Best California King Mattress (2021): Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
A California king size mattress is an excellent upgrade from a queen size bed. California kings provide you and your sleeping partner with 36 inches of personal space. That’s almost the same width as a twin mattress. Plus, Cal king beds give you four extra inches of legroom—perfect for taller couples who want more space to stretch out.
In our article, we review some of the best California king size mattress models on the market today. If you’re looking for the best mattress, a Cal king could be the right fit.
Best California King Size Mattresses
|Amerisleep AS3||Breathable foam layers with long-lasting support.|
|Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid||A soft, responsive feel without feeling stuck.|
|Zoma Mattress||Gel memory foam with zoned technology for even support.|
|Vaya Mattress||High-quality foam layers at an affordable price.|
|Purple® Hybrid Premier||Gel-like comfort layer with air channels for optimal cooling.|
|Nolah Signature 12||Dual-sized construction with a soft and firm side.|
The AS3 is the most popular Amerisleep model because of its perfect medium firmness. Side and combination sleepers will enjoy the cushioning feel of memory foam under their shoulders and hips. You’ll also appreciate the even support of zoned technology found in the transition layer.
Bio-Pur® is a plant-based memory foam, more breathable and responsive than traditional memory foam. When you sleep on Bio-Pur®, there’s less risk of waking up with night sweats.
The Affinity transition foam incorporates HIVE® technology. In this special zoned support system, the areas under the head, back, and legs feel firmer, while areas under the shoulders and hips feel softer. This gives your body pressure relief, so you wake up with less aches and pains.
Bio-Core® is a long-lasting foam base designed to distribute weight across the surface. This way, wear and tear doesn’t happen as quickly, and you’re less likely to experience sagging.
You can try out the Amerisleep AS3 for 100 nights. If you don’t like the mattress after thoroughly trying it out, you can return it for a refund. The AS3 is also backed by a 20-year warranty—one of the best in the mattress industry.
- Eco-friendly, plant-based memory foam
- HIVE® technology for even support and enhanced pressure relief
- Responsive foam layers prevent you from feeling “stuck”
If you’re looking for a soft mattress, look no further than the Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid. As one of Amerisleep’s softest mattress models, the AS5 Hybrid is the perfect soft, supportive bed.
The AS5 has a top layer of plant-based Bio-Pur® foam, so you won’t have to worry about sinking too deeply into the mattress. You can rest easy without feeling stuck in the bed. Traditional memory foam may feel too soft and cause uncomfortable night sweats from the trapped heat. But because Bio-Pur® is more responsive, you can fully enjoy the conforming feel of memory foam without overheating.
The AS5 includes Active Flex, a super-soft, highly-responsive transition foam. Active Flex keeps you lifted and prevents you from feeling “stuck.”
Many soft mattress models may cause the sleeper to feel trapped, but not so with the AS5 Hybrid. Active Flex makes it easy to switch sleeping positions and climb in and out of bed.
The mattress is supported through a zoned coiled layer. Individually-wrapped coils provide enhanced support to your back and hips, with more give under your shoulders for better comfort.
You can try out the AS5 Hybrid for yourself with Amerisleep’s 100-night sleep trial. The mattress also comes with a 20-year warranty, protecting against sagging greater than 0.75 inches.
AMERISLEEP AS5 HYBRID
- Ultimate softness without sinking too deep
- Highly-responsive Active Flex adds more bounce to the surface
- Pressure-relieving plant-based memory foam
The Zoma Mattress is an excellent choice, especially for those with an active lifestyle. Cooling and responsive foams form to your body, relieving pressure points and dispersing heat. You can also rest easy sleeping on top of the mattress instead of feeling sucked in.
The medium-firm feel of the Zoma Mattress ensures you don’t sink too deep. Mattresses with a deep sink tend to trap heat and may disrupt your sleep with uncomfortable night sweats.
The comfort layer is gel memory foam with Triangulex™ technology. Gel memory foam absorbs and dissipates heat to regulate temperature. This form of cooling also pulls heat away from inflamed muscles from a hard workout and may improve muscle recovery.
Triangulex™ technology incorporates hundreds of triangular-shaped segments to form three zones of support—the surface will feel softer under your head, shoulders, and legs, and firmer under your back and hips.
The latex-like transition layer, Reactiv™, prevents the body from sinking too deeply. Reactiv™’s elasticity also makes it easier to switch sleeping positions.
Support+ is Zoma’s support layer. The durable foam is built to withstand constant wear and tear and can last for years, as reflected in its 10-year warranty. The Zoma Mattress is only available on the Zoma website, and every purchase comes with free shipping and a 100-night sleep trial.
