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Best California King Mattress

Austin Meadows

Written by

Austin Meadows, Sleep Product Tester

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We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guide to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn More

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We recently updated this page to include the Silk & Snow Mattress as our best value pick, the Nectar Premier Copper as best for couples, and Helix Midnight as best for side sleepers. The WinkBed remains our best overall pick.

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The California king is one of the six standard mattress sizes. Most models measure 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. These dimensions make it the longest mattress size. While many think of the California king as the largest size option, standard kings – which measure 76 inches wide by 80 inches long – technically offer more surface area. A California king is ideal for couples who want a spacious sleep surface, including those who share their bed with children or pets. King and California king models usually share the same price-point.

A single sleeper may enjoy the roominess of a California king, but we primarily focused on criteria that matter most to couples when choosing our top picks for this list. These factors include durability, edge support, motion isolation, temperature control, and responsiveness for sex. Value is another key consideration, since California king sizes are one of the most expensive options for any given model.

The Best California King Mattresses

If you’re in the market for a California king, keep reading to see a detailed profile of each top pick that highlights its strengths and standout attributes. You can learn even more about our best California king mattress selections by clicking the links to our onsite reviews. Scroll down further to find our guide for first-time California king buyers. We’ll discuss pros and cons of this size, how California kings compare to other sizes, and who should consider purchasing one.

Product Details

Best Overall

WinkBed

WinkBed
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who prioritize support
  • Sleepers who prefer a slightly springy mattress
  • Those who sleep hot
Highlights:
  • Foam and coil design cushions the body without sacrificing support
  • Euro-top provides plush comfort
  • Four firmness options
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get $300 off all mattresses

The WinkBed is a versatile hybrid mattress available in four firmness levels. The balanced construction and multiple firmness options make the mattress a great choice for a wide variety of sleepers – especially those seeking a combination of surface-level cushioning and strong overall support.

What It’s Made of

The four firmness levels of the WinkBed are medium soft (4), medium firm (6), firm (7), and firm (8). The mattress features a Euro-top padded with adaptive foam, which is infused with cooling gel intended to disperse body heat. High-density polyfoam beneath the top layer provides additional contouring and support. The base layer contains pocketed coils arranged in a zoned layout, ensuring extra reinforcement for the midsection and minimal sinkage along the perimeter. The entire mattress is encased in a Tencel cover.

Most WinkBed models share the same basic design, but they vary slightly to produce different firmness levels. Most notably, the medium soft model has an extra polyfoam layer to confer softness. The firmest model, known as the WinkBed Plus, is composed of polyfoam and latex layers on top and a zoned coil base on the bottom.

How It Performed

Edge support is one of the WinkBed’s key strengths due to the zoned coils. Temperature control is another highlight, thanks to the breathable Tencel cover and strong airflow throughout the coil support core. These features make the WinkBed a suitable option for couples.

During our tests, the medium firm WinkBed was one of the most versatile models. The mattress earned rave reviews from back and stomach sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds, as well as side sleepers weighing 130 to 230 pounds. Many testers attributed the mattress’ exceptional comfort to its mid-level firmness and ultra-supportive feel. The medium soft model was best suited for side and back sleepers up to 130 pounds, while the firmer models were most beneficial for back and stomach sleepers over 130 pounds.

WinkBed mattresses ship free to the contiguous U.S. Customers may purchase White Glove delivery and old mattress removal as well. The mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Simply put, the WinkBed is one of the most supportive and versatile mattresses we’ve tested. The zoned hybrid design kept my body on a perfectly even plane.”

Silk & Snow Mattress

Best Value

Silk & Snow Mattress

Silk & Snow Mattress
Price Range: $600 - $900
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds
  • Couples
  • Shoppers on a budget
Highlights:
  • Triple-foam design offers strong contouring to reduce pressure buildup
  • Memory foam layer has above-average density to prevent excessive sinkage
  • Cover is removable and machine washable
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Silk & Snow mattresses

The Silk & Snow Mattress is an all-foam bed that offers excellent contouring for sleepers who experience painful pressure buildup. The bed carries an attractive price-point given the quality of its materials, especially compared to other beds in similar price ranges.

