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Alaskan King vs. California King: A Comprehensive Comparison

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 5 minutes
FAST FACTS
  • Size Matters: The Alaskan King bed outshines the California King with colossal dimensions of 108×108 inches, offering unparalleled space for a luxurious sleep experience.
  • Budget Considerations: While California King beds are more budget-friendly, ranging from $700 to $4,000, the Alaskan King’s opulence comes at a higher cost, typically between $2,000 and $7,000.
  • Room Compatibility: Opt for a California King if you have a spacious yet average-sized bedroom. However, if your space is vast and clutter-free, the Alaskan King takes center stage for ultimate comfort.
  • Sleeping Dynamics: Couples seeking closeness may prefer the California King, while the Alaskan King is tailor-made for families or those desiring a grand, co-sleeping haven.

When choosing the right mattress size for your bedroom, several options exist. The California King and Alaskan King are often compared among the larger sizes available. While both offer ample sleeping space, they differ in terms of dimensions, suitability for different room sizes, and overall comfort. This article will provide an in-depth analysis of the California King and Alaskan King beds, highlighting their similarities and differences and which might best fit your needs.

Understanding the California King Bed

The California King bed, or Cal King, is a favorite for those who prefer extra length and a slightly narrower width. With dimensions of 84 inches in length and 72 inches in width, it offers an additional 4 inches in length than a standard King bed. This is ideal for taller individuals who want to avoid their feet hanging over the mattress edge.

Pros of a California King Bed

  • Reasonably priced: The California King bed is often more affordable than larger oversized mattresses, making it accessible to many consumers.
  • Widely available: California King mattresses can be easily found at mattress dealerships, along with standard Queen and King beds, making them a convenient choice for shoppers.
  • Suitable for smaller bedrooms: The smaller size of the California King bed makes it easier to fit into bedrooms with limited space, accommodating couples without overwhelming the room.

Cons of a California King Bed

  • Limited space for larger families: While the California King bed can comfortably accommodate couples, it may not provide enough space for larger families who prefer co-sleeping.
  • Restricted width: The narrower width of the California King bed may not suit individuals who prefer more space to spread out while sleeping.

Exploring the Alaskan King Bed

The Alaskan King bed is the largest oversized mattress for those seeking the ultimate sleeping space. With dimensions of 108 inches in length and 108 inches in width, the Alaskan King bed provides ample space for couples, children, and even pets. It is a great option for individuals with large bedrooms and the desire to create a luxurious sleeping environment.

Pros of an Alaskan King Bed

  • Generous space for couples: The Alaskan King bed offers couples an abundance of personal space, allowing for a comfortable and undisturbed sleep.
  • Long-lasting enjoyment: Investing in an Alaskan King bed ensures you have enough space to accommodate your family’s changing needs for many years.
  • Ideal for co-sleeping: The size of the Alaskan King bed makes it perfect for families who want to share a bed with their children and pets.

Cons of an Alaskan King Bed

  • Limited suitability for smaller rooms: The large dimensions of the Alaskan King bed make it challenging to fit into most average-sized bedrooms, which may appear crowded and uncomfortable.
  • Higher cost: The Alaskan King bed, the largest and most luxurious option, comes with a higher price tag than other mattress sizes. In addition to the bed, extra expenses for accessories such as pillows and bedding may be incurred.

Key Differences Between California King and Alaskan King Beds

ParameterCalifornia KingAlaskan King
Length84 inches (7 feet)108 inches (9 feet)
Width72 inches (6 feet)108 inches (9 feet)
Surface Area6,048 sq inches11,664 sq inches
Price Range $1,500 - $2,500 $3,000 - $6,000
Best forSmall familiesLarge families
Minimum Room Size 12 feet x 12 feet 16 feet x 16 feet

When making a decision between a California King and an Alaskan King bed, there are several factors to consider. Let’s explore the main distinctions between these two mattress sizes.

