What is California King Size?

What is a California King size?

No other bedding size is named after a location so what makes the California King size so special? This is a really fun urban mystery that to this day does not have one definitive answer that everybody can agree on. Although the most popular theory does seem to be that they were a post war invention. After World War II a Californian mattress store owner created a bed 72 inches wide and 84 inches long. He created these beds to accommodate for the large average house size that people in Los Angeles enjoyed. His assumption was that people who live in large houses like royalty would love large beds! And boy was he right, his new custom beds and covers sold like hot cakes!  

California King, Bedding, sheets, duvet, size for you

You thought King size was the biggest? Think again! The crown has fallen! the king is dead, long live the king! The new king, the California King. It has become a general assumption that this size is larger than King size but that is not exactly true. California King size is indeed 4 inches longer than regular King size, but it has 4 inches less width than the King size. This size is perfect for people who are looking for a little extra leg room (anyone over 6 feet here?) sleep in the California King size with a partner and be prepared for a tighter snuggle because of the reduced width compared to a King Sized cover. King sized is still the king of romance; its width makes it the best for couples and gives it the edge over the California King.    

These are the main considerations to keep in mind when choosing between King and California king mattresses. Here is a quick summary of our recommendations:

We recommend California King size for the following people:

  • Anyone over 6 feet tall (in specific we are talking about people who sleep on their stomachs, and lie flat on their backs).

  • People who sleep with pets in their bed, and more specifically if the pet curls up at the foot of the bed.

  • This is also good for people who have elongated bedrooms, fairly narrow in width and with lots of length.

We recommend King for the following people:

  • Couples

  • Families with small children who share the bed

  • Bedrooms that have ample width

  • Budget-minded shoppers

California King size, King size, Comparison Chart

Is Super King the same as California King?

Super King is actually not the same as California King. Super King is more common in the UK. Not as large as the California King size and even smaller than King sized! Which is kind of odd if you think about it, the super King is actually smaller than the King size, but hey our friends across the pond do things differently and have more power to them right?

Whilst the super king bed is one of the bigger beds that you can find on the market, it comes in at 72 by 78 inches. Due to the sheer fact that it is considered an “oversized mattress.” It is skinnier and shorter than what you would expect from a standard king size mattress. Remember the story we told you earlier about how the Californian mattress owner invented California King size for big houses in Los Angeles? You’ll need your bedroom’s dimensions to match that royal living! It needs to be at least 12 x 12 feet to fit the mattress in comfortably considering it needs to be put in a bed frame. You will most likely have other furniture in the room as well, how will you go out looking fly if you don’t have a vanity mirror to do your makeup or comb your hair before you leave? Woops did i forget to mention leaving room for walking space as well? You will need to plan everything accordingly before you dip into the California King size!

Super king beds are actually not that popular of a mattress size and a lot of the times you will need a made-to-order one, so you will have to dig a little on the internet to find who in your area can make one for you and your needs! If no one makes them in your area, look for companies that offer free international shipping, although you may need to watch out for duties be careful! Since we typically have to order a custom super king mattress, it is highly likely it will be more expensive than the more popular mattress sizes available to the general public. Also, due to the fact that very few Super King sized mattresses exist in the wild, there will be minor size discrepancies depending on who has manufactured said mattress. Be sure to double-check and verify the exact length and width of the mattresses before committing to a purchase. This is also a good idea to do before committing to any accessories to go along with your new bed! Silk Duvet anyone?

Not every bedding company can make bed sheets for a super king mattress size, so it can be difficult to find bed sheets to match the mattress. Just like the custom made mattresses, the sheets usually have to be custom made as well. And when it comes to mattress supports and frame, you will have to get a bed set or foundation custom sized for your mattress.

Super King, King, Infographic, Comparison

Can you use King bedding on a California King?

