When you're shopping for a mattress that comes in both king and California king, do you usually assume that the California king is larger? If so, you're definitely not alone. Yet, while many folks believe that a California king, also known as a western king, is bigger than a standard king, they are unfortunately mistaken.
The California king is actually just longer -- not wider. They typically measure 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, while regular king size mattresses are 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, making the California king four inches narrower and four inches longer than the standard king-size mattress.
There are even more king mattress sizes, although rarely named on shopping sites. In case there's a trivia question about it during your next game night, these sizes include the Alaskan king at 108 by 108 inches (truly the largest mattress available -- when it's available, which is not often), the Wyoming king at 84 by 84 inches and the Texas king, which is 80 inches wide by 98 inches long.
But for most shoppers, the California king is the longest mattress that you can buy in stores. That makes it great for taller sleepers, or anyone else who enjoys having a bit more space lengthwise. It's also a good option if you have a particularly long and narrow or rectangular-shaped room. The California king mattress tends 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), ais a better mattress type option for you.
If you're ready to take the plunge on a new California king, we took a close look at which mattresses work best in the California king size. Here are the best California king mattress options we found. (All prices listed are the regular, non-sale list price.)
The Layla Hybrid is a great mattress in California king size, especially because it's conveniently flippable, with a softer and firmer side to choose from. The firmer side is said to be better for hot sleepers, heavier people and back and stomach sleepers, while the softer side is better for side sleepers and lighter people (up to 130 pounds). The softer side also has more pressure relief and less motion transfer.
The Layla Hybrid 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.
Whether you sleep alone or with a partner, with the Layla Hybrid in the California king size mattress, there will be sufficient space, sleepers will remain cool throughout the night and, depending upon which side is chosen, any size sleeper can enjoy optimal pressure relief and comfort.
The Layla Hybrid Cal king size mattress is available with a 120-night sleep trial, 10-year warranty and free shipping in the contiguous 48 states.
The durable Casper Original is an ideal candidate for the California king mattress size, and you'll frequently find them in spacious master bedrooms. The innovative zoned support technology in the Casper Original is known for helping to alleviate back pain, as its pressure-relieving and spinal-aligning features work together to give the sleeper a pain-free night's sleep.
Divided into three separate regions, the foam layer zones offer a softer area to cradle the shoulders, neck and upper body, in addition to a firmer foam to support the hips, waist and lower back. Once you've discovered your most comfy sleeping position on the Casper Original, you can count the days to pain reduction. Casper doesn't miss with the eco-friendly shoppers either, as its Original mattress cover is crafted from recycled bottles.
Whether the kiddos (or fur kiddos) gather with you at night or you're a family of one or two, this mattress is likely to keep everyone comfortable with plenty of space to spread out within its Cal king dimensions. You definitely won't have to worry about Fido having enough room at the foot of the bed.
Made in the USA, the luxurious California king size Casper Original is available with a 100-night sleep trial, free shipping and returns and a 10-year warranty. Read CNET's Casper Original review for more.
The Saatva Classic is a plush mattress with a combination of contouring latex foam, supportive innerspring coils and special lumbar technology that makes it great for side sleepers. As a hybrid, this mattress is perfect in California king, as it's sturdy enough to prevent sagging all the way to the foot and edges while not being overly firm compared to the all-foam varieties.
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. Finally, the 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.
The naturally breathable cotton cover is also hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, and it's cooling enough to keep sleepers from overheating.
If you're committed to sustainability, a Saatva mattress will fit right in your home -- it features recycled steel, environmentally safe foams and natural thistle in place of chemical fire retardants. For those with extra large or narrow or rectangular bedrooms, the California king Saatva Classic hybrid mattress is ideal.
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.
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, it's 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 size mattress. 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 slightly longer medium-firm mattress to support a larger or taller body, the Avocado Green in California king size is a great choice. It's also an ideal 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 USA-made mattresses come with free shipping, a one-year sleep trial and a 25-year warranty. Read more.
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. 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 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 size offers extra leg room.
