California King vs. Alaskan King: What’s the Difference?

Mattress sizes for residential homes are increasing as the US mattress market expands. Whether you share a bed with your family and pets or prefer to stretch out in the…

Last Updated On January 21st, 2023
California King vs. Alaskan King: What’s the Difference?

Mattress sizes for residential homes are increasing as the US mattress market expands. Whether you share a bed with your family and pets or prefer to stretch out in the middle of an oversized mattress all to yourself, nothing beats a king-sized bed for a luxurious night’s sleep.

There are several types of king-sized beds, including king, Wyoming king, Texas king, Alaskan king, and California king-size bed, to name a few. Regarding the largest bed size, the Alaskan king vs. California king bed compete for first place.

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The primary distinction between an Alaskan king mattress and a California king mattress is its length and width. The dimensions of an Alaskan king mattress are 108 inches long by 108 inches wide. The California king measures 84 inches in length and 72 inches in width.

This is our in-depth guide for learning more about each size and what to expect.

What Is a California King Bed?

A Cal king size bed gives a lot of sleeping space at a reasonable price, measuring 84 inches by 72 inches. When comparing a California king to a regular king, you’ll see that a California king mattress is 4 inches longer and narrower to better suit taller people.

Let us look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of a California king mattress.

Pros:

  • It is reasonably priced, allowing many individuals to purchase it.
  • Easy to find at mattress dealerships, along with standard queen and king beds.
  • It is simpler to fit in the bedroom because the size is smaller. It is not as large as an Alaskan bed, but it can easily fit a couple.

Cons:

  • Larger families cannot be accommodated as easily as an Alaska king.

Our Mattress Recommendation

Quick Guide: A 30-Second Summary

Best California King Mattress Overall Amerisleep AS3

The Amerisleep AS3 relies on eco-friendly memory foam and specialized support for the head, shoulders, back, hips, and feet. The California king size is quite comfortable for most sleepers over 6 feet tall.

Mattress Highlights
  • Airy and responsive memory foam
  • Targeted support for five areas of body
  • Durable, sag-resistant foam base
Recommended For
  • Side, back, and combination sleepers
  • Couples on the taller side
  • Hot sleepers

While all of our mattresses are available in a California king size, the Amerisleep AS3 is our most popular option due to the sheer range of sleeping styles it suits. Its medium feel buoys the body in most positions, gently hugging pressure-sensitive areas.

The cover fabric of the AS3 is Refresh, a thermo-reactive material that converts absorbed body heat into infrared energy. As the infrared energy penetrates local areas of the body, it boosts blood flow for improved recovery.

The first layer is Bio-Pur® memory foam, an upgraded version of traditional memory foam. The breathable and responsive design of Bio-Pur® helps it adapt to sleepers and stay cool all night long.

The transition layer is Affinity foam with HIVE® technology. The hexagonal cutouts of HIVE® establish five zones for the body, allowing the mattress to flex more under the shoulders and hips for more thorough pressure relief.

The last layer of the AS3 is Bio-Core®, a foam that’s engineered to maximize structural stability. Bio-Core® ensures you get the highest value from the AS3, saving you from having to replace your mattress too soon.

The Amerisleep AS3 ships free and comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.

Save $450 on the Amerisleep AS3 with our discount code
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What Is an Alaskan King Bed?

Imagine you have a large family and need a single bed to accommodate everyone. In that case, the Alaskan king bed size is ideal. A spouse, a child, and even a pet may all sleep comfortably on the Alaskan king mattress, the largest oversized mattress.

An Alaskan king bed is a terrific method to save money because it can accommodate your child, spouse, and an animal like a cat or small dog without the inconvenience of purchasing numerous beds. The Alaskan king mattress, like anything else, has advantages and disadvantages.

Pros:

  • Couples will find this bed rather big, allowing them more personal space.
  • Enjoyment of extra space can last a long time.
  • Large enough to accommodate co-sleeping with family and pets.

Cons:

  • Alaskan king size bed proportions are far too large to fit in most rooms.
  • It is relatively expensive, and you will have to pay additional fees for beds, pillows, and other items.
  • The bed will require a large number of people to move.

Differences Between California King and Alaskan King Bed

It isn’t easy to choose between an Alaskan king or a California king mattress. As a result, consumers should consider the following points while deciding between an Alaskan king bed and a California king bed.

Room Size

The most important consideration when deciding between an Alaskan king bed and a California king mattress is the bedroom size. As a standard size mattress, a California king mattress will easily fit in an average bedroom while giving enough room for movement.

However, Alaskan King mattresses are only ideal for clutter-free bedrooms that are larger, needing 15-20 feet per bedroom wall. An Alaskan king bed size makes it tough to fit in a typical-size bedroom, as they leave little room for movement. This would make the bedroom appear excessively crowded and uncomfortably small in a smaller bedroom.

Budget

The price of big mattresses must be considered while acquiring a mattress. All extra-large mattresses are more expensive than standard mattresses due to their larger size. California king mattresses remain the most affordable of all king-size beds that are not a traditional king bed.

A California king mattress costs between $700 and $4,000 on average. An Alaskan King mattress is the biggest and most costly mattress available. Its typical cost ranges from $2,000 to $7,000. Aside from the style of bed and the materials or type of mattress it is, other factors like delivery costs, a shortage of supply, and increased demand can all create price variations.

Sleeping Partner

A California King mattress is large enough to sleep two people and one child or pet. It’s also an excellent mattress for couples when one sleeping partner has very different sleeping habits than the other does. The increased space reduces the possibility of disruption caused by their spouses’ routines.

