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Best California King Size air mattress – Dec 2016 update

California King Size air mattress is one of the most “barren” categories on 3 beds. It was a daunting task very since we started the category about two years ago and it here is the “issue” that we are seeing (it’s not really an issue for anybody in the market for an airbed in California King size, it’s a bit of an issue for us who have to recommend one).

It features only one model times and times again, but that doesn’t mean our approach will lack any bit of the due diligence we show to every other category on our site.

Let’s introduce the best California King Size air mattress

Fox California King

Fox California King
8.64

Comfort

10/10

    Durability

    9/10

      Air retention

      8/10

        Pump

        8/10

          Value for money

          8/10

            Pros

            • Durable, thick material
            • Comfortable
            • Extra foam topper
            • Good support
            • Firm super flat surface

            Cons

            • Free pillows are too small
            • Heavy
            • Too high for camping according to some buyers

             

            see ratings here one line

             

            As per our usual practice, we’ll also give a quick comparison with the best model out there (in our opinion), SA Dream Series.

            The two don’t have to be the same size for us to compare them since are comparing them in quality categories.

            best california king airbed comparison chart illustration

             Fox California KingSA Dream Line
            Fox California King Size
            top choice in air matresses guests
            Comfort 92 / 10095 / 100
            Durability86 / 10094 / 100
            Air Retention84 / 10094 / 100
            Pump84 / 10094 / 100
            Value for Money82 / 10095 / 100
            Overall Rating85 / 10094 / 100
            Color GrayBlue top/beige body
            SizesQueen/King/California King/Twin XLQueen/Twin
            Height20"19"
            see on amazon comparison table orange

            California King Size explained

            This is one of those “out there” sizes that hit a very specific demographics.

            Mattresses in different, more common, sizes sell much more, so manufacturers are not usually inclined to make California King air beds. Still, they are also needed, and that’s why we address the issue here in every update we write for this guide.

            What makes it different?

            California King is a version of King Size adjusted for taller individuals.

            Regular King goes 76” x 80”. California is narrower than that, but also longer, which goes hand in hand with what we just said. It’s measurements are 72” x 84”, which is a great fit for taller people. It’s also lower than the standard Fox Plush, which makes it more stable. Like the Fox Plush, the California King is made out of thicker Vinyl compared to most airbeds (about 50% thicker) which makes Fox one of the few most durable and reliable airbeds out there.

            measuring the thickness fox california king

            At approximately 0.6 mm, the PVC of the Fox California King is about 50% thicker than a vast majority of airbeds (usually 0.4 mm)

            The fact that we’re talking about narrower models tells us this is not a size for everyone, but it certainly has its customers, which was the original incentive to start this category in the first place.

            We’ve received a lot of emails where you asked for us to give you a proper recommendation for a California King Size air mattress, so instead of answering everybody individually, we wrote and article with a perfect suggestion.

            If you’re one of those people struggling with the common sizes, and need just a couple of more inches for perfect comfort, this is the article for you.

            There’s also a California Queen Size, but now we’re delving into some really esoteric matters (as far as they can be when inflatable beds are concerned). It’s “smaller brother”, the Plush, is currently the best king size air mattress.

            What fox lists in the spec sheet of its California King

            As usual, we’ll primarily see what Fox Airbeds had to say about this product.

            The said manufacturer was on the receiving end of pretty harsh criticism on our part due to its terse and bland product specifications.

            Why does it matter?

            The product info is our initial introduction to the product, and everything else we write should (ideally) be a proper dissection of what manufacturer claims its model can do. Now, if we have only a couple of facts to work with, we’re left hunting info on our own, which is fun, but not the best way to go about it.

            With all that, let’s have a closer look at this Fox:

            • Air-flow construction of the inner chambers
            • 43% added vinyl thickness
            • 2-way integrated pump
            • External pumps are also usable
            • Memory foam premium gel topper and two pillows

            This is exactly what we were talking about. Looking at this set of facts, we don’t get anywhere near being able to make an informed decision whether this product is worth our money or not. It’s not overly expensive for its category, but none of us wants to burn 200+ dollars on a “question mark”, now does he?

