What Size Comforter Do You Need for a Cal King Bed?

We get this question at DOWNLITE once in awhile and wanted to share with everyone how to buy the right size Cal king comforter.

The Cal-King

If you are lucky enough to have a California king bed (also known as a 'Cal king') you know that the bed is less wide than a traditional king size mattress, but longer. Here are the actual measurements for California king bedding, in inches (The height of the mattress has nothing to do with being one or the other):

  • King Bed - 78 x 80 Inches
  • Cal king Bed - 72 x 84 Inches

This special size mattress has a few quirks in terms of finding a comforter to properly fit the bed. At a typical department store you will find over-sized king comforters that measure 106x96" to 108x98". This gives a typical king bed 28-30 inches of extra material to drape but, by the time we get in bed and increase the height, the comforter will barely cover the top side of the bed. To determine the amount of side coverage you have, divide the 28-30 inch excess by 2. You now have 14-15 inches of drape on the side of the bed (again, you really won't once you get in bed).

Using an over-sized comforter on a Cal king bed is best because you get the benefit of extra side coverage (about 3-4 inches extra each side). As for the foot length of 84 inches; this gives you now approx. 12-14 inches of drape, assuming the comforter is pulled to the top of the bed and not slightly folded over at the top area.

If you have a platform bed, you should be careful to not get a down comforter that could drape too much on the sides (this will make the bed look sloppy unless you do want complete side coverage.)

If you have a sleigh bed you will want to make sure your comforter is not too long either, as it will bunch at the end of the bed.

If you find a promotional comforter, like a 102x86" size (common for cheaper promo comforters in the past) your comforter will be too short on the foot length (even if you do have a sleigh bed).

In general we suggest buying an over sized king comforter to fit properly on your cal king bed.