Queen vs. Twin: What’s the Difference?
When choosing a mattress size, your bedroom space and budget play major roles in your decision. Queen and twin mattresses are two of the most popular mattress sizes, and each has different uses and space requirements. Queen mattresses are larger, and thus more expensive, but fit more sleepers than a twin mattress.
Our mattress guide goes over the biggest differences between queen and twin mattresses, along with other sizes you can consider if a queen or twin doesn’t work for you.
What’s a Queen Mattress?
Queen mattresses are the most popular mattress size, measuring 60 by 80 inches. They typically cost between $500 to $3000, with the price dependent on added special features and technologies. We recommend you have at least a 10 by 10-foot room to be able to fit a queen bed and any other furniture.
Queen size mattresses are an excellent choice for couples because each person gets 30 inches of width to themselves. A queen isn’t very spacious for couples who like to stretch out, but if you have a smaller bedroom, a queen is a better option than a king or California king bed.
Solo sleepers love queen beds since there’s space to move around easily and an extra 5 inches of legroom compared to a twin mattress. A queen size bed may be a bigger investment for one person alone versus two people, but the extra space is worth it.
Two variations of queen mattresses are Olympic queens and split queens, though they’re both rather rare.
An Olympic queen is 66 by 80 inches, 6 inches wider than a queen, but 10 inches narrower than a king. Olympic queens provide additional sleep space for couples while still fitting in small bedrooms.
Split queen mattresses are a standard queen size, only they’re split into two smaller mattresses (30 by 80 inches) so you and your bed partner can each choose your own mattress firmness.
Pros of a Queen Mattress
- Suitable for two sleepers
- Fits tall people
- Works in guest bedrooms and small master suites
Cons of a Queen Mattress
- Pricey compared to a twin
What’s a Twin Mattress?
Twin size mattresses are 38 inches wide and 74 to 75 inches long. They’re also known as single beds, though this title is mainly used in Europe. Most twin mattresses cost between $100 to $1000, depending on the quality of materials used. Compared to queens and other mattresses sizes, twins work well if you’re on a tight budget.
The ideal bedroom size for a twin mattress is at least 7 by 10 feet, making them a good fit for dorm rooms, studio apartments, and guest rooms. Twin mattresses also fit on bunk beds, an easy and space-efficient option if you’re trying to sleep multiple people in one room.
Twin beds are ideal for single adult sleepers as well as kids and teens. Many toddlers upgrade to a twin mattress since they can grow into a twin bed well into their teen years.
A twin size mattress usually isn’t comfortable for taller sleepers and only fits one person maximum, so couples and co-sleepers need a larger bed. Tall sleepers might be interested in a twin XL size mattress for the extra length. It’s 38 by 80 inches—5 inches longer than a standard twin—providing lots of legroom for them.
Pros of a Twin Mattress
- Accommodates growing children and teenagers
- Multiple beds fit in one room
Cons of a Twin Mattress
- Only fit one person
- Too short for some sleepers
Alternative Mattress Sizes
When choosing a mattress, consider your bedroom size—most people want at least 2-3 feet of space on every side of the bed (except the headboard side). Also, picking a mattress size depends on who’s using the bed and their height. If neither a twin nor a queen mattress fits the bill for you, we’ve summarized other options.
A full size bed measures 54 inches wide and 75 inches long and is occasionally known as a double bed. Full mattresses are good for solo sleepers who need extra space, but since full size mattresses are the same length as twin mattresses, they aren’t suitable for tall people.
A king size mattress, also called an Eastern king, is 76 by 80 inches. King beds are the best option for couples with large master bedrooms since both sleepers get 38 inches of personal space. Some single sleepers might consider a king mattress, but it’s not necessary unless you like a very large sleeping space.
A variation of a king size bed is the split king. A split king is the same size as a standard king bed, only split into two separate mattresses. Split kings are best for couples with different firmness needs. Plus, if you use a split king with an adjustable bed base, you and your partner can elevate your head and feet independently to meet your personal incline preferences.
For more about the differences between the two sizes, check out our king vs. split king guide.
California King Mattress
The California king bed, also known as a Cal or Western king, is the longest bed size available, measuring 72 by 84 inches. California kings are best for taller than average couples who have large master bedrooms. People occasionally assume California king size mattresses are much larger than standard kings, however, California kings are 4 inches narrower and 4 inches longer than standard kings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Twin beds are 75 inches long, or 6 feet 3 inches. Anyone taller than 6 feet (72 inches) is too tall to comfortably sleep on a twin bed, considering people need room to stretch out and are supposed to lay their heads at the end of their pillow. Instead, they should consider a twin XL bed at minimum.
Two twin beds pushed together are 76 inches wide and 75 inches long, making a square-shaped mattress. This isn’t a standard mattress size and no bedding, bed frames, and other accessories fit two twins pushed together.
With this in mind, two twin XL mattresses pushed together equal a split king, a standard mattress size. If you’re considering buying two beds to push together, we encourage you to buy two twin XLs as it’s easier to find suitable accessories for them.
Full XL mattresses are 54 by 80 inches, 6 inches thinner than a queen mattress. They’re best for tall, single sleepers since they aren’t wide enough for two people like a queen mattress is. Full XL beds are rarer than queens, so finding bedding and accessories might prove more difficult than just buying a queen or full mattress.
Queen mattresses are the most popular mattress size amongst couples, however, you have more personal space on a king mattress. If you and your partner are above average height, California king mattresses are the best option since they’re the longest standard mattress and still wide enough to comfortably fit two adults.
If you're unsure whether a king or queen mattress suits you better, read our king vs. queen guide.
The largest mattress size available is an Alaskan king, measuring 108 inches wide and 108 inches long. It’s huge and if you share a bed, you and your partner would have 54 inches of width to yourself, or the equivalent of a full mattress.
Most brands don’t carry Alaskan king mattresses, so finding one and its accommodating accessories is expensive. The mattress is rare because frankly, it’s unnecessary. A king or California king mattress provides enough height and width for most people.
Since queen and twin mattresses are vastly different, it’s impossible to determine if one is better than the other. Rather, choosing between the two comes down to how many people will use the bed, your bedroom size, your height, and your budget. We recommend twin mattresses for solo sleepers, people on tight budgets, and people with limited space. Queen mattresses are a good option for couples and solo sleepers with a sizable space and budget.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.