What kind of bed do I want?
July 24, 2010 5:18 PM   Subscribe

Bedafilter: Do I want a Cal King or Eastern King mattress. Also, what kind?

I'm moving soon and that seems like as good a time as any to get a new mattress. The place I'm moving into has a larger bedroom than the current place, so I'm thinking of going up a size. I'm nearly six feet tall and have a cat that thinks my feet are an excellent place to sleep, so I'm interested in something longer than a queen and probably wider too.

I've always liked staying in hotels with a single king sized bed. Are those cal kings or eastern kings?

Also, what kind of mattresses are out there that are any good. I currently have a tempurpedic mattress which I find to be squishy and hot. Especially hot. Anything out there that helps keep you cool in bed? I don't have much mattress experience, but I've enjoyed the mattresses i've slept on in Marriott hotels. The hotelbed by Marriott is appealing but it's quite expensive. I can't imagine spending more than $1000 for the mattress.
posted by desl to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Cal Kings are 4 inches longer and 4 inches narrower than an Eastern King. I would choose by what is more important to you: more room per person (if two in the bed) or more foot room. Personally I went with the extra length of the Cal King as I'm also tall.
posted by cecic at 5:27 PM on July 24, 2010

As to the mattress type, consider a latex mattress. They sleep cooler than a Tempurpedic/memory foam mattresses. The Marriott mattress is a foam mattress (polyurethane), different from a latex or a memory foam, though they all have similar body conforming properties attributable to foam.
posted by cecic at 5:34 PM on July 24, 2010

This is what I have (and love). The extra length is great. Memory foam is amazing and this is a great, great deal.

I used to be hot when sleeping. Switching to memory foam I can sleep with a blanket even during the summer.
posted by jz at 5:36 PM on July 24, 2010

Find a good mattress store and check 'em out! I went to one locally, I forget the chain, but they had me lay down on a special mattress and it had sensors underneath it that picked up my body pressure points and then the salesman was able to recommend mattresses for me.

You feel a little silly doing it, but put on some sweatpants, some slip on shoes and try out some mattresses for yourself. It really is the best way to buy one.

And to finalize that fine hotel room experience, make sure you buy some really nice Egyptian cotton high thread count sheets. They make such a difference. I'm using 500 count now and love them.
posted by NoraCharles at 5:42 PM on July 24, 2010

You might also consider which would be easier to get sheets for.
posted by dws at 5:42 PM on July 24, 2010

You might also consider which would be easier to get sheets for.

Seconding that....I have a cal king bed, and shopping for sheets and blankets can be a lesson in disappointment, as there is lots that I like that's simply unavailable. Plan on having less of a selection and paying a lot more.

That being said, we have multiple cats and a small dog and I can still lie there, stretch all the way out and not be able to reach the wife, so what you lose in sheet selection and girth of the wallet, you gain in tons of room while sleeping.
posted by nevercalm at 5:50 PM on July 24, 2010

We upgraded recently to a king-sized bed and it is delightful. I love that bed. We went with the Eastern King size because we preferred the extra width and because it can be hard to find California king bedding in stores. The cat is happy to sleep next to our feet rather than at the bottom of them, so it works out great.

Other things I learned during the process of choosing the new bed: we went with a traditional mattress and box springs. If you do this, look for a mattress that can be flipped - this means not a pillow top. If you prefer a soft cushy sleeping surface, you can add a foam mattress topper that can be replaced for 100 bucks if it gets nasty or worn out after a few years. IMO this is a better way to go than to get a mattress with a pillow top permanently attached. And flipping your mattress every few months means that it will wear more evenly and last longer.

Also, make sure you shop around. We found that mattress stores in our area varied widely in terms of price, selection, and skeeziness of the salespeople.
posted by beandip at 7:31 PM on July 24, 2010

I just bought a firm latex mattress from here and would highly recommend it. I got the regular king size because the Cal King wouldn't fit in my bedroom. The latex sleeps much cooler than the memory foam mattress I used to have.
posted by Floydd at 7:52 PM on July 24, 2010

I highly recommend a king size rather than a Cal king. I'm 6'3" and the king size is plenty long. The Cal king just means spending more on sheets, and not being able to buy them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

When my fiancee and I went mattress shopping last year, we liked the Simmons Beautyrest the best. But it was pricey. So we bought an Englander that has the same pocketed coil construction. It was $800 cheaper and better made than the Simmons; it's just than Englander is not as well-known of a brand. (They make lots of hotel mattresses, though, so you have probably slept on one.) It's been bliss to sleep on.
posted by kindall at 7:57 PM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I can't help you with the size, but I can tell you about keeping cool. We have a standard mattress that's a plush top (which is a little less pillowy than a pillow top). It wasn't expensive - $700 or so for a queen size. I think it's a Serta. It's topped with an inexpensive gel mattress pad, then a dust mite cover (not necessary if you don't have allergies) then modal sheets. It's the plushest, coolest, bed I've ever slept in.
posted by zinfandel at 8:58 PM on July 24, 2010

n-thing the sheet issue. I love my cal-king bed (I'm also 6' 3", but the extra length is worth it to me), but buying bedding for it is pretty much an online-only thing.

As far as keeping cool, I recently added a 3" cool-foam memory foam topper, and it makes a noticeable difference on hot nights.
posted by nonliteral at 10:08 PM on July 24, 2010

The sheets problem is reversed if you're in California -- then, as you might expect, almost all you can find is Cal. King sheets.
posted by rossmik at 10:12 PM on July 24, 2010

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