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If you’re mattress shopping, you might wonder what the difference is between a standard king size mattress and the California king. The bed sizes are similar, but they vary by a few inches in both length and width. The California king is 4 inches longer vertically and 4 inches shorter horizontally than a standard king.
Both king and California king sizes are large and provide enough space for two people to share a bed with each other or with pets and children. People might prefer one size over the other due to their height, sleeping habits, or the dimensions of their bedroom.
Since mattress size is only one part of what makes a mattress work for a particular person, we created this guide to help you find the best California king mattress for you. We’ve shared our picks for the best mattresses available in a California king size, and highlighted the factors you’ll want to consider when looking for one.
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If you’re in the market for a California king size memory foam mattress, we highly recommend the Nectar Lush. This model is constructed with a 3-inch memory foam comfort layer that molds closely to evenly distribute your weight and reduce pressure in sensitive areas of your body. The Lush also provides ample cushioning for side sleepers along the shoulders and hips, which can improve spinal alignment and ease discomfort that often comes from using this sleep position.
Transitional and base layers of high-density polyfoam reinforce the comfort layer to help maintain an even surface for your body. That said, the Lush has a medium (5) feel and is best suited to people who weigh 230 pounds or less. Heavier individuals will likely prefer the flagship Nectar Mattress, which is composed of similar materials but has a slightly firmer feel.
Motion isolation is another strength of the Lush. The foams absorb movement and prevent it from spreading across the surface, making the mattress a good option for people who wake up easily from their sleep partner’s movements. Like other all-foam beds, the Lush is also completely silent.
The Lush is fairly expensive compared to other all-foam models, but Nectar will ship the mattress for free anywhere in the lower 48 states. You’ll receive 365 days to test out the mattress – one of the mattress industry’s longest trial periods – along with a lifetime warranty.
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The Bear is an American-made, all-foam mattress designed with Celliant cover fabric to aid in physical recovery. Celliant fabric collects and converts body heat into infrared energy that it then reflects back to the sleeper. This process has been found to decrease physical recovery time and improve physical performance, making the Bear a good choice for athletes and highly active people.
Available in one firmness level — firm – the Bear is most fitting for sleepers who weigh more than 130 pounds. Its memory foam layer conforms to the body some, but its transitional and support foam layers give the mattress a responsive feel. The result is a bed that falls somewhere in-between the bounciness of a responsive mattress and the high contour characteristic of memory foam.
Couples will find that the Bear isolates motion well, so they aren’t awoken by each other’s movements during the night. Also, being an all-foam mattress, the Bear is virtually silent. Sleepers won’t hear noise in response to their partners getting in or out of bed.
Bear offers free shipping to all 50 states, with White Glove delivery and old mattress removal available for an additional price. Bear customers may return their mattress if they feel unsatisfied for any reason after a 30-day break-in period of a 100-night sleep trial. The mattress comes with a 10-year warranty that begins on the date of purchase. The Bear is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
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The WinkBed is a hybrid mattress that features a combination of coil and foam layers. Available in four firmness settings, the WinkBed has options that are suitable for virtually all sleepers regardless of body weight or sleep position preference. Lighter sleepers will prefer the softer WinkBed options, while heavier sleepers will prefer the firmer options. The WinkBed Plus is designed to be able to accommodate sleepers who weigh over 300 pounds.
The WinkBed Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firmer options are constructed slightly differently than the WinkBed Plus. All WinkBeds feature a 7.5-inch pocketed coil support core. The first three firmness options have a Euro-pillow top, two polyfoam layers, a layer of foam-encased microcoils, and a cotton lumbar support pad. Instead of these comfort layers, the WinkBed Plus contains one polyfoam layer, a layer of latex, and the cotton lumbar support pad.
As a result of the differing constructions, the softer WinkBed mattresses are more conforming than the firmer WinkBed Plus. All WinkBeds are on the responsive side, and none give the sensation of sleeping “in” rather than “on” the mattress.
All of the WinkBed mattresses come in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king. They ship for free to the contiguous US. Customers may purchase White Glove delivery for $129, or both White Glove delivery and old mattress removal for $189. WinkBeds also come with a lifetime warranty.
Best for Side Sleepers
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The Puffy mattress is a mixed-foam mattress that’s made in the US and known for its pressure-relieving properties. Though the Puffy is somewhat responsive, it primarily gives sleepers the conforming feel of memory foam. The Puffy is a good choice for sleepers who like to feel “hugged” by their mattress. Since it relieves pressure so well, it’s also a good choice for sleepers who tend to experience pain.
