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California King Bed vs. King Size Bed: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on March 12, 2024
A California king bed is longer and narrower than a king size bed, which is wider but shorter.

Key Differences

The California king bed and the king size bed are both popular choices for those seeking spacious sleeping arrangements, but they cater to different needs based on their dimensions. A California king bed is designed for taller individuals or those who prefer more length in their bed, measuring 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. In contrast, a king size bed offers more width, measuring 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, which is ideal for couples who want more space side by side.
Both the California king bed and the king size bed provide ample space for sleepers, but their different dimensions can influence room layout and bedding choices. The California king bed's longer design may fit better in rooms that are narrow and long, while the king size bed's squarer shape might be better suited for wider rooms. This means that shoppers should consider both their bedroom size and their sleeping preferences when choosing between these two options.
When it comes to bedding, sheets and comforters specifically made for each bed size are necessary due to the unique dimensions of the California king and king size beds. This specificity can affect the availability and cost of bedding. California king beds might have slightly less variety in bedding options compared to king size beds, simply because the standard king is more common.
The choice between a California king bed and a king size bed can also reflect personal style and comfort preferences. For those who have pets or children who like to climb into bed with them, a king size bed might offer the extra width needed to accommodate everyone comfortably. Conversely, taller individuals might find the extra length of a California king bed essential for a good night's sleep without their feet hanging off the edge.
The decision between a California king bed and a king size bed will depend on the specific needs of the sleepers, including their height, sleeping habits, room size, and aesthetic preferences. Both beds offer a luxurious amount of space and comfort, with the main difference being in their dimension and the spatial arrangement they best fit into.

Comparison Chart


72 inches wide by 84 inches long
76 inches wide by 80 inches long

Best for

Taller individuals, narrow rooms
Couples, wider rooms

Bedding Availability

Specific to Cal King, slightly less variety
Wide variety, standard sizing

Spatial Considerations

Fits better in longer, narrower rooms
Suits wider rooms better

Comfort Preference

Ideal for those needing extra length
Perfect for those wanting extra width

California King Bed and King Size Bed Definitions

California King Bed

A luxury bed option offering more length than width.
They upgraded to a California king bed for its superior length.

King Size Bed

A bed that requires specific, widely available bedding.
They easily found a beautiful set of linens for their king size bed.

California King Bed

A specific bed size with dedicated bedding requirements.
Finding sheets for their California king bed took some searching but was worth the comfort.

King Size Bed

A bed size ideal for wider rooms and family cuddles.
Their king size bed was the family's favorite spot for Sunday morning cuddles.

California King Bed

A bed size tailored for taller sleepers and narrow rooms.
The California king bed was the only choice that fit their bedroom layout.

King Size Bed

A spacious bed offering ample width for couples.
The king size bed gave them enough room to sleep comfortably together.

California King Bed

A large bed designed for extra length.
Their new California king bed perfectly accommodated his tall stature.

King Size Bed

A popular bed size for those prioritizing width over length.
The king size bed fit perfectly in their square-shaped bedroom.

California King Bed

A premium sleeping solution for those seeking space without width.
Their California king bed provided the perfect sleeping space without overwhelming the room.

King Size Bed

The standard choice for luxurious sleeping space.
Choosing a king size bed was a no-brainer for their master suite.


What is a California king bed?

A California king bed is a large bed measuring 72 inches by 84 inches, designed for extra length.

Are California king beds more expensive than king size beds?

Pricing can vary, but California king beds may sometimes be more expensive due to specialized bedding.

Who should choose a California king bed?

Taller individuals or those with narrow, longer rooms should consider a California king bed.

Who should choose a king size bed?

Couples looking for more elbow room or families who share the bed may prefer a king size bed.

Is it harder to find bedding for a California king bed?

While there may be less variety, many retailers offer bedding specifically for California king beds.

Which bed is better for a small room?

Neither bed is ideal for very small rooms, but a king size bed might be too wide for narrow spaces.

Can the length of a California king bed improve sleep for tall people?

Yes, the extra length of a California king bed is ideal for taller individuals who need more foot room.

What is a king size bed?

A king size bed is a spacious bed measuring 76 inches by 80 inches, designed for extra width.

Can I use king size sheets on a California king bed?

No, due to different dimensions, king size sheets will not fit a California king bed properly.

Are there specific frame styles for king size beds?

King size beds have a wide variety of frame styles designed to support their dimensions.

Can I convert a king size bed into a California king bed?

No, due to the difference in dimensions, conversion between these sizes is not feasible.

What type of sleeper benefits most from a king size bed?

Sleepers who prioritize space and may share the bed with partners, children, or pets.

Do California king beds fit in standard master bedrooms?

They can fit, but the room's layout and size should be carefully considered.

How do I know if my room can accommodate a California king bed?

Measure your room, considering both the bed's dimensions and extra space for walking around it.

How do I know if my room can accommodate a king size bed?

Ensure there's enough width in your room for the bed and additional furniture without crowding.

Do king size beds require special bed bases?

Yes, a sturdy bed base that matches the king size dimensions is necessary for proper support.

Where can I buy a California king or king size bed?

Both bed sizes are available at most furniture and mattress stores, as well as online retailers.

Are there specific frame styles for California king beds?

Yes, bed frames are made specifically for California king mattresses to match their unique dimensions.

Are California king or king size beds better for back pain?

The bed size itself does not determine relief from back pain; mattress quality and personal comfort preferences are more important factors.

Is there a difference in comfort between the two bed sizes?

Comfort is subjective and depends on individual needs; both sizes offer spacious sleeping areas.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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