Much of our lives is spent sleeping, and for good reason. A good night of sleep is an important component to our overall health. It can aid your memory, support your immune system, and improve your mood. A huge part of getting a good night of sleep is choosing the right sheets for your mattress.
Many people like king size mattresses and California king size mattresses due to their size. And while size is an important factor in choosing a mattress, it is equally important to choose the right bed sheets, which requires considering material, thread count, price, and other factors.
With the numerous options for mattresses and bed sheets available today, you may be overwhelmed with choices. It is important to make the right choice of sheets, so read on to learn more about which sheets to buy for your king size bed or California king size bed.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the Difference Between a King Size Bed and a California King Size Bed?
- 2 King Bed vs. California King Bed: Pros and Cons
- 3 Which Size is Better for You?
- 4 Size of Bed Sheets
- 5 Mattress Thickness
- 6 Material of Bed Sheets
- 7 Weave of Bed Sheets
- 8 Thread Count of Bed Sheets
- 9 More Considerations for Bed Sheets
- 10 King Bed Vs California King Bed: Sheet Size
- 11 Are the Sheets Interchangeable?
- 12 Comforter for a King or California King
- 13 King Size Vs. California King Size Sheets: Pricing
- 14 Choosing King Sheets Vs. California King Sheets
- 15 Is It Hard to Find California King Size Bed Sheets?
- 16 Conclusion
What is the Difference Between a King Size Bed and a California King Size Bed?
The main difference between a king size bed and a California king size bed is the size.
A California king is more rectangular and longer than a regular king, but is also narrower. A king bed is more square—it is wider than a California king, but shorter.
California king beds, which were named for a salesman from Los Angeles who felt Californians needed big beds for their big houses, measure at 72×84 inches. A king bed measures 76×80 inches. A California king bed is the longest mattress available on the market.
King Bed vs. California King Bed: Pros and Cons
When purchasing a mattress, it is important to consider the basic pros and cons. Both king size and California king size are great mattress options, but there are drawbacks to each. Potential pros and cons could be:
Consider each of these factors when deciding which mattress to choose. It is an important decision that will affect your sleep and overall health.
California King Size Pros
California king size beds are very spacious, which is especially important if you are tall. Their length gives lots of space for your entire body, making sure you have a comfortable place to sleep.
California king size beds can also make a room look better. If you have a large rectangular room, you want a corresponding mattress size, and a California king size bed is long and rectangular. These beds greatly contribute to the overall aesthetic of larger rooms that are longer rather than wider.
California King Size Cons
California king size beds are very expensive. They are the least common mattress on the market, and they are very large, giving them high price tags that may be out of your budget.
Because they are the least common mattress available on the market, California king size beds can also be hard to find.
As you now know, California king size beds are very large, and their massive size can make them cumbersome to move. Rotating your California king size mattress will likely require two people. You may also find it difficult to get inside your house.
King Size Pros
King size beds are a very nice size. Their width makes it possible to sleep more than two people if your situation requires that. It also gives plenty of space for anyone who wants to spread out when sleeping.
King size beds are less expensive than California king size beds. If you want a large bed but do not want to spend money on a California king size bed, a king size bed is a great option.
King size beds are much more common than California king size beds, making them easier to find. You can find king size mattresses anywhere you buy beds. It will also be easier to buy bed sheets and bedding for king size mattresses than California king size mattresses.
King Size Cons
Although they are less expensive than California king size mattresses, king size mattresses are pricey. It is much more affordable to buy a queen size mattress.
Like California king size mattresses, king size mattresses are very large, making them cumbersome to move, whether into your house or while rotating on your bed frame.
King size beds are very wide, but they are not particularly long. If you are a tall person, you may not find a king size bed comfortable.
Which Size is Better for You?
Whether a king size mattress or a California king size mattress is better for you depends on many things, but it is largely a personal preference. When determining which mattress size, consider:
- Room size
- Sleeping habits
- Sheet availability
Each of these factors is equally important, and keeping them in mind will ensure you choose the correct mattress.
