California vs. European King


A good night's sleep generally involves sleeping eight hours, which makes a bed the single most comforting and utilized furniture item. While every bed consists of basic parts such as frame and a box spring on top, beds come in various sizes to accommodate a person's specific need or preference. The most common bed sizes include the single, twin, double, queen and king beds; however, the dimensions on these mattresses are different depending on which parts of the world you live in. For instance, a king bed in America does not have the same dimensions as a king bed in Europe, the same applies to a California king bed.

California King

  • The longest bed on the market that is commercially made is the California king, which is also referred to as the "west coast king" being that it's mainly sold on the West Coast. This also is why the California king is less common in stores; most carry the king size instead. The California king is 84 inches long and 72 inches wide, making it suitable for tall adults and wider than a European king-size bed.

European King-Size Bed

  • The European king-size bed is 1-inch less wide and 5 inches less in length than a California king bed. In comparison to the Eastern king, U.K. king (super king) and the Australian king beds, the European king-size bed is the smallest as far as width. The European king-size bed is 79 inches in length and 71 inches in width.


  • There are a few things you must consider before deciding to purchase either a European king or California king bed. First, how easy it will be to carry the bed into your home; you should measure any doorways or hallways that may pose a problem. Secondly, keep in mind the bulk factor of the mattresses, being that both the European king and California king beds are large and considerably hard to move. If you choose a European king, you may consider getting two European twin-sized box springs to replace the large regular box spring. You will lose an inch in width, but if your doorways and corridors are too small, this is a good way to solve that issue.

Choose the Right Size

  • Decide which bed size is better for you by going to a store, so you, along with your spouse or sleeping partner, can test the mattresses. Considering that some people are heavier and some are taller, it is highly recommended that you get a feel of which bed size would be more comfortable by lying down, twisting and turning and sitting up on the bed for at least 10 minutes. This will help you asses which bed is best for your personal needs.

Custom-size Beds

  • If for any reason the California or European king bed doesn't fulfill your needs, there is also the option to get a custom king bed. However, you need a higher budget to have a king bed specifically made for you, plus you will have to purchase custom bedding to match your bed's dimensions. One bedding company that builds custom beds, as well as linen for it, makes the "Extreme Ultra King." It is their biggest bed, measuring 10 feet long and 12 feet wide, and it had a price of $22,285 as of April 2010 (see Resources).

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  • Photo Credit bed image by Leonid Nyshko from
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