What It’s Made of

The mattress features three layers of foam and has a medium (5) feel. It begins with a top layer of memory foam infused with a cooling gel. This foam has a higher density composition than some competing memory foam beds, which generates stronger support. The next layer is made of polyfoam that balances cushioning with support, while the bottom layer is dense and supportive to create a sturdy base for the bed. The removable and machine washable cover is made of a polyester and spandex fabric blend.

How It Performed

During performance tests, we found that the Silk & Snow’s foam layers excelled at relieving pressure buildup in areas like the shoulders, hips, and spine, which exert more pressure on the bed surface during sleep. The foam also absorbed a lot of motion, so our testers barely felt each other’s movements when sharing the bed. This is an asset for couples, especially if you wake easily when your sleep partner moves at night. The bed earned the highest marks from side sleepers who weighed up to 230 pounds, as well as back and stomach sleepers up to 130 pounds.

Silk & Snow offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. You can try out the bed for 100 nights and return it within this timeframe for a full refund. The mattress is also backed by a 15-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Silk & Snow Mattress offers the deep body hug you’d expect from an all-foam bed, but with a baseline level of support from high-density foam layers. It’s a great fit for most side sleepers who need contouring but don’t want to feel swallowed by their mattress.”

Best Luxury

Saatva Classic

Saatva Classic
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial length: 365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who prefer very responsive mattresses
  • Those who need help setting up the bed
  • People who run hot at night
Highlights:
  • Three firmness options
  • Coil-on-coil design allows ample airflow and cooling
  • Free White Glove delivery
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Buy more, save more. Up to $500 off.

The Saatva Classic is a luxury innerspring model featuring a dual coil design and multiple customization options. Customers have the option to pick between two mattress heights, with no difference in feel.

What It’s Made of

Sleepers can choose between three firmness levels: soft (3), medium firm (6), and firm (8). All three models have a Euro-top followed by two thin layers of polyfoam and memory foam, which provide some cushion as well as lumbar support. A transitional layer of individually pocketed minicoils provides extra support while creating minimal motion transfer. Below, the hourglass coil support core has a foam encasement reinforcing the perimeter, helping provide support right up to the edge of the bed. The entire mattress is wrapped in a tufted organic cotton cover with a natural thistle fire retardant.

How It Performed

The dual coil system provides excellent relief for sleepers who experience pressure buildup at night. Side sleepers in particular will benefit from the mattress since this position tends to put pressure on the shoulders and hips. The mattress may also appeal to people who run hot during sleep. The top layer of coils is situated close to the sleeper, so this layer goes a long way toward promoting airflow and helping maintain a cool sleep surface.

Saatva offers a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. Orders in the contiguous U.S. include free White Glove delivery and old mattress removal.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Saatva’s balanced feel earned rave reviews across the board. Plenty of support and a nice bounce on the surface, but more cushioning and pressure relief than most traditional innersprings.”

DreamCloud Mattress

Most Comfortable

DreamCloud Mattress

DreamCloud Mattress
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Couples
  • People with painful pressure buildup
Highlights:
  • Thick foam layers offer excellent motion isolation
  • Plush surface cushions sensitive pressure points
  • 365-night sleep trial
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

$799 special offer! $200 off mattresses + $599 in premium accessories included

The DreamCloud Mattress is a hybrid model with a thick comfort system that excels in plush comfort. While some beds sacrifice support for soft cushioning, this model manages to offer the best of both worlds.

What It’s Made of

The DreamCloud has a cashmere blend cover that feels soft against the skin. The cover is quilted with foam to create an exceptionally plush surface. The cushioning is further enhanced by a layer of memory foam beneath, which conforms closely to the body. A transitional layer of polyfoam offers additional contouring but is firmer than the comfort layers to prevent you from sinking too deep into the bed. A support core made of pocketed coils is zoned to offer enhanced support and pressure relief to different areas of the body.

