In this article
- Our picks
- Other mattresses we've tested
- How we test
- Frequently asked questions
- More products and sleep advice
Ever since Rihanna sang California King Bed, we've been dreaming of a good night's sleep on a California king size mattress.
Perhaps you're an extra tall individual or you sleep with a partner and you'd both love some extra foot room. If you're ready to take the plunge on a new dream bed and land yourself in the best California king mattress on the market, stay with us. We took a close look at which mattresses work best in the California king size.
Regardless of what mattress type you're looking for -- a memory foam mattress, gel memory foam mattress, innerspring mattress , hybrid mattress, a soft or firm mattress or some other variation that caters to your preferred sleeping style -- here are the best California king mattress options we've found. (All prices listed are the regular, nonsale list price.) Once you pick out the perfect mattress, you'll be able to experience the true comfort of the California King Bed Rihanna couldn't stop singing about.
Prices below reflect the costs of California king size mattresses.
Video: Best California King Mattresses for 2023
Watch CNET video producer Owen Poole review the best California king size mattresses for 2023.
Read more: Best Bed Sheets for Every Type of Sleeper
3 firmness levels | Soft: Medium-soft to soft or 2 | Medium: Medium to medium-soft or 4 | Firm: Medium-firm or 7
10-year limited warranty
When deciding the best California king mattress overall, I wanted to pick a mattress that was suitable for singles, couples, all body types, most sleeping positions and most budgets. The Brooklyn Bedding Signature fits that bill to a tee, and it's ultracomfortable.
The Brooklyn Bedding Signature is a hybrid mattress that's more affordable than most of its competitors. Brooklyn Bedding manufactures its own mattresses, eliminating the need for a middle man. That makes it able to sell you your mattress for less than the other big brands. When you catch this mattress during a promo, you can get a quality California king bed for under $1,200.
It's a comfortable, accommodating hybrid mattress that feels soft and springy. I'd compare it to the foam in your favorite comfy couch, or like memory foam without that dense, "stuck" feel. It's available in three firmness levels, making the soft and medium models perfect for side and combination sleepers, while the firm model is ideal for back and stomach sleepers. Read more about this mattress in our full Brooklyn Bedding Signature review.
Flippable hybrid mattress
Firm: 5 or medium | Soft: 3 or medium-soft
10-year limited warranty
The Layla Hybrid tops our list as the best California king mattress, particularly because this king bed is conveniently flippable, with a softer and firmer side to choose from. The soft side is extra plush and pressure relieving, perfect for any side sleeper who wants a cushiony feel.
The firm side isn't super firm. It's more around a six out of 10 on the firmness scale, making it great for most sleeping positions. I also think heavy side sleepers will like the firm end because it'll feel like a soft mattress with a good balance of support.
The Layla Hybrid California king bed consists of layers of gel memory foam, support foam, pocketed coils and a center layer of copper-infused foam. The center foam mattress layer is designed to draw heat away from the sleeper's body to help cool them off while they sleep, while simultaneously adding antimicrobial properties to prevent bacteria buildup in the mattress. I think the memory foam feels light and airy, compared to a bed like the Nectar that feels more dense and firm.
If you sleep with a partner, there will be sufficient space and the edges will feel properly supportive (for those of you who sleep next to a bed-hot). This thick memory foam mattress has extra strong, 16-gauge coils around the perimeter to strengthen the edges. The memory foam also does a great job at isolating motion. Read more in our full Layla Hybrid mattress review.
The Layla Hybrid California king size bed is available with a 120-night sleep trial, 10-year warranty and free shipping in the contiguous 48 states.
3 firmness levels | Plush Soft: Medium or 5 | Luxury Firm: Medium-firm or 7 | Firm: 9/10 or firm
The Saatva Classic is a supportive mattress with a combination of contouring latex foam, supportive innerspring coils and special lumbar technology that makes it great for back and stomach sleepers. The Luxury Firm model of this mattress is a solid medium-firm and its dual-coil construction is a unique feature that makes the Saatva bed incredibly supportive. As such, it's one of the best California king mattress models you can buy.
The Saatva Classic hybrid mattress is unique in the direct-to-consumer realm in that it doesn't arrive in a box (so make sure your doorways and stairs can fit a California king's dimensions). But that means it can be made to order after you select your preference of firmness level as well as your choice of height: 11.5 inches or 14.5 inches.
Based on my own testing, I found the beds range from medium to firm, depending on the firmness level you choose. Finally, the California king bed mattress reaches new levels of coziness with a three-inch Euro pillow top. All of this also works well for larger mattresses like the Cal king.
With your purchase at Saatva, you get a 180-night sleep trial, a 15-year warranty and free delivery with in-room setup and old mattress removal. Read more for our full Saatva mattress review.
