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Expert Shopper Bed & Bath

Best California king mattress

Which California king mattress is best?

Many people make the mistake of thinking the California king mattress is a much larger mattress than the standard king, but it actually has less surface area. 

The California king is narrower, but longer than the standard king mattress, so it caters to those who are taller. It’s still large enough for couples to share the bed, though it might be more difficult to make room for kids or pets.

There are a lot of great California king mattresses out there, but our top pick is the Saatva Classic Mattress.

What to know before you buy a California king mattress

How many people will be sleeping in the bed?

Mattresses come with different features depending on if it will be shared by more than one person. If you're a couple sharing a mattress, it's important to look for one with motion isolation, which is a feature that prevents movement ripples that could cause disturbance. This allows both people to move around without disturbing the other.

Do you have enough space in your room?

Measure ahead of time, because the size of a California king mattress can be deceiving. It’s 84 inches long by 72 inches wide. 

Do you have a bed frame that supports a California king mattress?

California King mattresses are 4 inches longer than any other mattresses and don't fit standard-length bed frames. If you're looking to upgrade to a California king, you'll also need to replace your current bed frame.

Keep in mind that you need to purchase other accessories for a California king as well, and if you’re interested in a mattress protector, take a look at the buying guide for best mattress protectors on BestReviews. 

What to look for in a quality California King Mattress

Mattress type

  • Memory foam: The layer of foam in these mattresses molds by your weight and body heat to fit your shape, providing you with extra support and comfort.
  • Gel foam: Gel foam is like memory foam, and it serves the same function, but uses gel beads that can distribute body heat better.
  • Innerspring: These are the older, traditional mattresses that rely on wires and springs to provide support. 
  • Latex foam: This material offers more elasticity than memory foam. It typically has a lighter feel, which can help if you suffer from back pain and other ailments.

Mattress firmness

There are three distinct types of firmness: soft, medium and firm, and mattresses. These are often graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest that allows you to sink into the mattress, and 10 allowing you to comfortably rest on top.

How much you can expect to spend on a California king mattress

California king mattresses can range from as low as $200 for bare-bones basics and go all the way up to $2,500 for top-of-the-line innovative mattresses. Less expensive mattresses tend to have limits in quality and won't last for many years, while top-end mattresses can last close to a decade. A mid-priced mattress between $500-$1,000 is often the best of both worlds in terms of quality and firmness.

California king mattress FAQ

How do I keep my mattress clean?

A. Prevention is the best way to keep your mattress clean, since it’s extremely difficult, if impossible, to launder. Investing in a high-quality mattress protector helps keep your mattress safe from spills, stains and sweat. It's also recommended that you vacuum your mattress and keep the sheets off for a few hours to remove the dust buildup and air it out.

What happens if I pick the wrong mattress? 

A. Many retailers have specific return policies that allow you to keep your mattress and try it out for a period of time. If you’re unsure of your purchase, and you want to keep your options open, first make sure the retailer has a return policy. Then check the duration, as it can vary significantly, but 90 days is the average amount of time.

What's the best California king mattress to buy?

Top California king mattress

Saatva Classic Mattress

What you need to know: With three firmness options, this luxury mattress can help support healthy spinal alignment through its patented spinal zone technology, and it comes with a pressure point relief pillow top. 

What you’ll love: Enjoy a cool and comfortable night’s sleep on a naturally breathable organic cotton and dual-coil design mattress that's durable and designed to increase airflow. The three firmness options allow maximum comfort for every sleeping style.

What you should consider: It has been noted that there are inconsistencies with shipment times. You should make sure to place an order slightly early to ensure that the mattress arrives when you need it.

Where to buy: Saatva

Top California king mattress for the money

Puffy Lux Mattress

What you need to know: Four layers of cooling technology foam make this mattress ideal for comfort, support and sleepers who find themselves hot at night.

What you’ll love: You can try this luxury mattress out for a 101-day trial, and it includes a limited lifetime warranty for those with fears of investing in a more expensive mattress. The hypoallergenic cover can help prevent dust buildup and reduce allergy triggers.

What you should consider: Customers who look for the support of a firm mattress were disappointed in the structure. However, there are alternative options from Puffy with additional support.

Where to buy: Puffy

Worth checking out

Birch by Helix Natural Mattress

What you need to know: This organic mattress comes with a cotton cover that increases airflow and keeps you cool throughout the night. 

What you’ll love: This is a great mattress for side sleepers, stomach sleepers and back sleepers alike, because of its hypoallergenic and organic materials. The warranty on this mattress is about 15 years longer than most.

What you should consider: Some customers have found it difficult to get used to the smell of the organic materials, but most of them feel that it fades after time. 

Where to buy: Birch by Helix


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Ryan Dempsey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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