How It Performed

With a medium firm (6) feel, the DreamCloud should be comfortable to people with different sleep positions and body types. Side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds may receive the most benefit, offering just the right amount of contouring and support to relieve pressure on the shoulders and hips while also supporting the lower back. The bed is also a great option for anyone who enjoys the strong motion isolation and pressure relief of foam surfaces but without the excessive “body hug” that foam is known for. The coil system provides ample support and responsiveness to balance out the plush comfort layers.

The DreamCloud Mattress comes with a generous 365-night sleep trial and free returns. Those who keep the mattress after this period will also receive a lifetime warranty on the bed. Shipping to the contiguous U.S. is free.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Between the thick foam comfort layers and the cashmere blend cover, the DreamCloud feels incredibly comfortable to lie on. And the coils ensure that you won’t sink uncomfortably deep.”

Nectar Premier Copper

Best for Couples

Nectar Premier Copper

Nectar Premier Copper
Price Range: $1,199 - $2,498
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • Couples
  • Sleepers with painful pressure points
  • Side sleepers
Highlights:
  • Thick memory foam comfort layer absorbs movement
  • All-foam construction cradles the body to reduce pressure buildup
  • Cooling features help offset heat retention
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

$699 SPECIAL OFFER! $200 Off + $499 in Accessories Included!

The Nectar Premier Copper is an all-foam mattress that caters to sleepers who enjoy the feel of foam but overheat on traditional foam beds. We found this model is also well suited for anyone who needs a mattress to minimize sleep disruptions from a co-sleeper’s movements at night.

What It’s Made of

The mattress has a medium firm (6) feel and begins with a quilted cover infused with copper fibers meant to reduce heat buildup. Beneath is a thick layer of contouring memory foam containing phase change material, which is engineered to regulate heat retention in response to your body’s changing temperature. Next is a thin polyfoam layer that balances contouring and support, followed by a thick base layer of high-density foam for durability and stability.

How It Performed

Our testers found that the Nectar Premier Copper excelled at pressure relief tests, providing ample cushioning for sharp pressure points like your shoulders and hips. Another area where this mattress earned high marks was motion isolation. The thick memory foam layer efficiently absorbs movement, preventing it from rippling across the surface. This bed felt most comfortable for the side sleepers on our team, but it also performed well for back sleepers who weighed up to 230 pounds.

You have 365 nights to try out the mattress at home, and the mattress comes with a lifetime warranty. Shipping is free to addresses in the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Nectar Premier Copper starts with a nice thick layer of memory foam, so it did a great job of cushioning our bodies and minimizing the amount of movement we felt when sharing the bed.”

Helix Midnight

Best for Side Sleepers

Helix Midnight

Helix Midnight
Price Range: $799 - $1,549
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Shoppers looking for a bed that balances cushioning and support
  • Side sleepers and others with sharp pressure points
  • Value seekers
Highlights:
  • Foam comfort system offers above-average conforming and pressure relief
  • Proprietary Memory Plus Foam has more bounce than traditional memory foam
  • Reinforced support core provides good edge support for easy movement
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get up to $350 off + 2 free Dream Pillows

The Helix Midnight is a hybrid mattress with a responsive feel and a well-cushioned foam surface. This design benefits side sleepers who need a bed that supports the body but also cradles areas with pressure buildup.

What It’s Made of

The comfort system in the Helix Midnight is made of two foam layers. The top layer is Memory Plus Foam, a proprietary memory foam that cradles the body to support the spine and reduce pressure but also offers more bounce and retains less heat than traditional viscoelastic foam. This springiness is complemented by an underlying layer of transition polyfoam that fortifies the comfort system against an excess amount of sinking or sagging. The support core is made with individually wrapped coils that are strengthened around the edge.

