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Twin vs Twin XL Mattress Guide

Twin and twin XL mattress side by side
Twin vs twin XL mattress dimensions.

If you’ve ever seen a twin and twin XL mattress side by side, you might’ve noticed that they look quite similar. If your spatial awareness skills are a little bit lacking (like mine are), you might not be able to spot any dissimilarities at all! So what exactly is the difference between a twin mattress and a twin XL mattress?

There’s one important variation between a standard twin mattress and a twin XL mattress: a twin XL is five inches longer than a twin.

As I’ll discuss below, five extra inches can change a lot! So what size bed is right for you? Read on below to learn more about each of these mattresses, and check out my handy chart to see the dimensions of each bed in detail.

MattressTwinTwin XL
Height75 inches (6.25 feet)80 inches (6.67 feet)
Width38 inches (3.17 feet)38 inches (3.17 feet)
Area2,850 square inches (237.5 square feet)3,040 square inches (253.3 square feet)

Twin vs Twin XL Similarities

In general, twin and twin XL mattresses have a lot of similarities. At just 38 inches wide, both these beds are compact space-savers, making them popular options for smaller guest rooms and apartments.

These mattresses’ narrow builds also make them great options for kids. However, if your child tosses and turns often at night, you might want to opt for a wider bed to prevent them from falling off, or you might consider a twin-sized bed rail. If you’re shopping for a child, you can check out our best mattress for kids review to find some great kid-friendly options!

Both twin and twin XL mattresses are quite affordable — they’re two of the cheapest mattress options on the market. Budget-savvy shoppers might prefer to go with a twin or twin XL. If you sleep alone and don’t move around much at night, either of these mattresses could be a great fit for you. If you’re on a tight budget but want a little extra surface area, you can check out some value buys in our best cheap mattress roundup.

Most people will find either one of these mattresses too narrow to comfortably share with another person. If you share your mattress with another person, or large pet, you may want to consider a wider mattress. Take a look at a few of the best mattresses for couples to see if there’s anything that better fits your needs!

Twin vs Twin XL Differences

Like I mentioned above, the only difference between a twin and twin XL mattress is their length. The twin XL is 80 inches in length, which is the same length as a queen size mattress, whereas the twin is 75 inches in length, which is the same length as a full size mattress.

A difference in length can change who these mattresses are best for. Twin XL beds have become very popular in college dorm rooms because they save space while accommodating taller teenagers and young adults. If you’re looking for a mattress that can save space while still comfortably fitting an adult or growing teen, I’d recommend a twin XL. You can also check out our best mattress for teenagers roundup to find some other great options.

The twin XL is likely to be more comfortable than a twin mattress for anyone taller than 6 feet. The extra space should prevent their feet from hanging off the edge of the bed when they sleep, which is important for maintaining proper sleep posture and avoiding pain.

On the other hand, a small child or shorter adult might not need the extra legroom, in which case a twin mattress could be the way to go. Twin size mattresses are also popular sizes for bunk beds in children’s rooms, and it’s common for crib mattresses to be standard twin sized.

Best Bunk Beds
Twin mattresses are popular for bunk beds.

Since twin size mattresses are more widely available than twin XLs, it’s much easier to find sheets, mattress toppers, bed frames, and other accessories for these beds. The wider availability of these accessory options might also help keep your bedding costs down. If you’re buying a brand new bed set and need some suggestions, you can find some of my favorite sleep accessories in Sleepopolis’s best bed frames and best sheets for the money reviews.

If you’re interested in purchasing two twin mattresses to create your own split king size bed, which can be cheaper than buying a king size mattress or split king mattress, you should buy two twin XL mattresses. At 80 inches , twin XLs are the same length as a king mattress; two standard twins will be too short.

One last thing to consider when choosing between a twin and twin XL mattress is how the mattress will balance out your room. A twin XL’s extra length could make a small room look cramped, while a standard twin size might look odd in a larger room. If you’re furnishing a master bedroom, you may want to consider a wider king or queen mattress.

Other Mattress Sizes

Not sure if a twin or twin XL size mattress is right for you? You can take an in-depth look at how big king, queen, full and other mattresses are in our bed size dimensions guide. In the meantime, check out the chart below to compare the dimensions of popular bed sizes.

