queen vs california king mattress

Queen vs. California King: What's the Difference?

/ October 31, 2022

The queen-size bed is the most popular mattress size—that’s because its dimensions comfortably accommodate two adults, and it fits into most bedrooms. 

But it’s not the only option you have if you’re looking to upgrade to a more spacious sleeping situation. The California king may be a good alternative to a queen, especially if you or your partner are tall.

Is a queen-size mattress or a California king mattress the right mattress size for you? Our California king bed vs. queen-size mattress guide will help you determine just that.

Queen mattress size

A queen-size mattress measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long.

queen-size mattress dimensions infographic

Benefits of a queen

There are plenty of reasons to choose a queen-size bed. Here’s why you should consider one for your bedroom:

  • It’s versatile, making it an outstanding option for couples and solo sleepers alike. Each sleeper gets about 30 inches of space to themselves. This gives couples plenty of room to move around. “A queen-size mattress is ideal for many people because it offers generous sleeping room for a single sleeper, yet the size is still ample and comfortable for two people,” says Mary Brennan, interior designer and founder of House of Fine Design in New Jersey. If you’re a combination sleeper—someone who switches positions throughout the night—you should have enough room in a queen-size bed so you won’t disturb your partner.
  • You’ll have enough room for kids and pets as well. Although a queen-size mattress isn’t quite as large as a California king, you should still comfortably be able to snuggle with your family.


Why a queen may not be right for you

While there aren’t really many drawbacks to a queen-size bed, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind before buying one:

  • Naturally, a queen-size bed doesn’t offer as much room for couples and/or families as a California king-size bed. You’ll have 12 inches less in width in a queen-size bed than you would in a California king.
  • If you have a very small bedroom, a queen-size bed is still sizable enough to cramp your space. You should only choose a queen-size mattress if your bedroom is at minimum, 10 feet by 10 feet.

California king bed size

A California king mattress measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long.

california king-size mattress dimensions infographic

Benefits of a California king

Here are three reasons to think about choosing a California king bed:

  • The California king is a good option for taller people because it’s longer than a queen-size mattress. Generally, those over 6 feet tall will be best suited by this mattress size as a California king is 7 feet in length. (A Cal king is 4 inches longer than a standard king, making it the longest standard mattress size.)
  • You’ll have plenty of room for children and pets to pile into your bed. It definitely has that “the more, the merrier” feel. A California king is a foot wider than a queen, giving you extra space for your family to comfortably get into bed with you.
  • It helps fill space. If your bedroom is very large, a Cal king might look better than a queen.

Prudence Bailey, founder and principal designer of Prudence Home + Design in Connecticut, agrees with these benefits: “California kings are good if you or your partner is tall, as there is more foot room,” she says. “They’re also good for people with large bedrooms since they are longer—it will fill the space better.”


Drawbacks of a Cali king

The California king does have a few drawbacks. Here are the biggest ones to take into account:

  • It’s not quite as roomy as a standard king. While a California king offers more space than a queen-size mattress, it’s not the roomiest option—that’d be a king. With a California king, you get 36 inches of space per person, vs. 38 inches per person in a king-size bed.
  • Because it’s not as common as a standard queen size, it may be challenging to find properly fitting bedding. Because it’s not as common as a standard king, finding a headboard can also be a little trickier, adds Bailey. 
  • A California king-size bed is tough to navigate through tight spaces. Since it's so big, you may not be able to get it up a narrow staircase or around corners. A queen-size mattress is much easier to maneuver.

How much bigger is a California king than a queen?

A California king is 12 inches wider and 4 inches longer than a standard queen mattress.

Most popular size

While a California king offers more room for couples and tall people, a queen-size mattress remains the most popular mattress size, for all the reasons listed above. That said, sometimes a California king mattress will be the best option for you—so weigh the pros and cons of both mattress sizes before making a decision.


Is a California king bigger than a queen?

A California king is bigger than a queen. A California king measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, while a queen-size mattress measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. 

Is a California king two queens?

A California king isn't two queens. If you put two queens together, the result would a mattress that measured 120 inches wide by 80 inches long. A California king mattress, on the other hand, measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. 

What is a California queen?

A California queen mattress measures 60 inches wide by 84 inches long. It's the same width as a standard queen but 4 inches longer, offering more space for taller sleepers. 

What is the difference between a king and a California king? 

A California king mattress is slightly longer and narrower than a standard king. A California king measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, while a standard king measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. 

Find the best queen and California king mattresses from Saatva

Saatva offers a wide range of high-quality queen and California king mattresses so you can easily find your perfect match. 

All of our mattresses are handcrafted with premium materials to help you experience your most comfortable sleep. Plus, our mattresses come with a 365-night home trial and lifetime warranty. 

Take our mattress quiz to find out which Saatva mattress is right for you. 

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