How It Performed

The Helix Midnight has a medium firm (6) feel that should feel comfortable for a broad swath of sleepers. With ample contouring from the Memory Plus Foam, this model is excellent for most side and back sleepers, especially those between 130 and 230 pounds. The contouring cushions the shoulders, hips, and spine while the coil system amps up responsiveness to support the lumbar region. The responsive surface also makes it easy to change positions and move on the mattress.

At an accessible price-point, the Helix Midnight is a solid choice for people who want a quality bed but are working with a tight budget. For those with a bit more to spend, the Helix Midnight Luxe adds another layer of memory foam, plus an enhanced coil core with a zoned support system.

After delivery, customers have 100 nights to try out the Helix Midnight with the option to return it for a full refund. A 10-year warranty protects against mattress defects.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Some beds with strong pressure relief tend to lack support, but that’s not the case with the Helix Midnight. The side sleepers on our team enjoyed a very even balance of support and cushioning on this bed.”

Nolah Evolution 15

Best for Spinal Alignment

Nolah Evolution 15

Nolah Evolution 15
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who experience pressure points
  • Shoppers looking for a choice between firmness levels
Highlights:
  • Available in three firmness levels
  • Proprietary cooling foam and ample airflow through coils provide excellent temperature control
  • Zoned coil system with perimeter reinforcement offers strong support
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get an additional $30 off the Nolah Evolution Mattress for total savings of $730 with code: SF730OFF

The Nolah Evolution 15 is a pressure-relieving hybrid mattress that’s available in three firmness levels. You can choose between medium (5), medium firm (6), and firm (8) options, which Nolah has named Plush, Luxury Firm, and Firm, respectively. While materials and specifications vary a bit between models, all three feature several cooling features and a foam comfort system that hugs pressure-prone areas.

What It’s Made of

The support core is built from pocketed coils that are zoned and reinforced at the edges. A layer of polyfoam rests above the core and prevents sleepers from sinking too deeply into the mattress, even when using the softest model. Proprietary graphite-infused polyfoam called AirFoamICE gently cradles your body and helps draw excess heat away from you while you sleep.

How It Performed

Each model features a quilted Euro-top that cushions without affecting the support level. In addition to the AirFoamICE, the Evolution 15 includes a heat escape gusset, thermal conductive fabric, and a layer of wool and cotton that are all included to help regulate temperature. A carrying handle and non-skid base allow for easy use. The zoned coil layer provides more robust support around your lower back and midsection while allowing more give beneath your shoulders and legs.

Nolah provides a 120-night sleep trial as well as a lifetime warranty, though you can opt out of the free trial for added savings. Free shipping is available to shoppers in the contiguous U.S. and you can choose to add old mattress removal and set up at checkout.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“We noticed a distinct feel on the Evolution 15 that you won’t find with most hybrids containing memory foam. The AirFoamICE contours to the body, but without a close hug or deep sinkage. I preferred the mid-level firmness.”

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe

Best Cooling

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Custom Sizes
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Sleepers who enjoy beds with a plush feel
  • People with painful pressure points
Highlights:
  • Three firmness options
  • Thick foam comfort layers offer generous pressure relief
  • Phase change material helps maintain cool surface
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Save 20% on a Brooklyn Bedding mattress with this code: sleepfoundation20

The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe is a hybrid model available in three different firmness levels. Across all firmness options, the mattress is designed with cooling features that should keep the bed at a comfortable, cool temperature for hot sleepers.

What It’s Made of

Shoppers can choose between a medium soft (4), medium firm (6), and firm (7) version of the mattress. All models begin with a top layer of proprietary CopperFlex foam, which conforms to the body and provides targeted relief to areas of the body that need it most. This is followed by a TitanFlex foam layer, which balances additional contouring with a slightly bouncy feel. The medium soft and medium firm options then feature a 1-inch layer of memory foam, which enhances pressure relief, while the firm model uses a layer of VariFlex to give the bed a firmer feel.