A family with more than two children might benefit from an Alaskan king mattress. It is a fantastic option for folks who wish to share a bed with their partner while still enjoying their sleeping area. The mattress size is also an excellent alternative for individuals who want to sleep on the same bed with one or two children and a pet.

Your Height and Weight

Other essential factors to consider while deciding between California king and Alaskan king mattresses are the consumers’ height and weight. The right mattress for your body type provides much-needed support and comfort.

California king mattresses are ideal for tall persons who want additional length to keep their feet from hanging. They are also appropriate for plus-sized sleepers who want to spread out to enhance their sleeping experience.

Alaskan king mattresses are a fantastic alternative for both plus-sized and tall persons. People with above-average body types can enjoy them. The mattresses are large enough to provide sufficient relaxation and space while supporting both size and weight.

Ideal Position for Sleeping

The users’ sleeping positions and personal space preferences are also important considerations when selecting a mattress. A California King mattress is recommended for couples who prefer sleeping closer together. Purchasing an Alaskan king bed is preferable for couples who like having more space while sleeping close to their partners.

Where Can You Buy Extra-Large Mattresses?

Oversized beds such as the Alaskan king, along with the Wyoming king and Texas king, can be challenging to find in mattress stores. You’ll have to do web research to identify firms that make these unique sizes.

Some boutique bedding companies are prepared to start from scratch to create an oversized mattress for you. You may choose latex, memory foam, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses.

What Is a Texas King Bed?

Texas King Mattress DimensionsBecause Texas is the #2 state in size in the United States, the Texas king bed is the number two in mattress size. The Texas king bed is narrower than a Wyoming king, which is the smallest oversized mattress, measuring 80 inches by 98 inches. However, it has an extra 14 inches of length.

The standard bed’s length of 80 or 84 inches long is insufficient for some. A Texas king is ideal for highly tall sleepers who require extra length. See also our California king vs. Texas king mattress guide.

What Is a Wyoming King Bed?

Wyoming King Mattress DimensionsLike the Alaskan king, the Wyoming king is an oversized bed with a square shape. Measuring 84 inches on all sides, it’s essentially a wider version of a California king bed. This makes the Wyoming King a good option for taller sleepers who want more personal sleeping space than what a Cal king mattress provides.

Occasionally, the Wyoming king mattress may also be referred to as an emperor-sized mattress.

Where to Buy Oversized Mattress Foundations and Bedding Accessories

The incompatibility of most sleep accessories and foundations is a frequent problem of all oversized mattresses. Typically, the firms who create these mattresses will also make appropriate foundations, bed frames, and bedding accessories. Still, if they do not, you may have them custom-made.

Another alternative is just to set your big mattress on the floor, though there are drawbacks to keeping your mattress on the floor. Doing so increases your mattress’s risk of dust exposure and mold build-up, and since oversized mattresses can be quite expensive, you want to do all that you can to extend its usable lifespan.

If you can’t locate flat or fitted sheets elsewhere, you can have them produced by a custom maker. We also strongly suggest a waterproof mattress protector if you can find one, as it’s the best bedding accessory to protect your investment.

FAQs

Is there a bigger bed than an Alaskan king?

No. The Alaskan King, measuring 108 inches by 108 inches, is often referred to as the largest bed. It certainly is the longest, with a generous width to match. On the other hand, the Family XL is the widest bed available, measuring 144 inches wide but only 84 inches long. As the name suggests, it’s intended for co-sleeping families.

What other king size mattresses are there?

When it comes to king beds, there’s the regular king mattress, the California king, the Texas king, the Wyoming king, and the Alaskan king. Only the traditional king and the California king are considered standard-sized mattresses, while other options are considered oversized mattresses.

There are also king mattresses smaller than a standard king, sometimes called a short king or RV king. These are designed as mattresses for campers, as it’s important to have a lightweight mattress to minimize vehicle drag.

Who needs a California king mattress?

We recommend California King for anyone taller than 6 feet. Without the added foot room, a tall sleeper may find their toes and feet dangling over the edge of the bed. California king beds can also suit those who need extra space at the foot of the bed for their pets. Lastly, this mattress is also good for bedrooms that are narrower.

What is the best mattress size for couples?

A king mattress is the best size for couples, offering sleeping space equal to each person sleeping on a twin XL bed. The king bed provides each person with 8 inches more space than a queen size bed, making it ideal for master bedrooms. However, a king bed may be too large for some people and too expensive for budget shoppers.

How much bigger is an Alaskan king than a king?

The Alaskan king mattress is 108 by 108 inches, enormous compared to other larger beds. The Alaskan king mattress is two feet, or 24 inches, longer than a California king mattress, which is the longest standard mattress, and 32 inches wider than the regular king, the largest standard bed.

While the average couple doesn’t need this much sleeping space, families who plan on co-sleeping can benefit from an oversized mattress like the Alaska king.

Conclusion

The Alaskan king bed is a fantastic choice if you co-sleep with children, have a large bedroom, and have the funds to support it. The California king bed is great if you do not have a large bedroom and want more legroom. For most couples, a California king size mattress will suit their needs better than an Alaskan king bed.


About the author

Eric Ridenour is a health and wellness writer with a focus on sleep and nutrition. He has studied health science and psychology at a university level and has consulted several businesses and individuals on the connection between sleep and overall well-being including the effect lack of sleep has on other aspects of health such as exercise, nutrition, and concentration. He is a published author working on his second book.

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