king vs california king tt

King vs California King – Complete Mattress Size Guide Comparison

When I discuss mattresses with readers, one of the most common questions I hear is about the size of King vs California King mattresses. Most people tend to think that King mattress (also known as “Eastern King”) is smaller than California King mattress (also known as “Western King”). However, this is not the case. Although the King size mattress is slightly shorter than the California King size mattress, its total surface area is bigger.


A standard King size mattress is 76″ wide and 80″ long. So you can figure out that the total surface area is 6,080 square inches.

California King size mattress is 72″ wide and 84″ long. So it has a total surface area of 6,048 square inches.

king vs california king
king vs california king

King vs California King Mattress Quick Comparison

 KingCalifornia King
Surface Area6,080 square inches6,048 square inches
ProsMaximum width makes it great for couplesGood for taller people
ConsDifficult to moveMore difficult to find accessories.
Difficult to move
Other Names“Eastern King”“Western King”

What is a King Mattress?

A king size mattress has the same length as a queen size, but much wider. So the king size mattress is a popular choice among couples looking for a comfortable lasting mattress.

Pros And Cons of King Mattress


  • King size mattress offers additional space and makes it great comfort for a family that has a single baby.
  • It is a good choice in terms of decoration as it does not look too conspicuous.
  • King size is customizable and if you do not get your desired ready make accessories, you can make your own.
  • This mattress size has multiple health benefits such as proper neck alignment and pressure point alleviation.
  • Great for combine sleepers who sleep on their side.


  • Not a very ideal choice for tall people.

What is a California King Mattress?

California King size mattresses are the most desirable choice for tall people and those who like to sleep pillows while sleeping. The California King size mattress is currently the longest choice (do not consider customization) on the market, which is why it has its own niche and unique market share.

Pros And Cons of California King Mattress


  • It’s a good choice for tall people, and its extra height makes it easy to stretch freely.
  • California King size is suitable for a narrow and long room.
  • If you are a combinational sleeper, then this size is great for you; you can stretch your legs, sleep on your back or your stomach easily.
  • Has great edge support for sitting.


  • A little more expensive than other size mattresses.
  • Bed accessories are limited and a little expensive.

Which Mattress is Bigger, King or California King?

To be precise, the King size bed is 76″ wide by 80″ long and has a total surface area of 6080 square inches. When it comes to the size of the California King’s bed, it is about 72 inches wide and 84 inches long and has a total area of 6,048 square inches.

Based on the above measurements, we can easily see that the King size is bigger than the California King. However, one thing we want to emphasize is that mattress dimensions are not all things you need to check when buy a mattress, because each size is designed for different people, they have different preferences.

How to choose, King or California King? 

Besides mattress dimension, there are many factors to consider when deciding to purchase a California king size mattress or a standard king size mattress.

Room space

Ideally, the mattress should have at least 2 feet of space on three sides. This can provide you enough room to walk and move freely around the mattress. Also, aesthetically, this will make it look like the mattress naturally belongs to the room and not overcrowded with other furniture. If you have a narrower room, you may prefer the Cal King. Similarly, if your room is a little wider, considering the width of the mattress, a standard king size mattress may be suitable.


Although California King is becoming more popular, it is still rarer than the standard King. Therefore, finding suitable bed sheets, mattress protectors, bed frames, box springs, and almost all other accessories is not only more difficult, but may be more expensive. For California king size mattresses, there are not many choices for bedroom accessories as they apply to standard kings. If your budget is tighter, choosing a King mattress will be more cautious because you can purchase accessories more easily.

Your height

If you are more than 6 feet tall, California King may be a good choice. The extra length will give you more space from head to toe, and you can stretch freely in bed. In other words, this is indeed a personal preference. I am 6 feet and 2 inch, I like to sleep in bed. For me, the extra length of the King of California is not worth it. However, if you are taller than average, you will find that you like the extra length.

Your partner

If you sleep with your partner, your preference for the couple may also determine whether the King or California King is a better choice. Since Cal King is a bit narrow, it’s even better if you want to get close to or touch your partner. Similarly, if you prefer more space, the standard King is slightly wider and is probably the better choice for you.

King vs California King Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Does California King Sheets Fit King mattress or King Sheets Fit California King mattress?

No. According to our discussed above, both of the length and width of these two mattress sizes differ slightly, so the Cal King sheets cannot fit the King mattress. And the King sheets cannot fit the Cal King mattress too.

2. I’m 6’4″ tall and I want to upgrade from Queen size to King vs California King size, which one is the best for me?

For the taller people, the California King is the ideal choice, because it has an extra 4 inches longer than a King size mattress. However, you want to know that buying a mattress of California King size may be more difficult. All bed accessories, such as sheets and quilts, bed frames, boxes, have been found to be more expensive due to their unique size. And the design choices may be limited, either. When evaluating the size of the bed, you should plan your entire design.

3. Dose California King mattress require box springs?

The use of the box spring depends on the structure and design of the mattress, not the size of the mattress. Most mattresses, such as Tomorrow’s sleep mix and all foam options, work with a box spring (also known as the base), but the same work with slats, adjustable bases even on the floor.

4. Can I upgrade to a California King but still keep my King size bed foundation and furniture?

No. You will need to change your bed foundation as they have different width and height dimensions.

5. Is there a difference in motion transfer between King and California King mattress?

Motion transfer, also known as motion isolation, is directly attributable to the construction of the mattress, rather than the size of the mattress. It’s important to note that the California King will bring your body closer to your sleep companion for the 4 inches less in width, which may cause slightly greater interference due to closer distances.

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1 Comment

  1. This post is valuable as it covers in-depth comparison of king and california king mattress. After reading this post, people can choose right one that will meet their needs.

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