfectly comfortable in a standard king, which offers more width.
  • Room Size: You should have enough space in your room to walk around the mattress if you don’t plan to have one side pushed against a wall. If you have a narrow room, a California king might fit perfectly because it’s less wide but longer. However, if your room is wider, a California king will provide you with enough space around the bed to move around.
  • Cost: California kings are a popular bed choice, but they’re not a standard mattress, making them more expensive. Additionally, there are limited options for accessories like sheets and frames.
  • Family: If you share your bed with more than just your partner, you may prefer a king-sized bed over a California king because there’s more width, which means more room for everyone. King mattresses are ideal for sharing your bed with your pets and children, while California kings typically comfortably fit two people and a small pet.

Still unsure what size mattress is right for you? Check out our mattress size guide to learn more about the different mattress sizes available.

Layla Sleep King and Cal King Mattresses

Now that you understand the difference between king and Cal king mattresses, it’s time to decide which is right for you. Don’t forget to check out Layla® King and Cal King Mattresses. Both mattresses are available in our signature memory foam and hybrid mattress options. So, whether you prefer memory foam or a hybrid, you can sleep soundly every night on a king or California king mattress.

Layla Sleep mattresses

All of our mattresses are made from copper foam that stays soft while offering support where you need it most. The copper also carries heat away from your body to help you stay cool at night, making our mattresses an ideal sleep hot solution for couples or single hot sleepers.

Don’t know which firmness level you prefer? Layla® offers two options. With our Flippable Firmness™ technology, you can decide which side is right for you and your partner.

King vs. California King Mattress FAQs

Will King Sheets Fit on a California King?

No, king sheets will not fit on a California king bed because they have different size dimensions. A California king is longer and narrower than a standard king mattress. When shopping for sheets, always check the dimensions listed on the product or description to ensure you’re buying the right size.

How Do King Sized Beds Compare to Other Bed Sizes?

King and California king mattresses are the largest mattress options on the market compared to other standard-sized mattresses, such as queens, fulls, and twins. When choosing a mattress, taking your height and room size is important to ensure you find the right mattress for you.

Are There Beds Bigger Than a California King?

Yes, there are many types of king mattresses, all with different dimensions. For example, the Alaskan king is much longer than the California king and much wider than the standard king mattress. However, these mattresses are rare and only ideal for large rooms.

Wrapping Up: Cal King vs. King Beds

When choosing a mattress for you, it’s always best to choose what will make you the most comfortable. For example, there’s no reason to purchase a bed with extra foot space if you don’t need it, especially since it will cost more. Most people will be happy in a standard king bed, especially if they like to have tons of space. However, tall individuals might prefer a California king mattress for additional space at their feet. Luckily, even though California kings are rarer than standard mattress sizes, Layla® offers both popular king mattress options.