The difference between a King and California King mattress

King vs. California King bedding

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  • King mattresses are 76” W x 80” L. This size mattress is sometimes referred to as an Eastern King. Occasionally, we see King Mattresses 78” x 80”.
  • California King mattresses are 72” W x 84” L. This mattress is sometimes referred to as a Western King.
  • The regular King size mattress is the significantly more popular than the California King size, however, for those who are taller than average, the Cal-King may be a better choice.

Many bed linen suppliers use common and interchangeable components between these two size mattresses.

  • For example, they produce the same size flat sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers for both the regular King and Cal-King mattress. The difference is for the flat sheet for example is quite small (2" per side)
  • The only difference is with the fitted sheet and the dust ruffle...  

Because the Cal-King mattress is not as popular as the regular King, some people experience challenges in finding bed sheets for this size mattress.

  • Often, when found, the selection of the bed linens etc. may not be as large.
  • The Cal-King mattress also offers an advantage to some when taking a mattress up or down stairs, or in smaller bedrooms.
    • In particular, older homes may not have as wide of stairways and sometimes regular size King mattresses may not be able to be brought up the staircases. 

Below are the standard mattress sizes used in the US.


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