King vs Cal King Mattress – Which One Is Right For You?

By Sakibul Islam

Most people tend to confuse them, but they are entirely different sizes in mattresses. King vs Cal King dimensions are not easy to tell apart, but they offer a slight difference in overall experience and comfort.

For us, the Cal King is the way to go if you want excellent results, a way more comfortable experience, and a more versatile mattress than a standard King with its long size.

However, it’s all about preferences. A standard King is also very reliable and convenient, with a wider construction than a Cal King, which gives it a small advantage, especially regarding sleeping with the company.

But there are many other factors to consider before making a choice, so why don’t you come further to find out?

Let’s look at the most common similarity and different on King mattress vs California King mattress.

King vs Cal King

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Our top 2 recommended products.

Our Recommended King Size Mattress: Zinus Ultima Comfort Mattress

Our Recommended Cal King Mattress: TUFT & NEEDLE Cal King Mattress

California King vs. King Mattress – Dimensions

You may ask, why are California King bed vs Regular King different from each other? Well, it all starts and ends in their dimensions and overall constructions.

The main difference is that a King size is wider with 76 inches of width, while a Cal King has only 72 inches. Similarly, the Cal King is longer with 84 inches in length, while the standard King has 80 inches.

This means that a Cal King is not only longer but more oriented towards tall people and those who prefer a lot of space for stretching or sleeping without bending their knees of legs.

But the difference when compared to a standard King is not that much. So, if you don’t fit in a King mattress by more than 4-inches, then you will have to look for another mattress size.

The best of all, Cal King mattresses may also come with a split-sizing feature. This allows splitting the width in two if you want much space on the sides. But, you will still enjoy its lengthiness.

On the other hand, you have the King size. It is excellent for couples; thanks to its 76-inches width. It works well enough to keep sleepers away from each other, while also offering enough space for combination sleepers to enjoy their sleep.

However, they can be too wide for many rooms, so it is essential to always have a wide enough room before buying.

Similarly to Cal King mattresses, these can also come with split-size designs. This helps to reduce the width or length of the mattress whenever needed. Whether it is to separate two sleepers or simply to use the mattress and save some space.

The surface area of the California King mattress usually is 6,048 Square inches. A standard king offers 6,080 inches instead. You could easily say that California is the perfect king size for taller people, while the standard King is for those who need the space.

Cal King vs King – Performance

The performance between a Cal King vs. King is hard to describe. Not only because these sizes of the mattress can be built in many different ways, but because the difference is not really that much whether it comes to width or length.

Yet, there’s still a slight change between the two that is worth mentioning.

This difference comes mainly on the amount of space available in the Cal King for the feet, and the King on the sides.

Users who are tall would easily say that they can have a better sleeping experience with a Cal King than with a King. It gives excellent feet space, and sometimes even helps to sleep more comfortably by preventing leg bending.

A King size mattress, on the other hand, offers lots of space on the sides. While it is isn’t necessarily short, its length is not that much.

Short users can benefit a lot from this size, especially if they are combination sleepers who move a lot at nights, or couples who want to feel more space on their sides.

Another essential difference is motion isolation. While the Cal King is lengthier, it does not offer much motion isolation for its less wide build. In contrast, a King mattress offers a wider build which keeps movement to each side. But of course, this is also about materials and build, more than just size.

What Does Each Mattress Weigh?

When comparing a California King vs King regarding weight, there’s not much to say. Either of the mattresses can be heavier or lighter, it all depends on the overall construction, materials used, and so on.

Overall, however, California Kings mattresses tend to be lighter.

Their build frequently uses lighter materials and promotes a softer experience than in King mattresses. But of course, it all depends.

Most of the time you would find them at similar weights, and that’s precisely because their dimensions are not too different really.

Will the Mattresses Stand the Test of Time?

King mattresses are more popular than Cal King. You may be wondering why, but no, it is not a matter of durability. They are more popular than the other because of the size available and the number of products for King available out there.

Similarly to Queen mattresses, King ones come in a wide array of designs and overall constructions, while Cal King options are not that many.

This makes it easier to say that King mattresses can be more durable than Cal King options. Yet, it all depends on many other things apart from simply their size differences.

What Sleep Position is Each Mattress Best For?

The sleeping positions differ in King vs California King mattresses. This is surprising because the differences in size are not really too noticeable at first, yet the experience will tell the whole change in comfort when using them.

It is common to find sleepers looking for at least 2-feet of space in each side of the mattress, from top to bottom, and each side as well. This makes it easier to sleep and more comfortable with time.

