Bed & Mattress Guides

King vs California King Size Mattresses: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

King vs California King Size Mattresses: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

When it comes to choosing the best mattress, the options can be overwhelming. Among the most popular bed size choices are King size beds and California King size beds, each offering unique characteristics that cater to specific needs. Whether you desire ample room to stretch out or prioritize legroom and extra length, understanding the differences between a King size bed and a California King size mattress will guide you in making an informed decision when you buy a mattress online.

Differences Between King and California King Mattresses

When it comes to bed size and mattress sizes, King and California King are popular types of mattresses. Let's take a closer look at their definitions, alternative names, and dimensions to understand their unique characteristics

King Mattress: A Spacious Haven

Also known as the Eastern King, a King-size mattress measures 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, providing a generous sleeping surface. This mattress size is equivalent to two twin XL beds placed side by side. The King mattress is the best mattress for couples or individuals who share their bed with a pet or child, offering ample space for comfortable sleep.

Alternative Names:

  • Eastern King

Surface Area Dimensions:

  • Width: 76 inches
  • Length: 80 inches
  • Surface Area: 6,080 square inches

California King Mattress: West Coast Comfort

The California King size mattress offers a different approach to spaciousness. With dimensions of 72 inches wide and 84 inches long, the California King bed is narrower but longer than a standard King mattress. The California King is well-suited for taller individuals who require extra legroom while sleeping. It is a popular choice among those who value extra length over width and have a slightly narrower bedroom space.

Alternative Names:

  • Western King
  • Cal King

Surface Area Dimensions:

  • Width: 72 inches
  • Length: 84 inches
  • Surface Area: 6,048 square inches

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Factors to Consider When Choosing Between King and California King Mattresses

To determine which mattress size best suits your needs, consider the following factors:

1. Comfort and Sleeping Preferences:

  • Take into account your personal sleeping habits and preferences. If you enjoy the freedom to stretch out or share your bed with a partner and additional occupants, the King mattress, with its wider sleeping surface, is an excellent choice. If you're taller and require more legroom, the California King bed's added length will provide the necessary comfort. 
  • According to the National Sleep Foundation, choosing a mattress that suits your preferences plays a significant role in supporting your body during sleep.

2. Bedroom Size and Layout Considerations:

  • Evaluate the dimensions of your bedroom before selecting a mattress size. A King mattress typically requires at least 14 feet by 10 feet of floor space to accommodate other furniture comfortably. If you have a smaller bedroom or need extra space for dressers and wardrobes, the Cal King may be a better fit.
  • When it comes to considering room size, the King mattress requires a minimum of 14 feet by 10 feet of floor space. This size is ideal for master bedrooms or spacious sleeping areas. On the other hand, the California King mattress is a better fit for narrower bedroom layouts or rooms with limited floor space. Its dimensions of 72 inches wide and 84 inches long make it a suitable choice when you need to maximize legroom without sacrificing comfort. Whether you have a large master bedroom or a cozy space, considering the dimensions of your room is essential when deciding between a King and California King mattress.

3. Available Bedding and Accessories:

  • Consider the availability and affordability of bedding accessories for each mattress size. King-size accessories often come at a higher cost than those for the California King. If you already own bedding accessories for a specific size, it may influence your decision to maintain consistency or opt for a different size.

4. Budget and Pricing Considerations:

  • Your budget plays a significant role in the mattress selection process. King-size mattresses and accessories generally come with a higher price tag compared to the California King. Assess your financial capacity and explore the price ranges of both sizes to make an informed decision.

5. Family Size, Pets, and Children Considerations

When it comes to considering family size, pets, and children, the choice between a King and California King mattress becomes even more crucial. Let's explore how each mattress size caters to these specific considerations.

King Mattress: Embracing Family and Furry Friends

The King mattress, with its generous dimensions, is perfect for accommodating families of various sizes, including pets and children. It provides ample space for everyone to stretch out comfortably during sleep. If you have a large family, the King mattress offers enough room for parents, kids, and even the beloved family pet to snuggle together. The extra width ensures that everyone has their own sleeping space, reducing the chances of disturbances from motion transfer caused by restless sleepers. This mattress size truly embraces the concept of a shared family bed.

