"California King Bed" (CD Single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"California King Bed" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
RiRi's relationship goes sour in clean but mature track.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 7 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

The song is about a troubled romantic relationship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Neither positive nor negative role models; just about a romantic relationship not working.


Talks about kissing and sleeping in the same bed with someone.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "California King Bed" is among the cleanest of Rihanna's songs, with none of the hardcore allusions to sex that sometimes appear in her tunes. Still, the track clearly refers to a sexual relationship, with lyrics about kissing and sleeping in the same bed with someone. Though the song doesn't have any profanity and references to violence or substances, the single's focus on a mature sexual relationship may make parents of younger tweens think twice.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMrs. SG February 8, 2012

pretty mature. please read the lyrics and implications first.

Careful. The lyric "...and a little last night on these sheets" does refer to sexual acts and such. I wouldn't call this song graphic, but it... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byspeyan727 October 10, 2018
Teen, 17 years old Written byabbacus June 9, 2012

good song.

Good, but could be better.

What's the story?

"CALIFORNIA KING BED" is one of the cleaner singles from the album Loud by R&B superstar Rihanna. While the song clearly focuses on a mature relationship involving a sexually active couple ("Lips that felt just like the inside of a rose ... you were sleeping next to me"), it omits graphic descriptions about sex, substance use, or other adult topics and avoids explicit language. That said, the topic of a mature sexual relationship alone might be enough to give parents of younger tweens pause.

Is it any good?

Rihanna's star doesn't shine quite as bright in this ballad, with its plodding melody and somewhat mundane vocals making the song sound just OK overall. Though they're generally more mature than this song, the artist's faster-tempo hits are much more appealing -- at least from a musical standpoint.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lyrics "Side by side ... we were always just that close ... so how come when I reach out my fingers ... we're ten thousand miles apart?" What are some of the reasons that two people who were once close might grow apart?

  • What are some things you can do to foster relationships in order to keep them strong and healthy?

  • Parents, talk to your kids about your family's values when it comes to sex and relationships.

Music details

  • Artist: Rihanna
  • Release date: July 16, 2011
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Def Jam
  • Genre: R&B
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate