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It’s easy to focus mostly on the mattress when shopping for a new bed, but choosing the right frame is just as important when it comes to comfort and stability. Commonly made from wood, metal, or upholstery, California king bed frames are available in a variety of styles designed to provide a robust support system for you and your mattress.
A well-constructed bed frame can reduce unwanted noises, and it may help extend the life of your mattress by minimizing premature sagging. A bed frame can also raise your mattress off the floor, making it easier to get in and out of bed.
Although California king is considered one of the six standard bed sizes, it’s not quite as common as the queen or king bed, meaning not all styles are available in a California king. To help you get started on your search, we’ll highlight our top California king bed frame picks and discuss what sets each model apart. We’ll also examine the most important factors to keep in mind when shopping for your next bed frame.
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The Santorini Bed Frame by Saatva is a platform bed with streamlined legs. Designed with a fully upholstered headboard, the bed can be placed against a wall or in the middle of the room.
Saatva uses sustainably grown hardwood that is kiln-dried to help increase its strength and prevent warping. The frame has built-in plywood slats to support the mattress.
The Santorini is available in three design options. The taupe vintage velvet and the graphite vintage velvet models are made with a polyester-cotton blend. The natural linen model is constructed from flax fibers that are free of harsh chemicals or dyes.
This frame does not require a box spring or foundation, though it can be paired with Saatva’s Lineal adjustable base. The California king bed frame is 92 inches long, 78 inches wide, and 14 inches high, and the headboard is 42 inches tall.
Saatva offers free White Glove delivery to the contiguous U.S. After scheduling a date and time window, a professional will install the bed frame in your room of choice for no extra fee. The Santorini also comes with a lifetime warranty and a 180-night sleep trial, subject to a $99 handling fee in the event of a return.
33% off all Nectar products
The Nectar Mattress Foundation offers a versatile design at an accessible price-point. The frame includes optional legs, which provide 6 inches of storage space beneath the bed frame.
The Nectar Mattress Foundation features sturdy wood slats and doesn’t require a box spring to support your mattress. The solid slats are also designed to help prevent the mattress from shifting around. The wood legs and gray fabric cover make the foundation suitable for people who prefer a minimalist appearance.
The bed frame comes with instructions for easy assembly with no additional tools required. The frame is designed to clip and lock together, which makes it easier to disassemble and move if needed.
Nectar backs the Mattress Foundation with a 3-year warranty and a 50-day return policy. Nectar offers free shipping to the 48 contiguous states, and shipping is available to Hawaii and Alaska for an additional fee.
Best Wooden Frame
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The Bed by Thuma is a standout wooden frame for a few reasons. Made from acacia hardwood, the frame is exceptionally sturdy and long-lasting. The design also uses Japanese joinery to fit the head and foot with the rails. Aside from two hand-tightened screws to secure the slats, the frame does not require any metal hardware. You should be able to assemble The Bed in 15 minutes or less.
With a 9-inch height, the frame offers a fair amount of under-bed space for storing your belongings. The corners are rounded to prevent you from banging your shins when getting in and out of bed. Customers can choose between a wooden headboard or a pillowboard cushioned with soft foam. The latter’s pebbled fabric cover is removable and machine-washable, and available in three colors. Three stain options — walnut, natural, and espresso — are also available. In addition to the California king, you can select a twin, full, queen, king, or daybed size.
Although The Bed’s sticker price is on the expensive side, its lengthy expected lifespan makes the frame a solid long-term investment. Thuma also offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. Each purchase includes a sleep trial spanning 100 nights. If you decide to keep your frame, you’ll also receive a lifetime warranty against workmanship defects.
$455 of free accessories with every mattress purchase
If you want a bed frame that doubles as a statement piece for your bedroom, this upholstered model from Puffy delivers chic modern style thanks to a clean profile, versatile charcoal-grey fabric, and grid stitching on the foot and headboard. Hardwood slats provide excellent reinforcement, and the rails extend above the bottom of your mattress for extra stability while you sleep.
Since your mattress fits inside the frame, rather than resting on top of it, the potential for squeaks and creaks is quite low. Assembly is a quick and painless process, and should be completed in a matter of minutes. Full, queen, king, and California king sizes are available. If stains occur, you can remove and machine wash the upholstery fabric.