            That’s why we’re here!

            This is one of those models where doing what we do best matters the most.

            assembling the fox california king

            Setting up the airbed – inflated, with the foam cover and with the pillows

             

            When online info gets scarce and almost non-existent, having a reliable source of accurate facts is the dream scenario. 3Beds is the mother-load of those facts, so let’s get to work and “unmask” this air bed once and for all.

            How we tested the Fox California King

            Let’s talk a bit about what we did going into this guide and how we got the necessary info to write it.

            california king size air mattress fox deflated

            The bed unpacked and deflated

            Testing the mattress

            The first thing we did, as always, is getting this air bed and starting our test circuit on it.

            We firmly believe in our “down and dirty” approach to the whole thing, meaning we need to test the product for ourselves and see how it holds up.

            It’s been subjected to our pressure and tensile tests, we’ve inflated/deflated it for over a hundred times, we’ve measure the thickness of the material and gave appropriate numeral ratings based on the results we got. Quality of the pump of this California King airbed was one of our main focal points.

            testing the pump

            Quality of the pump can make or break an air mattress – so it was borderline abuse when testing the pump

            Contacting the customers

            We’re in constant contact with A LOT of people who bought specific models we’re writing about. No difference this time around.
            We’ve received a ton of user reviews, shedding additional light on some aspect our in-house tests can’t really cover. We’re talking things like comfort, prolonged use…

            Outsourced tests

            We have a certain number of regular independent testers who cover even more ground when it comes to performance of certain mattresses in conditions we can’t really simulate during our in-house circuit.
            They take them on their camping trips, subjecting them to all the “no-no” factors imaginable, like sharp rocks, thorny patches, grounds covered with tree-roots, cold climates and so on…

            Bottom line…

            We cover all our bases before writing a single word about a certain product, which guarantees an unbiased, informative and high-quality review on our part.
            We do a variety of tests in our 3Beds facility, followed by tests in real-life camping situations, followed by customer feedback for both home and outdoors use.

            This all means 3Beds is your one-stop shop for any info you’ll ever need before locking in on a certain item.

            We talked the talk, time to walk the walk.

            Fox California King – positive user experiences:

            • I’m a really tall guy, and every camping trip was a complete nightmare for me! My feet were always hanging out, and that’s NOT the thing you want when the temperature plummets during the night. This California King Size air mattress was the perfect fix for all my problems! The length is just right, and the quality is pretty high out there too
            • It’s just the perfect guest bed! It’s much more comfortable than anything we had before, and the extra topper saved us the trouble of buying one separately. Our guest have only praises for it, so I guess there’s a first time for everything
            • It’s really easy to set up even our 3-year old could do it. We just plug it in give it a couple of minutes and it’s ready to be used. It’s a lifesaver for all guest situations, especially if they come unannounced, which tends to happen more often than not. On top of it all, it’s really comfortable as well so our visitors always have a great night’s sleep
            • With this bad boy we don’t even need to have a dedicated guest room anymore. We can just inflate it and put it wherever. It’s so easy to inflate, and storing it away also takes just a couple of minutes. It rolls really compact, so it doesn’t need a lot of space when we’re not using it
            • The pump works perfectly! It’s pretty powerful, and it takes just a few minutes to get the mattress up to its optimal firmness. Deflation goes equally smoothly, and it sucks all the air out, so I don’t have to get it out manually. It’s easy to roll up so it takes minimal space in the storage
            • The thing I especially like is that I can use my manual pump with this mattress. This means we don’t have to carry a power source to our every camping trip, always having the possibility of ending up on the ground during the night. This way, I can inflate our mattress no matter what. It takes a bit more time and effort, sure, but it’s a small price to pay for a comfortable sleep in the great outdoors
            • I don’t find air mattresses to be particularly comfortable, so I always had to buy an extra foam topper to give it a bit more comfort. This one has a topper included in the original offer, which made it that much more appealing to me. The topper isn’t some cheap crap either, it’s very comfortable and the memory foam used is high-quality too
            • The foam topper is the best I’ve slept on so far! I usually got my toppers from Wallmart, and they were comfortable for a while, only to turn into a pancake after constant use. The foam would just fall flat and never bounce back. I’ve been using this mattress as my regular bed for three months as I’m writing this, and the foam contours around my body perfectly, and bounces right back when I get up
            • I like the material of this model. It just feels like it can take on everything that killed my previous inflatable beds in the past. It’s definitely thicker and harder than anything I had before, and I’m not afraid to take this bad boy camping even when we’re sleeping in pretty inhospitable conditions
            • The height is just perfect, and it gives off a felling of a regular bed. I can get in or out without any problems, and it also looks like a real bed with a set of sheets over it
            • California King Size air beds are pretty difficult to find, and I thank god Fox decided to make one of those. I’ve been using Fox products for a couple of years now, and I put a lot of trust in them by now. I’ve been using them for camping mostly, but now I had a major moving, and this mattress is my main sleeping solution for now. Being a very tall guy, this was just what the doctor ordered! Thank you Fox, you really got me out of a jam this time
            • It holds air like a boss! We took it for a test run on our 3-day camping trip, and we had to use the pump only once; the first night we reached our destination. It stayed perfectly inflated until the moment we had to leave, without losing ANY air whatsoever
            • I’ve never had an air mattress with edges this firm! Every bed can hold the weight in the middle part, but being able to side on the sides without toppling over is what signifies true quality in my opinion. I can sit very comfortably, take my slippers off, and then get into bed. The little bevels on the side also help keep my sheets firmly in place
            • The pump takes care of the work pretty quickly, and it’s not overly loud. It basically sounds like a vacuum cleaner, only a bit less noisy. It’s also very easy to use. I just turn the switch and it starts inflating the bed. There’s also a little compartment for cord storage, so I don’t have to deal with the cord sticking out
            • The best thing is, we can use the topper on our regular bed as well. This is mainly our camping bed, so we don’t really need the topper in order to sleep pretty comfortably. It’s a great topper, however, so we just threw it over our main bed, and it upped the comfort by a lot. Our bed is King Size, though, so it’s not exactly an exact match, but it fits well enough
            • The support is nothing short of amazing! It’s the ultimate combo with the extra comfort the topper provides. It aligns my back perfectly, and the extra layer of memory foam keeps pressure points well in check. It’s the first bed in years that took care of my back pain, and it’s worth every dollar spent and then some

             

            see on amazon comparison table orange long

             

            We’ll follow this up with some of the negative Fox reviews:

            • The one complaint (well, a nitpick rather) are the pillows. They are free, so they’re not exactly a thing I should be complaining about, but since it’s the only negative thing I can mention… Namely, they’re too small and practically useless! There are two of them, but still not enough for even one decent pillow. If they were bigger and usable, it would have so much more of an impact… Being as they are, they’re a nice idea with a rather poor execution
            • The height is my main issue here. It’s a terrific bed for camping, but it takes up too much space in my tent. If it were just a little lower, it would be absolutely perfect

            Our impressions with this California King Size air mattress

            As with any Fox Air Mattress we’ve reviewed so far, the first thing we need to address is their incredible durability.

            We always say Fox models are considered “tanks” among the inflatables, and we stand firmly behind our words. The overall rating as far as sturdiness and durability are concerned is 86/100, which is an amazing score no questions asked.

            What makes them different?

            The extra strong vinyl used for making these models is the first point we need to mention, the overall thickness being the second.

            Air mattresses are usually made of material that’s 0.4mm thick. We have nothing against that since it’s enough to withstand a lot of common hazards found both in-home and outside. However, material used in Fox beds is 0.6mm thick, which puts it way in front of the competition.

            It’s their main selling point, so you can rest assured they’ll outlast pretty much any other brand that’s currently out there. It also features a convenient and practical.

            remote control of the California king size air mattress

            Features a handy remote control for easy inflation/deflation – which you don’t see that often in this price range of airbeds

            So…

            if sturdy construction and durability are the breaking point for you, look no further and just pick your preferred size.

            What else?