With the AS2 Hybrid, you get free shipping and returns, a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
With a six-layer hybrid design that includes memory foam, recycled springs and a hypoallergenic Merino wool and cotton cover, the Leesa Legend mattress is the company's most sustainable model. In the California king size, this mattress is beneficial to everyone from taller folks to families, and it works well for all sleeping positions.
Reviews boast that the luxury hybrid Legend has optimal edge support and minimal motion transfer, while the pressure-relieving memory foam is breathable and responsive. The cover is not only super-soft, but also hypoallergenic and naturally heat-wicking, thanks to the wool and cotton.
The Leesa Legend California king is a cushiony 12 inches thick luxury mattress, making the already brag-worthy contouring foam even more desirable. If you purchase the Legend in California king, you can feel satisfied that you're buying an eco-friendly product, as this cover is also made partially from a whopping 73 recycled water bottles each (similar to the Casper). And Leesa gives back, too: For every 10 mattresses sold, a bed is donated to a child in need.
These mattresses are made to order, so it may take a bit longer to receive your Leesa Legend for your California king size bed, but it's worth the buy if you can wait.
When you purchase a Leesa Legend mattress in California king, you get a generous 100-night trial, a 10-year warranty and free delivery.
As a hybrid of high-density and gel memory foam added to over 1,000 wrapped coils, the Helix Midnight Luxe mattress offers enhanced contouring and pressure relief under a breathable pillow-top cover. Add that to its impressive lumbar support layer, and you have a superb Cal king size bed combo in all sizes, especially the extra-long and accommodating California king.
This Cal king bed mattress is above average when it comes to motion transfer and zoning technology, making it ideal for couples. It sits right in the center of the firmness scale, as Helix says it's from a 4 to 7 out of 10. And while it's an excellent option for side sleepers as advertised, the medium feel and specially zoned support of the Helix Midnight Luxe can actually work well for back, stomach and combination sleepers, too. So if you sleep with a partner, this mattress in California king provides enough room for everyone to compromise on their preferred firmness level.
The Cal king Helix Midnight Luxe mattress comes with a lengthy 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year warranty, free shipping and financing if you qualify.
The Helix Plus is designed to offer 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 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.
When you purchase a Helix Plus mattress in California king, you get free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year warranty and possible financing options.
With its innovative cooling properties, the Ghostbed Flex Hybrid in a California king size is especially well-suited for taller hot sleepers. Its supportive, individually wrapped coils, blended with gel memory foam, create just the right amount of "bounce" to balance out the soft contouring, while keeping the sleeper nice and cool throughout the night.
If you're curious about memory foam but love the feeling of traditional innerspring mattresses, the Ghostbed Flex Hybrid offers a chance to cross over to memory foam while retaining some familiar ground. It works well for all sleeping positions and has a firmness rating of 6 to 7 out of 10. It also has remarkably sturdy edges, so you won't roll off or sink in too far if you sit up to sip your coffee.
With seven unique layers, this Cal king size bed mattress begins with a proprietary cooling cover, then features an inch of cooling fiber, two kinds of foam, the aforementioned coils and a layer of high density support. Some of the cooling technology is directly woven into the cover, which also presses into the refreshing gel memory foam layers.
The California king Ghostbed Flex Hybrid weighs 117 pounds and measures 13 inches high. This is a workable hybrid mattress size if you need to move it around or into another room, easily maneuvered by two people. Available in a California king with split, this mattress also works well for partners who have different sleep preferences.
Ghostbed offers a 101-night sleep trial, free shipping in the 48 contiguous states and a 20-year warranty. Financing is also available if you qualify. White glove delivery and old mattress removal are available for a fee.
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 region wherever you lie on it -- a decidedly different experience than memory foam. The Purple Hybrid Premier also has a coil system. It has plenty of give to it and enough bounce to be cozy, while still being supportive to the joints and spine. This works well in the spacious California king size.
The Purple Hybrid Premier is especially great for stomach sleepers, but it suits all body types and has enough breathable, cooling properties to help you stay comfy all night. It is nontoxic, hypoallergenic and exceptionally sturdy, remaining intact and durable over time, which is also great for Cal king buyers.
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.
Purple offers free shipping and returns, a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. Read more.
Read more: The best gel mattresses of 2021
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.