Twin vs. Twin XL Mattress:
How to Choose the Right Bed Size


Written by David Rubin

Expert Tested

Table of Contents

If you’ve narrowed your choices down to a twin versus a twin XL bed, chances are you’re well on your way with your mattress search. Both twin and twin XL are considered standard mattress sizes and are available from most manufacturers. As the two smallest sizes, they offer similar benefits for shoppers on a budget and those with limited space in their bedroom.

We’ll go over the subtle differences between the two sizes and provide advice on how to choose between a twin and a twin XL bed.

What Is the Difference Between a Twin and Twin XL?

If you’re struggling to choose between a twin and a twin XL mattress, it may help to look at the exact dimensions of the two mattresses and how they differ in price.


Twin and twin XL mattresses are both 38 inches wide. The difference between the two is that twin beds are 75 inches long, while twin XL models are 80 inches long — hence the name XL, or extra large. This means twin mattresses are generally the same length as full size mattresses, whereas twin XL mattresses are usually the same length as queen and king size beds.

Sizes may vary by an inch or so depending on the manufacturer. For example, some twin beds may measure 39 by 75 inches, while some twin XL beds may be 38 by 79 inches.


Because they are the smallest, twin and twin XL mattresses are generally the most affordable options among the standard mattress sizes. Some manufacturers price their twin and twin XL mattresses almost identically, while others may set prices to differ up to several hundred dollars.

As with other mattress sizes, how much a twin or twin XL mattress costs can vary according to the type of mattress, the brand, and whether there are extra charges for shipping or returns. Remember that bedding and other accessories are also cheaper for twin and twin XL sizes, which will cut down on the overall cost of your purchase.

Who Should Sleep on a Twin or Twin XL Mattress?

Twin and twin XL beds are generally only suitable for one sleeper, whether that be a child, a teen, a college student, or a single adult. When choosing your mattress size, consider factors such as your body type, the available space in your bedroom, and your personal needs and preferences.

Children and Teens

Children and younger teens can usually sleep comfortably on a twin or a twin XL mattress. When considering which size mattress is best for kids, remember that specialty bed frames such as bunk beds or trundle beds may require a standard twin size mattress, but taller teens may prefer the extra length of a twin XL.

College Students

Twin and twin XL sizes are ideal for dorm rooms or anyone living in their first apartment. Both sizes fit well into smaller spaces and can also be used as a loft bed to free up floor space.

Single Adults

Adults on a budget may find a twin or twin XL mattress suitable for their needs. That said, these sizes may be impractical for larger adults, individuals who like to sprawl out while sleeping, and those who sleep with a partner. However, both twin and twin XL beds can accommodate a person and a small pet.

Those Living in Small Spaces

The compact sizes of twin and twin XL beds makes them well suited to smaller spaces such as studio apartments, RVs, or guest rooms.

Which Mattress Size Should You Choose?

When deciding if you should get a twin or twin XL mattress, think about your sleeping style, body type, budget, and where you want to use the mattress.



  • Most affordable and compact option
  • Made to fit most bunk beds, trundle beds, and other specialty beds
  • May be too short for taller sleepers
  • May not provide enough room for those who sleep with a pet

Twin XL

  • Extra legroom for taller sleepers
  • Offers a relatively spacious sleep surface without occupying too much floor space
  • Slightly more expensive than twin size
  • May not fit certain bunk beds or trundle beds

About The Author

David Rubin

Certified Sleep Science Coach, Director of Product Testing

David is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with a lifelong passion for well-being and health optimization. His interest in sleep developed with the arrival of his son, when sleep suddenly became a precious commodity.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Hot Sleeper

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