Eastern King Bed vs. King Size Bed

If you’ve ever seen an Eastern king size mattress, you might have wondered how it differs from a standard king size mattress. The answer is simple — it doesn’t.

“Eastern king” is just another name for a traditional king size bed, measuring 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. These dimensions ensure couples are unlikely to bump into each other or feel overheated by their partner’s proximity. Parents who want to give their child a chance to occasionally co-sleep with them also enjoy the space a king size mattress provides.

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There are more than just Eastern king size beds to consider. Shoppers interested in a large mattress might benefit from sleeping on a Western king or split king size mattress, instead.

What About Western Kings?

The Western king is another name for California king size mattresses, sometimes shortened to Cal king. A California king size mattress is 4 inches longer than a traditional king, with the trade-off that it’s also 4 inches narrower. In other words, a California king bed is 72 inches wide and 84 inches long.

Because they’re the longest standard size bed, California king mattresses are a popular choice for people over 6 feet tall. Tall people may feel cramped even on a regular king size mattress, particularly if their feet are hanging over the edge.

Partners interested in co-sleeping with a child should also have the space to do so on a California king size mattress. We should note there is some scientific controversy when it comes to the benefits and drawbacks of co-sleeping. What works for one set of parents may not work for another.

Is a California king or a standard king better? There’s no clear winner since both beds often suit different needs. If you’re a taller sleeper or have a narrow master bedroom, a California king size mattress might be the best choice.

Budget can be a major factor when it comes to choosing what is right for you. While king and California king mattresses usually have similar prices, California king size bedding, box springs, headboards, and frames can be trickier to find at a low price.

For more information, you can check out our King vs. California King mattress guide.

What About Split Kings?

Split king mattresses are regular king mattresses cut in half. Essentially, they’re two twin XL size mattresses pushed together. There are a couple of reasons why this is a good design choice:

  1. Cutting the mattress in half can allow two people to choose a different firmness on each side. For example, a back sleeper can choose a medium-firm feel, while a side sleeper can choose a medium-soft feel.
  2. Splitting the mattress in two allows for independent adjustments when used with an adjustable bed. A person can set their side of the bed at a different angle than the other. This freedom of customization is excellent for couples who have medical conditions or conflicting comfort preferences.

Split king mattresses usually cost more than a traditional king mattress, which might keep some shoppers from exploring their comfort possibilities. These mattresses also require specialty bedding sets with twin XL size fitted sheets and king size flat sheets.

If you want to learn more, read our King vs. Split King mattress guide.

Other Bed Sizes and Dimensions

A king size bed isn’t necessarily the right mattress for you, particularly if you have a small bedroom or a limited budget. You have four other standard mattress sizes to consider.

Standard Mattress SizeDimensions
Twin38 inches by 74 inches
Twin XL38 inches by 80 inches
Full54 inches by 75 inches
Queen60 inches by 80 inches
King76 inches by 80 inches
California king72 inches by 84 inches

Twin, twin XL, and full size mattresses are all good choices for single sleepers with smaller bedrooms. Queen mattresses are an excellent alternative to king size mattresses if you want to share a bed but don’t have the money or space for a king bed.

Shoppers who want more room than what a traditional king mattress provides may also want to explore what oversized mattresses like the Wyoming king, Texas king, and Alaskan king offer. However, these beds usually have to be special ordered, along with a matching bed frame and bedding.

Nonstandard King SizesDimensions
Wyoming king84 inches by 84 inches
Texas king80 inches by 90 inches
Alaskan king108 inches by 108 inches

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an Eastern king and a California king?

The biggest difference between a traditional king and a California king is the bed’s dimensions. A standard king size mattress is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, excellent for couples who want a good amount of personal space while they sleep. A California king size mattress is 72 inches wide and 84 inches long, great for couples who need more legroom.

What beds are bigger than a California king?

Technically, a traditional king is larger than a California king. A standard king mattress offers 6080 square inches of sleeping space, while a California king mattress features 6048 square inches.

Aside from that, there are also oversized king beds like the Texas king, the Alaskan king, and the Wyoming king. These sizes aren’t available at most mattress retailers and usually have to be special-ordered from a manufacturer.

Is it worth getting a king size mattress?

King size mattresses can be worth the high price if you’re looking to complete your master bedroom’. They’re also a good choice for couples who want to maximize their sleeping space. Some partners may not sleep well if they bump into each other on a smaller mattress.

What size bed do most couples have?

Queen size mattresses are more popular than king mattresses because they fit into smaller bedrooms and cost less money. However, for some couples, a queen bed simply doesn’t provide enough space. They may choose to opt for a standard king bed instead if they’re prone to tossing and turning or plan on eventually letting a small child co-sleep with them.

If you want to read a full comparison of the two sizes, check out our king vs. queen mattress guide.

Are two single beds equal to a king?

Single size beds are another name for twin size mattresses, which measure 38 inches wide and 74 inches long. If you were to push two twin mattresses together, they would be 6 inches shorter than a traditional king size bed. Two twin XL mattresses are equal to a king mattress, forming what is called a split king.

Do I need a headboard with a king size mattress?

You don’t necessarily need a headboard if you’re placing your mattress on a platform bed or adjustable base. Headboards once served the practical purpose of eliminating drafts around the head, but that function has become unnecessary with improved heating and insulation in homes.

Nowadays, most people would choose a headboard because they want bedroom décor in a traditional style. If you prefer a more modern, minimal look, feel free to skip the headboard.

Is an Eastern King Right for You?

The “Eastern king” is another word for the standard king bed, which is 76 inches by 80 inches. This bed size is a good choice for couples who want to upgrade a large bedroom or people who want the room to stretch and sprawl. Some shoppers may prefer a smaller bed, but for many a king bed is the best mattress they can purchase.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

James Nguyen, Sleep Expert James Nguyen

James Nguyen is Zoma's resident sleep expert and staff writer. James enjoys learning about the newest technologies in the mattress industry and doing deep dives into the science of sleep. He's tried nearly every gadget and gizmo in an effort to determine which sleep-promoting accessories can truly enhance your shut-eye. Outside of work, James takes his dedication to get healthy sleep seriously, and has even declared himself an "expert napper." James' research has been featured on Thrive Global and other media.

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