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King Mattress or California King?Chiropractor's Guide(2024)

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King Mattress Versus California King – Mattress Designer Explains

King Mattress versus California King: Which One is Right for You?

Choosing the right mattress size is crucial for a good night’s sleep. The two popular options that often leave people confused are the king mattress and the California king mattress. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two options and provide a comprehensive guide to help you make the best decision for your needs. We will also discuss the equivalent UK & Ireland mattress sizes for comparison.

King Mattress and California King are two popular mattress sizes. King Mattress measures 76″ x 80″ and is ideal for couples seeking spacious sleeping space. California King, measuring 72″ x 84″, is longer and slightly narrower, suiting taller individuals or those with limited room width. Choose based on personal preference, room size, and height.

Mattress Type US & Canada (inches) US & Canada (cm) UK & Ireland (cm)
King 76 x 80 193 x 203 150 x 200
California King 72 x 84 183 x 213 180 x 200
UK/Ireland King 60 x 78 N/A 150 x 200
UK/Ireland Super King 72 x 78 N/A 180 x 200
UK/Ireland Emperor 84 x 84 N/A 210 x 210

King and California King Mattresses: US vs. UK & Ireland

In the United States, the king mattress measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, while the California king measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. The UK & Ireland have similar but slightly different mattress sizes, which are as follows:

  • King: 150 cm x 200 cm (59 inches x 78.7 inches)
  • Super King: 180 cm x 200 cm (70.9 inches x 78.7 inches)
  • Emperor: 213 cm x 213 cm (83.9 inches x 83.9 inches)

Please refer to Table 1 for a comparison of all mattress sizes.

King Mattress


A standard king mattress measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, making it the widest mattress option available. It provides ample space for two adults to sleep comfortably, with some room for kids or pets.


  1. Spacious: King mattresses offer plenty of space for couples, ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep.
  2. Versatility: A king bed can easily accommodate a small family, providing space for kids or pets to join in.
  3. Wide availability: King-sized bedding and accessories are readily available, making it easier to find suitable options.


  1. Size constraints: King mattresses require a larger room, which might not be suitable for smaller living spaces.
  2. Cost: King mattresses tend to be more expensive than smaller options.

California King Mattress


The California king mattress measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, making it longer but narrower than the standard king mattress. It is ideal for taller individuals who need extra legroom.


  1. Extra length: California king mattresses are perfect for taller people who require additional legroom for a comfortable sleep.
  2. Space-efficient: The narrower width makes it more suitable for rooms with limited space.
  3. Unique appeal: The California king’s distinctive dimensions lend a touch of luxury to your bedroom.


  1. Limited availability: California king bedding and accessories can be more challenging to find compared to standard king options.
  2. Cost: California king mattresses are often more expensive than standard king mattresses.

Comparing King and California King Mattresses

Space Requirements

Both king and California king mattresses require a spacious room. However, the king mattress’s wider dimensions may not fit well in narrower rooms, while the California king’s length might pose a challenge in shorter rooms.

Room Layout

When selecting a mattress, consider your room’s layout, including the placement of windows, doors, and furniture. A king mattress may be better suited for a square-shaped room, while a California king may fit better in a rectangular space.

Bedding and Accessories

While bedding for both mattress sizes is widely available, king-sized options tend to be more prevalent. Keep in mind that California king bedding may be more challenging to find and often more expensive.

How to Choose the Right Mattress Size

Sleep Habits

Your sleep habits play a crucial role in determining the right mattress size. If you’re a tall individual or tend to move around a lot during sleep, a California king may be more suitable. Couples who prefer extra space to spread out may find a king mattress more comfortable.

Room Size

The size of your bedroom is another essential factor. Measure your room and compare it to the dimensions of both king and California king mattresses to ensure there is enough space for other furniture and movement.


Both king and California king mattresses can be pricey. Consider your budget before making a decision, and keep in mind that bedding and accessories for California king mattresses may be more expensive.

Lifestyle Considerations

Think about your current lifestyle and any changes you foresee in the near future. For instance, if you plan to move to a smaller home or apartment, a king mattress might not be the best choice. Similarly, if you plan to grow your family, a California king may not be spacious enough.


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Video Guide



When deciding between a king mattress and a California king, there are several factors to consider, including the dimensions, room layout, sleep habits, room size, budget, and lifestyle. By carefully examining your needs and preferences, you can make an informed decision that ensures a comfortable and restful night’s sleep.


  1. What’s the main difference between a king and California king mattress? The primary difference is in their dimensions. A king mattress is wider (76 inches) and shorter (80 inches), while a California king is narrower (72 inches) but longer (84 inches).
  2. Is a California king mattress better for taller people? Yes, a California king’s extra length makes it more suitable for taller individuals who require additional legroom.
  3. Can I use the same bedding for both king and California king mattresses? No, due to their different dimensions, king and California king mattresses require specific bedding designed for their respective sizes.
  4. Which mattress size is more expensive? Generally, California king mattresses tend to be more expensive than king mattresses. However, prices may vary depending on the brand and materials used.
  5. Do I need a special bed frame for a California king mattress? Yes, a California king mattress requires a bed frame specifically designed to accommodate its unique dimensions.


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Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC


My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.


About Me

The Spinery


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