            Comfort is the other feature Fox tackled with this model.

            Their products are known for their longevity, not comfort, so it was about time something changed in that department. Don’t get us wrong, they weren’t uncomfortable before; they just needed a little extra “something” to tip the scales in their favor faced with extreme competition.

            The extra memory foam topper seems to have done the trick as far as the customers we’ve contacted are concerned. We can judge the quality of the foam, test it for this and that, but we can’t really speak about the comfort during prolonged use of the bed.

            That’s why we contact so many people on a regular basis; to give us their first-hand experiences regarding the overall comfort of this model. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and most of the buyers were genuinely surprised at the sheer quality of something they initially thought off as a cheap add-on.

            During our pressure tests, we’ve noticed the “bounce back” properties of the foam are nothing to sneeze at, and the customers report it’s extremely comfortable and contouring to the natural curves of the body.

            The overall rating for comfort is 92/100, which means Fox broke through the cliché of “just” being this “beast” among inflatable mattresses. The accent here is much more on comfort while retaining the structural strength we all know their products for.

            What about air retention of this California King Size air mattress???

            This was never a problem with Fox, and this model is no exception.

            Both the pump and air retention ability got 84/100, and I won’t spend any more words telling you how impressive of a result that is.

            You don’t get you product placed among the top 3 on our site if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Air retention is THE crucial thing with inflatable beds since we have nothing without it. If our mattress leaks air, we don’t care how fancy, sturdy or comfortable it is. This is the paramount factor, and Fox products are firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to it.

            It performed beautifully during our pressure tests, where we put the maximum allowed weight on top of the surface and leave it there for days.
            The pump is also a thing of beauty. As I already said, we’ve inflated and deflated the mattress for over than a hundred times, and it always did its job quickly and efficiently.

            The fact that we can use external pumps to inflate it is just an added bonus. This means we don’t have to rely on mobile power sources if we want to take it to our camping trip, which is a huge load off (at least, for me). I’m one of those people who constantly forget to do important things, charging the power supply included. You might imagine the nasty scenarios this might (and did) cause.

            Technologies included?

            There are two things we need to tackle here:

            • Air-Flow chambers
            • Super-Flat surface

            They’re kinda connected, so we never separate those two.

            You’ve probably heard of internal chambers in air mattresses…

            Right?

            If you’re a regular reader on 3beds, you’ve definitely heard of them.

            It’s a construction aimed at providing better support and air distribution inside the mattress, and it’s supposed to mimic the old-school coil construction, only with air instead of metal. The opposite thing is “beam construction”, which is the inferior option between the two.

            When you hear a certain name in front of chamber construction, it’s usually there to signify the different shape or functionality of the said chambers. In this case, they’re diamond-shaped, which enables the faster movement of air in-between separate compartments. Well, to be exact, it primarily ENABLES that movement since there are constructions out there which feature all the chambers as separate entities.

            This, in turn, also provides better body support for the sleeper.

            Super-flat surface is a pretty self-explanatory term. The top of the mattress will remain flat even after it’s been slept on for a long time. In other words, it won’t develop any “deformities” air mattresses are known for having. No bulges or holes will ever trouble us with a Fox model as our sleeping solution. It’s higher than the Fox Plush, which gives it extra stability.

            So, do we recommend it?

            Yes would be a straight up answer, without beating around the bush too much.

            It’ll prove to be a great value for the price whether you intend to use it at home or for your camping trips. It’s sturdy enough to handle pretty much anything the outdoors has to throw at it.

            People also use it as their main bed, and we’ve received some pretty flattering reports in our inbox.

            So, all in all, it’s a regular high-quality Fox model enriched with a foam topper and not-so-good foam pillows, which comes in one of the rarest sizes on the market.
            In other words, it’s a complete hit!

            We hope you found this update useful and informative, and that it will help you reach a fully informed and wise choice.

            We’ll update this guide in two months, at which point we hope to see some other models joining the battle for the best California King Size air mattress title.

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              California King Size air mattress is one of the most “barren” categories on 3 beds. It was a daunting task very ...
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