What Is a California Queen Mattress?

Choosing the right mattress can affect the quality of your life. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average person spends one-third of her life in bed. By understanding your mattress options, you can choose the one best for your size, space availability and lifestyle. The California queen provides extra length, which could be a benefit or consideration for you.

California Queen Compared to Standard Queen

Also known as extra long queen, or XL queen, the California queen is a mattress size typically found in the U.S. and Canada as a special order. The width of a California queen is 60 inches, and its length is 84 inches. The standard queen, in comparison, is the same width of 60 inches but is 4 inches shorter at 80 inches in length.

Benefits

The additional 4 inches of the California queen's length make it a comfortable option for tall people. At the same width as a standard queen, it also provides the extra roominess compared to a full-size mattress for a couple sharing the bed, for an individual who tosses and turns or for the pet lover who doesn't mind sharing. In fact, the California queen measures 6 inches wider and 9 inches longer than a full-size mattress.

Considerations

As a special-order mattress, bedding for your California queen can also be a special order, though finding bedding in bed and bath retail stores is becoming easier. A custom bed frame may also be necessary; a standard queen metal (or A-frame) is not recommended to support the extra length of the California queen. If you decide the California queen is the right mattress for you, measure the room in which it will be used to ensure the extra length will still leave you with a comfortable walking area and room for your other furniture.

Other Queen Sizes

Don't confuse the California queen (or extra long queen) with the expanded queen. While the California queen adds 4 inches in length to a standard queen, the expanded queen adds 6 inches to the width. The expanded queen's dimensions are 66 inches wide by 80 inches long. The California queen mattress is also sometimes confused with the size of a California queen water bed, which is 58 inches wide by 82 inches long -- 2 inches shorter in both length and width than the California queen mattress.