Best California King Mattresses for 2024 – CNET

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$1,699 at Layla

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Layla Hybrid

Best California king mattress for side sleepers

$849 at Nectar

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Nectar Hybrid

Best California king memory foam mattress

The difference between a king-size bed and a California king-size bed is that a king is a little wider, while a California king has a bit of extra length on the bottom. If you’re shopping for a new bed, you might prefer a Cal king if you’re extra tall, sleep with dogs at your feet, or just want some extra foot-room in general. Whatever your reason, we put a lot of mattresses to the test to find you the best California king mattress to fit your needs.

My team and I have personally tested over 200 mattresses, giving us a large pool to pick from when selecting the best California king mattresses. We paid extra close attention to supportive constructions for couples, accommodating firmness levels, feel and overall value when making our choices. Regardless of what mattress type you’re looking for — a memory foam mattress, an innerspring mattress or a hybrid mattress, whether soft or firm — here are the best California king mattress options we’ve found.

(All prices listed are the regular, nonsale list price and reflect the costs of California king size mattresses.)

Video: Best California king mattresses for 2024

Watch CNET video producer Owen Poole review the best California king size mattresses for 2024. 

What’s the best California king mattress overall?

If you want a safe pick that’ll be comfortable, supportive and long-lasting, the Brooklyn Bedding Signature is one of my go-to recommendations. It has a strong hybrid construction made with foam and over 1,000 coils, it has multiple firmness levels to pick from and it has a neutral-foam feel that most people will find enjoyable. Plus, it offers great value for what you’re getting.

Read more: Best Bed Sheets for Every Type of Sleeper

Best California king mattresses in 2024

Mattress price scale:

$ = Budget: $799 and below

$$ = Average: $800 to $1,699

$$$ = Premium: $1,700 and up

These reflect MSRP or list prices. Sales might make a mattress less expensive, but are always changing.

Jonathan Gomez/CNET

Type Hybrid mattressFirmness 3 firmness levels | Soft: Medium-soft to soft or 2 | Medium: Medium to medium-soft or 4 | Firm: Medium-firm or 7Trial 120 nightsWarranty 10-year limited warranty Price $$

Why we chose the Brooklyn Bedding Signature mattress: When deciding the best California king mattress overall, I wanted to pick a mattress that was suitable for singles, couples, all body types, most sleeping positions and most budgets. The Brooklyn Bedding Signature fits that bill to a tee, and it’s more affordable than most of its competitors. Brooklyn Bedding manufactures its own mattresses, eliminating the need for a middleman. This allows them to sell you a mattress for less than the other big brands. When you catch this mattress during a promo, you can get a quality California king bed for under $1,200.

It’s a comfortable, accommodating hybrid mattress that feels soft and springy. I’d compare it to the foam in your favorite comfy couch, or like memory foam without that dense, “stuck” feel. It’s available in three firmness levels, making the soft and medium models perfect for side and combination sleepers, while the firm model is ideal for back and stomach sleepers.  

Pros:

  • It has three firmness levels, making it good for all sleeping positions
  • Its hybrid construction is supportive of all body types
  • It has a great bang for your buck

Cons:

  • There is no true medium or 5 firmness level offered

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Jonathan Gomez/CNET

Type Flippable hybrid mattressFirmness Firm: 5 or medium | Soft: 3 or medium-softTrial 120 nightsWarranty 10-year limited warranty Price $$

Why we chose the Layla Hybrid mattress: The Layla Hybrid tops our list as the best California king mattress, particularly because this king bed is conveniently flippable, with a softer and firmer side to choose from. The soft side is extra plush and pressure relieving, perfect for any side sleeper who wants a cushiony feel. The firm side isn’t super firm. It’s more around a six out of 10 on the firmness scale, making it great for most sleeping positions. I also think heavier side sleepers will like the firm end because it’ll feel like a soft mattress with a good balance of support. 

The Layla Hybrid California king bed consists of layers of gel memory foam, support foam, pocketed coils and a center layer of copper-infused foam. The center foam mattress layer is designed to draw heat away from the sleeper’s body to help cool them off while they sleep, while simultaneously adding antimicrobial properties to prevent bacteria buildup in the mattress. I think the memory foam feels light and airy, compared to a bed like the Nectar which feels more dense and firm.

If you sleep with a partner, there will be sufficient space and the edges will feel properly supportive (for those of you who sleep next to a bed-hot). This thick memory foam mattress has extra strong, 16-gauge coils around the perimeter to strengthen the edges. The memory foam also does a great job of isolating motion.  

Pros:

  • Two firmness levels in one mattress (flippable design)
  • Strong hybrid construction accommodates all body types

Cons:

  • Its cost is on the expensive side
  • It gives some resistance to combination sleepers

Read our Layla Hybrid review.