California King Mattress: A Cozy Haven for Couples and Kids

While California King mattress sets may not offer the same width as the King, its extended length makes it an excellent choice for couples who prioritize legroom and individuals with a taller stature. However, when it comes to accommodating families with children and pets, the California King may present some limitations. With its narrower width, it may feel slightly cramped when two adults and a child or pet share the bed. It's important to consider the space requirements of your family members and whether the reduced width will provide sufficient sleeping space for everyone.

Remember, understanding your family's unique needs and considering the available space in your bedroom is crucial when choosing between a King and California King mattress. Taking into account the comfort and space requirements of each family member, including pets, will ensure that everyone can enjoy restful nights and create lasting memories together.

Pros and Cons of King and California King Mattresses

Let's examine the advantages and disadvantages of both mattress sizes:

King Mattress Pros and Cons


  • Spacious sleeping surface for couples or individuals who desire ample room.
  • Ideal for large bedrooms, creating a visually appealing centerpiece.
  • Wide range of options for bedding accessories and materials.
  • Provides individual space for partners, reducing disturbances from motion transfer.


  • Expensive, both in terms of the initial investment and accessories.
  • Challenging to fit into smaller rooms or spaces with limited floor area.
  • Difficult to move around due to its size and weight.

California King Mattress Pros and Cons


  • Extra length accommodates taller individuals, ensuring maximum comfort.
  • Suitable for narrower bedroom layouts or limited floor space.
  • Wide availability of bedding accessories and materials.
  • More affordable compared to a King mattress.


  • Offers less width, which may be less comfortable for two adult sleepers.
  • Limited options for bedding accessories compared to the more popular King size.

Choosing between a King and California King mattress depends on your personal preferences, bedroom size, and specific needs. Both sizes have their pros and cons, making it crucial to consider various factors before making a final decision. Assess your comfort requirements, room dimensions, available bedding accessories, budget, and the needs of any sleep partners or pets. By doing so, you'll be well-equipped to select the ideal mattress size that guarantees you restful nights for years to come. If you’re looking for something more suitable, you can also choose between twin vs queen or full vs queen size mattresses. 

Remember, your sleep comfort matters, and Mancini's Sleepworld is here to help. Visit our nearest store to try out the best brands using our SleepMatch technology. With a 120-night guarantee, free delivery, and special financing options, you'll find the perfect King or California King mattress that suits your unique needs. Sleep well and wake up refreshed with Mancini's Sleepworld.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about King and California King Mattresses

Q: Is a California King mattress longer than a King mattress?

A1: Yes, a California King mattress is longer than a King mattress. The California King provides an additional four inches of length, making it suitable for taller individuals who need extra legroom.

Q: Can two adults comfortably sleep on a California King mattress?

A: While two adults can sleep on a California King mattress, the narrower width may not be as comfortable for both individuals compared to a King-size mattress. It's essential to consider your personal sleeping preferences and available space before making a decision.

Q: What are the price differences between a King and California King mattress?

A: Generally, King mattresses are slightly more expensive than California King mattresses. The price variation is due to the difference in manufacturing and materials used

Q: Can a King or California King mattress fit through standard doorways?

A: Both mattress sizes can fit through standard doorways. However, it's essential to consider the maneuverability and ease of transportation when moving the mattress into your bedroom.

Q: Can I use regular King-size bedding on a California King mattress?

A: No, regular King-size bedding will not fit a California King mattress. The California King requires specific bedding designed for its unique dimensions.

Q: How do I determine which mattress size is right for me?

A: Consider factors such as your sleeping preferences, room dimensions, available bedding accessories, and budget. If you prefer a wider sleeping surface and ample space, a King mattress may be the best choice. If you prioritize legroom or have a narrower room, the California King mattress may suit you better.

Related Mattress Size Comparisons:


  1. “California King vs. King Mattress Comparison 2023 | Sleep Foundation.” Sleep Foundation, 2 Mar. 2021, Accessed 16 June 2023
  2. “How to Make a Sleep-Friendly Bedroom - National Sleep Foundation.” National Sleep Foundation, 10 Nov. 2020, Accessed 14 June 202

Aug 20, 2023