California King vs Eastern King – What Is the Difference?

Large, Wide, White Bed With Wooden Headboard

Having a good night’s sleep depends on a lot of factors, including the kind of bed and mattress that you sleep in. You need to have enough space for you to toss and turn and stay warm and cozy, especially if you share the bed with someone. Beds and mattresses come in a lot of varieties, such as California king and eastern king, and knowing their differences or what they can provide will help you choose the right size for you.

So what’s the difference between California king vs eastern king? The primary difference between the two is their size. The eastern or standard king has a dimension (L x W) of 80” by 76”, while the California king is at 84” by 72”, making it longer but narrower than an eastern king bed or mattress.

Deciding which among the two to purchase does not solely depend on the length and width, but also as to what each of the beds can offer. Meaning, a longer or wider bed doesn’t always mean it is better than shorter or narrower varieties. As such, let’s look into the factors in detail to give you a good idea of which one works best for your needs.

Eastern King Size vs California King Size

The size alone tells you that the level of comfort provided by each item will also differ, depending on your body size, height, and whether or not you’re a restless sleeper. The kinds of accessories, such as bedsheets, available in the market is also another thing to consider when it comes to differentiating the two.

Eastern or Standard King Size

Large White Bed on Black Frame

A standard or eastern king bed has the following to offer:

  • Comfort

An eastern king bed will provide more space for individuals with bigger body width, as well as those who move a lot while sleeping. This will make sure that you won’t take up the sleeping space of your partner, so you will both have a good night’s sleep.

However, even if this has a better overall space, to accommodate two sleepers plus a child and a pet, and if you’re tall or a person who moves downward while sleeping, you might find your feet hanging at the edge of the bed when you wake up.

Likewise, it might not be ideal if you don’t have enough bedroom space. Ideally, this will fit in a room with a size of 10 to 12 feet by 12 to 13 feet, depending on how much walking space you want and other pieces of furniture you have in your room.

If you have enough room, though, and you plan on upgrading your bed, the standard king bed is available in a split-size variety. Aptly named, you can split the bed into two twin size beds so that you can use each in two different bedrooms or one bedroom occupied by two individuals, such as your children.

  • Accessories Available

Purchasing accessories like bedsheets, flat sheets, encasements, and comforters that won’t be hanging excessively at the edges of your bed will not be difficult if you have a standard king mattress. Also, since there are more choices, you can choose a set that will match your taste and interior design. Additionally, although these accessories are more affordable than California king bed accessories, you would still find varieties if you have too low of a budget.

California or Western King Size

Big White Bed With Pillows

Initially manufactured for athletes and elites, here are the things you’d expect from a western or California king bed:

  • Comfort

Being longer and narrower than the eastern king bed, a California king bed provides excellent comfort for tall individuals and slim couples, but limited space for people with bigger body width.

That said, if one or both of you is a cuddler, then you won’t have to worry about the missing four inches of width. Additionally, you can opt for a mattress with great motion transfer control so that even if one of you moves a lot during the night, the other will still sleep undisturbed by the movements. This is also perfect if you have sleeping problems, such as sleep paralysis, and you need someone to wake you up.

Room size-wise, a California king bed can fit into a room with a size ranging from 12 feet to 14 feet by 12 feet. Again, this will depend on the walking space you prefer and the number of furniture you have in your room. Lastly, as similar to the eastern king bed, this is also available in a split-size variety.

  • Accessories Available

As noted earlier, looking for California king bed accessories is more challenging than searching for eastern king bed accessories. Not only do manufacturers limit the production of frames, sheets, and other accessories for this bed, but stores also do not stock up on these items because there are only a few customers looking for them. Hence, most of the time, you need to pre-order California king bed accessories and wait for at least a week for the item to arrive.

Which Is Better California King or Eastern King?

Large White Bed With Multiple Pillows

From the above details, not one bed size is better overall because both come with pros and cons. Keeping the differences in mind, here is a simple guide that you can use when choosing between the two bed sizes:

Bedroom Dimension

Experts recommend that in order to have a comfortable overall space in your bedroom, there should be a minimum of two feet space on the three sides of your bed. With this space, you can maneuver and walk around the bed without feeling cramped and disturbing your sleeping mate.

Similarly, it is more pleasing to the eyes since the bed wouldn’t look like it is out of place, and your room will not look overcrowded, especially if you have other furniture pieces. Therefore, if you have a narrower room, the California king size is what you should opt for, while if you have a wider room, the eastern king is just perfect.

Your Height and Your Partner’s Height

When it comes to height, undoubtedly, California king beds suit individuals with a height starting from six feet; this does not apply to everyone, though. That is because some people prefer sleeping with their feet hanging at the edge of the bed. As such, you must discuss this with the taller partner.

If you have enough room space and budget is out of the question, though, and you want to avoid the hassles of considering your individual needs, you can opt for an Alaskan king size bed.

Is There an Alaskan King Size Bed?

Some of you might not even heard of the Alaskan king bed, but this size of bed actually exists. However, this is usually a made-to-order variety of beds, so you expect that the accessories, including the mattress, are also made-to-order. Some big-box retailers offer such, but you will surely have a difficult time looking for one.

The good thing about the Alaskan king size bed, though, is that you don’t have to worry about overall width and length, as it measures 9 feet by 9 feet. Thus, it does not just accommodate more than two individuals, but can also work well for restless sleepers, cuddlers, big-sized individuals, tall persons, and more. In fact, this is also considered a family-sized bed, making it ideal for families with young children who prefer to sleep with their parents, as well as for guest rooms and sleepovers.

Pros:

  • More bed space to move around
  • Less disruption for your partner
  • More than enough legroom
  • Can accommodate more adults, children, and pets
  • Maximizes space of large rooms

Cons:

  • Requires large floor space
  • All items are usually custom-made

Are There Other Options?

If you think the Alaskan king bed is too wide and big for your room and California and eastern king beds don’t match your needs, your other options are the Albert and Wyoming king beds. Not as enormous as the Alaskan variety, as short as the eastern bed, and as narrow as the California bed, the Alberta and Wyoming beds have a dimension of 8 feet by 8 feet and 7 feet by 7 feet, respectively. These are also custom-made beds, but the accessories are more commercially available than the accessories for Alaskan beds. Still, they are more challenging to find than California king bed sheet sets (view on Amazon).

California King vs Eastern King – What Is the Difference: A Summary

Big Bed With Pillows and a White Comforter

Overall, California and eastern king beds and accessories differ in length and width, so they give a different level of comfort and peacefulness while you and/or your partner sleep. What size you would need generally boils down to your budget and room space, but you must also at least consider your and/or your partner’s sleeping habits.

A California king bed is perfect for tall individuals and large bedrooms, while eastern king beds (view on Amazon) are great for bigger sized people and wider rooms. Price-wise, both come in different price ranges, but the California king bed is not as cost-effective as the eastern king since the accessories are usually more expensive.

Therefore, before even shopping for a bed, make sure you measure your room well and think about the amount of money you are willing to spend to ensure you get a good night’s sleep all the time.

Kris Peter

I am a lifelong advocate of sleep, continually learning, and striving to be better than I was yesterday.

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