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When shopping for a mattress, you may come across the terms Alaskan King and California King. These two bed sizes are among the largest available, but they have different dimensions. Understanding the differences between the two can help you make an informed decision when choosing the right bed for your sleeping needs. In this article, I will compare the Alaskan King vs California King mattress sizes and highlight their respective size, dimensions, and advantages.
- Alaskan king beds are the largest beds, with dimensions of 108” x 108”, and California king beds are larger than king size beds, by the dimensions of 84” x 72”.
- Alaskan king beds are more expensive and bulkier than California king beds, so if your budget or room space is limited, the latter might be a better option for you.
What is an Alaskan King Bed?
An Alaskan king bed is the largest mattress size you can find, going by the dimensions of 108” by 108”, or 9 feet wide and 9 feet long. This bed size is great for families who don’t have a problem with their room space and value a large and free sleep experience more. Alaskan king beds are also among the rarest ones out there. A limited number of brands and retailers sell mattresses and beds this size. Nevertheless, it won’t limit your personal space when sleeping with a partner, and that is one of its most unique advantages.
What is a California King Bed?
A California king bed is a bit larger than a king-size bed, going by the dimensions of 84” x 72”. It is a bit similar to a king-size bed, except when it comes to comparing king vs California king size, it’s longer and a bit narrower. Because of this, it is great for taller people who don’t want to leave their feet hanging in the air. California king mattresses are one of the more common mattress sizes, along with king size, queen size, twin, and full (1). They take about as much room space as a king-size bed, as well. So, you know they are not gigantic.
My experience with California king beds has shown me that they give proper personal space to each partner sleeping on it. I’m also a taller sleeper, so a California king allows me to spread out comfortably.
Differences between Alaskan King and California King
Now, let’s check the differences between Alaskan king and California king beds side by side regarding different factors.
Alaskan King bed
California King bed
|Mattress Size||108" x 108"||84" x 72"|
|Room size needed||14" x 14"||12" x 12"|
|Mattress weight||250-300 lbs||130-180 lbs|
|Surface area||11,664 sq. in||6,048 sq. in|
Alaskan King vs. California King Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros of getting a California king bed:
- They are more affordable since they are one of the more common bed sizes out there. Therefore, there are lots of manufacturers making them, so the price is reasonable.
- There are many different manufacturers, both online and offline, that sell them.
- You don’t need as much room space for accommodating them.
- They give couples who sleep together more freedom than other partner-specific mattress sizes.
- They allow you to sleep with a pet or a child as well.
Now, there are still some drawbacks to using California king mattresses, including:
- They are not the biggest mattress size out there, so if you are sleeping with a child, each person gets a very limited space for sleeping.
- They sacrifice some of the width space that king mattresses offer.
Likewise, there are many benefits to using an Alaskan king bed, including:
- They provide couples with lots of space to move around and sleep freely.
- Families with pets and children can easily sleep together on these mattresses.
- They are very rare, so they are expected to work for long years because replacing them would be hard. Therefore, they are made to be more durable.
- They are thicker and bulkier, so they provide great support.
- Since they are big, they have very little motion transfer, which helps people who sleep on it not be affected by the movements of other people on the other side of the mattress (2).
Here are some of the cons of using an Alaskan king bed:
- They are big, so replacing them, moving them, or delivering them is very difficult. Therefore, they are there to stay, or you should pay a lot of money and expect lots of effort to move them.
- They can’t easily move through different door frames and corridors.
- Since they are rare, and only a few manufacturers are them, they are very expensive as well.
- They are very heavy.
- They take a lot of room space, which requires huge rooms.
- Finding proper bedding and sheets for them might be different because of their extraordinary size.
For this last con, you might be able to order custom bedding and custom mattress sheets online. There are many retailers that provide them as well.
How to Choose Between Alaskan King and California King
If you’re still not sure how to choose between Alaskan king vs California king, you can check out these factors to help you decide.
- Who you’re sleeping with. Of course, the number of people who are going to sleep on a mattress should determine its size as well. For example, I sleep with my partner, and I feel like a California king, king, or queen mattress would suffice for us and give us each proper personal space to spread out. However, for families that sleep with twins or several babies and kids, an Alaskan bed might be a better choice.