Room Size

One of the most crucial considerations when choosing between a California King and an Alaskan King bed is the size of your bedroom. The California King bed, being a standard size, can fit into an average-sized room while still allowing for sufficient movement. On the other hand, the Alaskan King bed requires a clutter-free and spacious bedroom, with walls measuring 15-20 feet each. Attempting to fit an Alaskan King bed into a smaller room may result in a cramped and uncomfortable space.

Budget

Another important factor to consider is the cost of these larger mattresses. California King beds are generally more affordable compared to Alaskan King beds. The price of a California King mattress can range from $700 to $4,000 on average, while an Alaskan King mattress typically costs between $2,000 and $7,000. It’s essential to factor in the cost of accessories and delivery fees when budgeting for an oversized mattress.

Sleeping Partner

The number of individuals who will be sharing the bed is a crucial consideration. A California King bed offers ample space for two people and even a child or pet. It is particularly suitable for couples who have different sleeping habits and preferences. On the other hand, an Alaskan King bed is the ideal choice for families with more than two children or individuals who want to share the bed with their partner, children, and pets.

Height and Weight

The height and weight of the individuals using the bed should also be taken into account. California King beds are suitable for taller individuals requiring extra length to accommodate their height comfortably. They also work well for plus-sized sleepers who desire more space to spread out and enhance their sleep experience. Alaskan King beds, being even larger, are a great option for both tall and plus-sized individuals, providing ample room and support.

Ideal Sleeping Position

The preferred sleeping position and personal space preferences also play a role in choosing the right mattress. A California King bed is recommended for couples who enjoy sleeping closer together. The additional space reduces the chance of disturbance caused by one partner’s movement. On the other hand, an Alaskan King bed is favored by couples who prefer more personal space while still sharing a bed.

Where to Buy Oversized Mattresses

Finding oversized mattresses such as the Alaskan King, Wyoming King, and Texas King can be a challenge at traditional mattress stores. However, with thorough online research, it is possible to identify companies that specialize in creating these unique sizes. Some boutique bedding companies are willing to create custom oversized mattresses using different materials such as latex, memory foam, innerspring, or hybrid designs.

FAQs about Alaskan King vs. California King

What are the size differences between an Alaskan King and a California King bed?

An Alaskan King bed is greater than a California King. The Alaskan King measures approximately 108 inches by 108 inches, whereas a California King measures around 72 inches by 84 inches.

Which bed size is better for a larger room?

An Alaskan King bed requires a significantly larger room due to its massive dimensions, making it suitable for very spacious bedrooms or master suites. On the other hand, a California King bed fits well in most large bedrooms without overwhelming the space.

Are there specific sheets and bedding made for these sizes?

Yes, there are specialized sheets and bedding available for both Alaskan King and California King beds. However, due to the rarity of the Alaskan King size, finding suitable bedding might be more challenging compared to the more common California King size.

What are the typical uses or benefits of each bed size?

The Alaskan King bed is ideal for families or individuals who prefer an exceptionally large sleeping space, accommodating multiple people or pets comfortably. Conversely, the California King bed is suitable for tall individuals or couples who desire extra length but don’t need as much width as the Alaskan King provides.

Which bed size is more readily available for purchase?

California King beds are more readily accessible and can be easily found in stores or online, unlike the Alaskan King size, which is relatively uncommon and may necessitate custom orders from specialized retailers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both the California King and Alaskan King beds offer unique advantages and considerations. The California King bed provides extra length and is more suitable for smaller bedrooms, making it a practical choice for couples who want ample space without overwhelming their living space. On the other hand, the Alaskan King bed is the ultimate luxury option, with generous dimensions that can comfortably accommodate large families and provide a truly indulgent sleep experience.

Consider your room size, budget, sleeping partners, height, weight, and preferred sleeping position when deciding. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your preferences and requirements for a good night’s sleep.

Harrison Wall is Sleep Junkie’s business strategist and sleep analyst. He also authors posts on bedding and mattress accessories. Harrison regularly coordinates with new mattress companies and tests their products to determine what really helps you get better rest and have brighter mornings.

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