When you’re buying a new bed, it can feel like a challenge to find the size that will work best for you. There used to be only a couple of options, but now there are many more. Figuring out what will work best for you, a partner if you have one, your room, and your budget can feel like a puzzle that’s impossible to solve. If you’re trying to choose between and King and a California King, there are a few things you should know.

What are the Basic Differences Between the Two?

Many people think that a California King is bigger than a King. However, the truth is that it is longer and narrower. While it’s still wider than a Queen, it loses 4” of width to the King. This difference may or may not be significant for you. Some couples want the full width of a King for ultimate comfort, while others find that the California King fits their sleeping style, height, or bedroom layout better.

Both beds are popular choices for master bedrooms. As long as the room is big enough, either can fit well. If your room is longer than it is wide, you may want to consider a California King. Similarly, if you are so tall that your feet hang off the end of a King, a California King may be the right choice for you.

Fun Fact: The California King is also known as the Western King, while the regular King can be called the Eastern King.

If you want to see the differences between the two beds in a nutshell, the following table can help you out.

King California King
76”x80” 72”x84”
Accessories are easy to find and relatively inexpensive Accessories are harder to find and significantly more expensive
More sleeping space overall Less sleeping space overall
Prioritizes width Prioritizes length


Everything You Need to Know About a King



Many people see a traditional King-sized bed as the ultimate luxury. There’s plenty of space for you, your partner, and even a pet or two. These beds tend to look grand, especially when you put them in a large room and balance them well with other furniture. They also make it possible for couples to sleep together, even when one of them needs to sleep with a medical device or they don’t want to touch while sharing a bed.


  • King mattresses are easy to find and affordable. Most companies make all levels of mattresses in this size, so you can get a very basic bed or one with lots of comfort layers or more complex technology. Because so many people choose King beds, there are many options available and they are easy to get.
  • The King mattress is perfect for larger sleepers. If you take up more space, you need more space to sleep comfortably. If you or your partner are large but not taller than normal, the King bed should allow you both to sleep comfortably.


  • King mattresses don’t work well for tall people. Despite the extra width they offer, they are still the same length as the Queen. This means that tall people don’t necessarily gain anything by moving from a Queen to a King. If they don’t like it when their feet hang off the bed, getting a King won’t solve the problem.
  • King beds can be very difficult to move. They don’t fit easily through doorways and usually require several people to get them where they need to go. If you move a lot or you’re anticipating a big move, the King may not be the best choice for you.


Everything You Need to Know About a California King

Tall people love California King sized beds, especially when they don’t need extra width beyond that of a Queen. If you’d buy a Queen except it’s too short, then the California King bed may be perfect for you. These mattresses are also perfect in rooms that are longer than they are wide. Occasionally, when a King bed just won’t work, the California King fits perfectly.


  • California King beds are the best solution for tall sleepers who want to sleep comfortably with a partner. There’s not another mattress this long, so if 80” is too short, the California King is the only better option.


  • California King mattresses may not be available in every option. Some manufacturers don’t make all of their beds in this size because it’s not as commonly chosen as the King.
  • California King mattresses can be more expensive than the King. Even though they offer slightly less overall sleeping space, there is less demand for them and so some companies charge more for them.
  • Accessories for a California King can be harder to find and more expensive. Again, there’s less demand for them, so they cost more when you buy them.



You are the only person who can figure out what bed will work best for you. When choosing between the King and the California King, you need to determine what your priorities are when it comes to space. Do you crave the width to move around comfortably, or do you need the extra length so your feet stay on the bed? No matter what you choose, you can find mattress options that will last for a long, long time.


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