Twin vs. Twin XL: What’s the Difference?
Bed size is probably one of your first considerations when mattress shopping and many decide on the twin or slightly larger twin XL as the best fit for their living space. Both options avoid taking up too much room while still providing a single adult with enough sleeping space.
What is a Twin?
A twin size mattress, sometimes called a single, is 38 inches by 75 inches. It’s the smallest standard size available for adults.
Twin mattresses are a common choice for children’s rooms, whether it’s just one in a basic bed frame or two in a bunk bed. They’re also an excellent fit for small studio apartments and bedrooms.
What is a Twin XL?
A twin extra long mattress is 38 inches by 80 inches. It offers 5 more inches of legroom than a regular twin mattress.
Many people keep a twin XL mattress in a small guest bedroom to better accommodate single sleepers. Similarly, most college dorm rooms have twin XL size bed frames to minimize the chances of a college student being too tall for their bed. And some parents buy a twin XL mattress for their children in case of a growth spurt.
Which is Right for Me?
To decide whether a twin or a twin XL is the best mattress for you, you should consider your height, your budget, and your room size. If you plan on pairing it with an adjustable base, you might also need to see what sizes your chosen bed frame comes in.
For many, the deciding factor between a twin and twin XL mattress is how tall the sleeper is. Single adults taller than 6 feet may find their feet hang over the edge of a regular twin, while the extra length of a twin XL mattress offers plenty of legroom.
If the new mattress is for a child that’s outgrown their crib mattress, you might want to opt for a twin XL mattress. The 5 extra inches can better accommodate a growth spurt when your child reaches their teen years.
Twin XL mattresses cost more than a standard twin bed, as they require more material to produce. However, the two have similar prices—for example, a twin size Zoma mattress costs $450 and a twin XL mattress $550.
However, bedding accessories for a twin mattress are usually cheaper and easier to find. Some bedding brands may not even produce twin XL size sheets and blankets.
Twin and twin XL have similar sizes, with only 5 inches of difference between them. Both fit well in rooms that are at least 7 feet by 10 feet. However, if you need more floor space, a standard twin mattress might be the better choice.
Using an Adjustable Base
Double-check which sizes of adjustable bed frames are available before you buy a mattress. Some companies only sell twin XL adjustable bed frames.
Two twin XL mattresses also work well with a king size adjustable base. Having two separate mattresses lets you customize each half—so you could go to bed while your partner sits up to finish a chapter in their book.
If you’re considering a mattress for an adjustable base, we recommend a memory foam or latex mattress. The coils of an innerspring mattress don’t bend and fold as well as a foam mattress, which is likely to cause you discomfort.
Other Bed Sizes
Maybe neither twin size is what you’re looking for in a mattress. Perhaps you have a master bedroom you want to shop for, or a guest room big enough for a larger mattress than a twin. If so, there are other mattress sizes you can consider.
A full size mattress features 16 more inches of width than a standard twin. It’s a good choice for single sleepers who need more sprawling space than a twin can provide. Some college dorm rooms have full size beds instead of a twin XL mattresses.
If you’re tall, you might want to look for a full XL mattress—like a twin XL, a full XL mattress offers 5 more inches of legroom. A full XL is not a standard size, so your best chance of finding one is by looking online.
A queen size mattress measures 60 inches by 80 inches, excellent for one person to sprawl out on or for two to share. Its versatility is one reason why queen mattresses are the most popular bed size.
A king size mattress is the widest standard mattress available at 76 inches by 80 inches. If you want to upgrade your master bedroom, a king size bed might be the way to go.
If you’re sharing with a partner who likes the bed firmer or softer than you do, you might want to compare a split king to a king mattress. Split king beds are actually two mattresses that each the size of a twin XL, so both of you can sleep comfortably.
A California king size mattress is 4 inches longer than a standard king mattress, although it’s also 4 inches narrower. If you’re too tall to lie down on a standard king mattress without leaving your feet dangling off the edge, a California king can help you sleep comfortably. The five inches of difference between a twin and twin XL mattress will make it difficult to place a twin fitted sheet over a twin XL mattress—you might be able to slip it on, but it’s unlikely to be secure enough to stay on the mattress. However, you can sleep with a loose twin size blanket on a twin XL mattress. And remember to wash your sheets weekly to prevent dust mites from settling. No, it’s two twin XL mattresses side by side that are equal to one king size bed. This is known as a split king mattress, and it can help couples with different sleep needs get a better night’s sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
The five inches of difference between a twin and twin XL mattress will make it difficult to place a twin fitted sheet over a twin XL mattress—you might be able to slip it on, but it’s unlikely to be secure enough to stay on the mattress. However, you can sleep with a loose twin size blanket on a twin XL mattress.
And remember to wash your sheets weekly to prevent dust mites from settling.
No, it’s two twin XL mattresses side by side that are equal to one king size bed. This is known as a split king mattress, and it can help couples with different sleep needs get a better night’s sleep.
Did We Help?
A standard twin and a twin XL are both excellent choices for a children’s room, guest room, small bedroom, or studio apartment. Which is the better mattress for you will primarily depend on your height and budget. If you’re looking to share the mattress, you should consider a queen or king size bed instead.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.