Twin vs. Twin XL: What’s the Difference?

Learn about the distinctions between twin and twin XL mattresses in terms of dimensions, advantages, and drawbacks. A twin mattress is 38x75 inches and suits growing children and small rooms. On the other hand, a twin XL mattress measures 38x80 inches, accommodating taller teens and adults. Understanding the pros and cons of each size can help you make an informed choice.

Do you have a child or teen who’s ready for a new bed? Or maybe you’re moving into your very first—or a very small—apartment by yourself?

A twin or twin XL mattress might be the perfect mattress size for you. While

twin mattresses
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and twin XLs are similar, they do have a few differences—so it’s important to do your research before selecting a size.

What’s the difference between a twin and a twin XL—and which one is right for you? Our twin vs. twin XL mattress guide will help you determine just that.

Twin mattress size

A twin mattress (also known as a single bed) measures 38 inches wide by 75 inches long.

Pros of a twin

Thinking through whether a twin mattress is an ideal choice for you? Here are the top four benefits:

  • A twin mattress is great for growing children. It’s an ideal size between toddler beds and the full-size mattress they may use as teenagers. It also fits nicely into kids’ rooms. “Twin beds are so fantastic for kids’ rooms because you don’t need much space for them,” says Prudence Bailey, founder and principal designer of Prudence Home + Design in Connecticut. They can function as a bed or even a daybed.
  • Bailey adds that having two twin mattresses in a room is perfect for kids who love throwing sleepovers—or siblings who share a bedroom.
  • A twin mattress size is versatile—it can be used in bunk beds, daybeds, and for solo sleepers in studio apartments. (Keep in mind, your bedroom should be 7 feet by 10 feet, at minimum, to fit a twin-size mattress.)
  • Since a twin mattress is the smallest mattress size, it naturally comes with the smallest price tag—and it’s a piece of cake to move.


Cons of a twin

A twin mattress isn’t without its downsides. Consider these drawbacks before you buy one:

  • It’s too small for two. Given that a twin mattress is only 38 inches in width total, it doesn’t afford much space for two people. A queen-size bed, which measures 60 x 80 inches, is the ideal mattress size for couples because each sleeper gets about 30 inches of space to themselves.
  • Because it’s only 75 inches long (which translates to 6 feet 2 inches), a twin-size mattress may not be long enough for taller teens or adults.

Twin XL mattress size

As its name suggests, a twin XL is an extra-long twin-size mattress. A twin XL mattress measures 38 inches wide by 80 inches long, making it a full 5 inches longer than a standard twin.

Pros of a twin XL

Just like a standard twin, a twin XL has quite a few things going for it. Here are the biggest benefits:

  • Twin XL beds are great for teens. Since teens often experience growth spurts, the added length of the mattress will be helpful. Measuring 80 inches long (roughly 6 feet 7 inches), this is an excellent option if you believe your teen will be over 6 feet tall. If you’re a taller adult who has a small bedroom, you may also benefit from choosing a twin XL mattress.
  • A twin XL mattress makes for a nice fit in dorm rooms—especially for tall college students. “Twin XLs are ideal for college students because they provide more length, which is great for kids who study in bed or want to hang out with friends on their bed,” notes Bailey.
  • If you and your partner have different sleep needs, you can put two twin XL mattresses together to make a split king. For example, if you like a firm mattress but your partner prefers a soft mattress, consider a split king so each of you has a separate sleep surface with your preferred mattress firmness.


Cons of a twin XL

Keep these drawbacks in mind before shopping for a twin XL mattress:

  • Like the standard twin, it’s not a good option for couples (unless you pair two together to make a split king). A twin XL mattress is only 38 inches in width total, which doesn’t amount to much space for two people.
  • Finding bedding that fits can be challenging since a twin XL mattress is less common than a standard twin. That said, twin XL sheet sets do exist. What’s more, twin flat sheets are actually sized to fit both types of twin mattresses, so if you have any of those laying around you should be able to use them interchangeably. (Here’s what you need to know about special mattress sizes before you buy one.)
  • You’ll pay more for a twin XL than you would a standard twin. “Twin XL beds are a bit more expensive than regular twins,” says Bailey. Plus, not all mattress retailers stock twin XLs regularly, she adds.

Is a twin vs. twin XL right for you?

We’ve put together this handy comparison chart to help make your choice between a twin vs. twin XL easier.

ComparisonTwinTwin XL
Min. recommended room size7′ x 10′7′ x 10′
Who it’s best for-Young children
-Solo sleepers with very small bedrooms
-Tall children or teens
-Couples (when you pair two twin XLs to make a split king)
Drawbacks-Not enough room for couples
-Not long enough for anyone over 6 feet
-More expensive than a standard twin
-Can be hard to find bedding


Is a twin XL the same as a twin?

A twin XL and a twin aren’t the same things. A twin XL measures 38 inches wide by 80 inches long, while a standard twin measures 38 inches wide by 75 inches long.

Will a twin XL mattress fit a twin bed frame?

A twin XL mattress is 5 inches longer than a standard twin. Because of the extra length, it won’t fit a standard twin bed frame. If you’re considering a twin XL mattress, then you’ll need to choose a twin XL bed frame to go along with it. Check out our guide to bed frame dimensions to learn more.

What is the length difference between twin and twin XL?

A twin mattress is 75 inches long, while a twin XL is 80 inches long. A twin XL is 5 inches longer than a twin, which makes it a good choice for teens and young adults on the taller side. The 5 extra inches in length will ensure their feet won’t dangle off the edge of the bed.

Is twin XL enough for two people?

A twin XL is really only meant for one person, whether that’s a child, teen, or college student. At only 38 inches wide, it would be too cramped for two people.

Choose the perfect twin or twin XL mattress for your family

Saatva Classic Innerspring Mattress

Our flagship luxury mattress is expertly engineered with coil-on-coil construction for durability, a layer of memory foam for enhanced back support, and a cushiony Euro pillow top for extra comfort.

Youth Mattress

This dual-sided innerspring mattress provides optimal support and comfort to children of all ages. Simply flip it over from the 3+ side to the 8+ side when your child is ready.

Find the best twin and twin XL mattresses from Saatva

Saatva offers a wide range of high-quality twin and twin XL mattresses so you can easily find your perfect match. Whether you’re looking to buy a

bed for your child
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Youth Mattress

Our dual-sided nontoxic crib mattress for little ones

or you live in a small apartment, we’ve got you covered.

All of our mattresses are handcrafted with premium materials to help you experience your most comfortable sleep. Plus, our mattresses come with a 365-night home trial and lifetime warranty.

Take our mattress quiz to find out which Saatva mattress is right for you.

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