- 1 Size Difference Between a California King Mattress vs A King Sized Mattress
- 2 Best Overall California King Mattress – The DreamCloud
- 3 Pros And Cons
- 4 Best Budget-Friendly California King Mattress – The Nectar
- 5 Pros And Cons
- 6 Price Brackets
- 7 3 More Really Good California King Mattresses
- 8 Conclusion
There are few things in the mattress world that can match the sense of luxury and opulence that a California king-sized mattress provides. The amount of length the mattress size has allows taller people the luxury of being able to sleep well without having their feet hanging off the edge of the bed.
Not every brand makes California king-sized products, but as this supersized sleeping surface is becoming more popular by the day – most of the good ones do.
Today we’re going to be looking at some of the best California king-sized products on the market in various different categories and price brackets. We’re going to review them in a huge amount of detail, dissecting them layer by layer to help see quite literally what you’re getting for your money.
Let’s get started.
Size Difference Between a California King Mattress vs A King Sized Mattress
The difference between a California king and a king-sized bed is small but important.
- King sized mattresses are the widest standard size of bed on the market, they’re 76 inches wide and 80 inches long.
- California king mattresses beds are better suited to tall people. They’re the longest kind of mattress on the market and they’re 72 inches wide and 84 inches long.
In terms of price, there’s not that much difference between king and California king mattresses. In fact, most of the time they cost exactly the same (as the volume difference is negligible).
The biggest issue you might find with a California king sized bed is finding bedding. It’s a very uncommon size, and you’re going to have to either shop online or go to dedicated bedding stores to find products – and even then, your options are going to be limited.
Best Overall California King Mattress – The DreamCloud
There are quite a few contenders for the title of best California king mattress, but we think that one of the best mattresses available in this size (or any size for that matter) is the DreamCloud.
DreamCloud is one of the latest mattress in a box companies that have capitalized on the sudden explosion in online mattress sales. They’ve created one of the most advanced and most luxurious products on the market – and it’s priced exceptionally well.
It’s a hybrid product that uses different layers of various materials to create a mattress that can benefit from their different strengths. Let’s take a look at each layer to see what you’re getting for your money.
Cashmere Blend Eurotop
The top layer of the DreamCloud is a luxury eurotop. This layer is stuffed generously with an exceptionally high-quality blend of cashmere wool. It’s the cherry on top of all the other layers below and provides the same kind of luxuriousness to this product that you’d expect to find in a 5-star resort.
Cooling Gel Memory Foam
Some of you might quite rightly be a little alarmed at seeing a memory foam layer as the first foam layer in this product as it’s going to be in direct contact with the sleeper.
Memory foam is well known for the overheating problems that come with the material, and when used as a top layer in a hybrid mattress – it’s even worse. However, this layer has been infused with a cooling gel that combats the overheating issues by spreading the heat out instead of actually cooling the product down.
In a nutshell, the reason memory foam overheats is because there are lots of little cells of air inside the material that give it the contouring properties we all know and love. Body heat enters the mattress throughout the night and heats the air inside these cells up. As the cells are completely enclosed the air cannot ventilate out of the mattress and instead hotspots form underneath the sleeper.
Cooling gels come in many forms, but they all work on the principle of thermal conductivity – they’re excellent at spreading the heat out.
When body heat enters a cooling gel layer, the gel absorbs much of the heat before it can get inside the cells. The gel then spreads the heat out to all the other gel in the mattress and creates a much more uniform temperature across the entire sleeping surface. This removes hotspots and creates a cooler sensation for the sleeper, despite the same amount of heat being in the mattress.
Quilted Memory Foam
The next layer down is one of our favorites, it’s a layer that’s been added purely for enjoyment, comfort, and luxury. It’s a memory foam layer that’s super soft (and as such it’s not that supportive) but it has been quilted to give it a little extra plushness that standard memory foam can lack. This layer works together with the eurotop layer to give the “resort style” feeling that this product is famous for.
This layer of all natural latex is one of the most important layers of the product. Normally when you’re dealing with multiple layers of memory foam there’s not a lot of responsiveness in the mattress, you get on to it and you sink in – there’s no pushback at all.
Latex is a super responsive material that adds a little bit of a reassuring bounce to the product that alleviates the almost unnatural feeling that some pure foam products can have. As an added boons latex is naturally a good ventilator which means this layer also helps get rid of heat that makes it past the cooling gel layers above into the middle of the mattress.
This is a layer of medium firm memory foam that’s got nothing fancy about it (no cooling tech at all). This is the first layer of the support section of the mattress and also starts a gradient of firmness to make the transition to the harder layers below less sudden and noticeable.
Firmer Memory Foam
This is a layer that’s almost identical to the layer above, it’s just a little bit firmer. It again adds further support but is mainly here to transition to the coiled section below gently.
