Updated April 10, 2021Many people assume California king mattresses are bigger than standard king beds—but that’s not necessarily the case. While California king mattresses have more length, they’re four inches narrower than a regular king.A king mattress, also called Eastern King, measures 76 inches by 80 inches, with a total surface area of 6080 square inches. A California king mattress, also called Western King, measures 72 inches by 84 inches, with a total surface area of 6048.King vs California King Size OverviewKing Size Mattress Dimensions: 76 inches x 80 inches = 6080 square inchesAlso called “Eastern King”Pros: Extra width is great for couples, fits easily in most master bedroomsCons: Heavy and difficult to move, too large for bedrooms smaller than 12 feet by 12 feetCalifornia King Size Mattress Dimensions: 72 inches x 84 inches = 6048 square inchesAlso called “Western King”Pros: Offers four extra inches of legroom, can comfortably accommodate sleepers over 6 feet tallCons: Accessories are costly and harder to find, may not be wide enough for parents to co-sleep with their childrenShould I Buy a King or a California King Size Mattress?How do you determine the best mattress size for you? Below we breakdown some key factors to consider before purchasing your new bed.CostAlthough king and California king mattresses are typically around the same price, the bedding and accessories for a Cal king can be more costly and harder to find. Items such as bed frames, box springs, comforters, bedsheets, and mattress protectors may cost more with a Cal king size bed. Since California king mattresses are not as popular as regular kings, these items are also not as readily available.Room SizeIn the US, a standard size bedroom will measure 11 feet by 12 feet (132 square feet). A master bedroom will offer more space; these rooms measure 14 feet by 16 feet (309 square feet).When considering a king or a California king size mattress, you should be sure you have adequate space to accommodate a mattress of this size. At least 2 feet of space on all 3 sides of the bed will give you enough space to move around the bed comfortably. It will also keep the room from feeling overcrowded.If your room measures more narrow, a Cal King might be the best bet for you. However, if your bedroom is wider, a standard king size mattress should work well.Your HeightA California king bed is great for taller people–especially those over 6 feet. This extra length can give you more legroom and ensure that your feet never hang off the end of the bed. Based on your personal preferences, this may help you feel more supported during sleep. If you have the room to accommodate this size bed, it is worth it to opt for the Cal king if you are on the taller side.CouplesAlthough a queen mattress is a popular choice for many couples, a king or a California king mattress offers even more sleeping space. Maybe your partner frequently tosses and turns during the night, or you have kids who like to climb into bed with you–a bigger mattress will help you stay comfortable.When looking for a mattress for couples, you can’t go wrong with either a king or California king. If you and your partner prefer to sleep closer together, but also like extra legroom, a Cal king is your best option. If you prefer more space between you and your partner, you will want to go with the wider, standard king size bed.Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is a split king mattress?A split king is simply two twin XL beds placed side by side. A split king is a good option for couples who have different firmness preferences. You each decide the perfect firmness for you, then the two twins are fitted together to create one king-size bed. A split king mattress with an adjustable base allows couples to individually raise or lower the head and foot area on their side of the bed.Can I have a king or a California king size mattress delivered?Yes, most bed in a box mattress brands will ship their king and California king size mattresses directly to your door. You can also find plenty of mattress options in these sizes on Amazon. You may even be able to add on white glove delivery, where the delivery team sets up your new mattress and hauls away your old one.How do king and California king beds compare to other mattress sizes?California king and king size beds are larger than any other bed size. Queen size beds measure 60 inches by 80 inches, while full size mattresses measure 54 inches by 75 inches. However, there are non-standard sizes that are larger than king and California king mattresses, such as the Alaska king.Will king sheets fit a California king mattress?No. Unfortunately, king sheets will not fit a California king size mattress. A fitted sheet made for a king mattress will not be long enough to cover a Cal king.What is the point of a California king bed?A California king mattress is primarily marketed toward tall people, particularly those over 6 feet. Such a person may feel cramped on a smaller mattress, even a standard king mattress. The extra 4 inches ensure they aren’t sleeping with their feet dangling over the edge.Is it Worth it to Buy a California King?The factors outlined above can help you determine whether or not a king or a California king is right for you. Ultimately, unless you are taller than average (6 feet and up), a regular king mattress will likely feel roomy enough for you.About the author Andrea Strand CERTIFIED SLEEP COACH Andrea Strand is a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho where she studied English with an emphasis in Technical Writing. Since 2019, Andrea has written over 90 blog posts and guides on sleep health, sleep hygiene, and product reviews. Find more articles by Andrea Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.