Layla Hybrid

* Pricing based on Queen model

Jonathan Gomez/CNET

Type Hybrid mattressFirmness 3 firmness levels | Plush Soft: Medium or 5 | Luxury Firm: Medium-firm or 7 | Firm: 9/10 or firmTrial 365 nightsWarranty Lifetime warranty Price $$

Why we chose the Saatva Classic mattress: The Saatva Classic is a supportive mattress with a combination of contouring latex foam, supportive innerspring coils and special lumbar technology that makes it great for back and stomach sleepers. The Luxury Firm model of this mattress is a solid medium-firm and its dual-coil construction is a unique feature that makes the Saatva bed incredibly supportive. As such, it’s one of the best California king mattress models you can buy. 

The Saatva Classic hybrid mattress is unique in the direct-to-consumer realm in that it doesn’t arrive in a box (so make sure your doorways and stairs can fit a California king’s dimensions). That means it can be made to order after you select your preference of firmness level as well as your choice of height: 11.5 inches or 14.5 inches. 

Based on my own testing, I found the beds range from medium to firm, depending on the firmness level you choose. Finally, the California king bed mattress reaches new levels of coziness with a three-inch Euro pillow top. All of this also works well for larger mattresses like the Cal king. Read more for our full Saatva mattress review

Pros:

  • Sleepers can choose between three firmness options
  • Dual-coil construction makes it extra durable and supportive
  • Suits all body types

Cons:

  • Might be too firm for strict side sleepers
  • It’s an expensive online mattress

Saatva Classic

* Pricing based on Queen model

Jonathan Gomez/CNET

Type Memory foam mattressFirmness Medium-firmTrial 365 nightsWarranty Forever warranty Price $

Why we chose the Nectar Hybrid mattress: Nectar is a reputable bed-in-a-box brand that helped popularize the movement along with mattress bigwigs like Casper and Purple. The brand recently came out with its hybrid models, taking what people loved about the original Nectar memory foam mattress and making it more durable and supportive.

The Nectar Hybrid mattress is 12 inches thick and will suit a range of body types, from petite to plus-size. It’s made with memory foam but feels different from the flagship Nectar model. It’s more of a neutralized memory foam feel in that it doesn’t have that dense, contouring profile that’s slow to respond to pressure. I chalk that up to the pocketed coils in the bottom layer that give it more bounce. It’s still great at isolating motion if you’re looking for the best California king mattress for couples.

I’d rate the Nectar Hybrid around a medium to medium-firm, so it’s a little softer than the original Nectar and better suited for people who like to sleep on their side. Nectar is known for its good prices and big bundles. If you wait until this mattress goes on sale, (which is pretty often, not just big holidays) you can snag a California king bed for around $1,000.

Pros:

  • Great for back, stomach and combination sleepers
  • It’s a good pick for all body types
  • It offers a good value

Cons:

  • It’s a little too firm for strict side sleepers
  • Provides resistance to combination sleepers who switch positions

Nectar Memory Foam

Jonathan Gomez/CNET

Type Latex HybridFirmness 7 or medium-firm with the pillow top (9 or firm without)Trial 365 nightsWarranty 25-year limited warranty Price $$$

Why we chose the Avocado Green mattress: Having enjoyed a hands-on test of the Avocado Green mattress, I can say from experience that it’s a joy to sleep on. On top of being highly comfy, especially for back, stomach and heavy sleepers, this Cal king mattress is also eco-friendly — Avocado’s mattresses are made of organic wool, cotton and latex.

In addition to using organic materials, Avocado sources its wool from its own co-owned Indian wool farm, where more than 200,000 sheep roam freely across 40 organic hectares. If you’d prefer a vegan mattress without wool of any kind, Avocado also makes the same mattress in a vegan variety, which also comes in a California king. The company also grows and processes its own organic Dunlop latex. Each mattress is handcrafted in its California factory, where the company bypasses the use of toxic glues by implementing a traditional hand-tufting technique. If that’s not enough, their mattresses are all tested to ensure low emissions, guaranteeing that they meet air quality standards.

If you need a firm mattress to support a larger or taller body, the Avocado Green in California king size is a great choice. You can also buy the pillow-topper for $500 which softens up the feel to a medium-firm. It’s an ideal firmer mattress for back and stomach sleepers, as well as those with back pain. A little extra space lengthwise gives the healing body plenty of room to do its thing. Read more at our full Avocado mattress review.

Pros:

  • It’s backed by a significant number of certifications
  • Made with eco-friendly and sustainable materials
  • Good for back, stomach and combination sleepers

Cons:

  • It’s a bit too firm for side sleepers
  • Like other organic products, it’s on the expensive side

Avocado Green

* Pricing based on Queen model

Jonathan Gomez/CNET

Type Hybrid mattressFirmness Medium-firmTrial 100 nightsWarranty 15-year limited warranty Price $$

Why we chose the Helix Plus mattress: The Helix Plus is designed to offer a firmer mattress with extra support and comfort for those with larger- or taller-than-average bodies, making it an ideal plus-size mattress in the California king size. It also makes a great fit for just about all sleepers, regardless of size or sleep position preference. As long as the 7-to-8 firmness level rating doesn’t bother you (it’s a medium to firm feel), this mattress is likely to be a superb match.

