The King Size Bed:  A Comparison of Sizes and Help in Choosing Mattress
The King Size Bed: A Comparison of Sizes and Help in Choosing Mattress

The King size bed dimensions are 76” wide and 80” long whereas the “California” King is only 72” wide but 84” long.  The standard “King” is also referred to as the “Eastern King” as this is what the Europeans began to label it after they felt they wanted to compete with the mattress that had been built for celebrity mansions in California in the early 1960’s.  It was this era that the king size mattresses became popularized by the glitz, glamor and stardom of Los Angeles and of course, the mattress which was 4 inches longer yet 4 inches narrower became widely popularized as the “California” King.

The King size is a terrific bed for just about anyone especially if you are a larger person or enjoy some extra room on the bed while sleeping.  But for most, (approximately 80% of households), people will generally choose a “Queen” size mattress which is 60” wide by 80” long which as you can see, has the same length as the Eastern King but is a little over a foot narrower. This is in comparison to the “Full” or sometimes called a “Double” which is 53” wide and 75” long.  And finally, another very popular size, especially for children is the “Twin” which is 38” wide and 75” long.  The Twin can also be purchased as an “extra-long” (XL)  for the tall teen which is 5 inches longer totaling 80”.

If you are trying to choose which of the two King sizes to put in your bedroom, you need to think about three factors:  1) How tall are you and your spouse?   2) How much room do you like around you and do you enjoy a little space between you and your bed partner?  3)  Do you oftentimes have children or pets climb on the bed and require some additional space?

My feeling is that if you or your spouse are over 6 feet tall, you should definitely go with the California King as this will give you an additional 4 inches and once you place the king size sheets and king size comforters over your body, you will need to allow them to gently flow over your feet to be tucked in at the end of the bed.  I believe this is the most important factor of the three.

If you are under 6 feet tall and enjoy some extra space around you or simply like some “breathing room” between you and your spouse, you will probably enjoy the 4 inches of extra width of the standard (Eastern) King. The concept of having some extra space would also make perfect sense if you have children or pets that like to join you from time to time.  And finally, if you are not perfectly clear upon those three differentiating factors, I would consider the length and width of your room.  If you have a very long but slightly narrow room, the California King might be a better choice and if you have a wide yet shorter room, at least relative to where you would desire to place your bed, you may be happier going with a standard King.

There are numerous other factors besides choosing the size of the mattress and they should all be considered very intensely as this is one of the most important purchases you will be making.  You sleep a third of your life and you should know exactly the material as well as the type of support that is right for you.  If you log into my JUST SLEEP Beds, you will see that the upper layers are all plant based, ecofriendly and certified to be non-toxic.  I also offer not only all five sizes of mattress sizes noted above but also have three different firmness’ which if very important to the perfect nights rest.

Wishing you many nights of incredible sleep!

Dr Raymond Hall, DC

Inventor, Sleep Expert and Chiropractic Physician