The sticker price for the Puffy Bed Frame is well below average and shipping is free for all customers within the contiguous U.S. Your order comes with a 101-night trial period. If you decide to keep the frame, you’ll receive a lifetime warranty against structural defects.
A California king size bed frame can be an investment, so it’s important to put some thought into its purchase. We’ll provide an overview of the variables that most impact a bed frame’s longevity, appearance, and performance.
It can be challenging to separate marketing hype from what is actually essential in a bed frame. To add further confusion, it’s not always clear what size bed frame will be compatible with the special dimensions of a California king size mattress.
Prioritizing the following factors while bearing in mind your own needs and preferences can help you find the right bed frame for you.
The stability, performance, and lifespan of a bed frame are directly related to the quality of its materials. Higher-quality frames are often more expensive, but they are more likely to resist premature sagging, creaking, and cosmetic wear. Similarly, high-quality bed frames may provide better support to your mattress, helping extend its lifespan as well.
Bed frame weight is crucial when it comes to steadiness and maneuverability. The heavier the frame, the more difficult it will be to assemble or move. Since California king mattresses are already on the heavier side, pairing the mattress with a very sturdy frame might not be realistic for people who move often or frequently rearrange their furniture. On the flip side, a heavier bed frame can help sleepers feel more secure.
Some bed frames are designed to be relatively nondescript in order to harmonize with a variety of interior designs, while others make a bolder style statement. The right bed frame style ultimately depends on your unique aesthetic sensibility and your bedroom decor.
California king size bed frames are the most expensive of the standard sizes, but it is possible to find affordable options. Minimalist platform beds start at $200 or less, while more complex bed frame designs can cost upward of $1,500. Wooden bed frames are usually more expensive than those made from metal, and upholstered bed frames may be more costly than non-upholstered designs.
Ease of Assembly
An incorrectly assembled bed frame can undermine its very function, which is to support and elevate a mattress. Not properly assembling a bed frame can also void the manufacturer’s warranty. Most bed frames sold online are shipped in a box together with an instruction manual so you can assemble the frame at home. Although bed frames are generally designed for easy setup, some companies also offer optional White Glove delivery for an extra fee, in which a professional assembles the bed frame for you.
Ideally, a bed frame should be virtually silent, as a noisy bed can significantly impair sleep or be distracting during sex. Some bed frame models feature a sturdy build that minimizes noise by keeping your mattress in place, or joints that are specifically designed to reduce creaking. Paying careful attention to the screws during setup may help reduce noise.
Bed frames come in a range of styles and configurations. For example, platform beds have a simple slatted design, sleigh beds feature a curved headboard and footboard that resemble a sleigh, and canopy bed frames feature four posts joined at the top to make a canopy, from which sleepers can hang curtains if they wish. When choosing a bed frame style, you may wish to consider the height, the available storage space, and the bed frame’s footprint in the bedroom.
California king bed frames can be as inexpensive as $100 or as costly as $10,000, but most are priced between $200 and $1,000. The price may vary depending on the style, the quality of the materials, and any extra features such as sustainability certifications or sophisticated designs.
Many California king bed frames can be purchased online directly from the manufacturer, or through the websites of major department stores and other third-party retailers. Buying online opens up a wider range of choices, and shoppers may benefit from online-only deals. The drawback is that shoppers don’t have the opportunity to see the bed frame in person before purchasing. However, many online bed frame retailers grant a sleep trial during which you can test the bed out at home and return it for a refund if you don’t like it.
A California king size mattress is typically 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, so a California king bed frame should be at least this big, and often a little larger. On average, a California king size bed frame supports the mattress at a height of 12 inches to 16 inches above the ground, and the sleep surface lies 8 to 15 inches above that depending on the profile of the mattress.
Given the large size of a California king bed, it’s helpful to consider your room size and layout before purchasing. California king beds are most suitable for larger rooms that can accommodate the bed without feeling cramped.
As king and California king mattresses differ slightly in their measurements, standard king size mattress frames are generally not compatible with California king mattresses. Most people prefer not to have the frame protrude out from underneath the mattress, so frames are usually cut to size. Accordingly, a California king size mattress will normally be too long for a standard king size frame, while simultaneously leaving the sides of the slats or the foundation exposed.
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