As one of the larger bed sizes, a California king is a popular choice among couples looking for more space to stretch out. While slightly smaller than a traditional king size bed, a California king provides extra length, a unique advantage that is great for taller people or more narrow spaces.
In this article, we explain what a California king is and the pros and cons it offers. We’ll also discuss how it differs from a king and what to consider when choosing the right mattress for you.
The AS5 is Amerisleep’s softest mattress, and the hybrid version of the AS5 offers an extra touch of support because of its mix of foam and pocket-coils.
The top comfort layer of the AS5 Hybrid is three inches of plant-based Bio-Pur®, Amerisleep’s proprietary memory foam. The structure of this eco-friendly foam allows for better airflow and eliminates heat retention. Plus, the AS5 Hybrid contains an open pocketed coil system that allows for plenty of airflow. Hot sleepers can rest peacefully and avoid night sweats on the AS5 Hybrid because it contains not one, but two different cooling features.
The AS5 Hybrid is also great at providing support because the base of pocket coils deliver more bounce and minimize motion transfer. The pocket coils also feature a targeted support system with three comfort zones. By providing extra support for your back and more cushion to the shoulders and hips, this support technology holds the body in its natural alignment. Anyone with low back pain will appreciate the added support of the AS5 Hybrid because it eases pressure in the spine and pain points for a more comfortable sleep.
Every Amerisleep mattress comes with a risk-free 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty. Amerisleep also offers free shipping and no-contact delivery with every purchase.
The AS3 is Amerisleep’s best-selling mattress and is described as having a medium firmness. It’s ideal for most body types and sleep styles, specifically side and combo sleepers because it’s supportive enough to alleviate pressure points but soft enough to provide cushioning comfort.
The Bio-Pur® comfort layer is the AS3’s top layer of airy plant-based memory foam, specially designed to contour to the body and relieve pressure points. It’s more responsive than traditional foam because it bounces back more quickly when you move around, keeping you supported through the night.
Anyone who sleeps hot will also benefit from the AS3 because of the Bio-Pur® layer’s porous structure. The unique advanced open-cell design allows more air to escape and prevents any heat build-up, making it much more breathable than traditional memory foam.
Just below the Bio-Pur® layer, the Affinity layer with HIVE® technology adds support by targeting areas that need an extra lift and easing pain. The unique HIVE® technology feels firmer under the head, torso, and legs while keeping the hips and shoulders cushioned. This feature is great for anyone who experiences joint pain while they sleep because it relieves pain-causing pressure points.
For even more support, the Bio-Core® base layer offers lasting support to prevent sagging and soft spots over time.
Buyers of any Amerisleep mattress will enjoy a 100-night, risk-free sleep trial, along with a 20-year warranty and free, no-contact shipping.
The Zoma Mattress is popular among athletes and those with active lifestyles because it’s designed to respond to movement and enhance your performance by relieving any pain-causing pressure points.
Zoma features a cooling gel memory foam comfort layer with targeted Triangulex™ technology to provide tailored support. This layer is specifically designed to relieve pain-causing pressure points by providing zoned comfort in three areas: head and shoulders, hips and lower back, and upper and lower legs.
Below the top layer of memory foam is Reactiv™, a latex-like transition layer that offers extra cushion and gives the mattress a bit of bounce. Reactiv™ responds to movement to provide stable support and prevent you from sinking in (or feeling “stuck” in) the mattress throughout the night.
Lastly, the Support+ base layer keeps the spine in its natural alignment due to its sturdy design—it’s even durable enough to last a decade. The Zoma Mattress brand also offers a 10-year warranty and a 100-night risk-free sleep trial with every mattress to help you shop in confidence.
4. Zoma Hybrid
The Zoma Hybrid is engineered with active athletes in mind and offers a slightly more supportive design than an all-foam mattress since it has bouncy coils. By combining pocket coils and memory foam, Zoma offers an ultra-comfortable option for anyone who finds an all-foam mattress too soft and cushioning.
The Zoma Hybrid also offers Triangulex™, targeted three-zone support built within the comfort layer of gel memory foam. The technology relieves pain-causing pressure points by providing extra support in the hips and lower back, and cushioning the head and shoulders, and upper and lower legs.
Next, the Reactiv™ layer provides whole body contouring and is responsive to movement, so you stay cushioned without getting “stuck” when moving around.
Most notably, the Zoma Hybrid features hundreds of pocketed coils below the foam layers for an ultra-stable, durable base. These coils provide a bounce for extra support and improve the mattress’s airflow for a more cooling sleep.
The Zoma Mattress is an online mattress brand; they offer free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty with every mattress purchase.
Featuring a plush, no-nonsense design, the Vaya all-foam mattress is highlighted by its unique foam. The light and airy Vaya foam contours to your body and provides pressure relief, but unlike traditional memory foam, it doesn’t make you feel trapped. Certified by CertiPUR-US®, the Vaya Mattress is naturally hypoallergenic and excellent for sleepers with allergies and prone to skin irritations.