The Puffy mattress is available in one firmness level, which is medium. Lighter individuals weighing under 130 pounds find the most comfort in the Puffy mattress. Some sleepers over 130 pounds, especially those who prefer to sleep on their sides and stomachs, will also like the Puffy. It excels at promoting spinal alignment for side sleepers.
Most sleepers weighing over 230 pounds will want to opt for a firmer mattress than the Puffy. They might find themselves sinking in too deeply or feeling unsupported on this bed. Of course, personal preference influences mattress choice, and some heavier sleepers who prefer soft mattresses might be happy with the Puffy.
Customers in the contiguous US receive free delivery from Puffy, and those in Alaska or Hawaii can purchase the bed for an additional fee. The Puffy mattress comes with a 101-night sleep trial and customers can make returns after a required 14-night break-in period. The Puffy mattress is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
Best for Back Sleepers
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The AS2 Hybrid builds on the original design of its predecessor, the all-foam AS2. This mattress contains a comfort layer of Bio-Pur memory foam, a dense and durable proprietary material that provides moderate contouring. A zoned transitional layer reinforces the Bio-Pur. This component provides enhanced support where people tend to carry extra weight and softer cradling for lighter areas, resulting in the right amount of give from head to toe. The AS2 Hybrid is medium firm (6), making it the second firmest hybrid in Amerisleep’s current lineup.
Thick pocketed coils and a layer of high-density base foam make up the support core. These materials provide excellent stability, especially along the edges where sinkage can occur when you get in and out of bed. The coils also promote steady airflow to help the mattress sleep cool and offset some of the Bio-Pur’s heat-absorbing qualities. Since the AS2 Hybrid is on the firmer side, the mattress is best suited to people who weigh at least 130 pounds – back and stomach sleepers in particular.
Like other Amerisleep mattresses, the AS2 Hybrid is backed by a warranty that covers structural defects for up to 20 years. Your purchase will also include a 100-night sleep trial. Ground shipping is free within the contiguous U.S.
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The Layla Hybrid is a standout choice for California King shoppers due in part to its reversible design. Both sides of the mattress are cushioned with memory foam. One surface has a thicker comfort layer and a medium soft (4) feel, while the opposite side’s surface has less foam and feels firm (7). Each side has unique strengths. The softer surface excels at motion isolation and pressure relief, and should be most comfortable for people who weigh less than 130 pounds. The firmer side feels more support for people who weigh more, especially back and stomach sleepers.
A layer pocketed coils is sandwiched in the middle and serves as the bed’s support core no matter which surface you use. These coils are zoned to reinforce the edges against sinkage without compromising your comfort with excessive firmness. The coils also help the mattress remain temperature neutral by circulating air throughout the interior. For added breathability, both memory foam layers are infused with copper, which has natural cooling properties and also provides antimicrobial protection against harmful bacteria.
The Layla Hybrid’s price-point is in line with the average hybrid model, but all customers in the lower 48 states will receive free ground shipping with their order. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Best Mattress for Pressure Relief
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The Nolah is an all-foam bed available in one firmness level, which is medium. Nolah excels at pressure relief, making it a good choice for people who experience pain. Although the Nolah is very conforming, its “AirFoam” technology ensures sleepers will not feel like they’re sinking too far into bed.
The firmness level of the Nolah mattress is best suited for sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds. Side sleepers tend to enjoy the Nolah the most, finding it promotes spinal alignment. Overall, more sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds tend to prefer the Nolah compared to those who weighed more, some of whom might want a firmer bed. Sleepers who weigh over 230 pounds might also prefer a firmer mattress and find that the Nolah cannot provide the support they need.
Couples sharing a bed will find that the Nolah isolates motion well. When one person rolls over or gets in or out of bed, little of their motion will transfer across the surface of the bed. Like most all-foam beds, the Nolah is also quiet.
Nolah only ships to the contiguous US, and shipping is free. Their mattresses come with a 120-night sleep trial and a 30-day required break-in period. The Nolah warranty lasts 15 years.
Nolah partners with the nonprofit organization Defenders of Wildlife to “adopt” endangered animals. This unique program allows customers to choose from one of 20 endangered species, knowing that their purchase helped save an animal’s life.