- How tall you are. If you are a tall person, you can try a California king or a split California king mattress before trying the Alaskan king bed. As a tall sleeper myself, I find a king-size mattress to be tall enough for me, but a California king gives me the ultimate comfort.
- Your bedroom size. Not everybody has a lot of room to spare for an Alaskan king bed. It requires at least 14 square feet of room space, while a California king requires about 12 square feet of room space. It might not sound like it’s a lot less space, but when you consider the space needed to move around, it’s quite a lot.
- Budget. California king beds are generally more budget-friendly since they are a common mattress size, and lots of manufacturers produce them. They can range in price between $2000 to $4000. This is while Alaskan king beds can range between $3000 to $6000. So if you are shopping on a budget, a California king might be more affordable.
Also Read: Top Latex-Free Mattresses
Who Would Benefit Most from an Alaskan King Bed vs. California King Bed
If you fall into one of the following categories, you probably would benefit more from a California king bed:
- If you only sleep with a partner.
- If you are a tall sleeper.
- If you have limited room space.
- If you have a limited budget for the mattress.
- If you tend to move around a lot (3).
The following would also match the type of sleepers who would benefit from an Alaskan king bed:
- People who sleep with their partners and children or pets.
- People who have lots of room space to spare for the mattress.
- People who rarely ever move around to different houses.
- People who are looking for a novel quality on a mattress that they never expect to change.
- People who don’t have a specific budget for their mattress.
- People who don’t want to have a limit for spreading out or moving around on a mattress (4).
- People who want enough room on their mattress to spend lots of time on.
Since I move lots of mattresses in and out for review, I can’t get to leave an Alaskan king bed inside my bedroom, because moving it out would be nearly impossible. Therefore, if you choose to buy one, make sure you can move it around in your house just in case.
Also Read: Mattresses without Box Springs
My Experience with Alaskan King vs California King Bed
I’ve experienced California king and Alaskan king beds both when sleeping at a hotel. The California king bed seemed fairly sufficient for both me and my partner. The Alaskan king bed was very fun since it gave us lots of space to move around. The only downside from the Alaskan king bed I can recall is that it was just a bit difficult to get in and out of bed quickly. It almost felt like I was ‘walking’ out of bed rather than crawling out in a second.
Since I’m a taller sleeper, I like to let my body spread completely, and the length of the California king bed allowed me to do so. This is while on a king-size bed, I would feel just a little limited in my movement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an Alaskan king bigger than a California king bed?
An Alaskan king bed is bigger than a California king bed by about 24” in length and 36” in width.
Why is an Alaskan king bed so big?
The Alaskan king bed is very big so it can serve different sleepers, families, and people who want more space for moving around on their beds.
Is the Alaskan king the biggest mattress you can buy?
The Alaskan king bed is the biggest mattress size you can buy. They are 108” x 108” in width and length. They are also the rarest mattress size.
When comparing an Alaskan king to a California king, you must keep your end goal in mind. Take note of how many people want to use the mattress, how much space your bedroom has, how much your budget for buying a mattress is, and whether a smaller mattress size would suffice for your needs or not. Deciding between these two mattress sizes should be straightforward since an Alaskan king is noticeably bigger than a California king, and their audience would definitely be different people.
Thank you for reading this article, and I hope I have managed to answer your questions. If you have any comments or thoughts, share them with me below.
- How wide is the bed you mainly sleep on at home?. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/673201/mattress-size-among-us-adults-by-age-group/
- Elizabeth M Walters (August 2020). Vulnerability and resistance to sleep disruption by a partner: A study of bed-sharing couples. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32331861/
- Neal Wiggermann (November 2017). What Bed Size Does a Patient Need? The Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Space Required to Turn in Bed. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320113744_What_Bed_Size_Does_a_Patient_Need_The_Relationship_Between_Body_Mass_Index_and_Space_Required_to_Turn_in_Bed
- Neal Wiggermann (November 2017). What Bed Size Does a Patient Need? The Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Space Required to Turn in Bed. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5671795/