While looking for a new mattress, you’ll probably come across California king and queen beds. These beds are popular among sleepers as they fit comfortably in most master bedrooms. However, these beds differ in size and function.
Most times deciding between the two will come down to room size and the overall height of your bed. In this article, we’ll compare California king and queen beds so you can find which one is better suited for your sleep needs.
What’s a California King Mattress?
The main difference between a standard king (Eastern king) and a Cal king mattress is their dimensions. A California king bed (often referred to as Western king), is about four inches longer and more narrow than a standard king bed. These beds measure 72 inches by 84 inches and are one of the longest standard bed sizes.
It is a common misconception that Cal king beds are larger than King beds. However, a king mattress offers 6080 square inches of space, while a California king is 6048 square inches. Though there is only a difference of 32 square inches, California king beds feature less space than standard kings.
Since these Cal king beds are longer, they usually look best in narrow rooms. You should place a Cal king bed in a bedroom at least 12 feet by 12 feet. Placing larger beds in a small bedroom will crowd your space and make it hard to move around your room freely.
Cal king beds are also a great choice for tall people. The extra legroom will keep your legs from falling off the sides of your bed and provide you with better sleep.
Pros and Cons of California King Mattress
A California king size bed is usually a luxury for most couples. They provide more space than a queen bed and are better for couples with different sleep styles. Purchasing a Cal king bed is a great way to furnish a large master bedroom. You can place a Cal king bed in large bedrooms and still have room for dressers, mirrors, and nightstands.
The downside to purchasing a Cal king bed is they are not the best for smaller bedrooms. These beds require a lot of space, and placing them in a small room can create a cluttered environment. Plus, it doesn’t leave much room for additional bedroom items.
Cal king beds are a larger standard size, so they are much heavier than other mattresses. Bulky mattresses can cause trouble for individuals with limited mobility. This can make it a bit challenging to move your mattress.
It’s best to avoid moving these mattresses alone, especially if you have joint pain. We recommend moving Cal king beds with a partner to prevent potential injuries.
What’s a Queen Size Mattress?
Another popular choice for couples is a queen bed. Queen size beds are more affordable than Cal king beds, but they are also a bit smaller. Queen beds measure 60 inches by 80 inches, so each person has 30 inches of personal sleeping space.
Though couples often utilize queen beds, they are also a suitable choice for single adults. You can also use these beds to furnish guest bedrooms because they fit comfortably in medium-sized rooms. A good rule of thumb is to place queen beds in rooms at least 10 feet by 10 feet for the best fit.
Pros and Cons of Queen Size Mattresses
The benefit of purchasing a queen bed is they are more accessible than Cal king beds. Cal king beds are pricier than queen size mattresses and most sleepers opt for a budget-friendly bed. Queen beds are available at most mattress retailers, so you won’t have to search high and low to find one.
Queen beds cannot accommodate more than two sleepers. We do not recommend co-sleeping on a queen bed, as it can make bedtime uncomfortable.
California King or Queen: Which is Better?
Deciding between a California king and queen bed may seem like a difficult task. However, it’s best to consider what’s beneficial to your sleep needs. Next, we will highlight some factors you should consider so you can choose the best mattress.
Anytime you are purchasing a new mattress, you’ll want to consider the size of your bedroom. A standard queen size mattress can fit comfortably in smaller rooms or bedrooms at least 10 feet by 10 feet. Cal king beds are better suited for bedrooms 12 feet by 12 feet or larger.
A good rule of thumb is to leave 2 feet of space on either side of the bed and 5 feet from the bed’s base to the walls. This will keep your bedroom from feeling cluttered.
Queen mattresses are made with couples in mind, but they do not provide enough space for additional sleepers. If you sleep with small children, you may want to purchase a Cal king bed since they are a bit wider than a queen.
Most couples will sleep comfortably on a queen bed, so purchasing a Cal king usually depends on your personal preference. Some couples prefer the extra legroom and sleeping space.