- Gel memory foam reduces heat retention
- Triangulex™ technology promotes a healthy spine
- Easier to climb in and out of bed thanks to latex-like Reactiv™
For couples on a tight budget, the Vaya Mattress is the perfect option. You can score a California king size Vaya Mattress for under $1,000—most California king size models cost at least $1,500; not so with Vaya. You can enjoy a high-quality foam mattress without going over budget.
The Vaya Comfort Foam is a thick, 3-inch top layer that molds to your body without causing you to feel stuck. The responsive foam also makes it easier to climb in and out of bed.
The Vaya Support Foam is another layer we loved. It consistently supports your body without fear of sagging. The dependable support night after night will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
The Vaya Mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial. If you don’t love the bed, Vaya will pick it up and give you a full refund. A 10-year warranty also backs the mattress covering sagging greater than 0.75 inches.
- Cool and breathable without overheating
- Long-lasting foam layers at a budget-friendly price
- Responsive, medium-feel comfort makes it excellent for most sleeper types
The Purple® Hybrid Premier mattress has a unique elastic top layer called the Purple Grid™, as does every Purple® mattress. This layer cradles your body to relieve pressure points, especially in heavier sections of your body, like the shoulders and hips, where pressure builds up the most.
If you share your mattress with a partner, you’ll love how the Purple Grid™ automatically adjusts to individual sleeping positions and isolates motion. The adaptability of this grid makes the Purple® Hybrid Premier a perfect option for any type of sleeper.
The elastic comfort layer is set in a grid system, creating air channels to regulate body temperature. The open design of this comfort layer prevents heat from being trapped within the bed, so you’re less likely to wake up feeling hot and sweaty.
Instead of foam, Purple® uses pocketed coils as a support layer in their Hybrid Premier. These coils offer two significant benefits. One, they support your weight and relieve pressure points. Two, they isolate motion and offer extra edge support since they’re pocketed and encased in foam.
The Purple® Hybrid Premier comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. Potential customers can find the Purple® Hybrid Premier online and in-store.
PURPLE® HYBRID PREMIER
- Proprietary Purple Grid™ automatically adjusts to shifting weight
- Pocketed coils evenly support body weight
- Open-air channels reduce heat retention
The Nolah Signature 12 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a mattress with more versatility. This mattress has a dual-sided structure. You can enjoy both a soft and a firm side, all in one bed. Side sleepers will enjoy the soft side’s plushness, while back and stomach sleepers prefer the firm side for enhanced support. If one side isn’t comfortable, you can flip it to the other side.
In each of their mattresses, Nolah uses proprietary AirFoam™. AirFoam™ contains more air pockets than traditional memory foam. As a result, you and your partner can enjoy a cushier surface without fear of feeling stuck inside the bed.
The soft side of the Nolah 12 contains a thicker layer of AirFoam™. As a side and combination sleeper, you can enjoy the plush cushioning under your shoulders and hips. A high-resilience transition foam rests underneath the thick AirFoam™ to give the bed a responsive bounce, making movement easier on the softer surface compared to traditional memory foam where the material may cause deep sinkage.
The firm side has a thinner AirFoam™ layer. AirFoam™ rests directly on top of the foundation without extra cushioning transition layers. If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, the firmer feel keeps your body resting on top of the mattress and cradles the hips.
The foundation is high-density poly-foam so you can enjoy long-lasting support. The base layer provides stable support and reinforces the bed’s structure.
Nolah gives you 120 nights to try out the Nolah Signature 12 mattress. The bed also comes with a lifetime warranty.
NOLAH SIGNATURE 12
- Dual-sided construction
- Features AirFoam™ for optimal cushioning and pain relief
- Breathable foams regulate temperature and prevent night sweats
Why Choose a California King Mattress?
A California king size mattress is 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. Compared to a standard king size, a California king is longer and narrower, but it’s really not all that much of a size difference. California king beds don’t provide as much personal space as a king, but they make up for it with the four inches of extra length, especially if you or your sleep partner are over 6 feet tall.
If you are looking for a bed to accommodate two tall sleepers, you’ll enjoy the sleeping space a Cal king provides. These mattresses allow for 36 inches of room on either side of the bed, so you and your partner can enjoy your sleep area without feeling crowded. That said, if you aren’t taller and don’t need the extra legroom, you’ll probably prefer standard kings because they’re a hair wider.
How to Find the Best California King Mattress
Before committing to a potential mattress, consider mattress type and firmness level. Mattress type looks at how a mattress responds to your weight, whether it feels bouncy, like an innerspring, or conforming, like memory foam. Firmness level refers to how the mattress surface feels—soft, medium, or firm.