Described as having a medium feel, the Vaya Mattress’s base foam maintains the spine’s natural alignment by providing stable support with a touch of bounce and lift, an important feature for anyone experiencing back pain or discomfort. The Vaya is ideal for most sleep styles and body types because of its balance of comfort and support—it never feels too soft or too firm.
Buyers can shop the Vaya Mattress online where it ships free and comes with a 10-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.
What is a California King?
A California king is the longest available mattress size. It measures 72 inches wide and 84 inches long and has a total sleeping surface of 6,048 square inches. Sometimes referred to as a “Western King,” a Cal king is popular among couples for its large size and extra length.
It used to be that a California king was considered an uncommon bed size, but its increase in popularity has made it a more standard choice amongst shoppers.
California King vs. King Size Mattresses
The main difference between a California king and a standard king is the length. Many people are confused by the two sizes and believe a California king is the largest because it’s longer than a king. However, the traditional king actually offers the most sleeping space.
A king size mattress measures 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, making it the widest standard mattress size available. Compared to a Cal king, a traditional king is four inches wider and four inches shorter.
While eastern kings may not be as long as western kings, the total sleeping surface of a traditional king is 6,080 square inches, making it slightly larger (by 32 square inches) than a California king mattress.
Even though a standard king size bed has the largest sleeping surface, it’s still only as long as a queen size. With a Cal king mattress, sleepers can enjoy an extra four inches of legroom. This advantage is one of the main reasons many people choose a California king size bed over a traditional king.
Benefits and Drawbacks of a California King Size Mattress
A California king’s unique size offers pros and cons for sleepers. Here, we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this mattress size.
The main benefit of a California king size bed is that it’s ideal for sleepers six feet and taller. Since it’s the longest available mattress size, with four extra inches of length at the end, it allows for more room to stretch straight out. It also prevents feet from hanging off the end, a common problem among taller sleepers.
Another great benefit of a California king is its ability to fill out a long, narrow space better than a traditional king. The extra length of a Cal king allows it to better accommodate a large room that’s not as wide.
As one of the largest mattress sizes, a California king can be more expensive than other smaller bed sizes. Not only are the mattress and bed frame pricier, but accessories like sheets and pillows often come at a higher price as well. If you’re looking to save some money, a smaller bed size will likely be more affordable.
Another drawback is that smaller bedrooms and spaces are usually not suitable for a California king. Often apartments and small bedrooms don’t offer enough space to accommodate a California king’s large size. Since these mattresses are longer, Cal kings sometimes don’t look right in wider bedrooms, either.
Finding sleep accessories for a California king can sometimes be difficult as well. Due to their large size, things like adjustable bed frames can be hard to find with these mattresses.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Mattress For You
To make sure you choose the best mattress size for you, there are a few things to keep in mind, including bedroom size and height of sleepers.
The recommended bedroom size for a California king is anywhere from 10 feet by 12 feet up to 13 feet by 19 feet. Generally, more narrow rooms will fit Cal king mattresses best because they’re longer than other bed sizes. If your bedroom is particularly wide, you might want to consider a traditional king since it will fill the space better.
Remember to maintain the recommended two feet minimum of walking space around your bed. Doing this will ensure you have enough room to move through your bedroom. Keep in mind, more space will be required if you plan to have any furniture like a dresser nearby.
Height of Sleepers
Typically anyone six feet or taller will prefer a California king size bed because it’s the longest bed size available. It offers four extra inches of legroom and provides more room to stretch straight out. This extra space at the foot of the bed helps to prevent feet from hanging off the end.
How you sleep at night can help determine if you’d benefit from one mattress size over another. If you and your partner usually lay straight through the night, then you’ll likely enjoy the extra legroom of a California king. Those who tend to curl up in a ball or sprawl out will benefit from a traditional king because its wider size offers more personal space.
Side sleepers will benefit from a mattress that’s firm enough to keep the hips lifted but soft enough to cradle the shoulders. Likewise, back sleepers need a mix of firmness to support the hips and enough cushion to contour to the lower back area. Generally, a medium mattress will work best for these types of sleeping positions but will vary with each body type. Hybrids, latex, or memory foam mattresses with zoned support technologies are all great options because they offer a balance of comfort and support.
Combo sleepers will need a mattress that can adjust quickly to changing sleep positions throughout the night. Responsive bounce-back, like that found in latex and hybrids, are ideal because they can quickly adapt to movement and prevent you from feeling “stuck.” Memory foam, on the other hand, is not ideal because it can be too soft to respond to any movement through the night.
Stomach sleeping is not recommended, but the best mattress type is one that’s firm enough to prevent the stomach from sinking in too deeply.
Various types of mattress materials each offer different benefits, and your specific needs and preferences will determine the type of mattress best suited for you.