If you are taller than 6 feet, you may want to consider a California king, as it is longer and will likely be more comfortable. If you are shorter, a king size will likely suffice.
Take into account your room size, as well. If you have plenty of width, a regular king size will work fine. If your room is a little longer, you will have room for a California king. Keep in mind, too, that both mattresses can be quite cumbersome to move, making room size of utmost importance when making your choice.
If you sleep with a partner, and both prefer to spread out while sleeping, a king size may be more preferable due to its width. A king mattress would also be a great option for couples whose children often sleep with them and need extra space. However, if you do not need the extra space, a California king may be the better option.
California king beds have a limited customer base, making their sheets hard to find. The sheets can also be very expensive, especially if you need to get them custom-made, which is sometimes necessary depending on the material and other features you are seeking. King bed sheets are much easier to find, and are usually more inexpensive.
Size of Bed Sheets
No matter what size mattress you own, it is important to buy sheets of the corresponding size. This is especially important when buying sheets for king size and California king size beds, as their dimensions are specific, and sheets for smaller size mattresses will not fit. To avoid buying an ill-fitting sheet, make sure you are checking the label.
Purchasing sheets for king size beds is usually very easy, as most major retailers keep king size mattress sheets in stock at all times.
Purchasing California king sheets will likely be more challenging.
- Because California king mattresses are not sold as frequently as most other mattress sizes, there are not as many options available.
- And, due to their distinct difference in size, king size bed sheets can not be used on a California king, unless you turn them to the side. However, the sheets will not fit properly if you choose to do that.
You may need to get your California king bed sheets custom-made. This can be pricey, though, so you may want to consider using an unfitted sheet instead, as it will save you money.
Another important factor to consider when selecting bed sheets for your king size or California king size bed is its thickness. Mattresses are typically anywhere from 8 to 14 inches thick, and yours could be thicker if you use a mattress pad to adjust its firmness.
Take into account your king size or California king size mattress’s thickness and consider using deep pocket sheets. Deep pocket sheets have extra material to increase depth and make it easier to fit your sheets around your mattress.
California king size and king size mattresses are already large in size, making it a hassle to change sheets. Using sheets with deep pockets will turn making the bed into a much simpler task.
Material of Bed Sheets
The material of your bed sheets is arguably the most important factor to consider when choosing sheets for your king size or California king size bed. Material is going to make a huge difference in how you sleep, and when you are already spending extra money on the size of your bedsheets, you are going to want to ensure the material is right for you. Some common materials are:
Take into account the breathability of the sheets, your skin’s sensitivity to the material, whether or not and how much the sheets pill, and if the bed sheets are cooling or not. Consider choosing bed sheets for your king size or California king size bed that are made from these materials.
There are a variety of cotton sheets to choose from for your king size or California king size bed, as cotton is the most ubiquitous bed sheet material. And for good reason – cotton is a versatile material that is soft and breathable. There are many different types of cotton, though, so make sure you are paying close attention to the label when deciding which material you would like.
A nice option is anything made with long-staple cotton, the highest-quality cotton strung with long fibers. Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, and Supima cotton, which is manufactured in the United States, are all long-staple cotton options. These are going to be higher in price than standard cotton, though, which is important to consider when you are buying sheets for a king size or California king size bed.
You may want to consider choosing organic cotton for your king size or California king size bed sheets. Organic cotton is a good option for those with sensitive skin, as it is free from synthetic materials or additives that could irritate the skin. Organic cotton is moisture-wicking, and it is eco-friendly.
Cotton jersey is a soft material similar to t-shirts. Is not as cool or crisp as other cotton, so if you tend to get hot in the night, this is not the best option for your California king size or king size bed sheets.
