There’s only one thing better than a spacious king-sized bed–an even bigger bed. A California King mattress ups the King by being 4 inches longer, making it the longest mattress–a whopping 84” long–you can get without going the custom-made route. It’s a favorite among professional athletes, especially basketball players, and celebrities alike.
You may recall that superstar Rihanna sang about her California King in her 2011 hit, “California King Bed.” She lamented, “In this California King bed, we’re 10,000 miles apart.” That’s not true. Sleepers can stretch out over 72” in length, but twosomes will be a bit closer widthwise since a California King is 4” narrower than a regular king mattress (sometimes called an Eastern King). But let’s not the facts get in the way of a catchy song…
For tall types with big bedrooms to fill, a California King mattress is an ideal choice. You can’t be too shocked when you learn that its origins can be traced back to California–but how did it all begin? One tale says that it was stars from the silver screen of the 1920’s and 1930’s, demanding more space for all that glamorous lounging in silk pajamas. While reading scripts in bed with an assistant to pour martinis, of course.
Others say the sinful 1960’s were to blame. A Los Angeles-based furniture company started making them at the request of its celebrity clientele who wanted bragging rights for owning the biggest bed on the market. Its success led to it being rolled out to a mass market.
There’s also a shakily sourced story about a man named David Bergeson from Concord, Calif. He allegedly had unusually long legs that dangled off the end of a regular king. He also had equally unusually short arms that made it difficult for him to reach over to snuggle his wife. Clearly something had to be done so he asked a bed maker to create something that would support and strengthen his marriage.
Whatever anecdote you’d like to buy into is up to you. We can tell you with certainty that California King mattresses have always had a sexy image. They make regular appearances in racy romantic novels, which might have fanned the flames of passion for the giant beds.
If you’d like to have this sexy bit of west-coast royalty in your own home, here’s what you should know before you buy.
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