California King V.S. King, Which should you buy?

California King Vs King bed is a popular bed comparison made when getting a big bed. However, without the right facts, most people end up getting the wrong bed which can be a costly decision. 

You would be forgiven for thinking that a California King bed is bigger than a King bed. The truth is, they are both big beds with slightly different surface areas.

To help you choose between a Cal King and King, we look at important aspects of both beds in this article. 

To start with let’s look at the two beds separately

 1-What is a California King Bed?


A California King Bed is a bed that measures 4 inches longer and 4 inches narrower than the normal king bed. This type of bed measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. Making it the longest bed type available in the market. 

That’s great news for tall people whose legs hang in other types of beds. Granted some like their legs hanging but if you don’t, then the Cal King is a good option.

A Cal king is also great for people who sleep on raised pillows. It gives you extra room to stretch.

One major drawback with a Cal King, however, is that it’s a bit costlier than a King bed. It’s also not as common as King, which means bed accessories are hard to get and expensive too.

 1-What is a King Bed?


A king Bed measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. It’s wider and shorter than a California King bed. Otherwise known as the Eastern King, King beds which became popular in the 1950s make for a perfect family bed. 

King beds are great for couples they give them more mattress space to move about. In fact, combining two twin beds makes a king bed. This means you have just as much room sleeping with a partner on a king bed as you do sleeping solo on a twin bed.

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 – What’s the difference between California King and King Beds?


So, what’s the difference between California King and King beds? Let’s look at the comparison table below…


California King


Other names

Western King 

Eastern King or Standard king


72 inches

76 inches


84 inches

80 inches

Surface area

6,048 square inches

6,080 square inches


It costs slightly more than a standard King. Its beddings cost a lot more than King’s beddings.

Costs less or equal to the Cal King. It’s beddings cost considerably lower than the Cal King’s.

Best for

Tall people

A couple who needs more bed space


*Extra legroom for tall people

*Better edge support

*Extra mattress space for couples


* Beddings are readily available


*Slightly costlier than King beds

* Less bed space if sharing with a partner

*Not good for tall people

*Poor edge support

* Takes up more room space

 – California King or King which one should you buy?

To determine which bed to buy between the California King and King, there are a few factors to consider. These factors include:

 1- Bed Dimensions:


By now it’s obvious that the main differences between the California King and King are the measurement. Depending on your needs you will want to consider the different bed dimensions.

King Beds offer 4 inches more width than California King beds. This width is great for couples who toss and turn a lot in their sleep. The space is also good for couples who plan to sleep with a child or pet.  

California King, on the other hand, offers 4 inches more length than King beds. The extra length provides more legroom for tall people.

If you have trouble with your legs hanging in other types of beds, then consider the Cal King option. It was designed specifically for taller people (at least 6’1 and above).

 2 – Support and Comfort Needs:


Beds are places to relax and fall asleep. The last thing you want is an uncomfortable bed. While bed sizes are not believed to affect one’s comfort needs in the case of big beds it’s a different story.

King size mattresses trade-in support for space. The wider the mattress the less edge support it tends to offer.  California kings have narrower mattresses that are more compact which offer more edge support.

 3 – Room Size Requirements:


Your bedroom space really determines which bed size you end up getting. For comfort, functionality, and beauty, it’s recommended to have at least 2 feet of walk room around all three sides of the bed. 

The standard room requirement for King beds is 10 by 12 to 12 by 12. While the standard room requirement for California King Beds is 13 by 12 to 15 by 12. This way you will have ample space for walk room, furniture, and wardrobes.

 4 – Cost:


Cost varies with the quality of materials used to make the bed. Depending on the quality of materials a Cal King bed can cost little to a lot more than a king-size bed.  

Whatever the material, Cal Kings still cost a bit more than King size beds.

 5 – Bed Accessories:


Cal King beds are not as common as King size beds. This makes their bedding accessories costlier and harder to get. 

Things like bed frames, bed sheets, the bed’s foundation might be difficult to get in Cal King’s size. You are better off ordering these accessories with the bed itself. Otherwise, you might find yourself making your own bedroom accessories. 

One common question that new Cal King bed owners ask is whether their king sheets will fit a Cal King and vice versa. The answer is No, because of the differences in dimensions of both beds, you have to get sheets made for the specific beds. This includes duvets, mattress protectors, and other types of bed covers.

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The main differences in the California King Vs King Bed comparison is in the length and width measurements. California king offers 4 inches of extra length which is good for taller people. While the King offers 4 inches of width which is good for more mattress space.

These factors affect cost and room size as well. California Kings tend to cost higher than King size beds, especially the bedding used. Cal Kings require longer rooms which are not easy to find. King size beds also need wider room space.

If you are budget constrained and not concerned about the length factor of a cal king then get a king. If all you need is a bed you can fit in properly without your legs hanging, then get the California King. Other than that, the king-size bed can accommodate all your other needs perfectly.

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