Best Califoria King Mattresses

Updated February 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
65 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best California king mattresses

A California king mattress provides ample space, whether you like to stretch out in bed or you have an array of kids or pets crawling in with you at night. The extra length of a California king mattress makes it perfect for tall people, folks whose pets like to curl up at the end of the bed, and anyone who sleeps with such a huge display of pillows that their head rests about a foot above the bed. 

As with mattresses of any size, one of the prime factors to consider is what type of mattress you'd prefer. Common options include innerspring, memory foam, latex foam, and gel foam mattresses. All have different properties, so it's important to pick the right one for you. Other factors to consider include mattress firmness, depth, and motion isolation. 

This guide is full of hints, tips, and useful information to help you find your perfect California king mattress. When you're ready to buy, check out our top five options.

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Even if you're of average height, you might prefer a California king mattress to allow extra room at the end of the bed for pets to sleep.

Key considerations

Mattress type

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses have a supportive layer of springs topped with layers of soft material (wool, cotton, or even thin layers of foam) for comfort. Innerspring mattresses have a bounce to them that you won't find with any type of foam mattress. The trouble is that they can sag over time. High-quality options can be expensive, and low-quality options can be uncomfortable.

Memory foam

Memory foam is a special type of synthetic foam that adapts to the contours of your body as it warms up from your body heat. This makes it comfortable and supportive while avoiding pressure points at the joints. Some people love the sensation of sinking into a mattress, whereas others don't care for it. Notably, memory foam can make for “hot” sleeping. As with innerspring mattresses, the best memory foam mattresses are expensive, whereas cheap options can be thin and uncomfortable. However, there are some excellent mid-range options.

Gel foam

Gel foam shares many properties with memory foam, but it's infused with gel for cooler sleeping. If you love memory foam but it makes you feel too hot at night, gel foam is an option to consider.

Latex foam

Latex foam is made from natural latex rubber. Comfortable and supportive, it's ideal for anyone who prefers to sleep on a mattress made of natural materials. What’s more, because it’s breathable, it won’t make you overheat.

Firmness

Mattress firmness may seem like a simple concept. On the surface, you could say that soft mattresses feel the softest and firm mattresses feel the firmest. Some people believe that soft mattresses provide less support while firm mattresses provide more support. While this is correct to a degree, it's a little more complex than that. 

The firmness of a mattress can be better described as tension: soft mattresses have less surface tension than firm mattresses. This results in mattresses having a different feel and level of support based on the sleeper's body weight. For example, a soft mattress might feel comfortably plush and perfectly supportive for an individual who weighs 100 pounds, but the same mattress would feel too soft and inadequately supportive for an individual who weighs 150 pounds. For most people, somewhere around the medium to medium-firm range provides the best balance of comfort and support.

If you tend to feel hot at night, a standard memory foam mattress isn't your best bet — gel, latex, or innerspring options are better.

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Features

Size

California king mattresses measure 72 inches wide and 84 inches long. This is narrower but longer than the standard king mattress, which measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. This makes it ideal for tall individuals who find the 80-inch length of queen and king mattresses just a little too short. 

With a California king mattress, you're unlikely to notice the 4-inch difference in width from a king mattress. A couple sharing a bed will get exactly three feet of bed space each, which is more than enough for most.

Motion isolation

Mattresses with motion isolation have features that prevent ripples of movement caused by one person from disturbing the other. This is ideal for couples in which one or both people tend to toss, turn, or awaken frequently.

One-sided

Many modern mattresses are one-sided, meaning the top and bottom aren't the same. Only the top is designed for sleep. You don't need to flip the mattress, but it may need to be replaced sooner since there aren't two sides to share the wear.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Both memory foam and latex mattresses are naturally antimicrobial and therefore better for those with allergies.
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California king mattress prices

Inexpensive: Basic California king mattresses cost roughly $200 to $500. Options in this price range generally aren't of the highest quality and are unlikely to stand the test of time. 

Mid-priced: You can find some decent mid-range California king mattresses for between $500 and $1,000. Most buyers are able to find something in this price range that suits their fancy for materials and firmness.

Expensive: Top-end offerings cost from $1,000 to $2,500. These are made with the most innovative materials and construction methods and should be durable enough to last close to a decade.

Some California king mattresses are compatible with adjustable beds, but they may be split in the middle to allow each side of the mattress to be adjusted independently.

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Tips

  • A California king mattress won't fit on any other bed frame, even if the frame is wider than the mattress. That’s because a California king mattress is 4 inches longer than other mattresses. If you're switching to a California king from a different mattress size, you'll need to replace your bed frame as well. 
  • The majority of California king mattresses are somewhere between 8 and 12 inches deep. While depth isn't the most important factor in comfort, a too-thin mattress can leave you feeling the slats of your bed frame as you sleep. 
  • If you sleep with a partner, consider their needs, too. It's not ideal if you choose a mattress that you like but your partner hates.
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Foam mattresses usually consist of a range of layers of foam, the base layers of which offer support and the top layers of which offer comfort.

FAQ

Q. How do I choose the right mattress for my sleeping position?

A. Depending on your sleeping style, you may have specific requirements from your mattress. If you sleep in a range of positions, you'll just have to pick the mattress that keeps you most comfortable and supported most of the time. 

Side sleepers need a relatively soft mattress to let the hips and shoulders sink in and relieve pressure points. Somewhere between soft and medium is best for most side sleepers, but some prefer medium-firm.

Back sleepers tend to need firmer support, so a medium-firm to firm option is best. The mattress should support the lower back just right — if you can easily slide a hand between your lower back and the mattress, it may be too firm, but if your lower back is sinking into the mattress with no space at all between mattress and lower back, it may be too soft and inadequately supportive.

Stomach sleepers need head-to-toe support while maintaining the spine in a natural position. This is generally achieved by sleeping on a firm mattress and with a relatively flat pillow or no pillow at all. 

Q. What should I do if my new mattress isn't comfortable or to my liking?

A. Check whether your chosen California king mattress comes with a refund window or guarantee period. Many mattresses sold online have a money-back window in which you can return them for a full refund if you aren't satisfied, even if there's nothing technically wrong with the mattress. This refund window can last for as long at 100 nights and occasionally more, so you can allow yourself time to break your new mattress in. Be careful, however, as there may be some rules attached to the refund window. For instance, many manufacturers won't take a stained mattress back, so you should use a waterproof mattress protector during the guarantee period just in case you decide to send the mattress back.

Q. What's the best way to clean a mattress?

A. Mattresses aren't the easiest items to clean — you can't exactly stick them in a washer. Prevention is better than cure to avoid stains from sweat, spills, and so on. A quality mattress protector will help keep your mattress clean. However, you can also spot clean your mattress if stains occur, and some options have removable, washable covers. We also recommend vacuuming your mattress every few months to remove dust. Leave the sheets off for a few hours, and open the windows to air it out.

 

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