These factors can help you find the best California king size mattress. Also, look at the price tag. You don’t want to go over your budget for a bed that may not have the long-lasting quality you need.
Mattress type refers to the materials that make up a mattress. The four common mattress types include memory foam, latex, hybrid, and innerspring. If you like a bed with more bounce, an innerspring or hybrid are options you may enjoy. Memory foam and latex are excellent options if you’d rather have a mattress that didn’t bounce.
Memory foam mattresses soften under heat and pressure, causing the foam to conform to your body’s natural curves and relieve pressure points. Unlike other mattress materials, memory foam provides superior comfort by soothing aching muscles. You’re less likely to wake up feeling sore because memory foam reduces pressure in heavier sections of your body, like the shoulders and hips.
Another benefit of choosing a memory foam mattress is motion isolation. Memory foam restricts motion from sleep movement. If you or your partner toss and turn at night, you’re less likely to wake up from their movements. Not only will you not feel your shifting sleep partner, but you won’t hear them either because memory foam produces little to no noise.
Traditional memory foam may feel too soft and cause the body to sink too deeply, trapping heat. You might wake up at night from overheating. To fix this, mattress manufacturers add cooling materials, like plant oils, gel, copper, and graphite. These materials better regulate temperature by pulling heat away and may prevent night sweats.
Latex shares similar properties with memory foam—both conform to your body for pressure relief and isolate motion. Unlike memory foam, latex doesn’t conform as closely, meaning latex conforms around your body. This rounded contouring doesn’t trap heat, but also cushions the body. Latex also has a responsive bounce because it’s more elastic than memory foam. You may find it easier to switch sleeping positions on a latex mattress because latex is firmer and more responsive than memory foam.
Latex is a natural material extracted from rubber trees. It’s resistant to dust mites, bacteria, and other allergens. If you or your partner experiences allergies, a latex mattress is an excellent choice.
If you and your partner are looking for a California king mattress with both the contour of memory foam and the bounce of an innerspring, a hybrid mattress could be the perfect option.
Hybrids contain 2 inches of memory foam or latex in the comfort layer and a coiled base. The foam layer conforms to your body for pressure relief, while the innerspring coils give a responsive bounce. You can enjoy pressure relief and a responsive surface with a hybrid.
Keep in mind, hybrids are more expensive than other types of mattresses because they contain so many materials. Using more materials also adds weight to the mattress. As a result, hybrids can be bulky and difficult to move.
Innerspring mattresses are bouncier than other mattress types. They contain steel coils in the support layer, topped with a thin foam or fiberfill comfort layer. Innersprings are naturally cool because the open structure inside the mattress allows more airflow. Their responsive surface makes it easier to climb in and out of bed.
However, innerspring mattresses have little to no motion isolation, meaning you’ll be able to feel your sleep partner’s movements (and vice versa). Also, innersprings provide the least amount of pressure relief because they have a thin comforter layer—not a good choice for side sleepers who need the most cushioning in the shoulders and hips. Memory foam or latex mattresses are better options if you’re looking for a bed with optimal pressure relief, and a hybrid is a great option if you want both pressure relief and bounce.
When looking for a California king size mattress, it’s important to choose a bed based on firmness level, or how comfortable the mattress feels. Your ideal firmness level is based on your body type and preferred sleeping position.
Lightweight sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds will enjoy a soft to medium-soft mattress. This firmness is best for a lightweight sleeper because it allows their body to slightly sink for pressure relief. Firmer beds may feel too hard and create more pressure points.
In contrast, a plus-size sleeper who weighs more than 230 pounds won’t find a softer surface comfortable. Softer beds won’t provide enough support to a plus-size sleeper and may end up sagging. Instead, a comfortable mattress for plus-size sleepers is medium-firm to firm. This type of mattress offers plenty of comfort and support without sagging.
Average sleepers weigh between 130 to 230 pounds and find the best comfort in medium to medium-firm mattresses. The medium feel is the perfect balance between comfort and support.
How you sleep can determine the right firmness level. For example, you probably won’t want to purchase a firm mattress if you sleep on your side. The surface may feel too hard, and you could experience pain or numbness in your shoulders.
- Side Sleeping
Side sleepers place most of their weight on their shoulders and hips from lying on their side, causing pressure buildup in these areas—a softer surface relieves that pressure. A soft to medium mattress provides the soft, cushioning comfort side sleepers need for better sleep.
