California King Beds vs. King Beds

California King Beds vs. King Beds

King bed in bedroom
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 king size bed or a California king bed going to be best?

King bed in bedroom

The biggest difference between a king size bed and a California king bed is that one bed is shorter and wider, while the other is longer and narrower. A king size bed is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. A California king is just a few inches narrower than a 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.

Comparing California King Beds to King Beds


Comparison of King and California King measurements

Size Comparisons and Dimensions

  • California 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


  • King beds measure 76″ wide x 80″ long
  • 4 inches wider than the California king bed
  • Width per person is 38 inches
  • Sheets labeled “king” will fit king size bed.

King size bed in bedroom


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 sleeping alone in a twin bed.

California king size bed in bedroom

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.

Contemporary style king size bed


Typically there isn’t much of a price difference between a California king and a 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.

Colonial style king size bed

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 night’s rest you deserve.