Underneath the comfort layers is a sturdy coil system zoned to offer stronger support to the lower back while relieving pressure in areas like the shoulders and hips. The cover is composed of a soft fabric infused with TitanCool, a phase change material (PCM) designed to keep the bed surface cool.

How It Performed

Given its thick foam comfort system, the Aurora Luxe excels at relieving pressure in areas that are prone to painful pressure buildup at night. During tests, the two softer models earned especially high marks from back and side sleepers under 130 pounds. Side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds also found these firmness levels comfortable, thanks to the even mix of cushioning for the shoulders and hips and support for the lower back. The firm model appealed most to back and stomach sleepers who weigh over 130 pounds. Hot sleepers found the bed very comfortable, thanks to air circulation through the coils and PCM in the cover.

Customers receive a 120-night sleep trial with their purchase, and Brooklyn Bedding offers a 10-year warranty with the mattress. The bed ships free within the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Usually beds with thick comfort layers retain a fair amount of heat, due to the close hug around the body. But the Aurora Luxe managed to stay cool during tests.”

Bear Elite Hybrid

Best for Back Pain

Bear Elite Hybrid

Bear Elite Hybrid
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night break-in period)
Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who experience painful pressure buildup at night
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Thick foam layers cradle sensitive pressure points
  • Available in three firmness options
  • Cover is infused with cooling materials to prevent overheating on surface
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

30% off sitewide, plus 2 free Cloud Pillows with mattress purchase

Not all hybrid beds excel at pressure relief, but the Bear Elite Hybrid stood out to our test team as an ideal option for sleepers who seek relief for painful joints. The bed is available in three firmness options, and all three feature thick foam layers that cradle your body closely to relieve pressure in sensitive areas.

What It’s Made of

The mattress begins with a quilted cover that felt very plush when our testers lied on the bed. Beneath is a memory foam layer that further enhances the conforming feel. Next is a polyfoam layer that is zoned to provide extra support to areas like the lower back and greater pressure relief to sharp pressure points like the hips and shoulders. A pocketed coil core provides sturdy support but also responds to the body to alleviate pressure buildup. The cover is infused with phase change material (PCM) and Celliant fiber, both of which are meant to keep the temperature comfortable.

How It Performed

Shoppers can pick between a medium (5), medium firm (6), and firm (8) version of the Bear Elite Hybrid. The medium and medium firm models excel at pressure relief for side and back sleepers up to 230 pounds, due to the plushness of the surface. The firm model earned the highest marks from back and stomach sleepers on our team, since these sleep positions require a firm, even surface to prevent the midsection from sinking. The thick foam layers also excel at keeping motion transfer to a minimum, so co-sleepers who are frequently woken up by restless partners should experience fewer sleep disruptions at night.

Bear offers customers 120 nights to try out the mattress, during which they may return the bed for a full refund. The mattress comes with a lifetime warranty, and shipping is free to addresses in the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The plush foam surface in the Bear Elite Hybrid stood out to our testers for its generous pressure relief. Our testers appreciated that the well-cushioned surface didn’t compromise the strong support.”

Titan Plus Luxe

Best for Heavy Sleepers

Titan Plus Luxe

Titan Plus Luxe
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split California King
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers over 130 pounds
  • Those seeking a bed that balances excellent support with cushioning
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Foam layers provide strong pressure relief while TitanCaliber coils excel at support
  • Airflow through coils enhances cooling
  • Sturdy perimeter offers strong edge support
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Brooklyn Bedding mattresses

Many mattresses that cater to heavy sleepers end up sacrificing some cushioning for support, but the Titan Plus Luxe from Brooklyn Bedding is a notable exception. This hybrid model has a foam and coil design that cushions your body while still offering plenty of sturdiness to keep you well supported.

What It’s Made of

The surface of the mattress is quilted with an inch of memory foam infused with a cooling gel. This is followed by a thicker layer of TitanFlex foam, which contours to the body but less so than the memory foam. Beneath is a transition layer made of Energex foam with a firmer feel, followed by a thick layer of TitanCaliber coils that generate strong support. For an additional fee, you can add a GlacioTex Cooling Cover. This is made with phase change material that helps keep the surface cool.