- Stomach Sleeping
Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, need a firmer surface. Softer mattresses can increase the already-intense pressure placed on the spine when lying on the stomach. When stomach sleepers sink too deeply into the bed, they may experience back pain from excessive pressure. Instead, choose a medium-firm to firm mattress. This firmness lifts the chest and reduces pressure on the spine.
- Back Sleeping
Back sleepers may feel less pressure because their bodies are resting in a neutral position. Medium to firm beds cradle their hips and give support to the lower back.
Firmer mattresses will also prevent the hips from sinking too deeply, which could misalign the spine.
- Combination Sleeping
Medium to medium-firm mattresses are best for combination sleepers. This surface supports your body, no matter which sleeping position you’re in, for consistent spinal alignment. Also, a Californian king is an excellent choice for combination sleepers because the large size gives you and your sleep partner more personal space. On a Cal king, you and your partner can comfortably switch sleeping positions without worrying about bumping into each other.
The cost for a California king size mattress ranges between $700 to $6,000. California king beds are one of the largest standard mattress sizes available and are more expensive than smaller mattress sizes. The price will also depend on the materials the mattress contains. For instance, natural materials, like latex, will cost more than memory foam. Latex foam is more durable than other materials.
Other Things to Consider
Before buying a California king mattress, you may want to consider your floor space and a potential mattress option’s warranty and sleep trial. You want to make sure you have room for a Cal king mattress, and ensure your new bed is covered at least ten years. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have time to try out a mattress brand and determine it’s right for you.
The standard bedroom size is 11 feet by 12 feet, but if you want a California king size bed, you’re going to need a larger room. Master bedrooms at least 13 feet by 13 feet are best for a California king. This floor space gives plenty of room for a California king bed frame and extra room for lamps and nightstands.
A cramped bedroom can cause undue stress that could affect sleep quality. Avoid this by measuring your bedroom first to see if a California king will fit. If the bedroom is smaller than the recommended room size, a queen mattress might be a better fit.
Warranty and Sleep Trial
Mattresses are an investment; that’s why new mattresses come with some type of warranty. Warranties protect the customer from having to replace a new bed because of defects or sagging. Most mattress companies offer a standard 10-year warranty, though other brands may offer longer warranties, up to 20 years.
If you’re not sure if a particular mattress is right, see what kind of sleep trial is included with the mattress. At most, you may only get a few minutes to try out a new bed in a showroom, which isn’t enough time to find out if a potential mattress is right for you. However, many mattress companies offer sleep trials—a set amount of days to try out a new bed.
Online mattress companies offer longer sleep trials than in-store brands, about 90 to 120 nights. When you shop online, you’re unable to try the mattress before buying, so companies will give you more time to test the bed at home. In-store brands only offer 30-day return policies, which may not seem like much; but keep in mind, it may take the body a few weeks to adjust to a new sleep surface.
Is there a bigger bed than a California king?
If a California king feels too small, then the Alaskan king might be the mattress for you. This giant mattress measures 108 inches by 108 inches—that’s a 9-foot by 9-foot bed! An Alaskan king size is an excellent option if you have a large family and regularly co-sleep with your children.
It’s not a standard size, so you may not see an Alaskan king in a showroom, but you can find this mattress size online. Be aware that you’ll have to have a bed frame and mattress foundation custom-made if you want an Alaskan king mattress.
Which size is better for couples? King or California king?
Both king and California king mattresses are excellent options for couples. Both provide lots of room to spread out without disturbing your sleep partner. For taller couples, a California king might be better. Cal kings give more legroom, something that individuals taller than 6 feet will appreciate.
Is a California king size larger than a king?
California king mattresses are actually slightly smaller than king beds. A California king bed has a surface area of 6,048 square feet compared to the 6,080 square feet of a king. Cal king beds provide more legroom—an excellent option for tall couples.
What size bed do most couples have?
Most couples have either a queen or king mattress. Both beds give couples sufficient personal space. However, if couples have floor space, they may prefer the king size. King size mattresses offer the most personal space—38 inches, the same size as a twin bed.
Is a full size bed too small for couples?
Full size beds are only 54 inches wide—that’s 27 inches of personal space. They used to be the mattress of choice for couples in the 40s and 50s until the queen mattress rose in popularity in 1960. Today, full size beds are better for teenagers and single adults.
Have You Found Your Mattress?
California king size mattresses are the perfect solution if you’re looking to upgrade to a bigger bed. They give couples more sleeping space without the risk of bumping into each other. Cal king mattresses are nice additions to large master bedrooms, but may not fit rooms smaller than 13 feet by 13 feet. If you’re looking for a luxury mattress, a California king size is the best option.