What’s the Difference Between a King and California King?

What's the difference between king and california king?

The main difference between a king mattress and a California king mattress is its size. While a king mattress measures 76 inches by 80 inches, a California king mattress measures 72 inches by 84 inches. 

While you may have considered a queen mattress, taller people and couples might feel cramped on it. In that case, a king mattress or California king could be a better option.    

What is a King Mattress?

The king mattress size covers an area of 6,080 square inches. Thus, a standard king-size bed ensures sufficient sleeping space for two sleepers.

King-sized mattresses are actually four inches smaller in length and four inches more in width than the California king mattress. Having a king-size bed is an indication of luxury. It is also known as an Eastern king, whose standard size accommodates the largest king mattress available on the market.

A standard king-size mattress is also available in a split option, where two XL-size mattresses can be placed side by side to make one standard king mattress. 

This split king mattress is ideal for a children’s room and thus can be adjusted according to the needs of the individual. This style of mattress is best for adjustable beds with split features.

See Also:  Difference Between Soul and Spirit
What's the Difference Between a King and California King?
King mattresses are 76 in. by 80 in.

Pros and Cons of a King Mattress

Everything has its pros and cons, and so does the king mattress.

King Mattress Benefits

  • Spacious for families/multiple sleepers
  • It suits large bedrooms
  • The split option is also available in king-size mattresses to suit individual sleep preferences

King Mattress Drawbacks

  • Cost is expensive
  • It is too big for a small room or even a medium-size room
  • Challenging to move because of its bulky size and weight

What is a California King Mattress?  

The California king-size mattress is also called the Western king. Its dimensions are 72 inches by 84 inches. 

A California king (or Cal king) mattress is one of the largest mattresses available, providing extra leg room. It’s ideal for the largest California king bed and covers an area of up to 6,048 square inches.

It’s also similar to two XL-size mattresses pushed together. Before buying this kind of mattress, note that it’s ideal for couples who are tall. It’s slightly narrower than the king mattress by four inches but is four inches longer than the king.

The California king mattress is best suited for a master bedroom with dimensions of 12 feet by 12 feet or 12 feet by 14 feet. 

What's the Difference Between a King and California King?
California king mattresses are 72 in. by 84 in.

Pros and Cons of a California King Mattress 

The California king mattress has both pros and cons based on personal preference. 


  • Ideal for people 6 feet in height or taller
  • Ideal for couples who like to sleep closer together, since it’s narrower
  • The split California king option is also available
  • Ideal for making large bedrooms seem less empty
See Also:  Difference Between Love and In Love


  • Difficult to move because of the size and weight
  • Difficult to find accessories for this size, for example, pillow covers, bed sheets, etc.

King Mattress vs. California King – The Major Differences

King Mattress vs California King Mattress
76 by 80 inches Dimension 72 by 84 inches
Usually $300-$1000 Cost Usually $500-$2000
Eastern king Another Name Western king
Two people Occupancy Three people
Couples Ideal For Tall people
13 feet by 13 feet Ideal Room Size 13 feet by 12 feet

What’s the Difference Between a King and California King?

The standard king-size mattress seems more of a square shape, while a California king is more rectangular. Some people opt for the split king mattress, which is a modern category of mattresses that consists of two combined twin XL mattresses, each measuring 38 by 80 inches.

Which Mattress is Right for You?

Whether a king mattress or a California king, both have an air of luxury. The right mattress can alleviate back pain. It’s important to shop for your body type, especially if you’re a tall sleeper. A sound 7-8 hours of sleep is essential to keep you active all day long, and a comfortable mattress is a key to that.

However, choosing one is tricky with so many sizes and types of mattresses available nowadays. Apart from the standard differences, consider your sleeping ambiance and budget when buying any mattress.

If you’ve enjoyed our post comparing these two types of mattresses, we compare other things as well, like cold brew and iced coffee.


Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

Recent Posts