Before choosing between a King sized mattress or a California king sized mattress, there are a variety of factors to consider:

Cost & Availability – Most companies have higher prices on California king mattresses than on your run of the mill king sized beds, due to the fact that the California King is such a niche market. Keep in mind that although the price point is mostly similar/comparable between the two sizes, bed owners will come to discover that California King bed accessories are just as rare and usually cost a lot more than King bed accessories. Bed frames, box springs, sheets, and other bed add ons are often more pricey for the California king than comparable items for the king mattress beds. There are simply a narrower variety of options for accessories when it comes to California king. Which is why they are both harder to find and sit at a higher price point.

Sleeping Partner (or Partners I'm not judging!) – Whom do you share your bed with? Roll around in the sheets with? Wake up beside and stare at them while they sleep thinking it's cute and then realize it's a little creepy? Well If you spend nights alone there is no problem with that either! It makes your decision all the more easier. if you are a solo sleeper, the only factor to consider in your decision making process here is how tall you are, and if you don’t want your pedicured feet to dangle off of the foot of your bed! If you are tall, the go to mattress will have to be a California King. If you find yourself on the shorter end of the human spectrum, don’t fret! You might not be able to see past people in a crowd or concert but you have the uncanny ability to choose either the standard King or California King; both will work well. If you cuddle up and share your bed with a partner/significant other every night, you will likely adore the substantial width of the standard king mattress. On the flipside of things, new parents sharing their bed with a small or newborn child should almost always choose a standard king mattress for maximum comfort. The extra four inches of width can make a huge and pleasant difference when it comes to optimizing sleep comfort. Another aspect to look at is if you are a pet parent or have a fur baby who does not mind sharing their bed with dogs, cats and other pets, the California king will likely be the far superior mattress to choose, as its extended length ensures your animals can cuddle up and sleep at the foot of the bed without disturbing your slumber.

Sleep Position – How tall are you and the people you share your bed with? People who are gifted with height (not me) and are 6 feet tall and over will really enjoy the extended mattress length that the California king size can offer. albeit, this is not always a boon, it also depends on your preferred sleeping position. Let’s break this down a little bit, tall people who sleep on their sides will find that both the King and Super King size option will likely work as good as each other, as most people who sleep on their sides curl up in a ball of bliss and sweet dreams. People who sleep  on their backs or their stomach will need to pay a lot more attention to the length of the bed.

Bedroom Dimensions – There are also some visual and aesthetic considerations that one should keep in mind relating to how large your bedroom is. We recommend leaving around 30 inches of area in between each side of your bed and the four walls of the bedroom that you love so much. For a more luxurious feel, you can leave more space between each side of the bed. Some people reside in smaller rooms, and that can be amazing too! Both the California King mattress and King mattress can feel a bit too oversized, and make a small room feel more cramped than you would like. As long as your room is large enough, the only consideration here is whether you have a wider room in which case a king sized mattress would fit better, or a narrower room in which case a California king sized mattress would be a better fit, in addition to being more visually pleasing.

Ease of Installation – Before making a big bed or mattress purchase, it is always best to be sure to measure very meticulously what the dimensions of your bedroom are. The home’s entryway, and any staircases and doorways that you’ll need to pass by. Both king and California king mattresses can be extremely difficult to move. You might need to hire some people to help you out (or tell your friends you will buy them drinks if they help you), but there are unique circumstantial considerations for both. The extra length of California king mattresses make them more troublesome to get around stairwells and sharp corners, while the extra width of standard kings makes them scarily unable to fit through many doorways of course it can fit, but measure beforehand just in case!

California King, Duvet, Sheets

Should the duvet insert be the same size as Duvet Cover?

What a loaded question! You know rules are made to be broken right? Why not get a little risky and break them? First thought and common sense might lead towards the obvious answer that yes the duvet insert and duvet cover should be the same size. But you can actually get away with having the duvet cover a little smaller! When you put the duvet inside the slightly undersized duvet, cover the duvet fluffs up inside and add extra volume to add extra comfort! See ? being a rebel has its perks.

There it is! All you need to know about the California King size! Any other questions? Please shoot us a message on our website chat, and a verified sleep expert will be there to answer any questions you have! Bye for now, see you next Wednesday!

-The Down Under Bedding Family xoxo