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The California king is one of the six standard mattress sizes, usually mentioned last on the large end of the scale even though it actually has a slightly smaller surface area than the regular king size.
Comparing the two mattresses, the California king comes in at 72 inches wide by 84 inches long – exactly 7 feet in length. The king, on the other hand, is 76 inches wide by 80 inches.
With all of that length, if you’re considering a California king, you’re either a pro basketball player or you sleep with a puppy at your feet. Or, maybe you just like the extra room.
In any case, the California king is a great option for those who value length over width in their mattress, and there are plenty of brands to choose from.
Our 6 best California king mattresses
- Saatva Classic
- Nectar Premium Copper
- Nolah Evolution 5
- DreamCloud Mattress
- Helix Midnight
Each mattress on this list is good for different reasons, and I’ll dive into those in the rest of this article.
Best Overall Mattress
|Firmness||3, 5-7, 8|
|Return Policy||365-night home trial with $99 processing fee|
With 3 different firmness levels and two heights to choose from, the Saatva Classic is the best overall cal king mattress.
Whether you’re a side sleeper who likes a softer feel, a back sleeper who prefers a firm surface, or someone dealing with back pain looking for that sweet spot in the middle, this mattress can cater to your needs.
A look under the hood reveals a complicated layering of lush quilting, lumbar supporting memory foam, and multiple layers of coils. All of that combines to give great support while still allowing some to give.
The Saatva Classic comes with a heftier price tag than some of the other entries on this list and is often referred to as a luxury mattress, but it can be a great investment for someone looking for a specific feel.
Best cooling mattress
|Return Policy||365-night home trial|
I’m a big fan of copper-infused mattresses for those who radiate heat at night. The high thermal conductivity means that heat passes through it quickly, unlike mattresses made of plastic-based materials.
This isn’t just a cooling mattress, though. In total, there are 5 layers that make up this California king, from the copper cover at the top to the shift-resistant base that offers stability.
In between are other different types of foam like gel-infused memory foam that can help take pressure off the body.
One downside is that there’s only one firmness level, but it happens to be the most popular out there, so I can’t dock too many points.
Best for heavier people
|Firmness||4.5, 6.5, 7.5, 8|
|Return Policy||120-night home trial (returns after 30 days)|
Next up on the list is the Winkbed, a luxury mattress that also happens to be the brick house of the bunch. But don’t think that sturdy means uncomfortable.
The Winkbed comes with a combination of gel-infused foam on one of the upper layers and pocket coils on the bottom, allowing it to deliver support while also providing a little cushion.
Running around the edge of those pocket coils at the bottom is an extra edge support system. It might be the difference for couples who like to take their sleep to the limits of the California king mattress’s width.
On top of all of that is a cover made of the eco-friendly Tencel – a personal favorite moisture-wicking fabric.
Best for back sleepers
|Firmness||4-5, 6-7, 7-8|
|Return Policy||120-night home trial (returns after 30 days)|
According to their product page, the Patented HDMax Tri-Zone coils and re-inforced edges “offer 25 percent more support than traditional coil systems.”
And though I can’t guarantee it’s exactly that percentage, I tend to agree that this is a great mattress for back sleepers because of that extra support.
Alongside the innerspring system are layers of different types of foam that can ease the pressure you may feel while sleeping.
There’s plenty of cooling technology packed in there too, so this mattress shouldn’t have you kicking off the sheets at night.
Best bang for your buck
|Return Policy||365-night home trial (returns after 30 days)|
The term budget mattress can be a big turn-off, but in the DreamCloud Hybrid’s case, it means anything but stingy. Its quilt cover is made with a cashmere blend, for starters.
Dig a little deeper and you’ll find several layers of supportive foam, edge, and support along with individually wrapped coils, and a shift-resistant base so the mattress doesn’t slip around.
Like a few of the others on this list, the DreamCloud’s only has one option for firmness, but thankfully it’s right in that medium-firm sweet spot that most prefer.
At $1,299, I feel like this one is more than a bargain.
Best for side sleepers
|Return Policy||100-night home trial (returns after 30 days)|
Most of us tend to be side sleepers, but all of that pressure on so few parts of the body can cause problems over time. That’s where a California king mattress like the Helix Midnight comes in.
Right below the cover is what they’ve dubbed “the comfort layer” – a thick slab of memory plus foam that can be a difference maker for side sleepers.
There’s also a solid base of wrapped coils that keeps you from sinking in too far.
If you’re not sure about the firmness of 6/10, you can always test it out. Helix makes it easy with a personalized test which you can try here.
Who Needs a California King Mattress?
Purchasing a California king mattress means sacrificing length for width, and there are really two main reasons for doing that.
First, if you’re very tall (6-foot-4 and over) you may want to consider this bedding option. It’ll give you more freedom so you don’t have to worry about bumping into the head or foot of the bed at any point in the night.
Second, if you’re a pet owner who likes to sleep with their furry friends, the extra space at the foot of the bed could be a game changer.
Those aren’t the only reasons, but they’re the main ones. Some just happen to like piling pillows at either end of the bed because it’s cozy. Others simply want more lateral mobility.
Whatever your reason, you may need to consider how good it is in order to justify the cost.
How Much Does a Good California King Mattress Cost?
Not only is the California king on the far end of the size spectrum, it’s also a heavyweight in terms of cost.
There are a range of prices depending on the brand you go with and the options you tack on, but in general, you can expect your California king to cost at least $1,300. The luxury versions of some of these brands can be closer to $3,000.
These mattresses are a little less in demand than some of the other types because of their unique dimensions, making them pricier as a result.
However, they can be a real treat for those looking for longer bedding.
If you’re looking to snag a California king mattress, you’re in luck. Many of the same perks that you get with other sizes can be found at this end of the size chart, too.
Take options like your sleeping style and budget into account and there’s bound to be a great match from this article’s list.