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Made in the US, the Ghostbed Luxe is an all-foam mattress with cooling properties. The Ghostbed Luxe is constructed with a cooling cover, memory foam comfort layer, latex-like polyfoam layer, and a support core made of high-density polyfoam. The result is a mixture of contouring and responsiveness, making the Ghostbed Luxe a good choice for people who want both conforming and bounce.
The Ghostbed Luxe is available in a medium firmness feel, which is well-suited to sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds. Most sleepers in this range find that the Ghostbed Luxe provides adequate support and spinal alignment for them. Heavier individuals might require a firmer mattress option.
The bed is specifically designed to keep bodies cool throughout the night, so it shouldn’t trap heat like many all-foam mattresses do. Its cooling cover has memory foam quilted into it and incorporates phase-change material into its fibers. The “Ghost Ice” layer also contains phase change material, which absorbs heat energy and transforms it into a cooler temperature.
The Ghostbed Luxe comes in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. The bed ships for free to the contiguous US, and for $600 to Hawaii and Alaska. It comes with a 101-night sleep trial, though sleepers must break in the mattress for 30 days before initiating a return. The warranty is prorated and lasts for 25 years.
Taller people who tend to sleep stretched out might prefer the California king since it measures 7 feet in length. People with pets might also prefer the additional length, so pets can sleep comfortably at the end of the bed.
The size and shape of your bedroom can also influence which king size you prefer. The beds take up the following square footage:
Bedding is another factor to consider when choosing between a standard and California king size mattress. The standard king is more common, so there are more bedding options for that size and it’s likely easier to find low-cost bedding.
Different people need different characteristics in a mattress depending on their preferences, sleep position habits, and body weights. The following factors determine how a mattress feels to you, how long it will last, how well it supports you throughout the night, and more.
There are 5 major mattress constructions on the market today: innerspring, foam, latex, hybrid (a combination of coils with foam or latex), and airbed. Generally, since the mattresses within each category are constructed similarly, they share commonalities and features.
That being said, there is plenty of variation within each mattress type category as well. Individual models of mattresses within a larger group fall across a spectrum in terms of quality, materials used, and performance.
Definition: Hybrid mattresses are an attempt to combine the best characteristics of other mattress types in a single bed. Hybrids contain a coil support core and comfort layers of either memory foam or latex. They are usually cooler and have stronger edge support than all-foam beds while providing more cushion than the average innerspring mattress.
Widely Comfortable: California king mattress shoppers often share a bed with a partner, kids, or pets. Hybrids can be a good choice for bed sharing because they tend to stay temperature neutral due to airflow through the coil layer. Their feel is often a mix of responsiveness and conforming, which can be a good compromise for people with different preferences.
Definition: Springs make up the support core of innerspring mattresses and create a bouncy, responsive bed. Innersprings tend to remain temperature neutral and provide a firm sleeping surface. As one of the oldest mattress technologies, innerspring mattresses are some of the most affordable beds available.
Cooling Firmness: Innerspring mattresses allow for a lot of airflow and, as a result, remain temperature neutral throughout the night. People who sleep hot or share a bed will find that an innerspring mattress doesn’t trap heat the way some all-foam or hybrids might.
Definition: Latex is made from natural or synthetic rubber and can be used in a mattress’s support core, comfort layers, or both. Latex mattresses tend to be the longest lasting and can potentially last decades. Sleepers who enjoy a soft yet responsive mattress surface will be happy with a latex mattress.
Responsive Comfort: Latex provides cushion and contouring without sinkage. People who share a bed can enjoy the softness of latex without worrying that they will sink too far into the bed or into each other.
Definition: Airbeds, not to be confused with inflatable air mattresses, are beds that use air chambers instead of coils, foam, or latex as their support core. Often, the air levels in the mattress can be controlled, allowing sleepers to instantly make their mattresses softer or firmer to meet their needs.
Adjustable Support: Many airbeds have separate, adjustable firmness levels on each side of the bed, which is a major benefit to people who share a bed. If you fall in a different weight group or have different mattress preferences than your sleep partner, you could adjust only your side of the bed in many airbeds.
Definition: Foam beds are known for the “hugging” sensation of memory foam, though not all foam beds are extremely conforming. Foam makes up both the support core and comfort layers, although some beds have additional comfort layer materials as well. Foam beds can tend to trap heat, so many are constructed with infusions of cooling material to help sleepers stay temperature neutral.
Contouring Relief: Foam mattresses can be a good choice for people who share a bed with someone who prefers a different sleep position. Memory foam tends to provide the most cushion and pressure relief, and a well-constructed foam bed will be supportive of all sleep positions.
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