King versus California King – What Is The Difference?

Before buying a new mattress it is crucial to measure the size of your bed. That being said, you should know that a king bed has not the same dimensions as a California king. So, what is really the difference between the two? Which one is bigger king or California king? Why should you choose one over the other? Do Cal king sheets fit a king size bed? These are just some of the questions we will try to answer.

In this article, you will learn the differences between the king bed (aka Eastern King) and the California king bed (aka West King, Cal king or Western King), the pros and cons of each, the comfort levels and everything else you need to make an informed choice. Keep reading.

Looking at these two common beds, it is understandable that most consumers get confused when differentiating the two. The King size bed measuring 76 x 80 inches is wider and more comfortable, but it is not best suited for taller sleepers. On the other hand, the California King Size bed measuring 72 x 84 inches boasts more foot room but most people complain about the reduced sleeping area. For couples who want enough sleeping space, the standard king size is perfect while those who need more space for their feet will find the California King size the best choice.

It is important to appreciate that accessories for the standard king size bed are easier to find than for the California king size. The room dimensions also come into play when choosing between the two King Size beds. Check the recommended room dimensions to ensure the bed you choose fits into the available space. All these factors will help you determine which king size bed best suits your accommodation needs.

King vs. Cal King Comparison Chart

 KingCalifornia King
Width76 inches / 193 cm72 inches / 183 cm
Length80 inches / 203 cm84 inches / 214 cm
CostA king size bed and all the accessories are cheaper and easier to find.A Cal King bed and all the accessories are more expensive and harder to find.
Space UsedLarge master bedroomsLarge master bedrooms
Other Names"Eastern King""Western King"
Best ChoiceFor two sleepers who require more lateral spaceFor taller sleepers

What Is a King Size (Eastern King) Bed?

A King Size bed (Eastern King) measures 76 inches in width and 80 inches in length. It is a very common bed in most American homes and it is distinguishable due to its width which is 4 inches more than for a California King bed. It measures the same as a Queen Size bed except for the width (it is 16 inches wider).

Pros and Cons


Ideal for couples due to more sleeping space

Easily available bed and accessories

Ideal for big bodies couples who want a comfortable sleeping solution

A flexible option for the guest room


Bulky and heavy hence not easily portable

More expensive than the full and queen size bed

Tall people will not find it comfortable


The best bed size should fit your needs. The king size bed is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, and this makes it an ideal solution for couples looking for a comfortable sleeping option. With each person getting around 38 inches of sleeping space, this is a bed which can also accommodate kids and pets.

Restless sleepers will find the king size bed a godsend as they can sleep comfortably without disturbing their partners. With the right mattress for motion transfer, everyone on the bed will enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep. The bed is also available in split size in case you need to separate the beds in future.


Comfort is another major consideration when comparing different beds in the market. The comfort level of your bed determines the quality of sleep you enjoy.

For the king size bed, each sleeper has enough space to enjoy a memorable night’s sleep every night. It is the perfect bed for couples who want to sleep comfortably without being too far apart.

When you have a kid or a pet, you can comfortably accommodate them in the bed even if temporarily. Everyone enjoys their personal sleeping space, and the only problem arises for taller sleepers who might find their feet hanging off the edges.


If you walk to any retail store, you can easily find accessories for a king size bed. They include bed sheets, duvet sets, pillows and mattresses and mattress encasements. The beds are popular and demand for their accessories is high thus making it easy to find what you need in the stores. The prices are also low because the bed is common.

Recommended Space

When purchasing your king size bed, it is important to assess the amount of space available in your bedroom. The recommended room size is between 10 feet and x 12 feet to 12 feet x 13 feet. With such space, it is easy to set up the bed and leave walking space around it.

What Is a California King (Western King) Bed?

The California king or Western king bed is common in American homes. From the sound of it, most people expect it to be very large but it measures 72 inches in width x 84 inches in length. It is 4 inches shorter in width and 4 inches longer than the original king size bed.

The Pros and Cons


It offers more foot room

Can accommodate kids and pets

A better sleeping solution for taller people

Comfortable for a single sleeper


Bed linen and other accessories such as mattresses are very expensive

Heavy and bulky making it difficult to move around the room

Less sleeping room due to the reduced width


The California King Size bed measures 72 inches wide (six feet), and it’s 84 inches long (seven feet). It is longer than a King size bed and this makes it the perfect choice for tall people.

It is not the perfect choice for big bodied couples who want enough space to move around as it is 4 inches shorter in width. However, using a high-quality mattress with good motion transfer allows two sleepers to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep.

If you love cuddling with your partner throughout the night, this is the perfect bed for you. The Cal king bed comes in split size, and you can split the beds in future.


Comfort should be at the top of your mind when shopping for a bed.

If you opt for the California king bed, you have a lot of space to guarantee a comfortable night’s sleep. With the extra 4 inches of length, you don’t have to worry about your feet hanging on the edge.

For those who move around a lot during the night, the Cal king is the best solution to guarantee a comfortable night. While the California king size bed is smaller in width, this is just what every couple needs for more cuddling and closeness. If you are tall, the California king size bed is just what you need.


Due to the unique dimensions of the bed, it is harder to find accessories than for the standard king size bed. The frames, protectors, bed sheets, box springs and comforters for the California king size bed are difficult to find and they also cost more. However, you can find good bargains at online retail stores.

Recommended Space

It is important to assess whether you have enough room for the Cal king bed you wish to buy. The recommended room size necessary for this type of bed is between 12 feet by 12 feet to 14 feet by 12 feet. With such room, it is easy to set up the bed and leave enough space around it.


There is no denying the importance of good quality sleep. Good quality sleep keeps away disease, boosts memory function, and also helps with weight control among other benefits. For this reason, you need to find the best bed available. If you are in the market for a new bed, the choices available will overwhelm you. Between the most popular mattresses are the king size and California king size beds. Choosing between these two common beds is not easy if you don’t have the right information.

I hope this guideline explained the most crucial considerations and aspects you should keep in mind before buying a Cal king or a king mattress.

If you are interested in smaller bed mattresses, you can read the difference between a full bed and queen size bed in this article.

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