All the Differences Between King and California King Beds

Considering purchasing a new bed but you’re not sure how to decide between King and California King?

Aside from your sleeping preference, there are several other differences you need to keep in mind. Some are more obvious than others.

In this article, you’ll find out all the major differences between King and Cal-King sheets and beds. The information will definitely help you find the perfect bed sheet size for your bed.

Different Size Between King and California King Size Beds

Your bed is a major piece of furniture and you should decide on the right size before you go out shopping. Buying the wrong size bed can cause many different problems.

I will discuss all the differences here for you to consider and help you choose between a King or a California King bed. You can find the best Egyptian cotton sheets on Amazon here too.

There are several differences between a standard King size bed and a California King. The most important difference between the 2 beds is the size distribution.

A standard king size bed more square compared to a California King. It measures at 76″ x 80″ and has more than enough room for a couple.

The California King measures at 72″ x 84″ which makes it more narrow but taller. It also has more than enough room for 2 people to sleep without accidentally bumping into each other.

A king-size mattress is not the same size as the California King mattress. So what’s the difference between the two? Which one is bigger? What are the reasons for choosing one over the other?

After that, you will learn exactly what is the difference between the King (also known as the King of the East) and the King of California (also known as King of the West Coast, King of Cal, King of the West or King of WC). You will learn why some people prefer one over the other, the pros and cons of each other, and how to find the sheets that fit (and why finding leaves for someone can be a nuisance).

Choose the best mattress for your height

As the standard king is the widest, which makes it perfect for people who have great capacity or for those who want more space to roll, but it can be very short for old people. (If you do not want to sleep with your feet hanging from the end). As the king of California is narrower but longer, this bed is perfect for all types of people.

If it is not too long, consider choosing a standard king. This is due to a big problem: bed sheets. It will be much easier to find bedding that fits your standard king mattress compared to Cal King.

Tips to Find sheets to fit California King Beds

Easy to find bed linens. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of the California King is that it may be difficult to find sheets and covers that fit properly. These sheets are not suitable for a standard bed of king size (they are much shorter). Companies, like Sheex, make microfiber sheets that are more stretchy and will fit larger beds better.

If you have a Cal king bed and can’t find large enough sheets in the store, it is best to buy them online. That is why most people choose for a standard king.

You can find the largest selection of California King sheets here on Amazon and have them shipped for Free with Amazon Prime (Free Trial).

Difference between King and Cal King Beds | Frequently Asked Questions

What is the size of the King of California over King’s bed?

The king of California is four inches taller, and four inches shorter than the standard king.

What is the Split-King size Bed?

“Split” simply means that the bed is made up of two parts that fit together. A split king (or double king) has two pieces that approximate the size of a twin bed. These mattresses use the standard size king sheets (Not Cal-King).

What about mattress loft (mattress height)? Is there a difference in thickness between California king and Standard king?

Both mattresses typically have a thickness of 10 to 14 inches, anything thicker than that, and you may need to purchase additional deep sheets. However, you won’t have a problem buying the best duvet insert for Cal-king.

Will the standard King Sheets fit on a California king mattress (vice-versa)?

Your standard sheets may not be compatible with the California king. They are going to be shorter on one side.

Can a California King pillow case fit standard King pillows?

This is a definite Yes! Even though both mattress have different dimensions, the pillows are the same size.

Will a Cal-king mattress fit on a standard king bed frame?

Although some bed frames can be adjusted to fit by a talented carpenter, it will not be a cheap solution. You will be better off buying a new frame if you desire to change mattress sizes.

How does King and California King compare with a Queen size mattress?

Standard mattresses are 60 “in size and 80” in length. So the standard king is 16 “wider but the same length as the Queen, King of Cali 12” wider and 4 inches taller than the Queen.


Standard King and California King are obviously different in size. But once you know the right measurements to get, the next problem you might find is finding the right size sheets for a California King mattress.

Here are the best selling California king sheets on Amazon with Free 2-Day Prime Shipping (Free Trial).