California King vs King Size Mattress
Human Window Staff
By Human Window Staff
Updated on August 22, 2019

Lots of people often get confused about the differences between a California King and a King sized mattress.

On first impressions, many people think that a California King mattress is larger than a King sized one. This is not quite true.

In fact, the main difference between these two mattresses is actually the length.

In this article, we’re going to take a close look at both the California King and King Size mattresses to see what the differences are, so you can decide which size is right for you.

Getting a good night’s sleep is so important to our overall health, yet many people are sleeping on uncomfortable mattresses that are actually the wrong size for them.

Please note that this article is based on the standard sizes of California King and King in the USA, and they may not apply if you’re shopping in another country.

We’re going to split this article up into the following sections:

• California King vs King
• Queen vs King
• Which Size Should I Buy?
• Anything Else to Consider?
• Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s start taking a closer look at the differences between a California King and King.

California King vs King

As we alluded to above, there is a common misconception that a California King mattress is larger than a King sized mattress. This is simply not true.

A California King is four inches longer than a King size, but it’s also narrower, making the total surface area of the mattress smaller.

Let’s look at the actual dimensions of both mattress sizes right now:

A California King is longer and narrower than a Standard King Sized mattress
A California King is longer and narrower than a Standard King Sized mattress

• California King

A California King mattress is 72 inches wide and 84 inches long, which is 6 feet x 7 feet.

That gives it a total surface area of 6,048 inches, which is 15,361cm.

• King

A King mattress is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, which is 6.3 feet x 6.6 feet.

That gives it a total surface area of 6,080 inches, which is 15,443cm.

So, as you can see for yourself, a California King mattress is longer than a King mattress but the fact that it’s also narrower means that the total size of the mattress is actually smaller than the King.

Queen vs King

Where does a Queen size mattress fit into all of this?

Let’s take a look at how a Queen size measures up in comparison to a California King and Standard King sized mattress.

A Queen sized mattress is narrower than a King
A Queen sized mattress is narrower than a King

As you can see from the diagram above, and as you have probably already guessed, a Queen size is slightly smaller than both a California King and a Standard King.

A Queen mattress is 60 inches wide and 80 inches long, which is 5 feet x 6.6 feet.

That gives it a total surface area of 4,800 inches, which is 12,192cm.

So, a Queen size is actually exactly the same length as a standard King, but it’s considerably shorter.

Queen vs California King

Next let’s compare a Queen size to a California King sized mattress.

A Queen sized mattress is both narrower and shorter than a California King
A Queen sized mattress is both narrower and shorter than a California King

As you can see from our diagram above, a Queen sized mattress is smaller than a California King in both length and width.

Which Size Should I Buy?

Now it’s time for the all-important question – which mattress size should you go for? There are a few things to bear in mind before making a final decision.

Choosing the perfect mattress can be tricky (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Choosing the perfect mattress can be tricky (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Firstly, if you already have a bed or a frame which is a certain size, then you’re probably going to be best off going for a mattress which actually fits your existing bed.

There are a few other considerations to bear in mind too, however.

Firstly, how big is your room? You should measure your bedroom to see what sized bed would be best suited to your property. We find that laying out a tape measure on the floor and placing some objects to mark the four corners of the bed is a good way to see how it will fit into your room.

The California King is also somewhat harder to find. This is not a problem if you’ve already chosen your mattress, but one thing to consider is that you will likely have less choice when it comes to accessories, bedsheets and more. That being said, California King sized mattresses have been growing in popularity in recent years.

Of course, the main thing to be aware of when buying a new mattress is the size of both you and your partner. If you’re more than six feet tall, then a California King may be a great option for you, as it’s seven feet long. However, do bear in mind that it’s also narrower and smaller overall, meaning less space for you and your partner.

It does, of course, also depend on your preference. For example, many tall people actually love sleeping with their feet hanging off the end of the bed.

The one last thing to bear in mind is your partner’s size and preferences. For example, the California King is a bit narrower than the King, meaning that it may be better suited to couples who tend to sleep closer together.

If you like a bit more space between you and your partner, then a standard King may be your best bet.

Anything Else to Consider?

Remember that the only way to be sure that a mattress is right for you is to sleep on it for a few nights.

There’s lots of advice out there when it comes to picking out beds and mattresses, but the final say will come down to you.

Fortunately, lots of mattress manufacturers offer a minimum 100-night home trial, meaning that you’ll be able to try the mattress in the comfort of your own home. Then, if you’re not happy with it, you can return it for a full refund during that time.

Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts

So, that brings us to the end of our look at California vs King size mattress.

We’ve walked you through the basic dimensions to explains how a California King is longer but narrower than a standard King. This gives the California King a smaller surface area overall.

We also compared the California King and Standard King to Queen size, and gave you some tips to think about when you’re shopping for a new bed and mattress.

We hope you found this guide useful, and do reach out via our Instagram page if you have any further questions or queries about everything sleep related!

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