≡ Menu

Before You Buy: What You Need to Know About King Size Bedding

The king sized bed is one of the most popular sizes for adults today.  Although this size bed may be more comfortable for some, there is always the question of adequate space in the bedroom.  Provided the bedroom is large enough to contain a larger bed, the bedding can be dull or overwhelming if not chosen with an eye on the amount of space that will be covered.  Too much of a solid color can create a boring decor.  Too much of a print pattern can become too busy and overwhelming.  A mixture of solids and prints is probably the most pleasing decor. 

Size of the King Bed and Bedding

Before you buy bedding for your bed you need to know the measurements of the mattress and the bedding.   Please note that the primary difference between the standard king and the California king mattress is that California king is 4″ longer and 4″ narrower than the standard king size bed.  Of course, this is important when purchasing your bedding.  Most can easily recognize that the bed — the mattress — is larger than a queen size bed, but the difference between the California king and the standard king bed requires a slightly more trained eye.


  • King–76 x 80 inches (or 198 x 203 cm)
  • California King–72 x 84 inches (or 182 x 213 cm)

Fitted Sheets:

  • King–76 x 80 inches (or 198 x 203 cm)
  • California King–72 x 84 inches (or 182 x 213 cm)

The Flat Sheet (top sheet):

  • King/California King–108 x 102 inches (or 274 x 259 cm)


  • King/California King–100 x 90 inches (or 254 x 229 cm)

Pillow Cases for Kings:

  • King/California King:  21″ x 42″

Selecting the Fabric

Both standard king size bedding and the California king can be found in a full range of fabrics and textures, including flannel, percale, organic cotton, pima cotton, Egyptian cotton, and blends.

Generally speaking, flannel is the best selection for some decors — country styling, shabby chic, Early American.  Naturally, as expected, flannel is better suited for colder climates.  If concerned about the proper care of flannel, please read our articles on the care of flannel and how to stop flannel pilling

Percale is usually a better selection for those who want a multicolor blended print since percale bedding is printed on one side after the sheet is constructed.  Of course, cotton is always a good choice.  Of note, Egyptian cotton often costs a little more and boasts a higher thread count.  Pima cotton offers the same quality.

Room Decor and Selecting the Bedding Ensemble

a well executed bedroom color scheme designed to make the inhabitants feel comfortable while offering a wonderfully designed decorThe bedroom is the room most often left to chance when it comes to home decor.  However, it is the most private room in the house and should reflect the personalities of those who inhabit it.

The bedroom that holds the king size bed should be large enough to contain the size without making the room look overpowered by the bed.  A room that is too small for a larger bed will look cluttered and will prove to be uncomfortable for living.  The bedroom should have sufficient room to walk around without tripping over furniture or having to turn sideways to slide between the bed and the dresser. 

That said, it is suggested that the walls be of a lighter color adding the illusion of more space.  If you prefer dark colors, save those choices for the bedding or for accent chairs.

When making a choice of colors, bear in mind that no more than three primary or distinct colors should be used in any room (or house).  More than three colors will give the appearance of being thrown together with little thought.  Of course, it is quite appropriate to use shades of the three colors to soften the decor and expand the variety.

If the bedroom is small, the drapes or curtains should be the same color as the walls or a shade of the color.  Keeping continuity of color between the walls and the drapes will assist in giving the feeling of spaciousness.

When selecting the bedding, especially if you are uncomfortable in making selections or feel unsure, begin with a bedding ensemble or what is commonly referred to as a bed in a bag.  Most often a bedding ensemble is a patterned design.  Buy a pattern that you can live with comfortably.  If you really do not “love” the pattern, do not buy it.  Take your time and shop around.  With the almost endless variety on the market today, it is not necessary to buy the first ensemble you see.  Shop until you find the perfect pattern for you and your room.

Once you have decided on the bedding ensemble use it as the base from which to purchase other sheets, pillow cases and comforters.  Purchase solid color sheets and bedding in each of the colors accentuated in the patterned bedding.  You will soon discover that you have four or five sets that can be mixed and matched.

Again the purpose of selecting solid bedding to go with the patterned bedding is to give you the opportunity to decorate your bedroom with style and color, but not so much as to overwhelm you when you walk in.  For example, if you choose to use the patterned comforter, you may choose to use it with solid color sheets and pillow cases or vice versa.  You will enjoy your bedroom more and always have a change of bedding when needed.

With proper application of colors and design, accent pieces and high quality king size bedding the bedroom will be a place to relax and enjoy a good night of sleep.