How It Performed

With an overall medium firm (6) feel, the Titan Plus Luxe felt very supportive during our tests, while still offering pressure relief for areas like the shoulders and hips. If you need a lot of support but have a co-sleeper who favors strong pressure relief, this is a nice happy medium. This design felt comfortable for a wide range of testers on our team, though it was most comfortable for side sleepers who weighed over 230 pounds and back sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds.

Strong coils reinforce the bed’s perimeter, so we found the edges didn’t sag much when we sat on them. Airflow through the coils helps reduce heat retention, so hot sleepers shouldn’t overheat excessively. If you’d like to ensure a cooler surface, you can always purchase the cooling panel.

The Titan Plus Luxe ships for free and comes with a 120-night sleep trial. The mattress is also backed by a 10-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“It’s hard to find a mattress that’s supportive and also well-cushioned, but the Titan Plus Luxe checks off both boxes. Our testers gave this bed high marks for feeling extra sturdy without sacrificing comfort.”

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team at Sleep Foundation relies on rigorous hands-on evaluations as well as years of experience in the sleep product industry. We understand that mattress comfort is largely dependent on individual needs and preferences, so our team includes all sleeping positions with different body types. This way, we can be inclusive of as many sleepers as possible in our California king mattress picks.

How We Evaluated These Mattresses

To find the best California king beds, we performed various tests using special tools to measure pressure relief, temperature neutrality, and motion isolation. Our testers also sit, lie down, and move around on the mattress surface to evaluate firmness, support, and edge support. The top performers in our tests are reflected in the list of picks above.

If you’re interested in learning more about our evaluation criteria, read our product research methodology below:

  • Motion Isolation: Motion isolation refers to how well a mattress’ materials absorb and reduce motion transfer across the surface. Mattresses with high marks in this category are most beneficial for couples and other co-sleepers.
  • Temperature Control: Temperature neutrality is most important for hot sleepers and those living in warmer climates. Many mattresses use breathable materials that circulate more air, like coil support cores, latex, and cotton to combat overheating
  • Pressure Relief: Mattresses can reduce pressure buildup in a sleeper’s joints using thicker comfort layers to cradle pressure points. Comfort layers made from foam and latex tend to perform well in this category.
  • Off-Gassing: Off-gassing refers to odors from volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions or other material smells. These odors usually release after a new mattress is unboxed, but they are temporary and relatively harmless.
  • Ease of Movement: Sleepers may prefer mattresses that allow them to change positions without restriction. Mattresses with more responsive materials like latex tend to facilitate more effortless movement throughout the night.
  • Edge Support: Edge support refers to the sturdiness of a mattress perimeter. Lack of reinforcement along the perimeter forces sleepers to lie closer to the center to avoid slipping.
  • Sex: Responsive mattresses made with latex comfort systems or coil support cores typically rank highly for sex. These components also circulate more air, making them a good option for couples who tend to overheat.
  • Body Weight: Body weight is crucial to determining your firmness and support needs, but sleeping position and general preferences are also important factors. Our picks based on body weight are subjective, so we encourage sleepers to test multiple firmness levels.

What are the Main Differences Between a King and a California King?


King and California king size beds differ in terms of their measurements and how much space they take up. California kings are a bit longer than standard kings, but they have less surface area overall. The two beds have the following measurements:

  • King: 76 inches x 80 inches
  • California king: 72 inches x 84 inches

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:

  • King: 42.22 square feet
  • California king: 42 square feet

Bedding is another factor to consider when choosing between a standard and California king. The standard king mattress is more common, so there are more bedding options for that size and it’s likely easier to find low-cost bedding.


What to Look For in a Mattress

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.