Nectar is a reputable bed-in-a-box brand that helped popularize the movement along with mattress bigwigs like Casper and Purple. The brand recently came out with its hybrid models, taking what people loved about the original Nectar memory foam mattress and making it more durable and supportive.
The Nectar Hybrid mattress is 12 inches thick and will suit a range of body types, from petite to plus-size. It's made with memory foam but feels different from the flagship Nectar model. It's more of a neutralized memory foam feel in that it doesn't have that dense, contouring profile that's slow to respond to pressure. I chalk that up to the pocketed coils in the bottom layer that give it more bounce. However it's still great at isolating motion if you're looking for the best California king mattress for couples.
I'd rate the Nectar Hybrid around a medium to medium-firm, so it's a little softer than the original Nectar and better suited for people who like to sleep on their side.
Nectar is known for its good prices and big bundles. If you wait until this mattress goes on sale, (which is pretty often, not just big holidays) you can snag a California king bed for around $1,100.
7 or medium-firm with the pillow top (9 or firm without)
25-year limited warranty
Having enjoyed a hands-on test of the Avocado Green mattress, I can say from experience that it's a joy to sleep on. And on top of being highly comfy, especially for back, stomach and heavy sleepers, this Cal king mattress is also eco-friendly -- Avocado's mattresses are made of organic wool, cotton and latex.
In addition to using organic materials, Avocado sources its wool from its own co-owned Indian wool farm, where more than 200,000 sheep roam freely across 40 organic hectares. If you'd prefer a vegan mattress without wool of any kind, Avocado also makes the same mattress in a vegan variety, which also comes in a California king. The company also grows and processes its own organic Dunlop latex. Each mattress is handcrafted in its California factory, where the company bypasses the use of toxic glues by implementing a traditional hand-tufting technique. And if that's not enough, their mattresses are all tested to ensure low emissions, guaranteeing that they meet air quality standards.
If you need a firm mattress to support a larger or taller body, the Avocado Green in California king size is a great choice. You can also buy the pillow-topper for $500 which softens up the feel to a medium-firm. It's an ideal firmer mattress for back and stomach sleepers, as well as those with back pain. A little extra space lengthwise gives the healing body plenty of room to do its thing.
Avocado's US-made mattresses come with free shipping, a one-year sleep trial and a 25-year warranty. Read more at our full Avocado mattress review.
Memory foam hybrid
7 or Medium-firm
20-year prorated warranty
Amerisleep's AS2 Hybrid mattress features a proprietary memory foam called Bio-Pur, which is highly responsive and quick to recover whenever a sleeper moves, adding some motion isolation. It's remarkably supportive with a medium-firm density, so it relieves pressure and helps with spinal alignment. For taller folks or couples with back pain, the California king AS2 Hybrid is a wise choice.
The Bio-Pur foam is also well ventilated and breathable compared to more common varieties, leaving sleepers cool throughout the night. And an eight-inch layer of coils and a layer of HIVE technology (hundreds of hexagonal cutouts spread across five zones) allow for ideal support and cushioning right where your body needs them.
The AS2 Hybrid California king mattress is beneficial for all types of sleepers, including folks who move around and change sleeping positions a lot at night. In addition, it's CNET's pick for the best mattress for couples, and the California king bed offers extra leg room.
With the AS2 Hybrid, you get free shipping and returns, a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty. Read more in our full Amerisleep mattress review.
Memory foam hybrid mattress
7 or medium-firm
15-year limited warranty
The Helix Plus is designed to offer a firmer mattress with extra support and comfort for those with larger or taller-than-average bodies, making it an ideal plus-size mattress in the California king size. However, it also makes a great fit for just about all sleepers, regardless of size or sleep position preference. As long as the 7-to-8 firmness level rating doesn't bother you (it's a medium to firm feel), this mattress is likely to be a superb match.
Providing excellent pressure relief, the Helix Plus Cal king mattress offers just enough give to maintain support while letting the sleeper get cozy in the contours of the memory foam. This mattress also offers fantastic motion transfer, so you may not even notice your sleeping partner getting in and out of bed.
The California king size of the Helix Plus contains all the extra support, higher density foam and conveniently low motion transfer of the smaller versions, providing a longer mattress and the width of a spacious king. And for any bigger or taller folks who may sleep better with a little more space between them, this size is ideal. Read more in our full Helix mattress review.
7 or medium-firm
If you're not yet familiar with the brand, Purple mattresses use a proprietary Purple Grid instead of memory foam. The Grid is a hyper-elastic polymer that creates a pressure-free, comfy contoured comfort layer region wherever you lie on it -- a decidedly different experience than memory foam.