MattressDimensions (in inches)Area (in square inches)Best for
Twin38 x 752,850Children, smaller adults, and teens.
Twin XL38 x 803,040Taller teens, college students, and single adults trying to save space.
Full54 x 754,050Teens, single adults, and couples who don’t mind sharing personal space.
Queen60 x 804,800Adults and couples. This is the one of the most popular mattress sizes.
King76 x 806,080Adults and couples. This is an especially good choice for heavier adults who need extra support or couples who like to spread out.
California King72 x 846,048Adults and couples, especially taller sleepers who need extra length in their mattress.

Twin vs Twin XL Buying Considerations

Below are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing between these two mattresses.

Bedroom Size

Keep your bedroom’s size and dimensions in mind when choosing your mattress. Twin and twin XL mattresses are both compact enough to fit comfortably in most rooms, but if you have an especially small space a twin mattress might be the best choice.

Cost

Both of these beds are in a similar price range. But, because twin XL accessories have a lower availability, they can be more expensive than twin accessories. If you’re on a tight budget and know you’ll also need new sheets and bed frames, you might want to opt for a twin.

Sleeping Position

Depending on your sleeping position, you may need a larger mattress.

Remember, both of these mattresses are quite narrow. So if you like to sleep like a starfish, you might not be comfortable on either of them. Similarly, if you sleep with a pillow that takes up a lot of space at the head of the bed, like one of our best pillows for side sleepers, you may need extra length to accommodate it. In that case, a twin XL will be better for you.

Height

If you’re over 6 feet tall, you’ll probably appreciate the extra legroom on a twin XL mattress. If you’re under 6 feet, either mattress should work for you.

Age

If you’re shopping for a child or teenager who might hit a growth spurt, it could be a good idea to consider a twin XL. The extra length could prevent taller individuals from outgrowing their mattress too soon, saving time and money.

Which is Better: Twin vs Twin XL?

The answer to this question depends on your needs! I’ve listed a few pros and cons of each mattress below to help you decide which is a better fit for you.

Twin Mattress Pros

  • Twin mattresses are the most compact mattresses on the market, which makes them ideal for small spaces.
  • Twin mattresses are some of the most affordable mattresses on the market, and are great if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Twin mattresses are common, so it’s easy to find sheets, bed frames, and other accessories to go with them.

Twin Mattress Cons

  • Twin mattresses are too narrow to comfortably fit more than one person.
  • Twin mattresses are shorter than twin XL mattresses, so if you’re taller than 6 feet , they might not be a good fit for you.

Twin XL Mattress Pros

  • Twin XLs are five inches longer than regular twin mattresses, so they’re great for taller sleepers, or even for older children who might hit a growth spurt in a few years.
  • Twin XL mattresses are very affordable, which makes them a great option for budget-savvy shoppers.
  • Twin XL mattresses are great space-savers, even with the extra legroom.

Twin XL Mattress Cons

  • Twin XL mattresses are too narrow to comfortably fit more than one sleeper.
  • Twin XL mattresses are less common than some other mattress sizes, so it may be harder to find sheets, bed frames, or other bedding accessories to go with them.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it, the only difference between a twin mattress and a twin XL mattress is five inches in length. Depending on your height, room size, and budget, those extra inches could make a big difference! Hopefully, this guide has helped you decide which of these sizes is best for you.

FAQ

Where can I find twin XL sheets?

You can take a look at some of the Best Cotton Sheets we reviewed in 2020 to find some great twin XL options.

What is the difference between a twin XL and a twin extra long mattress?

They are actually the same. Twin XL mattresses are sometimes referred to as twin extra long and extra long twin mattresses, but those are all different terms for the same bed.

What is the difference between a twin bed and a single bed?

There’s no difference between these two beds either! Twin size beds are sometimes called single beds because they were made to accommodate single sleepers. But a twin size mattress and single mattress are the same standard size.

Should I use a topper with my twin or twin XL mattress?

Mattress toppers are great options to give a mattress a more luxurious feel or help a dorm room mattress feel softer and more comfortable. If you do decide you want a mattress topper, I can recommend a couple to try out in our Best Mattress Toppers review.