Microfiber sheets are polyester. They resist pilling, but they are less breathable than cotton. Like jersey, microfiber is not as crisp or cool as cotton. However, they are more affordable than many cotton sheets, which could offset some of the cost you are already incurring for the size of sheets you are buying for your king size or California king size bed.
Silk is a natural fiber that makes for a very luxurious bed sheet. You are already sleeping like royalty in your king size or California king size bed, and silk sheets will only add to the experience.
Silk sheets will regulate your temperature, combat allergens, help prevent wrinkles in your skin, prevent hair frizz, and be very comfortable to sleep on. One drawback, however, is its price. Silk sheets are the most expensive material on the market, and as discussed, you will already be spending extra money on sheets due to the size of your king or California king mattress.
If cost is a deterrent to silk bed sheets, consider buying satin sheets for your king size or California king size bed. Like silk, satin sheets are good for your skin and hair. Satin, though, is more cost-effective and will keep you warm.
When choosing a material, also consider the time of year. You may want to use different bed sheets during different seasons to ensure your king size or California king size bed is always comfortable.
Weave of Bed Sheets
Another factor to consider when buying bed sheets for your king size or California king size mattress is the weave. Weave is how textiles are interlaced to create a fabric, and the specific weave of your bed sheets will affect their softness, durability, and breathability.
This information may not even appear on the label, but it is good information to know, especially if you are buying custom-made sheets. Here are some common weaves:
- Combed cotton
Each of these weaves is unique and will have different strengths and weaknesses. Keep that in mind when selecting your sheets.
Sateen is cotton made with a satin weave. It will give your bed sheets a shine, and they will feel soft, but they may not last long, which is not cost-effective for king size or California king size bed sheets.
Percale is the most common weave. It is crisp and durable, and very affordable. It gives sheets a matte finish and is very low-maintenance. It is, however, prone to wrinkles and will not keep you warm.
Combed cotton is a very nice option for your king size or California king size bed sheets. The fibers have been combed to eliminate short fibers, only leaving the soft, long fibers. This will give your bed a very comfortable feel, giving you a great night of sleep.
Thread Count of Bed Sheets
Thread count is one of the most common metrics thought of when buying bed sheets. This measurement refers to threads per square inch. Typically, the higher the thread count, the softer the sheets. Higher thread counts can increase the price of bed sheets, though, so take that into consideration when choosing your king size or California king size sheets.
Most sheets range from 200-800 thread count. There are tricks to bloating the thread count that do not actually make a difference in the softness or quality of the sheet, though, so be aware.
Take thread count into account, but do not make it your deciding factor when choosing bed sheets for your king size or California king size mattress. There are some 200 thread count sheets that are very soft, and they will be more affordable. Some will even get softer over time, depending on their finish.
More Considerations for Bed Sheets
There is a lot to contemplate when choosing which bed sheets are right for your king size or California king size mattress, but do not forget to consider:
- Special features
Each of these factors will play a unique part in the overall decision of which sheets to purchase for your king size or California king size mattress.
Always take into account the price when buying king size or California king size bed sheets. There are many factors that affect the price, and you want to purchase sheets that are a commensurate price.
Aside from the size, the material and thread count will likely affect the price the most of your king size or California king size bed sheets. Generally speaking, the more natural the material and the higher the thread count, the higher the price.
There are plenty of quality sheets for a reasonable price. If you have a California king or king bed, you are already spending more money on sheets than you would for a smaller size mattress, so make sure you are getting your return on investment.
If you only want to consider one factor when deciding which sheets to buy for your king size or California king size bed, it might be best to consider the brand.
Well-known brands are more likely to have certifications that let you know you are getting top-quality sheets. They are also taking into account all the aforementioned information so that you do not have to. If you are looking for convenience when buying your king size or California king size bed sheets, go with a brand that is well-known, or has a certification.
Bed sheets may have unique features that you will want to consider, especially when buying them for mattresses as large as king size and California king size.
There are some companies that make a King Size Flat Sheet, which fits both kings and California kings. This could be a great option as it would give you ease in buying.
