California King vs. King

King vs. Cal King: What’s the difference? Which is better? How do you choose between the two?

Deciding on a bed or mattress can be quite a tough task, especially with all the new options available over the years, turning a simple task into a fairly complicated affair.

king vs california king

Do you need that much space? How will it affect your sleep?


Here to help you make the right choice, we’ve broken down the nuts and bolts of what differentiates these two options and what hidden advantages each has to offer you, so there’s no more grey area: just a good night’s rest.

California King vs King

The Size

It goes without say that the California King and the King’s main difference is their size.

The California King is 72″ x 84” while the King is slightly wider, measuring 76″ x 80”.

If you are not a numbers person, this means the California King has less sleeping width but is longer in length, allowing the sleeper more foot room – ideal for tall people.

The King is wider, giving you more sleeping space but less foot space – good for resting with others, if you’re both of average height.

difference between california king and king

Photo by Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence)

King: in Detail

The King mattress, also known as the Eastern King, is the same length as a Queen size but has greater width. This makes it the typical favorite since usually, if you want a big bed, you’re sharing it with a partner.

Don’t want to feel cramped? Like to sleep spread-eagle without disturbing your spouse? Then the King is a perfect choice.

The generous width of the bed can also accommodate those extra sleepers, such as children and pets.

Another important detail to note is how the width can allow restless sleepers to shuffle around without having to worry about disturbing the person next to them, in case one of you is an early riser.

With this bed being so big, it is not ideal for small spaces.  If you are considering the King, you need to ensure you have a large enough room to accommodate it.

California King: in Detail

A common misconception is the Cal King being larger than the King. Although it may seem bigger due to its greater length, it loses out in width. This bed size is ideal for rooms that are narrow but have some distance to them.

The California King won’t let you rise or sneak back into bed after a snack unnoticed; there will be the typical jostling of other sized beds, though you will sleep comfortably once you’re settled.

It’s perfectly suitable for tranquil sleepers who enjoy close snuggles!

And if you are a tall person, you won’t have to worry about your feet hanging off the edge of the bed: it’s built just for you.

Cal King vs King

cal king vs king

So now we know the clear differences between the two, what makes the California King stand out from the King?

Aside from the foot and arm space the Cal King and the King offer respectively, the Cal King is best suited for people with smaller bedrooms but who still want the luxury of a massive bed.

Want plenty of sleeping space without throwing out all your other furniture? Are you sleeping alone but still want the luxury of a massive crash pad you can deck out with blankets and pillows?

The Cal King makes a delightful compromise for space and a first-choice for solo sleepers.

Depending on where you decide to shop, the Cal King sometimes comes cheaper than the King, since it’s not the first choice of most shoppers and needs to stay competitive.

King vs California King

And what makes the King stand out from the Cal King?

With the King size being very popular, you are more likely to find that option anywhere you go, while Cal Kings are more of a specialty item. Bed accessories are more accessible and inevitably cheaper.

If you have the space, the King is imposing and spacious, allowing you to enjoy a room that’s almost 100% bed.

Perfect for readers who like to cozy up in their covers or couples who like to relax with Netflix. You’ll have width to spare.

No worry of being pushed towards the edge of the bed!

So who wins?

It is difficult to decide which bed size is better as they both have equal advantages and disadvantages. In order to decide the best size for you, you will need to consider the size of your room and the type of sleeper that you are.

If you are a tranquil sleeper, a solo sleeper, or quite tall, then the Cal King is ideal both in price and advantages. However, if you are quite restless at night, have the space, and need extra sleeping room, then the King is the popular, luxurious, and wiser choice.


Which is your favorite in the battle of California King vs King?


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