Difference between California King and King Size Bed

Both California king size and standard king size beds are suitable for a master bedroom. However, due to the different sizes and lengths, one has to take into consideration the persons who would inhabit the bed when choosing between a California king and a king size bed. There are some differences between the two types of beds and we will take a closer look at them.


California King Bed vs King Size Bed
A California king bed

The California king bed became popular in the city of Los-Angeles, California at the beginning of the 1960s. Since then this type of bed has found its customers on both sides of the Atlantic. The size of a bed corresponds to the mattress’ size manufactured specifically for a California king.

The King size bed
A King size bed in a luxury country house in Frigiliana

The King size bed has been around since the Middle Ages. This luxurious furniture item was designed to serve primarily upper class master bedrooms. Nowadays, a king size bed is widespread and serves for representatives of any class. However, due to the width of the king size bed, it is only appropriate in rather big bedrooms.

Comparison chart

California King Bed King Size Bed
Suitable for people who are over six feet tall Not suitable for people who are over six feet tall
Suitable for waterbed Not suitable for waterbed
Dimensions: Narrower (72 inches; 183 cm) and longer (84 inches; 214 cm) Dimensions: Wider (76 inches; 193 cm) and shorter (80 inches; 203 cm)

California King Bed vs King Size Bed

What is the difference between the California King and the King Size Bed? Let’s compare them by the suitability for tall people, by the use of waterbeds and by width.

  • For people who are over six feet (183 cm) tall, the extra length (4 inches) of a California king as compared to the shorter length of the king size bed can feel more comfortable.
  • California king size beds are suitable for waterbeds and standard king sizes rarely so. The reason is simple – waterbeds are usually the same size as California king beds.
  • The basic difference between the two types of beds is in their corresponding dimensions. A California king size bed is narrower by 4 inches and longer by 4 inches than a king size bed.