Standard King Beds vs. California King Beds

SEPTEMBER 15, 2016

by Katie Dudley King Bed Lover

So you are ready to upgrade to a bigger bed and experience that ocean of personal sleeping space, but which king size mattress will best fit your needs? Is a standard king size bed or a California king bed going to be best?


The biggest difference between a standard king size bed and a California king bed is that one bed is shorter and wider, while the other is longer and narrower. A standard king size bed is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. A California is just a few inches narrower than a standard king bed at 72 inches wide, but it's longer at 84 inches. Let us walk you through the pros and cons of each mattress size and get thinking about what to consider before you make your final purchase.

Size Comparisons and Dimensions

  • California or Cal king bed is 72" wide x 84" long
  • 4 inches longer than the King Size Bed
  • Longest bed available
  • Width per person is 36 inches


  • Standard or eastern king bed is 76" wide x 80" long
  • 4 inches wider than the California king bed
  • Width per person is 38 inches
  • Sheets labeled "king" fit a standard king size bed.


Lifestyle

Lifestyle

Maybe you're looking for a bigger bed because you and your bed partner want or need more sleeping space. Or perhaps you have kids who end up snuggling in bed next to you on those sleepy Sunday mornings. Or maybe your pet has mattress privileges and your current bed just isn't going to cut it anymore. Whatever the reason, a king bed is the best route for gaining extra sleeping space. The 72" to 76" width, depending on which you choose, gives each person a section of bed that is roughly the same size as having a twin bed.

Available Bedroom Space

Available Bedroom Space

Grab that measuring tape and take the time to get the dimensions of your room. You'll want enough space to comfortably walk around the bed, so consider making an outline of the bed with painter's tape so you can visualize the actual size. Don't forget to measure out the hallways, doors, and stairs to make sure you can move the mattress of your choice into your home.

Cost

Cost

Typically there isn't much of a price difference between a California king and a standard king mattress. However, when you are upgrading your mattress size, be mindful that you will need to purchase new sheets, comforter, bed frame, and headboard.

Body Type

Body Type

If you are going to invest in a new bed, make sure you buy a mattress that fits your body type. If you or your partner is taller than 6 feet, you may prefer the extra 4 inches in length that comes with the California king. But if you like to spread out when you sleep, you may prefer that wide open space found in a King size bed. Either way, it's all about getting the good nights rest you deserve.



by Katie Dudley King Bed Lover

Katie believes everyone deserves a good nights rest. Being a mom of three young kids she understands the value of having a spacious bed. When she's not working or snoozing, Katie is outside enjoying the gorgeous Utah mountains with her family.