Twin XL vs. Full Mattress:
Pros and Cons to Each Bed Size


Written by David Rubin

Expert Tested

Table of Contents

Choosing a mattress size is an important decision. Not only can it affect your sleep and how much space you’ll have in your bedroom, but it also represents a commitment to buying the same size bedding and bed frame, which can be costly to change. Shoppers with smaller bedrooms or those who are considering upgrading from a twin may wonder whether they should get a twin XL or full mattress.

Twin XL beds are narrower and longer, while full size beds are wider but shorter. Due to their different dimensions, each size offers distinct benefits for kids, teenagers, college students, single adults, and couples. Understanding how size differences contribute to comfort, pricing, and practicality can help guide you to the mattress size that’s best for you.

What Is the Difference Between a Twin XL vs. Full?

We’ll examine the differences between a twin XL versus a full size mattress and how much each kind of mattress costs.


A full size mattress, also known as a double bed, is 54 inches wide and 75 inches long. By contrast, a twin XL mattress is 38 or 39 inches wide and 80 inches long, which is 5 inches longer than a regular twin.

Twin XL beds are designed for a single sleeper who needs more legroom than what’s provided by a standard twin size. Full size beds can accommodate one and sometimes two sleepers, but they are slightly shorter than twin XL beds and not quite as wide or long as a queen.


Twin size mattresses generally retail for the lowest price, with twin XL mattresses coming in with a slightly higher price tag. Full beds are usually more expensive than either twin size. That said, the final price of a mattress varies according to the type of mattress, the brand, the unique design, and any additional charges for shipping.

Who Should Sleep on a Twin XL or Full Mattress?

Deciding which mattress size is best for kids, teenagers, or adults depends on a variety of factors.

Children and Teens

Twin XL and full size mattresses are both suitable for children and teens. Twin XL might be more appropriate for young people going through a growth spurt, whereas full size mattresses might be more comfortable for those who like to spread out.

College Students

Dorm rooms often come with a twin XL bed frame intended to accommodate taller college students without occupying too much space. Students living in a studio apartment may do well with either a twin XL or a full size mattress, as both are relatively affordable and compact.

Single Adults

Though it can’t accommodate a sleeping partner, a twin XL mattress may be perfect for single adults on a budget. A full size mattress is also a good option, especially for adults who sleep with a pet or want the flexibility to accommodate two sleepers if needed.

Those Living in Smaller Spaces

Twin XL and full mattresses are both popular with people who have limited space. Many couples find a full size mattress to be an economical and practical option compared with a larger queen or king size bed.

If you have a smaller bedroom, be sure to take measurements before purchasing a new bed, and remember to factor in room around the bed for furniture or walkways.

Which Mattress Size Should You Choose?

Considering your body type, sleeping style, budget, and bedroom dimensions can help you determine whether you should get a twin XL or a full mattress.


Twin XL

  • Lower price-point than a full mattress
  • More legroom for taller sleepers or pets
  • May fit better in dorm rooms or studio apartments
  • Can only sleep one person
  • Not as much room to spread out


  • Affordably priced compared with a queen or king mattress
  • Can accommodate two people without occupying too much floor space
  • Takes up more space than a twin XL
  • Not as much legroom
  • More expensive than a twin XL

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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