Skip to content
July 17, 2018 2 min read

The California King Vs. The Standard King Mattress


If you’re shopping for a larger mattress, your first choice should be a King mattress. But you two options when it comes to this mattress: the standard King and the California King. Here’s what you need to know before you decide which is best for your needs. 


The King 

Americans used to sleep pretty exclusively on Full size mattresses. In the 1940s, things changed. People started buying Queen and King size mattresses more regularly. Why the change? One major reason could be that people started getting taller. According to a 1963 article in Bedding Magazine, the number of men over 6’ tall grew from 4% to 20% from the early 1900s to 1959. This meant they needed longer mattresses for more comfortable sleep. The names “King” and “Queen” can be attributed to Simmons, who started selling these longer mattresses in 1959. These standard King mattresses measured 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. This luxurious choice has been a great option for couples and taller individuals who simply want more room to spread out while they sleep. 


California King 

True to its name, the California King mattress originated in California. One Los Angeles mattress company created the California King, aka the “Western King,” in the 1960s to fit the luxurious mansions of famed celebrities. Not only were these larger mattresses extra comfy, but they were also a great status symbol. This Hollywood trend spread all the way to Europe, who dubbed their version “The Eastern King.” By the 1970s, California Kings were very popular. Although the California King is 4 inches narrower than the standard King at 72 inches wide, it is also 4 inches longer at 84 inches long. This means the two beds have the exact same surface area! If you plan on buying a mattress with your partner, the standard King will give you each a little more of your own space. But if you’re on the taller side, the California king will be more comfortable. Both beds are luxuriously comfortable options.


Standard King and California King have the same amount of surface space so do consider that. Plus California King is a common size once you get towards the western part of the United States and Standard King becomes the standard east of the California line. 

Written by Ryan Farris Founder