  • Price: Most mattress companies offer king and California king sizes at the same price, so mattress cost isn’t usually a differentiating factor between those two sizes. Mattress prices often differ based on the quality of materials used. Although prices are similar between king and California king mattresses, note that bed frames, sheets, mattress protectors, and other bedding may cost slightly more for California king sizes.
  • Sleeping Position: Your preferred sleep position influences which mattress is best for you. People who sleep on their backs might prefer firmer mattresses that offer adequate lumbar support. Side sleepers often need softer mattresses so they don’t develop pressure points in their shoulder and hip areas. Bodyweight also factors in, with heavier folks needing firmer mattresses.
  • Mattress Type: Mattresses come in multiple constructions: innerspring, all-foam, hybrid, latex, and airbed. Each mattress type has its own feel. Innerspring and latex mattresses tend to be bouncy, while hybrid and foam beds are more conforming. Of course, there is also quite a bit of variation within each mattress type.
  • Contouring: Contouring is the degree to which a mattress conforms to or cradles weight placed on top of it. Memory foam is the mattress material known for providing the most contouring. Memory foam can “hug” the body, providing a sensation that many sleepers enjoy. Contouring mattresses tend to cushion the body well and relieve pressure. All-foam mattresses and hybrid mattresses with memory foam are most contouring.
  • Quality Materials: Each mattress material, from steel coils to memory foam, comes in a range of quality levels. Often, but not always, higher-quality materials come with a higher price tag. When it comes to memory foam and polyfoam, higher density is generally higher quality. In the world of latex, typically the more natural the product, the higher the quality.
  • Firmness Level: The mattress firmness scale ranges from 1 to 10 and provides a standardized measurement according to which the firmness of different mattresses can be compared. Most mattresses fall between 3 and 8 in terms of firmness, while most sleepers prefer mattresses in the 4 to 6 range.
  • Edge Support: Edge support refers to how firm the edges of a mattress remain when weight is put on them. When a mattress has strong edge support, sleepers can use the full surface of the bed without fear of rolling off due to buckled edges. Innerspring mattresses are known for superior edge support.
Tester uses a weight to test edge support on the GhostBed Classic

Tester uses a weight to test edge support.

  • Temperature Neutrality: When a mattress is truly temperature neutral, it doesn’t cause a person to feel too hot or cold throughout the night. Sleeping hot is a problem many people face. Foams and other materials that contour closely also tend to trap heat. There are many efforts manufacturers make to counteract this and achieve temperature neutrality.
  • Noise: Some mattresses, particularly those with innersprings, can make noise when weight is put on them or movement occurs. Individually-encased pocketed coils are generally quieter than innersprings, which can squeak. All-foam mattresses tend to be the quietest of all and are virtually silent.

Types of Mattresses

There are five 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.

Hybrid

Definition: Hybrid mattresses are an attempt to combine the best characteristics of different mattress types into 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.

Innerspring

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.

Latex

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.

Airbed

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.

Foam

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.


Last Things to Consider When You’re Buying a California King

  • Bed Frame: Since California king mattresses are less common, bed frames might be harder to find. For simplicity, you could purchase a mattress from a manufacturer that also sells bed frames.
  • Sheets and Bedding: California king size sheets and bedding are less common than standard king size sheets and bedding. As a result, you may have to do more searching and deal with having fewer bedding options.
  • Doorways and Room Size: California king mattresses run 4 inches longer length-wise and 4 inches shorter width-wise than standard kings. Anyone interested in buying a California king should take this into consideration when measuring their spaces, because it could make the mattress easier or more difficult to install.
  • Mattress Weight and Setup: California king and standard king mattresses have nearly identical weights, though California kings might weigh slightly less since they are slightly smaller in terms of square footage. Both mattress setup processes are generally identical. White Glove delivery services include in-home assembly, which may be worth it if you need assistance setting up a larger mattress.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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About Our Editorial Team

author
Austin Meadows

Sleep Product Tester

Austin is a professional writer and researcher who has covered sleep science and sleep products for over a decade.