Eastern King Bed Vs. California King Bed: What’s the Difference?

If you’re trying to find the best mattress for your master bedroom, sifting through the different large mattress sizes can be overwhelming. Two of the most popular big mattress sizes, Eastern and California King, are often confused for each other. Both sizes are big enough for couples, but the Eastern king is wider than the California king, while the Cal King is longer than the Eastern king.

In this article, we’ll highlight the differences between these two mattress sizes and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both the sizes to help you determine the best option for your needs.

What is an Eastern King Bed?

An Eastern king is just another name for the standard king mattress, measuring 76 inches by 80 inches. It’s the widest of all standard size beds, perfect for couples who need more personal space. An Eastern king is a great choice for families with small children who often want to sleep with their parents. It offers 6080 square inches of space, which is more than the Cal king size bed.

To comfortably accommodate an Eastern king bed, you’ll need a big bedroom, measuring at least 12 feet by 12 feet. Eastern kings are also available in a split version to cater to couples with different sleep preferences. A split king equals two twin XL mattresses placed side by side (each mattress measures 38 inches by 80 inches).

Since the Eastern king is a standard size, compatible bedding and accessories are a bit easier to find compared to Cal king beds. An Eastern king is available in most mattress stores (both brick and mortar and online), so shipping should be quick. Cal kings are not as accessible, and so shipping and production times may be longer.

Pros and Cons of Eastern King Mattresses

Pros Cons
Enough space for families co-sleeping with children Doesn’t fit in rooms smaller than 12 by 12 feet
Good choice for couples who like to stretch out Difficult to move due to size and weight
More options for bedding and accessories
Faster delivery

What is a California King Bed?

A California king mattress measures 72 inches by 84 inches. It’s 4 inches longer and 4 inches narrower than an Eastern king size mattress. The extra legroom available with the Cal king size comes in handy for tall people, but it may not be spacious enough for families co-sleeping with two small children. The total surface area of a Cal king mattress is 6048 square inches, making it the second-largest standard size mattress.

The Cal king bed gets its name from the West coast state where it was first manufactured, so it’s also called the Western king. To meet the demand for bigger beds in the Golden State, a Los Angeles mattress merchant designed this bed in the mid-1940s.

Cal king beds are suitable for large master bedrooms measuring 12 feet by 12 feet, though a room size 12 feet by 14 feet would be better to accommodate its extra length. Cal king beds are also available in a split model, allowing you to choose your preferred firmness level on your side of the mattress.

Pros and Cons of California King Mattresses

Pros Cons
An ideal choice for tall individuals, especially those above 6 feet May not be comfortable for parents co-sleeping with more than one child
Spacious enough for couples Bedding accessories may be expensive and hard to find

Other Factors to Consider

To help you decide between a Cal king and an Eastern king, you need to think about your height, budget, and room size. These factors will ultimately determine the right mattress for you.

Height

Your height is a crucial factor when choosing your bed’s size because you don’t want your legs to be dangling off the bed. If you are taller than 6 feet, a California king size will be a better option for you. With 4 inches of extra legroom, you can stretch out and sleep comfortably.

Cost

Both Eastern king and Cal king mattresses are expensive as they are the largest and second-largest standard sizes respectively. On average, they cost about the same, but sometimes you may have to pay more for a Cal king bed. Cal king size bed frames, headboards, comforters, and other bedding accessories are not as widely available as the regular king size. Their rarity makes the price a little higher.

Typically, high-quality king and Cal king mattresses cost around $1800. Mattress price depends on the quality of the materials, special features, such as zoned support or cooling elements, and of course, the size. Also, consider firmness: a softer mattress is made with more materials, and so it costs more than a firmer bed.

Room Size

Before buying a new mattress, measure your room. To avoid overcrowding, it’s best to leave at least 2 feet of space on all three sides of the bed (except the side against the wall). Also, factor in the space you need for bedroom furniture such as nightstands, a dresser, and floor lamps. Since the California king size mattress is not as wide as the standard king bed, it’s a good option for narrower rooms.

FAQs

Which is better, California king or Eastern king?

This depends on your personal preference as both are large beds offering ample space for singles or couples. While a California king is 4 inches longer than an Eastern king, its total surface area is smaller than a standard, or Eastern king. A California king is excellent for taller people, while an Eastern king is perfect for couples who enjoy their personal space. Both beds offer enough space for parents who co-sleep with their children.

Will California king sheets fit an Eastern king bed?

No, California king sheets will not fit an Eastern king bed because they are 4 inches narrower and longer than king size beds. Usually, Cal king size sheets are available online or in mattress stores, but you may not find as many varieties as you would for king size beds.

Can two twins make a king?

No, two twins do not make a king. However, two twin XL sizes placed side by side are the same size as a king mattress. A standard king size mattress is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, while a twin XL is exactly half of a king, measuring 38 inches by 80 inches.

What’s the biggest bed you can buy?

The biggest bed size is the Eastern King, with 6080 square inches of total surface area. It measures 76 inches by 80 inches, making it the widest of all standard sizes. Though the Cal king size bed is longer than the Eastern king, its total surface area is 6048 square inches.

What is an Alaskan king size bed?

The Alaskan king bed is the largest oversized mattress, so it’s named after the biggest state in the US. It measures 108 inches by 108 inches, which is more than other oversized mattresses such as the Texas king and Wyoming king. However, these are not standard sizes in the mattress industry so they are not readily available in stores. To buy one, you may have to place a special order in-store or online.

How much bigger is a Cal king than a queen size mattress?

A Cal king size mattress is 12 inches wider and 4 inches longer than a queen size. Queen mattresses measure 60 inches by 80 inches and are the most popular choice of all standard size beds because they cater to single sleepers as well as couples. They are perfect for single sleepers while being a smart option for couples who don’t have space for a king or Cal king size bed in their bedrooms.

Conclusion

Both the Eastern and California king are excellent for couples who have large master bedrooms. Since they cost around the same amount, it’s a good idea to opt for an Eastern king, because its total surface area is 32 square inches more than the Cal king. Plus, there are more bedding options available for Eastern king beds. Unless you are taller than 6 feet, an Eastern king size bed can be an excellent choice for you.

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