A Standard King is also called an Eastern King and a California King is also called a Western King.
A Standard King is about 4" wider and a California King is 4" longer.
Two people sleeping in a King size bed will get the same amount of personal sleeping space as in a Twin bed. In fact, if you pushed two Extra-Long Twin beds together they'd be about the same size as an Eastern King. For great versatility in a guest room, if you have the floor space, use 2 extra long twin beds separately for singles or push them together to make a king bed for couples.
When buying sheets, you have to be careful to purchase the right size. Flat sheets will fit both sizes of King beds, but fitted sheets are cut to fit one or the other. Before you go shopping for sheets, be sure to measure your bed exactly to be sure to buy the linens that will fit exactly.
- Standard King or Eastern King beds are about 16" wider than a Queen bed and the same length. A King size bed is sold with two box springs or frames and one mattress. This makes it easier to move.
- Overall dimensions: 76" wide x 80" long
- Width per person: 38"
- Pros: As the widest bed commonly available in stores, the Standard King is the most comfortable for two adults. The 80" length is sufficient for most people. Sheets labeled "King Size" fit a Standard King bed.
- Cons: Because of its size, a King bed may not be practical for a single person who has to do the moving by himself. They're hard to get upstairs, through narrow, winding hallways, and small rooms. A King bed may not be long enough for very tall people. Bedding is most expensive in the King sizes. The wide bed requires at least 3 standard or 2 queen or king pillows, adding to the cost.
California King or Western King beds are 12" wider than a Queen and 4" longer. This is the longest bed commonly available in stores and is the best choice for tall people. Like the Eastern King, the California King bed set comes with one mattress and two half-width box springs to be more manageable when moving. Very tall single people can sleep from corner to corner and still be comfortable.
- Overall dimensions: 72" wide x 84" long
- Width per person: 36"
- Pros: A California King size mattress is wide enough for two to sleep comfortably and is the longest bed commonly available. Its extra length is good for tall people.
- Cons: This very large mattress may be cumbersome to move and may not fit up stairs, through narrow hallways, or in small bedrooms. Like the Eastern King, the California King bed set comes with one mattress and two half-width box springs to be more manageable when moving. Very tall single people can sleep from corner to corner and still be comfortable.
See our convenient Bed and Sheet Size Chart listing all bed sizes.