Buying Guide - Shopping for the Best California King Mattress
A California king size is longer than the standard king size, but not as wide. A king size typically measures 76 inches by 80 inches, while a California king measures 72 inches by 84 inches. As a result, the California king has slightly less surface area overall.
The extra length of the California king makes it particularly suitable for those who are over 6 feet tall. Couples may prefer the standard king size for additional width.
What to Look For In A California King Mattress
With all the different options available, it can be overwhelming to find the right one for your specific needs.
To do so, it’s important to look past a company’s marketing techniques and pay attention to certain aspects of the mattress’ construction instead, including its firmness level. The firmness of a mattress often determines how suitable it is for your body weight and sleep position.
For side sleepers and those who struggle with aches and pains, a mattress that relieves pressure can be beneficial. Along with firmness and pressure relief, you’ll also want to pay attention to temperature regulation and edge support, among other factors.
- Price: When shopping for a California king mattress, your first impulse may be to compare prices. While price is certainly an important factor when choosing a new mattress, it should be considered in addition to durability, performance, and firmness. A mattress that costs more isn’t necessarily of a higher quality. It also may not be the right mattress for your body type, sleep position, or comfort preferences. California king mattresses tend to be the same price as the standard king, or slightly more expensive, depending on the brand.
- Sleeping Position: Your preferred sleep position will affect which firmness level is most suitable. While side sleepers tend to need a slightly softer sleep surface that cushions the shoulders and hips, stomach sleepers often prefer a firmer mattress. Body weight and sleep position should both be considered when selecting a mattress.
- Mattress Type: Mattresses typically fall into one of five categories: foam, latex, hybrid, innerspring, or airbed. Each of these mattress types has unique properties that will appeal to different types of sleepers. Those who prefer a conforming mattress may want to consider a foam model, while hot sleepers tend to prefer latex and hybrid models. Those who want adjustability may find an airbed to be the most suitable.
- Firmness Level: Firmness levels range from extremely soft to extremely firm, or 1 to 10 on the mattress firmness scale. Most mattresses rate between medium soft (4) and firm (7), though shoppers can find options outside of this range. The ideal firmness for each shopper will depend on their body weight, sleep position, and preferences. While side sleepers often benefit from a medium to medium firm mattress, stomach and back sleepers tend to prefer firmer options.
- Pressure Relief: Pressure relief refers to how well a mattress cushions each part of the body. This helps prevent pressure points from developing. Those who maintain active lifestyles or have chronic pain should pay particularly close attention to how well a mattress conforms to the shape of the body. While latex and hybrid mattresses can provide moderate contouring and pressure relief, foam mattresses may offer a higher degree of contouring.
- Edge Support: Edge support indicates how well the perimeter of the mattress holds up to pressure. This becomes relevant when sitting on the edge of the bed or when looking to maximize the amount of usable surface area. Hybrid mattresses tend to have sturdy edge support, and a reinforced coil base helps prevent sagging. Foam is more likely to compress easily, which can result in the feeling of rolling off the edge of the bed.
- Temperature Neutrality: A temperature neutral mattress can help prevent the discomfort of overheating by promoting airflow and wicking away moisture. How well a mattress dissipates body heat relies on a few different factors, including the materials used, the mattress type, and the sleeper’s body weight. Latex and hybrid models tend to be more breathable than all-foam mattresses.
What Else to Consider
Bed Frame: Due to the dimensions of a California king mattress, it’s important to find a compatible bed frame. A standard king size bed frame will not accommodate the additional length. As California king mattresses are not as popular as queen and king sizes, availability may be limited. California king bed frames may also be more expensive.
Sheets and Bedding: A California king mattress will require sheets that accommodate its dimensions. This is particularly important with fitted sheets. Depending on the thickness of the mattress, deep pocket fitted sheets may be required. It is important to double check product labels and dimensions before making a purchase.
Mattress Weight and Setup: California king mattresses tend to be heavy, which can make them difficult to move or adjust as needed. Many online mattress companies ship their mattresses compressed in a box, and the purchaser is responsible for setup. White Glove delivery, which includes in-home delivery and setup, may be worth considering for heavier mattresses.
Manufacturer Warranties and Return Policy: Mattress companies typically offer a sleep trial and warranty for each mattress model, which is the same for each size of the mattress.