King Bed Vs California King Bed: Sheet Size
Because California king size mattresses and king size mattresses differ in size, it is reasonable to presume sheets for each mattress will differ in size, as well.
Note that standard sheet sets consist of four items: a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, a duvet cover (or comforter), and a bed skirt. While fitted sheets and bed skirts differ in size between a California king size and king size bed, flat sheets and duvet covers typically do not. Take a look at the dimensions below:
|Bedding Type||King Size Sheet||California King Size Sheet|
|Fitted sheet||76” x 80”||72” x 84”|
|Flat sheet||102” x 112”||102” x 112”|
|Duvet cover||96” x 109”||96” x 109”|
|Bed skirt||76” x 80”||72” x 84”|
In correspondence with their mattresses, California king size fitted sheets and bed skirts are longer and more narrow, while king size fitted sheets and bed skirts are wider and shorter.
Are the Sheets Interchangeable?
Because of the size differences between some of the sheet types, some king size sheets and California king size sheets are interchangeable between the two mattresses. However, some have dimensions specific to their mattress type, making them unusable on mattresses other than their designated type.
Use the table above to determine which of the sheets are interchangeable. For example, you can use a king size flat sheet on a California king size mattress, and vice versa, while you cannot substitute fitted sheets.
You can also use an extra-long king size flat sheet in lieu of a California king size fitted sheet. Mimic the functionality of a fitted sheet by tucking the extra fabric of the extra-long king size flat sheet under the mattress.
If you are in a bind, try rotating your king size fitted sheet to fit your California king size mattress. It will not fit as well as a California king size sheet, but it may be a temporary solution.
Keep in mind that deep pockets are not a permanent solution for sheets ill-fitted to the mattress’s length and width. Deep pockets add depth to the sheets so they fit around thick mattresses. While they may work temporarily to cover a mattress bigger than their length and width measurements, they are not meant to fit longer or wider mattresses than what they are designed for.
Comforter for a King or California King
Duvet covers are interchangeable between king size beds and California king size beds. You may prefer a comforter for your bed, though. Comforters for some mattress sizes are interchangeable, like queen and full. However, comforters are not interchangeable between king size beds and California king size beds.
King size comforters are made to fit the dimensions of a king size bed, making them too wide and too short to fit a California king size bed. If you are looking for a bed topper that is interchangeable between the two sizes, look for a duvet cover instead.
King Size Vs. California King Size Sheets: Pricing
The sizes of California king size bed sheets and king size bed sheets are very similar, making the prices very similar. You will find much more of a price difference between queen size sheets and king size sheets than king size sheets and California king size sheets.
The material, weave, thread count, and special features of king size and California king size bed sheets will affect their price more than the size difference will affect their price.
Choosing King Sheets Vs. California King Sheets
Another difference between sheets for a California king size bed versus sheets for a king size bed is the selection. While twin, queen, and king size bed sheets are all available in most brands at nearly every major retailer, California king size bed sheets are often much harder to find.
California king size bed sheets have a smaller selection than king size bed sheets. There are not as many California king size beds as there are king size beds, making sheets for California king size mattresses harder to find.
King size beds have a wide variety of sheet options. They are a very popular mattress size and more affordable than California king size beds, giving you far more options in king size bed sheets than California king size bed sheets.
Is It Hard to Find California King Size Bed Sheets?
Finding California king size bed sheets can be tough since they are not as widely available as king size bed sheets. Luckily, some of the sheets are interchangeable, making it easy to adapt.
You always have the option to have custom sheets made for your California king size mattress. While this can be expensive, it may be easier than searching for suitable size bed sheets.
When choosing a mattress, look for a mattress that is most compatible with you and your living space. Also, take into account your personal preferences and sleeping habits.
Once you have found the best mattress for your needs, whether it is a king size mattress or a California king size mattress, select sheets that will suit your mattress, and you as a sleeper.