Why is It Called California King? Uncover the Origin and Luxury Appeal

Ever wondered why the California king bed has such a regal and geographically specific name? This luxurious mattress isn’t just about sizeā€”its name has a fascinating story rooted in the mid-20th century. As you dive into the origins of the California king, you’ll discover how it became a symbol of opulence and comfort, particularly suited for the spacious homes of the West Coast.

The California king bed, often mistaken for being larger than the standard king, actually offers a different dimension that caters to taller individuals. But there’s more to the name than just its size. The story behind it involves a blend of marketing genius and the unique lifestyle of Californians in the 1960s. So, let’s unravel the tale of how this iconic bed got its distinctive name and why it continues to be a favorite choice for many.

Key Takeaways

  • Origin and Name: The California king bed was designed in the 1960s by a Los Angeles furniture company, aiming to capitalize on California’s luxurious image and spacious homes.
  • Dimensions: Measuring 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, the California king bed is longer but narrower than a standard king bed, catering especially to taller individuals.
  • Popularity: Initially popular among Hollywood celebrities and affluent individuals, the California king bed became a status symbol, widely adopted by the 1980s.
  • Pros and Cons: Pros include extra length for tall individuals, luxury, and enhanced room decor; cons involve the need for large bedroom space, difficulty in moving, and limited bedding choices.
  • Cultural Impact: The bed has influenced media and modern bedroom designs, often appearing in luxury magazines and decor shows, solidifying its status as a symbol of opulence and comfort.

History of the California King Bed

Origins of the Name

You might wonder why it’s called a California king and not something else. The name originated in the 1960s when a Los Angeles furniture company designed an extra-long bed for the upscale homes of California. The company wanted to capitalize on the larger-than-life image of California luxury and space. It created a bed that was four inches longer and narrower than the standard king-size bed, catering to taller individuals and fitting the wide, sprawling bedrooms common in the region.

Popularization and Trends

During the 1960s, the California king bed gained popularity among Hollywood celebrities and affluent individuals. The design quickly became a status symbol, reflecting the opulent lifestyle associated with Californian culture. As media coverage of these trends grew, public interest followed suit, leading to broader adoption beyond the West Coast. By the 1980s, the California king bed became a staple in the luxury bedding market, offering comfort, style, and a unique dimension that differentiated it from other beds. Celebrities and design shows further fueled its popularity, making it a desirable choice for those seeking both functionality and a touch of extravagance.

Comparison With Other Bed Sizes

Dimensions and Space Requirements

The California king bed measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long, offering 4 extra inches of length compared to a standard king bed, which measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. This additional length makes the California king ideal for taller individuals. While a queen bed measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long, a full-size bed measures 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. These smaller options are better suited for single sleepers or smaller rooms.

Bed TypeWidth (in)Length (in)
California King7284

California king beds require a larger bedroom for optimal comfort. A bedroom size of at least 12 feet by 12 feet is recommended. Comparatively, a queen bed fits comfortably in smaller rooms, around 10 feet by 10 feet.

Pros and Cons


  1. Ideal for Tall Individuals: The California king’s extra length accommodates taller people comfortably.
  2. Luxury and Comfort: Offers a sense of opulence and more sleeping space.
  3. Modern Aesthetic: The sleek, elongated dimensions often enhance the room’s decor.
  1. Space Requirements: Needs a larger bedroom for proper accommodation.
  2. Heavier and Harder to Move: Due to its size, it can be more cumbersome to transport or rearrange.
  3. Limited Bedding Choices: Bedding and accessories for California king beds might be harder to find than for other sizes.

Considering these factors, a California king bed can elevate your sleeping experience if space and accessibility align with your requirements. Balancing these aspects helps make an informed choice about the best bed size for your needs.

Cultural Impact

California King in Media and Marketing

The California king bed often appears in media and marketing. Luxury magazines and home decor shows frequently feature this bed, highlighting its spacious dimensions and sophisticated appeal. Its status as a symbol of luxury and opulence attracts attention from celebrities and designers alike. This exposure solidifies its reputation and appeals to those aspiring for an upscale lifestyle. Seeing the bed in prominent interiors encourages consumers to associate it with high status and comfort.

Influence on Modern Bedroom Designs

The California king bed significantly influences modern bedroom designs. Its larger size demands more space, prompting designers to innovate with layout and furniture placement. Bedrooms featuring a California king bed often incorporate minimalist decor to prevent overcrowding and maintain a sense of openness. Additionally, this bed’s size and luxury status inspire the use of high-quality materials, elegant textiles, and cohesive color schemes. Consequently, the California king helps shape contemporary bedroom aesthetics, focusing on comfort and visual appeal.


The California king bed stands as a testament to luxury and spacious living. Its unique dimensions cater to taller individuals and its cultural impact is undeniable. While it presents challenges like weight and finding suitable bedding its influence on modern bedroom design is profound. Opting for a California king bed means embracing comfort style and a touch of opulence in your living space.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dimensions of a California king bed?

A California king bed measures 72 inches in width by 84 inches in length, making it ideal for taller individuals who need extra legroom.

When did the California king bed become popular?

The California king bed originated in the 1960s and gained popularity among Hollywood celebrities and the affluent. By the 1980s, it had become a staple in the luxury bedding market.

Why is the California king bed considered a symbol of luxury?

Its association with Hollywood celebrities, spacious dimensions, and frequent appearances in luxury magazines and home decor shows have cemented the California king bed’s reputation as a symbol of opulence.

What are some challenges of owning a California king bed?

The primary challenges include its weight and finding suitable bedding that fits its unique dimensions of 72 inches wide by 84 inches long.

How has the California king bed influenced modern bedroom designs?

It has inspired modern bedroom designs incorporating minimalist decor and high-quality materials to create comfortable and visually appealing spaces.