Additionally, the extra space may better accommodate differing sleep styles. A Queen size bed is also a good choice for single sleepers. Most solo sleepers will not require a California king bed to sleep comfortably.
Manufacturers use fewer materials to produce queen beds, making them a more affordable option. You can usually purchase a queen bed for under $1000. Since Cal king beds are larger, they come with a higher price tag, with prices ranging between $1400 to $3500.
Accessorizing a Cal king bed may also be a bit more expensive. Bed frames, box springs, and fitted sheets usually cost more than comparable items for queen beds. Not to mention, these items can be hard to find as well.
Queen beds are more widely available than Cal king beds. This is mainly because Cal king beds are not in demand, so most brands do not carry this size.
It can also be harder to find accessories for a California king bed. It is necessary to find sheets tightly around your bed to achieve a good night’s rest. However, some sleepers have complained about sliding sheets on a California king bed due to purchasing the incorrect sheet size.
Sheets, bed frames, and foundations are easier to find for a queen mattress. Since queen beds are among the most popular standard mattress sizes, most retailers have these accessories readily available.
Other Mattress Sizes
Queen and California king mattresses are not the only mattress size worth considering. Indeed, they may be too large to fit into a small bedroom or studio apartment, leaving shoppers to debate between one of the smaller twin or full mattresses.
Twin size mattresses are the smallest bed size, save for a crib mattress. With a width of 38 inches and a length of 74 or 75 inches, the twin mattress can fit into even the tiniest of bedrooms. The twin mattress is also highly affordable due to its compact size.
However, for some sleepers, a twin mattress may be too small and they may need to consider a slightly larger mattress.
Twin XL size mattresses are the longer version of a standard twin mattress, measuring 38 inches by 80 inches. The added foot room can let taller sleepers stretch out to their fullest height. While twin XL mattresses can accommodate many sleepers over 6 feet tall, some may need the length that only a California king mattress provides.
Full size mattresses are 16 inches wider than a traditional twin, bringing the mattress to 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. These dimensions are beneficial for sleepers who tend to move around as they sleep or sprawl akimbo as they drift off to sleep.
If you are struggling to decide between California king and queen beds, you’ll want to consider your sleeping preferences. For instance, a queen bed is not the best choice if you sleep with pets or small children.
California king beds offer more legroom for pets to sleep at the foot of your bed and even come in a split option for couples to sleep more comfortably. However, you’ll want to keep in mind that California king beds are not always widely available. For this reason, they may be a bit expensive and are not a good choice for a sleeper with a tight budget. Overall, the best mattress should leave you feeling rested and offer support and comfort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some mattress manufacturers carry California queen or Olympic queen beds. These mattresses are the width of a queen and the length of a California king, measuring 60 inches by 84 inches. California queen beds can be a great alternative for extra tall sleepers who cannot afford a California king bed.
If your room is large enough, a king bed is usually a good choice for most sleepers. A regular king bed is best for wide rooms at least 12 feet by 12 feet. A California king bed is better suited for a narrow room. However, California king beds are not widely available at all mattress retailers, so they might be harder to find.
Two twin box springs will not support a California king size mattress. A regular twin is 38 inches by 74 inches, and a Cal king bed is 72 inches by 84 inches. Two long twins together would be 76X80, which is too wide for a Cal king bed.
Split queen beds are available at some mattress retailers. Unlike split king beds, these beds do not equate to two twin xl size mattresses. Two twin mattresses are also not a suitable choice. You’ll want to purchase two 30 inches by 60 inches mattresses, specifically designed as a split queen. Additionally, you’ll want to look for split queen foundations to accommodate your mattresses.
California king mattresses do come in split options. These have the exact dimensions as California king beds and are designed to accommodate differing sleeping positions for couples. It’s worth mentioning, two twin XL mattresses do not make a California king bed, and you’ll need to buy two 36-inch-by-42-inch mattresses specifically designed for this purpose.