- Memory Foam: Known for its cushioning comfort, memory foam is popular for its ability to contour to the body. It is great at reducing pain points because it distributes weight evenly and relieves pressure throughout the body. The dense material of memory foam retains heat more than other mattress types, which can be a drawback for people who tend to sleep warm.
- Latex: Similar to memory foam, latex offers some contouring but is slightly bouncier. It’s great at relieving pressure points but provides a more lifted, supportive feel than memory foam mattresses. It’s also more breathable for a cooler sleep.
- Innerspring: An innerspring mattress features a thinly-padded comfort layer on top of a support core of coils. They are often very bouncy and springy and don’t provide any contouring. This type of mattress may be too firm for some people, especially those with back pain because it doesn’t provide any pressure relief.
- Hybrid: A hybrid combines the supportive coils of an innerspring with the contouring comfort layers found in an all-foam mattress. True hybrid mattresses have at least two inches of foam in its top layer, and they are available with memory foam, latex, or poly-foam comfort layers. Heavier sleepers and those with back pain usually benefit from hybrids because of their balanced mix of comfort and support.
Warranty and Sleep Trial Period
Before purchasing a mattress, be sure to take note of the warranty and trial period since these vary from each brand or seller.
A 10-year warranty is standard in the mattress industry, and mattress warranties often cover defects like broken or bent coils, sagging that reaches a certain depth, and ripped or bunched foam. Some brands offer even longer warranties, but they are usually prorated. Since mattresses don’t last much longer than 10 years anyway, it’s unlikely that you’ll benefit from a warranty that lasts much longer than that unless you plan on replacing your mattress with another bed of the same brand.
To ensure you have ample time to decide if your new mattress is a good fit for you, take note of any offered sleep trials. A sleep trial is a set amount of time that a customer has to return the mattress at no cost. Most sleep trials are offered between 90 and 100 nights and allow customers to test out their new mattress and decide if it’s right. Our bodies generally take a while to adjust to a new sleeping surface, and sleep trials allow for that time period.
What is the longest bed size available?
The longest standard mattress size is the California king, measuring 84 inches long. If 84 inches isn’t enough length, you can also buy an oversized mattress like a Texas or Alaskan king. These mattress sizes measure 98 inches long and 108 inches long, respectively.
What is the difference between a California king size mattress and a traditional king?
The main difference between the king and California king sizes lie in their length and width. A traditional king measures 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. A California king measures 72 inches wide and 84 inches long.
Based on the sleeping surface, a traditional king is larger by 32 square inches because it offers 6,080 square inches of surface space, whereas a Cal king only offers 6,048 square inches. But at the end of the day, the Cal king is simply a variation of the king better-suited for taller sleepers.
How big does a room need to be to accommodate a California king bed?
Bedrooms larger than 10 feet by 12 feet (and up to 13 feet by 19 feet) fit California king beds nicely. Remember, we recommend keeping a two feet minimum of walking space around the bed so you have ample room to move around. If you plan to have a dresser or other furniture nearby, you’ll need to accommodate for the extra space those furnishings will need, as well. Sleeping in an overly-crowded bedroom can cause feelings of anxiety and make falling asleep sleep more challenging.
What are the drawbacks of a California king?
Many California king mattresses are too big to fit in small apartments and more compact living spaces. Sleepers in populated cities usually can’t squeeze these mattresses into their homes, either. On that same note, these beds can be bulky and difficult to move—especially for customers in those smaller living spaces or busy cities.
Another potential drawback of sleeping on a Cal king a lack of wiggle room. Some sleepers may feel these beds don’t provide enough width. Couples who tend to sprawl out or curl up in bed may find that a Cal king doesn’t offer enough personal space because it’s not as wide as a traditional king.
Lastly, a Cal king can be costly for anyone looking to save some money. As one of the largest bed sizes, it’s usually one of the most expensive. Accessories like sheets and pillows will also be pricier than those of smaller bed sizes.
How much larger is a California king than a queen?
A queen size bed measures 60 inches wide and 80 inches long and has 4,800 square inches of sleeping surface. A California king measures 72 inches wide and 84 inches long, with 6,048 square inches of sleeping surface. When compared to a queen, a Cal king is 12 inches wider, four inches longer, and has 1,248 more square inches of sleeping surface.
A California king size mattress is the longest mattress size available. While slightly smaller and more narrow than the traditional king, a Cal king offers an extra four inches at the foot of the bed—an attractive feature for taller people or shoppers filling a large, narrow room. Those who tend to sleep straight at night will also benefit from a Cal king because of its long length.
When choosing the best Cal king mattress for you, keep the type of material in mind because this can affect how soft or firm it feels, an important factor for anyone experiencing back pain or in need of extra support. Type of material also affects whether or not the mattress is likely to retain heat or offer a more cooling sleep. To test out all these mattress features, take note of any offered sleep trials, which will allow you to try out the mattress risk-free for a period of time.
Knowing what to look for when choosing a mattress and taking advantage of a trial period will help you to find the right bed for your preferences and offer you the best sleep.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.