Providing excellent pressure relief, the Helix Plus Cal king mattress offers just enough give to maintain support while letting the sleeper get cozy in the contours of the memory foam. This mattress also offers fantastic motion transfer, so you may not even notice your sleeping partner getting in and out of bed.

The California king size of the Helix Plus contains all the extra support, higher density foam and conveniently low motion transfer of the smaller versions, providing a longer mattress and the width of a spacious king. For any bigger or taller folks who may sleep better with a little more space between them, this size is ideal. Read more in our full Helix mattress review.

Pros:

  • Good option for back, stomach and combination sleepers
  • It has a strong hybrid construction ergonomically designed for support
  • It has a good value

Cons:

  • Not worth the money for people who weigh under 150 pounds
  • Heavier side sleepers may want a softer bed

Helix Plus

* Pricing based on Queen model

Dillon Payne/CNET

Type Hybrid MattressFirmness 6 or medium to medium-firmTrial 100 nightsWarranty 10-year limited warranty Price $

Why we chose the Allswell mattress: The bigger the mattress size, the more you have to pay when it comes to buying a new bed. If you’re in search of the best California king mattress that fits a more wallet-friendly budget, Allswell is a hybrid bed that offers a good bed for your buck. It’s made by Walmart, which is known for its price-friendly products, and you can get a California king-size mattress for under $500.

The Allswell mattress is 10 inches thick and more on the firm side, rated around a six to seven on the firmness scale. I’d say it’s best for back and stomach sleepers, and it’ll be pressure-relieving enough for side sleepers over 230 pounds. Still, it’s a little too firm for strict side sleepers under that weight range. It feels like a neutral foam mattress with added bounce, and you sleep more on top of the bed than you do inside it. This makes it really easy to switch positions, and it doesn’t give that “stuck in the mud” feel that traditional memory foam beds do. Read more about this bed in our full Allswell mattress review

Pros:

  • It’s one of the most affordable hybrid beds on the market
  • Durable and supportive for all body types
  • Ideal for back, stomach and combination sleepers

Cons:

  • Side sleepers will probably find it too firm

Allswell

Other mattresses we’ve tested

The CNET Sleep editors use their knowledge from their extensive mattress testing experience to curate our bedding best lists. They collectively have rolled around on 100-plus beds and are considered experts on the subject. With all the mattresses our editors have tested, some quality beds aren’t able to make the cut, but we still think they deserve some credit. 

Tuft and Needle mattress: If you want a large California king mattress, but you’re more of a budget-conscious shopper, the Tuft and Needle mattress is a great option. It’s only two layers and it’s a simple bed without any extra bells and whistles. It is a comfortable and accommodating bed for just about any sleeping position. It feels like your favorite soft couch, it’s made with a neutral foam that’s quicker to respond to pressure than memory foam is. Tuft and Needle is also one of the most prominent online mattress brands, so their beds are popular for a reason. 

Layla mattress: This is the original predecessor to the Layla Hybrid mattress above. It omits the pocketed coil layer found in the hybrid, but it’s a little cheaper and more affordable. This model is best for people who weigh under 230 pounds and who like the memory foam feel of Layla without the extra cost of the hybrid design. It’s flippable, so you get one firm side and one soft side. It’s also made with copper-infused memory foam, making it sleep cooler than the standard material. 

How we test

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read more on how we test mattresses.

The difference between a king vs. California king mattress

Contrary to popular belief, California king mattresses are just longer than king mattresses, not wider. While standard king mattresses are 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, California kings are 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. Knowing the difference between the two helps you make better-informed shopping choices, and ensures that there are no unwelcome surprises. Remember, California king mattresses are all about length.

Why you should buy a California king mattress

If you’re well on the taller side, say 6-foot-3 and above, a California king mattress is the absolute best mattress choice for you. With a California king-size mattress, you can stretch your toes down, or just never stress about too many decorative pillows up top. The California king bed frame also has the optimal dimensions if you have a particularly long and narrow or rectangular-shaped room. You get all the perks and grandeur of a luxuriously large and comfortable bed, without having to sacrifice a set of nightstands.

The California king mattress and bed frame tend to work best in rooms with dimensions of at least 12 feet by 12 feet. If you’re more concerned with having a wider bed than a longer one (like if you have a partner who loves to wiggle), a standard king mattress is probably the best mattress type for you.

California king mattress FAQs

It will be worth the money for a California king if you have a lot of extra space in your bedroom, are a big and tall individual, or you want a mattress that offers more space for your furry friends. California king beds are more narrow than a standard king but are longer to allow for more leg and foot room. 

Many California king mattresses will cost you around $1,200 to $1,600, especially if you’re looking for a premium bed. Luxury California king mattresses are known to retail for $1,800 or more, but you can also find a budget California king mattress like Allswell for under $500. 

If you have animals that sleep on the bottom of your mattress, you’re 6 feet, 5 inches (or taller) or you just want the extra leg space, a California king is a good option because it offers more length than your standard king bed. If you expect your kiddos to be snuggling up next to you in bed some nights, you might want a wider standard king bed to fit all your loved ones. It’s worth noting that brands often price their king and California king beds the same, so you usually don’t end up paying more for one or the other. 

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