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California King vs. King: Which Mattress Size Is The Best For Me?

5 min read

California King vs King Mattress

Shopping around for a mattress fit for a king?

If you’re looking for a huge bed that can fit you in the most comfort or your entire family (and maybe a pet or two), you might be considering shopping for a king or a California king mattress. Here, we’ll talk about the various pros and cons of each of these king-sized mattresses, other potential options you might not have considered, and how you can get the most luxurious bang for your buck with each option. 

What’s the difference between a king vs California king mattress? 

This comes down to the dimensions: 

  • A standard California king measures 84” long x 72” wide (213 x 183 cm) 
  • A standard king measures 80” long x 76” wide (203 x 193 cm) 

Which king mattress is bigger? 

It’s a common misconception that California king mattresses are bigger than regular king mattresses. However, this is actually false! 

California kings are definitely longer than standard king-sized mattresses, measuring at about 4” more length-wise. However, they’re also skinnier than standard king-sized mattresses by 4”. So it’s not actually a matter of bigger (in fact, when it comes to the surface area, a regular king-sized mattress is actually a bit more than a Cal king!) but rather, taller. 

Which should I choose, king or California king?

Ultimately, this comes down to preference. 

  • If you’re taller, you might benefit from the extra four inches of length that a Cal king has over a regular king. Translated to feet, a Cal king measures approximately 7 feet even in length, while a regular king will only measure about 6 feet 8 inches. 
  • In addition, if you have a narrower room but need plenty of vertical stretching space, a Cal king may be a bitter fit for your bedroom arrangement. 
  • On the other hand, if you want more width but aren’t as particular about length (for example, if you’re sharing your bed and like a little extra space to spread out), the width of a regular king might be suited to your tastes more than a California king. 

Other king-sized options for mattresses

So we’ve now covered the major differences between a king mattress and a California king mattress. But did you know that there are several other options for luxurious king-sized mattresses? 

Some other ideas for mattress arrangements that allow plenty of room for stretching out: 

  • Split King:Split beds are an excellent option if you’re sharing your bed with someone who prefers their mattress firmer or softer than you like. As the name suggests, a split king mattress is actually two separate mattresses that are pushed together to make one large bed. For this bedding option, you’ll need two Twin XL mattresses (80” x 39”). Some specialized beds are also made to adjust, so that you and your partner can achieve optimum comfort whether you’re sleeping or watching TV. 
  • Split Cal King:Similarly, a split Cal king is also made up of two separate mattresses, but in this case you’ll want two Cal Twin mattresses (84” x 36”). Again, this is a great option for sharing your bed with a partner whose idea of comfort is different than your own, but a Cal king offers even more room for taller folks to stretch out and takes up less space width-wise for narrower rooms. 
  • RV King:Finally, the RV king is made specifically to fit into smaller spaces – like the sleeping quarters of a recreational vehicle! An RV king mattress measures 80” by 72” inches, making it the same length as a regular king but the same width as a Cal king. With these smaller dimensions, you still get most of the perks of king-sized sleeping, but without excess length or width that could make it difficult to fit into your RV or other tight sleeping areas. 

Comparison of all king mattress dimensions

Mattress Size

Length (inches) 

Width (inches) 




California King 



RV King 



Split King

(x2) 80

(x2) 39 (78” overall)

Split California King

(x2) 84

(x2) 36 (72” overall)


For even more information about mattress dimensions, click here for all QuickZip sizing charts.

More considerations when you’re shopping for king-sized sheets 

The right sheets

King and California king mattresses, and especially split styles, are notoriously difficult to dress when it comes to putting on a fitted sheet. Unless you have several helpers, it can be reallydifficult to install each corner without having it pop up somewhere else, and unless you’re tall, it’s not very easy to wrangle those corners on your own! 

The perfect solution? QuickZip Fitted Sheets! This innovative design comes in two separate parts: a secure base and a Zip Sheet that zips securely onto the base. Once you install your sheets the first time, similar to any other fitted sheet, you can then unzip the topmost portion whenever you need to do laundry or change it out for fresh bedding. That means no more wrestling your fitted sheets or having to recruit your entire family just to get your bedding snug and secure onto your mattress! 

QuickZip Fitted Sheets comes in a variety of sizes including King, California King, RV King, Twin XLs (for a split king), and Cal Twins (for a split Cal King), which means that you’ll get the right fit no matter which mattress size you prefer. They’re also a great option if you have adjustable mattresses that adjust or tilt since the secure fit means that your sheets aren’t going anywhere no matter how much your bed is moving. 

Consider mattress thickness dimensions as well 

While length and width are fairly standard across the board when it comes to conventional mattress sizes, you may find that the mattress thickness can change. It’s important to keep this in mind because this can alter the fit of your fitted sheets.

For example, if you’re shopping for QuickZip sheets, they offer a recommended range of thicknesses and a design that will flex-to-fit your mattress within the range. You’ll want to make sure that your mattress thickness matches up with our size chart for the best fit: 

Mattress Size

Depth/Thickness (inches) 



California King 


RV King 


Split King


Split California King


As an example, the depth of King and California King QuickZip sheets is thicker than Split and RV options, so you’ll want to ensure that your bedding matches up accordingly. 

Final Thoughts

King mattresses of any kind are ultra-luxurious and give you plenty of room for sleeping, stretching, and lounging around. When it comes to a king vs. California king, the choice is pretty personal: would you rather have your mattress longer or wider?

  • If your answer is longer, go with a California king 
  • If your answer is wider, a regular king is better 

Either way, you’ll be well on your way to a great night’s sleep! 

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych

With our everyday bundle volume discounts, you can save up to 10% when you purchase multiple QuickZip item in the same order!

CAN BE COMBINED WITH DISCOUNT CODES! Discounts from codes are calculated after volume discounts.