King vs. Cal King Size Mattresses
The difference between a King size mattress and a California King size mattress is really just a few inches—4 to be exact. A Cal King mattress (or "Western King") measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, while a standard King ("Eastern King") measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long.
How to Choose Between a California King and King Size Mattress
If you stand over six feet tall and want a little wiggle room for your toes, you may want to opt for the 4 extra inches you get with a Cal King. The extra space at the end of bed also gives you ample room for furry friends that like to sleep at your feet.
Keep in mind a Cal King is narrower than a King, so you and your partner may touch throughout the night. If you're prone to sleeping hot or have kiddos that sometimes jump into bed, a King Size mattress will give you and your partner more room to roam.
King and Cal King mattresses are the largest standard mattresses available in the United States. Regardless of which one you choose, you and your partner (or pet) will have plenty of room to sleep comfortably. You just need to decide whether extra room lengthwise or extra room widthwise is more important.
Because they are common mattress sizes, you won't have any trouble finding sheets, mattress protectors or bed frames to fit your new bed. When shopping, remember that the bedding won't be interchangeable between the two sizes.
What to Measure Before Buying a California King or King Size Mattress
When choosing between these two sizes, it's important to first consider the dimensions of your bedroom. Take measurements of the width and length of your room with furniture included, like nightstands and dressers. You'll then be able to determine if a King or Cal King would be best.
As an extra precaution, measure your doorframes and stairwells as well before purchasing a specific size. If you're ordering a bed-in-a-box, it will be a breeze to move in, but after it expands to full size, you may find that it's too large to get out of your house, apartment or condo when it comes time to replace or move your mattress.