Best Mattresses

California King vs. King Mattress: What to Consider for Your Bedroom


Sean Jackson is a creative copywriter living in Florida. He’s had work published with, theScore, ESPN, and the San Francisco Chronicle. In his free time, Sean likes to play drums, fail miserably at improv and spend time at the beach.

If you’re searching for king mattresses, our guide will help you choose between king and California king beds. We’ll also cover the best mattress of each size and other considerations for buying your bed.

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A California king mattress is 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. As such, it’s 4 inches narrower and 4 inches longer than a traditional king bed. Here are some pros and cons of California king mattresses:

A California king mattress works well for taller sleepers who need more room at the foot of the bed. And if your four-legged companions enjoy dozing at your feet, the extra 4 inches can make all the difference, allowing both you and your pets to stretch out in blissful relaxation.

Here are some of the best California king mattresses:

Brooklyn Bedding Signature is an affordable California king mattress available in three firmness levels, accommodating all sleeping positions and body types. Its hybrid construction has a soft, springy feel that provides the comfort and support you need. It’s also backed by a 10-year warranty.

The Layla Hybrid is a versatile pick. You can flip this mattress, with one side providing a firmer feel than the other. This allows you to choose a side based on your comfort level and sleeping position. The softer side offers pressure-relieving comfort for side sleepers, while the firmer side is ideal for back and stomach snoozers. It also keeps you cool thanks to its center copper-foam layer that draws heat away.

The Saatva Classic is a hybrid mattress available in three firmness levels. Made of latex foam, innerspring coils and special lumbar tech, it can relieve pressure points and lessen tossing and turning. If you decide to go with the Luxury Firm edition, there are dual coils that provide enhanced support.

A standard king mattress is 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. That means it’s 4 inches wider and shorter than a California king mattress, making it perfect for couples who want more width to spread out. Here are some benefits and drawbacks to consider:

King mattresses are best for shorter or average-height single sleepers or couples who want more room to stretch out to the side. They’re also a great pick if your pets love sleeping beside you.

Here are some of the best king mattresses you can buy:

The Brooklyn Bedding Signature is also our pick for the best standard king mattress. This hybrid bed comes in three firmness levels, meaning all types of sleepers can find a version that works. You’ll also receive a 120-day trial and a 10-year warranty. The Brooklyn Bedding Signature is less expensive than some of its foam counterparts, making it a comfortable bed that’s easy on your body and your wallet.

Memory foam mattresses including the Nectar Premier provide a spongier feel than hybrid beds. While some memory foam beds can run hot, the Nectar Premier features phase-change material that helps keep sleepers temperature-neutral. Ultimately, it blends a pressure-eliminating feel with a price that makes it a worthy competitor to other memory foam brands such as Tempur-Pedic.

Back and stomach sleepers need a firmer, more supportive mattress. The Saatva Classic may meet their needs well. Constructed with two innerspring layers, it contours to sleepers’ shapes and provides improved motion isolation. The bed also features a lumbar zone, using wires along the memory foam layer for better body support.

Here’s how California king and king mattresses measure up on dimensions, pricing and best uses:

Before purchasing your next mattress, here are a few factors to keep in mind.

California king mattresses run 4 inches longer and 4 inches narrower than standard king mattresses. You’ll want to make sure your space accommodates the extra length without feeling cramped. And while king mattresses are shorter, they’re also wider, so take this into account when furnishing a narrow bedroom.

King mattresses are expensive. Plan to pay more than $1,000 for a higher-quality king mattress and from $1,200 to $1,600 for a California king. You’ll also need bedding and a bed frame, which will drive up costs further, especially for California kings.

If you sleep on your side, a bed with medium to soft firmness is the way to go. Back and stomach sleepers require firmer beds to keep their spines supported.

Innerspring mattresses work well for those who want a mix of support and comfort, while foam beds have a more spongy, contouring feel. You can also buy a hybrid option for the best of both worlds.

Your weight plays a role in the kind of bed you’ll want to buy. For sleepers over 230 pounds, a more supportive option, like a hybrid mattresses, is best. Meanwhile, if you weigh less than 230 pounds, foam beds can be ideal.

Will you use this bed regularly or only occasionally when guests come over? If the mattress will be used sparingly, it doesn’t make sense to spend big. That said, if you plan to use the mattress nightly, it makes sense to invest in something higher quality and more durable.

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