The Purple Hybrid also has a system of 7.5-inch pocketed coils for extra support and improved motion isolation. It has plenty of give to it and enough bounce to be cozy, while still being supportive to the joints and spine.
The Purple Hybrid is especially great for back and stomach sleepers, but heavy side sleepers will sleep comfortably on it as well. It is nontoxic, hypoallergenic and exceptionally sturdy, remaining intact and durable over time, which is also great for California king buyers.
Another added bonus? It sleeps incredibly cool. The GelFlex Grid's design allows more increased airflow than your regular mattress, and the gel-like material doesn't retain heat like typical foam does.
One thing to note is that Purple's California king is quite heavy to move, so you'll want to find the perfect spot for it while you've got plenty of help nearby. Or, consider hiring white-glove delivery workers to set it up for you. Read more in our full Purple Hybrid mattress review.
The bigger the mattress size, the more you have to pay when it comes to buying a new bed. If you're in search of the best California king mattress that fits a more wallet-friendly budget, Allswell is a hybrid bed that offers a good bed for your buck. It's made by Walmart, which is known for its price-friendly products, and you can get a California king size mattress for under $500.
The Allswell mattress is 10 inches thick and more on the firm side, rated around a six to seven on the firmness scale. I'd say it's best for back and stomach sleepers, and it'll be pressure relieving enough for side sleepers over 230 pounds. Still, it's a little too firm for strict side sleepers under that weight range.
It feels like a neutral-foam mattress with added bounce, and you sleep more on top of the bed than you do inside it. This makes it really easy to switch positions, and it doesn't give that "stuck in the mud" feel that traditional memory foam beds do. Read more about this bed in our full Allswell mattress review.
Other mattresses we've tested
The CNET Sleep editors use their knowledge from their extensive mattress testing experience to curate our bedding best lists. They collectively have rolled around on 100-plus beds and are considered experts on the subject. With all the mattresses our editors have tested, some quality beds aren't able to make the cut, but we still think they deserve some credit.
Tuft and Needle mattress: If you want a large California king mattress, but you're more of a budget-conscious shopper, the Tuft and Needle mattress is a great option. It's only two layers and it's a simple bed without any extra bells and whistles. However, it is a comfortable and accommodating bed for just about any sleeping position. It feels like your favorite soft couch, it's made with a neutral-foam that's quicker to respond to pressure than memory foam is. Tuft and Needle is also one of the most prominent online mattress brands, so their beds are popular for a reason.
Layla mattress: This is the original predecessor to the Layla Hybrid mattress above. It omits the pocketed coil layer found in the hybrid, but it's a little cheaper and more affordable. This model is best for people who weigh under 230 pounds and who like the memory foam feel of Layla without the extra cost of the hybrid design. It's flippable, so you get one firm side and one soft side. It's also made with copper-infused memory foam, making it sleep cooler than the standard material.
How we test
CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read more on how we test mattresses.
The difference between a king vs California king mattress
Contrary to popular belief, California king mattresses are just longer than king mattresses, not wider. While standard king mattresses are 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, California kings are 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. Knowing the difference between the two helps you make better-informed shopping choices, and ensures that there are no unwelcome surprises. Remember, California king mattresses are all about length.
Why you should buy a California king mattress
If you're well on the taller side, say 6'3 and above, a California king mattress is the absolute best mattress choice for you. With a California king size mattress, you can stretch your toes down, or just never stress about too many decorative pillows up top. The California king bed frame also has the optimal dimensions if you have a particularly long and narrow or rectangular-shaped room. You get all the perks and grandeur of a luxuriously large and comfortable bed, without having to sacrifice a set of nightstands.
The California king mattress and bed frame tend to work best in rooms with dimensions of at least 12 feet by 12 feet. If you're more concerned with having a wider bed than a longer one (like if you have a partner who loves to wiggle), a standard king mattress is probably the best mattress type for you.
California king mattress FAQs
Is a California king bed worth it?
It will be worth the money for a California king if you have a lot of extra space in your bedroom, are a big and tall individual, or you want a mattress that offers more leg space for your furry friends. California king beds are more narrow than a standard king, but are longer to allow for more leg and foot room.
How much does a California king bed cost?
Many California king mattresses will cost you around $1,200 to $1,600, especially if you're looking for a premium bed. Luxury California king mattresses are known to retail for $1,800 or more, but you can also find a budget California king mattress like Allswell for under $500.
Which bed is better, king or California king?
If you have animals that sleep on the bottom of your mattress, are 6 feet, 5 inches (or taller) or you just want the extra leg space, a California king is a good option because it offers more length than your standard king bed. However, if you expect your kiddos to be snuggling up next to you in bed some nights, you might want a wider standard king bed to fit all your loved ones. It's worth noting that brands often price their king and California king beds the same, so you usually don't end up paying more for one or the other.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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