As you know, Cal King mattresses are longer than Kings, which are in fact wider than the former. So, you get different builds for different positions.

People who prefer Cal King mattresses tend to be tall people who sleep in back or stomach positions. While standard King mattresses are preferred by those who are more active at night, combination and side sleepers.

Which Mattress is the Firmest?

As we said before, the construction of each of these mattresses size can differ exponentially.

However, Cal King mattresses tend to use lighter products which are eventually softer than those used in regular King ones.

But it’s a matter of overall build and design so it wouldn’t be accurate to say this is a rule, but more of a common difference.

Which has The Highest Ratings?

As you know already, California King size mattresses are not as popular as regular King ones. This means they are not as accepted or recommended by most people, and their marketing is not the same either.

However, their overall popularity grows with time, and they’re gaining some field.

But only when you consider the accessories available for each one, you can see how performs far better for customers than the other. Here, we can easily say that a King mattress has better ratings than a Cal King one, and will do for a long time.

Our Top 2 Recommended Products

It is not a good thing to compare two different mattress sizes and then don’t discuss two of the best choices for each that you can buy. To not disappoint you, here are two of the best Cal King and Regular king mattresses for you to enjoy:

Zinus Ultima Comfort Memory Foam Mattress

Zinus is a brand that performs amazingly well when it comes to providing high-quality bedroom products at a very affordable cost. This 10-inches King mattress is not an exception.

It comes with everything you could need, from innovating build to a highly comfortable memory foam addition, and exceptional support.

You will obtain a highly durable, reliable, and stable mattress for a very low price. And what’s even better, it comes with an outstanding warranty of 10 years so you can enjoy your mattress freely and never worry about anything.

  • Excellent Build

Its layers are composed of 3-inches of memory foam for softness, 2-inches of comfort foam for pressure relief, and 5-inches of high-density support foam that promotes stability & durability.

It helps to get not only one of the most reliable experiences but also one of the most comfortable without issues.

  • Innovative Material

The BioFoam is a type of memory foam only available in this mattress. It is a cheaper yet innovative mix of traditional foam with plant oil that not only increases durability but also promotes freshness and superb softness.


  • Excellent build that keeps the body fresh and highly comfortable
  • Pressure relief & support layers offer a very safe and convenient experience
  • Use of BioFoam produces a very supportive yet totally affordable option


  • BioFoam build may provide a firmer experience than expected

Tuft & Needle Cal King Mattress

The Tuft & Needle is one of our favorite mattresses out there. Its T&N Adaptive Foam is exceptionally well-made that offers not only the best softness out there but also excellent sinkage and overall freshness. You won’t get a hot or uncomfortable night with this mattress.

This is one of the few mattresses that with only a few layers and not much-used material can provide exceptional experiences without problems. And with its Cal King, there’s no doubt it is excellent for many users and will promote an enjoyable sleep every time.

  • Exceptional Build Quality

The use of T&N Adaptive Foam in its first layer, a mix of graphite and gel, promotes softness, firmness, and still manages to be cooler than most mattresses out there. Then you get a very thick layer of support foam and the poly-blend plush cover that increases overall softness and elasticity.

  • Durable & Reliable

The overall build of this mattress is one of the most durable and reliable in the market. Using materials such as latex, memory foam, some gel and graphite infusions, and thicker layers than other options, it promotes a highly supportive & long-lasting experience.


  • Top-notch layering increases overall softness, sinkage, firmness, and freshness
  • High-quality materials provide a durable & reliable experience at all times
  • One of the most supportive and pressure-relieving mattresses in the market.


  • High-quality materials and build makes it slightly more expensive than other options

King vs Cal King – Which One Should I Buy?

When it comes to King vs. Cal King sizes in mattresses, we always go for the most convenient one. In this case, we can’t say which is the most convenient, but we can say that California King mattresses have a much better future in the market than King ones.

We can say this because people who tend to use King-size mattresses usually complain about their length.

Instead, the Cal King offers enough length for even the tallest users out there. Also, it tends to be lighter, and provide a slight improvement in transportation ease.

But of course, it is not the mattress for everyone. If you prefer sleeping close to another person and you don’t have a problem with movement, this one is for you.

Otherwise, a King mattress can be a great choice too. It all comes down to what you prefer.

About the author

Sakibul the founder of Houzmark and co-founder of Houzhold, is a product reviews analyst who researches, compares, reviews, and writes about home appliances. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he provides valuable insights and recommendations to help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing products.