King vs. California King Size Bed Comparison

King and Cali King bed size comparison

Most of the people we interviewed didn’t know the difference in size between different bed “nicknames.” Especially when it comes to King vs. California King (also called an Eastern King). You may think that the later is much bigger at first glance but let’s take a close look and see if that’s really true.

Even though Cali King is longer than normal by 4″ it has less sleeping surface overall (32 square inches less to be precise).

California King dimensions measure at 72″ wide and 84″ long.

Ordinary King measures at 76″ wide and 80″ long. 

California King vs. King – Main Differences

king and california king bed size comparisons


A standard king measures 76 by 80 inches. It comes across as the widest one. The extra width makes it suitable for sleeping couples and individuals who like accommodating an extra party in their bed. When sleeping, you can accommodate your pet or kid comfortably.

Due to their big sizes, kings are in some cases designed as “split” beds. This design comes in handy in terms of navigation or when you want to split your bed and move them to different rooms. The fascinating part is that even upon splitting it you get two almost twin XL sized beds.

The Cal model is undoubtedly the longer of the two beds. It measures 72 by 84 inches making it suitable for taller individuals say six feet and above otherwise, you will leave your feet in the dark cold. The mattress also comes across as the best pick for anyone who occupies a room with a length that’s bigger than the width.

Regarding sleeping space, both models offer you a significant surface area.


Given that the two sized mattresses are the biggest there is they are bound to be pricier. The Cali bed comes across as quite costly since they are not as common as standard kings. Sheets and accessories that best fit the California-sized mattresses are quite rare.

They will cost you more bucks, or you may be forced to go for a customized choice. The Eastern king mattresses are quite common in local stores and go for standardized prices.

If cost and affordability is something to go by then, the standard model is the way to go!

Which One Should I Get?

Room Space

Examine your space unless you want the bed eating up all the functionality space.If room space is a prime factor for you, a recommended 10’ by 12’ to 12’ by 13’ room space will comfortably accommodate your regular king bed. For a California-size mattress, a range of 12’ by 12’ to 14’ by 12’ will suffice.

The space factor is dependent on the walking room and the fittings & furniture you want the room to accommodate. Remember, if your room is wider than longer the king is the best choice, but if the room is longer than wider, the Cal is the best choice.

Before you walk into a bedding shop, make sure that you take room measurements.

Age & Size

If you are plus size in terms of width, it is advisable to choose the standard king bed as it offers extra width and more space for you to sleep, turn and roll comfortably.

However, if you are tall (six feet and above), the California bed has got your back. As I mentioned earlier don’t subject your feet too long, dark cold nights.

On age, a reasonable choice will come in handy. I think king size beds are better suited for adults and mature teens. I wouldn’t get an eight-year-old one as the proportions are so overwhelming.

One or Two People?

The choice basically narrows down to you. Give me a California to myself, and I will become an acrobat overnight due to the vast space.

Both king-sized beds are ideal for a couple or an individual. Some will reason out that a cuddling couple should go for the Cali king rather than the regular, while a couple that likes maximum sleeping space should settle for a regular king.

That is reasonable, though both mattresses will guarantee you unlimited space. I would supplement this factor with others to make a better choice.

Availability of Bedding Accessories

The California size mattresses are not as popular as the Eastern king. So it’s natural that their accessories are uncommon as well. You may find yourself moving from shop to shop looking for duvets, sheets, or covers. Some people are even forced to customize their own accessories to get the best fit.

On the other hand, the standard king is immensely popular. Their accessories are easily available in a local bedding store. The Eastern style clearly beats the Cal in terms of ease of finding accessories.

You Should Choose a Cal King If

Consider this size if foot space is a priority for you. This is suitable for anyone with a height of six feet and above. The reason is that the mattress can accommodate your entire body comfortably. Go for this option if you’re concerned about the space in the room.

You Should Choose a King If

Choose this size if sleeping space is a priority or if you’re conscious of your budget. It will give you maximum sleeping space at night. You shouldn’t worry about accessories as you can find them in sleeping stores. The mattress is suitable for a room whose dimension skews towards the width than length.


Will a Cal king size sheets fit a king size mattress?

Given the difference in the dimension of the two king beds, the sheets are not interchangeable as their width and length will not match. In this case, the Cali model is 72 inches wide compared to the king’s 76 inches. The sheets will therefore not fit accurately.

When shopping out for sheets and other accessories, be specific on the exact size you are looking for else, you risk messing up your shopping choices.


The choice between King and Cali boils down to sleeping needs and space. Factors such as sleep style, comfort, and preferences should also be uppermost in your mind when shopping for a suitable mattress. The major difference between the two is in terms of dimensions and cost.

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