cal king vs queen
Buying Guides

California King vs Queen: Which Is Best For You?

    Last Updated
    February 2, 2023
    min read

    Those who co-sleep with a partner, a child, or even a pet will understand the importance of having enough bed space. You may be thinking what is the difference between a queen and a California king? The main difference is in width and length. A California king mattress is 12 inches wider and 4 inches longer.

    The queen is a popular bed size for couples that want a little extra space. However, if you want the extra width and length, a California king may be best for you. There are additional things you should consider. 

    Read our guide to understand which bed size is ideal for you.

    What Is A California King Mattress?

    Also known as a western king bed, a California king mattress is a long and large bed that measures 72 by 84 inches. This bed size is not as common as the king bed, which measures 76 inches by 80 inches.

    This bed size is highly recommended for sleepers who are six feet tall or taller. This is because the extra length of a California king bed gives their legs plenty of room, so they don’t dangle off the edge of the mattress when they sleep.

    Pros Of A California King Mattress

    • Tall sleepers will find this bed more comfortable: If you’re six feet tall or taller, you may find yourself curling up when you sleep to prevent your feet from going over the bed’s edge. However, this may not be the most comfortable sleeping position for you. A California king bed has a longer frame, making it more suitable for a tall person’s sleeping needs.
    • Couples will have more room to sleep cozily: A California king bed is longer and wider than a queen bed, giving couples extra room. This is especially helpful if you toss and turn in your sleep, keeping you from accidentally waking up your co-sleeper.

    Cons Of A California King Mattress

    • Bedding and accessories are pricier for this bed size: Because this bed size isn’t as common, bedding and accessories are both harder to find and more expensive. This can limit your choices for interior decoration and make a bigger dent in your budget.
    • It’s harder to move and assemble: California king beds are very long and heavy, making them harder to move through door frames and around room corners. This makes these beds harder to clean, move, and assemble.
    • It won’t fit in smaller bedrooms: The California king bed needs a bedroom that measures at least 12 feet by 12 feet for you to move around comfortably. 

    Who Should Get A California King Mattress?

    A California king bed is best suited for couples that co-sleep with a child or a pet, especially if one or both partners are tall or are larger in build. This will help them stretch their legs out comfortably and maintain good sleep posture at night.

    What Is A Queen Mattress?

    A Queen size mattress measures 60 inches in width and 80 inches in length. This bed size is the second-largest size that’s commonly available in bed stores. It’s a popular bed size for solo sleepers who want plenty of room to stretch in their sleep, especially if they’re restless sleepers. Single adults who co-sleep with their child or a pet will also find this bed size sufficiently roomy.

    This bed size is also commonly purchased by couples who want a little more wiggle room when they sleep together, as two people can fit cozily without falling off the mattress edges.

    Pros Of A Queen Mattress

    • Single sleepers will have lots of room and can easily co-sleep with a child or pet: A queen bed is a luxurious option for those who want plenty of space, especially if they toss and turn at night. There’s even enough space for a child or a pet to sleep beside you.
    • They allow more space for walking and placing decor: The minimum required floor space for a queen bed is 10 feet by 10 feet. A queen bed is a good compromise between having a roomy mattress and enough free space to navigate your master bedroom without feeling cramped.
    • It’s easier to find accessories and bedding for this bed size: Many mattress and bedframe manufacturers produce queen-size beds and mattresses. This gives you plenty of bedding and accessory options to choose from – a serious consideration if you want to customize your bedroom design.
    • Accessories and bedding are more affordable: Queen-size bedding and accessories are typically cheaper than bedding and accessories for larger bed sizes.

    Cons Of A Queen Mattress

    • Tall sleepers may not find this size comfy. Sleepers who are taller than six feet may find that their feet dangle over the edge of a queen-size bed. They may try to remedy this by curling up in bed, which can ruin their sleep posture. Doing this will also take space away from a co-sleeper, making them uncomfortable as well.
    • Some couples don’t find this bed size roomy enough. A queen-size bed is great for couples that want to feel close but preserve their personal space while sleeping. However, it’s not ideal for those who like a lot of space or co-sleep with a restless sleeper.

    Who Should Get A Queen Mattress?

    Queen beds are great for couples that want to feel close to their partners but still want some personal space while sleeping. Couples with a pet or a child can also co-sleep relatively comfortably with them on a queen-size bed.

    Solo sleepers should also consider splurging on a queen bed if they have enough space in their bedroom. This size gives them plenty of room to sleep in any position they want without worrying about falling off the mattress edge.

    Which Is Best for You?

    Finding the right bed size is key to having a good night’s sleep. When you have enough room, you can stretch comfortably and have no worries about rolling off the bed. But when you feel cramped, it ruins your sleep posture and makes sleeping uncomfortable – this can lead to daytime fatigue, reduced focus, and body pain.

    Queen beds and California king beds are both spacious options, but some sleepers may find one type more comfortable than the other. Talk to one of our Sleep Specialists to find out which size is best for your sleeping needs!

    California King vs. Queen FAQs

    How Much Wider Is a California King From a Queen?

    A California king bed is four inches wider and 12 inches longer than a queen bed. Read more about about key difference in California King vs Queen size beds.

    Is a California King Bigger Than a Queen?

    When considering a  California king vs king, remember a California king bed is not bigger than a king bed. A California king bed is longer than a king bed, but a king bed is wider than a California king bed.

    Is There a Bigger Bed Than a California King?

    There are several bed sizes larger than the California king bed. Known as oversized beds, they are not in high demand as they require larger rooms. However, they may be comfortable options for people who need additional room to co-sleep with pets or children. Some of the biggest bed sizes are:

    Alaskan king

    108 inches x 108 inches

    Alberta king 

    96 inches x 96 inches

    Wyoming king

    84 inches x 84 inches

    Texas king

    80 inches by 98 inches

    Family bed

    144 inches by 80 inches, or;

    120 inches by 80 inches

    Family XL

    144 inches by 84 inches

    The Alaskan king bed is the largest king bed size, but it is not the largest oversized bed available.

    Note that if you want an oversized bed, these are harder to find and more expensive than standard bed sizes. Check with your preferred mattress manufacturer to see if they make mattresses in your preferred size.

    Will king-size sheets fit a California king mattress?

    No, king-size sheets will not fit a California king mattress, because a California king mattress is longer and narrower than a king mattress.


    About the authors

    Cecilia Gillen

    Cecilia brings over five years of writing experience primarily centered around lifestyle and health topics. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism from the University of South Dakota. She’s both an advocate for sleep and a night owl at heart.