King vs. California King Bed: Comparing More Than Just Size

King vs. California King Bed: Comparing More Than Just Size

For most people, a King bed is more than enough. But some people want even more surface area than that – they want a California King! Which camp are you in?

If you’re in the market for a new mattress, we have everything you need to know about these two bed sizes. Plus, we’ll talk about the innovative SONU Sleep System that is available in both sizes, and how it can help you enjoy an unforgettable sleeping experience. Let’s dive in.  

How Big Are King and California King Beds?

Just how big are King and California King beds? 

A King-size bed is 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. A California King is 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. King beds are square-shaped, and California King beds are rectangular. A King-sized mattress is the widest on the market, while a California King-sized mattress is the longest option you can buy. 

When it comes to the surface area, the King mattress comes out on top with 6,080 square inches. The California King is 6,048 square inches.

What Are Some King Mattress Pros and Cons?

A King mattress is the largest of the standard mattress sizes. It would take two Twin mattresses side by side to make up a King mattress. The King mattress is sometimes called the Eastern King because the California King mattress is sometimes referred to as the Western King.


There is plenty of room to sleep on a King mattress. It’s the perfect size for two adults and a child or so to co-sleep. It’s great for large bedrooms.

King mattresses are readily available. There’s also an option called a split King, which is essentially two mattresses in one. It may be a good option for couples who are easily disrupted by each other’s movement, who sleep hot, or who have different sleep preferences. 

However, couples may also easily find relief from these sleep disturbances by choosing a King bed that reduces motion transfer. 

The SONU Sleep System is available in both the King and California King size and is made of a combination of foams to combat motion transfer and provide optimal support while side sleeping. The plush top layer of serene foam provides an unforgettable sleep experience. 


King beds can be very expensive, which deters many people from buying them. Finding bed accessories, like sheet sets or mattress pads, can also prove to be difficult. 

Because King mattresses are so large, they can also be hard to move. If you are someone who moves frequently or often rearranges your furniture, consider whether you want the inconvenience of moving a bed this size every single time.

What Are Some California King Mattress Pros and Cons?

The California King, a.k.a the “Western King,” mattress is four inches longer than a King mattress, but also four inches narrower. Just like the King mattress, there is a split California King bed, which measures up to two Twin XL beds side by side. 


A California King mattress is a great choice for anyone over six feet tall. It’s long enough for someone that size to sleep well. 

Because the bed is slightly narrower than a King, it’s good for people who want to sleep a little closer to one another. There’s still enough room for children to fit onto the bed if needed.

The California King’s extra length is great if you have pets who like to sleep at your feet. If your bedroom is on the narrow side, the California King might be an excellent option in this instance as well.


The California King has the same cons as the King mattress. It’s hard to find bed accessories for it, it’s more expensive, and it’s difficult to move.

SONU can help make switching mattresses easy. With just a $125 fee, SONU will remove your old mattress for you when you replace it with the SONU Sleep System. With SONU, you can also opt for a 100-day trial period and a 5-year warranty to ensure that your new bed gives you the sleep of your dreams. 

Which Mattress Is Right for Me: King or California King?

The King and California King mattresses are very similar.

Before choosing between the two, you need to consider your sleep preferences, bedroom size, height, and budget. All of these factors contribute to the type of bed that will be best suited to your lifestyle. 


King and California King mattresses are both expensive, but they do have similar price points. The California King may cost slightly more because it isn’t as widely available as the King mattress. The price also differs between mattress brands.

Your Height

King beds are suitable for anyone six feet tall or shorter. For anyone over six feet, the California King will be more comfortable because they will be able to sleep on it without their feet hanging off the bed.

Room Size

If your bedroom is smaller than 12 feet by 12 feet, neither a King nor a California King will fit with adequate space left. 

However, if you aren’t concerned about wall space, a King bed will fit perfectly in a room that is 12 feet by 12 feet. Since it’s narrower, a California King would leave a bit more wall space for you to work with. 

Sleep Preferences

King and California King mattresses are great for couples and families. It could prove problematic if everyone has different sleep preferences (say, one person wants to sleep hot while the other prefers to sleep cool). If one person is a restless sleeper while the other isn’t, a King mattress is wide enough where they may not disturb one another. There’s always the option of a split King or split California King. 

When it comes to sleep preferences, the SONU Sleep System is made of a combination of different types of foam to reduce motion transfer while also offering sink-in support for any side sleeper’s optimal comfort. Available in King and California King sizes, the SONU mattress can help you get the sleep you deserve.

