King Vs. Cali King – The King Size Mattress Comparison 2021

When it comes to choosing a new mattress, the size of the mattress to purchase – King or California King is one of the most common questions. Most people often think the King is smaller than California King. However, this is wrong.

While the standard king mattress is not as long as California, it offers more total sleeping surface area. The Cal. King is 84-inch long and 72-inch wide, which means an overall surface of 6,048 sq. In.

On the flip, the standard king-size mattress is 80-inch long and 76-inch wide, which means an overall sleeping space of 6,080 sq. In.

What is a King Sized Mattress?

Acceptable a King sized mattress measure is 76 by 80 inches, which is about two twin beds placed side by side. A king size mattress or as popularly called Eastern King is designed for two sleepers while still offering some room to accommodate children who like to sleep with their parents.

When it comes to one of the largest mattress sizes on the market, the standard king size bed offers a large sleeping surface about 6080 square inches. This mattress size is suitable for larger master bedrooms measuring 12 by 10 feet and above. However, in our opinion, we recommend 13 by 13 feet to ensure you get enough room space and more legroom.


Ideal for couples and snuggling kids

Large bedrooms

Readily available


On the pricey side

Not suitable for limited bedrooms

Moving the mattress around can be challenging

What is a California King Size Mattress?

This bed size called California king mattress is also referred to as Western King. It comes with a 72 by 84-inch dimension, which is similar to putting together two twin XL mattresses. The California king size mattress is also an ideal choice for couples and tall sleepers. Since the California king mattress is not as wide as the king-size option, it may only be able to accommodate two children and a couple.

Western King beds the second largest mattress after the Eastern or king size mattress with an ample 6048 square inches of sleeping space. Also, the California king mattress is suitable for four large master bedroom with a 12 by 12 feet dimension. But only our own opinion we advise to use this bed mattress in a 12 by 14 feet master bedroom to offer more room.


Ideal for tall people

Suitable for couples who prefer sleeping together

Works best for large bedrooms

Split Cal. King option to suit different couple’s sleep preferences


Bulky which makes it difficult to move

High price tag

Deciding Between King or California King Bed


To begin with, you should know your room’s overall dimension. Typically, the ideal situation requires you to have more than 2 feet of space between the walls of your room and the three sides of your mattress. This recommended space will offer you more legroom to maneuver and walk freely around the bed. Plus, it offers an enhanced aesthetic appeal, which makes your bedroom appear a lot spacious and comfortable. On top of that, it eliminates the overly crowded feeling.

In addition, you also have to put your furniture into consideration. Purchasing a mattress that takes the whole space makes it very challenging to fit anything else around your bed.


While the cost difference between Cal King and standard King mattress may not be so significant, it’s important to consider the extra costs of maintaining them, which has considerable differences. For instance, when it comes to availability, the standard king size mattress is easily encountered, unlike their counterparts.

Therefore, it’s easier to come across spare parts for standard King sizes such as sheets, comforters, box springs, and bed frames without even having to break the bank. So, if your affordability matters to you, then you should steer clear of Cal King bed as its accessories are not only hard to come by but also with a salty price tag.


Before making the call, there is something else you should put into account. The standard King-sized beds are not so different from the California king-sized ones, but some sleepers prefer the different dimensions and awkwardness each one present.

For example, tall sleepers more than six feet would certainly prefer the extra length cal king size mattress offers for additional convenience. More so, the Cal King bed is suitable for a long and narrow master bedroom.

On the other hand, for people with regular room dimensions and love their personal space, then you should probably go for the standard King-size mattress. Also, if you have a partner who prefers sleeping close to you, then you would both appreciate the narrowness dimension the Cal King bed offers.

Sleeper’s Height

As stated above, the dimension of both beds varies by a few inches. Therefore, if you’re at least 6 feet tall, then purchasing a Western King mattress is a smart buy. The cal king bed offers an extra head-to-toe space, which provides you with more convenience.

Of course, it boils down to personal preference. Some sleeper prefers their feet hanging off the mattress, and would find the additional length the western size bed offers not worth it. If that’s how you prefer it, then you purchase the standard King size mattress.

On the other hand, some sleepers hate having some of their body part left out hanging, which makes getting a full stretch uncomfortable and awkward. This makes it something worth accounting for.

Your Partner

As pointed out earlier, the California king size mattress is about 4 inches narrower but higher than the regular king size one. With this fact in mind, if your partner loves sleeping close to you, then going for the narrower options is an obvious choice. But if you are among sleepers who prefer to have their own sleeping space, especially during hot summer periods, then purchasing a narrower mattress can be a wrong call. It’s best to go for a standard king mattress to enjoy more sleeping space.

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