California King VS. Full – What’s The Difference?

When choosing between a California king mattress and a full size mattress, consider how you will use the mattress and the size of the room it will be sitting in. The shape of both mattresses is identical, with the main difference being the dimensions. 

Once you know your room dimensions, set a budget and decide what type of mattress you would like. All-foam mattresses, latex mattresses, and hybrid mattresses all have their benefits and drawbacks. Learn about them and pick one that will meet your requirements without breaking the bank. 

Now let’s have a look at which mattress will better suit your needs—the Cal king or the full. 

California King Mattress

Because of its large size and extra width, the California king bed is a popular choice for large rooms or a master bedroom. It can fit two very comfortably, allowing each person plenty of personal space. The Cal king bed is also a good option for taller sleepers, as it offers extra legroom. 

If you and your partner prefer different mattress firmness, a lot of mattress brands offer split Cal kings. This means the bed is split into two beds, accommodating both your and your partner’s personal sleeping preferences. 


The California king size mattress is often considered to be the largest mattress size, but that is not correct. When looking at the measurements of the total surface area, the king size mattress is actually slightly larger. 

The dimensions of a Cal king mattress are 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, which still provides ample space. It’s a longer and a narrower mattress when compared to other sizes, resembling a rectangle more than a square. As mentioned above, the extra length is great for taller sleepers who require more leg space, or couples whose bedroom is more narrow and long rather than square. 

Room Size Recommendation 

To fit a California king size bed nicely, a room should be at least 14 feet by 12 feet. Anything smaller will not leave enough space for other bedroom furniture, or it will make the room feel too crowded. 


Because of their unusual dimensions, California king mattresses tend to be the most expensive of the bunch. The price can range from $800 to $9000 and more. The price depends on the materials the mattress is made from and the brand that manufactured it. 

Pros & Cons 

Pros of a Cal king mattress:

  • Good choice for couples
  • An ideal choice for tall people
  • Right size for long and narrow bedrooms

Cons of a Cal king mattress:

  • Very expensive
  • More difficult to find sleeping accessories for (such as bedding, etc.)
  • Difficult to transport and set up

Full Mattress

If you are looking to replace the mattress in the guest room that’s pretty compact in size, a full size mattress is a great option. It can fit a single adult comfortably, and two sleepers cozily. A full size bed (also known as a double bed) is also a great choice for a teenager who’s outgrown their single mattress or a young couple who live in an apartment with limited floor space. 


The dimensions of a full mattress are 75 inches long by 54 inches wide. It’s a compact mattress that can fit in most bedrooms. As mentioned above, it can fit two sleepers if necessary. However, we’d recommend a queen size mattress or a king size mattress if you’ll be sharing your bed with a partner long-term.

Room Recommendation 

To fit a full-sized mattress comfortably, a bedroom should be at least 10 feet by 12 feet. This will allow for the recommended 2 feet of empty floor space around the bed, as well as room for bedroom furniture. 


A full size bed can cost between $120  to $2000 or even more. It all comes down to the materials used as well as the branding. As always, we don’t recommend going for the cheapest option as you may end up spending more to replace it just a few years after you bought it. However, the most expensive option is not always the best either. 

Pros & Cons 

Pros of a full size mattress:

  • Priced to fit most budgets
  • The best option for a single sleeper
  • Easy-to-find sleeping accessories
  • The better choice for smaller rooms

Cons of a full size mattress:

  • Not the best fit for more than one sleeper because of limited surface area

So is California King or Full Mattress better?

The answer to this question depends on the size of your room and the purpose of the bed. If the new bed will go to a kids’ room or a guest room, a full size mattress is more than enough. If you share your bed, are tall, or have a large master bedroom, then a Cal king would be better. It all comes down to your personal preferences, situation, and needs.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

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