King Bed: Everything You Need To Know

Women laying on a king bed

You may be someone who lays in one position all night. The king bed, for you, is just, “eh”.

But if you like to sprawl and take up space in the bed, for you, there’ll be nothing more wonderful than a king size bed which allows you all the sprawl space you desire.

Plus, with the right mattress, your movement won’t wake your partner. And since the king bed is so big, you won’t even wake the dog sleeping next to the other two kids sleeping next to your wife.

Made with spaciousness in mind, a standard king size bed measures 183 cm x 188 cm and an extra-length king bed, with an additional 12cm, measures in at 183 cm x 200 cm.

The height of the bed is dependent on the brand and type of mattress used.

Types of king beds

You talk about king beds and think you are in the know. But then you hear about the famous Bed of Ware, California king bed and Eastern king bed, and you realise you know nothing.

Is there a difference? Are all king beds not the same? How did they come to be?

Well, it all comes down to mattress size.

Bed of Ware

Dating back to the 16th century, around 1590, the Bed of Ware is one of the biggest four poster beds ever made. Measuring a whopping 3.26 metre in width and 3.38 metres in length, as many as 15 people could sleep in it.

Bed of Ware is one of the biggest four poster beds ever made.

Image Credit: Ourhertforandware

The famous Bed of Ware.

Hmm. Not sure about the logic in that…what if you’re the one in the middle and need to get up in the night? Suppose you could scoot down a couple of laps and slip out the bottom like a vienna sausage.

It is presumed that the bed was originally made as a tourist attraction for an inn in Ware, Hertfordshire and is marked with graffiti as visitors were said to have carved their initials on the bedposts and headboard.

This bed was well known in its day, and even William Shakespeare made mention of it in his play Twelfth Night.

Historians believe that this bed was the first model of the king bed we know today.

California king beds

In the 1960s, it was the rich and famous who were the primary users of the California king bed which measures 183cm by 214cm.

Research shows that the California king bed was supposedly invented in 1982 by a very tall man with short arms, called David Bergeson who lived in Concord, California.

Because of his height and short arms, not only did his feet hang over the end of the bed but he also had trouble reaching for his wife at night.

Two interesting facts about California king beds:

  1. They are the most popular size for waterbeds
  2. In Europe, they are usually referred to as Western king beds

It seems to be fitting that the well known pop star Rihanna actually had a hit song “California King Bed” in which she symbolises the spaciousness of the bed. The king bed is so good, she had to make a song and dance of it…

Eastern king beds

Birthed in the 1960s in Los Angeles, Eastern king beds originally targeted the rich and famous market such as movie stars and pro athletes.

As demand spread internationally, Europe followed in America’s footsteps and started manufacturing these beds in the 70s and 80s.

Measuring 193 cm in width and 203 cm in length, the king bed is popular for its extra width.

The sleep dreams are made of

Comfort and spaciousness are two key requirements fulfilled by a king bed.

Depending on your bedroom size and what suits your taste and budget, you have the option to choose between a standard king, California king or Eastern king.

Bear in mind that long legged people usually choose the California king while families and pet parents who allow their furry family to sleep with them, usually opt tor the extra width found in the Eastern king beds.

Family on a king bed playing with the dog

Benefits of the king bed

Everybody would want a king bed, unfortunately, the bigger the bed, the more expensive it is in the short and long-term. Additionally, not everyone has the space to accommodate it.

But if you have space and can afford it, you won’t be sorry:

  • The extra space means all your body parts can fit on the bed instead of dangle over the side.
  • Superior comfort because you can stretch out and move around without disturbing your partner.

King bed mattress comfort

With size out of the way, all that remains to do is choose a mattress from the wide range of materials and brands.

Genie beds are technologically advanced hybrid beds that provide support and comfort for most people, no matter their unique needs.

Now, here’s a story to demonstrate how you should never underestimate the importance of mattress comfort…

In Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea”, the princess has to prove she is royalty by sleeping on top of several mattresses.

The prince must only marry a real princess, so the prince’s mother puts a pea under all the mattresses and explains to the prince that only a real princess would be able to feel the pea.

Sure enough, the princess has a bad night because of the hardness of the bed, caused by the pea, thus proving her royal status. Of course, they marry and live happily ever after.

Don’t forget the toppings

No bed would be complete with the accompanying bedding, which is also available in sizes to match bed size.

Whether it be mattress protectors, sheeting, duvets, eiderdown, throw or blankets, or other accessories, there are a variety of options to choose from.

It is important to remember that size is money, with prices increasing with each larger size.

Another consideration is that even though bedding is available in all sizes, in South Africa, it is easier to find bedding up to the standard king size. Any bigger bed size and you may need to have linen made.

Not to forget pillows. These too come in all bed sizes.

If pillows are too soft, lumpy or hard, they may be the cause of stiff necks and headaches. And you don’t want people calling you a stiff neck now, do you?

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