What Other Factors Should I Consider?

It can be hard to find bedding for either of these mattress sizes, but it tends to be less of a challenge to find it for a King bed. The California King isn’t as commonplace, so shoppers may have to do some extensive searching and spend a little extra money on its bed accessories. The beds are different dimensions; King-size bedding will not fit on a California King.

King and California King mattresses are quite large and require proper foundations. The type of foundation for each depends on the type of mattress they are. 

An innerspring King of California King will most likely require a box spring. A foam mattress in either of those sizes, like the SONU Sleep System, may just need a platform bed frame. To find out which foundation your mattress needs, check the warranty, ask a salesperson (if you are in a store), or ask the manufacturer.

Keep this table handy when you shop for your ideal mattress.

Ideal for…


California King

Single sleepers






Children and pets



People over six feet



12 feet by 12 feet or larger rooms




Although the King and California King mattresses can be pricey, it’s possible to save money by shopping online. 

Mattress sales also occur throughout the year on special holidays. Those are great times to shop for a new mattress.

King and California King mattresses come in a variety of types. Customers have their pick of innerspring, foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses. They’re also available in different firmness levels, like soft, medium, medium-firm, and firm. If you decide to go the split bed route, you and your sleeping partner can choose different firmness levels.

The size of the mattress you need to buy will depend on your preferences, height, budget, and the size of your bedroom. Remember that beds as large as these require special bedding and foundations.

Still not sure which mattress is best? SONU offers mattresses in sizes Twin XL through California King so all of your needs can be met. With plush, serene foam, layered Support Pillows, and a patented Comfort Channel, the SONU mattress brings sleepers a luxurious experience that dreams are made of.


What’s the difference between a King mattress and a California King mattress?

Size is the difference between the two mattresses. A King mattress is 76 inches wide by 80 inches long with a surface area of 6,080 square feet. A California King mattress is 72 inches wide by 84 inches long with a surface area of 6,048 square inches.

Can I use King-sized sheets on a California King mattress?

No. King mattresses are short and wide, and California mattresses are long and narrow. King size sheets will not fit a California King mattress and vice versa.

Which is more expensive: the King mattress or the California King mattress?

These mattresses are actually comparable in price. However, the California King is harder to find, which may make it slightly more expensive. How much the mattresses cost also varies by brand.


King vs. California King — What's the Difference? | Best Mattress Brand

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Trusted Reviews From Side Sleepers Nationwide
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Thank YOU! Best mattress out there.
After being a gymnast for 15 years, I haven't felt this much relief from the pain in my shoulders and my hips while sleeping!! Thank you!
Steph C.
Highly recommended!
Creates the perfect space for your arm if you're a side sleeper. Changed the way I sleep forever.
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So I actually own one of these. It's AMAZING. Yes it will take you a few weeks to get "used" to it... But that said, you will be AMAZED at how great your shoulders feel in the morning. Just unreal. Like sleep a full 8 hours without waking up type of sleep.
Jason R.
Buffalo, NY
I have very bad neck and back issues and this mattress is a dream! If you are a side sleeper you will love it and even if you like to sleep on you back you will love it! Very comfortable and totally worth the money!
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i have suffered from shoulder pain while sleeping for several years, i had just about given up... then i saw this bed and decided one last try. i can't begin to explain what it feels like to sleep through an entire night... for the first time in 20 years the first weekend i had it. I'm so impressed with this bed... because what they are making is making a difference in people's lives.
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Lives up to the hype
This comfort channel they made is next level. I never imagined that I would be able to put my arm in the mattress. Takes all the pressure off my shoulder, which I so so need. YES
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Highly recommended!
I’m a side sleeper and I used to wake up with a dead feeling arm from lying on it all night. Finally a mattress with a pocket for my arm. I tried all the pillows and even very expensive mattresses in the past, but nothing cured my circulation problems until I got the sonu sleep mattress. I love it!
Nic D.
Chicago, IL
...Sonu mattresses are in a league all by themselves. This is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. I have no more shoulder pain and numbness. I can now sleep through the night and not wake up in pain. If anyone is even thinking about getting a Sonu sleep system don’t think anymore. Pull that trigger. I 100% gaurentee you will not be disappointed.
Christopher B.
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The SONU Sleep System was designed and developed in California, and is manufactured only in the United States - made with the highest quality materials and attention to detail for side sleepers everywhere.
* SONU Bedding and several SONU Supports are imported products. All other SONU products are made in the United States.

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