Independent Pocketed Coils
This section is undoubtedly the most interesting part of the mattress, it’s also one of the biggest reasons we decided upon it as our overall pick.
Unlike a traditional innerspring mattress, the coils in this section are completely independent of one another. This means that they will only compress when you’re applying direct pressure to them. With this system, the impression that is made in the layer of coils very closely resembles your actual body shape, and it provides huge levels of support.
While this would normally be the talking point of the layer, there’s something extra special happening here in the DreamCloud.
This section has been divided up into 5 separate zones. Each zone has a different kind of coils in it, some will be firmer and others will be softer. This has allowed DreamCloud to provide more support in areas of the mattress where it is needed, and less support where it is not.
It sounds like a simple and obvious design pattern, but it’s quite new and there’s only a handful of mattresses on the market that do something like this. It’s super effective at promoting proper spinal alignment, and more and more products are starting to use a similar system as the years go by.
High-Density Support Foam
The final layer of this product is made from a high-density support foam. There’s not all that much that’s special about it. It provides a strong base for the layers above to rest on, but that’s about it.
This is one of our favorite mattresses on the market right now, the combination of technology, support, luxuriousness, and innovation (at a reasonable price point) is almost unbeatable in our opinion.
Pros And Cons
- Cooling gel memory foam
- Independent coils
- Zoned support system
- Latex responsiveness
- Great value for money
- Luxurious resort style feel
- Could be a little cheaper (but it’s great value for money)
Best Budget-Friendly California King Mattress – The Nectar
The DreamCloud is excellent, but it’s also a little bit on the pricey side and might be out of some peoples’ budgets.
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, the Nectar might be just what you need – it’s one of the highest rated consumer reports mattresses. It’s a 5-layer hybrid product that uses a pure foam design to provide levels of support and comfort that quite honestly could demand a much higher price tag.
Here are the different layers that you’ll find inside:
The covering of this product is made from Tencel, which is an all natural eco-friendly material created from cellulose that’s derived from wood fibers. Despite being technically made from wood, this is a very soft material that feels great when you’re on top of it. It’s an excellent thermal regulator and is very breathable – which allows hot air to escape the mattress easily and efficiently.
Bonus: As an added bonus it’s also a great wicking agent, which means sweat will be drawn away from the sleeper throughout the night – keeping things comfortable.
Quilted Gel Memory Foam
We’ve basically covered the benefits of this section already in the DreamCloud review above, so we’re not going to repeat ourselves. It’s essentially a combination of the second and third layers in the DreamCloud in a single layer.
It has a cooling gel infusion that’s going to spread the heat out and reduce hotspots in exactly the same way as the DreamCloud (and it’s equally as effective). It’s also a quilted layer which means you’re going to get the additional loft and luxuriousness we covered earlier.
It’s a little firmer and less luxurious than the DreamCloud (especially as it doesn’t have the eurotop covering) but it’s still divine. You’ll love it.
Cooling Gel Memory Foam
The next layer down is another layer of cooling gel memory foam, the only difference here is that this layer isn’t quilted. Instead, this layer starts to provide some support and is made from a medium firm memory foam that’s of an exceptionally high quality. It contours quickly and isn’t going to sag after a few years like some cheaper foams can.
Hi Core Memory Foam
This layer is one that we have to gloss over, despite being excellent.
Hi Core memory foam is a complex material that’s super difficult to explain (we ourselves only just barely understand it). All you need to know is that hi core memory foam contours much better than standard memory foam – and as such it provides unbelievable amounts of support. Additionally, it needs much less body heat to start the contouring process, and it will adapt to your body shape incredibly quickly.
High-Density Support Foam
The final layer of the Nectar is again super boring, it’s made from a high-density support foam that does nothing more than provide the stable base that the layers above need to do their jobs properly.
Considering the price, you’re getting a whole lot of mattress for your money here. The cooling gel creates a super cool sleeping surface, and the hi core memory foam combined with the quilted gel layer adds luxury and support that’s almost unbeatable without spending more.
Pros And Cons
- Quilted memory foam
- 2 Cooling gel layers
- Hi core memory foam
- Great value for money
- Big reputable brand
- Tencel covering
- No zoned support section like the DreamCloud
The two products above are our overall recommendations, but here are a few other products that we want to point out that might be worth considering depending upon your budget.
Best For Under $1500 – Puffy
The Puffy mattress is one of our all-time favorite mattresses. The brand’s entire success revolves around a material that they spent over 4 years developing called comfort cloud. We’re not being hyperbolic when we say that it’s possibly the most advanced material we’ve ever seen used in mattress design.
