The biggest misinformation among the consumers about the King vs California King argument is that Cal King is bigger than a King bed. One of the reasons that people choose the California bed is that both the beds are often the same price, so people think about getting the most for their money.
The truth is that they are more or less the same. The main difference is that the Cal bed is longer than the King, but King is wider than the Cal bed. It’s like you take 2 inches from the width of the King bed and add it to its length, and voila! You have a Cal King bed. Also, the surface area for Cal King is 6,048 inches, and the surface area for King is 6,080 inches.
King and Cal King are anyway an expensive investment, so being aware of the differences is important to not make a costly mistake. Before we talk about the factors to consider, here’s a fun little tidbit for you – California King is alternatively called the Western King, and King is called the Eastern King.
Let’s talk about the Pros and Cons of both the options and then we will delve into the factors that make them different
- Ideal for sharing – couples, co-sleepers, a small family (couple and a kid or a pet)
- Can easily support people on the heavier side of the weight spectrum
- Accessories can be easily found because this is more common than the other option
- Heavy to move around, especially if you are renting your house
- Might not be the ideal choice for taller people
California King Bed
- Great for taller individuals – extra legroom
- Works great for singles and couples
- Can get the luxury of having a King bed in narrow rooms
- Accessories can be hard to find as it is not as common as the other option
- Co-sleepers might not have enough individual space, adding a kid or pet can make it feel more cramped
Factors to Pay Attention to When Choosing the Standard King Bed or the California King Bed
- King size bed is 76×80 inches while the Cal King bed is of 72×84 inches
- Being wider, the King can accommodate up to two adults and a small child
- Some King beds feature a split design
- Cal king bed is longer and provides more legroom
- Fitting two adults and a small child isn’t possible without feeling cramped
- As mentioned, if you’re a small family, the King can handle the couple and a kid easily
- King with good edge support can prevent uneven surfaces as well as you hogging the center of the bed every time you sleep
- If you’re tall, Cal King is what you need
- If you’re a family, Cal King might feel a bit uncomfortable
Aesthetic and Practical Uses
- A King mattress is not just a practical option but is also a sign of luxury
- A good complementary bed frame can complete the look of your master bedroom’s centerpiece
- California King mattresses will suit your narrow and long bedrooms
- Cal King’s accessories are difficult to find due to its dimensions
- Cal King’s extra length may appeal to the six-footers among you
- You can completely stretch out and still get full support of the mattress
- The California King mattress is best if you sleep solo
- If your height is average, get the King edition of the chosen mattress
- The King dimensions and firmness cater to sleeper types of diverse height and weight
Number of People Sharing the Bed
- The wide surface area of the King mattress allows space for a family of three
- Cal King is a good option for couples with enough room to move around
- Beddings and other accessories of the King Mattress is a lot easier to find due to its popularity
- With availability, the accessories for this size are also cheaper
- The popularity of the King Mattress makes it a budget purchase
- Cal King falls in the same price range as the King, it’s the accessories that are rare and difficult to find
- The lack of availability of the Cal King accessories might add to the total amount of your purchase
- As we’ve mentioned, beddings for California Mattress are hard to find
- King Mattress’s accessories are available everywhere
Now that you know about the differences between both the bed sizes, you will be able to make an informed decision, and it will also make you understand why they are usually sold at the same price.
There are several things to consider: your room dimension, budget, number of people sleeping on the bed, your height, etc. Talking about your room dimensions, as a rule of thumb, remember to leave at least 2 feet of free space around all the 3 sides of your bed or at least two if you are struggling for space and are going for a corner bed layout.
To recap, the main difference is that Cal King is the longer version and great for tall people, and Standard King is the wider version and great for a growing family.