It’s been developed to have the contouring benefits of memory foam, without the downsides of the material. Admittedly, high-quality memory foam provides a bit more support and contours a little bit better than Comfort Cloud – but the difference is small.
The upside to Comfort Cloud is mainly found in its thermal regulation properties. The material doesn’t use a cell-based structure as we described earlier, and as such it doesn’t have the hotspot problem either. It’s also extremely good at ventilation and will naturally allow air to flow in and out of the layer, taking heat away with it.
It has a special Cooling Gel added to the mix called Cooling Cloud which attempts to find the optimum temperature instead of going for full cooling. Comfort Cloud is so cool on its own, that if a standard cooling gel was used, it may be too cool for comfort.
That’s something we can’t remember saying about any other mattress we’ve ever reviewed.
The other benefit that Comfort Cloud has over memory foam is the speed at which it contours. Memory foam usually takes a little while to activate as it needs body heat to soften the cell walls – as Comfort Cloud doesn’t use cells, it doesn’t need this activation time.
As such, the contouring effects of the material are almost instant, which you’ll appreciate when you first get into bed or change position throughout the night.
Best For Under $1000 – Tuft & Needle
Tuft & Needle are one of the big names in the mattress world, they’re up there with Purple and Nectar as one of the most respected brands around at the moment. They’ve got a few products on the market, but this is probably the one we like the most.
Like the Puffy above, Tuft & Needle have created their own kind of foam (called T&N Adaptive Foam) that is designed to be a “memory foam killer”. It has excellent ventilation compared to memory foam and air can freely flow in and out of the mattress to provide a super cool sleeping surface.
Like Comfort Cloud above, T&N Adaptive Foam has contouring properties that are not dissimilar to that of memory foam. But again, if we’re honest memory foam is just slightly better at contouring and support – but the difference in performance is very small.
One of the things we like the most about T&N Adaptive Foam is that it’s better for the environment than memory foam. As you may already know, standard memory foam is a very unnatural product that uses a huge amount of harmful chemicals in its production (but the material itself is safe).
We think Tuft & Needle play the eco-friendly card a little too much with this product, it’s nowhere near green enough for the song and dance they make about their Greenguard certification. However, there’s no denying that it’s much better for the environment than memory foam – even if it’s still not all that great itself.
Either way, this is a super high-quality comfortable product that’s going to provide you with luxurious support and a cool sleeping surface for less than $1,000. What more could you want?
We highly recommend you check it out.
Best For Under $500 – Zinus
Our super budget option is this insanely cheap product from Zinus. It’s a pure foam product that doesn’t have the level of performance of any of the products we’ve talked about already today – but it’s still an exceptional mattress considering the price.
It’s a pure foam product that uses some pretty advanced materials that set it apart from its competitors in this price bracket. It’s got cooling gel technology similar to the Nectar and the DreamCloud and despite being around $1,000 cheaper – it’s still incredibly effective and you’re going to get a super cool night’s sleep.
One of the most innovative features of this product is the green tea infusion that has been added to the top memory foam layer.
This sounded like a marketing gimmick to us at first – but it’s not.
As we mentioned in the Tuft & Needle review above, memory foam is made from harmful chemicals. While these chemicals are not going to cause harm when cured in the final product they can be a little bit smelly for a while when the mattress is new.
By adding green tea to this layer Zinus have managed to almost entirely mitigate this issue and they have created one of the best smelling products on the market. It sounds a little strange, but when you’ve examined as many mattresses as we have – it’s a real benefit.
After the smelly period has finished, the green tea continues its work thanks to its natural antimicrobial properties. Any sweat and stink that makes its way into your mattress throughout the night will be neutralized by the green tea, ensuring your bed smells fresher for longer.
3 More Really Good California King Mattresses
To finish off, we’re going to quickly mention 3 other products we came across during our research that we wanted to point out. They weren’t quite good enough for the top spots, but they get an honorable mention and are worth checking out.
This is one of the cheapest California king mattresses on Amazon that we’re comfortable recommending. It’s a pure foam product that contains several layers of memory foam alongside some decent cooling gel technology.
Live and Sleep
Another cheap California king mattress pick that uses Visco foam instead of memory foam (which is essentially artificial latex). It’s got a lovely thickness to it that gives it a sense of luxury far beyond its price point.
Another pure foam product that has a little more tech than its price tag deserves. It’s got charcoal infusions that work in the same way as the green tea in the Zinus to provide freshness and to combat smelliness. The addition of cooling gel keeps things super cool throughout the night too.
So there you have it, that’s all there is to know about the best California king mattresses on the market in a wide range of price points.
Any of the products we’ve mentioned today are excellent options that all provide luxury and performance that are well worth their respective price points.
With any of them in your home, you’re literally going to be sleeping on a bed that’s fit for a king.